Without links, without pictures, without a lot of proofreading. I thought I owed readers here and fellow Richard Armitage fans some sort of explanation.
So, here’s what happened ( I think) because I’m not sure my conclusions are correct – to the extent I’ve been able to come to conclusions.
Oh, and this is not a “Farewell, I’m Closing this Blog” post. It’s just a recitation of a series of happenings and not happenings that have caused the silence. I think.
Just prior to learning that that,Richard Armitage was going to appear on stage in Love, Love, Love in New York City, I found myself cooling off with the whole Richard Armitage fandom thing. It had nothing to do with Richard Armitage, with any decisions he made, with anything he wrote, and certainly there is not another fandom crush I have or want to write about. But, for reasons, some I could identify and some I couldn’t, I was on the fence. I will say that some of the reasons have to do with segments of the fandom which annoy me. But that wasn’t it in full. (Although really, do you read his Twitter feed? I could go on for paragraphs about some of the nonsense I read there. I mean, could it be any clearer by now that he uses Twitter mostly only when he has to? And when he veers from that, he usually, in my opinion, the minority opinion, screws it up)
Still, when the #LLLPlay became a reality, I had a fangirl boost, and began making plans to go to NY to see the play. This was a good sign. The fact is, I was getting ready to schedule some surgery – not serious – but I was paying for it. Instead, I put the surgery off and went to New York. I wrote a few posts about the trip – before, during and after. I never got around to an actual review of the play or much detail about my #LLLPlay experience.
Once I was in New York, visiting with family and friends and exploring my city, I experienced this cross-over syndrome, and it confused me. Have you ever been in a situation, maybe some event, a party, a funeral, where folks from different parts of your life meet for the first time? It can be unsettling even when you love them all.
That’s a little bit of what I was going through in NY. I basically chose to “get the play out of the way” at the beginning of my visit, and move on to other things. Except, Berlin Station was also a factor, and I would have the opportunity to see the newest episodes without worrying about its availability in Mexico. ( I drove my poor brother nuts in East Hampton playing around with his Time Warner account and EPIX and all the rest of it) So this was just another example of that cross-over syndrome. Now he was involved in Armitagemania.
I went to the play two different nights with different friends – but they were (a) friends with whom I had gone to the theater with on a regular basis for years usually together – that is, we all went together, and, (b) in one instance I went with a friend – a good friend – who is or was completely unsupportive, even hostile, to my fandom activities once she learned about it. I had tried to explain it a number of times, both before and after she learned what the blog was about, but I don’t think I made any headway. To her, it was just ridiculous. And for that reason, on the second night, I found myself anxious and distracted before and in the theater – not to mention after the play when we discussed it. (First night companion, Positive Friend, is completely non-judgmental, or anyway, has never said anything negative about my blogging. She liked the play and we had lots to talk about afterwards. In fact, she lived in London or just outside it – could’ve been Reading for all I know, and was raising her sons during some of the time covered in the play.
I’m so tempted to go off track here and tell you that Negative Friend and her husband bought their son an apartment in the village ( that would be Greenwich Village) when he came home from college, and that his career decisions made about as much sense as Rose’s, so one would think parts of the play would have resonated more than it did, ( or more than she let on that it did) but that discussion will just get me off track. Suffice it to say that she, as a mother, is the absolute polar opposite of Sandra and Kenneth.
But I digress. My point was that unlike other fans who either lived in NY or travelled to NY for a short time just to see the play, meet up with friends and explore the city – for me it was different. I couldn’t really concentrate of fandom too much. I didn’t want to.
I was fortunate enough to introduce myself to Claudia Ludwig, who I recognized both nights, and to meet up with Guylty and Linda60 for a lovely afternoon on my last day in NY. And I did have fun, in my own way, observing the fandom from afar, although not all my observations were warm and fuzzy. I should say that at the last minute I booked a third performance at the very end of my visit to New York, and I should also say that I walked out of the play after Act II, never to return. Twice turned out to be enough. And anyway, I hated my seat.
I’ll also admit that I was a bit bummed out when I learned, after the fact, that some of my favorite bloggers were in the audience that very night, and I didn’t know it or meet any of them. I knew some were there, like Guylty, Zan and Judi, and one or two others who I thought I recognized – but I thought it was a missed opportunity not to have met or sought out the rest. But that was part of it – I didn’t seek them out and only one or two fellow fans knew I was there.
I’ll also confess that one of the reasons Guylty and I decided to meet up when we learned we would be in NYC at the same time, was that I was the winning bidder for the Empire Magazine, Thorin Oakenshield cover that Guylty auctioned off, and it seemed safer for her to hand it to me than for her to try and send it either directly to me in Mexico or to a Texas address for which I pay a service to a Mexican company that schleps mail back and forth across the border. ( I think I told the story previously of my unsuccessful efforts, in sub-freezing NYC winter weather to find the magazine in New York). I’ve yet to crack it open.
Anyway, long story a little shorter, Richard Armitage, even live, shirtless and figuratively, maybe even literally spitting in my face, took a backseat.
But, I decided that I would address those feelings, sort them out, back in Mexico.
I said this was a recitation of happening and non-happenings.
The key non-happening? President Hillary Clinton.
You see, I returned to Mexico early in the morning on the day of the presidential election.
And nothing has been the same since. Nothing. The world hasn’t been the same. My country hasn’t been the same. Probably you haven’t been the same.
I always took a lot of inspiration for posts from scrolling Twitter and Facebook for articles and news – but ever since the election, I find that most of the time, I skim the Richard Armitage stuff and go right for the news. I can spend an hour or more on Twitter just retweeting with comments some of the upsetting, incredible, harmful, even humorous stuff I read. I want to be heard about this, but who’s going to hear me? Well, there are a few Richard Armitage fans who respond to my political tweets or Like or RT. And oddly enough, even though I have hardly posted anything of note on this blog in months – I keep getting new followers, and I’m damned if I know why. But this is what I want to write about right now – and not Richard Armitage.
For a minute there, I got really excited about Pilgrimage being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and thought I would go back to New York to see the film. Of everything on Richard Armitage’s horizon, Pilgrimage was the film I was most excited about because I like that genre. I will probably buy a ticket to the film, just in case, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to go back to New York right now. If I did go, I wouldn’t want to stay more than a few days – less than a week would be my choice. But, there is only one airline that flies direct to New York from Guadalajara, and only twice a week, and not the right days and not the right times. I would have to stay longer than I wanted to, or choose a more expensive and less convenient flight with layovers. A 5 hour trip would morph into a 9 hour or longer trip at several more hundreds of dollars. I don’t want to do it. ( I still might do it)
There’s also the possibility that Richard Armitage will be on the London stage in 2018. I joked that I had to start saving – and then I thought about it and realized that, if I were to travel to Europe, I’d rather go to Italy than London. But why worry about that now?
I’m also mindful of something Obscura wrote on her blog about some of the reasons she hasn’t been posting as much – and she threw out the idea that maybe it has to with the roles Richard Armitage is taking – that what first attracted her and still attracts her may be the John Porter/Lucas North action hero roles. This could be true for me as well.
I was enormously disappointed in Berlin Station. Just gutted. I’m hoping that the writers and show runners took something from what fans and critics had to say and will do a better job for season 2. Daniel Miller was not engaging. I thought that character was almost a prop.
And BTW, have you noticed how little has been written about Romeo and Juliet? I haven’t written a word about it after having a listen.
So there you go. I’ll happily explain to you in 3,000 word posts, the details of every lawsuit challenging anything the Trump administration does, but beyond that, for now, I just don’t feel like writing much else. The hours I used to spend searching and reading about Richard Armitage are spent on the state of the union.
But P.S. Not sure what this means, but over the weekend I watched season 5 of Cold Feet. It did nothing for me ( well, embarrassment by proxy), so maybe I’ll move on to Moving On. That one always cheers me up.
Thorin Oakenshield looks a little overdressed in his furs for the balmy weather on the shores of Lake Chapala, in San Juan Cosala, Mx,, on a day spent at one of our local thermal water spas. This offering celebrates fan love and some passion for Richard Armitage, since it took me few years to get my hands on a hard copy. That magazine was handed to me in NYC but none other than fan love promoter, Guylty Pleasure, and if you look carefully, you can also see that I finally fulfilled her “ask” that we display our RA badges in our home towns or some local point of interest.
And, who couldn’t use a little chocolate on V-day, especially Thornton chocolates? – another treat from Guylty P.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my friends in fandom,
I’ve been making notes on Berlin Station since Episode 1. I watched the first 4 episodes from different locations, so I have notes on all sorts of pads, loose sheets of paper, some front and back because the pads were almost empty, and in my laptop.
I also have unpublished drafts, which serve as notes.
And, I have managed to get a few posts up and generated some discussion in comments.
And, I’ve been commenting vigorously on a few other blogs where bloggers are writing about it – there aren’t many – but there is the Episode by Episode description with some only some editorial matter, posted weekly on Me and Richard. The comment section discusses fan theories and opinions. [Find these by searching on Me and Richard (link below)for Berlin Station Episodes and they will all be listed.]
But, while I haven’t ignored the series, I also haven’t written any coherent posts that encourage general discussions of the series and Richard Armitage’s performance and role as Daniel Miller.
I question why I’ve spent so much energy on following and analyze the series and all that goes with it as a Richard Armitage blogger – yet producing next to nothing for myself or those of you who read here. Am I afraid of writing about what I think about this? I think it’s pretty safe to criticize the show itself. There is so much wrong with it – but it’s not a total loser. I’m recommending that you read this latest post from Servetus on Me and Richard Armitage, if you haven’t already. I’m only a little sorry to bootstrap my own blog onto someone else’s (I’ve been doing it for years one way or another), but, although her reasons are a little different than mine – or anyway – she seems to have reasons, Servetus is also having some difficulty with Richard Armitage’s Daniel Miller -anyway, she’s not able, so far, to treat the character the same way she’s treated all his other major characters. You can decide for yourself, but I think she’s saying, there’s not enough there. Again, my own comparison is Gary Fuller (Into the Storm).
I’ve tried before to have similar or joint discussions on two blogs and it never worked really well. I’m certainly happy, even prefer, to discuss this here – what’s going on with the show and the role and, really, the waste of talent. IMO – it’s not so much Richard Armitage’s fault. It’s the series, the script and the character. It is the decision to take this role after seeing the script. But I’m also suggesting that my readers take a look at Me and Richard short title : Me and Berlin Station – Why I can’t get into the show much.
I can understand why she, and all of us have to get into the show a little – I mean, there are these and Servetus is the source:
There are probably 100 fabulous screen shots of Richard Armitage, if not more. Fans are enjoying some of the best eye candy and future iconic shots that we could want. For some of us, me, for sure, Daniel Miller is so on the mark of our favorite physical version of Richard Armitage. I can’t stop looking. But, there it is no coincidence that most of Servetus’s captions start with, beautiful shot of Daniel Miller [doing or thinking something]. The disappointment is that the beautiful shots are just about all the series has to offer us: not much to the character and not much range.
The title of this post, is from one of my unpublished drafts on Berlin Station, Perry’s Dark Secret and it starts of with the sentence,
Daniel Miller, please be dead.
OVER 1.5 MILLION HITS!
Nine days since my last post. Longer if you ignore the pieces of news and look for something actually composed. My fellow bloggers are making better efforts, but may seem to be experiencing some of the same. JHolland has, Servetus notes sometimes fans need a recharge, Kelly’s metioned the struggle and Guylty has commented on the quiet. There are other examples.
The lull in the fandom may be a cyclical event. In the past it was a let-down feeling after all the activity surrounding the release of a new movie in three past Decembers and Extended Editions in Novembers. This year maybe it’s related to the freneticism and side-issues attached to Urban and the Shed Crew – we saw and heard lots of live Richard Armitage, yet there was the frustration of so many of us who didn’t see his work.
Thank our stars (or our star) for Berlin Station, set in stone with a wide release. TV is fine by me.
No doubt, the holiday season is a factor in regular bloggers’ distractions, and others of us are in the middle of other things. For me, it’s more home improvements, impending travel and work on my synagogue’s annual Jewish Film Festival – procuring, viewing, culling, arguing over loads films with Jewish themes or creators with the goal of settling on a series to be shown 9 Sundays in a row.
I’ve tried more than a few times to get up a post, just to find myself staring at a screen, or playing with a title. Like others, I wondered whether my fan girling is on the wane, but I don’t think so. I wondered whether my interest in blogging was on the wane, but I don’t think so. I yearn for that certain satisfaction when I hit publish, and I miss chatting and speculating my commenters.
Lucas North is always a reliable recharge for me. John Porter often does the trick, and listening to Hamlet helps.
This time, I went in a different direction. It’s a known phenomenon that the need to know all things Armitage, prods fans into other areas of interest, whether one rediscovers Arthur Miller, learns about finding an indie film distributor, studies mens fashion, delves into the history of monasteries and various orders – whatever it is – we learn about, teach ourselves other stuff, rare brain diseases, included.
I’ve frequently conceded I was never a Tolkien fan. I had to force myself to watch AUJ when I first became an Armitage fan. I saved it to the very end of what I could find of Richard Armitage’s work. I was mostly bored the first time ( I hadn’t yet read The Hobbit, but that bored me, too). But Thorin Oakenshield. All that changed after The Popcorn Taxi Interview and as Peter Jackson drew me in with his blogs and extras.
It wasn’t long before I was fully engaged in the excitement of Desolation of Smaug and my big screen experience was unforgettable.
So, over time I have dabbled in a little Tolkien.
It took a year, and I finally watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but without the director’s extended edition and the extras, I knew I was getting half the story. I watched some documentaries on Tolkien and listened to some lectures.
But now, thanks to the Armitage connection, I am finally getting the whole story. I’ve begin listening to a wonderfully narrated, beautifully sung, unabridged audio book of the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy. And as I listen, I envision Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth. I’m in Bree right now, at The Prancing Pony. Frodo is about to meet Strider, but what I’m imagining is a rainy night and a short, wet, shrouded figure making his way into the tavern.
Meanwhile, the fandom is in an ellipsis, waiting to see what’s at the end of the third dot.
Oh wait, there’s that holiday message coming down the pike. Here’s last year’s.
Oops. Today is my second blogiversary. Too late to do anything about it now.