Could you dig the hole you put yourself in just a little deeper, Mr. Armitage?

***

If this was just going to be another limited episode of annual preaching from Reverend Armitage, I had decided to keep my mouth mostly shut, insofar as I have read this stuff in the past and thought, whatever, Mr. Armitage. Also, it was April Fool’s day, and although when I read last night’s tweet it sort of killed all the humor I was feeling while writing, I didn’t want to spoil the day for others.

I’m honestly starting to wonder now, though.

First, I don’t believe you. A lot of the stuff one can read in the social media sphere is hurtful and offensive. That’s not a necessarily a reason to censor it, but you’re offended by nothing? That would be truly surprising.

Second, you joined Twitter to bring the fun back to fandom, or so you said, but did you realize that you just created another huge bat for fans to beat each other up with? Once again, any time fan A finds something fan B did offensive to the sensibilities of a hypothetical mum and some “little eyes,” your words will be used to beat fan B into the ground. Do not ask me how I know this. I was told many times not to write what I write on this blog because children or your mother could see it.

And finally — certain places are for certain people. This is why we don’t let minors into strip joints or NC-17 films. It’s why there’s an adult section of the library that is separate from the children’s section. When we do let those groups into places where their sensibilities might be challenged, we warn them. Frankly, little kids are not supposed to be on Twitter. That’s not my responsibility, that’s their parents’ responsibility. Adults who are on Twitter — whether they are someone’s mum or not — are also responsible for being aware that they might see things that displease them.

Mr. Armitage, if I ever met your mum, and I were aware that obscenities were harmful to her sensibilities, I would certainly not use them with her. But I beg your pardon if I don’t feel obliged to behave in the social mediasphere at all times as if she were looking over my shoulder.

Did you think about what your mum would think of Francis Dolarhyde before you took that role? Was that an important consideration? I can tell you, MY mum would not watch that kind of thing.

What are you going to do when people start tweeting aesthetically beautiful blood covered pictures of you all over the place?

What about the kids and the mums then?

Don’t get me wrong, I admire your work, I think you’re gorgeous, your talent is amazing, everything I’m aware of about you is inspirational. I also admire that you seem to be a moral kind of guy and that you take a stand. I wouldn’t have invested this much effort in you otherwise.

However, I know practically nothing about you. And on a scale of the virtues, having a potty mouth (or not) is minor in comparison to the criteria that I apply to people who I do take as behavioral and moral role models.

~ by Servetus on April 1, 2015.

115 Responses to “Could you dig the hole you put yourself in just a little deeper, Mr. Armitage?”

  1. I was almost inclined to tweet nothing but profanity for the day but in the end I simply rolled my eyes and scrolled on. I see in other circles his tweets are seen as evidence of his wonderfulness. I still feel the same about him as I always have – I guess he wouldn’t be human if he didn’t annoy me once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, sister, that was my first impulse, too. Go duck yourself man. However being more mature than that, I luckily got it under control. 🙂

      I still admire him. I just don’t want him policing my behavior.

      Like

    • I am adding it to my file documents occasional annoying behaviors I call “Proof he’s not an alien”

      Like

      • Well you say that … but maybe the joke’s on him! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • yeah, this is definitely on the list of things I don’t like about him that are proof that I’m not 100% gone. That said, if he does this often in his real life, it would also be an absolute relationship killer, so I can add that to the list of things like religion and education that would always have made a RL relationship impossible. Good to know.

        Like

    • I too was puzzled by that tweet. Not too bothered though as I fell asleep before I could look any further to find out why on earth he might have sent that tweet 😉
      If it was actually him who tweeted it I agree with you and Serv: he’s human and we can’t and needn’t agree with all he says and does. I also think that some of his tweets are sent by his management team. I can’t tell whether that was the case here. I find the tweet rather rich considering the TV role he is currently filming. Productions like ‘Between the sheets’ or ‘Strikeback’ weren’t suitable for innocent eyes and ears either. (Not complaining he did film those two 😉 )

      Like

  2. My take on his tweet last night was that The Olivier’s are a big deal for him, prestigious, and he didn’t maybe want to feel it was being trivialized or feel embarrassed by any nipple gate stuff during the whole Q&A thing. I think the nerves got the better of him maybe. I think stuff on his twitter account is different since only he and his ‘people’ see it, but during the twitter Q&A I think maybe he was dreading what may appear in front of people he clearly has respect for and also wishes to hold him in high esteem. Kinda like what you do and say at work is a lot different than what you do and say in front of your friends, which is also different than what you would do or say in front of your mom and dad. Boundaries. Appropriateness. I’m

    Like

    • still rambling…I think he was specifically talking about the Olivier Q&A and not regular tweets or anything else.

      Like

    • OK. Then say, Please don’t ask rude questions during the Q&A. That also would have been naive / clueless about how Twitter works, but it least would have had the effect of being a specific request directed at specific people. I’ve been guessing that this was part of what he was responding to, but perhaps it is only coincidence.

      https://twitter.com/RCArmltage

      The thing is: Twitter is by definition not the place to expect “appropriate” behavior. Appropriate is only appropriate within a context, and Twitter is one of the most contextless places on the map. He knows that by now, and if the Olivier Awards don’t know it, then they will soon.

      Like

      • LOL, yest, they probably will soon.
        I’m at work so can’t access your link, I will have to take a look tonight.

        Like

      • Ok, I just clicked on the link for twitter.com/RCArmitage….I am so confused! Did a fan create that? Did RA create that for April Fools Day? What?! It was pretty funny at any rate.

        Like

        • it’s a parody account that has existed roughly since Armitage opened his own Twitter. I don’t know who’s tweeting.

          Like

  3. I’m not on twitter so I don’t know what happens there.. but maybe he is in the “Pilgrimage mood” ? 😉

    Like

  4. I think Sparkhouse1 nailed it 🙂 I think he was embarrassed by stuff going to the Olivier acct but didn’t want to say that….. I love him, but I don’t believe he tells us the “whole truth & nothing but the truth” all the time! He preferred to use “community standards” as justification, rather than “OMG you people are making me look like an ass right before the Oliviers”! Can’t say I blame him….all imho 🙂

    Like

  5. You got a problem with specific people, call out the specific people; there’s a context you want to name, name it (although that will provoke the opposite behavior, predictably) but calling out your entire Twitter followership? Ridiculous.

    Like

  6. I agree with sparkhouse1 about his possible concern over the Oliviers, especially after Aidan Turner received a deluge of supposedly inappropriate tweets for a Poldark Q&A on Sunday night. What always surprises me when he (very occasionally) makes a remark like this is how hard some people are on him. Me? I think this fits in with who he is and how he was brought up and I’ve just had a laugh along with Yael Farber who sent an inappropriate tweet to him and his hashtag before she realised that she wasn’t supposed to. She backtracked in quite an amusing and graceful way.

    Like

    • and I say: SO WHAT if they receive supposedly inappropriate tweets? How is that different from every other day on twitter? And why is worth shaming people?

      I can think of at least three separate occasions on which I have heard him swear, including blasphemy, so unless those were total anomalies, I think keeping everything G-rated at all times is probably not his MO. I definitely agree there’s a class / upbringing issue there. However, I still think he was out of order, and I am sorry Yael felt she had to backpedal. That makes me feel bad for her and for him.

      Like

    • so, following up on this story — Turner has tweeted exactly once, so he was receiving tweets through someone who was screening them for him. If he were actually present on Twitter I doubt he would be surprised at what happens there. To me, that’s an error of screening, not an error of the venue. Twitter is what it is.

      Like

      • Sorry, I don’t understand the Aidan Turner and the ‘one tweet’ thing. The BBC advertised before and after Sunday’s episode of Poldark that AT was doing a live Q&A under #AskPoldark as soon as the programme ended. I didn’t check it out but, the next day, the newspapers had a field day: the word ‘farce’ was used frequently and there was a lot of derision. Apparently AT only managed to answer half a dozen questions that were sensible.

        I thought YF was very funny and tongue-in-cheek in her response, along the lines of: “Whoops. Sorry, Richard. Go wash my mouth out with soap and water and stand in the naughty corner.” Only it was more subtle, very good-natured and admiring of RA’s talent – which is what he is all about, really.

        And I have seen nothing but support for RA’s remarks (except for one tweet that used a lot of 4-letter words and told RA where to go.) I do think that the supportive response comes from those who are weary of the amount of abuse that happens on social media and they feel they have found a voice when he says things like this. He is what he is and part of the whole package is a certain naivety. It will be interesting to see what happens this afternoon.

        Like

        • Aidan Turner isn’t really a Tweep. He’s tweeted exactly once from his verified account since creating it, apparently to ask people to vote for him in the Empire Awards. He participated in a Q&A in the same way that Armitage did before he became a Tweep.

          I really don’t care what newspapers have to say about fans or our behavior — that’s terrain we’ve been over many times — and I don’t understand why veteran fans who have read this stuff for ages do, either. Here’s a handy reference from me:

          https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/are-we-humiliated-or-ennobled-by-our-desires/

          or you could look at Elizabeth Minkel’s columns for the New Statesman, which point out (and try to rescue) fan culture from the ridicule of mainstream journalists.

          http://www.newstatesman.com/elizabeth-minkel

          I don’t think Richard Armitage or Yael Farber get to define for me my perceptions of them. I went back and read her tweets and I felt sorry for her. She was charming, but as his colleague, IMO, she shouldn’t have been put in a position where she felt she had to retract.

          Like

  7. I guess I just feel sorry for him. I think his heart is in the right place but sometimes maybe he takes a misstep. Have any one of us never done that? I know I’ve been in that position on numerous occasions and it’s no fun. But we are all certainly entitled to our opinions about his post and I’m in no way saying that anyone else’s feelings are inappropriate.

    Like

  8. I cannot help but laugh at this. Me thinks he might be little uptight!!! Oh the fun my naughty ways and potty mouth would have with him.

    Like

  9. I don’t understand .

    He can’t deny , what he did to become known :
    _ the movies with sexuality , violence , horror , (even “The Hobbit “can’t be seen by young children) ,
    _ the ambiguous tweet to Kristin Scott Thomas…

    Yes every body may laugh or ask questions .Thanks Gracief !
    As I said ambiguities under sunlights . Nobody is able to control the wild seed he sowed .To be or not to be on social network that is the question. Thanks Serv !

    Like

    • yeah, I remember being stunned when he said he thought the Hobbit was a family film — my nieces were 8 and 9 at the time and there’s no way they could have watched that. And AUJ was probably the least violent of those films. (shrugs).

      Like

  10. My initial reaction was not outrage that he might be policing his own fandom. But I thought “that’s rather rich”. You can also read that with a capital R. As in “sorta in line with the general image of him”. But rich in the sense that the appeal is coming from a man who, as an actor, has contributed his share to the graphic display of violence on small and big screen. So there – for me that takes some of the authority away from the appeal shrugs.

    Like

  11. How can he seriously ask people to watch their language as he’s finishing up a role as a serial killer. Sorry but it’s a little hypocritical. It’s OK to glorify killers but not to swear.

    Like

    • well, to be fair those things are advised to certain viewer ages normally, even the images Fuller posts often trigger the ‘The following media may contain sensitive material.’ warnings so at least people know what they get. Same applies for all films. Twitter feeds however in general are ‘anything goes’. Seems this is mostly in relation to the QA tomorrow.. shrugs. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on twitter and people express them freely, in my opinion so can he; doesn’t change reality, but in the general rule of free opinions he too is entitled to his own about his twitter feed. I’m not bothered tbh either way, but i stopped reading the full feed a long time ago 🙂

      Like

      • I don’t think that fans who tweet pics themselves usually put warnings on them.

        Case in point — last summer when I was following #TheCrucible — there’s a theater somewhere (Sheffield?) called The Crucible that hosts snooker championships. All the way through the championships someone was tweeting pictures of a woman with a pool ball in her vagina, who was using her muscles to expel it across the snooker table. There was never a single warning that the content might be objectionable to some. I doubt that most fans tweeting or tumbling pics are going to be all that sensitive.

        Like

    • Agree. Pointing out hypocrisy is not an argument, in that it’s fallacious (a form of tu quoque) BUT watching obvious hypocrisy when the person who’s doing it has to know what they are doing is sure enraging.

      Like

  12. I feel that everyone has a right to express their feelings, including RA; especially If something is bugging him to a degree he feels it necessary to speak up. He is a person, as we are. It is our choice to agree or disagree, comply or ignore; just as we do with everyone else on the internet. Yes, he is the ‘celebrity’ but he has as much right as any one of us to stand up and say ‘I would really appreciate, in this circumstance that this or that is going to happen’. I would rather that than him being on twitter afraid to express any sort of real opinion just in case someone gets offended. What then, other than self promotion, would be the point. He may as well just be a blow up doll in that case. You can’t walk on eggshells all the time without breaking one here or there. Yes, he has done racy things, not pornography. He has done violent things, but he portrays a character where violence is a real part of that characters life. I don’t think it has ever been gratuitous. That is just my not very deep opinion. RA is not a saint, RA has an opinion. Good for him. I love all the racy stuff out there about him and I will definitely keep reading it and keep watching it and I really don’t think he is in any way trying to stop it…just preferably not at a Q&A for The Crucible, even if it is on Twitter. I don’t know, there is a time and place for everyting, and sometimes it is not the time? even if it is on Twitter?

    Like

    • Yup, he has the right to express his opinion, and I have the right to express mine.

      I’m not sure where you get to him being afraid to express an opinion — because someone disagreed with him? If that’s the case, his skin is a bit thin.

      re: time / place — that was my point, above, exactly. Some places have particular rules. Twitter is a place where people don’t follow rules, live to flout rules. For instance: http://www.cnet.com/news/cokes-happy-internet-campaign-turns-from-nice-to-nazi/

      If he had said what context this was about — it it was about the Oliviers — that would have been understandable although equally futile (I have seen tweets to #AskArmitage since yesterday asking him “do you have a criminal record” and “what did you do on Lee Pace’s last birthday” among other things — i.e., some people will do things precisely because they are asked not to, and that’s especially the case on Twitter). But essentially saying “don’t swear in front of ladies in children as a general prescription” was obnoxious. And yeah, that’s my opinion.

      Like

  13. I had always thought the twitter thing was primarily a marketing tool for the RA brand. Sometimes it seems to be written by a pr person, sometimes maybe him. But really, do we know him any better as a person than when he started tweeting? I don’t think so. He is still just as closed, except he seems to be a bit into selfies. I guess my point is, imo, whatever the heck (hell) he says on twitter, means very little away from the twitterverse. I am still not clear on what triggered this tweet specifically, but I think it is naive to ask people to tone down their language. It will only encourage them to use profanity more often to get his attention, even if that attention is negative. I think it would have been a lot smarter for him to ignore whatever it was that bugged him in the first place. And when did he acquire “little ones”? Now that would be twitter-worthy.

    Like

  14. Like

  15. Wow….Reading these posts….just wow…..I guess I am the only one not offended by what this gracious man tweeted? Seems some need to lighten up, get a grip and move on….My goodness people, its just a post, from a British gentleman, asking “tweeters” to be kind and respectful to one another….I, for one,see nothing wrong the post….but that’s just me..Have a good night/day…..

    Like

    • No, I think a lot of people are perfectly fine with what he said, or praised him for it. This is an opposing opinion, an op-ed.

      Tessa, so you know, telling people not to take things so seriously is one thing participants in this blog are asked not to do on this blog. As of now, you are on moderation.

      Like

      • I find all of this very strange. Okay, put me on moderation with Tessa.

        Like

        • You used a new IP or email or name to comment, so WP held you up, but there’s nothing wrong with disagreement. The problem is with attacks and statements that delegitimate the speaker and thus prevent disagreement by trying to shut up one group of people. Nothing you said here is moderation-worthy.

          Like

    • Nah, you’re not alone. It didn’t bother me, either. I’ve never tweeted him anything but cringeworthy jokes and maybe a bad pun or two, so I didn’t even feel like it applied to me at all. If anything, it made me suddenly nostalgic, remembering my very religious grandmother (who thought “fart” was a naughty word.) sigh To each their own, I guess.

      Like

  16. Yeah, hard to picture this being an effective remonstrance in that venue (Twitter ), but I guess he felt the need (?). I too, am not sure it was him, but as I don’t and won’t ever know him, that is a moot point. Definitely entitled to our own opinions, whatever they are. Odd to think of all the work he’s done/doing that would break his own request for mums and little ones, but was the twitter feed you linked to in character for a typical day ? I’m not on Twitter, I don’t know. Maybe that language and general lack of respect /courtesy actually shocked him? I’d be surprised, but never say never. Again, good point about embarrassment for a different type of crowd in view of the Olivier Awards, but then why would that venue choose the Twitter platform to do the Q&A? You don’t “fine dine” at McDonald’s, if you know what I mean. Trying to stay hip/current on Twitter , but be very polished at the same time would be a tiring tightrope to walk, I think. A little too “My Fair Lady” for me!

    Like

    • yeah, that was my feeling, too — presumably they asked him because he has the Twitter following that I assume many other nominees don’t. Are they completely blind to what Twitter is like? If so, they are in for a big surprise. Your parallel about McDonalds is spot on.

      Twitter is much worse than what I linked to. Much, much worse.

      Like

  17. That he spoke up on this topic was fascinating to me, and I think I know where he’s coming from. I tend to agree with posts above that he may have seen that parody account, or if not that one, then similar material, and had an (IMO) understandable paranoia that the parody account or some other like it might #AskArmitage something nasty or crude during the Olivier Awards Q&A. Maybe his Mum really will be tuning in. To me, he’s expressing a kind of endearing protectiveness, even though I seriously think his Mum and most other Mums should and do know that the Twitterverse is full of potential offenses, and don’t precisely need the protection, however well-intended. And while I hate to think of young kids reading some of that stuff, the fact is if they’re active on Twitter, it’s inevitable. Still don’t really find myself blaming RA if he doesn’t like it to happen on his watch, so to speak.

    And, too, I guess I have a soft spot for him. I thought the second tweet was just kind of funny… sort of like he was stumbling all over himself to reassure everyone that he’s not the one who might be offended… I should hope not, after some of the sketchy things he’s tweeted in the past! His St. Patty’s Day post comes to mind, #hehasathirdleg joke comes to mind, calling Bombur “horny”… the list goes on. LOL.

    It does seem a bit naive to expect that a gentle reproof will alter anyone’s behavior. I mean, I think the parody account was created expressly to stir the pot and get attention. If anything he’s fanned the flames. Poor RA, and RA’s Mum. LOL. Anyway, long post to say I basically came away amused by this, not annoyed.

    Like

    • We all have our own perspectives, which are based on our histories in the fandom and all kinds of other life experiences.

      I guess I would have found this endearing in 2005 (or did, when I read him doing that kind of thing), and I sympathize with him when he seemed to be to have been manipulated and/or misquoted by journalists in 2009 to say something negative about fans/fan behavior, but this isn’t his first rodeo anymore.

      Like

  18. My friend showed me this: http://richardarmitageforever.tumblr.com/post/115203228188
    I don’t know if it’s true but it may explain these tweets.
    (I didn’t go through the comment thoroughly, sorry if it was already mentioned).

    Like

    • I saw that tweet and the tweets that followed from the person with endless apologizing. Pretty nasty (again imo) at first glance tweeted directly to RA, & the timing also pretty close between one tweet and the next. It left the impression that RA’s “innocent eyes” tweet was spontaneous, but that may not have been true….who knows. Or it may have been, since the “faux selfie” tweets immediately followed, which were clearly NOT off the cuff.
      Made me wonder if someone was with him when he logged on at that moment….. you never know.

      Thanks for the link, Sonya – I could not have found this directly from Twitter.

      Like

    • I know this comment has a different slant than the one I left earlier, but it’s possible both issues could be somewhat involved…. again, who knows.

      Like

    • Thanks for this.

      If that was the trigger for this than he is way more thin-skinned than I would have predicted.

      Like

      • That’s why I just wonder if he logged in w/his mum or nephew (or someone LIKE them) at his side, and the tweet mentioned was the first one that popped up….. Granted, he should know WAY better than to do that by now!! But it might explain why he said what he did, when ordinarily he really does seem pretty “chill” & even a little naughty himself. Pure supposition on my part, of course 🙂

        Like

  19. Can you help me understand – and I ask this not as an attack but as a serious question – how you distinguish between RA’s statements and your own rules about what you do and don’t allow on this blog? Given your comment about not wanting RA to police your behavior, I was a little taken aback at your reply to Tessa above, and it led me to read your posted policy about content that you prohibit.

    Like

    • Sure. I don’t control what people say to me or what they say period. Anyone can say whatever they like here. Type it into a window and press “post comment.” No one is stopping you. What I do I control is what I allow to be posted. That’s because this is a traditional blog, and it has those mechanisms. In fact, WP allows me to moderate content much more strictly than I ever have done in practice. Certain things have always been prohibited here (ad hominem, chiefly), and in the wake of certain other problems, I set up other rules. The “don’t tell people not to take things too seriously” rule was set up in a situation where there were certain commentators who tried to end every discussion by accusing other participants of “not being able to take a joke” or “being too serious.” That’s not an argument; it is a mildly veiled ad hominem statement that implies the speaker is not a competent judge of what s/he is talking about. In fact, that was the desired rhetorical effect of Tessa’s statement — I don’t like that you disagree with me, so YOU need to change what you are saying, because you are being too serious. But I’m not going to stick around to discuss it with you, I’m just going to drop my bomb and take off. It’s in fact not an argument or a discussion contribution — it is an attempt to end discussion (as the argument that a speaker is “being too serious” usually is — it is an attempt to delegitimate the speaker, rather than what s/he is saying).

      Twitter does not have a comparable mechanism for blocking statements — that is part of how it is set up. In contrast to a blog, which is a definable space (I control what people may comment here, but not anywhere else, so I set the rules here and nowhere else) Twitter space is not defined. It is by definition a free for all. Anyone may say anything to anyone, and as the recipient of the comment, you can by definition do very little about it — and that is one of its attractions for the purposes that Armitage is presumably using it for. If you don’t like a person, or you don’t like what they are saying to you, you may block them, and Twitter beefed this feature up recently. Otherwise, it is a free-for-all except for certain kinds of hate statements which cannot be prevented by the Tweep, but may be removed at the discretion of Twitter’s policing organization.

      Twitter is attractive to people in Armitage’s position precisely because the most people go there, because it is a free for all, and because anyone can say anything to anyone, it creates the illusion that you may actually get into contact with him. For that reason — maintaining the illusion of accessibility — marketers love it. Morever, for that reason, it is also obviously not really in a celeb’s interest to block anyone, although there are celebs who do, because they want to speak to the most people and blocking is hard on that. Moreover, telling a community of people explicitly constituted on relatively wide-ranging freedom of speech (and its consequences) to moderate their speech is politically (and marketing-wise) tactless. Telling people what they may say on Twitter often has the opposite effect precisely because no one can control what people say.

      Why do I moderate here? I’m not in that position. I don’t want to speak to everyone everywhere, and I am not selling myself. The main place where I want to speak to people is here, which is my space, and where I control the rules of discourse and set the consequences of breaking those rules. On Twitter, everyone has (aside from some rather rough boundaries defined in the Twitter TOS) the right to say anything they like to whomever they like. The Tweep may not set the terms of discourse. In that lies Twitter’s attractiveness and its frustrating qualities. No, if Armitage had a blog with a comment policy, he would be completely in his rights to control what people posted, although he could not prevent them from actually saying them to him. But Twitter is not a blog. It is by definition open to whatever people want to say.

      If you would like a physical metaphor: Say you wanted to scream an obscenity at the top of your lungs (as one might occasionally do). There are places where that works (abandoned forests, loud city streets, in your apartment or your office by yourself, perhaps in such a setting with a trusted friend). There are other places where it doesn’t work (in a subway car, a church, a library, and plenty of other places we could name). This blog is a place where certain kinds of statements are prohibited. Twitter, in contrast, by the terms of its constitution is not.

      There’s been a really troubling tendency in this fandom over the last five years — which is that a space for discussion becomes very heavily policed. As a consequence, people break out of it and find a new space. They develop a fun atmosphere, but then it gains in popularity and more people show up. Once that happens, precisely the thing that was fun about it — its freewheeling nature — disappears, because now the audience is much bigger and somebody tells the people who have been happy there all along that the thing they were enjoying is disgusting, nasty, rude, “stalkerish,” or probably illegal. People who were actually enjoying the freedom of their discourse end up getting disciplined by people who move into the neighborhood. What’s different about this since Armitage has been tweeting is that it now looks like he’s on the side of the morality police. I don’t know if that’s true, but the appearance of it is seriously troubling (as I articulated back in December when I predicted this type of thing was going to happen more and more).

      I personally do not want the morality police governing Twitter, even though I have never tweeted anything obscene or suggestive to Armitage (and in fact, I think although I have asked questions in some of these Twitter chats I’ve never tweeted directly at him since he opened the account). Twitter is fun precisely because the morality police don’t govern it. I fail to understand why people seem to think the entire social media world needs to be G-rated. Twitter is the equivalent of the abandoned woods — you can say anything. This blog is the equivalent of a library — certain things may be said, but others may not (most things that are veiled ad hominem or, in situations where I have really heard ever argument before and don’t want to rediscuss things I’ve already decided on, repetitive arguments that serve only to anger).

      I hope that clarifies it. Of course, anyone who can’t live with this rules is welcome to stay away. Just like anyone who can’t live with what is said on Twitter is welcome to stay away from Twitter.

      Like

      • As you know I have followed and commented on your blog since 2010 and I can understand why you moderate the comments.

        I didn’t know about that specific rule. A “don’t take things too seriously folks” comment could easily have been made by me. In fact I have made such comments several times on FB and on Twitter. I’ll be more careful with my comments on here in the future then… 😦

        Like

        • I’m paraphrasing. For the exact rule see the comments policy. The point is that some people say “let’s lighten up” in order to lighten the mood (that’s you, usually). Other people say it in order to delegitimate the speaker. The latter behavior is the one I seek to prevent. “Let’s all be happy!” is a great thing to say and I love to read it. “You should be happy and if you’re not, it’s because you’re taking too seriously” is an attempt to undermine a conversation. I’ve never had a sense that you didn’t understand this.

          Like

      • Thank you for this thorough clarification – much appreciated.

        I’m in the camp that was not especially bothered by RA’s statements, more because their tone (“please bear in mind” as opposed to “stop doing that”) felt more to me like an expression of opinion than an order. But I’m finding the opposing views interesting; that’s why I read these blogs.

        Like

        • I’m with Lief, the discussions on this blog have always drawn me back. I’m usually a lurker and don’t comment very often. I’d never heard of the word “ad hominem” until coming here. I’m not an analytical thinker but I’m attracted to people who are–it’s a compensation thing I guess.

          Like

      • Ich lerne soviel aus deinen Kommentaren (keine Ironie!). Gut, daß du mir mal wieder die Benimm-Regeln hier ins Gedächtnis rufst. Ein vorlautes Mundwerk mit Tendenzen zum Vorurteil führen schnell an die Grenzen zu den hier gesteckten Richtlinien. Seine Meinung abzugeben, ohne den Anderen abzuwatschen, ist garnicht immer so einfach. Vor allem, wenn Verhaltensmuster jahrelang erfolgreich eingeübt und gepflegt sind. Sprache ist eine Waffe und kann verletzen, egal ob bewußt eingesetzt oder aus Schnodderigkeit verursacht. Ich arbeite weiter an mir 😉
        Ein gutes Korrektiv ist übrigens, wenn man das identische, vererbte Sprachverhalten von den eigenen Kinder präsentiert bekommt. DA spätestens gehen einem die Augen auf. 🙂

        Like

        • I think you can make a joke without making fellow fans the butt of it — I have seen you do that many times 🙂

          I think kids are particularly good at pointing out stuff like that.

          Like

  20. We received a lovely invitation to participate in an event that is focused on RA – how great is that! The Host/Guest of honor (I assume RA) wants all who participate to have a good time. It is very appropriate that he should express his views on how that might be achieved. He made clear that were it just him, nothing anyone could say would offend him, but since he’s not the only one “attending”, and because this type of event doesn’t happen every day, he hopes that we will treat it and each other with the respect he knows we all deserve. I think he’s quite familiar with the sludgy twitter verse – hence, the request. And I actually appreciate a call to be my higher self. This blog is marvelous, and all of you who participate in it lift me a little higher each day! Thank you, thank you!

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment and welcome.

      He is certainly allowed to express how he feels about what people see. Those who disagree are free to disagree.

      Like

  21. Your discussion of RA’s hypocrisy is a bit ripe coming from someone who wrote endless posts justifying why she wasn’t going to London to see The Crucible and then suddenly admitted she’d jumped off to London to see it multiple times.
    And in two of your replies to posters you say his education is an issue with you – why? Also, his ‘class/upbringing’ – again, why? Because you think middle-class English people are snobby? But then what do you know?
    As for putting Tessa on moderation because she suggested maybe people should lighten up a bit – maybe she won’t care?

    Like

    • I actually didn’t discuss his hypocrisy. As I pointed out in comments, hypocrisy is not an argument against what someone says or does — it’s fallacious and ad hominem. I pointed out that I disagreed with him and that the standard he was setting up for behavior was not consistent.

      Endless posts? I wrote one. https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/on-the-decision-not-to-see-richard-armitage-in-the-crucible/

      I didn’t tell anyone I was going once I made that decision because I received credible threats from fellow fans whose real names I knew about what they would do to me if I ever tried to to see Richard Armitage perform. I suspect that the messages I got would have swayed most people from revealing that they had changed their minds about doing something like this. Messages I have received since I was in London that have threatened violence have confirmed that I was probably right in my decision. Not everyone is as friendly and helpful as you seem to want to be.

      On why Richard Armitage and I could never be partners in real life, here’s a quote from a relevant post: “Although it may come as a surprise to some readers given my enumerations of my sexual fantasies, I’ve suffered under few illusions about the potential attractiveness of Richard Armitage as a real life romantic partner. The real Servetus and the real Armitage have lots in common in terms of the human condition, I’ve thought, but little in common in terms of the sorts of things that make a relationship work. I don’t care to go skiing, my career as a recreational dancer was abbreviated; I don’t read him as particularly religious in a way that meshes well with my piety. I suspect there would be a serious conflict in the ways that he and I have, respectively, of being serious. I like food a lot, but I struggle to let my sense of humor be sunny as opposed to ironic, and I am not especially naughty.

      The best evidence for my conclusion, however, is probably that Mr. Armitage is nothing like the men with whom I’ve had the three most serious relationships of my life — a comparative linguist in college, a theoretical physicist during my doctoral coursework, and a historian / fellow scholar in the same field of inquiry after I was ABD. I have a thing for really, really brainy men. The more cerebral, the more widely read, the better. As a pragmatist, I also am aware that relationships between people of widely differing educational levels carry their own particular kinds of tensions, especially when the woman has the more advanced education. Laying aside the question of whether I’m smart, I’m unquestionably extremely well educated. I’ve a way better vocabulary than the average human, I relish using it to the full, and it’s often my tongue that gets me in trouble. Affairs with men who were attracted to me physically first haven’t lasted. I’ve been broken up with at least once because the guy in question felt that I was not only smarter than him, I made him look stupid in front of his friends. I need a romantic partner who is not only not afraid of smart women, but positively attracted to them. I need a meeting of the minds.”
      Source: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/armitage-leads-with-the-feelings-or-how-thick-is-richard-a-beginning/

      I don’t understand why it matters to anyone if I think Richard Armitage would be a good or poor romantic partner for me, since it’s not like I will ever have the opportunity to have him as my romantic partner. Surely I must be allowed to determine for myself that someone whom I find attractive at a distance and on a fantasy level would not be compatible with me in my real life.

      I’m not sure how we got to “snobby” here, as I don’t remember saying that I think anyone, or English people of any class, or Richard Armitage in particular, is snobby. I do think there are class differences in life because I have observed this in my own personal relationships — assumptions about spending are different between the classes, for instance, and this can cause tension in a relationship. Manners differ substantially between the classes (as influenced by region), something more noticeable in Europe than here, but which I see in the US as well. Incidentally, I don’t think Richard Armitage qualifies as part of the traditional middle class in English terms, although he does in US terms (the categories have different meanings in the US and Britain). Interesting reflection on this from the BBC, does middle class mean a certain income level or something else: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25744526 If we limit class to “how much do your parents earn and how do they do it?” Richard Armitage and I have very similar class upbringings, based on what I know about how he was raised and where his parents came from and what he has said about them. We both had stay at home mothers who went out to work to supplement the family income in a clerical / administrative area, and we both had fathers working in technical fields (my dad only just finished high school, we’ve had some discussion about whether his dad went to university or to a technical institution instead, see discussion here: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/my-richard-armitage-an-interpretation-background-childhood-adolescence-professional-preparation-young-adulthood/ His parents and my parents are probably roughly the same age; his parents grew up in the wake of WWII and its devastation, my parents grew up on struggling dairy farms; both families tried to join the income middle class and succeeded, part due to the post-WWII economic boom. I do think that some kinds of statements he makes are noticeably class based and he has definite behaviors that indicate he was not raised in the traditional UK middle class, some of which he has erased. But so are some of the statements I make and some of my behaviors. I’m not sure what the problem with coming from a certain class (or not) is.

      So actually, you see, I know quite a bit about how class is defined in different areas and periods. This was one of my prelim fields in graduate school in my “social history of Europe since 1750” exam. If you’d like I could give you a disquisition on the status of scholarship about the varying permeability of the aristocracies in the different western European nation states and how that affected the nineteenth-century struggles for the franchise among various up and coming groups of people who came to call themselves “middle class.” Let me know, I’d be happy to tell you more.

      I don’t really care what Tessa thinks in case that’s not obvious. When people come here — like YOU — not to discuss things on the basis of actual information, but rather because they’re upset and they think it will make them feel better to attack others, I like to stop them, because it is hard on conversation. And the mood.

      Like

      • Servetus – I really like you. If you’re ever going to visit Germany again, I’d like to share a couple of beers and words face to face. 🙂

        On the subject of RAs tweet:
        He obviously has an enormous artistic potential, but I feel he needs something of an emotional wake-up-call in real life badly.
        To be outright blasphemous: to me his performances still lack credibility – but to be fair: I haven’t fully experienced “The Crucible” as of yet. Maybe it’s different there – but the first impressions of all his shouting screamed “fake” to me.
        He is seemingly an enormous workaholic and chose to be cutthroat with “personal” relations (even on twitter) to realize personal goals. Given his schedule I doubt that he’s managed to keep a private relationship a) going and b) really private for some years. And this latest posts of yesterday said to me, that he clearly feels at a loss how to control the “spirits that he’s called”.
        As I tweeted: “strange little boy, where are you going?”

        I could however imagine him as a possible romantic partner, as his whole serious behaviour strongly triggers a spirit of contradiction in me. Astrologically speaking this is an opposites-attract-thing – and Leo’s (fire) tends to burn brightly with Aquarius partners (air) – my husband of 27 years now is also a Leo 😉
        This tweet of yesterday actually provoked me setting off a fake project of (slightly mocking) sketches about his role in “Pilgrimage” (to be followed under #pilgRAimage) on twitter.
        However my opinion of him is also a bit shaken – I hope he is not about to lose that humorous side he found while working with Martin Freeman and the gang of dwarves back in NZ.

        My conclusion of all of this musings is thus: if I were to chose amongst the Olvier candidates, he would not receive it. Twitter-behaviour-preacher or not.
        Specific predictive astrology is impossible, but from the transits to his chart (as I hypothesized) on april 12th there is imo only a small chance for him to win this thing. And a far greater one of emotional turmoil and clash of big dreams and reality (yeah well, this might turn out for the better, but from my gut feeling I doubt it).
        I think he has yet to develop more maturity and to “get a life”, now that he’s obviously a bit more financially stable than in his early years. But maybe he caught dragon-sickness after all …

        Like

        • Nadja, why do you think Richard needs to “get a life” and lacks maturity? So is he a “workaholic” because he has not been successful or lucky to be partnered with someone? I think Richard has quite a life.

          I was fortunate to see The Crucible in London twice and Richard was earthy and raw. I can probably see how a snippet of him screaming loses its power and looks over-the-top. But he wins the Olivier Award, he earned it.

          Like

          • I have the feeling that he is a workaholic, because he is deliberately trying to avoid to become too involved with personal emotionality. Because that would destract him from successfully finishing his pilgrimage to success. (But that’s just me.)
            Please imagine these six people standing around Richard and maybe you’ll see what I see:
            Yael Farber
            Martin Freeman
            Julian Assange
            Ewan McGregor
            Sofia Coppola
            Sacha Baron Cohen
            They all have one thing in common: they were born in 1971. Compared to them Richard still shows a naivity (which certainly is sort of endearing) that would let him stand out of this group and suggest, that he is about 10 years younger than the rest of them.
            Even younger well known actors like Tom Hiddleston (born 1981) or Michael Fassbender (born 1977) to me are acting way more grown-up than Richard.
            He once mentioned he would be horrified, had he to take on a “regular 9-to-5-job” – but to me, the things he has done so far, exactly qualify as that. An actor or narrator is chosen to perform in certain roles, he seems to be skilled for – but he is not the one who wrote the play in the first place nor the one to coordinate the whole troupe.
            It is an artistic profession of course. But there are plenty of regular jobs in this field. Then there are the real crazy imaginative ones: designers, architects, playwrights … but the rest just works – in their respective fields – to fulfill the visions of “the greater minds”.
            I think “The Crucible” cracked his shell a bit and I will definitely watch it during easter-break.
            And to be clear: there is something about Richard, that shook me to the core completely out of left field about one year ago and I still try to figure out what it is exactly. I have married into a cinema/filmdistributor family 27 years ago. My niece is becoming a director now, I went to festivals and the like for over 12 years in the past and so I am as far from being a fan-girling-type as you can imagine – because this whole movieindustry for me was ever this: an industry.
            So annoying humbleness, teacher-behaviour and inmaturity aside – he’s managed to grip me by the throat anyway and is clearly a creative muse for me (and a lot of other people as well).

            Like

            • He said in 2010 that he felt about ten years younger than he is. I don’t know that there’s any requirement that one proceed on some particular chronological scheme through life. While I agree that he is probably a workaholic based on numerous things that he has said, I don’t think his statement about not wanting to do a 9 to 5 job (which is probably shorthand for “a job that you earn money with it, like, as he has said, the one his father had) witnesses to that or a lack of maturity. There’s a truly different focus of life between people who have “vocational” jobs and those who are working for the money and security but not out of love for the specific content of what they do. Both of those groups have problems they have to encounter — those in the “job” situation have to develop meaning outside of their work, while those who find inherent meaning in their work have to find ways “outside” the work or they risk harming themselves.

              re: the masterminds vs the people who fulfill their vision — I don’t think it’s all that clearly divided even in arts careers.

              re: immaturity — it’s not a good word for what we’re describing but I see what you mean. But this kind of statement on his part is a reasonable index of it: the belief that you can and should control things that are not in your power to control.

              Like

          • Oh and one more thing on the subject of appearances:
            He had his teeth done (whyever, look at Mads for example, his are worse as Richard’s were ever but he just doesn’t care and it certainly didn’t affect his career). He is 43 years old and doesn’t trust his own senses to choose clothes for himself but hires a professional (and not only for red-carpet-events, which would be o.k.) – I beg your pardon? He is behaving like a puritan himself when he thinks it appropriate, but sticks his index finger into the mouth of a dead fish and makes sucking movements when caught unexpectedly. Fake. Fake. Fake.
            He wants to do “things that artistically fulfill him”. The way I see it, he is dancing on way too many different weddings, actually doing things, that he hopes will prove his success to people who didn’t believe he could achieve as much as he did in the first place, or to pay his references to people who did help him along the way (sacrificing themselves).
            I am normally a very calm person. I am running my own business for almost 10 years now and have 50 employees – but he easily manages to make me want to jump out of my skin, grabbing his shoulders and screaming in his face “Can you see what you have become?”. Which would prove to be a bit complicated as I’m a foot shorter 😉
            He clearly has an aura, he himself is not aware of and I think really good fulfilling things could happen to him the moment he stops pretending to be someone, he is not.
            So take this as some sort of pre-easter confession of someone you would like to go and see a mental health pro asap – I don’t care.

            Like

            • Teeth and clothes: I think those were professional choices based on what he wanted more or less from the beginning of our awareness of his career: to work in the United States. He stated very on after N&S that he’d been in LA to read for US tv pilots. There were also several quotes in early press about how US tv was much more interesting than UK tv, which had descended primarily into reality tv. And it’s a simple fact: If you want to be on US TV in a leading man role, which was the sort of thing he was most likely to get given his physique, you need to have perfect shiny teeth. Very few actors who work here escape that general pressure. As far as the clothes, that is seen in the US industry as an index of professionality, and everyone does it. see links in post here: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/everyman-receding-pondering-the-subject-positions-of-richard-armitage-fans-including-my-own/

              I guess I disagree that he is doing too many different things. He also said from the beginning of his career that he wanted not to repeat himself.

              I think he knows what he is doing professionally. I just believe that he really has little idea about how communication with large groups of people works when he’s “being himself,” i.e., not playing a dramatic role or doing a press blitz. He doesn’t think well about cause and effect.

              Like

            • Yes, he clearly as an aura .
              But unlike you Nadja , I think he is aware of it .
              But he doesn’t want to see it , not to confront to the excesses of his power of his fame and not to have to admit his seduction , his capacities , his talents .
              Because of his education , his modesty and most of all his sensibility . He need a great relatives, friends ,professionnals protective circle .

              Like

          • 3rd time’s a charm:
            The restlessness and Fassbinderish “Angst essen Seele auf” (fear eats up soul) I sense all over him is really getting at me and concerning me deeply.
            I truly wish – for his sake – that I’m wrong about all of this. But I simply can’t help the way I’m perceiving things.

            This is the first time in my life that I feel a somewhat karmic link (for-better-or-worse) to someone, leading to this so-not-me need to even muse about it out in the open. And it is freaking me out big time.

            So the only thing I really like to apologize for, is my supposedly rather bad english (as I’m German). Language & communication is something that is very important to me, so this is a shame, but I can’t help it.

            I got a Lutheran-Protestant education – and although I’m no longer part of the congregation, you can’t escape dates like “Good Friday” in Germany. So today I had fish for lunch and am now going to reread the crucifixion part of Bulgakov’s “The Master & Margarita”. Then I’ll pour myself a franconian pear brandy (or two) and contemplate why all of this wild talk just poured out of me today.
            Or maybe I’ll just start with the brandy.

            So, Happy Easter, may the force be with all of you who’ll have to battle the monsters under their beds.

            Like

        • Ne le jugez pas si durement .

          ° Sa carrière n’est pas aussi longue et fournie , que celle des acteurs et personnalités dont vous faites références.
          Dans ses débuts il a eu d’autres expériences , à mon avis salvatrices:
          °° pour sa manière d’occuper l’espace , de se déplacer , de mimer une attitude particulière .Combien de fois a t’on l’impression
          °°° qu’il danse dans ses déplacements au cinéma ou au théâtre
          °°°qu’il incarne physiquement très bien des attitudes particulières ( titubant , pliant sous la fatigue physique ou psychique , faisant preuve de fierté de domination par son carisme et sa présence , marchant courant comme un nain …)
          °°pour ses capacités physiques , sportives indéniables . A t-il jamais été doublé ? Je ne pense pas.
          °°pour ses connaissances , expériences et pratiques musicales variées , éclectiques de qualité. J’ai hâte de découvrir ses choix mucicaux dans le film ,qu’il souhaite réaliser prochainement .

          ° Dans ce que vous définissez comme “lack of credibility” , j’oppose une façon de s’exprimer qui tiend bien plus de son caractère, de sa manière d’être .
          Il représente l’acteur théatral , plus à l’aise dans la dénonciation , la démonstration , le jeu excessif , aussi bien dans les faiblesses , les sentiments, que la force, la colère.
          Un peu comme l’était Gérard Depardieu dans ses débuts (” Cyrano de bergerac”, “le dernier métro” , “les misérables”… )

          ° Nous ne pouvons l’accuser de fausseté , d’ artificialité = ” fake” , mais d’honnêteté , de justesse = ” fair” . “His workaholic” en est la preuve .

          °D’autre part l’ exceptionnelle particularité de son jeu d’acteur est dans le magnétisme qu’il dégage à travers sa silhouette, son regard , ses mimiques, qui en disent souvent plus , que n’importe quelle tirade des plus grands comédiens .
          C’est là que réside sa capacité à capturer ses fans . ..
          ( à suivre si mon temps libre me le permet )

          Like

          • Mon français est encore mal que mon anglais, mais je voudrais te répondre en français.
            Avec son tweet, il a jeté quelque chose d’un “gant de rivalité”, que j’ai juste eu à prendre (ainsi que Servetus).
            Je crois qu’il est très emotionale et vous pouvez lui sentir “touchées” très bien. Pas par des obscénités comme en twitter, mais par commentaires graves.
            Il est certainement un acteur extraordinaire et pour moi et pour de nombreux fans aussi une muse et inspiration pour la créativité.
            Mais je pense que Il n’est pas toujours honnête avec lui-même – et il pense qu’il doit changer son vrai soi pour réussir.
            Ton comparaison avec Depardieu est très intéressant. “Le Dernier Métro” et “Trop belle pour toi” sont mes films préférés de lui.
            Tous les deux ont dans leur horoscope un soleil “dans le feu” et une lune “sur la terre”. Mais la plus grande différence entre les deux est que Depardieu n’a jamais été intéressé, s’il est beau ou poli.
            Je souhaite que Richard développé plus de confiance et je crois qu’il pourrait donc avoir encore plus de succès.

            Like

            • J’ai fait une erreur – en Depardieus horoscope la soleil est “sur la terre” et la lune (possible) “dans le feu”. Son Soleil a un conjonction avec Jupiter en Capricorne – c’est une signe pour un ego ÉNORME avec beaucoup d’entrain, aucune comparaison que à l’horoscope de Richard. Richard’s soleil est dans le dernièr degrée de Leon (= un ego comme un roi, mais très vulnerable) et la lune en Virgo est prudent et scellé = voilà: L’Ermite 😉

              Like

              • Ich habe auch ein wenig Deutsch gelernt .
                So versuche ich Deutsch schreiben , um auf FranzÖsich schriftlich beantworten Ihnen zu danken . Kein Problem mit der Schreibung , Schande Über mich , schade , ich habe franzÖsich Schreibfehler gemacht ( “musicaux”, “qui tient”) vielleicht gibt es noch einige …

                MIt Vertrauen und Ehrlichkeit , bin ich mit dir einverstanden . Ich habe bereist , frÜher hier darÜber geschrieben ( in “Ever wonder what RA struggles with” on 06.02.2015).
                Ich finde auch , dass er mit seinem Tweet sehr erregt , sauer , genervt ist . WoÜber weiss ich nicht , wahrscheinlich nicht mit Servetus “and co” .

                Mais à toujours vouloir tout contrôler: ses propres paroles et celles des fans, à toujours vouloir ne blesser personne , rester bien pensant , consensuel RA affronte des limites impossibles . Il peut même être comparé à un donneur de leçon , un religieux.
                A mon avis sa venue sur twitter était pour la vitrine , le succès , la publicité, mais peut- être aussi pour attirer vers lui le regard de ceux qui voyageaient sur les sites qui lui sont consacrés . Des sites que certainement il apprécie guère.
                Mais si au début , par sa nouveauté son site captivait cet auditoire , maintenant il est de + en + vide de contenu digne d’intérêt .
                De plus sa notoriété croissante ne fait qu’augmenter le phénomène . Je comprends ses craintes et ses peurs des dérives .
                J ‘espère qu’il surmontera cette épreuve avec succès et grandira dans l’estime de soi , de la profession et du public .

                Like

                • Sans fermer son site sur twitter . C’est le plus grand risque
                  I hope he will not close his page on twitter .
                  Das ist das grÖsster Riziko, die meisten GEFÄHR .

                  Like

                  • I don’t think the risk that he will stop using his Twitter is very high. Look at the publicity it garnered for The Hobbit, The Crucible, the Olivers, what it will do for him in terms of Hannibal. I don’t even think the cost to him of this particular step is tremendously high, judging by the number of fans who obviously approve of what he said (shrugs). I knew when I said this I was going to be in a minority opinion. I do think the problem is that he doesn’t seem to really understand what Twitter is about, and if, as he said in the Hobbit press blitz, it’s for him about influencing his fans, let me wish him “best of luck” with that. I think people will agree with him if they agree with him, but if/when they disagree, the fact that he is the one saying something isn’t going to make much of a difference (witness the whole debacle around his political opinions in November 2013) to them, as it doesn’t for me. He’s not G-d, he’s not my late mother, he’s not my rabbi, and I don’t know him well enough to know if he’s worthy of emulation on a moral / behavioral level. If he wanted to say something to me about how to play one of the roles I play, now that might be interesting advice 🙂

                    Like

                    • I do think , being on twitter ,he wanted or still wants to influence, to handle his fans and obviously to tell them what is good or wrong , to look away other website to him .

                      Like

            • Depardieu didn’t have a chance of being considered conventionally handsome, so it’s not really a difference. Some people have the raw material for that sort of thing, others don’t, and most people go with their strengths; it’s only natural. That wasn’t an option that Depardieu’s body gave him without substantial alterations — just like Steve Buscemi was unlikely to be cast as a leading man without major intervention.

              With Armitage, if one looks at the series of early photos of him, I don’t think he thought much about it when he was younger because from what we can see, he didn’t really develop many of these features we associate with classic male beauty until he was in his late 20s, long after his physical self-perception was formulated.

              In short, I don’t believe the decision to care / not care about one’s appearance is a one to one index of security or insecurity. It can be, but we don’t know enough to say. Frankly, if Armitage — who had a main role in the films — had dressed on the Hobbit red carpets the way he did on red carpets before May of 2010, he’d have been seen in Hollywood as not taking his job seriously. If he was not in a position to make those decisions himself (and why would he be, he was quite obviously not raised in a milieu where that kind of dress was a regular matter), he did something responsible in conceding that he needed to ask for assistance in guiding his taste. The only way he could have gotten around that problem was not to take on the role of Thorin in the first place. But that choice has given him the freedom to do what he’s been doing since Into the Storm, which is to take on more artistic projects.

              In short, I don’t think that the way people make choices is quite as stark as your comments seem to suggest. Most people have to make compromises to get where they want to go professionally.

              Like

          • I think the points about his physicality are right on, here. He is at present better physical actor than a speaker. That’s always going to prejudice the jobs available to him but it’s not a condemnation of what he does on a general level. It makes his work very emotional.

            Like

        • Sorry to butt in here but I have to say your comment seems to be making a lot of assumptions and over-simplifying things. You seem to be implying that not having settled down or not being in a long-term relationship is a sign of immaturity or an inability to connect with people. Firstly, nobody knows for sure if he’s in a relationship or not. It would be difficult for him to keep it private, but not entirely impossible. Secondly, what’s to say that’s even what he wants from life? Different people can have very different ideas about what happiness and fulfilment means to them, and it’s not always necessarily going to be a partner or children. Some people are naturally more solitary and our society chooses to view that with suspicion and think there must be something wrong with someone if they choose to be alone, but that’s just another social construct. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with focusing on a career or other interests rather than having a family if that’s what you genuinely want. Neither is there anything wrong with settling down and having a family, but it’s not for everyone. As someone who has never wanted children or been particularly interested in marriage, I am constantly told (usually by people who barely even know me) that I’m being selfish or emotionally immature or that I’ll change my mind when it’s too late, but it’s simply not true. That’s just the kind of life that has never appealed to me and I’d sort of feel like a fraud if I did lead that kind of life. I love my career and I doubt I will ever regret putting it first. Of course I don’t know Richard personally and I can’t speak on his behalf, but, if he’s not in a relationship it’s entirely possible that that’s just not what he wants from life, at least not right now, and it’s not a sign of immaturity or naivety. There are also many many different types of relationship aside from the romantic. He probably has close friends and seems to have a fairly good relationship with his family, so perhaps that’s enough for him. Sorry for the rant 🙂

          Like

          • Hi Claire – you don’t have to apologize for your rant – I was certainly a bit on a role myself yesterday 😉
            I’ve heard comments like “you don’t know what you are missing if you don’t have kids” or “what do you mean, you have to work on every sunday? Don’t you have a life?” a lot during the last 27 years, so that wasn’t what I meant. Maybe I’m completely wrong about everything I said. It happened before 😉
            But as I just tried to explain in my french answer to elisa72 above, his tweet appeared to me (and obviously Servetus as well) like him throwing a “feud glove”.
            I think he is emotionally a VERY vulnerable and intense person – maybe not offended by simple obscenities but for sure by personal comments. Of course he is so professional that he wouldn’t show it. But only someone who is (deep down) insecure about his appearance would comment such on twitter in the first place.
            So, as I said before, something about him awakens a contradictory spirit in me … and so I simply couldn’t resist picking up that damned glove.
            Choice of weapons: words. Lucky me – I don’t need to sharpen an axe for 4 hours – as sharpness is a state of mind 😉
            I’m sorry if someone other than Richard felt affronted by my posts, but as “he’s never offended” there’s no harm done, right?

            Like

        • I think that his performances get better and better — one thing that seeing The Crucible live definitely communicated to me was that there is a lot more to him as an actor than we saw through the lens of the various directors / cinematographers he’s worked with so far. He’s never had quite that opportunity to show so much of his art at once and one sees a lot more.

          re: personal relationships — it seems clear from things we’ve read and seen over the years that he has good friends, close friends, which to me are more important than romantic relationships / life partnerships. I think it’s no problem to decide that one wants to prioritize career over having one’s own family as long as one is open and honest about that with prospective partners and doesn’t hurt people over it. Then again, I am someone who never was all that thrilled about the prospect of having children. Freedom was always more important to me. To me, the insistence that one’s life is not complete without a life partner is a sort of hangover of Freudianism and the normative belief in a “healthy” sexual life. There are plenty of ways to be creative and productive without reproducing.

          My impression of him is that he won’t be crushed if he doesn’t win — he wants respect, absolutely, but I don’t know that the win gives him more respect than he has gotten by being nominated.

          Like

  22. I am so much out of the Twitter pipeline, that if you would not post the messages, I would not see them at all, even if they are of RA himself. I certainly am not one to use them one way or other, for one, because they don’t express my attitude towards the internet and the freedom and necessity of a diverse set of opinions and not unanimity thrown over everything and obscuring the diversity of life. For another, I still keep my distance from RA in person versus RA in a role or a published interview situation. I am just still not sure I want to discover overly much of him in person. It just would make him all too real for me and that just is not the thing why I admire what he can do mentally by bringing a character to a thoughtful and thought-provoking point. I just am not so sure I want to see the human aspect in/of him. I want his aspect, where he is greater than (a normal) human. I want an idol, somebody to put on a pedestal, even if it is for just an aspect of (his) life. ;o)
    My consequence: I just ignore or try to ignore him when he becomes human (or Dolarhyde – not just my mother would avoid him in that role, but I will as well). (I know, that is very nasty and censoring of me 😦 but is in part my self-defence of what I want to let into my sphere of recognition and awareness and what I can manage to stand and cope with.)

    Like

    • I don’t think it’s censoring if the rule you set up applies only to yourself — then it’s a choice you make for you. I also think (as obvious probably from my comment to lief above) that one can say things like “don’t speak to me that way” — just on Twitter, unless you are willing to block everyone who says something that displeases you. And that’s not in his (or the Olivier Awards’) interest — in fact it is the opposite of lying in their interest. The point of Twitter is to get as big an audience as possible. So prescribing behavior is self-contradictory there. The power of Twitter as a speaking / marketing platform is why I find the “this is why we can’t have nice things” argument specious when I read it around (yes, I know you are not making it) — what were we getting anyway? And are these people who want us to buy what they are selling going to stop selling it to us because 5% of tweets are obscene? I sincerely doubt it.

      re: Armitage the person vs Armitage the actor — it’s interesting, because this was going to be an inevitable consequence of him “speaking for himself”: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/speaking-for-himself-or-why-i-like-richard-armitage-tweeting/ the possibility that we would learn things about him we didn’t like. When he was being (mis)quoted by the press, we could always assign more uncertainty to the meaning of things he said. Now we have a different kind of uncertainty. But I have to say, this kind of thing, where I at least know what he said (even if never, necessarily, why) makes me feel a lot freer than I used to.

      Like

  23. Me thinks the man doth protest too much and this has not changed much over the years. Will he not learn these comments only cause more negative attention to what he tries to preach than detracts. Just stop take it for what it is and believe in the old saying any publicity is good publicity it’s when we stop talking or objectifying him he should be concerned.

    Like

  24. I think I saw some of the posts he was referring to and it wasn’t just people using the odd profanity. One of them was something along the lines of “f*** me hard and eat my a**” and a couple of other similar ones so yeah, I can understand why he asked people not to post stuff like that. I don’t get offended by people occasionally swearing where appropriate but if people can’t even behave like decent human beings then we have a problem. Still I think he should probably have admitted that HE was the one offended by it rather than try to pull the kids and mums thing. It’s not possible that he’s not offended by ANYTHING, but I think he wouldn’t say so even if he was because he doesn’t want to seem too uptight. I know what you mean though. It’s not really for him to decide how people express themselves, but I think it would be nice if people were just a bit more polite and respectful in general.

    Like

    • I guess I don’t see tweeting obscenities as evidence that people can’t behave like decent human beings. That seems to be a huge jump in logic to me. I don’t enjoy reading those things, either (and I got a fair number of them sent to me this weekend, lol) but there is a serious preaching to the choir problem here.

      I have real problems with the employment of the word “respectful” because in my experience, in this fandom, it’s primarily used as a weapon against other fans — not as a reason to examine or change our own behaviors. This blog has long been labeled “disrespectful,” for instance.

      Like

  25. Wow! So many comments on here and so little time to read them… and late to the discussion as well…
    When I read that tweet last week or whenever it was, I had four reactions:
    1. what on earth prompted RA to say that?
    2. what use does it have to tweet this? It really won’t stop the people posting rude messages.
    3. sweet that he wants to better the world, don’t think this is the way.
    4. this message is not for me, I’ll just scroll on.
    So, while it may not have been the best tweet ever, it didn’t really bother me either. I don’t feel policed as I don’t feel like that tweet speaks to me. It’s like when my kids are in the back of the car and the one is annoying the other. I can’t see who is doing what so I tell them in general to just stop it and the ‘innocent’ kid of the two says indignantly ‘but I wasn’t doing anything!!” and I reply, “well, then I wasn’t talking to you!” So for me, I figure that in this case RA is playing the dad – and I figure he isn’t talking to me.

    Like

    • Oh, and yeah – tad clumsy he had to mention mothers and children… I think HE was the one not liking those comments but I guess he means well, so I just let this whole thing go.

      Like

    • I agree completely with you and the comparison with your children. It’s the same with mine 🙂 Let them talk…….

      Like

    • If we take the audience to be fans of his on Twitter, I assume I’m part of the audience. I follow him. It’s now the only place where one can hear him speaking directly to fans. I’ve not (insofar as I remember) directly tweeted at him since I’ve joined. I did tweet questions for some of the Q&As (or at least one of them) before he joined Twitter, and I have favorited some tweets that mention him. I wouldn’t tweet something suggestive or obscene at him or anyone else for that matter. I write things that are suggestive, racy, uncomfortable, edgy, here, but I feel no need to confront him with them because this blog is part of the fandom and IMO Richard Armitage is by definition not a part of his fandom.

      That said, the problem for is the larger one that a lot of fans seem to have the idea that the entire fandom needs to be G-rated. No one I know has any problem with some of the fandom being G-rated, particularly in venues that have TOS that require that (FB), and I have no problem with people making rules for their own venue if the TOS of the platform they use allows that (individual websites, traditional blogs, discussion boards), but Twitter is by definition one of the places that doesn’t have to be G-rated and some of us enjoy it precisely for that reason. Apart from some of his own double entendres, if he’s saying that the Twitter fandom needs to be G-rated, I’m opposed. And I am a part of that group. I’m also opposed to the idea that many fans seem to have that what Richard Armitage says about what we should say, do, and think is law. If he doesn’t like what people tweet to him, he should block them, which is what Twitter lets you do. People would get the idea quickly enough that there are certain things he doesn’t want to read. That’s directly opposed to his professional interest in using Twitter, but that is his business, of course.

      Like

      • Far be it for me to determine what RA means or doesn’t mean but I can’t imagine he wants Twitter to be G-rated. Rather, I feel that he means that people should try to be nice, more or less, that’s all, and that he may want to draw attention to how rude some comments can be and that that should not be necessary. I have read enough comments on social media to know that people say things there that they would never dream of saying directly to a person (face-to-face, via email, phone, whatever). I read this message he wrote as calling people out on that, but maybe that is my own frame of reference talking. I believe in freedom of speech but I also believe you can’t always say absolutely everything, I believe a certain level of respect should be there. Of course, where that line is drawn is a precarious one… Be that as it may, I guess I do find it commendable that RA wants to address the issue but I think his way of doing so with this message was a bit naive and consequently I did not feel like he was addressing me in any way or form and so I passed over it. Having said all this, I agree that actually blocking people/messages would probably be much more effective than writing such a general message. Live and learn, RA, live and learn…

        Like

        • The thing is, too, and this is not his fault, but he must certainly be aware of it at this point, that some people will think that’s what he’s asking for. He can’t control what people think of what he says. But I really wish he wouldn’t put weapons in the hands of those who want to sanitize the entire social mediasphere. (Okay, ’nuff said … I am repeating myself now).

          Like

  26. … and probably because of personal experience(s), I’d really prefer to read a few rude tweets (and actually I read a lot of them, lol) than have the feeling that people can’t say what they want to say. This is certainly personal preference. I think you can’t say everything everywhere (don’t yell fire in a crowded theater), but also that there are places where problematic things should be able to be said and this is one of the virtues of Twitter. I think one would find that serious proponents of absolute free speech in every case are relatively rare.

    Like

  27. So late into this. I apologize. Been away skiing over Easter with only a smartphone, and what I want to write takes a few more taps than what I’m capable of on my mobile.

    Initially when I read the tweets, I was amused because this was proof to me that Richard tweeted himself. Why? Because no professional communicator would send them, no matter how well intended they may be.

    I agree with you completely, Servetus, that his two tweets about clean language and offense/not offense raise more questions than need be, and if Richard has issues with the communicative style of some tweets, he should direct his tweets at specific senders.

    As is, I’m not Richard’s intended target audience with these tweets – although I am a mother and as such perhaps would take offense, and my eldest child is on twitter, and he would perhaps be entertained (or be appalled) – I do, nonetheless, see who could be the intended audience, but to what purpose were these tweets sent?

    A polite request. Yes, definitely, but is the intended audience willing to comply? I agree completely that they were sent because of the at the time upcoming #AskArmitage Q&A on the Olivier account. One could say much was at stake. Richard didn’t want to look a complete fool.

    Again, Richard chose to be on Twitter. The nature of this social media platform has a ‘life of its own’, and if Richard were to want some manner of control over what his followers tweet him, he ought not to be there.

    So from my initial amusement to my following puzzlement: What was the purpose of these tweets? I believe they failed (whatever purpose they may have had?). They certainly didn’t change anything as far as I can tell, and only gave us something to comment about.

    Like

  28. […] You may remember that a little while back, I had the audacity to disagree with Richard Armitage that it was a good idea to ask people to change…, not on his behalf, but on the behalf of mums and children. I didn’t expect that a lot of […]

    Like

  29. […] (about fan behavior and how not to disagree with a blogger) and those linked in that post yourself, here  and here and don’t overlook the comments in all the posts, because that’s where the […]

    Like

  30. […] said before that I’m not willing to limit my social media speech to things I would have said to my mother (or y…. That doesn’t make me, or anyone else who recognizes that there are different locations for […]

    Like

  31. […] Could you dig the hole you put yourself in just a little deeper, Richard Armitage? (April 1, 2015). Response to Armitage’s request that fans make their tweets mum-and-child-safe. […]

    Like

  32. […] I suspect, that Twitter is less fun since the advent of @RCArmitage, and particularly since his prescription that people not talk in ways that might be offensive to mums and children. His very presence there enhances the impression that he is listening and that fan speech must be […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: