Fandom Friday # 6 ~ April 13

Well, I have just finished pitifully dragging my way through an astonishingly horrible week.  This (blogging at 3am) is now my ‘release’, because I very much doubt that I will otherwise be calm enough to sleep (in spite of my nauseatingly fatigued state) until I have both indulged in a bit of ‘Sherlockian squee’  and finished my glass of cognac.

So then, off we go:

1.) Let’s play a little ‘Six Degrees of Separation’:  What do the Titanic and Sherlock Holmes have in common?  Anybody?  Anybody?  No?  How about the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about both?  Didn’t know that before now?  Well, don’t feel bad.  I didn’t know this until earlier this week myself, but apparently it is so.  Conan Doyle was so deeply and personally moved (I believe he lost a friend) by the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 that he penned the following heartfelt poem, titled “Ragtime”.


Ragtime! Ragtime! Keep it going still!
Let them hear the ragtime! Play it with a will!
Women in the lifeboats, men upon the wreck,
Take heart to hear the ragtime lilting down the deck.

Ragtime! Ragtime! Yet another tune!
Now the ‘Darker Dandy’, now ‘The Yellow Coon!’
Brace against the bulwarks if the stand’s askew,
Find your footing as you can, but keep the music true!

There’s glowing hell beneath us where the shattered boilers roar,
The ship is listing and awash, the boats will hold no more!
There’s nothing more that you can do, and nothing you can mend,
Only keep the ragtime playing to the end.

Don’t forget the time boys. Eyes upon the score!
Never heed the wavelets sobbing down the floor!
Play it as you played it when with eager feet
A hundred pairs of dancers were stamping with the beat.

Stamping to the ragtime down a lamp-lit deck,
With the shine of glossy linen and with gleam of snowy neck,
They’ve other thoughts to think tonight, and other things to do
But the tinkle of the ragtime may help to see them through.

Shut off, shut off the ragtime! The lights are falling low!
The deck is buckling under us! She’s sinking by the bow!
One hymn of hope from the dying hands on dying ears to fall –
Gently the music fades away – and so, God rest us all!

I have to admit I know precious little about this poem apart from the fact that it was published in a book of other poems of Doyle’s titled The Guards Came Through, And Other Poems.  For those of you reading this who aren’t already familiar with the story of the Titanic; the ship’s band is legendarily credited with having literally gone down playing.  They stayed firmly planted on deck amidst the chaos and terror and steadfastly played first popular songs, and then hymns until they could physically play no more.

Source: The Sherlock of London Blog

2.) I am exceedingly pleased this week to be able to bring to you an example of some really fantastic ‘real world’ fandom I happened to bump into last weekend.  Whilst perusing the ‘Holmesian’ section of a Barnes & Noble in Portsmouth, Virginia, I happened to pick up the following book, curious as to what it was:

Turns out it is a unique reprint of the [Canon] stories listed on the cover punctuated throughout with occasional ‘graphic novel’-like illustrations, but that isn’t what got me hopping.  That honor goes to this (found just inside the front cover):

…A very well-placed slip of paper, if I may say so myself. I *almost* bought the book JUST so that I could keep the slip and even considered pulling it out to add to the book I did buy, but I decided to leave it sitting where it was in hopes that it will bring as much gleeful delight to others as it did me.  (If you haven’t seen this before, don’t worry about it.  You can look it up easily enough, but if you’ve not yet finished season two of ‘Sherlock’ DON’T DO IT.)

P.S. Richard Brooke IS a fraud.

3.)  *MINOR SPOILER ALERT* – Having trouble keeping up with the [BBC] Sherlock fandom memes?  Fear not!  The Swedish Pathological Society is here to help!  Herein you will find answers to such earth-shattering matters as ‘why John Watson is made of kittens’, or ‘why Anderson likes dinosaurs’. (Also includes a short description of why #2 on this list is important.)


Don’t mind if I do, John, don’t mind if I do.

Source: BBC Sherlock Pick-Up Lines  (Every time I follow this link I am obliged to first spend 10 minutes observing and harassing the [rotating] ‘cast avatars’ that float about the screen and provide silent comedic relief.)

5.) And last, but certainly not least, I bring to you not a piece of fandom art, but rather a bit of entertaining trivia.  Up until today I had always used the terms “Sherlockian” and “Holmesian” as semi-interchangeable references to anything and everything having something to do with Holmes and Watson.  In my head, ‘Sherlockian’ took on a slightly more ‘academic’ feel, being a reference both to related literature (i.e. ‘Ssigerson is working very hard at completing her Sherlockian library.’) as well as a term for a ‘more than moderately serious fan’, while also being applicable as a noun referring to paraphernalia  (i.e. ‘HhamishMD and I have quite the growing collection of Sherlockiana’).  ‘Holmesian’ on the other hand has almost always been an adjective in my head (‘That man over there has an exceedingly Holmesian feel about him.’).  But I stand (at least partially) corrected!  Apparently, both of these terms refer to the same thing (aficionados of all types).  The only difference is that one (Sherlockian) is an American term, while the other (Holmesian) is British.  Who knew!?  Now.  Go forth and – uh – profile your friends.

Source: Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Vol. 1

~ ~ ~

~Yes, that quite did the trick.  Please pardon my while I ‘faceplant’ accross the comput… *zzzzzzzzzzz* ~


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