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.