neadods: (fandom_sane)
[personal profile] neadods
Actual phrases used during a facebook conversation about being offered membership in a group:

"17 years"
"maybe never"
"highest expectation to meet new people and give recommendations"
"cultural fit"

And when it was pointed out that attitudes like this are WHY the group is not seen as welcoming (much less membership being a goal these days), the phrases became:

"my tree house"
"complaints"
"stamping their feet"

And still, within that very conversation some folks just can't figure out whyyyyyyyyyyy their group isn't seen as welcoming or membership a goal.

Date: 2016-09-15 09:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] legionseaglelj.livejournal.com
Baker Street Irregulars, by any chance?

Date: 2016-09-15 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neadods.livejournal.com
Yup.

I know some incredibly welcoming, enthusiastic, friendly BSI-ers... but the fandom as a whole and BSI in particular are in turmoil because after all those years of being seen as the ultimate end goal of American Sherlockiana, they are no longer the not-secret masters of fandom.

And to see a whole generation refusing to play along, to not bolster the self-image of a welcoming (eventually) and friendly (in part) group... well, that's not going down well.

And for those who did work hard to get the goal, and who do enjoy the old-style symposiums - it's stinging to put in all that effort and watch the paradigm change. I get that. But they're going to have to to get that Lyndsay Faye (BSI & ASH herself) was right. Nobody needs this to play anymore.

Obligatory disclaimer -- I would have liked to be nominated to ASH someday because I know so many ASH members, but I took that aspiration out back and shot it during that conversation. Probably at the moment when someone sniffed that of course BSI could never map to "convention culture" because it was a literary society and I pointed out that I'm a member of a different literary society that doesn't vet its members or make them jump through hoops.

But apparently JASNA and BSI are totally different concepts. I mean, they both call themselves literary societies, they both focus on a single author and their works, they both are structured to have a central main group and spinoffs (far more tightly controlled in JASNA than BSI scions), they have a ritual to their meetings and they focus on presenting academic papers about their chosen author/history/works... but other than that, yeah, they're TOTALLY different!

Because JASNA doesn't make its members vet other Janeites to see if The Right People like them before they can join.

... aaaaaand that's when the "you're crying and stamping" and "my treehouse" comments came out.

Date: 2016-09-15 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starcat-jewel.livejournal.com
Sounds similar, in some ways, to Worldcon's ongoing issues. They don't vet people for membership, but this bit:

And to see a whole generation refusing to play along, to not bolster the self-image of a welcoming (eventually) and friendly (in part) group... well, that's not going down well.

And for those who did work hard to get the goal, and who do enjoy the old-style symposiums - it's stinging to put in all that effort and watch the paradigm change. I get that. But they're going to have to to get that Lyndsay Faye (BSI & ASH herself) was right. Nobody needs this to play anymore.


... sounds very familiar indeed. The usual pattern is, somebody asks "How can we get more young people interested in Worldcon?"; a bunch of younger fen speak up about the things that make them less inclined to attend Worldcon (a lot of which boils down to the cost, which they see as a poor ROI by comparison to the average media-con); and then a bunch of Older Fen Who Know How Worldcons Work patiently explain to them why none of those things can possibly be changed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Date: 2016-09-17 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penfold-x.livejournal.com
But they're going to have to to get that Lyndsay Faye (BSI & ASH herself) was right. Nobody needs this to play anymore.

Democracy comes to Holmesania at last.

Date: 2016-09-18 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neadods.livejournal.com
A handful of years ago, one of the most unwelcoming BSI members put a snippy letter in the Baker St Journal boiling down to "these teenyboppers won't get my respect until they've paid their dues like the rest of us."

This pissed off a lot of people, unsurprisingly, but Lyndsay had the last word: with the rise of the Internet and the merge of SF and SH conventions, the BSI wasn't necessary anymore. That it is perfectly possible to participate in an extremely active fandom without knowing that the BSI *even exists,* so basically, be welcoming or be run over without any of the "teenyboppers" noticing the bump.

But when some folks have spent that much time investing in the investitures, and take pride in having achieved a difficult and random goal, those are hard things to hear.

Date: 2016-09-17 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penfold-x.livejournal.com
OMG, I read your post on my flist and I was 100% certain this was old school Holmes-related. Thanks for not keeping me in suspense ;)
Edited Date: 2016-09-17 12:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-09-15 05:48 pm (UTC)
ext_12931: (Default)
From: [identity profile] badgermirlacca.livejournal.com
I don't even know what ASH IS, and already I don't like them.

Thank goodness I can read the Canon without asking ANYBODY'S permission.

Date: 2016-09-15 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redpanda13.livejournal.com
The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes was founded by a group of young women who picketed the BSI dinner and were basically told what a cute little bunch they were and to run along and play. (Although the BSI's original rules did not prohibit women and even mentioned that members might be women, no women were named as members until 1991.) I have not been up on things for some years, but although the ASH leaders do select their own members, who now include some males, anyone with the cash for a NYC restaurant dinner party is welcome at their meetings. And they sing good songs. And sometimes have presentations such as "Mary Morstan Watson Visits the Gynecologist," with the memorable line, "The old dog FINALLY did something in the night-time!" And the one about Elvis being the love-child of Sherlock Holmes and Wallis Simpson... which, for a frightening fraction of a second, almost made sense.

Date: 2016-09-15 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neadods.livejournal.com
ASH = Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes. I know the founder and am very fond of her; I also know a lot of other members and am equally fond of them.

She also founded the Adventuresses to be the female equivalent of the Baker Street Irregulars (BSI), because it was founded as a male-only invitation-only society.

And yes, we can all read the canon without permission. We can all go to conventions without permission. We can all found groups that have nothing to do with the BSI without their permission.

And now that a lot of that is *openly* happening after over half a century as being the big game in town, BSI doesn't quite know what to do. Especially after some of the crustier members have made a big public deal of "we'll listen to these girls when they put their dues in like we did" -- only to get mowed over without half the current fandom noticing the bump.
Edited Date: 2016-09-15 07:25 pm (UTC)

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