A response of sorts: or, Servetus speaks elliptically

[Quickly, I need to say thanks for all the email. I appreciated every message I received, and will answer as time permits.]
An old song, sung by one of my favorite German twentieth-century performers:

The same song, recorded in an English version that’s not a direct translation, by Pete Seeger:

If you’re German, that song and the first singer totally out me as a particular sort of geek, of course. Even my German ex-SO found this taste of mine highly questionable. So don’t hate me for this particular segment of my cultural taste, German friends.


It’s tempting to just continue embedding recordings of my favorite German folk songs as recorded during the revival of the 1960s (“Wie schön blüht uns der Maien” is a serious favorite, as is “Ännchen von Tharau“), but of course there’s business on the table.

I published something on this blog (which I won’t link to, but a few posts down, passworded) that a lot of people objected to; other people understood; other people declined to read it; yet other people enjoyed it. A lot has been said in the last few days, both for or against, in encouragement and discouragement. Some of it’s been said to me directly, some of it’s been said on blogs, and some of it’s been forwarded to me in bits and pieces by third parties. I’ve been talked to and talked about in various places. Frankly, a lot of what’s been said raises issues I’ve already addressed at some point, and since I know that the people who have raised them know that I’m already aware of the issues, it indicates there’s no point in me repeating myself. What ensues is not a discussion; it’s a concerned or kind reminder to me that I am not living up to their standards or responding to their worries.

Hey: I get this. I have standards that bedevil me; I also have a lot of worries. We’re on the same page, gang! I also know people write to make themselves feel better. That’s what I am doing here! Who am I to judge if having a certain kind of conversation makes you feel better? But you know, conversations here aren’t my job. This is my (therapeutic) hobby. There was way too much drama this week; it made it feel like the last decade of work, where whatever people were arguing about lately was more important than the actual task. What I want to be doing here is writing about “me + richard armitage.” And, although I’m not writing specifically for readers or other fans, I’m sure that’s really what most people want to be reading. So my real priority today is to get back to that, because that’s what gives me joy. Not drama.

Now, last night I made a diagram and outline of all the issues to be addressed in this entire discussion. If I addressed them all the way I would in academic writing, it would probably take ten thousand words. Ten thousand words that I don’t want to write, frankly. Even distilling down to the one or two points that emerged that I found important, I don’t want to write about them today. Discussion is not just about what we say, it’s about how we say it, and it’s about holding doors open for other people. I want to avoid closing doors today insofar as I can; I want to keep the door open to everyone who would keep it open for me.

So, for all interested readers, pro or con, rather than a point by point response, here’s what I think in general terms, in six easy pieces.

I. (Push button on German or English language vid above and listen to the song in the background while you read this point.) My blogging will proceed as announced. As I have acknowledged, I made errors in the conduct of discussion about it, but I don’t apologize for what I wrote. I honestly think it’s not all that problematic in the entire scope of things that people have written either about themselves or Richard Armitage, but even it were, I need to fulfill the task of this blog. That was and continues to be my priority. More about that at the end. Meanwhile: read or don’t read or read just what you like and ignore the rest! I make no judgment on anyone based on what they read or don’t read. (Really, I have no way of noticing that someone isn’t reading.)

II. I think about ethics. I thought there were two serious ethical problems with what I was doing. I stated that I was aware of them and thought about them, though not what I thought they were, and will continue to do so. I have a brain, and think about the consequences of what I do to myself and others; I almost never do anything lightly. If the discussion had gone in a more thoughtful direction, I might have articulated myself on these themes more fully. Early on, however, I heard doors slamming all around me. And I still do. As Adin Steinsaltz says, it’s a mitzvah to be silent in a situation where you know that no one will listen. Eventually, as I continue writing, more of my thoughts may emerge.

III. You may or may not believe the assertions I make in point II. What you believe about Servetus as author or the individual who writes this blog as a person, however, is something neither Servetus nor I have control over; that result is a consequence of your interpretive filters. On this blog you read a text that I wrote, while writing as Servetus, and in the process of reading you create Servetus in your mind. I include this point only because I fear I may have turned out to be someone else than some readers were creating, as I read a sense of betrayal in some of the comments I’ve seen. As you decide who I am or am not, please remember your own role as reader in deciding who I am for you. My conscience may not be mappable onto the geography of your conscience, but that incommensurability doesn’t automatically make me culpable.

IV. In terms of the issue of whether what I wrote somehow dirties something: from the perspective of the “outside” of fandom, there are no “good” or “bad” fans. There are only crazy people. From that perspective, you and I and the authors of elevated fanfics and people posting on tumblr and people who write slashfic and make dubious claims on topix are all the same person, right along with the women who send underwear or bikini pictures with cell phone numbers. I would urge every reader to decide for herself what dirties her or doesn’t, because in the end, we are the people in whose heads we are trapped, and no one from outside will ever understand the subtleties involved in what we are doing. How could they? How could anyone else understand something this rich and wonderful without being a part of it?

V. On the group dynamics of our fandom, I thought this was really smart. It substantially influenced the tone of what I am writing now, just because it was another reminder of what the activity of blogging is about for me insofar as it involves other people, and of what’s at stake in the decision to discipline others. She “gets” the reason I’m blogging, but the really important point for me in her post is that new people to a fandom can be put off by a set of unspoken rules that constitute a particular group. I clearly transgressed an unspoken rule last week. I was aware that it was an unspoken rule for some people, although I was naive with regard to the vehemence with which people would respond to my transgression. I really did think people would just be able to say, “not for me,” and move on. That they couldn’t means that I misunderstood the rule. But I’m a broad church kind of gal, and the priority for me in any kind of group activity will always be inclusiveness. I also certainly make particular types of assumptions in my interactions with others. I, too, am just a human with her own peculiar history. And I won’t exclude the possibility that there could be something in fandom that I can’t accept. But so far the only thing I’ve found really problematic is the insistence that I should seriously consider the validity of arguments whose necessary endpoint is to forbid me from thinking, speaking, or writing.

Here’s a silly poem my mom made me learn when I was a little girl makes that point really well:


 Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

So yeah. I’m here to speak for openness. Except to people whose goal is to silence me. Because if that happens I can’t draw any circles at all. Though I may be mistaken, I think we’re on similar journeys. I hope it doesn’t mean that we have to march in formation.

V.  Someone a few posts ago mentioned that I was driven. (Sloan?) Yeah. Somewhat less so than I used to be, though; or maybe it’s just in a different direction. In any case, I have a sense that the project of this blog is more important than ever, now, especially as the premiere of The Hobbit gets closer and closer. There are things I want to have said before then. So I want to remind myself of my purpose here. This is a quote about it, from my self-introduction of February 26, 2010:

Some days, lately, it’s the possibility of getting to see Mr. Armitage on screen that gets me out of bed.

I’m bothered by this at times, especially because Mr. Armitage is not real in any meaningful sense to me. I won’t ever meet him, and though he has been fairly forthcoming in interviews, one also gets the sense that a great deal is not being said, either because he is trying to preserve a private sphere in the face of millions of women who regularly express their desire to undress him, or because the people interviewing him are dolts. So as much as the actor and his work and his body delight, and as much as one extrapolates from things said or not said in the press, there is a great deal I can’t know, and I replace that lack of knowledge with projection.

The experience of watching Mr. Armitage on screen thus fuses his acting with my own projections about him and the character he is playing. And (or rather, thus), the acting he does has turned into a lens for looking at my own life.

Maybe it’s not millions of women. I laughed when I read that. Tens of thousands anyway. But what I wrote in that post is nothing different from anything I’ve been writing all along. It was a little more honest than usual. But it was totally in line with the project of the blog.

Which is what I intend to get on with now. I’m tense about leaving comments open, but given the problems I created earlier by not doing so, I will leave them open, at least for now. What I really want to do now, though, is fangirl again. Replace the drama with sheer euphoria. With as many people as still feel comfortable fangirling with me, in whatever way that expresses itself.

I hope that’s still possible!

~ by Servetus on April 12, 2012.

65 Responses to “A response of sorts: or, Servetus speaks elliptically”

  1. I’m sorry that you’ve been taking heat for expressing yourself. I will say upfront, I dont like RPF, but thats a personal preference and not one that i would inflict on the wider world. Besides, I have no intrest in fighting losing battles. 😉

    It’s been a hectic week for me so I’ve only been aware in a periferal way of whats been happening, but when i saw the “armitage protection mode” posts, I didnt realise it had to do with your announcement. I honestly couldnt see what was wrong withwhat you said and from what I’ve read on your blog, you are one of the sanest people in this fandom, which is itself pretty sane compared to some.

    RPF is here to stay now, the horse has bolted, and the geni is not getting back into the bottle. To deny that it’s a fact of internet life or to try and police it is just silly. On the odd occasion when it crosses the line to illegal behaviour, fine, report it, but dont think for a second that RPF is going anywhere.

    Perhaps it is a reflection of modern celebrity, where I’m sure that more than 50% of articles about celebs are not true, propably a higher precentage for some rag publications. Celebrities have taken on a larger than life persona now, it’s not about who they are or what they do, it’s about what writers can make you believe that will help them sell magazines. They are in essence, becoming characters themselves, with whole fictional lives built around them. Sometimes they encourage this (like the Kardiashians sp?) sometimes they are simply forced to live with it (Like Kate Middleton. The sob stories/fights/marriage on the rocks/haunted by princess Di’s ghost etc stories have already started in celeb rags over here).

    Either way, celebrity is changing.

    In light of the harmful, sometimes even malicious lies that the press tell about celebrities daily, i hardly see that one womans personal fantasy amounts to a hill of beans in this celebrity obsessed culture.

    You keep on with it. A wise woman once sang, if it makes you happy, it cant be that bad! 😀


    • I think we should concentrate on what we share, in so far as we can do that. Which is one of the coolest things on the planet.

      The point about the reality of what we know about anyone is one that I’ve been dancing around here for a long time.


      • Have you ever seen a documentary call My Big Break? I’ve been planning to do a blog on it mut never seem to get around to finishing the post.

        Basically the documentary maker was lucky enough to get 4 actors before they made it. 2 made it big and 1 of those (Wes Bently) pretty much lost the plot. The other is more well known over there; i think he got a soap gig. The third chap works semi regularly with bit parts but was told he’ll never be a leading man, and the 4th crapped out totally.

        Seeing how they all delt with their varying degrees of fame was really interesting, and Wes especially touched on how, although he hadnt changed, everyone treated him differently. Then we see his manager basically deciding his wardrobe and “image” for him. Dont we all see outselves reflected through other peoples eyes? How disconcerting it must be, to suddenly be treated as something other than who you’ve come to know yourself as.

        Anyway, dont believe the hype, it’s not really “the movie hollywood didnt want you to see” but it is a rare and valuable insight into fame, celebrity and the acting game.


        • I suspect it’s not an “all at once” process. If I think about how this works in my own life, new experiences bring forth new permutations of being seen through other people’s eyes.


          • I think thats true for most people. In Wes Bentley’s case, American Beauty made him an ‘overnight’ success, so the change for him was quite extreme.

            I do wonder how RA will deal with the success of the Hobbit. On the one hand, he has had a gradual introduction ot fame, with it slowly increasing over 10 years or so. He’s had time to get used to it and learn how to handle it, if you like.

            On the otherhand, the kind of fame that the Hobbit could bring is really off the charts. I do wonder if he’s really ready to be recognised globally and have his life become, essentially, a commodity for tabloids.


            • I guess we’ll see what happens. I can’t imagine that fame would change him much personally — might change his public behavior or public statements some.


  2. Roger that 😉
    You can count on me for “sheer euphoria” (as long as I can have a translator at hand 🙂 )


  3. I too hope we can get past the furor of the past few day. This fandom is supposed to be about celebrating RA. We are a diverse group of people and should respect each other as such. Let’s all agree to disagree and move on. I think we can all agree RA would want peace.


    • Hear, hear, Judiang. I cannot believe Richard Armitage would want all this discord within the community. Seems to me to be a peace-loving fellow. Can we not agree to disagree and be done with it??


      • Well said, Serv, Judiang, and Fedoralady!

        Life is a tapestry of interwoven threads–its colors and textures give our lives vibrancy and make them interesting. Were we all to be exactly the same in our viewpoints, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, etc., it would be a very bland world indeed. This is not “1984”, but 2012. By its very nature a tapestry contains a diversity of threads.

        So, let us each be a thread in the tapestry of the RA Fandom community–choosing our own textures and colors. And as we step back to admire that tapestry, we see its beauty in creating the fabric of our community. We are each made stronger by anothers’ thread, for a thread by itself is a weak thing. And yes, the light against the dark thread provides contrast to illuminate both. The rough thread touching a soft thread also illumines each of those qualities. We can not have one without the other.

        So dear friends, I love you all and look forward to each of us admiring one exquisitely talented fellow–Richard Crispin Armitage–and looking forward to his future artistic projects.

        Cheers! Grati ;->


  4. I was looking forward to your post today and as per ususal, you did not disappoint. I am very thankful that you are continuing on your journey, that you continue to find and voice your truth, and that you are clear in your objectives with this blog and in fandom in general. This example strengthens my own resolve to do the same in my life as I have tried with every comment I have made on various blogs.

    Now, back to the fangirling and analysis of one MR. A.

    ps; you don’t seem to have a “contact me” button. Do readers have access to you?


    • For anyone who reads this, the email address is in the sidebar under “blog and blogger.”

      I have to keep blogging. I don’t really have a choice, if I want to keep my objectives. I struggle with this. Why this form? Why not something else? But I’m not jinxing it now that I’ve found it.


  5. You go, girl. No, I don’t think someone writing RPF or slash or graphic hetero sex should be lumped in with someone stalking the poor man or sending RA nude photos and edible undies (especially since I write the last two 😉 ) Bottom line is, this is your blog and you have the write to express yourself online as you choose to do so. You gave people fair warning and made the post password protected. If someone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it.


    • I just think those are differentiations that *we* make. I am ok because I don’t (fill in the blank). That may be fine for us, and those personal lines we draw are important to our identities: I am not someone who (fill in the blank). I mean only that seen from the outside, we’re all the same. When outsiders look at us, we’re all crazy. So I am unsure what the point is in trying to preserve some kind of facade for people who don’t believe in it anyway.


      • But it’s really just the opposite. Not sure about ya’ll but I’m not crazy yet because as I said earlier, RA is my therapy. When my father finally realized that he was going to die of cancer he refused to ever go back to bed. Instead he camped out in the living room (either reclining on the sofa or his lazy boy) and we would watch old movies together all night and day. That was his therapy. And since his death several years ago, I have not been able to watch old movies. At least not until I started watching RA on TV/internet. And since then I have slowly begun to be able to bring myself to watching old movies again. So I see that as the healing beginning to take place.


        • I don’t think you’re crazy and I don’t think anyone who’s experienced what you would have would think so, either — what I’m referring to is reporters who ask celebrities about their fans. The assumption of the reporter is anything a fan will do is crazy.

          This is a beautiful story.


          • Thanks for the clarification, I thought you were referring to the general public which is probably true too. Sorry, my mind is scattered all over the place today.


      • Actually that probably does make me sound pretty crazy.


  6. Servetus, I absolutely adore your song choice for this post! We sang that song at school. The wide range of the song makes it a difficult choice for little school children, so you surely can imagine the outcome, but I was so fascinated by it, that I am sure I must have whistled every variation of this song that could possibly be created out of it ;o)
    I had never before heard about the singer Hannes Wader, though after researching more about him, I know his song “Heute hier, morgen dort”.
    “Die Gedanken sind frei” is such a freeing and wonderful song.
    Thank you for mentioning my blog post and I am very glad that it helped you!


    • This is the kind of song that you want kids to be singing, I think.

      Can’t believe you didn’t know about Wader? I think of him as a BRD standard of the 60s and 70s, but of course that may be northern Germany 🙂


  7. I’ve tiptoed previously through the minefield that is internet commenting. The “Small World” feeling is wonderful, but it’s always balanced by an elbow to the ribs in the form of opinions and values that differ from our own. I wish you well. I’m just here for the erudinte ogling. 🙂


  8. Haters will hate. That is what they do and I tend to dismiss them from my life as such. Constructive criticism is welcome, hating is not.
    The only thing to do in this situation (IMO) is to keep on living and doing your thing.
    I hope in time we can all move beyond the ugliness we’ve seen over the last few days and replace it with the rainbows and sunshine that come forth from RA’s bare peaches. If that doesn’t work, I do know of another AcTor that you could blog about….(j/k, I know you only have eyes for RA).


  9. So you’re a folkie…and driven. Will wonders never cease! I always thought that being a folkie meant you’re more hippie than geeky. But that’s just my humble opinion. My mother liked listening to John Jacob Niles. And my brother and I always considered her a free-spirit who would have been a hippie if she had been born in a different time. Hippies also belived in freedom of expression. I’m not labeling you a hippie, but I do believe you’re a person who is driven to create and this blog is an expression of your creativity and a work of art that you share with us through this new medium the internet. People who see a work of art may not always appreciate it, but that doesn’t negate the art work and shouldn’t stop the artist from continuing to create and express themselves freely. I think you’re very brave to do what you do and hope you will continue to share your creativity and your art because I appreciate what you do and very much enjoy exploring RA with you as well as with the others who comment here.


    • I like almost every kind of music, but I will admit that I have a strong love for German folk music in particular. I like tracing the history of the songs and learning what people thought they meant at different times and places. I’m not a hippie, but sometimes I wish I were.

      Thanks for helping me to understand myself as *artist* as opposed to thinker. It’s been helpful.


      • I have an affinity for English ballads and Irish music mostly through bluegrass and am fascinated by the preservation and reinvention of the songs throughout history.


        • Speaking of English ballads of sorts and getting back to our most favorite subject, there’s a fan video The Highwayman with Guy and Marion as the lovers. Some great shots of RA as Guy/The Highwayman –especially the ones riding the horse


          • Link?


            • Sorry I’m not savvy enough to provide a link other than telling you it’s on you tube. It’s a fairly long video (I watched it again looking for a link), but the song/music is nice as well as the screen shots of RA on horseback.


      • I’ve been “thinking” all day for work and it’s driving me nuts. You on the other hand are a prolific thinker and I wonder if it ever shuts down for you?


        • Not really. Only when I am really sick, like so sick I can’t stay awake, or when I am drunk (explains some of the attractions of beer, perhaps).


  10. I most definitely adhere to the “let’s agree to disagree” school of thought.  I for one very much look forward to reading your posts whatever they may be and will continue to do so.  The sense of community that I so love about this fandom has felt somewhat fragile of late and this has saddened me.  I mentioned on another blog and it’s been touched on in another comments above that RA would not want us to fight amongst ourselves.  He said himself for us to be “extra peaceful and extra forgiving”.  


  11. Ditto what Cat Winchester and other wise girl inRAfandom said!:)
    Eagerly waiting for your next post…Joanna from Silesia.
    ps:I love the idea of broad church, Church of England?(“cake or death?”):D


    • ah, Silesia. The only city I’ve spent any time in in Poland is Krakow. Beautiful Renaissance architecture … 🙂


  12. Glad to see you’re continuing your blog and it’s still open for comments. I really hope the current ‘storm’ has now passed although I’m sure there will be more disagreements in the future. We’re not one homogenous group but a variety of people coming from different cultures and speaking different languages. Communication won’t work without open-mindedness and a high level of tolerance. As Kathryn has already said I hope more of us can “agree to disagree” in future.

    Btw, I was very pleased to see the Hannes Wader video. I really love his songs covering such a wide range from traditional German folk to political songs and cover versions of pop songs. His voice is brilliant. I only recently attended a concert of his for the first time ever and it was fabulous. 🙂


    • Communication is really hard. I also hope that we can continue to find space for each other.

      OK, finally a German who already knows Wader. I just love his stuff. Was introduced to him by Ex-SO’s sister. He’s really intelligent, not just a good singer / songwriter.


  13. Very happy that you will continue to post on this journey through the minefield of blogging. Because we are all multi-faceted, and our thoughts and imaginations and analytical capacities are all part of each of us. Heaven forbid any one of us is monochrome. When I first “discovered” Mr. A in Robin Hood (yes, mesdames, I, and I alone discovered him, and take full credit 😀 ) and found there were – BLOGS! And became aware, in 2010, that there had been a shake-up in fandom over offical RA sites, which, apparently, became heated, but was resolved, well, this too will resolve.

    Courtesy is not a superficial concept. Courtesy is a respect for the opinions of others, who they are as human beings, and a willingness to listen and to present one’s own perspective, without judgement, without personal attack. We will weather this tempest in a teapot. (Which became more than a teapot – a samovar?) and continue discourse and disputatio. Continue to disagree along the journey.


    • I think everyone has to do what she has to do, and some of us will have to disagree. But hopefully we are learning how to do it better — me included — when we stumble and pick ourselves up.


  14. Love it when people propose music with their texts. Your blog is really an art, as somebody said above. I’m a Swiss girl in my early twenties, so I’m not to familiar with German culture & didn’t knew this song but we sang “Heute hier, morgen dort” in school too and I loved the text just like this one.
    This whirlwind wasn’t unexpected since it also exists in my head and meanwhile even on paper. But to deny fun & yourself feels like denying life and i’ve done that for far to long.
    Really looking forward to more awesome, crazy (anatomy, yay! ;D), RAddicting & yet sane & thoughtful posts *lol*.


  15. May I join the queue behind simplegirl please?

    By circumstance I must be without the internet for weeks, sometimes months at a time.
    I returned with greedy thoughts of losing myself once more in the diverse creative talents of our community and all that it has to offer.
    I approach my first anniversary with pride and squinting eyes as I attempt to cram in everything that I feel to have missed!
    Thus at each reappearance I feel the need to reaffirm in gushing giddy tones how much in awe I am of your work, Servetus, how much It means to me and how much I believe I have benefitted from discovering your blog in particular and those (many wonderful ones) you have brought my attention to during my awakening.
    I have only experienced a sense of welcome at each return (me – a lurker – a complete stranger and unknown) so when I stumbled on certain events I found I was neither strong, opinionated, defensive or angry – just disturbed, a little scared and saddened. That, I find does not aid my healing and so I deliberately choose here to wish everyone very well and thank you for what you bring me freely through “erudite ogling” and enlightening commentary.

    If I may be permitted a moment more…to lighten up…
    Anyone a Python fan?
    Right then.
    Imagine an old crone of biblical times hoisting aloft a large and unwieldy worthless gourd (of sorts) and shrieking “it’s a sign!” “it’s a sign!
    Still with me?
    Well I must be that crone muttering “it’s a sign!” as I receive news that in under 50 days (significant Eastertide number) I shall be removed to a little known place that shall be named … MILTON!
    No really ladies I’m moving to Milton (of which there are hundreds of course) and I could have had no idea when I succumbed to a certain Mr. Thornton that this would be part of my journey! Do you think I should tell Nat?!!!


    • Thanks for the kind words.

      Moving to MILTON? I think you need to start blogging. I sense a real adventure here. Will you find a dark, brooding, mill owner to love?

      I’m sure Nat can help you out.


  16. Wow, I’ve been not paying that much attention to fandom, and when I come back to read your blog, I find this.
    Honestly I still stand with what I said so many moons ago. He’s a big boy, I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing. If he doesn’t, he no doubt has plenty of people around him who can help him along. He doesn’t need ‘us’ to police his fans, besides the fact it is pretty much impossible, since fandom is not a monolith. Despite what some may think, we are not the Borg, there is no central shared brain which controls & dictates everything.

    When being a fan causes so much stress, I would advise a short time-out, just to gain a little perspective. Because really? Fandom is still supposed to be fun, a way to enjoy something and share it with others. Don’t take it too seriously, if it offers you some well earned relief from your daily stress, go for it. If it offers you some solace or respite from whatever life is throwing at you, have fun. Just don’t expect me to behave like you.

    I tend to have a serious allergic reaction when people try to dictate the behaviour of others. He doesn’t, so why do others feel the need to do it for him?


  17. I didn’t commented until now because I didn’t knew what to say. My opinion wasn’t clearly formed, and some comments were so…. I don’t know… harsh maybe ? So I quickly stopped reading them. The whole subject and debate was uncomfortable for me.
    You’re pretty blunt and it’s a thing I love. I don’t always agree with you, but you make me think for myself and I must be thankful for that. You’re a grown-up woman, you’re far from stupid so I know without a doubt that you’re decision is anything but thoughtless. I’ve always had issues with objectifying Mr Armitage. Now I realize that these issues were most certainly due to the fact I couldn’t allow myself to admit I had these longings too. Should I thank you for that ? 🙂
    I don’t really like the idea of realfic, but I get why you need to write them, and how important it is for you to stay true to yourself and to this blog which is, as you’ve said, about you and Mr A.
    Publishing articles is above all for ourselves. It’s better if we’re read, commented, but we don’t owe anything to our readers. You’re blog is a personnal blog, nothing more, nothing less. So you’re free to put anything you want on it. I don’t think I would read these passworded posts, not because I’m against the idea, but because it’s very intimate, and I don’t want to share that intimacy.


    • Thanks. I’ll still enjoy having you as a reader for other stuff, of course!


      • Serv,
        I ran across this quote and it thought it pertinent to this issue.

        What is right for one soul may not be right for another. It may mean having to stand on your own and do something strange in the eyes of others.
        Eileen Caddy

        I also remembered an amusing incident that happened years ago when we were celebrating July 4 with Benny’s major, who was an NYC native. When he saw us putting ketchup on our hot dogs, I thought he was going to have a conniption. Apparently folks from NYC never put *gasp* ketchup on their hot dogs. It’s almost sacreligious!! *horrified expression*
        And yet it was perfectly normal and acceptable to us. I still do it and it hasn’t done any harm yet, as far as I know. 😉

        So what you or I or another blogger/fan does may seem “strange in the eyes to others,” but it is right for our souls. 😀


        • The end point of my considerations during the days I had to think about it was essentially that I have to write to achieve what I want. Readers, while cherished, are a secondary consideration. I’d like to keep as many as I can, but I can’t be writing *for* them, except either tangentially or occasionally.


  18. I’m afraid (actually, glad) that I’ve missed all the drama that seems to have erupted, so am shocked and bemused that you have apparently been fairly comprehensively attacked. I read the post in question, and the posts before it, and you could not have been clearer in your intent nor in your warnings about the content. If people chose to read it and were uncomfortable with it, that’s their issue to deal with. To attack you because they didn’t like, approve or agree with what you wrote is reprehensible.

    I hope this series of events doesn’t intimidate you into writing differently. Just as you look forward to glimpses of RA to get you through troubled times, I look forward to Servetus’ jottings when I’m in need of distraction, challenge or just time out. Thanks for your blog, and your courage.


    • Thanks for your kind words!

      I can’t comment on things that have to do with what others have said or why they said them — they have their reasons, some of them are more intelligible to me than others. I assume they knew what they were doing; as usual my mantra is “let every woman have her own conscience.”

      During all of this one thing I did realize was that one particular fear that I’ve had for a long time was suddenly empty of content, i.e., I could articulate what the fear was, but it had failed to frighten me. A sort of dead bogeyman. I wouldn’t wish this kind of thing to happen again, but that was a useful effect. On the whole, though, I really think we’re better served by getting along despite our differences and that is what I wanted to stress in this post.


  19. Servetus, tonight I saw a great concert with this 3 “now elder men” on TV :

    It remembered me: Hannes Wader is the tall guy with a prominent nose and a distinguished voice!! Does that remind you on somebody?? Ha, Ha!
    I’ve already seen all three in the late seventies/early eighties live in various concerts. Klaus Hofmann startet as an actor in “Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.” a film made from the really popular (East German) book by Ulrich Plenzdorf (related to Goethe’s “Werther”).
    You for sure know it?
    This music really reminds me of my political teenagers’ “Sturm und Drang-Zeit” in the seventies and eighties. 🙂


    • yeah, I think of Wader as representative of a particular period of BRD political history. He also sings a lot of North German folk songs I love (Dat Du meen Leevsten büst).

      I tried teaching Plenzdorf last year when I was teaching modern German history, but the necessary cultural associations aren’t there for my students; too much has to be explained. (And they have to read it in translation)


  20. […] by press reports — except in its permutation as victimization by fans (and we all know that the press loves to make fun of us already and never eager to point an accusatory finger at itself, always justifying any of its own […]


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