I wish I had been wrong

[edits made for clarity are marked.–Serv]

About the stuff I have been talking about this week. My argument here about how Richard Armitage’s vague statements about ethics turn into a sledgehammer for fans to beat each other over the head with, and my argument here about how people who don’t toe the line of being “good” fans will be told by other fans to shut up because the matter of certain kinds of access to Armitage is too important to risk the possibility that he might be bothered by a fan’s criticisms have both been demonstrated in the discussion here. And since the main person doing the policing is showing no signs of abandoning her attempt to shut me / us / critics of Marlise Boland up, others are now intervening to say we should just take a deep breath and stop it. I don’t think I’m especially negative, actually (if you want to see negativity, read an anonymous course evaluation result sometime), but apparently willingness to disagree with the common wisdom counts as negativity. And disagreement is said to be bullying — something I have never said (disagreement, policing, and bullying are three different hings) — but the charge is being hurled at me. I’m surprised we haven’t heard the Gospel of Friendship according to Richard Armitage quoted on that, because he said something about it this time last year.

I’m used to this on one level, because people have been telling me for years what I should write about. Sometimes this is formulated positively (“I would love to read an analysis of _____”) and sometimes negatively (“You need to stop talking about _____”) and sometimes it’s simply a personal attack on me (“You need to stop acting like _______”) and even, last spring (“If you don’t stop writing about ______ we are going to ______ you”). What’s new in this scenario is that admonition to negative self-censorship used to be located on the margins of the fandom. So many times we’ve had to state explicitly from the center that there’s a place for everyone in this fandom, so telling people they are too serious, too intellectual, too “whatever” in what they do or write is dangerously delegitimating.  Now that argument has moved to the center. Richard Armitage’s presence in social media and the access of one person to him who claims to be a fan and owns a media company are now being present as justification for what I (and perhaps others) who don’t respect that person’s work should write or not write about. With the urge toward positivity on top of all of that.

To clarify: Fans don’t determine what I write about. Richard Armitage doesn’t determine what I write about. I determine what I write about. I decide for me what “being a good fan” is. This idea that somehow other fans’ guesses about what Richard Armitage wants should determine what I say sends chills down my spine. Or, as I was told in a message yesterday from Boland’s [self-appointed] publicist, that her awareness of the fan market mood is “more accurate” means I should stop writing about my reactions to Boland.

Basta ya: What I write is an accurate reflection of my thoughts and feelings.

I knew this wave was coming for a long time because, although I’ve never been thrilled about the prospect of Marlise Boland doing an interview (I did not publicize the poll that started the fandom down this road a year ago), and I didn’t like what she produced (see my very ambivalent comment here, for instance, and the comments here –note that I was already excerpting pieces of private conversation I was having because people didn’t want to criticize her publicly), the second I came out fully and said I felt like the enterprise was making me feel exploited, I was the recipient of an email from Marlise Boland’s [self-appointed] publicist asking why I wasn’t being more positive about Marlise Boland and the interview. Within thirty minutes! The whole thing was disquieting. If Marlise Boland is a journalist, why should she be above criticism? This is my blog, after all. Why should I not be honest about how I feel? The entire premise of this blog is me tracing my honest reactions to things. I don’t say everything, but I say quite a bit. It was clear that Marlise Boland’s [self-appointed] publicist thought I should see myself as Richard Armitage’s [volunteer] publicist. As I have been saying for years, I am not. I am his fan. There’s a difference. I told her that at the time — chacun à son goût, but that’s not me.

Of course, Marlise Boland’s [self-appointed] publicist feels free to express her critical opinions on this and that (and then delete the evidence of it — but don’t worry, we learn early on this fandom to screencap for our protection), but I shouldn’t do it.

I didn’t like the interviews all that much, but as they broke in the middle of this, I didn’t have much energy for any kind of comment; I didn’t like the video from the Old Vic this summer; I didn’t like the ice bucket challenge thing; and I was bothered that The Anglophile Channel was the delivery mechanism for the “end of The Crucible” video. I spent some time in September privately pondering what it would mean for my fandom if Marlise Boland became Armitage’s court press secretary. Note that I am not saying that Richard Armitage shouldn’t have done any of those things, that I can’t imagine [reasons for] what his interest in doing so is, [because I can,] or that Marlise Boland shouldn’t have done them, or that anyone else who likes them shouldn’t like them. All I have ever said is that her interviews do not reach the professional standard and that I was ambivalent about them (in February and March) or have grown to dislike or find them boring (this week).

Seriously, folks. This is how to have a conversation about the criticisms I raised: Present an actual argument about why Marlise Boland’s work is good, about why it is professional. Compare her work to that of professionals and show how it is similar or better. Demonstrate with evidence how her interview questions are interesting and incisive. Tell me why her constant touching of the subject and her requests that he look into her eyes are appropriate behavior in this setting. Explain how the videography and editing are really high quality. Let me hint: if you want to make that argument, you should probably say something not just about medium, but about audience. We could have a really interesting discussion of how Marlise Boland sees her audience vs how I see it vs how fans see it that would do a lot to illuminate the kind of questions that she asks. But it seems that with the exception of about four people who disagree (one of whom, KellyDS, makes a lot of excellent points), no one wants to do that.

I’ve never bought the apparent hierarchy that some fans seem to believe in — that in our fandom, Richard Armitage is more important than we are, and above criticism. (What that usually means is — it’s okay for me to criticize him, but not you.) What I want from Richard Armitage is just as important as what Richard Armitage wants from me (if it were reliably known) in my “relationship” to him. Now we’re seeing a new manifestation of that: Marlise Boland is supposed to be above criticism (in implication, because she has access to him). Let’s all shut up and listen to the echo chamber, beacuse it sounds so sweet and Richard Armitage flirts with Marlise so charmingly. Who’s the next person who’s going to be above criticism?

I’ve got my own blog and I’ve grateful that it gives me that platform and I plan to continue to use that freedom, comments about negativity and bullying and meanness notwithstanding.

[Not sure what to do here. I did not write this post with the aim of prolonging the discussion, but I am aware that it will have that effect. And if I close comments someone will accuse me of censorship, so I will leave them open. I’ve got at least two more posts to write today and I want to see the movie one more time, though.]

~ by Servetus on December 21, 2014.

62 Responses to “I wish I had been wrong”

  1. I had a hugemongeous reply and decided it was too windy. And too deep for my little self. Much too deep. It’s a well-kept secret that I’m capable of it.

    In short, I’m rather glad I am NOT a blip on anyone’s – specifically a publicist’s – radar. I hope I’m not on ANYONE’S radar. I’m pretty blunt about my likes and dislikes. So nyah. It’s no secret.

    But no one takes me seriously anyway. And that’s how I like it.

    Last I heard, we had freedom of speech and freedom of opinion. As children, we accepted that we didn’t want to play with everyone on the playground and not everyone wanted to play with us. When did we forget this in the growing up process? The ability to accept constructive criticism is a genteel art not taught anymore in schools.

    If you are in need of lube in order to put your foot up someone’s bahooty, I have plenty.

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    • “Write about anything you like as long as it’s positive and doesn’t criticize Marlise Boland” seems to be the mood of the moment. That said, it’s really one person who’s pushing this point of view. I’m just concerned that there are a lot of people nodding along with her.

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      • Can I be honest?

        It’s your opinion and your right and your blog. Eff ’em. What was that lovely Dwarvish line Thorin said to Thranduil about defacating on his ancestor’s graves???

        Yeah. hands you the Ex-lax

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        • Yup, and you know, maybe I’ve been too quiet too long about certain things. I guess we’ll see what happens 🙂

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      • And let them nod. Imagine bobble-headed dolls.

        in leis and grass skirts. On the dashboard.

        nodnodnodnodnodnodnodnod

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  2. Dear Servetus! I’m the last person to advise you what to do but can you just let it go? You have expressed your opinion so let her/them think about it. Even if they don’t agree with you they still have something to think about. I am personally not so demanding and look only at Richard in those interviews and he’s never boring to me.
    About The Hobbit. I saw it yesterday with my son (in Russian unfortunately but it was the only way to see it in 3D HFR). We both loved it and I agree with many that it’s Richard’s movie. He is amazing! But you have already written about it all. And yes we have something to complain about: too many scenes with elfs (sorry elfs fans); and my son asked about the Thorin’s funeral which in the book is quite a remarkable scene with Bard laying the Arkenstone upon Thorin’s breast. I do hope that this scene will be in the extended cut. I’m going to see The Hobbit again, this time in English with Richard’s beautiful voice but in 2D.

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  3. I meant a RIGHT to our opinion. Gah.

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  4. I’m still trying to wrap my mind about the exact problem here.
    You didn’t like something and expressed it on your blog. Someone did not like your opinion and expressed that elsewhere. All of that is perfectly fine.
    I don’t like publicists getting involved and I am still wondering what is Marlise bothered about. She is a journalist and should know to take criticism in her stride.
    I just want to say it’s your blog and not a profession and yes no one has the right to criticize you here or tell you what to write about.
    I love to read your blog and I may not agree with everything you say but I still enjoy reading it 🙂

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    • Hit the enter when I was typing the name

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    • Disagreement is fine; telling other people to stop disagreeing is not fine. They can say that because in the social media world many people can say anything if their platform allows them to do so. But telling me to stop disagreeing in the name of Richard or some principle about being positive is not okay with me. In fact, it might provoke me to do exactly opposite.

      People can also criticize my arguments here. And each others’ arguments. That’s the point of the rule against ad hominem.

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  5. ok, I’m going to wade in with my two cents….kudos to you for Marlise Boland and her minions to feel your writings are important enough to contact directly (I get the feeling it is not welcomed by you but it does have a certain irony if that is the correct phrase). I also don’t feel she should mention the fandom in her interviews…she should speak for herself, not others … if she hasn’t had my direct input she should not speak for me. I am definitely a fan of RA but I am yet to figure out if I am part of his fandom….I don’t really know the definition of that. Fandom seems to encompass many things to many people and I don’t yet quite understand then what ‘fandom’ as a collective means, if you know what I am trying to say (because I don’t even really know yet). I really do like that RA is on twitter and communicates what he wants to or feels the need to. I also hope that he continues to do so whether he gets criticism or praise. I personally do not mind seeing his shortcomings as well as his awesomeness – he is a human being and has every right to express himself. He will make mistakes and not please everyone all the time and that is how we all learn and grow, including Mr. A I would assume. I would hope that he limits himself regarding viewing and commenting on only to things that has been expressly sent to him by his fan via letter or twitter …. kind of like it’s not polite to read someone’s diary or something unless they ask you to. I’m not a deep thinker, I look forward to more of your posts, they really make me mull things over and look at things more closely regardless of what I think my original points of views are. The fact that the Anglophile Channel is reacting so strongly to criticism kind of reinforces the idea that it is not professional. I would hope a professional takes it on the chin, reacts privately, and hopefully then gives what pushed their buttons some thought. That is what I have been trying to do lately. I recently read something somewhere (I have forgotten who said it) that said people don’t often look to hard in the mirror, introspection?, because they often will not like what they see. That hit home for me so I am planning a little more instrospection for the new year. I really get a lot personally from your blogs. Sorry for my longwinded ramblings.

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    • yeah, honestly, there’s never been one shred of evidence anywhere that Richard Armitage cares about my opinion about anything and that’s as it should be.

      it’s an interesting point about whether you can / should comment about things that are not directed at you specifically. People always thought he did see those things and now he has the opportunity to speak.

      re: introspection = yes, although people are usually telling me that I am too introspective.

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  6. Maybe I am a cynic, but every time I hear the “what would Richard think/do” argument it reminds me of the scene in Life of Brian where everybody tried to interpret what Brian’s lost shoe means…

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  7. I’m curious, serv, why you believe the publicist felt it necessary to contact you? Just to tell you to knock it off and stop criticizing her client?

    I wonder why Marlise and her publicist found that to be necessary. If she is indeed a professional journalist, as she proclaims to be, wouldn’t she need to learn that criticism is part of the job? Perhaps other journalists (I want to say reputable journalists but I don’t want to imply that MB is disreputable – just unprofessional) also have publicists who respond to criticism in this manner, but if so i’ve never come across such an instance.

    What do you suspect her motive to be?

    By the way, I fully support your position on this. It is your blog and you are free to write whatever you want. If someone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it. And if they choose to read it, I would hope they would form their own opinions on your topic. I don’t always agree with your opinions, but I support your right to state them in your own forum.

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    • I probably should start writing “self-appointed publicist.” It’s my sarcastic turn for a fellow fan who rushes in to defend Marlise at every turn. It’s not even clear to me that Marlise Boland knows about this or condones it.

      I really don’t know what her motive is, because I although I observe her behavior in the blogosphere regularly, I don’t know why she behaves as she does.

      Thanks for your support.

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  8. You are entirely correct. This is your blog. Where you can write your opinions and thoughts however you want to. If people don’t like what you say or don’t want you to write about something, then they don’t have to read it.

    I will only say one more thing about the whole Marlise situation. Professional journalists and people who post things on youtube for the public to see open themselves to criticism both negative and positive and should be able to handle that.

    I don’t believe at all that criticizing with a well thought out argument is bullying. I do believe that telling people to grow up or be nice to each other after insulting, shaming and calling them names does not make you the better person as some fans seem to think. It actually kind of makes you a hypocrite. This is not specific to this incident either.

    You keep doing your thing on your blog.

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  9. I received a taste of the police effort of fans last November. I ask a simple question is “Richard in London or NYC?” and got slammed by several fans that he was entitled to his private life, etc. I could not believe the response! They Reprimand me for asking a very generic question of his “city” location at the time. That was on Twitter and they are now all blocked! He has 79k followers and I do not have to tolerate blockheads. There are too many fans to choose to be friends on social media to tolerate insults, bullying, etc. This is your blog and no one has the right to dictate their fandom dogmatic rules, restrictions and standards to your writings.

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  10. Personally, I love and appreciate that you keep telling your truth, and I hope that you continue to be able to.

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  11. Sometimes if life the best thing to do is keep your mouth shut or pen down – if you don’t then at least don’t keep digging the hole to prove yourself to be right and have everyone take sides. I won’t go into this point by point, I have too much in my own life that is wonderful to be dragged into this but I will say that I watched Marlise’s interview and loved it. He was more himself than we have ever seen. He has developed a trusting friendship with her and I think is drawn to her joyful spirit like he was in Brazil. She is a round peg that can’t be forced into a square hole – good for her – who cares what she should or shouldn’t do, she is making her own decisions and truthfully I feel she is much more goodhearted and professional than the mess that I have seen on the two blogs I have followed over the years. I won’t be reading responses I don’t think. Interesting how Marlise saw the reaction to Richard’s stepping out on stage in Brazil and how other blogs focused on it with an awkward photo that he would have found rather base and mean.

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    • Since we don’t know who he is, it’s really difficult to reason about whether he is Himself” or not. I also don’t see how seeing a vid interview lets us conclude that “he has developed a trusting friendship” with her. That would be unwise, as she’s a journalist. He has a picture he wants to present and she can help him do that (or hinder him from it).

      I’ve never believed that I had the obligation to present only flattering photos of Richard Armitage on this blog. If you are expecting that, you are looking in the wrong place.

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  12. It seems that we are only to say nice things and how dare we voice an opinion other than the one everyone wants to hear. It is more than this fandom, it seems that is how the world wants to see everything these days. Life is full of the wonderful things and shovel the bad under the carpet to shut them up. It is ok to have an opinion, after all everyone does, but that we don’t care for something than to shut up is not right either. I only saw bits and pieces of the spring interview and didn’t care for them, didn’t bother with the latest ones. I really don’t watch any of the interviews that much any more. But that’s me and what I think, also hate conflict.

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  13. An informative read.

    One of the elements that resonates most with me – as a fellow blogger, though of a different stripe – is how this comments thread demonstrates that even if you have a blog, and can say what you like, it’s wise to choose your words carefully. One reader actually believed – from what you has written previously – that 1) Marlise has a publicist, and 2) she sicced this publicist on you. Again, as a blogger, that is a lesson I will take to heart.

    I’d like to clarify my so-called “self-appointed ‘publicist'” position, but first I have to laugh a bit at the thought that because I said something positive in response to your criticism, I’m flacking, rather than just another reader voicing my own differing opinion.

    Okay, done chuckling.

    On to the clarification: I do know Marlise, and because I do, I sometimes have a bit of first-hand background on her work and an understanding of her approach. When I first read an earlier post about Marlise, and commented, I believed it would be useful to offer that perspective – a different perspective – on the topic Marlise Boland and The Anglophile Channel. I continued to comment on various Marlise entries for the same reason, and because I truly felt that my comments might make a difference.

    To further clarify, I do this on my own. No Marlise involvement whatsoever.

    My overall motivation? I thought I’d made that clear: to me, there’s a difference between legitimate criticism of the media, and a personal campaign against someone in the media. The tone of the writing, to me, felt and continues to feel personal. I can’t fathom why Marlise Boland – of allllll the entertainment reporters out there – is in your sights. Finally, the language often feels deliberately chosen to be unkind. Unkindness is one of my personal buttons.

    So, hope this all helps explain why I comment.

    Gotta go. I have a holiday trip and haven’t packed. I hope your holidays are all you wish them to be, and that 2015 brings you joy. Lest you wonder, I mean that sincerely, Servetus.

    Cheers,

    Marcia

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    • I’m sorry to point this out to you again, but reading all your comments has drove me crazy.

      [edited — the rest of this was ad hominem — thanks for your understanding. — Serv]

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    • Good to know. I assumed that people would know that she doesn’t have a publicist, and that my use of the term was sarcastic. When I realized that was not the case, I went through and corrected it. As to all you do for her, I hope she’s aware of this, because you are not helping her out in terms of presenting an argument that is convincing a lot of people.

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  14. I was going to suggest you use the Boland interview as a “teacheable moment”. But I see you already thought of it: comparing her work to other professional journalists, what is “good” about it, and all the other points you touched on. Having readers really examine her product and produce examples of why it is good or why it is not. But I decided it would be too much work, (for you and for us) and perhaps many of us who read your blog regularly neither need or want a “teachable moment” re: Ms. Boland’s work. All of us can take it leave it as we choose. And we can all express an opinion on it, negative or positive. I truly don’t understand why Ms. Boland is above criticism. None of us are. Even as a lowly commentator, I may express an opinion that someone doesn’t like, and they may tell me how much they don’t like it. OK, fair enough. If I put my words out there, they might bug someone. That someone might write that they hate my comments, fair enough. I am a big girl and I can take it. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me and I don’t need a protector from people with other points of view. As a former professional print journalist, I always approached interviews as a job, mine was to ask questions and the interviewee’s job was to answer them. Of course you want to establish rapport with your subject, but that occurs through chatting with them before you begin. I thought about excusing Ms. Boland’s inappropriate behavior because she is making a video, and she wants to make it more “fun” and personal. But she doesn’t just cross the line, she obliterates it. To me, that is a deliberate choice she had made. It is her chosen style, and it is legitimate to critique her choices. I have not read any personal attacks on her intelligence or anything else about her. Also the fact that a journalist of her standing has a publicist is laughable. I hope that last sentence is not too personal or offensive.

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    • I want to correct that and apologize for creating the wrong impression — I changed my sarcastic use of “publicist” it in the post to “self-appointed publicist.”

      The thing is that we critique interviewer style all the time. I can think of at least four posts on this blog without doing a search that offer a media critique of some kind of interview with Armitage. But when it’s Marlise Boland, she’s apparently off limits.

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  15. while you know I don’t 100% agree, I do respect your opinion. I enjoyed the debate about traditional journalism vs the new youtube type entertainment reporting that was had at the beginning of these discussions. when Marlise’s wish to remain positive was met with negativity though, that’s when I became disheartened. I think in trying to protect our right to speak and express what we feel, we often mistakenly give the impression that in order to do so the other side needs to be quiet. (I direct that at both sides of this argument- myself included, for a few passionate hours there 😉 ).
    I agree that no one person or site should represent the fandom, but as far as I know Richard has not approached Marlise in this regard and I doubt that he will. he has been careful in the past not to rely on one source to communicate through because he has seen what havoc it can cause. another argument you raise is that he’s causing his own havoc by his actions on Twitter; I think you’ve brought forth several issues these last few days that, while bleeding into each other, can also be seen as separate issues with different opinions for some. when they’re piled on top of each other, it can feel suffocating and that’s when the smoldering embers turn into a full on blaze.
    regardless, I appreciate this post in how it focused on trying to explain where the arguments veered off course, without it reverting back to the arguments themselves. it’s helpful in any debate to revisit exactly what is being said.

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    • The problem for a lot of us, I think, is that being told to “stop being so _____” (negative, critical, etc.) is not really an argument. It’s a way to say, stop arguing or even discussing what your problem is, a bar to criticism. In general, few people object to the wish of a commentator to remain positive (and this blog is not exactly a swamp of negativity, I feel, although it does seek to be sincere in its evaluations of things). It’s when the command to remain positive turns into a way of saying “don’t criticize me” and then the people who write the “incoherent ramblings” (yup, that was in her post) are shamed for apparently not being sensitive enough to how upset people are by world tragedies that the problems start.

      re: Xmas, we’ll see what happens.

      re: conflating issues — the question becomes when a series of separate matters with some kind of intersection become a pattern. I didn’t write an entire history of Armitage on Twitter, or all of the bullying that has gone on his name since he’s been tweeting, but I could, and to me, we’re starting to see a pattern. It was fascinating to me once I pointed out a pattern that we saw it replicated.

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  16. There are many different kinds of journalists (e.g. the dwarf-guy…) – some do their research and ask new and interesting questions and others don’t . I’m interested in the answers and reactions of RA in order to get another piece of the jigsaw-puzzle and I don’t care if the interviewer is a professional or a fan or both.

    I read your blog because I do like your way of thinking, writing and arguing and I really enjoy your level of carefully reasoned disagreeing. In my humble opinion nothing could be further away from negativity, bullying and meanness. You gave examples and evidence and you are definitely not calling names. I just don’t get why anybody should want you to shut up???

    There are some fans who like MB’s style and others who feel uncomfortable with her way to do the interviews. Both sides have their arguments and I fail to see why it’s wrong to have different opinions about her or why this is a reason to do ad hominem attacks.

    I’m always curious WHY people behave in a way I don’t understand. I guess that there are some devoted MB fans out there who are loyal and want to defend her. Because they are emotional involved they are not able to listen to rational arguments. They just don’t want to hear them and perhaps that’s the reason for the irrational attacks? – Strange…

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    • There’s some kind of odd identity battle I don’t fully understand going on here. Probably a matter to think about later …

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  17. Ich staune.

    Ich staune wirklich.

    Darüber, wie unterschiedlich die Eigen- und Fremdwahrnehmung sein kann.

    Darüber, was einige Fans so alles über Mr. Armitages wissen, dass sie so genau sagen können, mit wem ihn eine Freundschaft und/oder zumindest grundsätzliches Vertrauen verbindet.

    Darüber, dass immer noch niemand Argumente liefert, warum Marlises Arbeit gut ist.

    Punkt 1 kann man wohl nur mit Staunen zur Kenntnis nehmen, in diesem Fall ebenso, wie auch in all jenen Fällen, die jede von uns schon im richtigen Leben erlebt hat.

    Punkt 2 kann ich nicht beurteilen. Richard hat es bisher nicht für nötig gehalten, mich in die Gründe für seine Entscheidungen einzuweihen, und sein Anti-Gedankenlese-Hut 😉 funktioniert einwandfrei.

    Punkt 3 amüsiert mich irgendwie – auf eine nicht wirklich amüsante Weise. Der Witz ist: Ich bin von Marlise nicht sonderlich begeistert, aber ich könnte mich trotzdem hinsetzen und ihre Arbeit mit Argumenten verteidigen. Warum ist es so viel “besser”, mit der groben Keule zuzuschlagen?

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    • yeah — it’s getting to point where I think I should write a defense of her just to explain how argument works. Then again, I’ve stopped teaching people, and I don’t know why I should start doing it again for free.

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      • Spar dir die Mühe, es führt zu nichts. Aber das weißt du selbst. 🙂

        Hätte mir ihre selbsternannte Sprecherin eine Vorlage geliefert, hätte ich vermutlich dem Impuls nicht widerstehen können, ein paar Beispiele für sachliche Argumentation zu geben, aber die Dame ist ja in Urlaub über die Feiertage … Gut so, nur leider zu spät. Ihre Kommentare haben das ganze lächerliche Theater erst richtig eskalieren lassen.

        Ganz ehrlich: Ich hatte mich gefragt, ob Marlise Boland eingegriffen hatte. Diese Streiterei – ausgelöst durch sachliche Kritik, wohlgemerkt! – wirft kein gutes Licht auf sie, und sie hat als jemand, der in den Medien aktiv sein will, einen Ruf zu wahren. PR-Leute gucken sich an, mit wem ihr Schützling sprechen oder nicht sprechen soll. So, wie diese Streiterei aufgebläht wurde, kann ihr das durchaus schaden, und somit hätte sie im eigenen Interesse ihre “Sprecherin” stoppen und sich selbst aktiv um Schadensbegrenzung bemühen müssen.

        Statt dessen werden die bösen, bösen Trolle aka kritische Blogger geblockt.

        Very professional, indeed!

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  18. By law, you have the right to say what you think, as long as it’s not provably slander or libel. You are not engaging in ad hominem attacks, but simply raising questions. I remain surprised that someone would go to the time and effort to try to shut you up. My own distaste for Ms. Boland’s style simply is what it is, but I guess because I neither blog nor tweet, no one has noticed. Long may you write, Serv, and enjoy the freedom of expression that is yours by right.

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    • Me, too. I never believed I was worth that much effort … but I did want to give voice to something I knew was there.

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  19. Servetus, my reason for reading your blog is because you are open, honest, intelligent and you call it it like is, or the way you see it. I don’t always have to agree with you, but that is what makes it interesting. We all have our opinions and listening to others help you to learn and grow. I would say you should be flattered that Marlise Boland considers your blog to be of such importance that she had to respond to it. Unfortunately, she did not do it very professionally which does not surprise me, because in my opinion, her questions are not exactly highly intellectual. Probably that is why RA likes her. He knows he can relax with her, as she is not the brightest kid on the block and he can handle that. He prefers interviews to be on the lighter side, and she does give him that. Please do not change!!!! I don’t just want to see good things out there all the time. That is not being truthful, and no one person is perfect, and as much as I admire RA for his brilliant acting abilities, I have found many flaws in him as well. Nothing inflammatory, but I would be petrified to say it in writing as I would be pounded into a pulp for giving my honest opinion. People should grow up and start respecting each for their opinions. That what makes us smarter and richer.

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  20. I am glad that the discussion is on-going and that it seems all the viewpoints are being aired. We can each choose to read, watch, comment and express our opinions respectfully. Whether it’s a blog entry, or interview, what’s important to me is that each “author” gives their intended message. We as readers/viewers are invited to respond. As long as it’s not personal, but argued point-by-point for the matter discussed (which is being done), I don’t see why we must be forced to agree with either message and take sides. Vive la difference! Like what you want to and dislike what you choose! There are plenty of things I have opinions on – I don’t expect agreement, just a chance to air them. I’m glad no-one tells me what to think. May that long continue within the fandom.

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    • I knew when I wrote this that even among my closest friends in the fandom, there was substantial disagreement about the quality of Marlise Boland’s output, so I didn’t expect univocal shouts of approval. I’ve been grateful for everyone who was able to engage in a critical discussion — and I mean that in the sense of incisive. We don’t have enough of that in our fandom anymore.

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  21. Sorry to hear that, Servetus. The ‘[self-appointed] publicist’ seems not to know what ‘blogging’ is, to presume it is o.k. to try to control opinion.
    I heard the interview parts (listened to them, had no time to watch them), but was a bit disappointed at the end, that for the length they held no real news. They were just, well, nice fan-ish. And the worst of it for me was, that they did not inspire my usual RA-interview reaction of wanting to listen/see the interview right again. For an ‘old’ fan like me, quite an unusual reaction.

    I share your worries about the bundling of information streams and regulating of behaviour through supposed thought leaders. I don’t put weight on those and see efforts in that direction with the uttmost suspicion.
    I don’t even accept such a behaviour from myself and I know some who contacted me regarding KRA were disappointed, that I neither did want a role in the lamplight nor to achieve a medal from our ‘hero’. (If it weren’t a nasty goddess, I would have written heRA ;o)

    Looking back over the late fan-developments, I only see myself drawing back and only relying on few contacts and information places. As you, I am not a number for the press and marketing department, but a fan and I find your statement so very important !!!

    I am even so crass that I find myself watching the RA twitter channel with suspicion. So far I mostly observe it via fan reaction and not directly.
    Certainly, the ‘C’ in CDoart must stand for crazy ;o)
    Fortunately I have not much time for anything anyway, lately. So it does not matter too much 😉

    I hope you keep your wonderful opinion flow openminded, well researched, knowledgeable and so admiringly well based and well targetted and don’t let anyone distract you, Servetus !
    Thank you for reaching out to topics that really hit the mark and don’t shy away from uncomfortable, but get to the centre of the issue. I admire your analytic ability greatly. Thank you !!!

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    • I think it’s interesting to watch vs listen to them — one gets a very different impression based on what one does, and which one was does first.

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      • Yes ;o)
        I also spoke with another fan here directly after hearing both parts at once and she asked me what I thought about all the jumping around and I asked “What jumping around?” I did not see it 😉
        So the jumping around could not possibly annoy me.
        His voice sounded relaxed and that was all I cared about. The questions were nice fan’ish with no depth or anything really new, not even the ‘new question’ was really that new [or for me interesting. It is just nothing I ever come close to worry about or would mind whatever he chose or wore ;o) It just got my attention, because it was announced so alluringly and then I thought, “oh, that ‘old hat’ again. I must really get old as a fan”.]
        So all I cared about really was not the information, but just the chance to hear his natural voice compared to his stressed interview voice or film voice versions in roles. The content itself did not stick in my mind.

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  22. […] Source. December 2014. Allegation of those who posted this being “base” and “mean” appears here. […]

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  23. […] thought there could be a rational defense of Boland’s work, even if I didn’t share it. My statement was construed as mean, just as I’d predicted, oddly confirming the things I’d asserted […]

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  24. You have every right to express yourself in any way you wish as your opinion warrants. I applaud you for your staying power. Your blog offers a valid perspective because it’s yours, and while I don’t always agree with you, you’ve always given me something to think about and consider. So, thanks!

    Like

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