There might only be three episodes and no hope for new ones any time soon, but I'm a big fan of the BBC show Sherlock. Well acted, cleverly written and a wonderful example of how you can update old material but not lose the soul and respect of the original source.
I'm writing about Sherlock this evening because there's a line from the pilot that's been rattling around in my head all day. In it Watson turns to a detective with Scotland Yard and asks why he keeps working with Sherlock Holmes, even though he is, by his own admission, a high functioning sociopath.
"Because Sherlock Holmes is a great man. And one day, with some luck, he might even be a good one."
I love that line. In some ways that's the theme of the whole show. Holmes is clearly a great man. A rare genius who sees the world in different ways than other human beings. But that doesn't always make him a good person. That's Watson job, in some ways, is to make Holmes a better man than what he is right now.
The reason that was going through my mind today was the blog post by Geoff Meeker about Pamela Pardy Ghent being fired. Quoting from Meeker here, "Ghent is a founding member of the province’s Rural Secretariat, which was founded in 2004 to give rural communities a voice in the development of social and economic policy at the provincial level. She also sits on the secretariat’s provincial council."
On Facebook yesterday morning she made an off-colour joke regarding the size of the premier's penis. Facebook is not as private as some people think and lord knows there's enough past precedent for people getting in trouble with the things they've said or pictures they've put up. Also not working in her favour was having three "friends" who happened to be Conservative MHAs. One of them ratted her out and a few hours later she got a call from the Deputy Minister with the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development letting her know her services were no longer required.
I find myself praying that Ghent had a dozen things leading up to this that had given the government cause for firing her. That she was incompetent or had done something truly awful over the past few months. That the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador didn't just have a volunteer on an undermanned board fired because she made a pretty lousy dick joke on Facebook one Sunday morning.
Yeah, it's Facebook and yeah you need to be careful (as a precaution, I'm de-friending Mount Pearl MHA Steve Kent this evening, just in case he rats me out for something), but seriously? That's the type of thing that, if you must, you drop a line to someone and go "do you really want to be making that kind of joke?" and then you go "ooops" and delete it. Because it's Facebook and I think you have to give some people a bit of leeway for the occasional thoughtless remark.
But firing someone. Really?
There may be more to this. I really hope there is. However, the government's slow response to the issue isn't giving me a lot of confidence. It feels very much like something that just blew up in their face when they thought it would be a matter dealt with quickly and quietly. If so, there was some spectacularly bad judgment at play. Right now it's a PR nightmare that's going national because Ghent isn't exactly shy telling her story to anyone who is willing to listen.
Danny Williams may well be a great premier. He may well be the best premier the province has ever had, although that's a pretty shallow pool of talent. But there are times I wonder how good a man he is if he's firing people for jokes on Facebook. Because I really would hope he, or any government cabinet minister, would have better things to do.
1. Brandy Alexander - Ron Sexsmith*
2. Metaphor - The Pursuit of Happiness
3. Que' onda geuro - Beck
4. Hands of time - Ron Sexsmith
5. Hero - Regina Spektor