You spin me right round, baby

[This is another one of those posts where it’s probably wise to start off by saying that I speak only about myself and for myself in this post. Ymmv, and I’m not judging you if you feel differently about either yourself, Richard Armitage, or me.]

[This post delayed significantly, twice, by Pesky Colleague.]

If I like teaching so much, why I am so goshdarned relieved on Thursday night when I know it’s all over until Tuesday morning?

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. The point is I now have four mostly free days and it’s time to make hay while the sun is shining, which it is practically always doing here. I’ve had my breakfast and downed a triple espresso and the thoughts are burning to get out.

That many-faceted face: Richard Armitage as Philip Durrant in Miss Marple: Ordeal by Innocence. Source:

Judi posted this week the first in a series about being a fan. I’ve been wanting her to write about this ever since she started blogging, so I am excited, both about the information and perspective she has to relay and the straightforward, open tone she’s taking. A really important moment in that post refers to her recognition, upon meeting the object of her interest in an early fandom, that he was using humor to express veiled contempt toward some of his more extreme fans, and how that killed the experience for her. (Though this is not the topic of this post, in case the tangent comes up: I’m not criticizing Mr. Armitage’s behavior toward his fans or predicting that he’ll ever behave badly toward us.) In responding to this moment in judiang’s post, jazzbaby1 discussed her feelings about the question of expressing admiration or approval for the object of the fandom, and raised the question of how it could be done meaningfully — so that the person is aware of the reaction his work causes — without creating the potential for being mocked. A vent for the feeling of admiration that enhances the emotions around the experience but doesn’t carry with it the potential to destroy the feeling of admiration that created it in the first place.

Jazz makes the for me incredibly productive comment that it’s easier for fans of musicians to know what to do. In their experience of fandom, they can fuse together in a crowd and sing along with the performer. And this actionΒ  simultaneously has the potential to affect the performer, who can’t help but notice the crowds of people blissing out to his performance, and to allow the fans to have the experiences they seek. I’m particularly intrigued by this comment, akin as it is in what it describes to what William James said about the “oceanic feeling” as a component of religious experiences. During such experiences we loosen or lose the boundaries of self. And the resultant peak or flow experience has the potential to be shared between performer and audience. What her comment suggested to me is that the potential for such an experience is a reason that, despite my convoluted reservations, the theatrical fantasy exercises such amazing force in my life: Richard Armitage has talked about the potential flow experiences in stage acting, I’d have the potential to be present in that and not just witnessing it behind a screen that separates me from an event that took place months or years ago. And it would be legitimate as long as I stayed in the audience, as long as I submerged my identity in that of a faceless crowd in a darkened room.

“Ever since the watermelon?” Whatever that means. A Servetus favorite from Paul Simon’s Graceland (1986).

Reading each of these posts clarified something for me:

There’s something that separates me from what each of them is talking about. Judi talks about fandom for camaraderie — which is great, and the camaraderie of this fandom has been a totally unanticipated benefit, but I didn’t start fangrrling to get it. If Armitagemania ends, I’ll do my best to hang on to friends I’ve made here but not possibly not replace the community per se (you wouldn’t believe how introverted I am in real life; how I often long to be alone). In response, Jazz discusses the desire to express affection we have come to feel for someone of whom we think highly but do not actually know, and asks if there can be an appropriate way to do that. Judi’s answer in the comments says essentially that she sees following the person’s career and buying DVDs of his work as sufficient and she doesn’t feel any further need to express approval or appreciation to the fan object beyond that. Then Jazz says that as a natural encourager, she wants to encourage, but doesn’t know exactly where that should go.

What Judi describes about her initial fandom I feel, I suppose, about certain authors or musicians. I’ll always buy every album Paul Simon puts out, for instance; after I had my own income, I always bought every book Robert Parker published in hardcover. But I’d never have written them about their work, although Graceland and Early Autumn were hugely influential for me. I couldn’t have finished tenth grade without Early Autumn — it was like a sudden road map to an adult life, recommended by a perceptive English teacher who got a sudden, unwilling glimpse into what was happening in my family during a particularly bad year, and I’ve read it at least four dozen times. And I wouldn’t have been able to start writing my dissertation without Graceland, which I estimate I’ve listened to several hundred times from beginning to end.

But I’ve never had the feeling that I had anything to say to either Simon or Parker. My attention to them has quite simply been much less intense. Parker’s work was a useful guide, and even though I view it very differently now than I did when I was sixteen, it still has that quality. But it lends me insight more than emotion or dissolution of boundaries or loss of self. Graceland is beautiful and also appeals to me intellectually and spiritually (“angels in the architecture / spinning in infinity”), but it is more of a door to a flow experience than anything else. When I listened to it while writing my dissertation, it occupied some level of my mind that needed to be distracted before I could free myself enough to do a sort of writing that I found difficult, but in itself it did not give me flow — it only opened the door to it. Neither of these works in themselves give me a Jamesian oceanic experience. Their stuff teaches me, and moves me, but it doesn’t cause the constant, repeated loss of self and related release of feelings of such amazing well-being as does watching Armitage.

A line from Strike Back 1.3 that seems metaphorically relevant.

Now, I also support his work in the way Judi mentions. I have purchased everything I can get my hands on, and writing about his stuff is also a method of support. I wish I could pay royalties on every viewing of North & South; since I can’t send him money, I displace some of that energy by making occasional donations to charities he supports. But in light of the flow I feel in response what he does, I often do feel the need to say more to him directly than I could through such means.

I also sympathize with Jazz’s statement about encouragement — that’s my relentless MO as a teacher — but it’s also not what I feel in this case (although I suppose I could — if I read an interview in which Mr. Armitage was represented as expressing discouragement, I could see myself writing to him to cheer him on, but I’m not about to send him notes on his acting). I’m not Richard Armitage’s teacher. Am I his student? Maybe. I certainly have learned things from him. I wrestle with this issue a bit because I’m not entirely clear on the distinction between Richard Armitage as channel for a flow experience that I have elsewhere, and experiencing his work as a flow experience in itself. Maybe he’s both. But in sum, fangrrling Richard Armitage — Armitagemania — is broader, grander for me than what I feel for artists whose work I appreciate or support. Watching Armitage has facilitated flow in other areas of my life, especially the revival of my writing, which seems like a direct outlet for a fantasy life that he and his work have lit on fire. But watching him is not only, or even primarily, a means to an end — it is an end in itself. Something this blog demonstrates in ample detail. I hate to admit it, but I fear that the fan I most resemble in Judi’s post is probably “Daria” (NB: not to be confused with GiztheGunslinger), and this blog just might be my lavish, unaffordable, egoistic, unsolicited gift to Richard Armitage.

At the same time, it’s also my lavish, unaffordable, egoistic, but very much necessary gift to myself, a kind of writing that has no purpose other than to indulge my desires. It’s not writing for anything or anyone except me; it doesn’t have to pay off or conform or serve any purpose but my pleasure and that’s what makes it worthwhile. Since what I feel is different (I’m not going to say “more profound,” because I don’t want to lend something that looks and feels like craziness from both outside and in any unnecessary legitimacy), the intensity of it is why I’ve put such a big, mostly arbitrary wall around it for myself (for instance, incessant blogging okay as long as fenced in by the “no letters to Richard Armitage” rule). I don’t think I would be writing this blog if it were just to give him positive reviews of his performances (though he has gotten those here, as well). I’m a fan of Richard Armitage because fangrrling him makes me feel good — leaving the quality of his work aside; I concede the general point that while he may be a great actor, he may not be as great as I think he is — and so the need to show appreciation comes, I think, because appreciating Armitage makes me feel great and it’s inconceivable to me that letting him know about it wouldn’t leave me feeling even greater. If it could happen in any way that I could conceive of in my fantasy, it would be a way to enhance the oceanic feeling even further.

“The Night I Fell in Love,” from the Pet Shop Boys’ album, Release (2002), a song about an imaginary fan / artist encounter. Here’s the story behind the song.

In my rational moments, however, about 94% of the time, I conclude that Richard Armitage already knows how much he has moved the hearts of millions with his work (most of whom will never contact him) because fans ahead of me in line have told him, and because he gets more and more work. In sum, it is really only rational to conclude that Richard Armitage does not want or need anything from me in that regard: that he is a big data point in my universe, one that makes my day, every day, and I am a tiny, tiny, tiny, vanishingly small one in his. My voice is not significantly different from anyone else’s. And the very rationality of that conclusion — in the face of this sentiment that seems to me worlds apart from other affinities I experience — drives me a little crazy, I guess. How can this grand passion not be as significant to him as it is to me? The camaraderie, the potential to squee in groups, helps a little in that it gives glimpses of the oceanic feeling. But in the end, for me the fangrrling experience seems to about something to do with laving a spongy ego that, after years of deprivation, will demand all the sensory input it can get. A self that just wants to feel, feel, feel — and whether watching Richard Armitage is the doorway to that feeling, or whether Armitage is the feeling itself, doesn’t matter, because I won’t put any obstacle in the way of that.

So I think I’m in another category than Judi and Jazz, and I think that’s part of what tortures me — because no matter how good Armitage’s work is, and I think it’s very good, and would think that even if I weren’t infatuated, and I have written about it, and will continue to write more about it — the explosive energy in my fangrrrling is does not spring from a critical response, or from the impulse to inform him how great he is, or to encourage him. He doesn’t need that, and it’s not where my energy as a writer comes from. The writing is not the cause, it’s the response to something deeper and more visceral. It’s about how seeing him and his work makes me feel, it’s about flow not as a tool to create, but as an end in itself that inevitably generates certain consequences (the good fruit that proceeds necessarily from the good tree, to use a biblical metaphor wildly out of context). The lack of an outlet for certain feelings probably intensifies their potency — the oceanic feeling, the loss of self, is confined to a single person, and there’s no one else to share it with. Thus my image of Richard Armitage and I are trapped in my same, rather mortally bounded, brain, stroking my ego at every opportunity and chasing each other around in frustrated circles to make me feel good, as fantasy follows fantasy unabated and the writing, for good or ill, floods from my fingers.

This all, were it more broadly known, might not make me worthy of mockery; it would make me worthy of being adjudged human. But talking about it falls beyond the pale because in the end, oceanic feelings are dangerous outside of the religious and social contexts designated for their expression. The bounding of the self is necessary for society to work in the rational ways that it does, for me to realize that I have nothing to do with Richard Armitage, to create respect between persons. The loosening of the boundaries of the self in a situation where the other participant is more than just an idea or an image threatens the very basis for the fantasy as it endangers the creative act of the object that gives the fantasy life. The resulting control of the fantasy (or the attempt to control it in the face of challenges to self) generates the boundaries of self that intensify the experience of the fantasy, that make it particularly visceral, forbidden, joyful, transgressive. The fantasy threatens to loosen the boundaries of the self. The self makes the fantasy more intense.

And Servetus, so very eager to be free of her past identity, spins, more or less ecstastically, in circles.

For some reason I was thinking recently about this now absolute classic post about how becoming a fan of Richard Armitage can affect one. Just as good now as when it was originally written. This is how it looks from the outside, and somehow the crazy 1980s aesthetic makes it look even weirder now:

But this is how it feels on the inside:

Thanks to Judi and Jazz; I’m finding this discussion extraordinarily productive. I know this got wildly abstract at the end, but I’m fascinated again.

~ by Servetus on October 23, 2011.

52 Responses to “You spin me right round, baby”

  1. Ah, whirling dervishes. What my husband has named me because of my Restless Leg Syndrome. πŸ˜‰

    I know what you mean about creative people you really admire or enjoy and yet you just don’t feel about them the way you do RA.

    As a young teen, I loved Joni Mitchell and listened to some of her albums over and over again. But I never ever entertained any thoughts of writing to her. I adore Dame Helen Mirren. Never have I gone and looked up info about her online.

    I have always been an artsy-fartsy creative type. There are actors and singers whom I admire and appreciate but no one, until RA came along via RH, made such an impact on me. I have just about everthing he has done on DVD. I write fanfic and make slideshow vids featuring RA and his characters.

    Haven’t done or wanted to do that with any other actor. It’s not just the talent, or the good looks, or the charisma, the professionalism or the sweet good-naturedness–it’s everything, somehow.

    It is that he’s different, or am I walking to the beat of a different drummer?
    Am I having a mid-life crisis? If so, it is a crisis I do not want to end.

    Also, I doubt I would ever envision all the characters hanging around my house and eating my junk food with any other performer , , , eccentric as I may be.


    • I think it’s a combination. I think there’s something about him, but i also think there’s something about the places we are in life right now — explains also a little while the fandom is (mostly) so friendly. We’re coming from similar places.


  2. I think you wrote more words ABOUT my post than I wrote IN my post. Oh, and you said it smarter, too. Gonna have to have a think about this one.


    • Well, as I said a long time ago, close examination is the love language of Servetus, and if I argue with you, it’s because i think you can take it.


  3. Have you been reading my mind? You express exactly how I feel about my own Armitagemania! You probably feel it a little more profoundly (and are more concerned about it) than I do because you haven’t fangurled before this, whereas I’ve been fangurling since I was very little. Do you know who Carrie Fisher is? Well, I fell in love with her father, Eddie Fisher, when I was 4 years old!!! He had the most amazing voice and I made my older brother play the one Eddie Fisher record he owned over and over again. I’ve had many “crushes” in my long life so I have no idea how one “gets over it”. Maybe if I was married or in some sort of committed relationship, I wouldn’t have so much time to devote to watching (and buying) everything Richard’s appeared in?? I’m medically unfit for fulltime work so I have a lot of time on my hands and spend way too much time on my computer. I also have 20 years on you, so you’d think I would know better than to devolpe a “crush” on any actor/musician/whatever, wouldn’t you? LOL. But seriously, you seem such a “sane” person in every other respect, so don’t beat up on yourself.


    • Hi Kathryn,
      Trust me. I’m in a happy and loving marriage–22 years a going strong–and I still find time to appreciate Mr. Armitage. And my hubby doesn’t mind because all of those lovely RA endorphins that are produced need an outlet–and my hubby is the beneficiary. Ha!
      Cheers! Grati ;->


      • I think both Nat and Milly would agree with you — their husbands get more attention because of their crushes on Armitage πŸ™‚


      • My husband is also a beneficiary of “RA endorphins”, and we have been happily married for 34 years, but he has absolutely no idea of how strong my feelings are for Richard. We did watch the first part of SB1 together (my dvd) at one time because it’s the kind of show he usually likes. He actually commented when he saw RA that he was
        “good looking.” If I hadn’t been seated I think I would have fallen down in shock, he never comments like that about other men’s looks.


    • I try to be sane, anyway. πŸ™‚

      And I would have known who Eddie Fisher was πŸ™‚

      Part of what I wrestle with, I think, and I was talking about this with Pesky Colleague last night, was the way I was raised to think about what life means — about how what you do has to be “for” something. It’s not clear what this is “for” — except maybe to teach me that it’s ok to seek out pleasure.


  4. I guess I’ve been fangrrling from about twelve years of age and on through my teens, mainly pretty boy singers such as Davy Jones (The Monkees) and David Cassidy. I followed them by watching their television shows, listening to their music and buying fan magazines, from which I would cut out every last picture and piece of text and keep in a box under my bed. I was allowed to put up one or two posters, but that was it. Strangely enough the actors I always liked were older ones such as Cary Grant, Richard Burton, Clark Gable. The Aussie girls would probably know of John(ny) Farnham – I went to a concert of his in the early seventies and I was one of those crying girls lined up along the stage with outstretched hands, hoping for a touch of his hand, which I did get. That is the closest I have ever come to being near the subject of any fangrrling, and I think it was more a case of being carried along by the excitement and hysteria of the moment rather than any real crush on him.
    Since then my main fangrrling was for Pierce Brosnan for nearly thirty years, with a few interests on the side along the way. It has always been a steady, level-headed kind of crush, following his career, buying his movies, and when I became familiar with the internet I would seek him out.
    But now, my Armitagemania is of a very different nature. I have totally immersed myself in it, availing myself of every opportunity to look at and listen to RA. Checking my favourite RA sites is one of the first things I do every day. Being retired, I am fortunate to have the time to indulge, and the internet certainly helps with that indulgence.
    I have NEVER felt the way about any other crush as I do about Richard. He affects me so acutely both emotionally and physically. I think about him constantly. The fact that he’s only two hours ahead of me in NZ doesn’t help, as it has me wondering what he’s doing at any given time because it’s much easier to imagine that than when he was on the other side of the world. There are times when my feelings for him are so overwhelming I am close to tears (good tears, not sad ones!) I fantasize about meeting him (I’m in the makeup department on TH set! πŸ™‚ ) but I’m practical enough to recognise that the prospect of doing so in RL is extremely remote and I’m fine with that.
    I have given up asking myself why. Richard himself is why, he just IS. Others here have expressed so eloquently all there is to say about him as a man and as a human being.
    Thankyou for the opportunity to get this off my chest, servetus! My apologies for being so longwinded.


    • Not at all. This is the blog for the long-winded poster and the lengthy comment.

      I was in the habit for over a decade of thinking about what was going on in Germany at any given time of day, and I had a clear picture because I had lived there for so long — but I find the significant difference between Australia / NZ and the US daunting. I do often wonder what he’s doing, though, esp. sometimes late here when the Internet suggests that Down Under is just waking up for the day.

      I’m probably going to keep commenting on this because as Judi posts more and more I suspect I am going to learn more and more. Because I haven’t been a fangrrl before and she has, and even now my fangrrling keeps me fairly sheltered (only internet or phone content with everyone except her, actually), she’s seen a broader panorama of behaviors than I have, and so I am to some extent seeking ideas about what my context in weird little Armitageworld is.
      Part of this


  5. Mezz…I’m probably one of the few women who didn’t have a crush on John/Johnny Farnham but I understand where you’re coming from. Davy Jones and David Cassidy were definitely cute! I’ve been a fan of English singer, Sir Cliff Richard, since I was 12 years old so that gives you an idea of how old I am! Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson were my American crushes and Johnny O’Keefe and Johnny Devlin were my main Australian ones at that time. But, you’re right, Richard Armitage is in a category of his own, isn’t he? Until earlier this year when I “looked up” Richard, I had never previously thought to Google a celebrity. I’ve been a fan for several years now and really admire how he’s matured as a performer and as an interviewee. My son (5 months older than Richard!) teases me mercilessly about him but can understand my impatience to see “The Hobbit” as he’s impatient for the movies to be released himself. Matthew read the book when he was 11 but I’ve only recently bought a 2005 audiobook – it’s great, I love it. I would have been interested in the movies anyway, as I loved LOTR, but I’m very excited that RA will be in them.


    • I think The Hobbit is going to be really good for his fandom. I was talking about something with my students last week and I said, “are you excited about The Hobbit?” and many of them nodded immediately. It’s going to give me something to talk about with people who are approximately twenty years younger, which is always good.


      • I agree with you about his fandom, servetus. The Hobbit is going to be a movie for all ages and walks of life. Also, I think RA’s role in it will certainly bring people to see it who may not have otherwise walked into the movie theatre. I for one would probably have waited for the dvd release instead, as I did for LOTR (not being a big Tolkein fan), but I can’t wait to see Thorin on the big screen.


        • The LOTR and the Harry Potter movie franchises really brought a lot of good actors to the forefront for moviegoers who probably wouldn’t have been that familiar with their work otherwise. I will love seeing him gain more male fans in particular (especially knowing how skeptical some have been about his casting So there!) and more fans across the board. He’s a fantastic romantic hero and sexy action man, but he is oh, so much more–and deserves recognition for it.


  6. Sometimes I wonder if fangirrling (someday I will figure out how to spell that) has gotten more intense with the advent of the internet. Back in the David Cassidy days, we had limited access to information about our crush. The weekly TV show, albums (remember those?) and fan magazines were about it. Now we are bombarded with info on a daily basis. How many blogs and websites are devoted to RA? And now we have sites devoted to RA on the phone, or from the back, or his hands, or drinking something. It could be a full time job just keeping up with all the info put out there. And that’s not even considering youtube, and vids, and fanfic.

    While I appreciate all the info out there, and I love a good fanfic as much as the next gal, I wonder sometimes about poor RA and how he feels about the volume of attention he gets on the internet. Does his mom call him and tell him about the RA confessions site? Or, maybe given the content of some of the confessions, his mom shouldn’t be checking that site at all. I hope he’s smart enough not to actually get on there and read some of this stuff himself. That way lies madness.


    • I like spelling it without the second vowel and with extra rrrrrrs because that makes it seem tougher πŸ™‚

      Despite the fact that I am nowhere near as famous as Richard Armitage, my mother googles me regularly and sometimes emails me to comment about things she reads about the RL me on the Internet. I imagine his parents must be roughly my parents’ age or a little younger, and his father is apparently well educated, so one imagines that they are wired and probably succumb to the temptation occasionally. I know this possibility really concerns Frenz, herself the mother of a successful son. The buzz is apparently that he used to be very aware of what was said about him on the ‘net. I hope he doesn’t read it, either, but if he does, I can only say to him what I concluded after reading about myself on sites like “rate my professor”: that writing about you does not really have you as its audience. It is about you in a very attenuated sense, but it is not “for” you. I had a friend who regularly read her RMP ratings, many of which were incredibly cruel, and she ended up in therapy about it. A decade and a half of reading course evaluations has taught me how to read those things; I hope that a decade of exposure to reactions to him has also taught him something.


    • For one thing – Richard doesn’t have a mom. He has a mum. πŸ™‚


    • @cindy, you have put it much more succinctly than I have! Access to RA in the early days wouldn’t have been much more than a tv show/movie, magazine article, maybe an interview. No audiobook or dvd on repeat. The internet has allowed my crush on Richard to be indulged like never before.


  7. Hi Serv,

    Another insightful post as always–love your meta analyses here and elsewhere. For me, my admiration of and for Mr. Armitage and his brilliant storytelling is the most visceral that I’ve ever felt. My being an RA fan has “enlivened” my life through his wonderful storytelling, his handsome and charming gentlemanly way in interviews, and the ladies I have met and now call friends online.

    I started out by jumpstarting my own creative writing 1.5 years ago. And then slowly, I started to participating in fan chatting. I am a little amazed that I moderate an FB site devoted to him–but not really since I have teaching in my blood, too. And I also blog–that’s the really scary but invigorating part, moving myself out of my comfort zones. But doing at least one scary thing a week keeps life interesting.

    So as I said in my post about my attRAcion to Mr. Armitage, he is a veritable pied piper for creativity and I am happily playing his tune.

    Cheers! Grati ;->

    P.S. I also jokingly say that I am an “avid” fan, not a “rabid” fan–but it’s a terrible close call. Ha!


    • Maybe that’s part of the attraction — his willingness to do a fair number of different things as an artist. Inspiring to fans of all stripes.


  8. Let me say having met and observed you, you are not Daria. You have no thinly veiled hope of a relationship with the crush object.

    The feelings you describe sound like being in love – but with the feelings the crush is giving you. RA entered your life at a time you really needed this feeling which has liberated you and renewed a creativity you’d thought lost. I wonder were RA able to leave your life without disturbing that feeling, you wouldn’t mind. As I said before, when you’re on better footing and in control of you own creativity, the intensity of attachment to RA will abate (it can’t continue indefinitely) without harming the creativity.

    Your post is causing me to go back refine my next post so you can understand where I am in the fan range. I used to be a slightly harder core fan but after moving from fandom to fandom, some of the intensity burns out and I appreciate the parts that don’t change such as the camaraderie.


    • no, it’s an open hope πŸ™‚ however, I acknowledge both the fantasy and the irreality of the fantasy. Also, I’m old enough or have been around the track enough times to realize that nothing you can do or give will make someone fall in love with you.

      I think “in love with the feeling is a great description” — both for what it lets me accomplish, and for the feeling itself.

      I look forward to more of what you’ll say. In particular, because I think the rush is absolutely key. I like the friends I’ve made in Armitageworld a lot — some of them are particularly close — but I also have friends that I make f2f.


  9. I love that the Internet has become an outlet for art of all forms!


  10. Judi, Judi, Judi (I bet you can’t remember that old song or who sang it!!!).

    “like being in love – but with the feelings the crush is giving you” is so apt.

    I think that’s exactly what it is for me, too. It’s the rush, isn’t it? It makes me happy.

    But that doesn’t detract from my admiration for RA or his great body of work. OK….get your mind out of the gutter…I didn’t mean it that way! He’s done so many different …things (my mind’s gone blank again)…that we can access and appreciate. I’m currently loving “The Lords of the North” yet again because I’m totally blissed out listening to his amazing voice. Uhtred has Richard’s face and form, of course……I’m no innocent!


    • I believe Cary Grant didn’t say it. πŸ˜‰


      • He didn’t, but George LIndsey’s character on the Andy Griffith Show sure liked to say it, as I recall. πŸ˜€


        • Sorry I didn’t get back to you about this. The song “Judy, Judy, Judy” was sung by Johnny Tillotson (an American) in 1963. Here’s the link:

          I have a huuuuuuge problem with YouTube: once I get on there, I can’t get off! Especially when I find all those old songs from “my time” and all the great RA fanvids you ladies make!


          • Thanks, Kathryn. This is one I wasn’t familiar with–I would have been three when it came out–although I have many fond memories of watching the incomparable Miss Garland in the Wizard of Oz yearly. πŸ˜€

            My connection out here is such I have to allow all videos to buffer before watching–which is probably a good thing, or I would spend a lot more time watching them than I do. As it is, I have quite a few of my favs downloaded to my computer and with my own vids, I can entertain myself with the visual glory of Mr. A set to great tunes. πŸ˜€


            • Another question angie, sorry! How do you download your favourite videos? I’ve done it from RAfanvids, but not from Youtube. I’ve googled a “how to” and there are several options, but I’d like it to be a safe one. Preferably free, but it’s not an issue if I could get a good, easy program. I am on fast internet now after years of dialup so downloading would be quick. Thanks! πŸ™‚


              • Most of miy downloads are from RAfanvids, too, Mezz. However, vimeo is quite easy to download from–you might want to check it out

                There are an increasing number of RA vidders with accounts there, too.
                I started one there after I got frustrated with my vids at YT being blocked. Vimeo (so far) hasn’t blocked anything. So my stuff is at both places.
                My connection is supposed to be high speed, and it is better than dial-up definitely, but it’s a lot slower than what I had at the office. Takes me forever to upload vids . . . oh well.


                • I just use Real Player…that’s a free download, too….to download videos from YouTube.

                  However, I have now upgraded to Real Player Plus so I can burn my downloads to DVDs. I have, I can’t tell you…no, really….a disgusting number of vids saved onto Real Player. So far, I’ve transferred only Richard’s Cebeebies stories onto disc for my darling Asha Lily ( Matthew’s 4 year-old daughter) so I can take them to her next weekend. I showed her “The Lost Acorn” on their computer a few weeks ago and she seemed to like it!


                  • Kathryn, thankyou for that information, I’ll look it up. I’m assuming you’ve had no problems with that program. I’m afraid I’m quite paranoid about downloading something that will end up doing nasty things to my computer! 😦 I love Cbeebies with RA. Reminds me of when my son was little and we used to watch Playschool together, 20 odd years ago. Good fun when the presenter was someone dishy like John Waters! All the mums used to like watching him, just like I’m sure RA attracted the mums in the UK too. πŸ™‚


                  • Thankyou again for this info kathryn. I’ve downloaded Real Player successfully, now I just have to find the time to have a play with it to familiarize myself with how it works. That’s always the tricky bit for me!!


                • Once again, much appreciated angie. That will give me something to play around with *adding to long list of stuff to do on computer* ! I’m keen to add the RA Cats rehearsal videos to my little stash, but will probably have to let that one go πŸ™‚
                  The RAfanfids look great on our big screen television, especially the HD ones. All I have to do is just plug in my pocket hard drive and I’m in heaven! Thanks again πŸ™‚


                  • Kathryn Gaul’s suggestion about the Real Player sounds great!

                    Hmmm, maybe I should think about making some DVDs of RA vids for my sisters for part of their Christmas. πŸ˜€

                    I have actually gone to the car dealership where my husband works to borrow their connection so I could upload vids to YT and Vimeo in less than 4 or 5 hours . . .

                    BTW, slightly different topic, but for anyone who wants to watch DVDs from any region on their laptop, there is a free program called DVD Fab Passkey you can download to do so. My laptop has a nice HD screen and sometimes I enjoy watching my DVDs on it (I also have a region-free player for my flatscreen).
                    Oh, and I love the Cbeebies. One never outgrows the pleasure of listening to a good storyteller (especially one that looks like this one).


                    • The basic player is a free download but I paid $40 to upgrade to Real Player Plus. So you might wish to think about that.

                      The basic player is fine for downloading, no problems at all.

                      I ended up paying the extra because I read somewhere (sorry, I can’t remember today exactly where) that the quality of the burned DVDs would be better.

                      There are also some websites where you can find the code to apply to your particular make and model of DVD player to turn it into “all regions” or region-free. I found one so Melanie (my daughter in California) coukld convert her player/s to region-free. I record the trusty old “Play School” (mentioned by mezz above) for my darling half-American, half-Australian grandbabies, Bailey and Kaitlyn, because they love it so much when they’re here. I have a DVD recorder that records onto harddrive and onto discs.


          • I had not a clue there was a song with my name! Thanks for sharing Kathryn.

            Angieklong, I too watched the Judy Garland specials every year just to hear “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” πŸ™‚


            • Her voice was incredible–the expressiveness of it. Her version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is one of my favorites. So poignant.


  11. What great article, Servetus, what great comments! It took me a while to get through, but every sentence was worth it. Your post touched me in so many ways, that I cannot really talk or comment about it. Our way in fandom seems quite similar and I also can connect with Judi’s comment, that it is a love for the feeling, RA creates, for the freedom, he lets me discover, in my approach to myself and the awareness and attention I give my feelings and needs, which I did not allow myself for many years.


  12. “He Jude”! to judiang – written specially for you, by the Beatles…


    • Tut tut – it’s written “Hey Jude”. I didn’t know that judiang was actually Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son with his 1st wife, Cynthia! I could have sworn she was a woman!

      Must get off to bed seeing it’s after midnight in my neck-of-the-woods.

      “night, night”


      • we’re really agnostic as to typos, here, kathryngaul, despite jokes we’ve been making over the months … πŸ™‚


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