"I think part of the excitement behind getting an invitation to the BSI Dinner is that it's an exclusive event. The moment you make it an open event, that's when the shine will wear off of the wonder of receiving such an invitation."
And that is the whole thing about the exclusive invitation. And the cryptic membership selection process whereby the Irregular-in-chief picks a handful of people to announce as members each year. The exclusivity, the haves-and-have-nots, the chance to rise and be among the . . . dare I say it . . . elite. Big thrills all.
But it's such a big thrill that the "who gets made a member this year" list is the biggest news to come out of the BSI dinner every year. It seems to eclipse and predominate the whole of the hobby on that one night, even above Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
And yet, the sister society of the Baker Street Irregulars, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, seems to get by without all of that, existing just as long and just as well. Apparently Americans aren't nearly as well behaved as our cousins across the pond, and need more screening.
It would be very interesting to see what the Baker Street Irregulars of New York would look like without all the focus on who got invited and who got in. Who knows what might surface if all that mental energy got freed up for other uses?
I might have gotten off the subject with that thought, but Scott was also kind enough to put a link to my BSI blog in his "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere" column, the link emanating from the words, "to sulk for those who don't receive an invitation." Which made me start to wonder if I hadn't received an invitation to the BSI dinner. Perhaps Scott knew something I didn't.
I checked the pile of mail that tends to grow in our entryway . . . you know how it is in the electronic age, all the good letters come via the internet. No invitation to be found. Which wouldn't be all that odd, if not for the fact that they used to send invitations to members of the Baker Street Irregulars. I say "used to," because I had heard a story last year of a certain Irregular who has often criticized the current management and got dropped from the mailing list, only to protest same. If the head of the Irregulars decided to clean out his Facebook friends, so to speak, I wouldn't be surprised if I got dropped from the membership mailing. I mean, have you read my blog? Heck, he could even be an Elementary fan. But no protests here. I didn't dig that deep into the mail pile looking for an invitation. A little bit busy this year.
Whatever my status of my membership in the Big Society of the Invited, I shall continue to be a (and perhaps the only) proponent of open membership for the Baker Street Irregulars. It's American's main Sherlockian society, I'm an American and a Sherlockian, and with even that little invested interest it just seems like the right idea to me.