"There’s a special kind of desperation that unifies hardcore Sherlock fans, and you can see it in the speed at which memes turn silly — there are only so many times you can go over every scene of a six-episode run with even the finest-toothed comb. You talk yourself in circles; you build wild headcanons based on slivers of hints from the writers — two men who’ve stated outright that they often lie to throw people off the scent. This is all part of the fun — the miserable, miserable fun.”
— Elizabeth Minkel, “Fangirl”
"Sherlock sometimes feels like a similar mash-up, a layering of nearly 130 years of Holmes references carefully built by two of the world’s biggest fanboys, Moffat and Gatiss (it should be noted, too, that the episodes are peppered with homages to the history of film as well, though I’m more likely to spot an obscure Conan Doyle reference than literally anything at all from classic cinema). The longer episode length and the tendency toward sheer irreverence give Moffat and Gatiss space to prod at their characters, or, more often, to drag them through the fire. They’ve said it before, though they’ve never had to repeat it as vehemently as they have the past few weeks, that Sherlock is not a detective show, but rather a show about a detective.”
Elizabeth Minkel, “One Fixed Point: “Sherlock,” Sherlock Holmes, and the British Imagination”
I’m an aspirational reader when it comes to nonfiction: ‘Oh, I’m interested in the topic!’ I’ll say, super enthusiastically, but in the end I’ll barely manage to slog through the introduction.
This year I sometimes feel as though I am wearing a sign that says, ‘Please wink at me,’ because I am a recipient of an unseasonably high number of them, even for the racetrack: some from saucy elderly men, who are permitted, and some from guys my age, who honestly should not be winking at anyone under any circumstance.
It is a finite season, but in the middle of it all, it feels unending, a single moment in time, stretching out across the call to the post, the starting bell, over ten races a day, six days a week, six weeks a year, for a century and a half.
People talk about where they’re headed next, and I can feel everyone collectively shucking off their summer personas and reassembling their real lives.
"It is easy, after the fact, to draw neat lines between events, to look for cause and effect in random acts of chance. But then you spend a while sitting behind the betting windows, watching assholes blithely cashing huge tickets, or informing sweet old ladies that they’ve lost a week’s savings." Our own Elizabeth Minkel reflects on the nature of luck.
Eventually I reach the grandstand, and as I walk inside I am greeted by a blinding expanse of white: maybe a few hundred people milling around, greeting each other after eleven months away like it’s the first day of school, clad in white-collared shirts and toting lunch boxes and already a bit weary, as if the first race has gone off and some angry drunk is shouting that their mistakes have cost him a huge trifecta. These are my people: these are the pari-mutuel clerks.
I have to say goodbye to New York, which feels a bit self-indulgent: people change cities, migrate across the globe, uproot their lives every day, and most of them don’t feel compelled to write long essays about moving. But New York, though — maybe it’s the preponderance of writers here, the narcissism and the navel-gazing, that turns our comings and goings into a series of extended metaphors? We document our arrivals and our acclimations, the natural evolution of a human being, growing older — changing in a city that’s often painted as the living embodiment of change. And when we manage to leave, if we manage to leave, escape becomes a genre in and of itself.