Armitage Ennui (hibeRnAtion?)

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.


This could be one of my Richard Armitage Recharges.

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.

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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.



Losing the Groove

Twelve days is the longest I’ve ever gone without posting on this blog since the day I started. It feels longer.

Nothing was/is wrong I just got out of the groove.

It started with the U.S. Open a few weeks ago which was in just the right time zone for me to be watching from 10 a.m. in the morning until late at night, some nights. I connected my laptop to the TV, and forgot how to be able to watch one screen on the TV and work on another computer screen at the same time. I used to know how – it has something to do with mirror settings, but I just couldn’t figure it out. So, for almost two weeks, there were times when, unless I dug out the old Dell, I was essentially without a computer for long periods of time.

Also during that time, I was finalizing plans to visit the states for a semi-business trip. It would have to be, because for no other reason would I go to this place.

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But at least I got there in time to watch the U.S. Open Men’s Finals from the comfort of a rather luxurious hotel room. And I got to see my favorite player, victorious over my second favorite player. It was a great match.

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, holds up the championship trophy after beating Roger Federer, of Switzerland, in the men's championship match of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, holds up the championship trophy after beating Roger Federer, of Switzerland, in the men’s championship match of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

I left the morning after a bar mitzvah in my synagogue and I returned just in time for the end of the Jewish high holidays, for which this year, I split my time between my own synagogue and “the other” Jewish group. ( They’re not actually a congregation because they have neither a regular place of worship, or more to the point, that have no Torah.)

The torah, the first five books of the hebrew bible, in a velvet cover on a cloth with a star of david motif.

This is a “dressed” Torah. The torah, the first five books of the hebrew bible, in a velvet cover on a cloth with a star of David motif.

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Open Torah, used in a service.

There was a split two years ago, before I arrived here in Mexico, and half the members of the congregation left and started their own group. The deeper involved I get in my own Synagogue, the more I understand why people left, and the more often I’ve been trying out the other group. In fact, before the bar mitzvah and last evening, erev Yom Kippur, I’ve managed to skip about two months of Shabbat and other services.

The schism seemed irreparable, but now, there’ve been some changes in my synagogue leadership ( not enough, if you ask me), and everyone is hoping that soon, the groups will be reunited. I don’t think so. Not yet. And I don’t think I’m going to very happy with my committee work until there is a further change in administrative leadership, but I’m hoping the new service leader will at least shake the services up a little.

So, for now, I’ll straddle the fence.

I’ve been following what’s happening in Armitageworld ( not much), but the hard truth is, I think I just got out of the habit of writing about this guy: c8926bed157e081a36c1b85790dbc536 (1)

Though, I’m still in the habit of thinking of him quite a bit.

Armitage Actuation and Its Consequences








Richard Armitage knows that when he speaks, his fans listen, and often, they react. This concept barreled into me about 18 months ago.

2013 Christmas Message

Seeing so many at the LA premier (sorry about the un fan-friendly red carpet) Berlin, London, Madrid is really the highlight of the year. I am very proud to have such a dedicated community of ‘well wishers’ (better word than fans…right)

In this portion of the message, Richard Armitage is both using the word fan (un-fan-friendly)) and referring to his own fan base as well-wishers, a term which he wants us to agree is better than the word fans, at least as applied to him. Possibly, he chose the word fan in the first context because he was referring to all those who showed up, most of whom might have been fans of others:  BC, PJ, Aidan Turner or just The Hobbit Films.  But clearly, as applied to him, he wanted us to know that he prefers well-wishers.

I don’t know for sure  that well-wishers was how he, himself would describe us, or did he want us to rename ourselves?  I’ve  never heard or read him using the term again,

Me, personally? I don’t want to refer to myself as a Richard Armitage well-wisher. It doesn’t quite capture how Perry sees herself in relation to him or what she does, nor does she want Richard Armitage telling her how to define her status. [FYI, there are definitions of well-wisher at the end.]

Others felt differently.  Within minutes of reading this message, many other fans on all platforms began referring to themselves as well-wishers, and still do to this day.

Immediate compliance by a wide segment of a group. That’s the power and influence Armitage’s words, opinion and preference holds over some fans.

And that’s why discourse, including criticism of his Cybersmile blog post, is essential, never mind picky.  The influence to action that his words motivate, especially those to the fandom, is humongous. When Richard Armitage writes to us about on line identities, that his personal preference is that he believes that we should show our faces and use our real names when we are on line, some fans, or wish-wishers are likely to immediate comply. In fact, some did.

The discourse has been vigorous and wide-spread. Did Richard Armitage give close consideration before publishing  his preference to use RL identities on line. Should he have been more specific? Is he sure it’s a good idea, at least the way he worded it? Should he have written those words at all?

A number of bloggers, AA included, wanted to evaluate what it meant to us that Richard Armitage made this statement as part of our watching Richard Armitage. But also, more widely,  many fan readers and writers think there is danger and/or impracticality in using RL identities, especially on some platforms, like Twitter. Almost everyone who spoke, criticized the notion that in every case RL identities are safe, practical and preferred. Of course, there was much discussion about whether this is what Richard Armitage meant or said – were we reading too much into it?

I concede, we also wanted to discuss much more than this narrow point, Cybersmile, for example,  but the on line identity issue seemed to garner the most disagreement with what Richard Armitage said.

Proof of this is the signal boost these posts have enjoyed, So many reblogs, guest-blogs, tweets with links, RT, Facebook links, all to show another viewpoint. Fans without blogs are forwarding posts they come across to bloggers they know, for publishing.  I see this as a grass roots, loosely concerted effort to encourage the discourse about all the issues, but most helpfully, to get the word out that using RL identities might not always be a good idea.

Our influence and power is far weaker than that of  Richard Armitage, but collectively, we reach a target audience – his fandom. Of course, we’re also part of the fandom. And he is watching – monitoring the pulse.

While it’s a complication that, after watching his target audience, he’s made some missteps in retracting, reposting, recanting, explaining, following, unfollowing – all of which have been noticed and discussed, still,  I venture to guess that he might be given a pass, even encouraged, to  make better use of his power and influence, and explain or qualify his statement.

His statement was very broad. Maybe it shouldn’t have been, but there is good reason to specify what he meant. Perry would like one, specific, tiny bit of more of Armitage Actuation.

Definitions of Well-wisher

Cambridge US Dictionary  a person who encourages or supports someone.

Oxford US A person who desires happiness or success for another, or who expresses such a desire.
MacMillan person who expresses their good wishes or sympathy, often to someone who they do not know
Only one definition used the word fan.
* **Merriam-Webster :one who wishes well to another : an admiring supporter or fan.
***MW definition of  fan 1) an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator;
an ardent admirer or enthusiast  (as of a celebrity or a pursuit).

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.

#BlogIntroChallenge Part 8 -Finishing Up


8. Which post was most difficult to write? Can’t answer because writing in the beginning as a novice blogger was more difficult than writing as an experienced blogger. So, “That Darn Tat” would be right up there. Right now, the most difficult post to write: actually 2, are ones not finished.

9. Which post do you regret writing? There were a number of posts in which the facts, the photos or the attribution, were mistakes. Recently, I posted what I thought was the first photo of Richard Armitage at the London premiere of BOTFA, and it turned out to be an older photo from another red carpet. I posted a photo (of a scene, not a person) taken by someone I know in RL who holds herself out as a photographer, and she was displeased. I thought it would be a nice thing to do for her. The image made it to Google with attribution. It was such a popular photo subject that I was able to replace it in 10 seconds, with a Google image – which by itself may be a comment on her creativity or lack thereof.

10. What do you find most difficult/challenging about blogging? Writing. And holding my tongue/self censorship.

11. Your favorite aspect of blogging Richard Armitage. Hitting “publish.”

12. How, if at all, has blogging changed your life? Not my style to answer this honestly and completely. Easy answer – I spend more time on the internet.

13. What have you learned from blogging? I may come back to this at some point. Again, an honest and complete answer would not be my style. Easy answer, a little bit about HTML, a little bit about photo editing, a lot about social media.

14. Your plans for your blogging future. To take more risks. To finish those draft posts. To be less lazy about blogging.

15. Any blogging role models? I’ve read several  definitions of  role model to make sure they comport with my own definition. The answer is that I have no blogging role models.

As Grati would say, ha! 

Here’s hoping the next post you see from me is the final version of one now in draft.