Saturday, March 9, 2019

Letting the new show you its stuff.

I miss Holmes and Watson.

This weekend the latest much anticipated Marvel movie came out, and I saw it and enjoyed it a whole lot. But even with that buzz going, hearing a bit of soundtrack movie from January's Sherlockian cinema of dispute set me wondering when its DVD was going to be available. I truly don't think a lot of folks understood how much I just loved that movie. It might even be my favorite Sherlock Holmes movie of all.

Which brings me back to Captain Marvel, that latest superhero blockbuster. There's a moment in it, without giving away any spoilers, where one character tells another something like, "You haven't truly won until you beat me the way I say you should beat me!"

It's one of my two favorite moments of the movie (the other involving a cat), because it's demonstrating that perpetual old-guard tactic that gets thrown out to help them retain power against the new and different. "You shouldn't just protest the system, you should politely and respectfully work within the old system to get what you want." Which is great if you're a part of that old system and don't want any waves from the new kids.

We saw a bit of that sort of thing a lot as Sherlock Holmes fandom saw a new wave of Sherlockians deciding to make their own fun. How often did we hear "We should welcome them to our banquets!" more often than "We should go see what their ways of celebrating Sherlock are!" It wasn't done with any malice, just that age-old notion that the familiar ways are the best ways, and that if the new kids could do things like we always did, they'd have the fun we had.

Except they're not us. Heck, we aren't even us anymore. Becoming a Sherlockian in the 2000s isn't quite the same as becoming a Sherlockian in the 1980s. We didn't have Will Ferrell in the 1980s, we had Jeremy Brett. (And despite what it may seem like at times, not all of us were that fond of Brett's Holmes.) We had the post office instead of the internet. And Sherlockians who were interacting and creating outside the scion society system? Not all that many.

221B Con is coming up in less than a month, and often I'll hear an old-school Sherlockian who discovers it think it needs a banquet, or more Victorian history presentations, or something else that the old style of Sherlockian symposiums do just fine. But 221B Con's strength has always been that it's bringing a new style to the table. It's variety brings attendees that may be only mildly interested in Sherlock, but see enough other things of interest to come in and give it a try -- and those are potential new Sherlockians who would never attend a flat-out all-Sherlock symposium. But at 221B Con, they have a chance to sample, enjoy a little Sherlock with a more familiar con experience,

The team who created 221B Con could not have done what they did if they started as investitured B.S.I. or folks who had otherwise been indoctrinated into the old ways. We got something delightful and new because they did it their way, and even as more traditional Sherlockians start to come on board, it remains a fresh influence on our Sherlockian culture.

Just like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly's Holmes and Watson, the DVD of which comes out the day I get home from 221B Con.

2019 is looking like a great Sherlockian year.

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