Sunday, March 13, 2011

BBC's Sherlock Holmes

I finally got around to watching the first few episodes of the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes. The show is fun to watch, but mainly for how the writers choose to portray a "high-functioning sociopath." For those of you unaware of the quote/scene in which BBC Sherlock outs himself:

Some have suggested that the BBC's Sherlock is not a high-functioning sociopath, but on the autism scale, probably Asperger's or maybe the more dickish Ass-perger's. The reasoning is that he doesn't seem particularly charming, nor particularly interested in wearing masks. But BBC Sherlock can act normally when he wants to, even charming, as reflected in this clip:



I don't think BBC Sherlock is an entirely accurate depiction of a high-functioning sociopath, but he is quite good, at least in broad strokes -- ambisexual, morally ambivalent, constant need for stimulation, ADD, obsessed with playing games to keep his brain from "rotting", unapologetically uses people, chooses to do "good" only because it's convenient and not because of any concern for the people he is "helping," incredible ability to compartmentalize, seductive, compelling, obsessive, flexible and ambiguous personality, seemingly inconsistent behavior or beliefs, actively cultivates and wields power, thinks the world of himself but is realistic about his shortcomings, mental maps of his physical and personal environments, manipulative, cunning, capacity for single-mindedness but also easily distracted, etc. The exact ways in which these traits are portrayed sometimes seem ridiculous, like this explanation of why Sherlock wouldn't know certain basic facts, like the make-up of the solar system, because he is so hyper focused on other things that he finds much much more interesting:

But most of television focuses on the outrageous and the exaggerated. If BBC Sherlock weren't so extreme in some of his sociopathic traits, he wouldn't be as fun to watch. But as a message to any BBC executives who may be reading -- if you're really interested in making BBC Sherlock as accurate as possible, I'm available for a very reasonable consultation fee.

Of course this is an essentially useless analysis of a fictional character, but it's heartening to see on television another sympathetic portrayal of a (presumably) self-diagnosed high-functioning sociopath, and of course people's relatively positive reactions to him.

80 comments:

  1. Projection MachineMarch 13, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    "Thinks the world of himself but is realistic about his shortcomings."

    *falls off chair laughing*

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  2. I watched the first two episodes, couldn't be bothered with the third. I don't even remember why, but the show kinda bugged me.

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  3. Any so called psychopath who claims to be a budhist is a farce, psychopaths are the most selfish bastards on the planet.

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  4. what does mental maps of his physical and personal environments mean?

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  5. Disorder | Rating

    Paranoid: Very High
    Schizoid: Very High
    Schizotypal: Moderate
    Antisocial: High
    Borderline: Low
    Histrionic: High
    Narcissistic: Very High
    Avoidant: Moderate
    Dependent: Low
    Obsessive-Compulsive: High


    http://www.4degreez.com/misc/personality_disorder_test.mv

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  6. Well Adam, I'm convinced.

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  7. Interesting, I myself find sociopaths in the media to be an interesting topic on occasion. It is interesting how the traits people fear and despise so much in real life, make them warm and fuzzy when viewing on a screen.

    I was about to say something else but I just noticed the Sociopathworld "T-Shirts" link on the side of this page and am hoping it's nothing more than a snidely tasteful joke.

    If I ever saw someone wearing such a ridiculously histrionic shirt I would drag them into an alley and wrap it around their fucking throat while I raced to peel off as much of their skin as possible before they choked to death.

    But hey! That's just me.

    What was I saying about Sherlock?

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  8. I bet you Adam owns one of those shirts. I bet it's his favorite.

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  9. ZKM, being narcissistic is not a good way of making friends around here.

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  10. You would know, being a histrionic narcissist. Then again, according to your disorder rating you're also a paranoid schizoid...so maybe the friends you think you have or haven't made are all in your head.

    BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA, ADAM.

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  11. BORED! BORED! BORED! BORED!

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  12. Agreed, Sherlock. And if I hadn't sold my gun I'd shoot the wall too. Actually I'd shoot squirrels... Arrogant little bastards.

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  13. Narcissistic! How curious you would say such a thing. In what way did I display narcissism? Not that I deny having a small number of narcissistic tendencies. Rather, I was displaying my intense dislike of histrionic habits such as wearing a shirt proclaiming your mental 'disorder' to the world.

    Interesting how you scored not only highly narcissistic but histrionic as well. An attention whoring bitch, my favorite kind of sparring partner.

    Do go on.

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  14. You sound like one of those angry school shooters, If you weren't a complete moron you would know that people are going to see you as a joke if you keep saying things like "my enormous ego" and "I'm a wolf among sheep" ROFL.

    You have terrible impression management. Take a page from Notables book, he knows what his readers want to hear, each of his posts are intellectual and insightful, that takes craft.

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  15. I know I've been away but what? Adam aren't those all the kinds of things you say and do?

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  16. Maybe I have, subtly, nobody likes a loose cannon.

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  17. Adam... The squirrels. Ah well.

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  18. This is either an imposter or Adam got ahold of some strong shit.
    or;
    His Aunt druged his soup.

    Or he's practising his acting/ manipulation techniques.

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  19. No shit. I'm pretty sure Adam doesn't know what subtlety is.

    And for some reason I am filled with the irrational desire to smash all my friends faces in with something heavy and made of metal... Actually it's not irrational, they're stupid, pathetic and annoying. It makes perfect sense. Damn, would I like to watch them die.

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  20. I'd like to get a peek at this Sherlock TV series, but it'll probably be a while before I get to do that.


    We all have the same motivation, while I believe most of us probably use a combination of charm and intimidation.

    But there're a (probably smaller) group of psychopaths who don't have some of the prerequisites for using charm for any combination of reasons, depending on their situation and circumstances in life and at the time, and who therefore use mainly, or even only, aggression and intimidation to get people into the position where they want them.

    So this in itself is not a sign that the BBC Sherlock is not psychopathic ... sorry, Sociopathic... at all.

    I'd definitely think that for Sherlock Holmes the ability to use charm would be prominent, though he's generally portrayed to be both charming and giving off a slight air of dominance that intimidates people.

    That's how he's portrayed in the books and in all the movies and TV movies/series I've watched.

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  21. I knew somebody who beat his girlfriend in places that wouldn't show and then he stabbed her in the leg when she finally threatened to call the police on him. I don't even know how he got her. He wasnt charming in any way. He was a cunt 24/7 and he's in jail now. You can't be nasty and aggressive all the time because it wont get you anywhere. With me its always bubbling under the surface though and it doesn't take much to set me off. I don't need a good reason to get violent I need good reasons not too. Some days I wake up and feel angry for no reason. On those days I usually try to stay in because I know what might happen otherwise. I can't control myself in the heat of the moment but I can take preventative measures if I think carefully enough.

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  22. Luckily I've never been to jail. I've done a number of things that could have landed me there but yeah, I suppose I've just been lucky. I was locked up a few times during my teens and I had social workers coming round to the house and everything. That was annoying and that's not what I want my adult life to turn into. I feel as though I'm getting smarter and smarter as time goes by.

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  23. I hear you on that one, Misanthrope.

    Do you ever have to excuse yourself from friends or acquaintances? Sometimes one of the bastards will be annoying enough to put me up to the brim of murderous rage, and I have to get out, or I'll go for it.

    It's funny. Someone can come up to my face and yell, swear, call names, jab fingers into my chest, whatever, and it won't phase me at all. I've seen it a million times. But if I have to suffer someone's constant flow of stupidity, I want to slit their throat and rip out their tongue so they can never speak again.

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  24. If someone came up pointing fingers at me I'd murder the fuck.

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  25. If I had to kill every dumb fuck with a loud mouth and an attitude problem, I would have been spending half my time hiding bodies.

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  26. "Do you ever have to excuse yourself from friends or acquaintances? Sometimes one of the bastards will be annoying enough to put me up to the brim of murderous rage, and I have to get out, or I'll go for it."

    Yeah. I know that exact feeling. everyone has the potential to annoy me and everyone does at some point. Like I said I can't control myself in the heat of the moment but If I see it coming I can usually keep myself in check. I've got into fights with friends in the past and some of them want nothing more to do with me because of that. I meet new people all time though so I'm not exactly worried about running out. I'm on good terms with most of the people I know at the moment.

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  27. I'm only hot headed with people who allow it ;D

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  28. If I had to kill every dumb fuck with a loud mouth and an attitude problem, I would have been spending half my time hiding bodies

    No, you would be dead by now.

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  29. "if I have to suffer someone's constant flow of stupidity, I want to slit their throat and rip out their tongue so they can never speak again." Oh. Yes.

    Today "Our thoughts go out to all those in Japan", "Praying for those in Japan and also concerned loved ones"... Is that so? How fucking helpful of you, I'm sure they're all very glad they have your thoughts. As for prayer, well it's just a suggestion but maybe next time you could ask your omnipotent, all-loving god to... I dunno, not make tsunamis... Just an idea.
    Do they honestly not know how stupid they are... Morons...

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  30. I don't see what the big deal is. There's still some leftover Japanese, right? They haven't all spoiled, have they?

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  31. I don't get any of those things, I mean even if you someone who makes emotional attachments to people, these are people you don't even know, it doesn't affect you?

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  32. People always say shit like that. They act all concerned and then they forget about it in a couple of weeks. Im enjoying the news at the moment. I want to see how this whole situation in Libya plays out. I make the people I know pick sides. It's alot funner that way. I'm team Gaddafi. Which are you?

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  33. I'm against gadaffi, everyones loves a happy ending socio or non socio, doom and gloom ain't pleasurable.

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  34. Team Gaddafi for sure. Remember that time he decided to live in Donald Trump's back yard without asking him? That shit was hilarious. I'll take an eccentric tyrant over rebels any day.

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  35. It's true they always do it, but why?

    I don't know enough about it to pick a side. I suppose it would be interesting to see the end but it's taking a while. Not to mention my hyper-political, ultimately moronic friend forcing her opinions down my throat makes it even more dull.

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  36. Gadaffi all the way.

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  38. Workers were seen yesterday erecting a tent and satellites in the glamorous neighbourhood of Bedford on an estate owned by Trump. Local officials tried to stop them, saying it was illegal to build a temporary residence without a permit. An ABC News helicopter filmed a large tent on the 113-acre Seven Springs estate, with rugs and patterned wall hangings. Green and yellow fabric lined the walls in a pattern dotted with images of small brown camels, according to a local newspaper website image. Last night a state department official told AP the tent might be used for entertaining by Gadaffi, but he would not be sleeping there.


    From a 2009 entry, The Guardian

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  40. We ought to organize a bpd/socio rally. We could raise the roofs, load the guns, fuck the happy chatter. A few tents would go up, literally and figuratively, in several Bedford backyards. It would be mayhem. And it would be good. It would be very very good. :)

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  43. IF YOU CALL ME CRAZY ONE MORE TIME I WILL TRACK YOU DOWN AND SMEAR MY SHIT ALL OVER YOUR WALL!!!

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  44. I can't stand natural disasters. Places no one cared about all the sudden become the hottest topic of conversation since Lindey Lohan's hooch.

    All the sudden people become 'activists' for wherever, and I'm forced to pretend to care.

    "Oh god, how horrible!"

    "Well, they're in our prayers"

    "Wow! A thousand of them dead? Wretched, horrible awful! Didn't we kill over a hundred fucking times that in the war?"

    "Well..."

    "Didn't give a shit about em then, did we? Hahaha"

    "... you''re Satan."

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  45. Now everyone from Hiroshima is thanking America for their fins.

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  46. I love Japanese Mutant Fin soup. Just have to make sure it's cooked thoroughly.

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  47. I see quite a bit of Jap hatred out there. Today at the Jesuit church there was not a word of prayer for Japanese people. The world is indeed a lowly place, not just the SW of Misanthropes and TNPs.

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  48. Hatred for the Japanese? No my dear, I hate everyone.

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  49. to make fun of people who are at their weakest due to a natural disaster and then claim to be a 'high functioning' something. Honestly, TNP, I understand Misanthrope who never claimed to be high anything, but you? How high are you, low life?

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  50. you hate everyone? what option do you have in your state? get squeezed in your corner by the minute.

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  51. Racism is completely beneath me! To only hate one race is so one dimensional, so barbaric! I hate all people, regardless of race, creed, or gender equally. Certain groups just tend to retain my focus at any given time.

    I more mock ignorant Americans than the Japanese, I could care less about them. It's the morons HERE that get under my skin. It takes a lot of effort to pretend to care about victims of natural disasters. I'm convinced my face will get stuck in this mournful Scowling position. Then how will I get by?!

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  52. I'm not so sold on the high functioning part, but I don't think I'm low functioning. Middle-ground, perhaps.

    You think I give a shit about the Japanese or the disaster they're dealing with? I wouldn't lose a wink if almost everyone I knew dropped dead, why would I give a crap about some other people on an island, far, far away?

    You know what the best part about making fun of people at their lowest point is? It pisses off bleeding heart twats like you, and pushing your buttons makes me smile.

    Do me a favor, when you take a plane to go give aid to our friends in the land of the rising sun, make sure to ask them why a fairly well off, technologically and economically strong country needs your help or sympathy.

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  53. You get whats on the brochure you bleeding heart bitch.

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  54. Will there be any plane-hopping in see bitch's future? I wonder. As far as action goes, the finger-shaking is everything. Be happy you have someone to shake a finger at, see bitch. How else could you be so self-righteously good?

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  55. Fuck VoluntouristsMarch 13, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    "All the sudden people become 'activists' for wherever, and I'm forced to pretend to care."

    Meanwhile, they continue to look the other way at suffering in their own backyard...

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  56. hmm. I will say this, I used to fantasise about our house getting flooded so I can swim around in it. When i watched the tsunami i couldn't help but remember that. I'm a water baby.

    Carry on...

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  57. This is off topic but that is SO cool you put the T-Shirts! link up. I'm so buying a coffee mug.

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  58. If you're getting a mug, don't forget the soup.

    Mizuna=mutant fin.

    Sorry to post so much today. Bored.

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  59. Heh, no kidding about that backyard issue.

    I treat most of the homeless I meet with some level of dignity, and they usually have a good story or two to tell, so I leave entertained. When I was on the streets, it was like I was invisible. Just a dirty looking kid who wore the same pair clothes day in and day out.

    The problem wasn't that people didn't pay attention to me. The problem was that the wrong people payed attention to me. The sexual predators, the people who like to victimize the homeless, and the cops.

    So pardon me if I don't give a shit about throwing money to some organization that gives five cents of every dollar to the people who actually need help. I'd rather split a six pack and a loaf of bread with one of the down trodden in my own neighborhood. I know what it's like to go to sleep a few days in a row with an empty stomach. Eventually it stops hurting, the hunger pains, but that doesn't stop the bile from shooting up your throat.

    I might not care about those people, but I remember the few times people helped me out when I was in a rut. It made me pretty damn happy. I guess I like to see them happy, too.

    I doubt I'll be breaking bread or beer in Japan anytime soon.

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  60. man you are so full of shit, it's incredible.

    you wrap your opinions around what conveniently fits at the time.

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  61. I myself love it when so-called sociopaths pretend to themselves that they have more virtue and honor than non-sociopaths. Doesn't even make sense, but there you have it.

    wv: whinge (TNP masters that)

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  62. I love it when idiots think a label defines everything about a person.

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  63. Labels. Socio vs. non-socio, bpd vs. non-bpd. Sometimes the distinctions get pretty blurry on SPworld, from what I've read--and in the world at large. Going by behavior, anyway.

    That's all I'm going to say. It's not my fight, and I'm tired. But it's something to think about.

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  64. I'd agree that a label certainly does define certain things about how a person behaves, and thinks to some extent, but there are few universals within any pathological label. With regards to a clinical diagnosis in reference to the DSM, typically a person needs to meet X amount of a traits on a list to reach the criteria for it.

    With regards to someone's life experiences, and attitude towards certain parts of life, like anything, perspective shifts with experience and insight.

    Life is a constant learning and growing experience until you meet your expiration date. You can feel free to judge all you want, and assume as well, but just because I say something that doesn't fit into your preconceived notion of me, doesn't mean it's total shit.

    You also have to take into consideration that in my own conscious mind, I think I'm doing something for one reason, when in reality, my subconscious could be yearning for something else. It's a possibility I'm open to explore, but don't pretend to know me better than I know myself.

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  65. I wasn't thinking of anything so complicated, actually. My thought: beware of someone who is so adamantly non-socio... and is off on a witch-hunt. More often than not, that person is chasing her own shadow.

    Just an observation. I read archives. I have an idea of how various posters here behave in various situations. That's all I'll say. :)

    I used to be a master at it, the self-righteous thing. I love the all or nothing thinking, for sure. But I'm tired of it now. I get weary when I see someone else doing it.

    Good night for real now.

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  66. "IF YOU CALL ME CRAZY ONE MORE TIME I WILL TRACK YOU DOWN AND SMEAR MY SHIT ALL OVER YOUR WALL!!!"

    HaHaHa


    I have seen this. -Not in an aylum either, and not by any bonobo. A fuckin human POS (piece of shit), an hilarious jackoff, and source for my lust for bathroom humour.

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  67. SOcios all have a lust for bathroom humour . It's on the DSM

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  68. I piss on the walls, and have my maid clean them with her mouth.. My home is a piss palace, my socio friends don't want to visit me anymore caus eof their sensitivity to smells and I need a new maid.

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  69. Wow Medusa, we got coffee mugs we can buy and you're not even chiming in on that. I thought that when I mentioned that we would take a break from sociopathy for, you know, 5 minutes.

    I guess not :O

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  70. Hit it on the nail on that one Meds, gonna smoke a joint now..

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  71. I think it would interesting if Japan collapsed. It would be interesting to watch the shitfest that ensued from all the other countries racing to take over the remains of Japan.

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  72. Btw, when I mentioned self-righteousness, I wasn't exactly referring to TNP. Shape shifting in regards to opinions doesn't bother me. A witch hunt: that will set me off every time--especially when the witch hunters behave in ways that they claim they hate in other people.

    It's really tiresome. Anons, check the archives before you make a hero of one.

    (I think I read this blog way too much. :D)

    That's my rant. I've been wanting to say something along those lines for a long time... I couldn't hold back any more. I'm done now. :)

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  73. Random be specific, not passive aggressive.

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  74. I hate witches

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  75. He's less touchy-feely than most but I never thought of Holmes as a Sociopath as he formed a very warm & caring bond with Watson. He also has a moral code. His view of right wrong is sometimes different than Scotland Yards' though.

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  76. I don't really have a point of view on this topic, but, Misanthrope, "Now everyone from Hiroshima is thanking America for their fins." was created by me. In the future, get your own jokes.

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