Time to care for our Bullpups and have an important discussion

Hello all, I am very happy to be the Buttons of JHWS, the fun Watsonian society. In that role I haven’t felt a need to address you formally as Sampson Buttons. Today one of our own, Chris Aa Bakkane, published this essay and I am asking you to read it, to give it serious consideration, and to join me in finding concrete ways we, as a Sherlockian community, can do better. Because we need to do better. Let’s begin doing the work.


4 Replies to “Time to care for our Bullpups and have an important discussion”

  1. Wow! What an eloquent letter. Well-stated and reasonable. I’m impressed even more because, unless I’m wrong, I think English wasn’t your first language. All of your points are valid. Change is very difficult for many people. Just look at how millions of people have dealt with our recent elections. The fear of the majority in becoming a minority is stressful to many. When I read their comments, I think about how they were raised and their narrow group of friends. I wasn’t exposed to many POC until I went to college and after my first job after graduating. I remember trying my first case as a prosecutor after law school and hearing about a man flagging down an undercover policeman for sex. I didn’t understand how anyone could do that. I was 25. That wasn’t in my experience growing up. Education is the key. I’m looking forward to Irregulars. I think as more people watch the show, and reflect on what they see, people’s hearts and minds may change. I think many may make their comments out of ignorance as opposed to prejudice, while not denying that some are bigoted. As a fairly newbie Sherlockian, when I go to Zoom meetings, the vast majority of attendees are in my elevated age group. I think most millennials are, like you, more responsive to your concerns. Thank you for posting. I’m sorry to hear how the comments of so many have upset you. Hopefully, your courage in writing will educate more people and help facilitate the change in people’s attitudes.

  2. 100% agree. Honestly, I haven’t seen this type of reactions. None of the Sherlockians I know has said that this series “is too woke” or that a POC can’t be a credible Holmes or Watson in an alternative universe. (One of the best adaptations I read is a comic series where Holmes is a black private detective from Harlem and Watson a paramedic discharged from the army after his service in – you guess right – Afghanistan). Maybe I only interact with the right type of Sherlockians and it’s just luck.
    There are, superficially, from the anticipations I’ve seen and read, many reasons why this new series does not appeal much to me. Certainly the fact that Watson is a POC is not one of them and it never should be, for anyone.

  3. I’ve definitely seen some folks share their … let’s say “rigid” interpretations of Holmes of Watson and how they feel about any interpretation that differs. I’ve been very lucky to have hopped into an area of the fandom (yeah, I said it!) that is much more interested in enjoying things and exploring lots of different ideas than in prescribing what people “should” watch/read/think.

    Michele – I, too, love WATSON AND HOLMES. Such a good comic.

    Thank you very much for posting this, Robert. Well said. We can – and should – and must – do better.

  4. Well said. Objecting to historical inaccuracies (like costuming, use of technologies, etc.) or genre issues (supernatural elements, shift in time period, etc.) is a difference in opinion. The existence of BIPOC, LGBTQ+ folx, and women is not a historical inaccuracy or genre. They exist now, existed then, and frankly, have always existed, albeit under different names. Their existence is not political, debatable, or subject to anyone’s “opinion.” (And before we even open *that* can of worms, “freedom of speech” protects individuals from government censorship or punishment, NOT the social consequences of their own actions.)
    Thank you for putting this out there, and thanks to The Watsonian for encouraging the conversation. I suspect it’s how many people feel, but it’s important that we all “do the work.”

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