So … me. Plus Richard Armitage

after going to bed early several nights in a row, I came to the conclusion that I really need to stay away from Richard Armitage on social media. The man’s opinions are toxic to me right now. I never think there is a one to one correspondence between what one says on social media and who one is (I’m not that uninsightful about how all of this works) but I hated him last night. Which means it’s time to step away. I don’t expect that everything is supposed to be fun but I do expect not to hate the person I admire.

This need to keep him from destroying my admiration for him is particularly acute since I invested a lot of hassle, time, energy and money watching his play in NYC last week(end) and that was a great experience. I owe it to myself (if nothing else) to preserve or at least try to resurrect that euphoria of recognition and the creative energy that could have come along with it — to recapture those elements that did materially change my life when I saw The Crucible. I’m not sure how to deal with that — it was always particular fans I needed to avoid but the problem seems bigger than that right now due to the political situation. I’ve never thought that one can be a fan independent of a fandom, and I never thought that one is really a superfan separate from an awareness of what an actor says apart from his roles. (I know some people feel that’s possible, but it’s not what I was looking for in Armitage; I was specifically looking to learn something about how Richard Armitage ticks and works as informative to my own decisions. It might not be there. As I am realizing now, it probably is not there.)

I’m not sure what this means as I continue to be heavily interested in everything that’s going on, at least on an intellectual level; it’s just that what’s come down the pipe the last few days has been nauseating.

And yet — I have 25 pages of notes about performances in New York City. I always thought there is nothing I can really do as a fan except this: I can observe and describe and write. It’s a way to preserve something about the performance and the experience that is ephemeral. I still think it’s inherently valuable to do those things but I don’t know at the moment how to get myself back to the place where that is possible.

I just don’t know how to be a fan of Richard Armitage at the moment. I don’t know how to get myself back there. I’m starting to be faced with the ineluctable conclusion that this whole path of self-discovery has been fatally flawed. I’ve gotten a lot from it but I’m emotionally and intellectually stalled now and I don’t know how to change myself and stay here at the same time. Since change is inevitable, it may not be possible to stay here. I’m committed to creative development and growth. The ongoing hassle of having to patch together a tulpa every single second is, however, too time consuming to allow much space for development.

I’m not quitting yet, but I don’t know. Stay tuned.

This blog is on hiatus for two days minimum while I think about what I am going to do.

~ by Servetus on November 11, 2016.

61 Responses to “So … me. Plus Richard Armitage”

  1. I’m sorry to read that you’re feeling like this, and I’m not sure how to respond to it. After all, it’s coparatively easy to sit here in Europe and tell you such comforting things like “Relax for a bit, do yourself something good, calm down, and everything will look different tomorrow”, so I won’t tell you anything like that. But I guess that everything, even fandom life, has heights and deeps and phases, so maybe it’s only natural to feel fed up at a certain point, and sometimes we can’t even reimagine what we loved about a certain situation or why something/someone had offered us comfort at all. But I think that we shouldn’t think bad about everything we do (or did) with all our heart, even if it’s just a phase or feels wrong at some point. Maybe you really need a break, maybe you really have to move on to whoever knows … But whatever will happen to you, I wish you all the best! I hope I don’t sound too precocious…? Or does it make sense what I’m trying to say? It’s a difficult matter, after all. Many hugs for you anyway!

    • I think part of the issue is that the thing that I used to relax became poisonous all of a sudden (but, as I trace back what has been happening this year, it shouldn’t have been unexpected). We’ll see what happens. Thanks.

  2. Dear Servetus! I was very sorry to read your post but not at all surprised. I would have been surprised if your tulpa wasn’t on life-support.
    I hope time away will do you good. Look after yourself and much love from Heidelberg.

  3. I am so sorry for what is happening to you. I really do hope you find your way. I really don’t understand what is happening about that saying from Mr. Richard Armitage, I am not a fan of politics. I know very little about it and what I do know is from the customers and employees at my job and I have heard a lot of people having little hissy fits about trump being president and that he is going to make America bad, etc. but what I read(how that saying goes “read between the lines”) from Mr. Richard Armitage is he was trying to say (in a nice way) that people shouldn’t be freaking out , that maybe everybody needs to calm down and take it one day at a time. I know a couple from England who tries to explain things and to them it sounds like they are helping/giving good advice but to me( even though they don’t do it on purpose) it sounds a little bit like an insult. Servetus, again I am sorry for what is happening to you. I remember becoming a fan of Mr. Richard Armitage a couple of years ago and your blog and a couple of others that I really liked came up and what I enjoyed about them wasn’t just about Mr. Richard Armitage but you would write about your life, family, etc. there are a lot of people out there who enjoy reading your blogs and hope that you don’t give it up, but if it happens, it happens, but i do hope you find what you are looking for.

    • what i meant to say was i don’t think Mr. Richard Armitage was trying to be insulting, i think he he was just trying to be helpful or something

    • You might consider not using the word “hissy fit” in this context, as it implies that the emotion expressed is inappropriate or disproportionate. Thanks for the kind words.

  4. Space can be good- I pray you find it healing. And I selfishly hope to see you back soon, but social media is exhausting, especially right about now. Take care of you.

    • Yeah — I used to use my social media for a break from my real life, but lately there is no break available anywhere.

  5. I hope you’ll find peace and wisdom as you attempt to navigate this. I remember this struggle acutely in my own past as a fan. You have a lot of people pulling for you, no matter what you decide. 🙂

  6. I hope you’ll be back, but whatever you decide: Be well as best you can. These are difficult times and I hope you’ll regain your balance.

  7. (((Serv))):*

  8. Liebe Serv., wenn man ein bestimmtes Bild von jemandem hat den man liebt und oder verehrt, dann irgendwann feststellt, dass die Realität mit diesem Bild nicht überein passt, ist das Gefühlschaos groß.
    Wenn ich jemanden sehr gerne mag, dann sehe ich all die positiven Eigenschaften in dieser Person die ich sehen möchte. Manchmal, wenn ich viel Glück habe, erweist sich derjenige tatsächlich als der Mensch den ich mir so vorgestellt habe. Das sind die Glücksmomente im Leben und das allerbeste ist, wenn man diese Menschen auf ihrem Weg noch eine Weile begleiten darf, oder sich ganz stabile Freundschaften entwickeln. Aber leider wird man viel zu oft enttäuscht 😦 Weil die Menschen dann doch nicht so sind wie man sie gerne hätte, wie man sie sich zusammenfantasiert hat. Meine größten Enttäuschungen im Leben basieren auf diesen Fehleinschätzungen. Aber wir sind alle menschlich. Ich mit meinen Einschätzungen und die Freunde die ich falsch beurteilt habe.
    Ich glaube ich kann nicht ansatzweise nachempfinden was gerade in Dir vorgeht, aber ich schicke Dir big hugs und hoffe, dass Du für Dich bald eine Lösung findest. Denn egal in welche Richtung Du in Zukunft gehen wirst, es wird auf jeden Fall schmerzhaft. ❤

    • Thanks for understanding my very real conflict here and expressing it so well. Does it hurt more to separate myself from the blog and the experiencing of blogging, for instance, than from my picture of Armitage? Or from my understanding of what’s been happening in me for the last few years and the rationale for why it’s been happening?

  9. I do hope you find a way to still feel that this blog and this emotional investment is meaningful to you. I understand how difficult it is to reconcile the methodical and thorough and insightful actor with the glib remarks made on social media. I think people do tend to say glib things on social media, in large part due to the nature of that medium. Is that the “real” person? Or is the real person more closely linked to the actor we see interviewed? None of us are likely to be able to have the in depth conversations with him that might tell us. For me, in fact, the intelligent and interesting women who are part of the fandom have in some ways become more important than appreciation of the man himself. Selfishly, I do hope that you continue with your blog. But you must do what feels right for you.

    • I think if I seriously felt he was just being glib, I might have felt differently. Part of the issue is that he apparently honestly felt this was going to be helpful for us to hear. I guess some people found it helpful.

      I look at these piles of things I wanted to write … uch. And then the lawn, which needs badly to be raked.

      • I guess I had the “love wins in the end” remark in my mind. And with the other remarks he probably was trying to be helpful or “accepting”, as he said he was after the brexit vote. But it probably wasn’t the best choice on his part. How you keep up with writing so much, I can only imagine (but I applaud you for it). I can’t even keep up with reading all the blogs I enjoy right now!

  10. So sorry to read this, Serv. Hope things get better for you soon.

  11. You do whatever is right for you. But I’ll always be greatful to Richard Armitage for having “met” you.

  12. Wow! I’m an outsider and not on social media, but I’ve been following Richard-related stuff for a while now. As someone who is on the opposite side, I don’t see why so many fans are angry with poor Richard. It looks to me like he holds the same opinions as all of you, but he’s just not as vehement in his vocalizations about it on social media.

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that he’s just trying to be positive and peaceful in a situation which he sees as a tragedy. And isn’t that WHO he is? Isn’t that the Richard you’ve always known him to be–sweet and peaceful….well most of the time? As people who have been loyal fans of his for years, I’m surprised you know him so little.

    He’s always struck me as the sort of person who’s very passive and gentle, unless you attack him personally or directly disagree with his views; then he gets nasty…eh em (something I may or may not have experienced personally!) But in a SITUATION that, in his or your perception is really awful, he has no reason to be vehement. He’ll just try to comfort the people on his side, which is exactly what he’s been doing.

    Anyway, Servetus, (for what it’s worth) I’m so sorry you’re upset. I’ve really enjoyed your blog, and whatever your decision, you’ll be in my prayers. God bless! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment and welcome. The issue isn’t that he isn’t vehement enough. The issue is that his quotation was wildly insensitive. He quoted a piece of the play that’s part of the leadup to Sandra’s justification for Kenneth’s betrayal of his brother, in a positive sense, as a justification for dancing; he said it was weird that a woman would be crying into her phone; it’s hard to see how any quote urging people to get over their differences based on the idea that “we’re all the same under the skin” would be helpful in a situation where a sizable percentage of the electorate was moved to vote based on precisely the opposite idea.

      You’ll forgive me if I question the proposition that I “know him so little.” This whole episode is part of a disturbing pattern of political tweets (and sometimes deletes) that goes back months. There’s nothing about this that is uncharacteristic. It just came to a head this time.

      • I see. Fair enough.

        • It’s been brought to my attention that this identity bears signs of sockpuppeting and I agree. You have been blocked in the past. I’m willing to allow you to continue, but please be aware that I will enforce the comments policy stringently in this case.

    • You sound familiar for some reason, are you on Twitter at all? 🙂

  13. Sometimes too much information can do you in. We all have to do what is right for each of us. Serv. what ever..truly I understand the ups & downs of it all. Do what you need to do for as long as you need to do it.

  14. In the words of KC & the Sunshine Band, “Please don’t go… don’t go… don’t go away!” But yeah, I know, this has got to be your choice and if your heart isn’t in it anymore then there’s no faking it and no staying… I do get that. I don’t know if it will help, but let me just tell you how this staying a fan thing works for me… who knows, maybe you can cherry-pick something from that for you.

    I have been an Armitage fan for many years now and the only way for me to stay it is to sometimes take a little distance and then fall in love all over again. Same goes for Colin Firth who I have loved even longer.

    I love both Armitage and Firth in such a way that I can truly say they are my absolute faves. At the same time I can also accept when they do things I don’t like or don’t agree with. Kinda like how I am able to still be totally in love with my husband after almost 25 years together… I know these men in their essence are loving and decent and fun and reasonably intelligent and left leaning in politics like me and very handsome. I know there are many other people out there who can have the same characteristics, but there is some chemistry there that others don’t seem to have. However, I also know they will never be able to fully live up to any ideal I may have built, just like I will never be able to live up to anyone else’s ideal. I understand there are flaws and that relationships and intensities change and that you can love the way it used to be and also cherish the way it is now. Sometimes when they annoy me, like Richard sometimes does on social media, I tell them in my mind or sometimes blog about it (and in my husband’s case just tell him to his face) that whatever they did was silly, unrealistic, too dreamy, whatever… Get it out and then move on, still loving them.

    I know there are real dealbreakers out there but those dealbreakers for me are always only on the really huge issues, the smaller issues I find I can let go. For me, for instance, such a huge issue is racism. If any of these men were to sound racist to me (not just once ‘accidentally’ but fundamentally so), it would be over and out and this includes my husband… Actually, I think I fell in love with my husband because of an anti-racist statement he made in the early days of our acquaintance. But other issues, the smaller ones even if they feel relatively big, I can let go. For me I find that it doesn’t always have to be all or nothing… and maybe you too in time can fall in love again! I know I definitely had an Armitage-lull before The Hobbit came out but Armitage-love flamed again and maybe, in time, it will flame again for you too, albeit most certainly in a different way (if it returns)…

    So, it looks like you are facing your own dealbreaker now. Sometimes a dealbreaker really means a definitive break! I can only tell you how I’d deal with it… When I come to a place where you are at now, taking some distance like you are doing now, always helps. The only thing I would advise you to do: if this two day hiatus is not long enough, take a longer one! There is no need to rush decisions like this…

    I find I am good at sticking my head in the sand when things happen I don’t like and you are (I think) not wired that way. Like this election result – I get all riled up but for my sanity at some point I need to let it go for a bit… I have already started sticking my head in the sand for that one too, taking a break from the news, figuring out how to move forward by distracting myself with other things. Often only after I do that will things slowly start to fall into place again. It’s like when at work you get stuck on a problem – sometimes you just need to take a break, go out for a walk, clear your head, think of something else and when you return you find yourself getting new ideas.

    I guess what I’m basically saying is that it’s good you are taking a little break, it sounds like you need it… take your time. Whatever you do and decide, here are some (((HUGS))). (And sorry for the long ramble! Feel free to ignore.)

    • I know what you mean about how someone can say something that just is a justification forever (or at least a long time): The Physicist made a statement like that about feminism once and I still think about it a lot , even decades later. It’s that kind of affirmation that sort of reassures you about who someone is and what they stand for. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that kind of statement from Armitage, but then again, it ‘s not what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been looking for statements about identity, creativity, and art. I suppose that these statements about politics were inevitable, eventually, once he had Twitter.

      One of the concrete problems for me — not related to Armitage, but Armitage is a tangent to this — is that everything that I might reasonably do right now has a direct bearing on the election. If I teach history, if I retrained to teach social studies, if I worked in a helping area — these are now all jeopardized or at least unsettled. I don’t have the option of becoming an accountant or a computer programmer. So basic pieces of my identity are at stake right now. I don’t really know how to get a break. Well, except by going to bed very early, but I may have reached the end of my ability to do that now.

  15. There is no right or wrong here. You are under no obligation to keep following someone on Twitter if what they say is not in tune with how you feel. It seems to me that this project has been in large part about getting back in touch with your feelings, and you can’t force a feeling if it’s naturally fading. I wish you the best with whatever you decide, and I do hope the blog continues because it has been a fascinating journey.

    • Thanks for making the point about feelings. I think, in a more perfect world that didn’t involve fandom (if this blog were private?) I could express anger and bewilderment about what he’s said as part of the journey without the need to automatically also feel embattled. It’s not, after all, that I don’t feel right now, it’s that my feelings are really negative. I was looking yesterday for some kind of category to fit myself in that would help me understand myself: anti-fan? It hardly seems worth it.

  16. Whatever you do please keep blogging! (somewhere if not here). I came for the ‘Richard Armitage’, I stayed for the ‘me’.

    • I agree with that too.

    • Me too.
      Je ne compte plus le nombre de fois, où j’ai pris le large, me qualifiant de vieille idiote, qui perd son temps à des futilités dignes d’une adolescente égarée. Mais la pertinence de vos articles, Servetus, m’a toujours fait revenir, malgré moi. Richard Armitage n’ est devenu qu’un prétexte pour suivre vos divagations approfondies, sur des sujets on ne peut plus divers et intéressants.
      Alors le rythme et les exigences qui sont les vôtres, ne pouvaient conduire, à mon avis qu’à un “burn out”. L’écriture d’un blog sur une passion personnelle est une activité intense, mais elle a ses limites, surtout quand le “crush” fait défaut. Je vous souhaite de trouver une activité qui vous satisfasse encore plus, dans l’action, la réflection ou une autre forme d’écriture … Avec tout mon coeur, à bientôt peut-être …

      • Thanks. I think it hasn’t helped that I have only been passionate about two things for most of this year: politics and Richard Armitage. I actually had a post formulated about that …

        Anyway, I appreciate the kind words.

    • Thanks and ditto, although Spooks Fan Blog was a lot of fun 🙂

    • Hear! Hear!!!

  17. Well, Skully pretty much nailed it!

  18. I’ve been reading your blog for years, but never commented before…popping up now just to third what Skully said. The “me” is fascinating, entertaining, thought-provoking with or without the “Richard.”

  19. You got the point , Skully! Servetus, please, forgive him. He’s just a sweet english rose – the one who cure anything with a good cup of tea. Then, do anything is better for your life. A big big hug.

    • I don’t think the axis is forgive / not forgive. He’s a total stranger, so if he hurt me, that’s on me. The issue is more how statements like that affect my fascination with him. My feelings of woundedness on this specific issues with regard to him are fading, but I really am missing — and don’t know when it will return — the euphoria I was feeling about him / his work last week.

  20. I agree with that what Scully said. I stuck to your blog because it is full of intelligence, discussion, different opinions, jokes and feelings and naturally RA. But I also stayed for the ” me”. Maybe last time there was too much RA and too much negativ stuff. I hope you will retrieve your optimism and perhaps it is better to clearify the inner priorities. So take your time

  21. Have been off line mostly last few days but wanted to say i would miss our exchanges outside fandom themes. These are difficult times in our real lives and sometimes there is no space for fan-stuff in it or it just clashes with our other worries as well. I hope you will find some peace in writing, on whichever it will be the subject you will feel drawn to. And i hope you will feel like sharing it. I hope you can take all the time you need here and hopefully in real life too to figure things out and that life will feel a bit more settled soon. Whatever your choice i hope you know that we support you. I wish for you whatever you feel and decide is best. And i hope you will decide to keep in touch with us in the form in which you will feel this blog needs to change. xx

  22. I’ve taken a few days off myself. However, RA’s taken-out-of-context quotes are not deal breakers for me.

    As much as I really, sincerely enjoy and appreciate your colossal effort to keep me informed about LLL and Berlin Station, I can’t help but think that your are over-worked. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m honestly not belittling your feelings on the presidential issue. I’m honestly worried to my core too – and I’m not American so I cannot even begin to imagine how dreaded you must be feeling.

    Take off as much time you need. I’m very selfish when I say I want you back – but maybe on a reduced information flow?

    As for this blog being about you – It certainly is; I never doubted it. And I’m here just as much for you as for RA.

    • Thanks for the comment. I’m going to sidestep the comment about “overwork” because I know you’re not a native speaker, and you don’t get how that might come across to someone in my particular situation. The information flow isn’t the problem. The problem is what’s in the flow. On some level I knew this even before the election but I suppose the election brought it to a head.

  23. I know I’m a bit behind, I’m playing catchup. I know you’re back now. Taking a couple days to center yourself is a good idea every now and then. After the election, things got so ugly, so quickly, that I knew I needed a break. With the exception of some tweets I got alerts about from certain people, I stayed off both Twitter and Facebook. I needed to grieve, and get through the immediate shock and depression, and find some peace and hope. It helped immensely. I can look at these days ahead, knowing what we lost, knowing we need to keep that spirit going, hoping the party will come through it strong, hoping he will do as little harm as possible. I know that’s a tall order, but we have no choice but to get through these years.
    When I came back on I was involved in a Twitter exchange with bog_paper. I was calm and rational. I ended by blocking someone for the first time, due to the fact that they spew in secret, rather than being who they are. I actually may have figured out who they are today. If I’m right, they’re one of your favorites.
    Glad you’re back so soon.

    • That account gave off a nasty vibe almost from the beginning so I never paid any attention to it, but I can sympathize about how frustrating it is to have that experience. (I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to separate my RL and fan life SM as strictly as possible, sort of because of this.)

      I have a hard time limiting exactly what I see in fan life SM, but in RL SM I am more or less restricting people who want to normalize this situation. The “give him a chance” people are driving me crazy. Matthew 7:15. It’s not like we don’t have 70 years of paper trail on this fellow.

      • More like give him enough rope to hang himself. Maya Angelou used to say, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Nothing about this is normal in anyway. Life in this country as we know it is suspended for the next four years. The effect that he will have on the relationship of the U.S. with the rest of the world’s leaders, as well as the U.S. and world economies, climate, poverty, healthcare, race and religious relations, and liberties, are frightening at best. It’s not a matter of what good he may do, rather how to control his damage. I can’t believe any previous presidents, even the most conservative, could ever have imagined someone like him being elected. His appointments make it clear that he hasn’t started out in good faith. If this is the result of our system, then it’s time to work for a constitutional amendment to get rid of the electoral college. My guess is, most people in this country today had no clue that the U.S. is actually a republic, not a true democracy.

  24. […] citation of Sandra’s lines at this on November 10 led me to a huge internal uproar and to suspend blogging for four days. I think anyone who’s familiar with the point in the play will see why. On the one hand, yes, […]

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