Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How do you feel about the Baker Street Irregulars?

No, not the ones in the Canon of Sherlock Holmes, but the ones based in New York.

To most new Sherlockians, if they have heard of them at all, the BSI is sort of the governing body of all things society-wise and scholarly in the American world of Sherlock Holmes. You are lead to believe, and not necessarily by them, that your society is not really a viable club unless it is recognized as a scion of the BSI.
All of us now know that we can have just as much fun with Holmes without such recognition.
The recognition doesn't really get your club anything other than maybe passing the knowledge of your existence onto other subscribers to their august journal. That possibility was more important before the advent of the world wide web. And to be fair, it did act as the conduit of information.

Probably to most serious Sherlockians (and you can decide what serious means) to be recognized and invited to join the BSI is almost akin to getting a PHD in Sherlock Holmes from an American Ivy League college (even if it is just an honorary degree). To be recognized by your peers as being knowledgeable and equal. Who doesn't at some times find that important.

At some point in most Sherlockians Sherlockian lives we hope that is an obtainable goal someday.

Most of the time the quest for this goal is encouraged by older Sherlockians who found that to be a notable achievement to obtain. (Yes, some of them would of course have been members.)
Some people, usually the ones more suited to scholarly and written works, spend a lot of worthwhile effort trying to achieve that goal. Sometimes making it, and sometimes not.
Others hope that the recognition can come for some other form of Sherlockian contribution. (That is where the path would lay for yours truly).

As the years go by, for many, the interest in that lofty achievement wains. We no longer have the time or desire to continue that pursuit, or we don't really understand what it would take to get invited.

And than we realize we are having fun anyway.

I don't really have any problems with the BSI. If the people involved with it like it, find it important to them and it is maintaining the goals and standards they enjoy, I think it is great. Not every thing has to be for everyone.
I don't know the history of the BSI that well. I don't know if how it is now is the way Morley would have liked it. But it is no longer his to run, is it?
The BSI has to decide for itself if maintaining the way it is now is achieving it's goals or if they need to change.
Like many scion societies now, it may be having trouble keeping up in a more tech savvy world where clubs and organizational structures are different. But then again, it may not be having that problem.

Sure, I would love to be recognized by the BSI for something note worthy I do in the world of Sherlock Holmes (which is never going to be of the scholarly nature), after all, they are my more knowledgeable peers.
But, even though I give it a try every once in a while, to be honest, the Baker Street Journal is usually way over me head.
But then again, I enjoy just as much being recognized by The John W. Watson Society and by readers that follow this blog.

Should Oscars by important to actors?

The roll of the BSI has really changed in the last twenty years now that everyone can self-publish just about anything they want on Sherlock Holmes.

But why should the BSI change if it is working for them and those involved. They are after all not doing anything any different than some more modern groups. And the structure of the society may suit (most) of it's members just fine.
The level of that importance we must weigh for ourselves.
Will the Bakers Street Babes ever have a male member? And should they?


  1. While I enjoy reading Brad's edgy takes on the BSI at Sherlock Peoria (even if I don't agree, or, as an outsider, I don't always know of the events he's writing about), I think yours is a balanced way of looking at things (BSI membership as winning the Oscars). By the way, I believe that the Babes do have a male member (er, no pun intended) and all interviewees, male and female, become honorary members of the Babes after answering four questions and the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, first started as an all-female response to the then stag BSI is also now coed.

    I think you have a growing readership thanks to the Sherlock Holmes and Elementary Google+ communities and your recent mention on I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. The BSI may be woefully behind the times in that regard, but people such as yourself fill the void and keep things interesting. Keep it up.

    1. Thank you, and thanks on the update on Babes and male members.

  2. Nicely said, John. The Oscars is a very good comparison, and I'd be perfectly happy if they'd accept that role and behave accordingly.