Richard Armitage reference.

It seems appropriate to start again on the eve of this insane milestone. I remember when I used to get a dozen hits a day and thought that was a lot.

As I get back to things, I wanted to assess the status of the reasons I began blogging and how far I got on certain things — I want to see if they’re worth continuing to pursue or what issues there might be with the approaches I was taking. Maybe it’s a function of the last eleven years of my life, but it seemed often that I just stalled on topics and never got back to them. And personal concerns took over so often. When I titled the blog, I didn’t anticipate quite how much time I’d spend writing about my life. (This isn’t going away or taking a back seat, by the way. I’m just trying to figure out how to organize and communicate my ongoing interest in Richard Armitage.)

Some themes:

1. The suppressed desire to feel and experience again. From the beginning to the addiction I developed to feeling things, because of the huge flashing light that appeared over Richard Armitage’s head, this crush re-animated my emotions. In turn my capacity to be analytical, which had been stifled by my struggle with tenure, reemerged again. I felt like my brain and my soul were united and firing on all cylinders again. Seeing Richard Armitage on stage felt life-changing.

Problem: I have retreated from that position (maybe worth a post exploring why as it’s overdetermined), but also, I have the general perception at the moment that the world has retreated from rationalism and analysis and that it needs to return. I spend almost all of my time being the voice of reason. At the same time I do feel like solving this issue is the key to returning to regular writing of any kind.

2. My struggle with self-esteem, which I was examining through fantasies about Richard Armitage encounters. I found this really productive but those posts were ones perceived as most offensive by some fellow fans. In the end I won the battle to keep blogging, but I lost the energy to continue that psychological path. This is a close subsidiary to the question of emotion, as whenever I write, all the demons come out to play.

Problem: have I just given in? Also, there’s a general consensus that the honest blog posts of ten years ago, the woman’s personal essay (so to speak) that was supposed to result in liberation just led to shaming, so that day is over. Too many people have been too honest. Is it possible to write entirely without caring what the response is? Even if there’s no response?

3. The search for identity and understanding who someone “is” who I only perceive through various mediations. The problems of the sources. This was probably the next most important task of the blog, and it quickly drew a troll who exhausted me. I was too long too naive, too convinced that I could explain myself to someone who didn’t want an explanation.

Problem: I can say this so much more succinctly now, and I am so much less interested in being everyone’s friend than I was a decade ago, but I think that the Armitage fandom in aggregate has just gone elsewhere. Most of us are more interested in our fantasies of Armitage than who he is and the fantasies have simply taken over the interpretive community. The vast majority of fans have no problem with this — and maybe this was my misunderstanding of fandom all along. People actually like the cloud cuckoo land that the media build for us: they revel in it, even.

4. Various analytical projects relating to the creation of identity among various characters Richard Armitage has played. They just got stalled. Among them, the ending to this series about Thornton (my mother was diagnosed with cancer); the ending to this series about Guy (the question of what others felt I should write became acute then); the question of gender trouble (I got so tired of the arguments). There are more. I could also add to this themes in acting and emotional psychology, like micro-expressions, status games, etc.

Problem: I honestly need to ask which of those are worth re-examining and revisiting, and frankly, the moment for long-form blog analysis has also evaporated (apparently).

5. Issues related to being a fan (both in general and my own). This is probably self-explanatory. And then there are the things that have come for me as I’ve been think about this question — perhaps chief among them the matter of historical change and how things look to me now.

Problem: It’s become really hard for me to discuss fandom as I become increasingly alienated from ours. Being analytical in the way I want would probably read as cruel those of my remaining fan friends who are still enmeshed.

7. Gender and desire. This was always dicey and I admit that I’d throw down over my right to say things out of frustration with the fan police. Two things really killed this, though: middle age (perimenopause) and the fact that I was living in such close quarters with dad for almost three years (libido killer). My libido seems to be resurrecting now and I hope it’s not too late to feel desire within my own level of interest for this thing — but it seems like discussing it could remain dicey.

8. Pattern recognition. A general problem in my life. For example.

Problem: see above re: personal essays.

Anyway. Some things I do know to do:

1. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I often don’t write because I think I don’t have time or it will not communicate exactly what I want to say. I just need to write stuff. Whatever it is.

2. Don’t get caught up in information aggregation again. I actually vowed not to do this and then in 2012 I broke my promise. I am not Richard Armitage’s publicist.

3. Try to stay away from his tweets as audience member. This is another huge alienating factor for me, most of the time. Analytics are okay but my reactions to him on Twitter are for the birds.

4. Get back to consuming product (which means somehow dealing with the fact that I have so many things I have not watched — even if it’s clear to me why).

Anyway. I hope I can live up to this list and get back to the original project of 2011 (before mom’s cancer, three cross country moves, a career change, and dad’s illness). I don’t want this post to be elegiac.

~ by Servetus on September 10, 2021.

24 Responses to “Finneganbeginagain”

  1. Oh my dear you think too much. Armitage is an escape for me. Before him it was Gary Oldman. Like you I am the logical person everyone expects me to be. I have had to be for most of my youth as well. One psychologist once said that I’d missed a lot of the good thinks about being young so no wonder I needed fantasy. And self esteem. Well my eating disorders and tendency to always put others need before mine can vouch for that. As can several psychologists. Took me a long time to change that. Everyone needs and feelings are different. I had never read your marriage fantasy’s till now and I laughed. It’s 7 in the morning here and I have to take an exam in a few hours. Take care. There is room in Richards fandom for us. Even if we have to create a new universe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what an accomplishment! Not only the stats but all the blogposts, the soul searching and discussions about so much more than Armitage.

    And I really hope you’ll find a way back to the writing you wanna do. Not only for your sake but also because I love reading your blog (yes I am selfish that way 🙂 ). Your writing always challenges me to think about things and explore thoughts further and I really love that no matter if I agree with you or not.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. A votre souris!
    Back to computer mouse!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your blog no matter what you write about. You do you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, and thanks for sticking with me all this time. The issue for me is if there’s a point or whether I should be doing something else that will get me where I want to go, writing-wise. Also (and Kelly’s comment gets to this) whether I want to be blogging. For about two years now I’ve just been satisfied if I managed to blog, but I want more than that now.


  5. I see a lot of my own struggles in your points & problems. writing about fandom from a detached place and how that can feel cold to others, delving into the real man when so many would rather keep the fantasy, and just the generality of ‘why am I doing this/should I change direction’ in relation to blogging. writing helps alleviate my ‘always thinking’ personality but the push I need to put fingers to keyboard requires more strength than it used to :/

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was very much moved in this direction by your recent series. And as usual, you cut to the core — it takes more energy than it used to. Some of that is the voices in my head saying “don’t say this,” based on experience, and some of it is a diminished or at least altered. And I don’t want it to feel like exercise. I want to want to blog. So I have to refocus.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Really liked your „to do“ list at the bottom. I think it basically applies to any blog, or would be something to bear in mind when writing with an audience. Many of your other points also resonate with me. I have made uneasy peace with some of those problems myself, and while you know me as a „community enthusiast“, I do also sometimes wonder whether „community“ has translated into self-censorship. Anyway, really glad to read that you are planning to launch back into more (pro?)active blogging. There is a need for your analytical, sometimes critical, always thought-provoking posts, at least from my POV.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I had a few more but those seemed to be the most universal ones. Everyone’s got their priorities, I suppose. In the end, I would miss not being able to pound out an opinion.


  7. You are analytical and scholarly in a way I could never be and I have always really appreciated that about your blog as your posts have always been thought provoking. And even with the much shorter posts in more recent times, I always enjoy coming to read here and having my horizons broadened (even if it comes to such a ‘simple thing’ as canning!). We all evolve, in life and in fandom, and so does our blogging. I’m glad you are trying to find a new way into blogging more again. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” sounds like a good way of lowering the bar a bit for yourself to get back into it. I hope it can bring you what you are searching for and that you will be able to stick around for a long time yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL. Obscura made tomato juice this week and she makes it really well but the thought of all that canning makes me flinch. I learned yesterday, though, that tomatoes freeze easily and come out well. This may be the beginning of a whole new obsession.

      Thanks for keeping the club of bloggers alive — I am relieved you’re still present, too. There’s a way in which I’ve developed inhibitions about writing here that mirrored my issues with scholarly writing. I need to keep reminding myself that more people have seen pieces of my writing here than ever read my academic stuff (and I had one article that attracted over 3,000 downloads — a lot for a scholarly piece).

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Well done to have reached this milestone and also to still be thinking about being an even better blogger. By the way, for me some of your best writing has been about your Mom and Dad.


    • Thanks so much and thanks for reading all that time. That’s not going away, I’ve got lots of baggage still to unpack.


  9. Some of the best writing has been with your personal life and it takes courage to write in a public arena where not kind people seem to think it’s OK to bash another.


    • Thanks. I will keep up with that. I think one thing that’s changed is that that stuff takes up so much more emotional space than it did ten years ago. I now often find myself blocked on writing because of my emotional responses to personal stuff (as opposed to the things that occasionally frustrated me about writing about Richard Armitage).


  10. You are a valuable critical friend in the fandom and, as others have said, your unflinching personal writings are also so worth reading. I very much hope you keep on keeping on with the blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

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