Richard Armitage Blogs: There’s Nothing Wrong With the Pot Roast

Richard Armitage is waiting for feedback. Whether it’s me, Perry, JHolland, or Frenz, who’ve already commented, you as commenter, or someone else you know and read, some Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook  account you follow or those some of us do not know at all, based on Richard Armitage’s blogpost for CyberSmile, he’s been attentive to feedback, and I imagine he will be about his first blog post as well.

He’s waiting to be agreed with, lauded, supported, picked apart, misunderstood, criticized, maybe even ridiculed.

Except for ridicule, you’ll find a little bit of all of that here.

As my grandmother said to me out of the blue,  the first time she came to the first family dinner I made as a young married, ” [t]here’s nothing wrong with the pot roast.”

First, I’m going to refrain from a serious or detailed grammatical, literary analysis, line by line ( though I’m happy to discuss some of this in comments). There are plenty of errors, mixing up and interchanging single and double quotes, commas here there and nowhere. Fragments. ( He learned the dot: now he should  learn the dash – it’s very useful) Lots of metaphors; not all of them cogent. Sometimes, one thought doesn’t seem logically to follow another.  He probably could do better; but I believe he was trying to write more like he speaks rather than adhere to strict grammatical construction or journalist standards of organization.

One thing I am very certain of: Richard Armitage wrote this blog post..

Second, I’m going to state outright  that giving up anonymity, using real names and photos, is not always practical or advisable. Richard Armitage can do it, not all of us can, or should.

I’m pretty sure he knows that. Anonymity protects bullies, flamers, and trolls and allows them to come back with new identities and start it all over again. It may protect other more positive online users, and it certainly protects bloggers from intrusion into their personal lives.

So, I’m going to interpret this feeling of Richard Armitage’s  to mean that people on line should behave as though they are not anonymous, but named.

On to the substance of the blog post, at least what I want to say, for Richard Armitage fans who have been following him for a while (since before The Hobbit), what may resonate most is not what he says about online behavior or CyberSmile at all, but his revelations about some of his childhood and youth. I think some of us have hypothesized that socially speaking, he probably had a rough time, or rough patches ( though we also hypothesize that he had strong family support). The reasons could be anything, including extreme shyness, growing too tall too fast, nose jokes, lack of interest in more popular peer activities, artsy-fartsiness or something else, or all of the above. It doesn’t matter, but it gives fans more insight into him as a person.

Also of interest to his “watchers” may be his disclosure that he does in fact get angry; needs to rethink what he wants to say; may have bouts where his first reaction is to be a little unkind.  This is what many of us do. We vent and take some time, and go back to tone words down. I read into this from what he said about how he writes.  ( He’s mentioned in several interviews over the years that he gets angry ( i.e. throws a script across the room, comes to mind).

What we and others sometimes see, is the self-edited Richard Armitage, and I’m glad of it, because I have always had a difficult time with the perfect, Saint Richard view held by some fans.

Of course this description of how he writes ( and really, I’m sure most bloggers or other writers of longer pieces do this – even in emails –  it’s called editing,) May also have less to do with anger, and more to do with wanting to  make sure his words are precisely describing what he wants to say. On the other hand, I don’t think a lot of tweeters or a few  commenters, bother to edit when they are engaged in conversation, or just throwing out their random, present thoughts about something. ( in my circles, anyway).

It’s amazing how it’s almost always the same people  who find themselves apologizing, back-peddling or explaining, something they’ve said.

Richard Armitage’s blog post  also gave long time watchers more insight, or anyway, some more information, about some of his acting techniques, training, and how he builds characters.  I always assumed at one time or another he joined or led workshops and other types of training and continuing education, but this is the first time he’s divulged that much info.

I agree with JHolland ( see link above), that it sounds as though he’s suggesting that both sides of the fence use art (all arts) or other creative outlets to express and repel  anger, hurt and frustration. I don’t agree, as he suggests, that this is what art is for, or anyway, it’s not always what art is for. ( Art for art’s sake, you know). See, there’s an example of picking apart a sentence he wrote that could have been made clearer. Or, maybe for him, that is what art is for.

That being said, it’s not a bad coping mechanism or a bad idea. Someone else, not Richard Armitage, might have suggested going out for an exhausting run, shooting hoops, going to a batting cage, getting on the treadmill. But he is an artist, and his provenance as ambassador is as an artist.

Concerning non-Richard Armitage related substance of what he was saying, he seems to be saying, not that directly, to each his own, but he advocates that senders try to make sure that they have the best idea possible of how their words will be taken and whether their intent will be clear, and recipients should consider that in some cases, the message perceived was not the message intended.

He also seems to be saying that the web is a great resource for learning and finding like-minded people. ( Yes, Mr Armitage – for learning about you, for example).

And, there will always be assholes. Block and Mute. It doesn’t seem like he’s reaching out to the assholes.

I can’t argue with this. It’s similar to what he’s said before about self-editing.

I concede, some of his metaphors, some of what he wrote, I don’t have an opinion about because I don’t think I understand every  instance of what he was trying to say.

But it gave a little more insight into things about him that interest me, and aside from the anonymous thing, overall, there’s nothing wrong with the pot roast.

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28 thoughts on “Richard Armitage Blogs: There’s Nothing Wrong With the Pot Roast

  1. I think you managed to get more out of it than I did. The part that I connected with is deciding not to send something until it delivers the right message, and imagining how it will be perceived by the recipient. I live by email, and have for my whole career, and before I send anything, I make myself imagine how I would feel if each email was read by my employer, colleagues, competitors, students, friends, etc. Because it is so easy for some email to be accidentally sent/forwarded to the wrong person or leaked. I think it is good that Richard is speaking out, and while not everything being discussed about what he has said is complimentary, the discussion is good.

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  2. Your grandmother’s comment made me laugh because it was similar to something my mother-in-love said one time, back when we first began raising chickens and they were just starting to produce eggs. We really took pride in those eggs. Farm-raised, free range delicious eggs that we felt had so much more flavor than store-bought. (I admit, they were on the small side, as is common when young hens first begin laying.) Anyway, we proudly presented her with a dozen of our fresh eggs, but never really heard back from her, so next time we saw her we asked her how she’d liked them and she said “Oh, there was nothing wrong with them!” Rather faint praise!

    I had the same thought as you. It’s kind of a natural reaction when you post something you’ve written to wait for feedback. He may have gotten some feedback on Twitter, but I did wonder if he’d watch any of the Armitage blogs for feedback. I believe I would, in his position.

    I agree with your interpretations of what he was saying. I agree that his suggestion to use art as an outlet was revealing of where he comes from and what he identifies with. He is athletic in so many ways, so it was interesting when you pointed out that someone else might suggest running or shooting hoops. I might have postulated that he would have suggested an athletic outlet in addition to an artistic outlet. Someone else (me) might suggest an outlet involving animals. When I was upset as a youth I’d take to the canyons on my horse and with my dog. And I’m sure others would think of other escapes and outlets. =)

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    • Take to the canyons on your horse and with your dogs. It was my earliest dream in life to be a cowgirl ( from Brooklyn). The difference between your mother in law’s comment and my grandma’s was that your MIL expected the eggs to better. My grandmother expected the pot roast to be worse. We’re a family of stories and sayings, so this line still comes up occasionally.
      As to Richard Armitage’s blog post, I think I’m in the minority in that I have never been comfortable with the designation RA.It’s ridiculous that I feel this way, but I, myself, rarely if ever use it on blog and it’s beginning to bug me that he’s using it, when he used to just say write “Richard.” Some will be happy he picked up the fandom’s name for him. This has nothing to do with his cyberbully post.
      As to suggesting an athletic activity over an artistic one, before your time, I wrote part one of post on this – not whether he was athletic, we know he is, in a sense, but whether he played team sports. I never got to part 2 – the reaction was visceral, but mainly for the lead up to the discussion. I can’t recall the title, but will have to find it when I get to writing the second part – although the known facts have changed a bit. What made me think of the topic in the first place was seeing him throw something in two separate films – one was AUJ and I don’t recall now, which was the other.
      Anyway, my criticism of his written piece is that I haven’t really sussed out where he stands or what everything that he’s saying. I think the affect/effect portion would make his target audience if they were youths, a little confused, but it seemed driving some of his readers to research and look up words was part of his goal. In fact, I think a lot of what he talked about would be difficult for younger age groups to grasp just from reading the post. Why he went that way, I cannot say. Also, I didn’t think of the fact that in supporting using one’s true identity, he could cause flare-ups in the fandom – even though, thinking back, before I published, I came across just that sort of thing on another blog. I haven’t had time to check twitter or tumblr, so I don’t know how far this has gone.
      I still am only able to glean about two or three messages from his post. The whole TV news, newspapers, now everyone is a forum thing, flip-siding to politics and sociology, sort of lost me.

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      • Yes, I was a little uncertain about the exact points he was making, too. I think I got the gist of it, but some parts did have me scratching my head a bit. It’s funny because in a lot of his interviews he comes across as very down-to-earth, but this blog post was rather more abstract. =) Then again, it’s a little hard to really nail down a concept as nebulous as “The Human Condition”… quite the topic to tackle for a first blog post.

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  3. I agree about the pot roast (and am now hungry thinking about it, having not eaten good pot roast in years!). While I too am still trying to decipher a few of his points, and the editor in me wished his PR people or Cybersmile had done at least a gentle proofreading, those are minor quibbles. My respect for him went up a few notches today – not because I didn’t already respect him, and not because I’m a sycophant (I’m not, thanks, and like you have a low tolerance for the Saint Richard types of fans). It’s because (a) whether or not you agree with him, by trying to clarify what he said and responding to his critics, he was actually engaging in a dialogue with fans on a fairly serious level – an extremely risky thing to do in this sort of environment, but also a very brave one, and (b) the latter showed that he believes strongly enough in this issue that he’s willing to stand behind those beliefs and be really open and personal about them. His basic point is to own the consequences of what you say, and I’m good with that, both in general and in the context of cyberbullying.

    I’m rather amused that everyone is glomming on to his anonymity comment, which is a focal point of a lot of the feedback, including some of the negative feedback. It was hardly his main point, and was accompanied by a clear, “hey, but that’s just me” kind of disclaimer. Personally, the reason I don’t use my real name when replying on these blogs has nothing to do with hiding myself from other RA fans, but simply to prevent those in my RL (including my professional life) from being privy to this end of my world.

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    • I don’t think this is my first post that made you hungry. I think many people keep their RL identity secret on line for the very reason you state. I feel less protective now than I did when I first started blogging and was a practicing lawyer, but there a quite a few Armitage fans out there from whom I feel safer knowing that they don’t know who I am. And I think safety is another good reason.

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  4. Yes…own what you say and consider the consequences before posting. I’m good with that too! Lolololol! It was nice to see he cared enough to dialogue further. I’m not going to nitpick. I got the general, good-natured message. I do understand those who have concerns which differ from mine, however and it would be really great if all could be allowed to express their respective opinions on this newest statement on their own blogs/sites. Vive la (respectful) difference! And yes…RL and privacy are many commentors/bloggers reasons for pseudonyms -we all don’t use our seeming anonymity to harm….just the few bad apples who have, unfortunately stirred up quite an ugly pot, and I’m not talking the delicious pot roast!

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  5. It’s months and months I keep writing posts/replies and then delete them. Because it isn’t worth the bother. I’ll click send, this time.

    I find no issues with RA posts, grammar apart (but I doubt it was his priority here and if someone gives it then they understood nothing). He’s perfectly right about everything, including anonymity that is the worst issue of online community (for trivial topics. I would exclude the political, rights fights, democratic fights from this discussion, too big for Mr. Armitage and for us). This is what makes the difference and his street example is perfect. We don’t do the same things in RL, we don’t put our face, our name on the same silly fights we do online. We don’t take the responsibility of what we say.

    There is no way to solve the problem (since nasty people do exist and would swallow the good ones in a blink of an eye. Sorry RA, I’m far more pessimistic than you) so the best advice would be: stay away from internet, twitter (especially twitter, the worst place online), FB, tumblr, blogs. Keep on living your RL, go meet your real friends. And for people like me, alone and without a friends network, remember this is all fake, this is unreal, don’t bother to get angry or happy. Nobody really cares about you, it’s just a crazy henhouse with people bickering about everything. It’s not that serious and doesn’t change the reality for good or bad. Stop, get out and smell the roses.

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    • *I* really care about *you*.
      And who’s CC and what are you referring to.
      I don’t think it’s practical to say that people, especially the young people Richard Armitage is trying to reach, should stay off social media. In most cases, the eventual victims probably start off with harmless experiences. Also, I think the kind of bullying, or at least most of it, that Cybersmile is geared towards, is probably on Facebook pages and twitter where the victims, kids, schoolmates, whatever, use their real names to begin with.
      I don’t see a real solution to this issue that does not involve intolerable restrictions on freedom of expression except, possibly, to set an age limit on how old you have to be to have an account and to set up a parallel sort of cyber universe for young people that is monitored closely by administrators. It just doesn’t seem solvable otherwise.

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      • Thank you Perry, and I care for you. Indeed, people I care for are on my daily emails and rarely only on boards 😉

        I know it’s not solvable. And I’m certain RA was talking about fandoms, not young teenagers on socials, while speaking about anonymity. There is no way to control internet, for the good and the bad. But we can shape our reactions and if we have friends and a network to help, it can be easier and less painful. It certainly worked for me when it happened. Having support by you and other “friends” meant the world for me and helped to put things, and persons, in the right perspective.

        About CC (Christian Camargo): c3-blog.com/blog-native/2015/5/31/in-the-beginning

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      • I think twitter, with the need of short quotes, brings the greatest misunderstanding and it’s so quick! Too quick. And very young people got twitter even if it’s not legal. Anyway, each social can be used well or bad and has pros and cons. Learning how to use and to protect ourselves is the first thing to do. Mute and block, as RA said, are a great twitter feature 😉

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        • You’re right, it is difficult with only 140 characters to express thoughts of sense with no misunderstandings, this is why I cannot understand the very concept of Twitter, maybe because mine is a Romance language where a single sound is sometimes spelled with even three diferent character or more LOL.
          But I find in Tumblr much more people which take for granted things they cannot know in order to ship or to hate someone/something just out of assumptions, than into other social network. It bothers me alot XD.

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          • Being Italian, 140 characters are for me enough only to start any quote. LOL!
            There are some fantastic tumblr blogs on science, cinema and so on.

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    • I agree with Micra. The only way to deal with online bullying on Facebook and Twitter is to take control – by deleting the accounts and turning them off.

      There’s a whole generation of people who sadly think they cannot have a life without Facebook and Twitter (and putting their whole lives on Facebook and Twitter)and it would maybe be a good idea to deal with the bullying another way – consistently pointing out and re-educating people that hey! they don’t have to live their lives via social media.

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    • and we care 🙂 i do hope you don’t feel alone because you certainly are not. And certainly not all internet or social media is bad and there are many cases where friendships cross the net and are actually RL connections 🙂 I am sure plenty here are, but you have a good point about life being out there, i think real friends will seamlessly cross into RL and they will be still there outside internet and the social media 🙂 At least it has really been my experience in quite a few cases. Hang tight x

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      • I agree and I’m so happy I found some nice and caring people. But one of the most important things to tell teenagers should be that their (and our) online experience can’t replace the real life. Bringing on RA’s example with online presence like acting, there is the moment when he stops to playing a role and return Rich. Both dimensions are necessary to feel complete. Online presence is almost a must for today’s teenagers but they have a RL awaiting. It must be an added value to our life, not the only one. Hard to tell to young people, I know. But I guess parents and teachers support is crucial in guiding them also in this “virtual” life.

        And thanks. You all made me feel good with your replies :-*

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        • I am totally with you and Rich on this, real life is outside social media and it is very important to show young people that and help them bond and develop and build relationships and discover themselves OUTSIDE social media. In that respect i am totally with him that involving them in arts is a great way to do that and help them build things for themselves outside the net. This is why i am a strong supporter of arts in school for everyone (as well as sports).

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          • I totally second that! Real bonds and real commitments also help to put in the right perspective the social media presence, beside their obvious concrete value.

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  6. And on another level. I had a big lesson some days ago when I read a blog post by CC, writing about his health condition, and briefly hinting to that Jackson Hole ski vacation. I felt so deeply ashamed about all the bickering, words, accusations, tragedy and hypothesis done on that innocent pic of 5 friends on snow. See? RL is something totally different. I’ll think about that photo, and CC, each time I will be upset by an online comment by a perfect stranger on an irrelevant topic.

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    • I’m glad you mentioned CC. I thought of “all that” too. (Although I tuned out much of it…but I was still around.) He’s is a very talented man, and clearly a very intelligent one. His performance in an episode of this season’s House of Cards is wonderful and heartbreaking. All we can do is hope for his recovery.

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  7. Pingback: Richard Armitage Introduces a Discussion about Cyberbullying Prevention/Mitigation–And He Gets Everyone Talking, June 14, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #766) | Something About Love (A)

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