#BlogIntroChallenge 5: Which post got the most views? #richardarmitage

blog-intro-challengeIt will probably surprise no one to learn that it is this one. By a factor of at least three above the next most viewed post. The text has been picked up in several places that reproduce blog texts (there’s a term for them — parasite sites or something? I forget.) Oh, my, is there a lot to say about that post. Let’s see how much of it can get my fingers around in a short space and still be tactful.

I was working out a lot in that post and I wrote it when I’d been a fan for less than a year and was still struggling to figure out how to write a non-academic text. There’s way too much in there for a blog post — it could have been seven — concern about fan feuding, working through my issues around objectification, and not least, me still trying to figure out what the heck had hit me and whether I was still sane.

Into the midst of that came a reappearance of Annabel Capper at the 2010 Old Vic Gala, and she was a test case for where exactly I placed the boundaries of my fan relationship to Richard Armitage. It was always unclear who she was, friend or more, but they had been seen together enough times by then that people were asking questions, and I, still very new to fandom, was asking them, too. That was shared sighting number four up to that point. I wanted to know more about her, so a big piece of that post involved tracking down the available public information about her and her work. (After that, as I gradually tracked down videos of her performances, I became the most prominent documenter of Ms. Capper’s work for a time, so that one way a lot of visitors come to this blog anyway is via a search for more information about her career.)

For that whole year, I was very uncomfortable with my role as Armitage fan and Armitage fan blogger, something that abated about seven months after that. I very much buried the lede in that post, and if I were writing it today, I’d write it differently, eliminating the angst I no longer feel, and toning down the epistemological and philosophical pondering. It does, however, very accurately describe my state of mind at the time, particularly the internal struggle about whether to look at information that made me tense. The main points for me of that post at that time — after meandering through my thoughts, one gets to them at the very end of the piece — were that (a) the fact that Armitage had a real, identifiable friend who I could see made him more human and more endearing, attractive, and real to me and (b) I was not jealous of her, which left me with a large sense of relief.

Other readers took other things away from it, however, and when I read references to my writing elsewhere, it’s often to things mentioned in that particular post. I am, for example, often charged with spreading the news that Capper was definitely Armitage’s oft-referred to girlfriend. That’s not quite what I said, and gossip about that possibility was approaching a year old by the time I wrote that post anyway. However, another blogger took from that post that I had found evidence that they had lived together (I didn’t, indeed, I never even looked for it), which got picked up by a sloppy journalist in the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey press blitz who refused to retract it when I pointed out to him that there was no proof. I have read a dozen times that that post is evidence of my belief that I have proven Richard Armitage to be heterosexual. That question isn’t even raised in the post, it was written well before that was a mainstream topic in the fandom, and I noted in it that thinking about Annabel Capper and Richard Armitage together was itself a fantasy or a hypothesis that was becoming part of my fan life. There’s another quote in there (I won’t pick it out, but if you’re familiar with common criticisms of this blog, you might notice it) that is often taken as evidence of my mental illness (if you find it, follow the link to see what I really said about that quote). So in the perception of this blog, the post took on a significance much larger than its main content — my realization that I liked the idea that Armitage would have a real life friend or partner and that I wasn’t in the least jealous — would have suggested at the time.

I was so innocent then. I thought that what I wrote mattered primarily to me and the people who had showed up to be my friends. I was perhaps too doggedly holding my head in the sand to see what was about to happen in Armitage’s career and on my own path as a blogger.

~ by Servetus on June 2, 2015.

6 Responses to “#BlogIntroChallenge 5: Which post got the most views? #richardarmitage”

  1. I hadn’t read that post before as I’ve never been curious enough about AC to research her, but I found it really interesting to read your thoughts on the topic. Find it surprising that you came off as mentally ill in any capacity to some readers, as I thought it was a very level-headed and honest post and could definitely relate to some of your feelings as a young blogger.


    • I think she’s a matter of close to null interest now, but back in 2010 it was a big thing. She was, I think, the first woman he’d been seen with more than once. The other issue at work was that the discussion forums had never allowed “personal discussions” up till then (maybe they still don’t). So when other venues for this discussion became available, there was a lot of tumult about whether it was permissible (since the boards hadn’t allowed it).


  2. “I was so innocent then. I thought that what I wrote mattered primarily to me and the people who had showed up to be my friends.” that line really stood out to me b/c that’s the mindset that I try to uphold in order to be able to do what I do. I know there are lurkers, and lurking is not a bad thing, but I tend to convince myself that there are a lot less of them then there actually are. I would find it very difficult to write a serious blog, not to mention such a personal one, knowing that others have less than honorable intentions for reading or will twist what I say and use it against me :/


    • Thanks for this — I think in a way, you have to (the whole “dance like no one is watching” philosophy) otherwise you’d just censor every honest thought you’d ever had, in which case for me this wouldn’t be much fun. At that time in my life, in particular, I hid who I was most of the time. Here, I don’t say everything I think but what I say reflects what I do think.


  3. Yes, KellyDS, it is sad that there are those out there with nothing better to do than twist words and cause drama where there was just open thought and dialogue! It is a very real reason for my not putting my thoughts out there. I’m not thick-skinned enough.


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