[OT] Flat Richie Update

•November 16, 2018 • 1 Comment

Guylty Pleasure

The registration for Flat!Richie is still open (until tomorrow, Friday), but I am back with a couple of updates/questions.

We are now at 23 participants (including me). That is fantastic, especially because this is turning into the international project I had envisaged: 3 continents and now 10 countries. Fan-tastic! But this raises a couple of questions that have already been discussed in the comments.

  1. Some participants have expressed concern that they are not able to receive parcels during the Christmas/holiday season and would rather like to start the project in January. Yesterday’s poll has shown the same result: The majority would like to start the project in the new year. I am happy to accommodate that, but here is my suggestion: With 22 destinations, the parcel chain is going to take a loooong time. Even if calculating postal times tightly, say at (unrealistic) 1 week per journey from participant to…

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OT: Brexit

•November 15, 2018 • 25 Comments

The May government again seems to be lurching toward catastrophe. Meanwhile, this mug made me laugh for a good half minute.

Richard Armitage acknowledges LAMDA

•November 15, 2018 • 2 Comments

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Third Berlin Station trailer

•November 15, 2018 • 6 Comments

Here, at FB (I assume in other places as well, if not, I’ll extract it tomorrow). Still not watching.

me + richard armitage: the state of the union

•November 15, 2018 • 11 Comments

[Prompted by Herba’s post this morning and to some extent by my frustration with Richard Armitage’s latest tweet yesterday.]

I’d been thinking about this and avoiding it all day. It helped that we had a blood draw, a neurology appointment, and a visit to a potential cognitive therapy program today, and also that — ambitious like I am — I planned a new lesson for my ancient civilizations class this week on the ancient history of Wisconsin and I’m learning the oral histories of the local First Nations bands. So there was good reason for avoidance, even before I get to the usual fan stuff. I’m no longer anxious about fangirling, either, so the days of asking myself every two weeks what the heck I am doing here, which lasted from about 2010 to 2012 or so, have faded into the background. Additionally, the last time I balanced books on my ambivalence about me Richard Armitage fangirl account in any detail, I became the object of a Twitter storm from a particular fan that sapped my energy for days — so it’s not something I all that eagerly anymore. The further into this I get, the less susceptible I am to “you’re doing it wrong” criticisms, but that doesn’t mean I can simply ignore them. But my issues with writing this blog aren’t the subject here, even if they might be connected.

I can certainly affirm many of the points that Herba makes — the latest projects haven’t interested me much; I am not that thrilled about audiobooks; and I don’t care that much about selfies (so I’m neither turned off nor on by them). I’m among the people who are a bit surprised by Armitage’s decision to appear at a convention, and while I certainly support his right to do as he pleases, I don’t think the decision is reflective of a sudden change of heart about either cons or contact with fans. (I thought Herba’s description of this aspect of his career as half-hearted was spot on, or perhaps I’d say ambivalent. I believe he is a person of good will and wants to please his fans when he can. I do not believe this sort of thing would be his choice in the best of all possible worlds.)

My fangirling under challenge from other fans, or at least not the way it was in 2013. If I used to think of myself as notorious, I tend to find now that the people who felt that way have either moved on or decided I’m not worth their energy any longer. I still find large parts of the fandom enervating (although I am sure large parts of the fandom would also say that about me) in ways that Herba describes: the unconscious pressure to love everything Armitage tweets or to sugarcoat everything is hard to take — not because I get as much opprobrium as I used to for divergences of opinion, but just because it’s hard for me to handle the smarm that I observe in a lot of comments.

When it bugs me, I remember that this is what Armitage has explicitly asked for and sometimes that makes it easier to read. The atmosphere certainly does have a censoring effect on me, for the reasons that Herba specifies and others that have to do with my own history in this fandom but also with my current (failing) energy level. Once I’ve finished managing dad’s emotions and my emotions on any given day, my students come next, and after them the various other people who take part in our lives, and so — speaking as an introvert here — dealing with anyone else’s is often just too much. It’s much easier to play endless games of Candy Crush Soda Saga in order to decompress, or to run to the late movie, than it is either to plumb my own reactions or contemplate dealing with those of others. I don’t lack things to blog about; I do often lack the energy. In the end, though, that’s all my responsibility. If I don’t blog, I only have myself to blame. I have no intention of stopping soon, and maybe a fifth of the reason is that it is a precious place to me, as the location where creativity has often occurred and writing has frequently started and I hope that those things will revive a bit when things get easier around here.

One might object that blogging and fangirling are related for me, but not necessarily the same thing. I could blog without the Armitage crush, even if I don’t necessarily want to. I agree that I can’t draw a one to one correspondence between my blogging and my fangirling, which is not under challenge either from my own missing feelings or from a lack of ideas of things to blog about. I admit that it plays a role that the phase of long-form blogging has ended (not just in the fandom but more generally in the blogosphere; there have been a lot of articles recently about how long-form journalism is dying.) Most of what I want to say at this point isn’t zero-entry; you need a certain experience both of fangirling and of Armitage to get into what I have to say. I don’t enjoy the role of mood spoiler, even if I sometimes can’t prevent myself from occupying it. Sometimes I’m silent because I figure I’ve said what I needed to say about something already; other times (yesterday) I can’t shut down my immediate reactions.

I think, though, in the end — with fangirling it comes down to this: my Armitage fantasies are as intensive now as they ever were, even if they are much simpler in content and my energy level for sustaining long narratives of any kind is low. At present I could not get through the day without being able to count on the reliability of being able to lie down and daydream about Armitage as I am falling asleep. The last ten days have been very stressful — dad’s erased time perception and non-existent short-term recall have made the ramp up to the opening of deer season on Saturday morning nearly intolerable for us both, as we have to renegotiate things that have long been decided a minimum of six times per day — and on at least four of them I’ve gone to bed early just to avoid further conversation by lying awake and dreaming about my crush — notwithstanding whatever nonsense Armitage spouts about cyberbullying or his questionable opinions about film. In a way, some of my worst fears about him have turned out to be true. But in another way, that’s entirely irrelevant. I remember exactly the point where I decided that I wasn’t going to let Armitage interfere with my crush on him: I was sitting in a borrowed apartment in Manhattan, writing about Berlin Station which I’d watched after seeing the last performance of Love, Love, Love, and he was sitting in the airport departure lounge and sent his weird 2016 Christmas message. Is that fair to Armitage the person? Maybe not — but I’ve never been in contact with Armitage the person (even if some fans have insisted to me that this stance verges on immoral). My crush, and this blog, have always been about the fantasy, which relies on his (varying) distance from me. And also, in the end: I know that if he were on stage again I’d move heaven and earth to get there and see him as often as I could afford to — even though it seems at the moment like I may never be able to leave a 75 mi radius again without dad in tow.

So the frustrations — I guess, I accept them. I’ve come to terms with some of them and will never come to terms with others (see my most recent blogiversary post for this perspective). It probably also plays a role that this is almost my only experience of crushing on a celebrity, and the media world has changed since the earlier ones. It was more or less accidental that I crushed on Armitage in the first place. I don’t watch a lot of TV (I had to laugh because Netflix is worried that I haven’t watched anything at all since I resubscribed, good resolutions to watch Castlevania 2 within the free month notwithstanding — I might get there this weekend while dad is hunting). I like film but I don’t see much of it that I really like; I don’t live in a theatre market with any indie options anymore; and I don’t especially enjoy small screen watching, so I don’t tend to watch film on a computer or dad’s big screen TV at home. So I am not often in places where I’m likely to meet a new celebrity crush, let alone be struck by one. And then there’s the weird Servetus family loyalty thing; we don’t give up on people easily; and maybe the fact that I am quite accustomed to strong tensions even in very solid relationships. It is not a problem for me to love someone but not love all of their choices in my own life; I live with someone who’s made many choices that have troubled my life; how much easier is this in a crush? I can be angry at things that Armitage has said, but only once (in the 2015 Cybersmile phase) has that led to an end to fantasy, and that recovered after a time.

My fantasies keep me alive as a fangirl, and also in the hope that it won’t be forever before I can blog as much as I want to again, and also in the hope that Armitage has some interesting roles coming up of which we (or even he) are as yet unaware. Herba said her fangirl is more optimistic than she herself is, and that is probably true for me. I live in hope. And in the fantasies I still have every evening, and which I cultivate. I used to write about those a lot (I stopped out of fatigue, for reasons that will be clear for those who were fans in the spring of 2014), but maybe it’s time to try to blog them again.

OK. Tomorrow I have to get dad packed for hunting, drive to the dump and get rid of some trash, go to the bank, then take dad to the farm, go teach my class, and come home. In the evening I will either eat at a restaurant dad would never go to, or go to see a Broadway musical at the cinema, and buy a six pack of expensive beer and drink it a bottle or two at home and put the empties in the bin with a twinge of guilt or worry.

I loved this

•November 14, 2018 • 7 Comments

At Herba Minor, commentary on the status of her fangirling. I found myself nodding a lot, so much so that I put an English translation in the comments that I hope won’t bug her. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to respond later (lots of doctor’s appointments today).

Richard Armitage is lovely anyway

•November 14, 2018 • 5 Comments

Stolen from Julia.

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