The best laid plans – well maybe my plans weren’t laid that well. As I mentioned, I set up a theater party for about a dozen friends to see the opening of Ocean’s 8 here in my small town today.
I ignored the fact that the start time was never listed on the website, although Las Estafadoras ( the Scammers) was listed in both local theaters as coming attractions. But, because the times and films here are often screwed up, I didn’t pay much attention and I thought I’d confirmed with the manager that the film was opening today. Well – I was wrong. No Ocean’s 8 Lakeside, Mx. today, or this week – or maybe not even in June.
I was so crushed, deflated, disgusted. I was close to tears. First I had to notify everyone the date was off ( while I was watching a tennis favorite, Juan Martin del Potro get his ass kicked in the semi finals of The French Open) and minister to Mulligan, my cat, who came home with a wound after losing another fight. Then I decided, I wasn’t giving up. No one wanted to drive to a theater that was showing the film in English, so, though the theater party is a whole lot smaller, a couple of friends and I ( and a hired driver) are going Sunday to a movie theater an hour away outside Guadalajara. (And I’m going to miss most of the Men’s final of the French Open to boot)
Two more days of staying away from fan reviews. Two more days of chomping at the bit, but I figured, if I could fly to NYC from Mexico for a two day trip to see Pilgrimage, I ought to be able to manage an hour’s trip to a mall.
As of this moment, I don’t think I’m going to listen to this, though I will probably buy it when I get my next credit from Audible. I just don’t do Holocaust lit anymore, but I think I’ll wait to read what some other fans have to say about it before I decide. Maybe the reviews and comments will convince me that it will not be as difficult for me as I think.
Unlike a few of the other recent audio gigs Richard Armitage has given us, I think this book, which is a current best-seller and well reviewed, is a great opportunity for him to reach a wider audience, and maybe another Audie nom.
Meanwhile, things have been more quiet than usual here because I was enjoying a vacation on the beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches of Mexico, where I had only my smart phone to keep me in the loop – and with iffy wi-fi to boot.
Fellow blogger, Herba, followed by Guylty Pleasure, set up a little exercise to find out what was posted on our blogs for this day, April 9, in history. This blog started in July 2013.
I checked my log and came across a post that I’d never seen before. On my own blog! It was guest-post , dated April 9, 2014, written by guest blogger, KatharineD, and here it is. She’s giving a heads- up on The Hobbit Lego Game. It’s quite charming, actually.
One might ask how it was that I didn’t know what was in a post on my own blog. The reason reminded me of something else I hadn’t thought of today: April 9 was the day that I moved from New York to Mexico. Yup, today is my 3 year anniversary as an ex-pat. While I was taking care of business and getting ready to move, Katharine was gracious and helpful enough to keep a watch on the blog for a few weeks. Nice surprise!
In 2015 on April 9, I posted a little news about the Olivier Awards here. The article suggested that the winner was too close to call. Another coincidence, and what I hadn’t realized, was that among the competitors in Richard Armitage’s category was Tim Piggot-Smith ( King Charles III by Mike Bartlett) , who, as we know, died this weekend, and who was in North and South with Richard Armitage.
Starting late yesterday afternoon, the Richard Armitage fandom was alight over tweets/deletes by Richard Armitage. Anecdotally speaking, with a few exceptions, his original tweets (#MuslimBan) were well received. Aside from agreement with his position, fans also honed in on confirmation of his U.S. immigration status, which we assumed, but did not know for sure – at least I didn’t: Permanent Resident Alien, ( who recently stated that he was ready to leave).
And then he deleted the tweet and the extraordinary happened. Some hard core anti-delete fans who had captured and published his tweet as a screenshot, deleted the screens shot. I deleted it. Why? Because whatever else I think about Armitage’s occasionally political messages and opinions, which he may later withdraw, and the impossibility of erasing them for good, this particular tweet included personal information that might have compromised him – admittedly, it’s a long shot – but who knows these days? There could have been other reasons why Armitage deleted a tweet which announced his immigration status and his feelings about it at that moment that have nothing to do with prudence over his future in these uncertain times. But I worried that it was because he thought better of drawing attention to himself, his status and his opinion. I won’t get into whether this furthered his desire for fearlessness.
Starting late yesterday afternoon, this fandom engaged in practices that it has many times – we were more or less live tweeting, blogging, commenting, on immediate fandom current events. Tweet/delete. But this time, there was a difference in that our fanning was a reaction both to insular fandom stuff – @RCArmitage Tweet/delete syndrome and a constitutional /humanitarian, legal crisis in the United States that reverberatied world-wide. That would be Donald Trunp’s #MuslimBan Executive Order.
I can think of only one other time when the real time events within the fandom so overlapped with world events It was another time when Richard Armitage commented on an immediate happening, and that was the Orlando shooting. That time, he tweet deleted two or three times, never quite getting it right. It caused a fandom sh-it storm.
Not so much this time. For one, Armitage’s comments on the Orlando massacre were his reaction to something horrible that happened – but it was over. We were all left to consider the implications, horror and senselessness of the act, to mourn, to protest – but it was over. We were left with an aftermath, including the aftermath of mulling over Richard Armitage’s motivations for his tweets and deletes; his affirmative actions and his final failure to act.
This time the “horrible something that happened” will continue to happen, is still happening, and will happen in other forms. Other, different rights will be under siege. Americans will be ashamed about some other action or inaction taken by the president or his designees. . It’ll all be part of the same problem.
And that’s how yesterday was different, even from the Orlando tweet/delete fiasco, which was when the fandom was communicating in real time about Richard Armitage in the context of immediate current events. That’s why our guy received less flack from the usual corners about his deletions. This time, it was sort of personal, and even those of us who have a very broad view of what is personal for an actor/tweep, I think felt, we ought to respect his position.
Starting late yesterday afternoon, I thought about the fandom and it’s reaction and I continued to think about it throughout the night and today.
Here is a scenario that would be far-fetched if there were normalcy: Some British actor ticks off Donald Trump with criticism. Donald Trump decides that too many acting jobs that could/should go to Americans are going to Brits instead. Selectively, he chooses a few such Brits and starts putting obstacles in their immigration path, i.e. problems with visa approvals, restricting the rights of green card holders, things like that. ( This was before I read that Homeland Security raised the ban on green card holders from the 7 #MuslimBan countries, but this is a different scenario anyway.) Trump,craftily decides not to go for very A-list – no Cumberbatch, Dench, Mirren or Hiddelston ( certainly not McKellen) but rather, he focuses on some B-listers with just enough notoriety and fame, but not too much. Among them – one British actor who criticized him, and if one looks further back, made fun of him, Richard Armitage. Denied a visa, or found in violation of his status or whatever.
Would that action get more or less press and buzz on social media than the coverage of Asghar Farhadi, the Academy Award nominated Muslim/Iranian director who can’t come to the Oscars this year on account of the Muslim Ban?.
I don’t know. Iranian, Asghar Farhadi + Oscar nod + #MuslimBan + Hollywood outrage – but unknown to virtually all Americans vs. Richard Armitage, Brit, not as unknown + maybe a little Hollywood outrage, but with an additional weapon or champion – the fandom that’s broken the internet time and again, or so we say. The Richard Armitage fandom. Some call it The Armitage Army,
It wouldn’t go away quietly.
Far fetched? Yes, I would think.
And then today, this also happened. I’ve mentioned that in my community here in Mexico, we have an annual Jewish Film Festival. I mentioned it here, but never posted this for some reason. I know I mentioned last year’s festival someplace, because I worked on the selection committee, but I can’t find the post. This year, I did some other work for the general committee.
Top of this year’s JewishFilm Festival Poster/BillBoard
Today was a showing of a film I’d seen before, but not for ages. Today we saw Judgment at Nuremberg.
Starting late yesterday afternoon, the ACLU and other groups ( let’s not forget the other groups, who also champion immigration and other civil rights ) got right to work – hitting the courts around the country in short order for immediate relief. Other lawyers converged on airports, sat on the floor, tweeted their activities and rushed to the aid of refugee and other immigrant detainees in airports across the country – and kept the world apprised with tweets and other social media means. Thousands of citizens made their way to airports and other venues to protest. Social media was on fire. World leaders spoke out.
And when the cases went to the courts, it looks like straight down the line, the judiciary involved made the right, the legal, the constitutional call. How their orders will hold up, whether there will be appeals ( it appears not, so far) and what other lawsuits might be brought to cover immigrants and travelers caught in limbo right now, remains to be seen.
I mention this because of Judgment at Nuremberg. The film is worth finding and seeing right now, today, tonight, tomorrow. The You Tube version below cuts off before the very end, so look for it elsewhere, though the end is not the relevant point here.
Judgment at Nuremberg is about the last war trials to take place in Germany after world War II. These defendants were four judges, one, a world wide particularly respected and renowned jurist and author dedicated to civil and constitutional rights and human freedoms. They were on trial for murder based on their sentencing of Jews and others, ordering sterilization, imprisonment, internment, all presumably under German law, sometimes, not exactly.
The film is incredibly acted, especially by Maximilian Schell, Spencer Tracy and Montgomery Clift, among a cast of other notables. It raises legal and moral questions with respect to these defendants that are still arguable today. What hit me today were the descriptions by witnesses about how Germany changed under the Third Reich – why Hitler was first embraced – in other words – what resonated with me today was everything to do with the beginning of the fascism, its blossoming, Hitler’s ultimate power, and how it was allowed to happen by reasonable, law abiding, even constitutional loving, intelligent people.
The testimony of a former judge who resigned rather than be part of the lunacy ( around 00:34:oo, but especially at about 00:43:00 hit home hard. After testifying as to the rise of Hitler, the changes in the judiciary, including his knowledge or belief of what the defendants were doing, and his decision to resign rather than participate, Judge Weick was cross-examined,
[Judge Weick admits he took the Civil Service Loyalty Oath of 1938, which pledged loyalty to Hitler, the Reich, the German people and his country, as well as its laws. Judge Weick took the oath at least a year before he resigned because “everybody did”]
The German Defense counsel, in response and enraged by the admission that Weick took the oath:
But you are such a perceptive man, you could see what was coming, you could see that National Socialism was leading Germany to disaster. It was clear to anyone “who had eyes and ears,”[quoting Weick’s earlier testimony] didn’t you realize what it would have meant if you and men like you would have refused to swear to the oath? It would have meant that Hitler could never have come to absolute power.
In other words, if the judiciary and others at higher levels had protested, resisted, it wouldn’t have happened.
As others have said, we have to pick and choose our causes, where we will aim our resistance, in the face of Donald Trump and his tight knit circle. We have to pick and choose what actions to resist when it comes to the federal legislature, which cannot be allowed to move forward with its ultra conservative agenda, unbridled.
I’m choosing the constitutional protections for freedom of the press, religion and association. I’m choosing the first amendment first, – I’m choosing TRUTH first – that’s my major – with a minor in the fifth amendment (Due Process) and electives in lots of other issues, including protection of fundamental rights and adherence to ethical standards. That takes a lot in. It leaves a lot out, for others.
That’s where I stand.
Below is the You Tube Version of Judgment of Nuremberg that cuts off after the sentences are issued ( you miss one good scene between Spencer Tracy, the American Chief Judge, and Burt Lancaster, the former German Chief Judge, the Defendant – but I think this scene is in the trailer.
Also below is a link to a more recent, miniseries version, which I’ve never seen.
Finally, there are many legal rights, legal services organizations if you want to donate – right now, here’s a link to the ACLU site. Here are some other legal organizations protecting immigrants, that can use some donations: International Refugee Assistance Project Urban Justice Center , National Immigration Law Center, and also consider organizations devoted to maintaining and protecting a free press and journalists. More names to come.
No secret that I long for New York pizza, which I miss so much here in Mexico. (Not long now!)
But last night, I went with friends to the best pizza to be found in my corner of Mexico – the place was a little dive with 4 tables, and then moved to a spiffy new location. It is one of the happiest looking restaurants I’ve been in.
The ceilings, both indoors and out are decorated with beautiful umbrellas hanging upside down, giving the place a carnival feeling. Many Mexican woman in town eschew hats for a simple and serviceable umbrella to shield them from the sun. I don’t, but all I have is an ugly dark green Knirps folding umbrella, good for sticking in your pocket, if necessary.
I just had to have one of these, and convinced Perry to sell me one, which he took down from the ceiling indoors. I don’t think his name is really Perry, but then, neither is mine. I selected the pretty pink and gray one on the lower right.
The pizza was OK, too – a good example of the Mexican style. Not very cheesy, but pretty good crust. I went for the Mexican – chorizo, onions and jalapeño.
Many Armitage fans have a penchant for learning as much as they can about topics that flow from following Richard Armitage. Whether it’s learning to make Gifs or photo edits, reading works and author bios we might not touch, studying acting techniques or ice cream flavors, studying distribution of independent films and men’s clothing trends – whatever. Fangirling can be more than just ogling a hunk.
I know I should be improving my Spanish, since I live in Mexico now.
Instead, I’m thinking of learning German because there are a fair number of only German speakers in the fandom, and I think I’m missing out. I do use Google translate, and I’ve even learned to figure out some of how it gets it so wrong when it translates into English ( thanks to hints from some German speaking friends.)What? capital letters in the middle of sentences – not proper nouns? I’m even beginning to believe that I can read some German ( a bissel Yiddish doesn’t hurt).