I had intended for my next post to be all about the 2016 BSI Weekend, but I believe other issues are a little more pressing.
It seems as though there’s some tittering on the Interwebs about online aliases. I have always called them “noms” (as in, nom de plume), because “Alias” was a TV show starring Electra.
The first and most important point for me to make is that we at AitB respect everyone’s right to name themselves. We reject any sort of fandom policing like this, especially as it can easily target a very specific section of the Holmesian community. Whatever you call yourself, you are welcome to join in our discussions, and your identity will be respected.
This is actually related to a larger fandom issue that includes aggressive “talk” about “Elementary,” but I’ll come to that in just one second.
I have been anonymous online for more than 10 years. Happily so. I engaged with Holmesians socially in the flesh, but I also maintained a robust online identity. I enjoyed (and still enjoy) highbrow and lowbrow conversations with Holmesians of all sorts, both online and off. Until 2015, only a few people knew to connect the Flesh!Me and the Online!Me.
I had serious reasons for setting up an anonymous online identity, but that’s not important. I chose to do so, and that’s the end of the story. For the record: Doxxing is unacceptable. Full stop.
The issue here seems to be rooted in this nasty trend of fandom policing. The Holmesian community didn’t invent this concept, but boy, I feel like we are trying to win the Olympics of Elitism. This makes me sad, but thankfully, it also makes me really damn mad.
We need to stop telling people how to be a “proper” fan of Sherlock Holmes, and then confirm with words and actions that if they do not live up to that “officially acceptable” version, they aren’t welcome at the table. That is an old-fashioned view of the world that is no longer valid.
If you do not like “Elementary,” good for you. If you feel the need to be rude to people who are fans, there’s something wrong with you, not the fans. Fans of one show aren’t subordinate to other Holmesians. Back when God was a child, when Art in the Blood was Holmesian.net, I was breaking up fights between fans of Rathbone and fans of Brett. This adversarial attitude isn’t new — it’s just gotten even nastier and more aggressive.
The squeaky wheels need to stop getting the grease. We as a community should be advocating for inclusiveness and happiness, not exclusivity and a misanthropy.
Le Chat Noir