Stripping Richard Armitage of his human dignity: A day in the life

This was my Tuesday. I picked this day to report on because I had no time to blog originally that day. Thus, it traces only the severe private harm I am doing to Richard Armitage by thinking about him, not the public harm I do to him by writing about him.

I’m pretty sure the public harm I do to Richard Armitage by writing about him every day is obvious to everyone already anyway. But if not, I’m turning the private harm into public harm by documenting this day.

Some of those claims were made ironically. Which ones?

So yeah. You’re not going to be convinced by this if you already think what I do is wrong. You could read it anyway, if you feel a sincere desire to understand what we dignity strippers think we might be doing as we go along blithely harming our hero.

But mainly, this text is written to bolster the spirits of the weary. Whoever and wherever we are. If, like me right now, you’re sick of being criticized or even pathologized for your sincere feelings — or if, like me two years ago, you wonder about the legitimacy of your Armitagemania. Or even if you’re just interested in what I think about these questions.

***

Glamour-22Richard Armitage, UK Glamour (January 2013). Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

6:05. Alarm goes off. Local news station reports the usual. Syria, sequester, etc. Hmm, that half-baked plan to escape the university by means of the federal government seems likely to fail if they will already furlough 800,000 employees. The additional local spin: state budget cuts to higher education, local utility problems, the prisons, the schools, the water, the climate. Same old same old.

In the immortal words of Kate Atkinson, when will there be good news? Probably never.

Oh, and there’s the little matter of what I’m doing professionally next year, weeks to wait yet on the Erebor problem, and the emergency eye surgery my dad had on Sunday … do I renew my lease or give notice …

and having to work. Today. And that first class of students who have to be … uch. I don’t want to think about it. I love my job, I’m lucky to have it.

THANK GOD I CAN NOW TAKE SOME TIME TO STRIP AWAY THE HUMAN DIGNITY OF RICHARD ARMITAGE.

IT’S ALL THAT MAKES THE DAY BEARABLE.

Yes, really. I’m not kidding. Keep reading, if you dare.

***

Recognise-3

***

I turn the radio volume down a little and roll over and there he is: fantasy Richard Armitage. He’s a little sleepy but I brush back his bangs and oh, yeah, in the fantasy, he also has a beard. Cuz once you go bearded, you never go back.

First, I cuddle my head under his chin and nuzzle my cheek against his chest and he strokes my hair and neck. I listen to him tell me that the world will be okay, my life will be okay, and I will get through the day. And then I start to kiss him … and touch him … and  … he touches me … and he nuzzles his lips and his face into my breasts … and …

***

vlcsnap-2012-05-17-21h40m42s120

***

Cut to black (or at least an NC-17 password shield) and cue music. The Divinyls. Quick lyrics quiz: fill in the blank (three syllables): “I don’t want / anybody else / When I think about you / I ______”. If you don’t know the lyrics, people under forty or so, you can listen to the song here.

Yeah. I do that. My mornings are pretty dysphoric, and I often have to talk myself out of bed, and that’s one way to find the energy to do so.

Because I do that anyway and including a fantasy of Richard Armitage makes it even better.

Now, would I write Richard Armitage a fan letter and say, “Thinking about you in certain contexts makes me come.” No.

Does Armitage know that there are fans out there who do what I do? How can he not? Because probably some of us do write to him to say it.

***

BTS-04Paul Andrews (Richard Armitage) waits for his wife to come to bed, in episode 1 of Between the Sheets. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

Anxious parenthetical insertion from the reader: “Us? What do you mean, us?”

You don’t have to believe what I am about to say, because I’m not writing for anyone but me.

But herewith: I’m declaring solidarity with the notorious chick who sent her bikini picture to Armitage with her number, even though as it happens, I would never have done that particular thing. It’s not me. I don’t know why she did what she did, or if it would be for the same reasons that I do what I do. But if I claim that I have the authority to decide for myself, I have to grant that to her, too.

And if this journey is about self-integration, and if self-integration involves acknowledging my desire, I might need to go there, too.

Because I would be lying about myself otherwise — and not just because I do things that result from “base” human impulses like libido. If you think libido is base, of course, or that admitting that I have one is wrong, or that acknowledging the way it’s centered on Richard Armitage at the moment is distasteful or dangerous. My own reading is that it’s one of many ways that the urge to create expresses itself when it can’t speak itself explicitly.

Yeah, whatever I’m doing with Armitage makes it okay for me to speak in ways I don’t totally understand. And that starts with expressing desire with whichever tools I have for doing that.

So I’m declaring solidarity because I was already in league with that chick, even in the very earliest days when I was just watching Richard Armitage act in North & South and identifying with Mr. Thornton as opposed to fantasizing him about him in other ways. I just didn’t realize.

Because I’ve almost stopped believing entirely that we can discriminate between “good” and “bad” fans — and certainly, I’ve abandoned drawing that line based on abstract definitions of “objectification.”

I’m not justifying what I do in terms of whether it’s “natural” or not (it may be, though I tend to think it’s cultural rather than natural).

I’m not justifying what I do in terms of whether it’s appreciation, although I’m not criticizing those who think that line is important. I just can’t figure out how to draw that line, especially from the outside.

Nor am I justifying this in terms of what the real Richard Armitage may want or not want from his fans (mostly because, as recent discussions have pointed out, what he wants is probably complex and partially contradictory, and because I don’t think we have any reliable way of knowing what exactly he wants that isn’t already constructed by the culture, marketing, and publicity industries).

Hell, I’m not justifying what I’m doing at all. I’m just saying that I’m doing it, and that — if you’re doing it too — I don’t see why there’s any reason to be ashamed of it.

And I’m not trying to stop you from using your own explanations for what you’re doing. I don’t believe in a line between beauty and talent as reasons for appreciating Armitage, for instance, but you might.

***

ns4-352Open cravat / neck, downcast glance — is this cap less sexy than topless Paul Andrews above? Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) prematurely anticipates his rejection at Margaret’s hands in episode 4 of North & South. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

I realized long ago, practically from the beginning, that I had absolutely no contact with the “real” Richard Armitage. Everything with which I am in contact with, as a fan, is an incomplete reduction of some kind, already an objectification. And *I* am not the one who’s providing those reductions. They’re provided for me. In that sense, the only way I could completely avoid objectifying him in the sense that people who dislike that activity seem to mean is if I started to pretend that his performances and pictures were not already reductions. Or if I insisted on ignoring them.

To take this to extremes — to express my extreme respect for Mr. Armitage, I could never actually look at a picture of him. To me, honestly, that’s an odd road to choose to accomplish the stated goal. As every successful saleswoman of lingerie knows, the more one forbids, the more attractive the forbidden becomes, and the more tantalizing the unforbidden as a signifier of the forbidden.

Or, to put it epistemologically — the fact of Armitage’s objectification is the prerequisite of me even perceiving him in the first place. Of even knowing he’s on the planet.

So:

I’m saying that –FOR ME– I don’t think it matters much if I look at Richard Armitage performing Claude Monet and think how talented he is, if I look at him performing Mr. Thornton and think how romantic he is, if I look at him performing John Porter and think how masculine he is, if I look at him performing Thorin Oakenshield and think how emotional and / or how lithe a swordsman he is, or if I look at him performing Guy of Gisborne and think what a great ass he has — OR, and this is key — if I look at the actual Richard Armitage in interviews and think how shy, how polite, how subtle, how funny, how careful, he is. Or some combination of the above.

In all these settings, he and I are doing the same things. In each case, he provides a performance for my consumption, either of a character or of himself. I in turn find the performance so attractive that it causes me to have reactions: emotional, spiritual, physical, sexual. The only way I can fail him — I think — is by not reacting at all.

MY TASK — not necessarily yours, your task may be something different, and only you can say what it is — is not to delegitimate my own reactions by torturing myself with false moral qualms, which is actually counterproductive in that worrying about my sinfulness or my mental health keeps me focused on the wrong thing — but to figure out why I am having them and to use them as productively as I can as I get through the day and get through my life. For me, that means writing about them here. As honestly as I can.

So who am I, to judge how YOU process Richard Armitage? This is the main thing that I’ve learned from talking to and interviewing so many fans over the years. If you think he’s a great piece of ass, if you think he’s a great actor — I can still be your friend. If you think both of these things. Or if you have neither of those reactions, or you appreciate him for some other reason that’s completely unique to you. I’m not dividing the world into the virtuous and the unvirtuous, the safe and the dangerous. Because I have both of those reactions and more in varying combinations as the days go buy — as you might, as well — and I’m not ashamed of any of them, as long as they come from someplace honest. Figuring that out is part of the painful task of growing up. Something no one else — even mental health professionals — can spare us.

***

vlcsnap-2013-01-05-00h02m11s216A scene I cap again and gain, because Armitage makes Porter look so incontrollably into her. Yeah, I love this scene because he’s doing his job so well. John Porter (Richard Armitage) dreams of Danni (Shelly Conn) while in prison in Strike Back 1.3. My cap.

***

So yeah. Back to the aftermath of what the Divinyls were describing.

When we’ve finished, there’s a smile on my face and I’m reasonably awake. It now becomes possible to make a mental list of tasks that must be accomplished today.

And a little bit more time. I move into a post-coital fantasy. I almost never write about these on blog because they are so unbelievably personal and also hard to explain to an outsider to my life, but right now, I think, I’m working out the Erebor problem via the fantasies that I am having about Armitage while lying in bed before work. Before I went on that journey, they were all about reassurance — and now, strangely, they seem to be about negotiation — what are the circumstances under which a creative self will respond to demands made upon it to produce? Since a friend suggested to me last fall that rather than simply lying there and waiting for the fantasy, I should try to intervene actively in it, direct what happens in it by trying out different plot lines, I’ve found this phase of the day uncommonly productive and thought-provoking.

8:05. Alarm switches off. Out of bed, morning preparations. Say Shacharit. Last centering. Into car, hit bagel/coffee place for breakfast to go, drive to office. Bad weather means extra time needed to park.

9:00. In office. Towel off. Look at blog emails. Reblog Ana Cris’ post on realizing what we when we look at Richard Armitage. Answer work-related emails; most are student requests for clarifications, but a few are administrative tasks.

***

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Portraits

***

9:27. Grading is pressing. This is an obligation to students that often nearly shuts me down. Self-encouragement is necessary. I shut the browser windows and open some pictures in preview. I’ve got some special graphics for this activity. The above is one of them. Grade a paper, look up and get some encouragement. Grade a paper, look up and get a smile. You get the drift. Grade a paper, get a smile, grade a paper, get a smile, grade a paper, get a smile. Armitage makes it easier.

11:30. The need to do class prep means I can stop grading. Review of lecture slides; no new material to insert in this class, but I need to go over event narratives I’m discussing; check syllabus to make sure to warn students of upcoming deadlines; rereading of students’ assigned reading to prepare for possible questions in class and to orient the lecture (I’m arguing against the material in the textbook) toward the controversy they’ll need to address, analyze, and evaluate prescriptively in their next papers. Think about what I might have to do or say to keep the stragglers in this class even with the pack.

12:20. Walk to classroom. Last five minutes. Breathe deeply, think about objectives for this class session, think about the positive energy around critical inquiry that I want to model to them.

12:30. Lecture. Luckily the podium is working today and I don’t have to give the lecture without images — which happens about twice a month. That young woman who falls asleep — maybe I’ll try standing right next to her while I’m lecturing. No dice. She still falls asleep. Not sure how this lecture is playing, but she’s the only one who’s sleeping. It’s okay. Two students come up afterwards to ask questions. This class is relentlessly unengaged, no matter how much energy I come in with, and it burns that this is my favorite material and they’re happy to doze through it, but still, that’s two more than last week. Maybe there’s still hope.

1:45. Done. I grab a Coke from the machine and walk back to my office, reminding myself to pause to look at the sky.

1:55.  Catch breathe and time for remoralization. Open up “You can do it” and “No more fear” pictures. Breathe deeply. Look a bit at gmail, reblog post on recipes for FanstRAvaganza 4.

***

vlcsnap-2013-01-06-23h42m10s30John Porter (Richard Armitage) emerges from his jump into the river in Strike Back 1.4. My cap.

***

2:05. Look at syllabus for next class. This was the topic I did all the work on last September. Okay — remarks need to be revised totally with pictures, diagrams of pictures, statistics relating to new examples from research, source quotations. Slide preparation. What is going to work best? I put in more examples than I need, just in case. Upload to BlackBoard in the nick of time, but this particular classroom podium hasn’t failed me yet. Glance at syllabus again to make sure I’m going to be giving them the right information about the next class. Reread their reading assignment and think about questions for discussion / recitation. Grab stuff and go.

4:00. Lecture. I dislike this material, but the students are seriously into it and have lots of questions, some of which I don’t know the answers to. Sign of a solid, engaged classroom. We brainstorm about how the questions could be answered and students make a plan to seek out the necessary research to answer their questions before discussion next time.

4:45. Discussion of readings for today. I have to shut them up at 5:50, when someone notices we’ve gone five minutes over. I give them the response assignment for next week. A clump of them rushes for the bus. I collect 55 more response papers to grade and gulp. Oh well, if it keeps them reading and thinking.

5:50. Think about what to do with the evening, then remember I’m obligated already. Grab another Coke from the omnipresent machine.

6:00. Evening lecture by distinguished visitor; discussion afterwards / “teachable moment” / modeling professional behavior with students. The grad students seriously do not like this lecturer and I understand why, but try to play devil’s advocate. They’re going to see a lot of this in the profession if they find jobs, and so they need to understand why events like this happen and why universities think they are important.

8:00. Free! Say mincha/maariv outside although I missed the halachic times. G-d, I’m hungry. Oh yeah, no lunch and two Cokes. I think about what to do. If I’m honest, I want a beer and bed, and not a half hour at my computer, talking myself into writing. I walk up to my office, though, to see the updated list of beers on tap at my favorite place, and before I can open the browser, who do I see on my computer screen?

***

Video7-01

***

If you can run through fire, Richard Armitage, maybe I can write for a few hours more. So, no beer. I get dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant (the reason I drank nothing but Coke all day is that the cupboard is bare, at home, as is customary by this point in the semester).

9:15. I drive over to the café of choice and smile at Pesky but imply gesturally that I am busy, buy a Zen green tea, plug in the headphones, and blast Tanlines singing “Real Life” and open up a window and start the “morning” pages. After 750 words of effluvium pour out, it’s time for some real writing. I’m doing an academic piece based on my research that I’m struggling with periodically, and there are about four posts for here that I’m working on, actively, and then an outline and scenes for a possible novel. Unsure what I want to do, I open several windows, and then just start in the most promising place and write …

11:45. Pesky taps me on the shoulder and gestures at his wrist. Oh, yeah. Closing time. I look at the word count in my open window — 1627 words. Wow! I take off the headphones and we chat about this and that as I pack up and then we move into the parking lot and eventually I get into my car and drive home. Now I really do need to go to bed.

12:10. I open the apartment and sort of tumble in. Been a long day, but that’s this particular profession. I decide to take the laptop out anyway and watch a little more. At the moment, for some perverse reasons, it’s Spooks 9 that’s fascinating me. I get to the scene in 9.7 where Lucas is talking about the prospect of going back to jail, and I think: yes.

Erebor — Thorin — is it going back to claim  your patrimony?

John Porter — is it going to claim your honor?

Lucas North — is it running away because you realize you’ll never make yourself go back to jail?

I watch all the scenes again and jot down some notes on the tablet next to the bed.

12:45. I turn off the computer, turn off the light, say the last going to sleep prayer, so sixty angels will guard my bedside, and fall asleep.

***

gg51Something I am not doing: Ricky Deeming (Richard Armitage) about to be tortured in George Gently: Gently Go Man. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

So, yeah.

That’s how I stripped Richard Armitage of human dignity on Tuesday, moving from desire, to brainstorming, to mood maintenance / self-encouragement, to urging myself to pursue my own creativity, to problem-solving about my life.

And I say now: if you think there’s something wrong with that? That’s your privilege. But don’t imply to me that you understand my emotions and what triggers them, or my mental health, better than I do, or that you have a better way of coping with my day and my problems, until you actually know something about me. Think what you like. Write what you like. You’ll have your reward, whatever that might be; I can’t be bothered to worry about what motivates you. But I’m not stopping for you.

I’m not stopping till I get my answers, till I self-integrate, or until I realize that this procedure for pursuing self-integration isn’t working.

***

Stripping Richard Armitage of human dignity — a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it. He’s such a big guy. There’s room for many. So, maybe, several of us.

Hundreds. Thousands. Millions.

~ by Servetus on March 1, 2013.

115 Responses to “Stripping Richard Armitage of his human dignity: A day in the life”

  1. You’ve pretty much said it all, Serv. Thanks. I’ll be out there stripping away his dignity, too. In my own way. 😀

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    • So much dignity to strip, so little time.

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    • wow, and I thought I was alone in “using” RCA for a mental pick-me-up… looking at him as a reward for dealing with a failed marriage that I can’t leave (financial reasons) or exceptionally stupid customers.

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      • Thanks for the comment, GurllovesRCA, and welcome. You are very much not alone. There are thousands of us, maybe tens of thousands. Condolences on the marriage (that’s me trying not to sound platitudinous.)

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  2. Reblogged this on the armitage effect and commented:
    Excellent post about the whole issue of “objectifying” Armitage from our brilliant prof’s POV.

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  3. Thank g-d for coherence. I muddle around and around trying to make sense of all of this to myself and to others who seek to invalidate it for one reason or another and along you come with some clarity! Thanks – I have to get back to my own dignity stripping activities – an act of creativity that I didn’t have in me before I discovered this muse.

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    • Yeah, I’ve been stripping his dignity for more than five years now on a regular basis and many people seem to have enjoyed my efforts in words and images. 😉 Would I have been so creatively productive otherwise?? Hmmmmmm . . .

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      • It’s a compelling thing isn’t it? A year ago I would have scoffed at the notion of such a thing – a muse? Pshaw! Now, I’ve written nearly 10,000 words in two days…10,000 times what I wrote in the previous 2 years. I’ve decided I’m done apologizing to anyone for it. Feels good 🙂

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        • That’s wonderful! 😀 He’s such a catalyst. Why should we apologize for such positive results? We shouldn’t. We won’t! Keep up with the good feeling! 😉

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        • Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel. If he makes me respond, and this is the response, okay, I’m in. I’m not going to argue morals and I am done with hyperscrupulosity.

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  4. You just keep doing what you’re doing Serv, and screw the rest of those “holier than thous”.
    I’m over forty and I knew those three words. Not admitting to anything, just saying I knew the words.

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  5. Maybe, when I fill out my tax forms this year and get to the line that asks me to state my occupation, I will write down: “Stripping Richard Armitage of his Human Dignity on my blogs every day”. Sounds as valid to me as – what according to the muse himself – would be Present-Day Guy of Gisborne’s chosen profession: being a James Hewitt.

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    • That’s it: we’re James Hewitt 🙂

      If I could find a way to get paid for this … one year in grad school I wrote “poet” on my tax form.

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  6. No apologising for what’s real, Servetus. Just keep doing what you do and you do all of us an inestimable favour. I, too, strip Richard of is human dignity daily, and I am not ashamed of what I do. I think if he knew how many of us he inspires to “You can do it” and “Love casts out fear”, he would blush furiously and be glad he helps us get out of bed in the morning and keep going. I think he would be glad that he does not inspire us to do damage to one another, to cause misery when we have the power to bring joy. The only person who really has the power to strip Richard of human dignity is him. If what we do with him helps us to endure against obstacles and perils beyond any we could have imagined, more power to him and to us.

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    • ” I think he would be glad that he does not inspire us to do damage to one another,” — fantastic line. And absolutely right on who strips Armitage of human dignity. I liked what he said in the Strombopoulos interview — he’s obviously not ashamed of himself.

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  7. I’m not a writer and I’m not an artist. Mr. Armitage does not inspire me to be creative. I have a hard job and a lot of responsibilities. And, yes, looking at a picture of him from time to time during the day does help me get through it! He unfailingly makes me smile.

    But, Servetus, it’s your blog that really helps me at the end of the day. I struggle with trying to understand how I can have such a visceral reaction to someone I have never met. Reading your analyses has challenged me, because I don’t agree with everything you’ve written, or at least, your response to Armitagemania is different from mine in some respects.

    See, I really hope to meet him some day. Not with any fantasy of being anything more than a fan, but that’s my fantasy. To look in the real person’s eyes, even for a moment.

    Since I live in NYC it’s not totally impossible that I won’t see him sometime, right?

    Lots more to say about it but have to go to work! Keep up the good work, Servetus! We need you!

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    • There are so many stories like this, big and small. Armitagemania gets me through the day, got me through a cancer therapy, helped me deal with the death of a loved one, helped me find the courage to start a small business … for me, it’s all good. Whatever works. Even when you love what you do, life can be exhausting. We all need inspiRAtion!

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog — I’m glad it helps others and I admit that plays a role for me in writing it on some days, hoping someone might smile after reading it.

      If you want to meet him, I hope you manage that at one of the red carpets or something — or you’re right. Maybe you’ll run int him on the subway …

      Thanks for reading.

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  8. In solidarity with all the strippers!

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  9. Sounds like a tagline….”Armitage Objectifier, stripping human dignity since…”

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    • I like my blog subtitle, but it might be a good one for someone else who wanted to blog 🙂

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      • RAndom RAnting (Armitage Objectifier, stripping human dignity since 2012). ..but I haven’t thought about this at all 🙂

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        • I think you should start a tumblr where you identify traces of pictures of Richard Armitage on antique Attic potshards. It would be a HUGE hit. Call it “Ancient Armitage”.

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          • LOL! I’ll start with ostraka 🙂 Anyone ever tell you that you’re like a gateway drug?

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            • I’m sure you meant ostRAka, no?

              Hey, if I’m a gateway to pleasure and creativity, that’s a huge compliment. (If it’s something else, no comment 🙂 )

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              • Damn, how did I miss that?! I absolutely meant gateway in the best possible way except perhaps time management, since I’d much rather be doing this than tackling the mountain of housework around here 🙂

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                • I have no problem being a gateway to housework avoidance.

                  I hear moderate squalor is immune system-boosting.

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                  • I hate housework—and physical issues make certain types very difficult—so ANY good excuse to avoid it . . . Fortunately I am married to a man who doesn’t require everything to be spic and span.

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                  • My kids are living proof of that theory! I’ve had non trad students who are cops tell me that homes with kids that are excessively clean and neat throws up all sorts of red flags…I’m in no danger there. Plus, there is almost always an award winner science experiment incubating somewhere in my frig :D…I call it proactive class prep.

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                    • I don’t know how people who have kids manage to keep house in immaculate condition (We just have two people and a couple of pets and we sure don’t!). My mother used to worry we’d make some sort of mess when we went to visit our dear aunt who was Suzie Homemaker. She’d lost three children thru stillbirths and channeled her energies into homemaking. I remember my oldest sister’s eyes going wide with amazement. “She polishes the leaves on the plants! Like, every other day!!” That being said, my aunt was a darling. 😀

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                    • We had some bumps early on as hubby’s mother was literally a professional housekeeper and he was under the impressions that once cleaned it just stayed that way. 15 years of reality check later…. 🙂

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              • Followed by amphoRA… You may be on to something…I will be at the Met next week 🙂

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          • Except none of the dudes or parts thereof portrayed on potshards come close to the beauty that is Richard.

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  10. Reblogged this on Well, There You Go … and commented:
    Have you “objectified” your Armitage today? An articulately voiced post from The Prof. Thanks, Serv.

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  11. You and I have discussed before my inability to understand this level of fandom, but even as someone who doesn’t get it, I do not buy this whole thing of stripping the poor objectified celebrity of his dignity. What nonsense. We’re talking about people who willingly and deliberately chose a career which requires them to market themselves as a product. Let’s examine that noun, shall we? A product is not a person. A product is a thing. If you want to avoid being objectified, don’t sell yourself as an object.

    I’m not saying they have to like it or be comfortable with it 100% of the time or never complain about their privacy concerns. Surgeons don’t like it when people die on the table. Waitresses don’t like getting bad tips from rude people. I don’t like cleaning toilets, and before I left my other career to become a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t like having to be polite to entitled jackasses who were too lazy to think for themselves. Most of us have things about our jobs we don’t like, and most of us vent and complain about those things. But it would be disingenuous of us to pretend we didn’t sign up for them.

    Richard Armitage wants people to blog about him, and fantasize about him, and make YouTube reels about him. How do I know this? Because he’s chosen to make his living that way. You’ve got a picture up there of him posing in Glamour magazine, FFS. He’s more than a willing participant in this attention, he’s the willing INSTIGATOR of it. People may not understand what you’re doing, but they’ve no business trying to make you feel guilty for it on the grounds of harming the man in some way.

    Not to mention, glass houses, stones, and all that.

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    • Presumably someone who’d make the argument that Armitage should not be sexualized by his fans would also be making an argument about rejecting his commodification (although this particular blogger did not do that, excusing herself as not having time). And you’re correct that that’s counterproductive to his career aspirations — as he himself has said, “it’s the fans who buy all those tickets.” Assuming he wishes to continue to start in big Hollywood films, he needs to sell lots of reproductions of himself (DVDs, posters, pictures, etc.) because that marketability keeps him employable. Perhaps slightly differently from you, I don’t see him as an agent acting alone (and career wise, developmentally, you can occasionally see him struggling with his commodification), but you’re correct that he is certainly a willing agent and also that he employs commodifiers on his own behalf to enhance the process.

      It continues to be interesting to me that people are not more suspicious of the structure of the media. If Armitage is interviewed and says that he’s uncomfortable with the attention — people take that literally without thinking about the entire structure of the medium around him, reporters gauged to ask certain questions by media that want certain answers, and cultural assumptions we all share. It may in fact be the case that he doesn’t like women staring at him, but it is also and equally the case that there’s no way that he can credibly say “Yes, I love women staring at me, writing salacious stories about me, and masturbating while they think of me, and I wish they would do more of it” given his history and particular positioning in the industry.

      The way in which the press feeds the commodification is key here, and the last time the “oh, no, don’t write about him and sex in the same sentence” matter came up (last spring), I talked about this a lot. My perception is that first we’re sold this thing (Richard Armitage as product) and then, when we buy it and enjoy it, there’s another group of media folks right there to make fun of us. I don’t see why we’re so eager to buy into the second story, except that it increases our own hidden feelings of shame or bewilderment that we feel captive to this process.

      And yes, I agree absolutely on the “costs of doing business” argument. I don’t like grading but I do like research and writing and (much of the time) classrooms. And something like that is presumably true for most people who choose high-stress careers.

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      • Perhaps slightly differently from you, I don’t see him as an agent acting alone (and career wise, developmentally, you can occasionally see him struggling with his commodification), but you’re correct that he is certainly a willing agent and also that he employs commodifiers on his own behalf to enhance the process.

        I hear writers occasionally say that they don’t want their “art” being reduced to a “product.” Well, then they shouldn’t sell it. I’m not saying that’s what’s happening here, but he’s chosen to make a business of acting, and movie acting at that, knowing full well that part of that is creating and marketing a persona. Certainly that requires a team; what he delegates and what he retains control of is up to him. He’s not the sole agent, but he started that business, he owns that business, and he ought to be driving that business. His commodification was a deliberate choice. Again, I’m not saying that means it always has to be fun for him, or that he always has to like everything that’s required to be successful in his chosen field, but he’s in no way a victim either.

        And as you note in your post, what you have access to isn’t the person, but the persona. That is what’s available to write and talk and fantasize about. It’s impossible to objectify something that is already an object.

        Put in that context “Armitagemania” is no different from any other hobby. This product that you buy, this interest of yours, inspires you, makes you smile, and helps you relax when you’re stressed. You’ve built a community around it, and participating in and interacting with that community often brightens your day. I could substitute “World of Warcraft” for “Richard Armitage” in that description and apply it to myself without changing another word. And gamers are another much-maligned community, so I can also relate to a machine that sells you something and then mocks you for buying it. 😉

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        • Aha, so you are a fan! 🙂 Armitagemania has definitely let me see gamers in a different light. Which has brought me closer to a significant chunk of my students in the last few years.

          I think the issue w/Armitage specifically is that he had signed up for a slightly different version of commodification than the one he encountered. Based on the (admittedly unreliable) information that one can glean from the press, he really wanted to be a stage actor and just never got cast, so then moved in the direction of tv and now film. I’m not saying that there’s no commodification of actors involved in stage acting, just that certain aspects of it are more or less important (the sexual orientation discussion, for instance, has a less significant valence on the stage than in film; correspondingly, it seems more important for a stage actor to project his cultural capital aggressively, something that Armitage is tremendously poor at doing or even pretending to do). I think i could put together an argument for most of the missteps he made in terms of early communication / self-presentation after appearing in North & South as being caused by his own either unconscious or defensive misreading of the framework of mediatization in which he found himself.

          That said, I agree, when you sell something (or even just publish it on a blog for free), you sign up for all the misunderstandings generated by you and others. Or, whether you do or not, you have to put up with them anyway. Which makes the question of his “defenses” against them interesting. And he’s never said to fans, “stop doing this.” No matter how he feels, that would be hugely unwise and one suspects he knows that.

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          • Do you think that the persistence of the mythology that Armitage is a naive and vulnerable man child contributes in some part to this issue?

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            • I think so, Obscura. Somehow I think there are certain fans who have this image of Richard circa the N&S interview, rather shy and boyish, very diffident and somewhat uncomfortable with the whole thing.

              But that was nine years ago! He’s come a long way since then, grown so much in savvy and confidence. He’s learned how to “play the game” better, if you will. He’s in his 40s now, an intelligent, experienced, thoughtful grown up, and I really do think he can stand up for himself just fine. 😀

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  12. Brava.

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  13. SERVETUS.

    I just saw this (thanks to a heads-up from guylty!) and I … am just… SPEECHLESS.

    WOW.

    Remind me never to get into a battle of wits with you, because I’d be essentially unarmed…. this is freaking BRILLIANT!

    I have my own opinions about the _real_ reasons why some fans accuse the RA fandom of “stripping dignity”… (hint: it has nothing to do with prudishness or dignity or, really, anything they come out & say, or accusations that they toss out on twitter like chum in the water.) However, be that as it may, these are the accusations they make, and I’m sure that at least some of them believe in it to some degree, and you have definitively refuted them.

    ROCK. ON.

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    • Aaaaw. I’m sure you and I would have a great battle of wits.

      I can only speak for myself. When I was worried about this specific issue to the extent that it gave me pause (it was in the first two months of my fandom), I didn’t write about it myself, but I linked to a post on Spooks Fan Blog about moderation that I essentially agreed with at the time. And as the issue came up again and again, I realized that my opinions were changing precisely because I had stopped being so frightened by my own reactions. So for me — insofar as I was affected by this, it was more by worries about what was happening to me than by moral qualms. If I masturbate, period, I don’t see why it’s worse to dream about Armitage while doing it than to dream about anyone else, real or fictional.

      The arguments about p*rn / objectification and “now we’re doing to men what men did to us all those years” I don’t buy in this context — but that’s also been a gradual process. I started writing about this from that perspective and it just got too abstract. Maybe I’ll publish that someday, but the point isn’t the general principle, the point is what the individual fan does and how s/he processes that. If one is so disturbed by one’s reactions that one decides that Armitage ogling is bad — more power to one. But just because my father is an alcoholic doesn’t mean I should never drink beer, or that all alcohol should be banned.

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      • Agreed! Although (as usual) you put it much more persuasively than I am able to.

        Do you believe that the hate & judgement is really all about objectification? I don’t. I think it’s a convenient flashpoint, but the negativity flows from different origins.

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        • What’s your theory? 🙂

          My own opinion — I would think it would depend on the individual fan (and perhaps their historical place). I definitely subscribe to the notion that fandom is a fantasy of self, so that if one of my own feelings is resentment of being objectified in the past, and I experience a fantasy of self through Armitage, I might want to prevent my fantasy object from being objectified in ways that I have been. It’s plausible, anyway (though that’s not my particular problem). I think one reason that I tend to be so relentless in pointing out all of the framing errors that people make in understanding Armitage (and the unreliability of data) is that the thing I most want from people around me is to be understood. So I essentially seek to protect Armitage against misunderstanding. (A futile effort, as it turns out …). The thing I most want after that is to be happy — and so I spend a lot of time putting up rhetorical walls around Armitage’s happiness.

          I mention historical place as well, because I think that with the people who I call “legacy” fans — essentially people who had been fans much longer than I — that many of them were also very protective with regard to all objectifications that were much more than abstractly romantic or very mildly sexual or joking, but in that case it was because they had this fear that they would jeopardize the “special relationship” they felt they had with Armitage if they spoke about him salaciously. Because they had a strong perception that they were being watched by Armitage or someone close to him, they were very careful of what they said.

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          • My theory doesn’t cover all who cry “objectification” – I’m sure there are some who sincerely object to it, whether they’re self-hating fans or any of the other reasons you’ve eloquently described here.

            But what I’m sensing lately is different. At the risk of overgeneralizing, I can say that anytime you get enough women in on something together, there will be cat-fighting, and I truly feel like that’s what’s going on in some cases. It’s a power-play. Some fans want to be in charge, or at least in an elevated or esteemed position amongst the fandom…. and when they aren’t, they get angry and lash out at other fans. And accuse other fans of [insert choice of misbehavior here].

            And…. in the eternal words of the internets, no1curr. And that just makes them angrier and more resentful. And the cycle continues and escalates, and frequently the bully goes after targets that he or she identifies as especially vulnerable. And the accusations escalate (into “stalking!” – to use one example.)

            Just my two cents. I could be wrong. I often am!

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            • I agree — one could dislike all objectification simply on the merits — although that would put one in a rough place in terms of perceiving the universe (as I mentioned above). And I agree that I don’t think that’s what’s happening here, or not consistently. People who object to all objectification on the merits are typically protecting themselves from opportunities to objectify at all.

              Yours is an interesting and convincing analysis — and I would concede before I respond that I tend not to think of systems in terms of political power (this has been pointed out to me even as a problem in my RL research, that I’m not sensitive enough to those dynamics in my historical interpretations. So in this as often, Armitagemania is teaching me something).

              When I think of the last two or three or publicly visible incidents that come to mind (as well as a few that were private that I’m aware of), I can’t help but agree with you that there are power struggles going on. I guess this fascinates me because I feel like power on the Internet is such a fluid thing, precisely because of no1curr (had to look that up, btw). Readers go where content is being produced, which doesn’t mean they have no loyalty, but simply that they want to fill their needs and they aren’t going to ask many questions about that. It’s a disadvantage to the established person who has any inclination to feel threatened, insofar as something new is always popping up. OTOH, you want to “take control” of some segment of the Armitage fan discourse — you just step in. People start blogs and tumblrs and tweet and vid and photoshop all the time. Do your thing, has always been my response. You want people to read you — write something worth reading. The Internet will find a magical way to bring it to people’s attention. So I tend to see the framework itself as relatively equitable.

              That the discourse that emerges from it is not, and that that makes some people frustrated, hadn’t occurred to me, but it makes a lot of sense. I had been asking myself, so why doesn’t this person just join a forum? They have a lot of discourse rules in place to prevent the kind of things described as objectionable. But, of course, even in a forum, you can’t speak with the same force as a newbie as you can if you’ve been doing this for a while — and this is the same issue that the Armitage blogosphere encountered when it emerged, although I’d like to think we weren’t quite this nasty about it. (Maybe I’m wrong.) So I suppose hurling the “you’re doing it wrong” accusation with the additional twist of “and acting immorally to boot” is a way to gain that power. It’s just that starting off on that foot — seems like seriously bad karma.

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              • Indeed on the bad karma.

                It’s true, what you say about the fluid dynamics of the internet; I think that both good and bad can (and does) come from that. I choose to focus on the positive. I don’t care for a LOT of the stuff on the internet, even on sites I frequent (for example, the comments sections on HuffPo or npr.org stories tend to annoy the heck out of me) – but I’ve found that it’s most practical to simply admit that it annoys me and move on with my life. I don’t really care _why_ it annoys me at this time, I just know that I don’t like to go there. Maybe the people commenting there are doing it wrong, or maybe I don’t get it, or maybe something else. It’s just not a good match at the moment.

                It does no one any good if I sit on those sites and troll just because I don’t like what people are doing there. I’d rather be creating my own stuff, or appreciating other people’s creations, on twitter and tumblr and the blogosphere. (Or maybe, just MAYBE, leave the house once in a while… naaah, it hasn’t gotten to that point. YET.)

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            • @AwkwardCeleb, I don’t think you’re wrong here. I think there was a perception among some fans that this was a small pond and they could be big fish if they just splashed around enough. I also think that the anxiety level among a few who were trying to “set the tone” before the fandom could get any larger (i.e., before The Hobbit) caused a lot of the lashing out. Now what I’m seeing is that a few who were so very sure of themselves and so very loud in their opinions have been reduced to expressing those opinions through sockpuppets. Very interesting turn of events there.

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    • sorry, that should have been ‘thanks to a heads-up from Janine.’

      (Guylty, Janine. SAME DIFFERENCE…!)

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  14. I think we need T-shirts that say: I’m a stripper*
    *of RA’s human dignity

    Anyone who thinks that there’s anything wrong with what you’re doing on this blog should simply not read it. I don’t feel the need to explain or justify my fangirling activities or my blog to anyone and I respect you for trying to explain your reasons or what moves you, but you honestly don’t owe anyone any explanations.
    Please don’t stop doing what you do as long as it feels right to YOU. Happy stripping!! 😉

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    • Thanks, IngeD3.

      I was thinking while writing this that this is the clearest statement I’ve ever made of the position I’ve held for the last two or so years, and maybe this is the last time I have to articulate it — I’ve figured this one out — so I can link back here if I need to say this again. Progress!

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      • Servetus, you are sooo gloriously right here. Thanks!!! (He’s such a big guy!)
        You’ve now put your ideas and insights forth in such clear words and an impressive manner, that for the first time they haven’t left me as puzzled as they sometimes have before. The persistant attempts of you to encircle this annoying and constantly recurring „objectification“ problem, I don’t want to do without them. Even though some of the earlier texts had left me definitely bewildered and in a sort of cock-a-hoop as I frequently felt somehow forsaken and irritated for obviously inter alia being one of those (more rare??) fangrrrls with such a „basic need“ for Richard………From the beginning of my „Armitagemania“ I actually never could really differentiate between Richard and his various role personas, as hard as I tried (which is unsettling enough!) 🙂
        Wow, the long (and winding) way you’ve come is clearly visible!! Me, speechless, again.
        (Btw love that headline!)

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        • Thanks. It’s taken me a while to figure it out, though I don’t know if it has as much to do with Armitage himself as it has to do with me as watching him.

          I realized this summer, in light of some things that were happening in the U.S. political sphere, that the attempts to differentiate between certain kinds of love as legitimate vs illegitimate were essentially spurious. That got me thinking about the line that I’d been drawing between different kinds of admiration / veneration, and I realized that those were basically spurious as well. And I realized that I couldn’t differentiate between fandom and some of these other variants meaningfully. That really bugged me for a long time and still bugs me and I may say more about that at some point. In any case, I just find that I don’t want to draw lines anymore. I want to draw circles.

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  15. This? Hands down one of your best pieces of writing.

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  16. Thanks for doing what you do.

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  17. Wow, an excellent interpretation of “Stripping”! LOL It’s a very interesting and thought provoking topic. I have another example. I was reading today on Facebook about Sidney Crosby, the star hockey player for the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Not that I’m a big hockey fan, I just love most things Pittsburgh! It also helps with missing the family!) Anyway, Sid just was named to an important stats list for February. His picture on Facebook is absolutely gorgeous! Almost all of the comments were about how hot he looks. (I added my own comment!) Did little Sidney take up hockey all those years ago in Canada to be lusted after by women hockey fans? I’m sure he didn’t. Is he upset or feeling objectified? I doubt it. (Even though, like Richard, he was know to be awkward and shy when he first hit the big time!) He’s probably quite happy to be known as a hockey star and a hot guy! He’s making a huge amount of money both personally and for the Penguins. However, both Richard and Sidney know that their professions put them in the spotlight. They are used as marketing tools for their own personal brand of stardom. If they couldn’t stand it, they could both quit. I don’t see that happening! (Thank goodness!)

    Thanks for the article!

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    • A Pens fan! How yinz doin’? My favorite RL fan moment of all time involved Jaromir Jagr back in the day. *Goes off whistling “We Are Family” because baseball season can’t get here fast enough*

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      • I’m great! I can’t get much info about hockey in Southern VA. So I have to rely on the Web. You’re right about baseball. I hope the Buccos have a great season.

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    • I assume that when people constantly say you’re attractive, you get used to it and stop paying attention eventually …

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  18. Servetus – thanks for taking time out of your packed schedule to share your thoughts. I have a similarly demanding job and by day’s end can barely rub my brain cells together enough to fully appreciate your articulate and enjoyable blogs let alone actually write anything coherent. It’s most difficult to make an intelligent and persuasive argument when the concept being challenged is so innately silly, so kudos to you on this post. If someone runs up to Richard at Tesco and grabs his package (and I don’t mean the groceries) then there will be a legitimate gripe about stripping the man of his dignity. I think the man’s dignity is fully intact through how he conducts himself in public and how people respond to him in reality. His role in anyone’s fantasy life has no effect on the man’s dignity. (And everyone needs a fantasy life to stay sane–no harm in that.) That said, I’m happy for Fantasy Richard that we are spread out over many times zones and have different schedules; otherwise the poor guy would never survive the mornings!

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    • it’s true that I never bother to ask Fantasy Richard Armitage if he’s up for it (as I would always ask a real life lover for his consent). I’ll have to check next time to see if he’s looking fatigued 🙂

      I don’t think we read of any instances of questionable behavior by fans during the Hobbit premiere tour. (Which doesn’t mean they didn’t happen — but they didn’t make the press). This tends to suggests that in fact fans know the difference between their fantasies and reality.

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  19. I started to read this post last night, and decided that I best go to bed. Lack of sleep has something to due with it. What a post and I think you got your point across. I agree with you that we don’t know you other that what you put in your posts. Before my class I might have not got that part to well. We all only show a part of ourselves in person. The girls at work don’t know about this part of my life and I don’t plan on telling them, I don’t think that they would get it. The part of me that likes most thing british is a big part of my life and been there since I was young, I have no plans of getting rid of it either, if someone don’t like it to bad for them. I also refuse to have someone make me feel guilty when I can do that to myself very well thank you (food shopping as in I spend to much which I really don’t or clothes shopping for self) . I also think that maybe some people are afraid of what they really think and strike out at someone else instead.

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    • This is a nice point — we’re all capable of overloading ourselves with our own scruples (mine all relate to grading, this time of year).

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  20. Have you read Nabokov’s novel, Pale Fire? Your blog could be titled Pale Fire redux. I think you would find Nabokov fascinating, given your interpretations here, and have wondered what kind of blogger Nabokov would have been. I stumbled on your site while looking for a piece on Richard III and the question of dignity-and the experience was like suddenly falling into the foyer of a mysterious temple you didn’t know existed, made even more unsettling, since I don’t recognize the actor. Do read Pale Fire, as an academic I am sure you will enjoy it.

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    • Thanks for this, and welcome. I didn’t know _Pale Fire_ (like eveyone I’ve read “Speak Memory” and _Lolita?_ and will check it out.

      Temple, I’ll take. I like that.

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  21. I’d hope that if someone was concerned about mental ihealth issue that they would come at with kindness and concern instead of anger.

    The one thing that I know for sure is that we ALL, meaning everyone in the entire world, is a bit crazy. I have not encountered one person that doesn’t have a something going on. It is whether or not we can function at make that crazy work in our favor instead of against us.

    As for how this all effects (or is it affect?) the person in question. Who can really say? I can imagine it is flattering and kinda freaky all rolled into one.

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    • well — the person who started this seems to be a “concern troll,” i.e., someone who seeks to stir up discord by expressing concern for others. It’s apparently a known pattern in the Internet world (I ran into it last spring).

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  22. This was pretty funny and a great way of pointing out the absurd by being absurd. In this day and age it’s not culturally correct to objectify a person; however I don’t think that’ s why some people object to objectifying. IMOH it’s their way of discrediting someone they may feel is threatening — for whatever reason.

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    • Sloan, you raise a good point. To objectify a person is to deny his or her autonomy as a subject, it means to take away that person’s humanity by seeing a person as a thing. And, yes, it is neither culturally nor morally correct-it’s a wrong thing to do. But the blog doesn’t strike me as an act of objectification, or even primarily about voyeurism, which can lead to objectification. It strikes me as quixotism-creating an idealization that the fan enjoys experiencing (consciously by the way-I’d call fans willful quixotes). Using a catalyst, in this case images of Richard Armitage, the quixote generates a whole ideal world in which she can pursue all kinds of desires, like the desire to get through her day. Does Don Quixote objectify his Dulcinea? Even if Don Quixote confessed to jacking off while thinking of Dulcinea, (he does admit to imagining her naked) we would probably not hold it against him, his idealism somehow shields him from harsh judgment-I think because of what @Rob mentioned, it ‘is flattering and kinda freaky.’ While we have good reason to excoriate those who objectify others, we accept quixotism today like never before; to “dream the impossible dream” can be a tremendous relief sometimes.

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      • Thanks for this. I’m about to go discuss _The Wealth of Nations_ with fifteen 22 year olds who almost certainly haven’t read it, for 3.5 hours. This, and sloan’s comments, were really helpful. I will come back to this. When I’ve survived the evening.

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        • Talk about letting blood from a stone! On the plus side…a break is right around the corner. That is one benefit of the non-trad student. They can be a bit manic and consumer oriented – but they ALWAYS do the reading.

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          • I guess what bugs me is that this is THEIR (relatively expensive) education. I will definitely cheerlead as necessary, but heck, they enrolled in this class — others were available. So if you didn’t want to read this reading list, well … there were others ….

            Actually they had read it. They only had to spend 20 minutes digressing on the topic of why economics / numbers are awful. I pointed out that they will regret this prejudice in a few years, and left it at that, as I don’t think _Wealth of Nations_ is actually a book about economics …

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      • My main point is that some folks might use the cc reasoning to validate their criticism when they actually have a different agenda. I agree we idealize/idolize RA (or some other person/situation) to achieve a positive outcome, i.e. making a situation less stressful, motivation, etc. I’ve said from the very beginning, one of the main reasons for my attraction to RA is the healing component.

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        • I think it’s smart to point out that that’s what part of what’s happening here, sloan. It’s not a way in which I tend to think but it is in fact a reality.

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      • I think we also know as readers that Quixote will not win Dulcinea (another parallel to this blog).

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  23. Once again I am blown away by your writing. I would never in a million years admit to any of my friends or colleagues what I do in my spare time (mostly obsessing over RA porn fiction) but thanks to your blog I can admit to it semi-anonymously now. You are such an honest and open writer and there is always something you write that gets me saying, “Exactly! That’s what I was trying to say!” or “OMG! I do the same thing!”

    I had to laugh when you wrote about your unengaged students and the girl who falls asleep during your lecture. I get the same thing teaching 7 and 8 year olds! I’ve really had to step up my dramatic flair to get my kids to engage with me.

    At the end of the school day when my little munchkins have gone home, I pull out my iPad and start the RA slide show (which lately has been Guy of Gisborne mostly, with some of those Ascroft photos as well). It doesn’t seem to have the same effect for me that it does for you but then I realized what a fantastic idea you had of putting the inspirational sayings onto the pictures. I think I will try that to see if looking at RA’s pictures will finally encourage me to assess my students’ writing and to check if I have the correct APA citation style in my almost completed Action Research Project (ugh!!!! I think someone who wanted to torture grad students came up with APA style). Right now RA’s pictures lull me into a fantasy world and when I snap out of it I wonder what happened to the daylight. Ok, it’s not really that bad but almost!

    My favorite time of the day to objectify our favorite sexy man is at the end of the day when I’m all cuddled in bed. That’s when I really get to focus on the fantasy and the only dilemma I have to worry about is which porn fiction story will I read and which character: John Thornton, Guy of Gisborne, Lucas North, Thorin? Ya know, I’m feeling a little sleepy. Maybe it’s time for bed….

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    • Thanks for the kind words about the writing.

      re: labeling the pics I’m looking at — my constant search, over the course of Armitagemania, has been to figure out how to convert the fascination and the dopamine from looking at the work and the pics into something else. How do I get from these euphoric feelings to something that helps me concretely? So labeling the pics is one way that I do that. I don’t have to concentrate on the message so much if I just keep looking at the pics, and I do very much experience the effect that things that frighten or anger me get easier if the positive message about them is associated with the dopamine rush of seeing Armitage.

      The “fanfic porn” is a different matter, and how it works is something I need to write about more, but I also think it’s basically okay, or rather, I’ve learned to trust my use of it. And I use it a lot — particularly when I’m writing.

      If you’re ever in doubt you might read the comment about fandom as “quixotism.” That comment did a lot for me personally and I’ve been meaning to write more about it (well, bestlaid plans and time and so on).

      Hang in there w/grad school. It IS hard but it also eventually ends. Unlike grading … 🙂

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  24. Reblogged this on Me & My Mutterings and commented:
    If you are a fan of Richard Armitage, this blog post at Me + Richard Armitage is a must read!

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  25. […] The pictures of Armitage, as Guylty has been documenting for us, are increasingly present and improving drastically in quality. Many of them are positively transfixing (see above). And it’s so easy to use those pictures and the related fantasies to get through the day. […]

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  26. I love your picture showing the places on his head that you want to kiss him. Thank you for your well-developed posts. This one was very amusing.

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  27. [edited for ad hominem attack — Serv.]

    Do you think Richard would like this site?

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    • Thanks for taking the time to make a comment, Olivia, and welcome.

      “me +” does not allow ad hominem comments (criticisms of a person). If you wish to discuss, disagree with, or criticize the stance taken in the post, have at it, we are very open to criticism of our ideas. But commentators here are not allowed to make personal attacks on me or each other. This keeps the blog a safe place for discussion.

      As far as your question about Richard Armitage — I have no idea what he thinks about anything really, beyond the extent to which I can consider statements he makes in the press. But he’s not the audience for this site. I doubt he’s even aware of it. I don’t know what he would think of it, but if you read the “about” section you know that the site is only tangentially about him.

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    • Oh — and: that’s a warning. A second ad hominem attack will get you blocked.

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  28. […] big dreams often started off with small steps and I am sure onlookers made fun of their ambitions. This comment on the blog made that very clear to me, and I wasn’t sufficiently grateful to the author who left it at the […]

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  29. […] I’m on record as believing that none of our hands are clean, and that the specific manifestations of our praxis are much less important than our similarities of atti…. Just like any cat lover or shipper, I’m fighting an identity battle on this blog, as well, […]

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  30. […] Stripping Richard Armitage of his human dignity: A day in the life. March 1, 2013. How my concept and fantasy of Richard Armitage gets me through the day. Upsetting […]

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  31. […] biographical; some persuasive; some poetic; some fantastical; some erotic; some satirical; some programmatic. Not everything that might be said on any topic can be said in all of these genres of text, even […]

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  32. […] has implications for understanding how our fandom works internally vs. externally. (And, oh yeah, this post is still there. When this blog is over, it might be the most visited ever. Funny to re-read it […]

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  33. Hi I am unsure whether it is ok with you to still leave a comment on an old post, but thanks so much for this, I really needed that ” you can do it” and ” no fear” motivational and emotional crutch you provided via RA today. I have also never seen anyone dissect their own emotions quite the way you do here on this blog in general, so open and truthful and unafraid and from such an honest place. I wish you all the best and will continue to read with interest.

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    • Thanks for taking the time to make the comment on something that’s almost ancient history now — at the time I really relied on those images to perk myself up and keep myself going. I really appreciate the kind words and comment.

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  34. […] what the meaning of the object of the fandom could be in the daily life of a fan, and I said so, elliptically but rather controversially. Some responses to the veiled implications about fan idolatry were vehement. As much as that […]

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