WARNING: This page contains massive spoilers for the finale of Sherlock BBC. Read at your own risk.
- The meteor doesn't arrive. Your congregation panics. The most crucial step at this point is to direct blame at an object other than yourself. The second is to promise delayed gratification. Tell them that the meteor will come. Pick a date in the not too distant future: close enough that they won't have much time to reconsider, far enough that they will have time to process and reignite their passion.
- The meteor will not arrive on the assigned date. This is optimal. Your congregation will now have the option to accept that they have been duped twice and that all the measures they have taken to prepare for the ascendance were for naught. They will remember the hopeless shame and despair they confronted the first time the meteor did not arrive. They will remember the joy that believing your assurances and prolonging their hope, no matter how illogical, brought them.
- Rather than accepting that they were wrong, they will believe whatever you tell them next.
The ringleaders of The Johnlock Conspiracy had promised their followers that all would be made canon by the end of season 4. Even after the finale was leaked, they insisted that it was “a fake episode." The real finale would have the Johnlock conclusion of their dreams, they insisted.
Guess what didn't happen?
What Did Happen
In mid-January 2017, Sherlock BBC’s Season 4 finale “The Final Problem” aired. There is a high-level summary with spoilers here. Relevant to this page, it did not end with explicit (in either sense of the word) canon Johnlock, and the canon creators said they were unsure whether there would ever be a Season 5.
TJLC absolutely lost their shit, insofar as they still had any to lose. Aside from thousands of angry and despairing reactions on Tumblr, Twitter, and elsewhere (even the AV Club!), there were TJLCers urging others to file complaints with the BBC, a Change.org petition started by Americans to "make [TPTB] answer for the queerbaiting of Sherlock" that has over 4,000 signatures at this writing (meme discussion), and harassment of the showrunners on social media. This is in spite of the fact that, based on their comments over the years, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have been blunt about their lack of interest in making Johnlock canon — and, as was noted a few times on meme, the ending was actually very kind to Johnlock shippers.
There was additional tinfoilhattery, too. Some TJLCers claimed that the finale wasn't the real finale and that there would be a fourth episode that for the moment was being kept secret. This claim persisted even after Amazon sent out some of the season 4 DVDs with, surprise, no secret episode on them. And of course there was the conspiracy theory around Apple Tree Yard, for which scroll down a bit.
Nonnies were amazed. One said, "I feel like I time-travelled to my HP days pre-last book," while another said, "You know, I think this is officially the most batshit I've seen a fandom get, and that includes people marrying fictional characters on the astral plane." As one nonny memorably put it:
- Christ, these people sound like a Downfall vid.
- -- It's fine. It'll be in the last four minutes. They'll be substituting them just before airtime.
- -- Mein fuhrer . . . Mein fuhrer, the Russians pirated the full episode. It's not there. The pirate version matches the screener.
- a DEAD SILENCE, while everyone waits for the explosion. HITLER's fingers twitch above the desk, as though he's not quite in control of his hands. At last he speaks, quietly enough:
- More NERVOUS SILENCE as the rest file out. The DOOR CLOSES, and then:
- -- Cannot believe I made a blog because I hated how people talked about Moffat and Gatiss and wanted to defend those two assholes
- But that was my decision, okay, fine – they didn’t make me do that part, they didn’t egg me on at THAT step
- But after that:
- Cannot believe they repaid me personally by shouting out my theory and my cult post in TAB and making me think it made sense to keep believing – cannot believe they repaid all of us by packing TAB full of queerbaiting bullshit when they said they were done making a joke of John and Sherlock having romantic feelings for each other
- Cannot believe people involved in the show kept egging us on with elephants and TPLoSH references and “if you’re not reading the subtext then hell mend you” – WHAT FUCKING SUBTEXT, THEN?
The Apple Tree Yard Conspiracy
A week after the finale, when the BBC aired new its thriller Apple Tree Yard (ATY) in the same time slot that Sherlock had been in, TJLC went ballistic yet again, as they’d expected it to be a sooper seekrit epilogue to Sherlock that ended with explicit canon Johnlock. No, really, they did. (and btw, Gracee minion Nondeducible was quite suspicious of the timing of that Metro article; meme discussion here). As a nonny browsing the #apple-tree-yard tag on Tumblr put it, "Holy fuck, these people are totally batshit!"
- The Apple Tree Yard Conspiracy (TATYC): The BBC has spent the last seven years playing the long game, producing and promoting Sherlock in the hope of eventually attracting an audience for its Apple Tree Yard adaptation.
There were and still are some elaborate justifications for TATYC. This nonny links to a Reddit post full of batshit, and here's some more, and here's yet more. As there is not really space on this page to list all of it that was linked or quoted on meme, the
masochistic curious may wish to browse the dedicated Sherlock BBC threads on Posts #582, #584, #585, and #586.
Shockingly, TJLC ringleader Graceeeeeee was pushing TATYC as hard as she could (meme thread). E.g., when confronted with AYT's launch trailer, she insisted, "that’s not proof it’s a real show… we were all just 100% convinced they had created a whole fake EPISODE, this would be a fake trailer". (Meme discussion.) But she was far from the only one.
Before long, Kudos TV (producers of ATY) began to troll the TJLCers on Twitter (meme discussions). TJLCers were not happy: One of them replied very modestly, "@KudosTV stop making fun of us, whether it's true or not, try to find a more intelligent and sharp fandom than us and then we'll talk xo" (This is of course the same fandom that has said, "they just never expected the kind of love we’ve given them, and could never have predicted any of us, or how amazing, clever, and brilliant we are.")
One TJLCer complained to the BBC about "the marketing of apple tree yard at vulnerable, disappointed lgbt audience of sherlock and the resulting queerbaiting," which made nonny wonder who forced them to sit down and watch it.
The Beeb's Response to TJLC
As noted here, the BBC Complaints Team responded to all furious TJLCer emails with a glorious example of the art of, with exquisite civility, telling someone to fuck off. The snark Tumblr TJLCSchadenfreude posted a scan of it; one nonny typed the text out. Tl;dr: "Sherlock and John have never shown any onscreen romantic interest in each other, and Moftiss made it clear they never would. Your anger has been noted and dismissed. Also, shove your accusations of homophobia up your arse. By the way, yes, this is a form letter. Don't bother replying, we won't answer again."
This of course ratcheted up the screaming batshit even further. Examples:
- Queenofstarkness's long reply to the official response included the accusation that the show's final season "violated section 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 of the Editorial Guidelines" and that the "abrupt shift in both narrative and tone ... was harmful to me as a viewer and caused a significant degradation in how I see myself as a person." She added that the BBC does not get to "draw a square, tell me it’s a rectangle, then berate me for seeing a square," or to "determine the validity of our outrage," or to "shrug off your social responsibility as set out in the 2009 report requesting more sexual representation in the content you produce," or to "tell queer viewers when they can or cannot feel traumatised." She added that she would not watch any hypothetical future season of Sherlock, buy any more merchandise, or support either the BBC or PBS "until an official apology is made to queer viewers." After this was shared on meme, one UK nonny replied, "In amongst all the fuckery of TJLC, the fact that TJLCers are largely Americans who for some reason think a UK-based broadcaster with a specific remit to provide a service to the British public should cater directly to them continues to shake my tree."
- Pearlocked's response harped on not only the alleged “queerbaiting” but on Molly’s “terribly sexist characterization,” as well as the fact that two villains (Eurus and Moriarty) were confirmed to be LGBT. Meme: "Lol @ them pretending they give a single shit about any of the female characters." Other nonnies noted how “fucking delighted” TJLC were when Mary died, except for those who were angry that she’d died heroically. “They STILL can't accept that John and Sherlock sincerely cared about her and are sincerely grieving her death.” And there had been posts about “how excited [TJLCers] are for her to reveal her true villain nature.”
- A sane fan was highly amused at someone's suggestion on Tumblr that Amanda Abbington read the BBC response at Letters Live.
One nonny said, "I'd give good money to hear the conversations the employees at Auntie are having about this shower of gonks." One of our BBC nonnies replied, "Nonny, I can honestly tell you that what I've been here is HILARIOUS."
As for why TJLC thought they were going to get any concessions out of the Beeb, this nonny has thoughts:
- For the last few years, harassment largely has gotten them what they want.
- A few Johnlock artists and writers have switched from drawing and writing all sorts of things to only The Right Ship in The Right Way […] and a lot of others have been pushed out of the fandom and shamed for writing anything but smol!Sherlock/TrashDaddy!John [...]
- This is the same tactic that has always worked for the TJLCers. The problem is that they're now trying to apply it to targets who are less vulnerable than their usual.
- I don't know what they think will happen. The central pillar of the theory is that they've been right all along, so even if a new episode did get written just for them even that might not satisfy. I think they want blood, maybe to see someone else suffer more than they think they are suffering. Most of them haven't been thinking of themselves as a mob harassing creators until they get what they want, but that's what they have been, and when something works for long enough people just keep doing it.
A Large Cast of Wankers
As mentioned above, Graceebooks was out in front of the pack, wanking herself raw. After she wrote this cryptic post, a nonny noted, "Graceebooks is sounding more unhinged with every post." Then there was this disturbing post about Gatiss, discussed here. Another nonny linked to half a dozen Grace posts and said, “But - honestly? She is actually verging on out of touch with reality. I mean. She is literally claiming to be communicating with the people on the TV. Her posts are making me a bit worried for her, tb entirely h.”
Other remarkable Gracee posts:
- "when you start discovering conspiracy evidence so insane that even you cant believe it yet its right there in front of your face"
- "in the future im gonna be mass produced christian merchandise jesus and yall will be the christians and youre like why is there only one set of footprints the week after tfp you abandoned me in this time of need lord and im like no my children it was then that i carried you" (meme discussion)
- "the reason we have isolated ourselves into an insular online community is because they [the BBC, Moffitas] insist on making us look so fucking delusional" (meme discussion)
- "it’s not a prank. i’m not trying to tell anyone how to feel or to not be upset, i literally get why you are, but to my mind this was clearly a longterm coherent plan to try and get as much of the audience to FEEL this, to SHOW rather than tell as many people who don’t see this coming about the rightness of it, which was always going to be a challenge given their competing softly softly commitment. yes, we are being asked to take one for the team on that, but given the analogizing to people who are literally dead, drowning, on suicide missions, etc., while they may not truly understand the depth of how consequential this is to us, i don’t think they are taking it like lightly. i think they just see that we are the people who have Heard them all along and they believe we will Hear them now" (meme discussion)
- The post in which Gracee saw something on a sketchy Russian streaming site and declared it proof of Johnlock. Nonnies: "This level of gullibility is unreal." "Like, really, who spends on this crap? I know grandparents that get scammed less easily." "How did this person apparently get through law school?"
- "Name one time I have ever been wrong."
- "Here's 30, with links."
The Gracee Backlash
− After the finale aired, some young fans who'd been taken in by TJLC started to turn on Gracee and other ringleaders. One nonny quoted loryisunabletosupinate as saying, "I do hope the LGBT teens who were tricked into believing in TJLC realize who their enemy really is and eat graceebooks," and kaminoo as saying,
- Don’t see why I should pretend not to notice or care about this group of 20+ year olds who spearheaded a movement which outright and unequivocally promised “revolutionary” canon gay representation to other LGBT folks even though it was never their place to make that promise. Don’t see how the fact that they hurt themselves in the process somehow absolves them of responsibility for their complicity in the whole mess. When the creators of a show promise you in the clearest terms they can muster that they are not going to make your ship canon, and you keep counter-promising the impossible anyways, that’s not on the creators any more. That’s on you. And the LGBT kids who listened to you deserve to hear you admit that just as much as they deserve to hear Moffat and Gatiss apologize for the gay jokes.
"PEOPLE ARE YELLING AT GRACEEBOOKS FOR BEING FULL OF SHIT AND I AM SO HAPPY," crowed one nonny, who went on to quote Gracee's defensive responses to the attacks and add, "Aww, Grace, is it upsetting to have strangers on the Internet screaming at you incoherently? I can't imagine what that must be like. Imagine if they were screaming at you over something really terrible, like being a pedophile? Thank goodness you never caused anything like that." Yet another nonny: "My justice boner is turgid."
This post by duskhaze was also quoted on meme. There were objections to duskhaze's emphases on "adults well into their late 20s" who were "hyper-sexualizing a hypothetical relationship," which smack of anti rhetoric:
- I'm a little worried that this is just gonna lead to another round of Minors in Fandom vs Evil Adults in Fandom and how the Evil Adults should leave the Minors alone and instead go and do their taxes or whatever.
- I mean, I completely blame the BNFs of the TJLC for dragging other people into it with them, but yeah. It's Adults vs Minors, it's Asshole BNFs vs Followers.
Loudest Subtext in Television
LSIT's totally not batshit analysis of the finale was that:
- There was a portrait of philosopher John Locke (JOHN LOCKE, get it?) that wept blood (pics here). It turned out to have been a portrait of Timothy Carlton, father to Benedict Cumberbatch and the actor who plays Mr. Holmes on the show. (Meme discussion.)
- Moftiss gave "the casuals ... a terrible, unarguably bad detective story to show them that what they actually want is a story about a detective. the point is to make everyone realize it’s a love story." (Meme discussion.)
- "The BFI screener and the leaked episode are complete fakes." She referred to the finale as "The Fakest Problem" and mused, "I wonder if our dads privately despaired for humanity when everyone applauded at the end of the TFP screening."
Her other contributions to Ragnalock:
- Referring to "The Final Problem" as "The Fakest Problem" because "[she is] very certain that the BFI screener and the leaked episode are complete fakes." She added, "I wonder if our dads privately despaired for humanity when everyone applauded at the end of the TFP screening. What a weird position to be in. Like, part of them must KNOW you can show people absolute dreck and they’ll lap it up if it’s fast and flashy enough, but to have it confirmed right before their eyes…"
- A revision of recent Sherlock fandom history worthy of Stalin (meme discussion). Fortunately, non-batshit Johnlock shippers like Vulgarweed were around from the start and remember the actual history (meme discussion).
- Her declaration that she "never gave a shit about Holmes stories, I actually disliked them until this show came around," and because Moftiss didn't have Sherlock and John bang in the end, "I’m so baffled and irritated that they would waste this opportunity."
- Rambling whining about how "cruel" the show was to her.
One nonny found it "hilarious that one of the things LSiT seems most upset about - apart from the lack of boning, obvs - is of Sherlock being characterized as a grown-up for once instead of a child. Smoll sad gay baby deer Sherlock, whatever happened to you? :(" It was the perfect setup for this burn: "I guess if Sherlock grows up, LSiT will have to as well. I'm sure that is upsetting them horribly."
- i am fully aware of how crazy we sound right now thats intentional on their part they want us to look nuts before the vindication
Gaybees of "TJLC Explained" fame has deleted her various Ragnalock-related posts, so all links in this subsection go to FFA.
She most notably posted a video to her Tumblr in which she was "crying and apologizing and doing the whole 'you don't deserve this' thing. ... I'm almost embarrassed to share it, but it has 2500+ notes and she apparently isn't embarrassed by it, so..." She also wrote , "the worst part of this is that no one but us knows the injustice that was just done". (Though nonnies have no love for Gaybees, they were appalled that someone called "commonsenseknockingonthedoor," also now deleted, left her an apparently cruel reply while Gaybees was expressing suicidal thoughts.)
In yet another post, Gaybees complained, "i shouldn’t have to beg to [be] represented that’s not funny or fun or clever". Nonny: "Says..the woman who identifies as a lesbian... Who was more than happy to ignore the blatant Cure Your Gays trope that Moffat pulled on Irene, in favor of the male gay ship. And now that's the only thing she cares about - not being represented in a form of a gay male ship? Ugh."
She also claimed that the ATY page on the BBC's website was removed and its logo replaced with an image of a clown. Nonny pointed out that Gaybees obviously didn't know how to look things up on bbc.co.uk or, indeed, how to Google.
This Tumblr user suggested that Moriarty would break into the coverage of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration to "celebrate the gay." Most of their commentary quoted on meme, however, was not about the show but about the fandom:
- "I have not lost faith in us or in them. Conspirators in Sherlock are always right. Always. It’s about time we prove it." Nonny: "I dunno if this person was talked about much on meme, but this is seriously, worryingly, cultish."
- "I am blocking every single person who I see calling me delusional, crazy, idiotic, and desperate. ... I don’t care if we’re mutuals, if I see you adding negativity directed to me personally on my own posts, I will make sure you never encounter my fix-it fics or metas ever again. You can’t take a writer’s work for years for free only to criticize what you don’t like about them personally in the end." Nonny: "I'M THE GOD! I'M THE GOD!!"
- "Remember when Sherlock said Eurus’ games were “human experimentation”? Yeah, that’s the point of The Final Problem. It’s the experiment in what happens when you build up and audience to believe one thing for 12 episodes and then veer off course and trick them. They’re duping us right now. This is an experiment. A cruel one, obviously. They even know it. But as shown in The Final Problem, cruelty can be questioned if the ends justify the means. It’s all fucked up, this whole thing, but we’re part of a huge bait-and-switch. It’s been occurring for a month. The only way to repair some of the damage is to tell the test subjects that they’ve been part of it. The only way to repair some of the damage is to confide in the audience what’s happening to them. Radio silence from everyone involved in this show suggests the experiment isn’t over. It will be, soon. Keep your eyes open for resolution. It’s coming." Nonny: "No Johnlock = CRUEL HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION."
- T7PS also claimed that in their "fuck off" letter, the BBC was "[b]latantly lying … about what the writers have said and what the show itself contains" because, they said, Gatiss had admitted to "making homoerotic jokes and subtext." They added, "As someone who worked handling complaints for The Walt Disney Company, I can assure you the way the BBC is handling their queer audience’s complaints right now will only hurt them in the future. A company – a taxpayer-funded company – must never imply 'you’re wrong to complain, you have no basis speaking to us'. A successful company will always say, 'We see your concern, we will address the issue, we hope to do better in the future'. This is standard procedure." When this was shared on meme, nonnies laughed outright: "No, it is not standard procedure WHEN THE COMPLAINT HAD NO BASIS. No company is obliged to contort itself to provide a solution for a customer who is being completely unreasonable." And another pointed out that Disney's practice of never saying no to its guests is what led to an alligator devouring a small child at Disneyworld.
- One nonny said, "I've been reading that person's blog for a while now and they really are... something else. Literally anything will be twisted around as more proof of Johnlock happening in a secret 4th episode, even that post says the BBC saying Johnlock isn't a thing means it actually is." They linked and quoted T7PS as saying, "They have more footage. It comes out Sunday the 29th (or not at all). 'It’s not a trick, it’s a plan.' – a poorly executed plan. They wanted to recreate the social unrest from The Final Problem of 1893, except they’re failing at the one goal they wished to accomplish". Nonny also linked to this post about how there will definitely, totally be an announcement confirming Johnlock by Jan. 29.
This wanker first appeared on meme in early September 2016, having written a post equating nonbelief in TJLC, or even stating that not everyone needs to believe in it, with murdering LGBT people. And, really, if you've received threats and hate in your inbox, "the least you can do is be thankful for the expansion of your education."
During Ragnalock, CEW proved a treasure trove of conspiracy batshit:
- In the episode "The Empty Hearse," Sherlock stopped a bomb at 1:29. Thus, the "secret episode" will air on Sunday, January 29. "If we could maybe just maybe consider getting past the initial emotional reaction, we might just see how much they actually catered to us specifically by making it the ultimate vindication in our lives".
- "Last Sunday was our Good Friday, the day our messiah willingly killed himself. Some went full on Peter, denying association. When it rises from the dead this (Easter) Sunday, there will be doubting Thomases. TPTB fucked casuals and antis over for calling us a cult and turned the experience into religious vindication."
- This long post in which CEW rambles about how Moftiss will definitely make Johnlock canon. Because i they don't fess up that the finale was just "an elaborate and cruel prank," which was "about people wanting to step on everyone else’s heads, decency be damned, with the maximum amount of evil cruelty they could get away with," they will face "legal ramifications," "class action suits," "loss of money and respect," shunning by the television industry, and "legal, social, financial, academic, and maybe even spiritual consequences" Everyone they love and respect will take them to task, "maybe even the bloody Queen." Nonnies boggled at all of this. That last nonny: "I just can't get over this one. The mental image of the Queen holding a spontaneous public speech to declare her support for Johnlock and denounce the evil queerbaiters."
- Or, perhaps, TLJC failed the showrunners. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Nonny: "I forget how I ended up on this TJLCer's [tumblr] but I can't stop reading. I was tangentially aware of the conspiracy theorists before but now I've fallen down the rabbithole of deep connections to the movie Clue, hidden messages in tweets with pictures of elephants, the belief that the BFI screening was fake... this is up there with the Domlijah tinhats."
Their long post titled "Everyone else is getting it wrong" was summed up thus by nonny: "Because they know better than everyone else." Another replied, "Throughout the metas this last year there's been an increasingly strong thread of 'faith!' You need to have faith in The Dads. If you believe hard enough, if you don't let yourself doubt, you will get what you want. It's magical thinking."
W&C also lamented the Radio Times "creating and promoting the Apple Tree Yard rumor" and said they'd "continue to wait for an explanation of why the BBC, official Sherlock YouTube channel, and Radio Times are all knowingly perpetuating a very specific rumor about a fourth episode which was referred to as an established 'fan rumor' at a time before TFP aired when there were approximately two (2) fans discussing it". (Meme link.) Nonny: "It's because they find it hilarious and they're mocking you."
Also: "Occam’s razor does not suggest that it’s unlikely for the episode to be fake, Occam’s razor suggests that it’s unlikely that [everyone working on the show] become suddenly and inexplicably incompetent within days of completing their work on TLD, especially considering that some of them completed their work on TLD during production and others during post-production." Meme: "Oh sweetie, Occam's razor has been out of the equation for a long time."
Nonny: "This person is so delusional I'm genuinely concerned. I want them to be joking? But they don't seem like they are?" Thewriternotmuse wrote a long meta about how screenshots from Sherlock BBC and ATY look sooo much alike (which obviously has nothing to do with the fact they're both set in London). They are also an apparent believer in of "TJLC Explained's" Drink Code, because the spilt red wine in the ATY trailer "means 'dating/seduction/romance;' meanwhile this whole trailer is about sex & romance & seduction & love…..quite the coincidence how that just Works." Nonnies rolled their eyes.
As noted above, there were literally thousands of these people on Twitter and Tumblr, tearing their hair and yelling at the showrunners. Even a backgrounder of all the ones mentioned on meme would make this already overly long page much longer. Here are the lowlights:
- Ivyblossom doing her usual Cult of Nice act and pretending that TJLC hasn’t treated other shippers like garbage. “Even after all these years she's the same. Stay predictable, you waste of skin.”
- Aja having a slapfight with TJLCers. Meme consensus: Team Nobody. Also, a potential “Aja 2.0”: who threatened to burn her pre-ordered DVDs and post video of it if there was no new episode by Jan. 22.
- Gracee minion nondeducible claimed they were “modifying their hypothesis to fit new data even though they're still clinging to the belief in Johnlock and a secret episode, a scientist would cringe.” (Nondeducible is, at this writing, a medical student, but one who frequently posts about failing their exams.)
- thealogie got an ask: “tfp literally did stand for the fuck prince he was so dfp and like ugh wtf thea. wtf. how could we have been so wrong.” She replied, “he was very smoll to me,,,the narrative was dark fuck prince…but i don’t even have the heart to defend the characterization like yeah it was all trash.” Nonnies asked for a translation of this, then laughed at it.
- incurablylazydevil seems to believe that “the show is sending them messages, that it's speaking directly to TJLC.”
- ammorbidente called the finale “low-budget Saw bs” that will fool the “casuals” (i.e., non-TJLCers).
- southpauz drew and animated a video, set to “Burn” from Hamilton, showing how betrayed they were by the finale (meme comment).
- Meme summary of this post: “None of this is Mofftiss's fault! The evil BBC forced them to betray Johnlock because of politics. They faked the show's death just like Sherlock faked his own death in TRF!” Another Tumblr user blamed Brexit, which led to this hilarious meme thread: "It's not just TV gays. The council came round last week and took my gay licence away."
- “Respectfully tell anyone who will listen what the latest installment of queerbaiting has done and how harmful it is to a large population of people. Tell everyone. Radio stations. Newspapers. Social Media. That’s what Mofftiss want. They sacrificed us as fans so that we could become soldiers. Just as Sherlock told John, ‘Do not get distracted. Soldiers today.’” In other words, “If you read TFP right, you can see that what Moffat and Gatiss really want is for everyone to write angry letters to the BBC about how much their show sucks.”
- “Let’s hope the Supernatural people can learn something from this trainwreck: when you’re telling a story without actually telling it, the whole thing slowly rots from the inside out and sooner or later you’ll be stuck with a stupid, insipid, meaningless ending. Fiction has rules - disregard them at your own risk.”
- Sherlock villains engage in gaslighting, “a textbook sign of abuse,” which is symbolic because “the writers are villains, the mystery writer is the criminal, but that’s symbolism, okay? It doesn’t excuse gaslighting just like it wouldn’t excuse Moffat or Gatiss if they went out and actually murdered someone. It’s still a shitty thing to do.” Nonny: “Yes, yes, the show is abusing you. That is exactly what the show is doing. *eyeroll*”
- Viewers watching the finale , “many of whom have been victims of rape and abuse, were exposed to triggering explicit content.” The BCC should have provided a trigger warning!
- A nonny quotes a TJLCer lashing out at anyone who’s gloating: “you’re all fucking evil.” Reaction: More gloating! “Aw. Maybe we should offer them an extra hour in the ballpit (link to Dashcon article when up).” - “Actually I'm celebrating people who called me a homophobic shitlord for doubting being crushed and hurt. Not saying it puts me on the moral high ground or anything, just saying it's a bit more fucking personal.” - “I'm fucking gloating because of the assholes who made my life hell after 221b con and how miserable they are right now. It's literally the best thing ever.”
Homophobia and So-Called "Representation"
At first, meme found the wank to be completely delightful: "It's such clean wank, in that it's an entirely one-sided affair of the TJLC-ers doing this to themselves." Unfortunately, things got not-so-funny very fast.
Gatiss, who is gay, got far more and far more vicious nastiness than Moffat did. TJLC had previously idolized Moftiss as "Gay Dad and Curly Dad" with their "smol sons," in the words of a self-appointed "fandom mom" who induced a "full body shudder" in a nonny. When they didn't get what they want, their adoration turned to hate. There seemed to be a general assumption in this crowd, which is mostly made up of straight women, that Gatiss's orientation obliged him to make Sherlock and John gay. Some of the abuse they aimed at him was explicitly homophobic: "I just hope Mark Gatiss sees all this, and sees what we’re going through. ‘Cause, you know, that gay ass twink with his husband, how dare he!" (Meme reaction.)
One nonny, linking to a Gatiss tweet that received "queerbaiting" accusations from at least half a dozen fans, fumed, "These people have no shame, or manners, or sense of normal acceptable human behavior." Another nonny quoted a TJLCer who was OUTRAGED! that Gatiss would block them for such behavior.
"All the homophobic bullshit pointed Gatiss is really bumming me out when all I want to do is laugh at the meltdown." More examples of such homophobia and double standards:
- Gracee minion Joolabee (a/k/a Joolaweed) wrote a post explicitly blaming Gatiss, not Moffat, for the lack of Johnlock.
- TJLC Schadenfreude posted a screenshot of one user claiming Gatiss acted just like Donald Trump deleting the LGBT page from the White House’s official website (meme thread), and of another user saying that calling Gatiss and his husband Ian Howard “friends” would be “the ultimate revenge and a hilarious prank” (meme thread).
- Sussexbound, in a reblog chain that includes above-named wanker consultingeastwind, refers to Moftiss as "privileged cis men who don’t give a shit about you except for how much money you can put in their pockets" (meme thread).
- Spacewifespock writes a terrible poem and asks her followers, "should i tweet this @mark"? Nonny: "A fucking teenage American is picking at a gay man, who lived through the 80s, for bashing the Tories and accusing said gay man, who has been an advocate for LGBT actors and writers of queer baiting."
- Atikiology and their friends refer to Gatiss as an "honorary straight" and edited his Wikipedia bio not only to include the word "queerbaiter," but to claim that his surname is not pronounced with a long a (correct) but with a broad a (incorrect): "He no longer deserves the GAY" in his name. (Several meme comments.)
- Wimpytentacle also insisted Gatiss is an "honorary straight." Nonny: "FUCK. YOU." In another comment, nonny links to multiple WT posts defending this phrase.
- Welovethebeekeeper, who described themselves as "a lifelong fighter in the LGBTQ trenches," said they "contacted all the advocacy agencies to alert them." (Meme thread.) And cloakstone69 actually wrote a letter to the London office of the LGBT organization Switchboard, of which Gatiss is a patron and for which his husband volunteers, urging them to ask him to step down. She hid her notes, but she got a lot of angry replies, which can be seen on this reblog. Meme was also disgusted.
- What Gatiss did was "betray the queer thinkers of this generation."
- “I feel like I've already seen at least one post calling Gatiss a traitor to the queer cause and a couple posts like ‘well I hope you feel good about the queer kids crying themselves to sleep, Mark.’”
To jump off those last few bullet points, meme discussed at length the canard of “Won’t somebody think of the gay children?” While it was acknowledged that some of the TJLCers in the tag do seem very young, the blame for their post-TFP devastation lies squarely with the TJLC ringleaders, not with Moftiss.
Another nonny wrote, “TJLC theories are homophobic in and of themselves. Yeah, sure, homosexuality is so shocking and abnormal that they've spent years 'heterobaiting' and plotted/filmed/edited a fake 90+ minute episode just so that the casuals will be tricked into watching a same-sex kiss. That's really progressive.” Meme has discussed numerous times that there are and have been already plenty of BBC shows with canon same-sex couples, including those that would be known to American viewers (such as Torchwood).
A hashtag that TJLCers frequently use when tweeting at the showrunners is is #Norbury. In Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, after Sherlock makes a completely wrong deduction, he asks Watson to say "Norbury" to him whenever he becomes too arrogant in order to remind him of his fallibility. Moftiss has Sherlock ask this of Mrs. Hudson, and they also give the surname to a character who kills Mary out of anger at Sherlock's rudeness. TJLC interprets "Norbury" as an admission that Moftiss was wrong and that Johnlock would indeed become canon. The irony, of course, goes sailing right over their little heads.
A nonny expressed "So much second-hand embarrassment. SO MUCH" at the news that TJLC had organized a Jan. 28 hashtag-bombing campaign using #Norbury and #BBCQueerbaiting. Earlier, there was this gem: "A gay white man #queerbaiting his fans shows the disconnect privilege causes w/in our community. #sherlock #SherlockReacts #norbury" The tag also brought up another accusation of "gaslighting," leading nonny to ask, "[T]echnically, aren't TJLC gaslighting Moftiss? I mean, they keep telling them that the story they created and wrote didn't happen the way they wrote it, so...?"
Tumblr user accuratebutunsystematic was harassing Gatiss with endless tweets under this hashtag and getting cheered on by the rest of TJLC. Their Tumblr post of their tweets, which they deleted, has more than 4500 notes at this writing. It was reblogged here disapprovingly. Meme discussion. "I think moftiss were far more benevolent than I would've been to these entitled fucks. I would've given Watson and Holmes heterosexual marriages and babies ever after." - "I'd do a surprise 4th episode where Sherlock and Molly have sex in the morgue. But i'm a spiteful jerk."
- I was planning to get out the popcorn maker and enjoy the Sherpocalypse, but some of these people are now actually scaring me. It's like watching tween boyband fans working themselves up into sobbing hysterics around a tour bus. One one level it's so utterly ridiculous, and yet on another you can't help worrying that someone really is going to get trampled in the crush.
There has been much discussion on FFA of the cult dynamics around TJLC in the context of Ragnalock. The quote at the top of this page, about the non-arriving meteor, was said to be "a frighteningly good description of a whole lot of cults"; the same nonny linked to the Wikipedia page for the 1964 social-psychology book When Prophecy Fails. Another nonny was reminded of the Millerites, founded and led by an “End of Days” preacher; when the End of Days didn’t come, his loyal followers simply moved the dates up. Yet another remarked on TJLC's similarity to Harmonianism and linked to an old essay of Angua9's on the latter subject.
"That's because it's bog-standard cult/groupthink. It has nothing in particular to do with fandom, it's just that it happened to take root in a fandom. Wanting to be the smartest--so smart only you and a select handful of friends can see The Truth--is a really common thing that insular groups fall into. It just turns out that this isn't limited to religions or cults, but also includes fandoms."
There was debate over how much sympathy some TJLCers deserve. It was pointed out that some are "young and depserate for acceptance," others were fragile enough to have practiced self-injury in the wake of the finale, and many were LGBT and/or had a history of social rejection. Not all nonnies were sympathetic: "Screw 'em - the people they abused were largely LGBT too, and by 'non-abusers' I think you mean 'bystanders'. I didn't see one single person saying 'I believe 100% that the plan is for canon Johnlock, but I see no need to accuse people who don't believe that of homophobia'. If someone did in fact take that tack, please point them out to me so I can feel a little less disgusted by the whole experience."