The View from Sherlock Peoria (139)
January 30, 2005
Who's Getting Into The BSI?
While it might seem a bit late to discuss this year's inductees into the Baker Street Irregulars, that grandpappy of Sherlockian societies, this year's group was a particularly fascinating one and I've found myself reflecting upon it more than once. The demographics of this year's set of honored Sherlockians is as mixed as any we've seen, and very representative of Mike Whelan's reign as Wiggins. Or is it?
Six Sherlockians were made members of the Irregulars this year, and I'm going to do something rather unpardonable here and not name them. I'm simply going to list them by a crudely-chosen demographic. Lord knows there is much more to each of these people than what I'm going to list here, but . . . just for fun . . . let's reduce them to a single attribute.
Number One: The Sherlockian Not From North America or
Number Two: The Woman.
Number Three: The Author/Literary Figure.
Number Four: The Minnesotan.
Number Five: The Canadian.
Number Six: The East Coast Guy.
That's who got into the Baker Street Irregulars this year, and I think it's a good sampling of the way the B.S.I. membership is headed these days. It would be interesting to compare the demographics of the hand-picked Irregulars with that of your average "whoever shows up" group, an internet group, or the attendees of a good Sherlockian symposium. When all the stats finally came in, there might be some new quotas put in . . . or not. I don't know what those quotas would be, but in considering them, I've come up with my own roster for some future new six-pack of Irregulars:
Number One: The Crazy Internet Sherlockian. Imagine a B.S.I. dinner with wi-fi internet connections for all, and a number of Hounds of the Internet or WelcomeHolmes regulars sending posts straight from the dinner, a live AOL chat direct from the dinner, or some web-page blogger like moi throwing web-page updates through the night (it happened during the presidential debates and was surprisingly fun). The day is coming, trust me.
Number Two: The Resident of a Big Warm State. With the greatest Sherlockian publishing event in decades recently occurring due to a citizen of that big, warm Western state, perhaps it's time for those unconventional Sherlockians from the other sides of America to get their due. It's easy to be a reading-and-writing literary Sherlockian when it's cold and miserable outside, but Sherlockians in warm, pleasant states have an uphill road with no winter to keep their noses to the grindstone. They deserve their due.
Number Three: The Laurie King Fan. Hey, they're Sherlock Holmes fans, too! While they might not like the comments of stubborn classicists and vice versa, it's new blood. And Sherlockiana can always use a fresh infusion.
Number Four: The Very Irritating Sherlockian. Among his other fine qualities, Tom Stix had this really great tendency when he was head of the Irregulars. He would get extremely angry with someone, and then, in the next year or two, change his mind about them and make them a member. Nobody's irritating to everyone, and everyone's irritating to someone. (C'mon, everybody ticks off somebody -- even nice people are annoyingly pleasant sometimes!) It'd be nice to give these poor folks a break.
Number Five: The Hollywood Actor/Rock Star. Literary celebs are nice, but when you come right down to it, even bestselling authors want to be movie stars or rock gods. It's Sherlockiana at the next level. Superstar Sherlockians. Yeow!
Number Six: The Democratically Elected Irregular. Haven't you heard? Freedom is on the march! The Iraqi people are having their first democratic election ever this very day . . . why shouldn't Baker Street Irregulars get their shot at checking a ballot?
Ah, well. What will be will be.
Your humble correspondent,