the best friends you’ll never have

Browsing in Fandom

If you read BSC Snark, you will have noticed that in the last week or so, there has been a rash of anti-Stacey snarks and comments. And longtime readers of this blog know that I am an inverterate fan of Stacey. So I thought I’d just talk about how I view Stacey, and why I like Stacey so much.

Part of the reason I like her so much is BECAUSE she is flawed. She makes mistakes, like putting boys before friends, or ditching her BSC friends for cool new ones, or the entire plot of Stacey’s Secret Friend. But these mistakes are ones that lots of girls make during their middle school/high school years–and some make their whole lives–and Stacey making these mistakes, and learning from them, helps younger BSC readers see the folly of prioritizing a dumb boy who will only cheat on you later over Claudia, or ditching your true-blue BFFs for some other girls who promise excitement, but will only get you in trouble when they sneak airplane bottles of wine in their flop socks into a U4Me concert. You don’t learn these kinds of lessons from Fandom Saint Janine Kishi. (No hate on Janine here, though; I <3 Janine.) Is Stacey basically a hosebeast throughout all of Stacey’s Secret Friend, as the latest snark of this book posits? Of course! But she also learns that she is a hosebeast in the end, and understands that this caused her to miss out on having a really cool friend from PARIS, a city even more impossibly sophisticated than New York.

The other reason I like Stacey is because I relate to her. We have similar interests and family situations. But I can also relate to Mallory in some ways, and this was especially when I was in middle school. I think a lot of people who are involved in the fandom relate to Mallory, and this is perhaps why Stacey, the most popular baby-sitter throughout the entire run of the series, gets so much hate within it. Most of us–myself included–were the Tesses or the Spaz Girls or the uncool friend thrown over for cool new ones. We did not have cool permed hair and sophisticated designer wardrobes.

As children reading the books, however, we might not have realized our eventual fate, and probably some girls who were reading the book and idolized Stacey did become that girl in middle or high school. Stacey represents a cool, sophisticated, permed fantasy, and this is why she was always so popular. Now, I would say I like Stacey best because of the aforementioned ways I relate to her, and the fact that her plots are generally the ones I find to be the most interesting. I also like that she is arguably the most intelligent of the BSC, if you don’t count associate member Shannon. I haven’t kept track, but I would guess that when I do go back to reread BSC, I probably reach for Stacey books the most.

Where do you fall in the Pro-Stacey/Anti-Stacey debate?

Baby-Sitters Club Monopoly? Don’t mind if I do.

Seriously fucking cool.

Also, wiki was shut down by my host due to spam; I am in contact with them and working to resolve the problem. I wanted to mess around and add a CAPTCHA and stuff, but this last month has been CRAZY and who thought it would be a good idea for me to study full-time, work part-time, and freelance while having a social life?

A lot of the time, I don’t like things I read on the internet about the BSC. You know, blog posts and the like on non-BSC/YA websites. It’s clear to me that usually, the writer hasn’t opened a BSC book since elementary school and their BSC phase lasted two years, tops. At least one of the sitters’ names–usually Mary Anne (Maryanne, Mary Ann, etc.), Jessi (Jessie), or Stacey (Stacy)–will be spelled wrong and some key details will just be incorrect. The BSC members were never fourteen years old. You know what I’m talking about.

So when someone posts a fun BSC link, I usually regard it with suspicion.

But this video, Chapter Two by Tally Deshaune, gets it so right and you can tell that this girl read a LOT of BSC books growing up, and probably isn’t adverse to pulling one out when she’s having a crappy day.

It’s a fun song and will totally get stuck in your head. Thanks to ndj1991 from the BSC Boards for finding it and posting it!

Ozqueen has started a cool project intended to revitalizing the flagging BSC fanfiction community. It’s called Baby-Sitters Club 100, and the way it works is that you choose from a series of 100 sets of prompts, and write stories according to the prompts. I’ve signed up as Cassandraclue, and anyone with an interest in writing BSC fanfic should as well.

Bri over at Brireadsbooks is doing a Battle of the BSC Books as a part of BSC Week. Go vote for your favorite!

Two BSC-related tumblrs I found today that you should check out:

First up is Incredulous Kristy, by Kim of What Claudia Wore fame.

Next is Rulette, which is a personal tumblr but has done some fun BSC fashion posts lately with the aid of polyvore.

Am I the only one who has noticed that since the reissues/reunion book became known, fandom has sort of died down a little? Posts on the BSC livejournals and boards are less frequent. Could we really have exhausted everything there is to discuss about the BSC in the ten years since Graduation Day?

I mean, for ten years the only thing that happened in the fandom was the Graphic Novels. And then, BOOM! Reissues! A prequel! Things that we had all fantasized about, but had not really considered likely, since Ann had made it pretty clear she wanted to work on other things. We were free to go through the books with a fine-tooth comb and read into them things that we not there, and to write fanfiction about what we thought happened after the girls finally graduated from eighth grade.

But now, it’s almost as if the looming publications make us less interested in endlessly discussing the finer points of the series. Is some of the magical nostalgia gone, now that we know that the books will be updated and we will learn more about their lives before the Club?

Or perhaps I’m the only one who has noticed this, or if I’m just not participating as much as I used to. Thoughts?

I haven’t read any fanfic or RPGs for a while, but I get kind of pissy when I read a statement like, “I didn’t read FF, so it’s not canon for this story.” I know that I’m one of the few people who really enjoys FF, but I don’t feel like you can deny its role in the BSC canon. Plus, I feel like you’re really missing out, because certain characters–Erica Blumberg, Woody Jefferson–have expanded roles in FF and become more than SMS seat fillers. So you’re really missing out on some great characterizations, and the Alan and Claudia romance, and developments in Stacey’s life…

You get the picture.

But if I’m going to say that every BSC book is canon, what about the movie and tv series? I have decided that the movie is not canon, one because Alan’s crush on Dawn isn’t mentioned anywhere else in the series and two because the “Secret Patrick Visit” plot is recycled in Kristy’s Portrait. The TV show, I’m actually on the fence about. In Stacey and the Fashion Victim, Stacey mentions a prior “negative” experience with modeling. The only other “Stacey models” storyline I can think of is in Stacey’s Big Break. Here is the quote from p. 8:

When [Mrs. Maslin] stopped for breath, I told her a little about the time I entered a modelling contest at Bellair’s. I won, but it wasn’t a great experience.

Are we to assume that this experience from the tv show is the one she is referring to? It does describe the plot of Stacey’s Big Break down to the letter. If the writer was indeed referencing this episode, then the tv show becomes canon.

Your thoughts?

It has been a time of great upheaval, for me, for the fandom.

First, there was some drama on livejournal wherein the BSC ebooks livejournal was deleted. For those of us who can’t really keep our books where we live or who gave away our childhood collections, this was a sad day indeed. And then there was some brouhaha because livejournal laid off a bunch of people in its US office, but I don’t really think that’s worth getting as worked up about as people are, because I think it has more to do with livejournal’s relative popularity in Russia versus the United States, and that our livejournals will be safe for the foreseeable future. And that includes all the awesome BSC livejournals/communities out there, all of which are linked in the left sidebar.

Second, there were fears about the new CPSIA law, and how it might affect the secondary children’s book market in the United States. From the way the law was written, it seemed as if people would not be able to resell any books published before February 10th, 2009, which would obviously include Ann’s entire BSC oeuvre. Our worst fears were unfounded, however, since the government has issued a statement saying that the secondary market is exempt. This is still bad news for books currently on the shelves, and will raise prices for everything kid-related, THANKS CONGRESS, but at least you can still complete your collection if need be.

Lastly, I have decided that I am going to expand this blog slightly from being just BSC-related, to cover other literary/pop culture topics of interest to me. Fear not, the focus will still be BSC and BSC will be the heart, but I have lost steam and inspiration on just BSC-related topics and I do not like seeing this blog dormant for weeks and months on end. Stoneybrookite will not lose its BSC-flavor, but simply adding that Stoneybrook crunchy goodness to more things in life.