Prelude: When I don’t like an actor — more musings on the “dealbreaker”

I know it’s been slim pickings here lately. After the fishing season ended, the household appliances decided to strike. In ten days we replaced a hot water heater and a water softener, and dealt with a major refrigerator repair that left us without refrigeration for five days. Then I backed into my dad’s truck. Work got a bit intense. Finally, just as I said to myself, okay, back on track now, I had an acute episode of reproductive system distress. I’m on the upswing (maybe I shouldn’t jinx it by saying that), but I’m home, sick, today. So I apologize; I haven’t felt like writing lately and commenting has been about all I am up to, when I manage that.

My blogiversary passed on February 26 — six years of this. Thanks to everyone who’s read, commented, and supported behind the scenes. Thanks to Richard Armitage for inspiring all of this.

So this is by way of a blogiversary post — or reflections, anyway, or an attempt. I’m starting elliptically based on something I’ve noticed — I’m hoping finally publish what I’d wanted to publish at New Years, and then again at my birthday. This is the first part. Hopefully there will be two more.

I mentioned that a good friend is having an unavoidable crush that takes all your energy experience with Matthias Schoenaerts, and that we watched a raft of his movies in a few days. In consequence of that, for a week or so I was translating a lot of interviews for her in English from French or Dutch. I’m very confident that I understand written French, and reasonably confident about Dutch (if I have some time and a dictionary), but I don’t understand spoken French at all and very little spoken Dutch. So when it got to videos, I had to tell her that I didn’t understand enough of what was said to be of assistance. But it was a little more than that — I was starting not to like him, specifically his statements about love, loyalty, etc. At least one interview that I translated, one that dealt with his most recent breakup, implied that he missed his former girlfriend’s cats more than the girlfriend. I’m sure this comment was not intended maliciously, but it was a turn-off. I still think he’s a good actor, and extremely handsome, but I’m not going to run to his movies. Interestingly, this information did not have the effect of ending the crush for my friend at all, who is still fascinated and going strong.

This kind of thing happens to me a lot. This weekend, I finally saw Twelve Years a Slave (I read the book — an original 1853 memoir written by Solomon Northrup, when the movie came out). Normally this is the kind of movie I’d see in the theater, but I’d heard an NPR interview with the author of the screenplay that was a serious turnoff, and so I decided to give it a miss. I watched it because I was marooned in the living room, and the parts I saw were well done (I had to turn it off for a while after the violent beginning; I was really shaken), even if Michael Fassbender keeps his southern accent together only about a third of the time. Chiwetel Ejiofor was outstanding (and I’m now prepared to agree he was robbed for the Oscar that year).

It’s not that it was that much of a big deal that I didn’t see it, I suppose, but I have been musing on this theme recently. How much info about an actor I admire is too much?

The ongoing discussion about the diversity problem in Hollywood broke out again recently with a seriously whitebread Oscars nomination slate and attendance boycotts announced by some African-American celebrities. Of course people commented in various ways. The first comment that really annoyed me was Charlotte Rampling‘s. I think she is one of the more talented actors of her generation, and I’ve enjoyed her work every time I’ve seen it; her presence in a film significantly increases my desire to see it. But when I heard what she said, my desire to see 45 Years fell to zero. Michael Caine said something similar — but it had little impact on me insofar as he’s never been a reason for me to see a film. I’m not going to avoid his work consciously, or hers, for that matter, but now, when I do see them on the screen, I’ll naturally remember what they said.

And then the real blow — the Coen Brothers. They are probably my favorite living filmmakers (even if I haven’t seen every single film they have made). Fargo and A Serious Man would definitely both be included in the Servetus Top Ten. They also commented on this question with statements that aren’t objectionable per se, but demonstrate that they really missed the points of concerns. The issue isn’t putting members of minorities where they don’t belong, so much as the shortage of situations in Hollywood where they do belong, which is neither arbitrary nor accidental. Sigh. Oh, well, I heard Hail, Caesar is not one of their better offerings anyway.

So: theoretical pause — I read and see all kinds of things produced by people I disagree with. I don’t avoid political opinions I despise or feel critical of: I have read Mein Kampf in the original (yuck). I watch the GOP debates. I don’t assume that artists who had problematic or reprehensible opinions must be avoided as artists. I’ve read all of Céline‘s novels. I go to Wagner operas. I could give dozens more examples from twentieth-century German and American literature and music. And so on.

I think the issue is two-fold. Part of it is that once I know I have a problem with an artist’s opinions, consuming their material moves from the realm of pure enjoyment to something that is going to take more effort — it stops being entertainment and starts being work (and arguably, this is more true of living artists). And if the work is more entertainment than art in the first place, I wonder what the point is. It’s only there for fun, but if it stops being fun?

There’s also the question of what (if any) feeling about the artist’s person is necessary for me to find their work convincing, enjoyable, and attractive. This is the terrain of the dealbreaker discussion we’ve been over before.

The background issue is still Richard Armitage, but the acute problem this weekend was Michelle Forbes.

You may be aware that I was a pretty devoted watcher of ST:TNG, which is my primary interface with Michelle Forbes (although I have also seen a few episodes of The Killing). ST: TNG got me through graduate school and my doctoral exams. I won’t go into details, but Ro Laren is pretty much the coolest character ever (way cooler than Deanna Troi, I never understand what Commander Riker saw in her) and at the time these episodes were being broadcast (and for a few years afterward) I heavily identified with many of the character’s central problems. And Michelle Forbes plays her really well. She’s obviously talented (and has won a number of awards in the interval since then). I loved both the plot line for the character, as she made the decision to leave Starfleet, and the energy, wit, verve, and occasional explosiveness with which Forbes played her.

So now she’s on Berlin Station and she’s the source of pictures and so she’s in my media feed again.

You know how there are some people whose social media you scan and you know that they are absolutely someone you could never, ever be friends with? Like if you knew them casually and were forced together socially, you’d spend significant parts of the evening in the ladies’ room? Because you find them that inherently unlikable on a personal level?

Sigh. This is really bugging me now. Maybe it’s that I find the directed energy she shows in her acting is so unappealing on Twitter. Which is unfair to her, I suppose.

(Note that this isn’t an expression of a belief that Forbes’ opinion in itself is illegitimate — I’ve said things about animal rights activism before and why I think it is necessary to the political sphere even if I disagree with the opinions of its practitioners, as I do with those of Forbes. Nor am I saying she should not express her opinion. If she wants to, she should. Finally, I am not saying that people don’t have the right to be themselves in their social media. Plenty of people find me unappealing and tell me so all the time. The risk that others will dislike one is a cost of doing business that all of us accept. Many people have the reaction to me that I have to Michelle Forbes’ Twitter feed.)

So I don’t have to be friends with her. She’s still the talented actor that I admired twenty years ago. I could just ignore her. I should just ignore her. And I’ve been trying. Unfortunately her interaction with Armitage this weekend made it impossible to ignore her, and I lost my cool and engaged. So that’s my fault. I’m already regretting it, for at least five reasons.

In the end, I’m trying to think if I’ve ever felt this negative about one of Armitage’s co-stars before I saw the final product. Well, Bryan Fuller was obnoxious, for a similar reason — the insistence on telling us what to think. But I think he may be the only one. Is it just a familiarity breeds contempt issue? Still, I don’t think I’d have felt that way about Jed Brophy or Graham McTavish. I suppose Shelly Conn and Leila Rouass and Genevieve O’Reilly and Lucy Griffiths didn’t tweet, so there’s no comparison.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to Berlin Station. I’m just wondering if I’m going to be able to watch her character interact with Daniel Miller without rolling my eyes.

~ by Servetus on February 29, 2016.

66 Responses to “Prelude: When I don’t like an actor — more musings on the “dealbreaker””

  1. First off, it’s been 10 years since I watched a movie that was nominated for an Academy Award. I’m just not a movie person. Really.

    Second, I don’t mind someone who has an opposing opinion than mine. I DO mind someone pushing it down my throat and telling me it’s the only way.

    I wanted to inform her that the glow she was commenting on wasn’t ‘healthy’ – it was Maybelline and about 2 inches worth at that.

    or maybe it was Cover Girl or Revlon. Hmmmm….

    But I said nothing and went somewhere private to snark and spew. And a good time was had by all.

    Pollen season has begun here. I am not a happy camper.

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    • Now that my favorite moviegoing friend lives in another city, and I’ve moved to a tiny market, I hardly go, either. But I’d in general be more likely to see an Oscar nominated film (something of that type) than most of what is on offer.

      Yeah, the comment about the glow from veganism was bizarre. He looked pale last weekend at the Berlinale. We call that: makeup.

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      • They make all kinds of nifty cosmetics now to give you to illuminate the complexion.  Right now I am a 55- year- old woman fighting a cold and even  paler than usual–but with the right war paint, I could glow, too. 😉

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  2. Maybe her character in Berlin Station will be a polar opposite to RL Michelle and that will make it easier for you to enjoy the series without the eye rolling. It is a bit off-putting when an actor you really liked in a role turns out to be quite different in real life and in a way that bugs you.

    I love the Coen Brothers, so a bit saddened by that-and Charlotte Rampling, too, a wonderful actress. Chiwetel is one of those actors who improves every project in which he appears IMHO. I would love to see him act with RA.

    And yeah, you’ve had a lot on your plate lately. I give you kudos for posting as much as you do. And I hope you feel a lot better soon. I’ve been battling this stupid cold and now bad chest pains this morning (tied into old health issues and costolchondritis). I was hoping to feel much better by today as I have interviews to do, but it is what it is. Take care.

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    • I just keep thinking that a generation ago I would be unlikely to know all this stuff. Or I’d have read that she’s a vegan and an animal rights proponent without having seen all of the graphic evidence she put in her Twitter feed. The synecdoche of a cow bleeding out for the entire dairy industry … yeah. Really convincing.

      I admit that I’m frustrated that we can’t cast US actors in the roles of US historical figures. It’s a side issue, though. He was fantastic. 100 percent convincing.

      I think part of the frustration was that I’d been feeling so much better since moving home and just the pile of stuff was so fatiguing. I hope you feel better, too. Spring is coming.

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  3. Congratulations on your six year blogiversary!!! Thanks you for all of the time and effort you put into your blog. I appreciate and enjoy it even when I don’t agree with you 😉

    There are two reasons for me not enjoying an actor in a movie or TV show. The first is that something about their acting reminds me that they are acting. Two of my personal examples are Lily James and Matthias Schoenaerts. Cinderella and A Little Chaos both came up lacking because of the way they played their roles IMO.

    The second reason is what you are discussing here (I believe.) Knowledge of what an actor has said in interviews, twitter or other media that I dislike or disagree with. For example I won’t ever watch anything with Mel Gibson. Then there are actors I’ll watch but that as you say it is more difficult to “find their work convincing, enjoyable, and attractive.” Michelle Forbes has now made this list for me. I feel I’m better off (only taking enjoyment into account) when I know very little about an actor. I am looking forward to Berlin Station and hope what I know of Michelle doesn’t diminish my pleasure in watching the show. Thanks for another thought provoking post.

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    • Thanks!

      I agree re: not acting effectively.

      Mel Gibson is a no go for me these days now as well. He still seems to do okay anyway, though …

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  4. for me, something about an actor’s offscreen personality has to grab me in order to get me in the “crush” zone. often it’s a combination of their respect for the craft of acting itself along with personal traits that grab me. their opinions on things don’t have to be in line with mine but it depends on what it’s concerning. if it’s something that intrigues me, all the better, but if it’s something that makes me crinkle my nose or roll my eyes, I can’t unknow it, and that usually is the start of my declining attentions. I don’t have to like a person offscreen in order to like them onscreen (Tom Cruise is a good example of this: I will watch any action movie that he is in, I really like them. but I’d rather not delve into his offscreen life…) but it does greatly enhance my experience if I do. I guess it has to do with respect, really. if I don’t respect them, I can’t really take them seriously onscreen. lately I’ve been trying to curb my natural curiosity to find out anything and everything about the actors that do grab me though, I don’t want to ruin the enjoyment I find in them by knowing too much about them. I need just enough to get a sense of who they are but try to leave the rest alone. keep the mystery alive 🙂

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    • I haven’t seen a Tom Cruise movie in a long time, but i get what you mean — he’s a great action hero. I have read a lot of the press about him because it is just so wild, and if respecting an actor would be important, yeah, you probably don’t want to know most of that stuff.

      Thanks for this thoughtful comment. I’m really wrestling with this problem right now. I think you’re right that it comes down to what we respect, so to speak. One can respect some aspects of an individual and not others. Hmmm.

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      • Tom Cruise is definitely someone I only want to encounter in films; his real life antics bug the absolute heck out of me. But I admit I enjoy his action-oriented movies. The one where he kept getting killed was terrific fun. 😉

        Sometimes I find myself waxing nostalgic over the old days of the studio system and the effort made to maintain the stars’ mystique and allure. Of course, they made up a lot of what was publicized , reinventing some actors’ pasts, and hushed up any misbehavior, sometimes throwing one lesser star to the wolves in order to protect a bigger one (I think it was Rory Calhoun and drug charges that took the place of revealing Rock Hudson’s homosexuality to the public by “Confidential” Magazine back in the 50s). Sometimes, though, a little big more ignorance would be rather blissful.

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  5. A little “bit” more . . .

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  6. La question est:
    “Face à un ou une star reconnue que nous apprécions , quelle limite de tolérance pouvons accepter, vis à vis des écarts de langage et de conduite, avant que ces écarts nous éloignent de son travail, aussi excellent soit-il?
    (J’avoue n’avoir jamais suivi la carrière de Tom Cruise. J’apprécie autant le travail de Clint Eastwood que celui de Robert Redford, pourtant politiquement très opposés).
    Reste la curiosité intellectuelle de découvrir les pensées, les oeuvres, les travaux des personnes, que nous n’apprécions pas, selon moi, par rigueur intellectuelle, pour mieux critiquer en toute connaissance du sujet dans sa globalité. Il vaut mieux exercer sont sens critique après visionnage, qu’avant.
    (J’avoue m’être trompée en critiquant le choix d’un rôle comme Francis Dorlarhyde, avant d’avoir vu la prestation de monsieur Richard Armitage dans la série Hannibal. Mea culpa).

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    • No doubt it’s better to wait till one sees the role. What I was trying to communicate here is that what I know now makes me not want to see her — even though I have appreciated her acting before. In any case, I’m going to see it one way or another. I actually think I’ll be able to arrange to see this one legally, as it happens.

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  7. I, like you to some degree, do not know why I feel an irritating and negative reaction to Michelle Forbes postings, but I do. I almost feel a sense of “this is how it should be” in her remarks and I guess that is what I don’t like. I am just going to turn her out and look forward to the show and try to look at it with fresh eyes and enjoy it. It is a fact we do not have to like everyone or accept them just as they have with us and since I prefer not to be irritated – there is a simple solution 🙂

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  8. get well soon and happy blogiversary

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  9. Glad to see I’m not alone in my dislike of Ms. Forbes. And apologies, Serv, but I hated her as Ensign Ro. She seems…preachy? pushy? “holier than thou”? And we all know he was wearing makeup. Besides, I’ve been a vegetarian off and on over the years – there is no ‘glow’ from being one. And I’m proof you can be vegetarian & still overweight.
    I’ll put up with her for Richard’s sake, but that’s about all.

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    • Sorry you didn’t like her in that role — I loved it because the character was so principled and intense. But then I tended to identify with the character’s viewpoint.

      Yeha, vegetarianism is no guarantee of health.

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  10. Since this is titled “prelude” – I assume you will launch into further discussion of the issue of “knowing too much about (y)our favourite actor”? Or maybe it’s not even knowing too much, but knowing his ideological affiliations, or seeing how he conducts himself in public/in discussions/on Social Media/etc. Twitter has been a bit of an eye-opener in that respect (and that applies to many a celeb who is active there…). Like most people, I’d be turned off by unacceptable politics, too. Or abusive, manipulative behaviour. If the celeb’s ideology matches mine, it helps, of course.
    I had never heard about Ms Forbes prior to Berlin Station. For a while I really enjoyed following her, picking up a few infos and food for thought (all plant based lol) from her feed. I have the impression that she realised a short while ago, that her audience had increased (for whatever reason), and she stepped up her Tweet production. Unfortunately that coincided with relentless proselytising, something that puts me off – less because of the vegan cause that is at the centre, but more because pontificating is just another way of patronising people. I wouldn’t say I dislike her. I certainly think she has all the right in the world to tout her opinions. Good on her, actually, for voicing a clear opinion at all. But I suspect her way of voicing it, is counterproductive. Using another actor’s name in order to further her cause, was also a dubious choice. Has she tweeted since then? I am out of the loop – and am enjoying (some of) the silence…
    In any case, if this is the first post in a series, I look forward to more. Hope you have the time and energy to launch into it.

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    • You know, I looked at my post about this (part 2) all afternoon yesterday and could not make myself publish. I don’t like to push go on anything when I am irritated (although I have).

      Interesting observations — because I didn’t follow her (have not) just because what you describe is something I don’t care to feed — the idea that because I am interested in Armitage and his opinions I am interested in these other people and their potential opinions as well. So at some point, probably when she posted that picture, I looked at the feed. I saw the picture of the dead cow and thought “this person is not reasonable.” (I don’t understand how animal rights activists think that brutal imagery is going to convince people. In my experience it doesn’t.) I hadn’t realized that the timing of the posts had accelerated after her casting in this series.

      By calling him a vegan she lost all the sympathy she had left with me — not because I care if he’s a vegan, he should eat whatever he wants and can afford — but because she was arrogating a statement to herself that she should have left for him. If a friend observed in public about me that I am “almost kosher” (which is still true, I think) and that I had realized that kashrut would bring me benefits, I would be really angry, actually. Thanks, I’ll publicize my life decisions (or not) myself.

      She has not tweeted since.

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      • LOL I wouldn’t go as far as to say Ms Forbes’ (or any others’) connection to Armitage makes their ideology/opinion automatically interesting to me. Following her was an isolated case in that she came to my attention because she posted some pictures from the set, and a curious, cursory glance over her timeline seemed to indicate that some of what she posted was interesting to me at that point in time. The pointlessness yet visual abuse through reposting of brutal imagery is something that I also dislike, but that fits right in with the shock tactics that a lot of minority causes like to employ. It put me off, but did not surprise me. – Maybe the frequency of her posts seemed increased to me because more of them popped up on my timeline as some of my connections interacted with her.
        And you are absolutely right – life decisions (or the communication of such) are the property of the individual in question, not of friends, however well-meaning they may be. I was irritated by the fact that she was implying something that was not confirmed (and still hasn’t been). As I said – counterproductive, because to me that looks like appropriating someone else’s (good) name (and social media reach) for one’s own cause, which invariably leads to the assumption that the argument in question did not (please forgive me the pun) have enough meat of its own.
        Maybe she is really busy and does not think much about Twitter…

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        • I think they can only do that kind of thing because they have an incredibly simplistic worldview — the whole question that she’s broaching there is pretty complicated (and then she dragged nutrition into it, which is a separate question from food production, though related). I always want to post that scene from N&S where Thornton says, you may look at the machines, I have to live with them. But I guess it’s attractive to be able to reduce all of your thinking on something down to slogans. Saves space for other stuff in your brain, I suppose. Which isn’t to say there is no sophisticated thinking among animal rights activists, but that’s not how it looks sometime. I see these pictures of cows and wonder if the people who repost them have ever actually been in a dairy barn.

          I assume that most people’s main priority is their living, i.e., she’s thinking about her acting.

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          • Slightly OT here but my uncle had a dairy farm in southern Michigan. My memory/impression is that it was the cleanest place I’ve ever been. Gleaming stainless steel. I don’t know if they’re the same now.

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            • I think as with every profession there are better and worse practitioners of it. In general dairy farms are fairly clean places as farms go; farmers worry about the safeness of the milk supply and that’s even more true for farmers who are pushing the raw milk message these days. The big safety debates in the industry are now more about hormones and antibiotics.

              Nobody likes to see a downer cow — least of all the farmer, because cows are expensive. Yes, cows sometimes die during milk production. Sometimes their death looks bad and seems painful from our perspective, and I’m sure it feels terrible for the cow. Philosophically speaking, yes, a farmer usually prefers to kill a cow that can’t stand rather than to keep it alive and considers this humane, and an animal rights activist would certainly disagree. These are legitimate differences of opinion and conflicts of ethics. But to show a picture of a cow bleeding out and say that’s exemplary of the dairy industry — it’s just incorrect. Except, of course, to someone who’s never been in a dairy barn and can feel free to draw that conclusion apart from more general sampling.

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              • Exactly, Servetus.

                I haven’t been following her account, but the first errr no for me was the fact that she spoke for him about something like that.

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              • As many of you know, I love animals and do a lot of volunteer work  with our local humane society (anyone care to buy a t-shirt for a great cause? Anyone? 😉 ) but I freely admit I also eat meat and dairy and wear leather (the fur is faux).   I am a country girl who  grew up on a poultry farm with cattle and hayfields,  and chickens and cows and hay kept food on the table, shoes on our feet and sent me to college.  And provided me with some amazingly good steaks to share with my roommates.

                I firmly  believe in the humane treatment of animals whenever possible, and our group has intervened in several cases where horses and cattle were literally being starved to death and the photos were heartbreaking. I have to say I do worry about all the hormones and antibiotics being fed to animals now–the fact is poultry is growing up and out much more quickly than the chickens my parents raised years ago. SOMETHING is clearly being put into them to cause these “super chickens.” It’s definitely a legitimate concern.  But I do believe most farmers, whether they have dairy, beef, poultry operations or what have you, try to take good care of the animals–it is in their best interest.  If you haven’t experienced actual farming operations first hand, it’s easy to believe whatever images are thrown out there.

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                • I didn’t realise she posted such images but i’m glad i didn’t see it, no time to peruse all the twitter content. But it is such a reductive view of a way of life and an industry. It’s easy to preach on views if you just talk about your own life and don’t think about context and livelihoods and so on. I care a lot a about food being grown properly, with as little negative impact on the environment as possible and so on because it affects everyone’s lives. But to suggest that solutions are as simple as that is both unrealistic and just propaganda.
                  Half of my family lives on farms and derives their livelihood from it, my best holidays as a kid were the times spent on the farm and i’ve never felt closer to nature since.
                  Educating people and especially kids about farming, food and so on is very important but throwing shocking images out there is not it.
                  Ultimately it’s not a type of debate i’d like to go for and this just makes me stay away even firmer from that kind of twitter activity. This kind of messaging has little positive or long term impact and not only does not realistically address problems (it seems to misrepresent the problem itself too) but also offers no viable solution.
                  But of course she’s free to do and say what she pleases, just as i am free to choose my own causes and act upon what i believe is important or can make a difference 😉

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                  • Yes, so true, it’s very easy to take shots at a way of life that you’ve never really experienced. And I am all for our fruits and vegetables (and animals)  being grown in a way that is best for our environment and for our own health.  My parents’ big garden was organically grown before it became “hip” to do so. I am so thankful I did grow up knowing where much of the food on our table came from–because it came directly from our farm and from the farms and orchards of those who were our friends and neighbors.  So many people have never experienced that. I am with you, Hariclea, I don’t think the shocking images really help solve the problem (or necessarily reflect reality–although some people assume that anything seen on FB or Twitter is authentic).

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      • Perhaps she hasn’t tweeted since because she caught enough flack from his fans? I read a few (who reminded her about makeup) and a few more about the “milk substitutes” she mentioned (even I posted something about a major con of soy, major to me anyway).
        And I wonder, too, if perhaps Mr. A. said something to her.

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        • Soy is a problem for me on at least two counts (environmental, healthwise for women, since it may raise estrogen levels) and with the ingredients in some dairy substitutes you’d be better off just giving up dairy substitutes as well. Lots of world cultures seem to get along fine without them, but they have foodways developed to meet their nutritional needs.

          All of this exemplifies the issue of saying “just do this and you’ll be healthy.” You don’t have to drink milk but if you don’t you need to replace calcium, Vitamin D (to absorb the calcium) and potassium. You don’t need to eat meat but you need to get a combination of all 9 amino acids regularly. Most people don’t know these things, I find. You don’t need to consume milk fat but every body needs some fats, some of which choices might be worse for you than milk fat. Grrr. So much that can’t be said in 140 characters.

          I haven’t been observing the rhythm of her tweets enough to say whether the current pause is significant in any way. Maybe someone else has.

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  11. Happy anniversary and get well soon Serv!
    I saw Michelle Forbes in ‘The Killing’ and was impressed with what she did with that part.
    And like Guylty described it in her comment I liked reading her tweets after she joined Berlin Station till the point where she apparently noticed the wider audience and started what I would call in German ‘ein bißchen auf die Kacke hauen’.
    I am still looking forward to her acting in ‘Berlin Station’ but will try to ignore her tweets…

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  12. Happy anniversary! I hope you’ll feel better soon!

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  13. It occurred to me after I published this that I could have added the “Making of a Murderer” SM expressions I’ve seen in my fan media. First Peter Jackson (that wasn’t surprising because of his involvement with the Memphis folks, and he more or less limited himself to saying that police can err), but then Amanda Abbington, who is just one irritation after another. In that case it was that she apparently doesn’t want anyone talking smack about her and her family, but she feels entirely free to do it about others. Again, not an argument, but hugely annoying.

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  14. I just blocked her in hopes of preserving my excitement about Berlin Station. At least that will prevent me from looking casually.

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  15. Congratulations on your bloggiversary. I’m SO thrilled you’re still hanging on in here ❤

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  16. Gosh, i didn’t realise she was Ro Laren! loved the character, but then again on screen i quite like the type of heroes, not sure i’d cope that well in real life with those sorts of personalities.. probably not 🙂
    Sorry for the late responses! I’d rather take my time reading properly so lagging behind often on the more ‘meaty’ posts 😉
    So sorry you haven’t been feeling well 😦 But that is a lot of stress and chance with the move and stuff breaking down and adjusting and so on. Fingers crossed appliances will stay whole and normal life will resume now that you are mostly settled in, fingers crossed!
    So glad it is 6 years and you still want to write here 🙂 Makes me give myself the occasional shove to not forget to do so or keep going back to it 🙂
    Sometimes it’s fun to just comment and keep going, i am looking forward to the more substantial stuff and was glad to have this one stashed away for midnight reading 🙂
    I wish i could ignore some of the information i know about the artists i see o hear on either screen or stage. Knowing less about their person certainly makes it easier to enjoy their art unencumbered. But that would also mean i have to control myself better from wanting to find out more about somebody whose performance i find so inspiring. And it is hard not to 🙂 If it makes an impact on me i’ll have an emotional reaction and maybe it is wanting to know what makes them inspire me? What makes them special so that their performance stood out? What makes them tick so that they can do this to me? In reality i found more often than not better not to know and let it be… But not always, most people are nice and normal and knowing more about them can be quite pleasant.
    And it is a real problem finding out something that disagrees with me… it certainly affects the way i view their performances… I too can name the same Gibson and Cruise as example… gr. I’ve ended up not watching any of their stuff anymore. It’s a bit easier if the performance is live, i can still enjoy some great singing even if as soon as it stops the other stuff comes flooding back… On screen stuff much harder to get through.
    Do i think it affects the value of their art, no. But it does affect my enjoyment of it. For me i’ve learned that less is more and thankfully i don’t have the time to explore further in most cases. Ie i was tempted to follow her following some pictures from set but then based on past or more recent experience with previous projects of himself decided against it. I’ll stick to following things i am interested in personally, the items related to himself are likely to pop up on my connections’ feed anyway and i don’t need to take the rest on.
    Can’t avoid the stuff i stumble upon or read in my own interest and time, but that’s fair enough, it is stuff that interests me anyway, i’ll find out stuff that i don’t like and disagree with. But like you i’m trying to keep this little corner of enjoyment of projects and art unaffected by so much collateral if i can avoid it mostly. Not that much out there for enjoyment. (having said that the Hobbit has created a bad habit, since there was so much related and not directly related from everyone … and all interesting and pleasant in terms of colleagues.. it makes it hard to remember that that project was more the exception to the rule :-))
    You probably did the right thing for yourself by blocking .
    Let spring come soon and give us all a boost 🙂 on to the next 6 years 🙂 xx

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    • I really did, she’s apparently a total jerk on Twitter.

      Thanks for the good wishes. I can’t believe it’s six years, either …

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations on your bloggiversary!.. and Thank you 💐
    I’m waiting for spring too, ((Serv))

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  18. So, now there’s this:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    which kind of makes the situation that’s been brewing for a while with me acute.

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  19. I loved everything about The Killing except for her. She was extremely annoying.
    I don’t follow her on Twitter (and never will), but have seen a lot of her stuff retweeted and a lot of people interacting with her. She’s still very annoying. Personally, I think she’s quite enjoying the extra attention she’s getting.

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    • Thanks for the comment and welcome.

      I actually peaked at her account — she thinks the meat industry is somehow harassing her. So yeah, I’d say, likes attention.

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  20. Late to comment as usual… Happy (belated) blog anniversary!

    You write about a real quandary… my experience of it has mostly been with musicians rather than actors. Many blokes in punk/rock/metal have terrible attitudes towards women (fortunately many don’t). I tend to blacklist them but I’m consistent about it (because that album is so amazing!! – Roxane Gay has talked about this re being a “bad feminist”).

    I was really disappointed with Charlotte Rampling’s comments, too. My previous enthusiasm for her evaporated as well 😦

    I tend to think that if we examined any given person long enough we would find something objectionable. When I found out that one of Christoph Walz’s favourite books was The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris (ergh pseudoscience) and that he said it changed his life, the sociologist in me got all riled up! Figured it was best to just admire him from afar after that. I don’t want my admiration for him to spoil, I adore him too much 🙂

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    • *Waltz

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    • ergh sorry, half asleep *inconsistent about it

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    • Right — and Julian Assange — didn’t you write about him at some point?

      I agree that we’d find something to dislike in everyone. I think one issue is that if I have a friend, let’s say, or a relative, who has some weird or unacceptable idea (actually I do, in the case of family members) there are many other reasons to disregard that at least somewhat. If it’s an actor or a crush, what’s the point? If it kills the illusion, it’s not like one has a personal obligation to that actor (at least not in my opinion — I’ve been reading more and more in the fandom lately the idea that if you are an Armitage fan you are obligated to praise / love everything he says and it occurs to me now that maybe some people consider him more of a friend than I do).

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      • Yes, and what a jerk he turned out to be. Not courageous, just profoundly arrogant.

        Funny you mention the point about family, I’ve thought about that a bit. Having family members that one might ordinarily choose not to associate with, if they weren’t family, I hope teaches us something about tolerance, getting along, and learning to live with points of difference or even people we don’t particularly like.

        I guess it comes down to what we value – do we value peace and cohesion with our family more or less than the issue that might break it? Does one value the crush (and indeed being part of the fandom/community) more or less than the issue that threatens to spoil it? I agree that one has no personal obligation to actors/crushes. You can’t change your family, but you can change your actor crush! There’s plenty to choose from! Families can be difficult… why have a difficult crush? (unless one is into that kind of thing!) It’s supposed to be fun! (and for many an escape from family, I imagine).

        I don’t understand why a fan ought to be obligated to praise everything re RA or anyone else. People are seriously advocating this idea? I’d rather see thinking fans with a sense of their own autonomy than sheep-like ones. A friend to praises someone unconditionally does not seem like an honest friend to me.

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        • It doesn’t come out as “you must praise RA” but rather as “stop analyzing everything so much, stop observing so closely,” which is particularly insidious because it sounds slightly more rational.

          The whole question of cohesion within the fan community has typically been an acute one for me. I think what gradually happens if one sticks with it is that one cares a whole lot less about that. One sees so many demonstrations of fans who are not family.

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          • Ah, another manifestation of fans policing fans then. I suppose those who aren’t academics/analysts or who just aren’t inclined that way perhaps don’t understand that impulse (to observe closely) generally, or feel it should be only directed to “serious” topics (this reminds me of the link you posted ages ago about an academic or grad student who turned her critical attention to perfume).

            Unfortunately it’s impossible for such a large fan community to be perfectly cohesive. Seems like you have a loving family on this blog though, who are fans of your close observations 🙂

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            • Yeah, the people who come here are 99% great (apart from the occasional troll). The issue, though, is that the center of the fandom world is not here. I’m not saying that in the sense of “more people should be listening to me,” but in the sense of, “if I want to meet people, I have to leave this space, and outside of it I encounter trends I find disturbing.”

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  21. As so often with your posts, this one has me thinking…
    I am not like you in that I let it bother me so much when I feel such negativity towards an actor/actress. When I feel so negatively about someone, I just find it works best for me to ignore them. Yes, like you there are people I feel I could never ever be friends with (the Schwarzeneggers and Stallones and Steven Stegals of this world spring to mind), but I don’t let them bother me, I just ignore them and very very very rarely watch anything they do… Basically I block them, like you do Michelle Forbes. 🙂 I don’t find it worth my energy to bother much about them. I’ll exclaim how I really don’t like them when they are shoved in my face and then move on. So, consequently I find it easier to have comments I don’t much like slide like water off a duck’s back (like Teflon, it just doesn’t stick to me). And if they happen to do something with an actor/actress I like, well, I suck it up and try to enjoy it for the actor/actress I do like. The only reason why I ever watched “Junior” with Schwarzenegger was because of Emma Thompson and I enjoyed it enough for her and for what it was…
    There are many actors out there that I get a crush on and then, when I get to ‘know’ them better, I find they don’t quite fit the bill in every way for me. I then think “ok, fine, I’ll read or watch interviews, enjoy them for what they are” and move on. I can still enjoy their work even though they have lost a bit a of magic. Live and let live, they can push their agendas all they like, I can ignore it and it really doesn’t bother me. To each their own crusades.
    I am also aware that some things that are said can be taken out of context, so sometimes when someone is quoted saying something I really don’t like, I tend to take it with a grain of salt. The Rampling comment, though it shocked me at first, when I read more closely about it, I felt it wasn’t meant to be blatantly racist. Not smartly phrased, I very much agree, but I tend to believe she didn’t mean it the way it came out. So, I can let that one slide. They’re only human and yes, people say things sometimes without thinking them through properly. I know I do and I wouldn’t want to be constantly judged for that either.
    Only occasionally will something an actor says or does bother me so much that I can no longer stand looking at them. For me Mel Gibson springs to mind right now in that category. I was never a huge Gibson fan but I did like him and enjoyed his movies. And then his anti-semitic (drunk) ranting happened and I just can not excuse that. Even when trying to explain himself, he messes up. I have seen him in one or two things since and I will watch if he makes something good, but it is always with more suspicion than with enjoyment.
    When my absolute faves make comments that I find iffy, I can easily shake my head and let it slide. I know they are only human, I know they will have their own experiences, be influenced by their own social circles and will therefore say things that I don’t quite see that way or agree with. I am fine with that. As long as they don’t go into racist rants like Mel Gibson (blatant racism/sexism may be the biggest dealbreaker for me) they will still remain in my top fave lists. And does it disturb me that some people take every single word as gospel and even start acting accordingly? Yes, it does, because it means that they aren’t thinking for themselves… nothing I could say would change that, I fear.
    Btw, I didn’t realise Forbes had been in Star Trek! Now I do. 🙂 So far she doesn’t bother me too much. I’m in neutral about her, so I do follow her on Twitter now until I make up my mind about her. I have a few more people like that that I follow on Twitter where I really don’t like all they tweet, but somehow they interest me enough for me to want to follow them. Oh, and Michelle Forbes will never make me a Vegan…
    I hope this stuff makes sense, it seems a bit disjointed but I’ll post anyway. 🙂

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    • I am still very at sea on this topic myself, so I think the rambling is useful to read.

      re: Rampling, I would agree that her context for her observation is different than mine (and she’s not a central figure in Hollywood). However, you can be racist without intending to be. I agree it wasn’t malicious. The situation in Hollywood is so blatant, though, that if she were a Hollywood insider I would have judged her comment to be either tendentious or malicious. I also know that people desperately need to feel that the rewards they have gotten are merited as opposed to random and that humans will do a lot to argue that things that are largely the result of good luck are actually things they accomplished themselves.

      You seem to have a much larger group of actors who interest you at least slightly than I do — I am guessing that makes something of a difference. I’m really only interested in Armitage and only very tangentially in acting beyond that. So a lot of the things I either decide not to see, or put at the bottom of the list because something annoys me (actually, the new Star Wars film is a good demonstration — I was mildly interested until I heard what JJ Abrams said about female audience members for the franchise), are things that wouldn’t have been priorities anyway. I suppose if something was an absolute must-see then I’d put aside my annoyance, although it would then fall out of entertainment and into work. Honestly, I don’t usually follow costars of Armitage and I’d never have looked for Michelle Forbes before seeing her on screen.

      I don’t think that people are necessarily persuaded / dissuaded by disagreement, but I do think they need to know that the things celebrities say are not Gospel.

      The more i think about this, the more I realize that Forbes really has substantially interfered with my crush on Armitage. Of course, a lot of things have done that in the last year, so she just presented a recent, particularly acute moment.

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      • True, I do have a large group of actors I admire and love watching (although there are only two I totally love above all others). And yes, I am very movie minded. I think you may have a good point there about our difference in immersion with the whole acting world and our resulting different ways of responding to it.
        I don’t follow all people Richard collaborates with either although I will admit to trying some and seeing. The Hannibal crowd quickly got old for me, for instance, and I soon unfollowed them. Same goes for the Anglophile Channel and even the UatSC account, but I still do follow Yael Farber and even his stylist Urbinati (for now)! I’m still undecided on Forbes. I’m sorry that she has been such a disturbing factor for you!

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        • I followed Farber briefly. I don’t think I’ve followed anyone else. I would potentially follow Urbinati, but it never occurred to me. I pretty much follow mostly fans.

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  22. Oh, and happy 6th blogiversary! 🙂

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  23. […] from here and to some extent here. Pictures in this post are entirely arbitrary and here to break up […]

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  24. […] A convict receives the opportunity to participates in a rehabilitation program involving wild horses. Everything about this leaves me ambivalent: the plot, the horses, Matthias Schoenaerts. […]

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