Random: Weekend before U.S. Thanksgiving edition (and obsession update, kind of)

  • Good luck to Mr. Armitage and everyone else (many of our North & South favorites including Tim Pigott-Smith, Lesley Manville, and Rupert Evans!) performing in the Old Vic Gala benefit this weekend. May you raise lots of money and enjoy your intensive experience. Congratulations to all the lucky ticketholders who’ll get to see it, as well. We hope all the performers and spectators have a great time, and look forward to hearing all about it!
  • Following up on his letter of condolence to the family of the late Betty Pattison, as Richard Armitage Online reports, Mr. Armitage recorded a brief message and reading for the memorial service held this week. I can only reiterate my previous comments. You consistently behave like a true professional and a mensch, Mr. Armitage. You may not like the word “fan,” but you nonetheless make me proud to be one of yours. Another thing I owe to Ms. Betty Pattison.
  • Speaking of people who do good things to make the world a better place, it’s time for another thank-you and shout out to the people who aggregate the Richard Armitage news for us, especially Richard Armitage Online, Richard Armitage Central, and Richard Armitage Net. I suspect that none of you ladies are any less busy than me, and yet you manage to keep your sites tidy and up-to-date with all the things the devoted fan wants to know. Without y’all, I’d have little or nothing to write. You have my heartfelt gratitude and that of thousands of other fans as well.
  • Article profiled today on RAC on facebook (“The Smart Girl’s Guide to the Sexiest Men Alive“) mentions Mr. Armitage as the prospective “it” British actor and someone Americans will be coming to know soon. I do hope broader segments of the American public become familiar with Mr. Armitage’s work, but part of why I’m so drawn to him is that he seems very emphatically not about being “it.” He wants to give his best performance, not to be the flavor of the month. So bring on the fame, bloggers of the world, but let’s keep in mind that the goal for him is not that we make make him “super famous,” but that his work brings him the potential to take on ever greater artistic challenges.
  • For readers who’ve laughed at our various attempts here to make sense of our and Mr. Armitage’s diverse English and American accents, an amusing video segment in which the Harry Potter leads attempt to sound American. The real surprise here is that the most convincing attempt is made by the actor who plays Draco Malfoy. I feel compelled to note as an American, however, that I have never said the word “booyah” myself, nor have I heard anyone say it in my presence. In fact I am not sure what it means.
  • The Armitage blogosphere is just chock full of so much good stuff. In case anyone does not read RA Fridays at Fly High! this is a good time to start. Maria Grazia’s posts are consistently both sincere and thoughtful. This week a guest blogger talks about Armitage and her professional pursuit of Robin Hood scholarship.
  • I’m still wrestling with the end of Spooks 9, and I’m not the only one. Frenz is ranting and ranting and may yet rant some more. I’m not ready for a series post-mortem yet (my thoughts are still disorganized, and my students are job one until December 4th), but I loved that Phylly3 put a segment from the Dallas dream season in her discussion of 9.7. This is quite obviously what we’re all thinking, no?
  • Nat was disappointed, too, though she expresses it in her customarily charming way. It’s been fun to read what her guest bloggers have been writing over there since she began her “maternity leave” as well. This post about Richard Armitage and the spectator’s savior complex is really on point, I think.
  • CDoart is writing up a storm on the question of her issues with Spooks 9, and her reasons for watching Armitage more generally. She’s a little shy because of writing outside of her native language (unnecessarily!), but these are great posts — really, kudos should hire her as a script tester. Mr. Armitage has inspired so many people to write, vid, draw, think, ponder. This is another great example.
  • Please give mulubinba some love. If you don’t already know why you should, you’ll see the reason once you click over there. Her writing’s always been really powerful, and honest, and I’ve always been impressed by the depth and straightforwardness with which she takes on difficult stuff within the fandom, especially problematic moments in the attitudes of fans. Now she turns to her family’s struggles and how Mr. Armitage’s work has supported her at bad moments. This is a model for me as I try to figure out how to explain my own Armitagemania to myself and those of you who continue to be such supportive readers.
  • From bccmee via Skully, for those who need a laugh. Or more than one.
  • My regular obsession update feature has languished, partially because the last one inadvertently provoked such an odd conversation that it made me feel uncomfortable to expose myself in that way. I don’t guard my pseudonymity here with very much energy because it’s hard for me to see any more why I should. (In the interest of full disclosure: I was a pseudonymous academic blogger for about two and a half years, and I did guard the facade of that identity scrupulously because I felt like exposure had the potential to damage my professional reputation. It took a lot of energy and I didn’t like doing it, and I finally got so much exposure on a particular day through linking to a major academic outlet that I felt compelled to stop that writing. The blog disappeared basically without a trace overnight.) Frankly, until that post, I had basically felt like my Armitagemania was disturbing primarily to me; that is, I didn’t see how anyone could see it as harmful to anyone beyond me, and I thought it might be instructive, amusing, or helpful to others to read about it. That post made me see how someone could understand what I was doing as not only harmful to me but harmful to others as well, and it made me shrink back a little from the actual accounting of what I was doing with my Armitage time and how Armitage was helping me get through the day a lot of the time. I didn’t think that my Armitagemania was harmful to others — just saw suddenly how others could see it that way. A bit of discretion seemed called for. I’m rethinking that now.
  • The other issue was that the airing of Spooks 9 was taking up all of my free time — after 9.2 it grew to a 9 to 12 hour activity that had to be performed on Monday nights into the work day on Tuesday. It meant that Tuesday night was a wash as I had basically to catch up on sleep from Monday. The comments were so interesting I didn’t have time to watch more or write more, either. Anyway, I did some Armitage watching in that time, but no significant rewatches. I did see all of Spooks 7 and 8 again in that span, and I think all of North & South at least once, and part of Sparkhouse, but most other Armitage time was spent reading fic and watching videos. I still haven’t seen the last episode of Ultimate Force, for example, which is what I was doing just before Spooks 9 started airing. I have seen a lot more back episodes of Spooks; just got finished with 4.4. Oh, and I started watching Life on Mars, part of the back story to Ashes to Ashes, watching which was just really about understanding Armitage’s statements about how Keely Hawes looks like girls did when he was discovering them. Eventually I’ll get there. As a historian I like to experience things chronologically (grin).
  • One good thing that the Spooks 9 blogging did for me was get me to start using the iMovie software on my computer. I am hoping this will pay off big time shortly, during the winter solstice vacation.
  • Sloth Fiction 7 just posted. GLEEE! I’m goin’ over there right now to see how the chaRActers salvage the disaster. In other words, Angie’s finally publishing her own indubitably inimitable rant on Spooks 9. I can hardly wait!! After a vile week, Angie always knows how to daub salve on my wounds.
  • And today, for the very first time, I said to someone, without swearing him to secrecy, that I am not currently applying for academic jobs that start in Fall 2011. This is sort of the equivalent in my field of Armitage’s acting and the script that underlay it during the interrogation scene in Spooks 9.7 — it’s like jettisoning and igniting everything I used to make up the academic Dr. Servetus, claiming it wasn’t true, and setting up obstacles to the resumption of an identity that hasn’t been me for some time. It stung a little. And it felt good. I hope I can keep this promise to myself, even if I am unsure about what lies ahead. I may need to take temporary work next year as an adjunct professor since this is the only job I ever trained for, but just saying that I’m not applying right now on the tenure track was so liberating.

More soon, readers. I owe you a little something positive after the other night. I’m so grateful to you all, really, more than you may completely realize — that you keep reading this stuff and pop in to say nice things.

~ by Servetus on November 20, 2010.

18 Responses to “Random: Weekend before U.S. Thanksgiving edition (and obsession update, kind of)”

  1. *grin* Ah, I hope I won’t disappoint with my latest efforts. But yes, indeed, I am striking back at Spooks 9 (and some of 8, and a bit of RH, too–well, it is over 8,000 words . . .)

    I do feel a sense of accomplishment. John Porter is heaving a sigh. “Can we get back to my wedding and honeymoon–NOW, please??”

    Hooray for you for taking that step. *hugs*

    And I already knew he was THE sexiest man alive, anyway, but glad to see him appearing on American sites more and more, even if they do pull up old pics from the Cold Feet days (come on, lady, there are gorgeous recent pics, too!) and want to make him “super famous.” I just want him to receive the recognition and appreciation he is due for his amazing talent.

    And that eulogy he read for Betty Pattinson–it only renewed my belief this is one grounded, gracious, lovely human being inside and out. Made of goodness, that one.


    • Well, I do want to know what happens on John Porter and Layla Thompson’s honeymoon. Is she taking his name?

      On the eulogy (and his dedication in the program at the Old Vic Gala): yes. I’m so grateful that there are still people like this.


      • I’m wondering if Layla might adopt a double-barreled last name? Since her brother has died and she had no male Thompson cousins to carry on the name . . . more for her brother’s sake than for her father’s, of course. She and Myles were very close. And she does so very much love her brave soldier. And they will have a very lovely honeymoon . . . with some surprises, methinks.

        I have to get back to that epilogue now that my long SF entry is done and my alternate ending also written. ( ; Spooks 9 and my work schedule really knocked me sideways for a while.

        In a world with celebs like Kanye West, who is undoubtedly talented but also a supreme wanker IMHO, someone with the grace and humility and generosity, along with the amazing talent, of Richard Armitage, is most refreshing indeed. The world needs more people like him.


  2. Servetus, my love, I enjoyed catching up on what’s happening in your own personal blog. You’ve always been so generous in your mentioning of other bloggers and extending thanks to the excellent web-sites that provide a wonderful service for us devotees. I love you for that.

    I confess to being a little puzzled as to how your blog can be harmful to yourself and any others. There’s so much out there in cyberspace, that my thought has always been that if it’s not your cup of tea, leave it be! Your blog is the one I always make time for in an otherwise maddening RL because it’s here that I find a combination of food for thought, amusement and phwoar from you and your posters, whilst the focus still remains that lovely actor! It’s inevitable that such a treasure would be discovered by the wider world and it will be fascinating following him in the future!


    • Thanks MillyMe, for your support and continuing work as the John Porter Chair.

      A commentator was concerned that if I listened to Armitage while grading I would not grade as correctly as I would if I did it in total silence. It was just a weird comment that made me feel a bit, well, weirded out.

      I don’t think it hurts anyone. Well, potentially Richard Armitage could be seen as a victim, I suppose.


      • I was weirded out too, reading those comments. I mean, if it works for you to have an audiobook on in the background, then carry on, for goodness sake. It’s none of parents’ or students’ business what you do while grading, AS LONG AS the grading is fair and they have no reason to complain. Which they don’t, as you pointed out. And if you found you WERE distracted by it, I’m sure you’d change strategy anyway!

        When I was in senior high, I took to listening to music during math lessons (when we were working on our own, not when the teacher had something to say, obviously). Not instrumental music either. I found it helped me focus on the work in front of me. When I didn’t have music, I got too distracted by my classmates and ended up chatting and stuff instead of actually working (as you can guess, maths was never my favourite subject). And when the teacher questioned me about it, as he thought it made me work less, when I said music helps me focus, he said it was fine, I could carry on. It was using headphones adn it wasn’t on loud or anything, so it wasn’t a disruption to my classmates either.

        Would s/he have complained if you said you were listening to Bach or Iron Maiden? Bah. I mean, whatever works. What works for you might not work for the other person, or the other way around. We’re all different. Nowt wrong with that. And if you were just half as good a professor as you are a blogger, you’d still be awesome! So there!


        • Thanks for the compliment, definitely needed to hear that.

          I think that we all have behaviors we consider impossible — I have colleagues who do things with / to their students that enrage me. I was just surprised that something that seemed relatively innocent to me was suddenly such a bone of contention.


  3. Thank you very much for your praise and the boost you gave my little blog! I hope I will be able to live up to your expectations.
    Thank you also for this wonderful list. I printed it out to go through it again, because I am sure I left out some of the interesting links the first time I went through it.
    I do not know what your plans for the future are, but should you ever be in need of a publishing company, please get in contact with me.


  4. Oh, don’t be so silly, servetus! Stop apologising for what you write! Just keep sharing, please. Even if you are not applying for academic jobs for the next life phase, you have the gift of engaging whether it is with teaching, or whether it is writing. Communication is your forte.

    Whatever your future direction, communication, observation and analysis are powerful. You have it all. I’m not sure that one has to throw out baby witth bathwater (to cliche). Whatever you have been/”presented” in the academic life, has also informed you, do you think? All experience is just a part of who we are. We wear masks as we proceed, but those masks are not necessarily not a segment of what we are, or for what we wish to be. Just speculating… despite venearable years, haven’t reached wisdom – never will. But the progress is sort of good, in its way. Yeah, right. 🙂

    Oh, the best for this U.S. Thanksgiving next weekend. The cooking, the kitchen, (funny, I’m the last person to be a kitchen diva – but…) the scents of turkey? and please, sweet potato?



    • Hey fitzg. You’re right, I need to stop apologizing. Part of the problem is that my Armitagemania is a result of conflict I’m feeling, and so when one impulse or another wins out I end up writing about that — but don’t want to seem like I’m begging for sympathy. I’m struggling right now but my situation is no worse than and probably better than those of a lot of other people in the world. I write because I have to get this stuff out somewhere; but I don’t want to seem like a whiner or people to feel like they have to comfort me.

      It’s absolutely true that we never lose what we learned along the way, even if we abandon a particular goal. Need not to forget that.


  5. Thanks for the vid of ‘american accent’ it was very funny, ‘Draco’ did the best job. Was amusing how Emma thought twice about her pronuciation of ‘order’ 😛

    Also read FlyHigh’s RA Friday, it is a very interesting blog, I’d love to know more things of the guest blogger’s paper about RA’s Guy. ‘erotism’ describes it well 😉

    I hope you keep sharing with us your thoughts because we really look forward to read them, of course as long as it is comfortable for you.

    OML 🙂


  6. Servetus, venturing from the woodwork again to say that each time I check on your truly enjoyable blog, I wonder about your dad . . . that comment you made about him losing interest in food . .. and I just wanted to say I hope that all is going better with him and that you are not swamped with worries. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve worried about him and you ever since that comment and I reallly hope that things are as good as they possibly can be with your dad, whatever the situation is. It’s so hard and painful when one’s parents get older and aren’t well, so very difficult and painful when one can’t fix it for them and make whatever’s wrong, right. Just wanted to say I hope he’s doing better. And a really Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Hope you have a very wonderful and well-earned break and thanks so much for sharing your blog with us all – it’s so very enjoyable.


    • Violissima — thanks for this really kind note. It’s been a bad year for both parents and they are still struggling. I try not to let it creep through here too much — everyone with elderly parents goes through this — but sometimes I don’t know what to do.

      And thanks for the kind words on the blog — it really is an important distraction.


      • Servetus I am so sorry to hear that both your parents are having a hard time, so very sorry. I was really hoping that this was not the case, although I did have that impression for some reason. Not knowing what to do is very stressful and can be really frightening sometimes . . . feeling that responsibility and wanting to do the best thing but just not knowing what that is.(Last year both my parents died 3 months apart after hideous illnesses and decisions so I empathize with you sincerely and so wish you weren’t going through this.) No matter that everyone eventually experiences it . . that doesn’t make it one whit easier or more bearable or less isolating when it happens to you. (Can I be bossy and say that one thing I learned is that while it’s difficult, it’s ok to ask for help, whatever form that help takes; some things you simply cannot do all on your own and I was astonished and grateful to find that resources do exist.) It’s so wonderful that you have created this amazing blog to keep you connected to lighter, hopeful, lovely things — and which coincidentally lifts the spirits of strangers who also enjoy being reminded of the beautiful and even fun things in life. I’m a bit self-conscious about finding it so relieving but what the heck, right? 🙂 Long live the beautiful distractions — and muses like RA — which keep us sane! And of course best wishes always for you and your parents.


        • Violissima, I’m sorry to hear about your parents — and hope that the time is bringing you relief and some good memories. I’m so glad you enjoy the blog — thinking about uplifting people with Mr. Armitage is truly uplifting for me!


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