Is This Thing On?

I was just reading a very interesting interview of Richard Armitage. A few items of note:

— He bought an electric cello when he was in New Zealand.

Some have never seen an electric cello, so I bring it for your edification:

— He still likes Love in an Elevator.

One of these days he’s going to say that often enough that the fans will start demanding some tights and scarves and who knows what else.. Yes, I’m picturing him in a Steven Tyler get up. Just needs a yellow vest or whatever the hell that is ’cause I know he already has the orange pants. Count on it if he gets drunk enough.

— Took notes from Arnold Schwarzengger about standing firm against negativity:

His speech was really interesting, he was very honest about the industry and his lingering message to everyone in the room was just “Don’t ever take no for an answer.” Because he said he was told no throughout most of his career and everything he wanted to do he was told no and he said don’t listen to the nay-sayers.

Yeah, that’s what I was saying! You go, Richard! ;-)

The speech, which is definitely worth a listen:

— Last but not least.

Richard has a fear of Eamonn Holmes. Well, yeah, hell, I’m afraid of him after “devotation.” That’s what really woke Richard up. He was sitting there, and thought, “Huh? Did I miss something? Are they talking about the Empire Awards? Are people changing their minds?!”

Devotation: You go vote. Then you go home and wish you could go back because you changed your mind…..

— Chris

Article is here

And that was J for the April Challenge thingy.

edit: Maybe I’m drunk too ’cause I meant that was I. That was I, people. Yeah, this is Friday, and I’m a day late, so that was I.

Didn’t

DI’m skipping D. Deal with it. :D

Instead I read youmuttonmeeecrazy, and the latest post made me howl. I almost wet my pants laughing at how fitting it is.

E is coming later today.

edit: Wait! I have a late D entry. Go here, and after you watch the video (or watch it again), come back and please tell me what the hell ‘devotation’ is?

In Case You Didn’t Get the Memo

I received a lot of mail about the Anglophile Channel’s interview of Richard Armitage before it was broadcast. The consensus of a significant number of the notes seemed to be three questions: who are these people? how can they interview Richard Armitage when they’re not Entertainment Tonight or CNN or even TheOneRing [or insert some other well known media outlet or website]? And why would Richard subject himself to it?!

It seems fairly obvious these fans thought that site was bogus at worst and not important enough at best.

Meanwhile the rest of the world moved on.

And where did everyone else go? They moved into the new age of media which is far from limited to a few established networks and sites. It just doesn’t work that way anymore and hasn’t in a while. The new media is this. No, I mean this, what you are looking at right now. If you have a site, you are a media producer. Heck, if you have a cell phone, you are a media producer. And that is the shift some resist — consumers have become producers.

Henry Jenkins explains this evolution of media including the reemergence of participatory culture and the rise of convergence culture (more on Jenkins shortly):

Nowhere have participatory and convergence cultures been more ubiquitous than among fandoms. Look at all of the media it has produced and intersected with traditional media. In this particular fandom, which is not even close to the largest, we have produced a large body of media such as artwork, video, stories, and reporting, and more traditional outlets have tapped into it. Hollywood is also looking at that and co-opting the fervor as they feel they can, and one of the early adopters was Peter Jackson. The main reason is Jackson is a fanboy himself and understands and appreciates the ardor. It’s no surprise he was looking at fan sites back in 1997 and developed a relationship with Harry Knowles. It’s no surprise he let a New Zealand resident, who created a a site about The Lord of the Rings movies, onto the sets to document the progress for fans. Jackson gets it, and as well as his artistry, it is a key part of his success.

This evolution of media has been happening for a long time, and I should have been more aware of its progress given my exposure to the power of the Net early on. Nevertheless, I watched that video above in the Fall of 2009 and became fascinated again and read Jenkins’ book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. Interestingly, I realized while I was reading that I had another book on my shelves by Jenkins. It’s a seminal work on fandom, and it came into my possession over 20 years ago.

When I worked at IBM, there was a graphic designer, Bob, whom I and all my co-workers tapped for “prettying up” our documents. He was a major Trekkie who had written his own language and had a beautiful poster of it as well as some other Trekkie memorabilia decorating his office. Everyone teased him about his obsession, but I was curious what had made him so rabid. We had several conversations over the years about his involvement in the Star Trek fandom, and I remember saying early on, “You must be really into this to put up with the ribbing you get.” I’ll never forget his response, “People don’t get it, and I don’t care. I enjoy it, and it’s a great creative outlet.” It was about a fairly judgment free environment for his creative efforts. He had been to art school, and according to him there was a very oppressive mentality there. One that said if you didn’t do it a certain way, you were no good. Fandom welcomed him and allowed him to make mistakes. That thought stayed with me, and perhaps I was a fan in the making even then. About two years later as I was leaving the company, Bob gave me the Jenkins’ book, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. I didn’t read it until 16 years later.

Those two books changed my view of media and creative outlet, and in late 2009, I began to see my personal blog as something different and eventually became frustrated with it. I also began to become more involved in the blogosophere with the thought that I had ideas and didn’t want to just consume others’ ideas. By happenstance I developed a very rewarding relationship of give and take with a powerful media player in England. He is in fact one of the founders of Empire Magazine. There I was exchanging ideas with him, and having a blast and I think he was too, and I was realizing the world really had gotten tiny and huge at the same time. I adored that, so when I started this site, I knew there was power in blogging. But I feel compelled to say to some in this fandom who are determined to cast people as connivers, that I did not start this site with an eye toward capitalizing on that kind of power. Are you kidding me?!! I was scared to death someone would find out I was running this place. But I don’t think it would have been wrong if I had been motivated by that. I just wasn’t. I was simply desperate to say something without every little part of it being nitpicked. Whatever fortuitous things have happened to me here as some sort of result, have just happened with no one more surprised than me. All just further confirmation of the power of the new media.

And now I come to the Anglophile interview with Richard Armitage. For a few hours after I watched the promo video for the interview, I had the same view of Marlise Boland so many others of the spectatorial era seemed to have. This idea that she was out of bounds! But a little time later, I mentally slapped myself for two reasons. I recognized she was seizing a marvelous opportunity of the new media, and more important to me is she was a female who was trying to start a business. Why would I want to demean that? Thankfully the better part of me quickly came to my senses and didn’t. I haven’t even seen the interview yet, but I support her efforts. You go, Girl!

If you think about it, this meeting was a natural for Richard for two reasons:

1) He has already made it plain he’s fan friendly. Hello! Have you read this page?

2) Who has he been hanging out with for three years?

richardarmitageanglophilechannelI have no clue what he’s saying, but I have the feeling I’m going to use this cap again. :D

note: Henry Jenkins was the Co-Director of Comparative Media Studies program at MIT and is now a Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, and someone I would love to interview.

I’ve gone on to read quite a bit about fan culture and the new media as well as quite a few sociology books. It now takes up an entire bookshelf. Very enlightening, and I’m sure I’ll be talking more about this. Maybe not on this blog. I’m not sure yet.

I Have a Confession

I haven’t watched the Anglophile Interview. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to. It’s because every time I’ve started to watch, something has jumped in the way. I really am that busy with my work, and so tickled to be! I haven’t even read any posts about it. There have only been some bits and pieces that people have told me.

I did read a lot about it before it was released, and on that I definitely have some thoughts. I started to publish them weeks ago, and then I got busy and didn’t do it. But I think I’m going to go ahead because the topic is timely.

Gone to proof that post.

Click on Line Interview – Dwarf vs. Elf

Reblogged from Armitage Agonistes. Click the photo to read more:

clickonline

A Sweet Clip for Capping from The Desolation of Smaug Premiere

A raw clip of Richard Armitage’s interview at the premiere:

Dear Richard,

I do not know why I’m still doing this. I guess it’s still fun. LOL! Yes, I’m really laughing — at myself most of all.

Sincerely,
A crazy fan

A tip: put the video in full-screen mode and then select HD, or better yet, select Share and then download it. Please note the Share option is not visible until the video is in play.

edit: I’ll be back with a better clip shortly.

A little better video without glitching:

Not That Richard Armitage — RA on Politics Part II

Disclaimer: I was not offended by Richard Armitage’s interview. His political views are exactly what I would expect from most Brits. And this post is in response to the numerous questions I’ve received about why? why? why? are some people offended?

I’ve had quite a few notes from people asking me what specifically were the problems others had with Richard Armitage’s most recent interview. Further, the gist of what I’m getting from those who don’t understand why some became offended is they see that all he did was express his political views and how can that be offensive to anyone?

This post is an attempt to convey what was offensive to some, and please note these assessments below are mostly an amalgam of what has been said to me privately. Also, no one who has contacted me to express their negative opinion about Richard’s interview was offended by his having views. In fact, all of them have said they respect his right to express his views, but respecting his right to speak does not mean agreeing with the views nor being blind to what they saw as “his painting us with a broad negative brush.” By ‘us’ it was meant those who consider themselves Republicans.

From the article:

“I’ve only just returned yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to enjoy it yet, but it is something I’m prepared to enjoy. I do feel saddened that it is thus, and also that the Republicans are trying to destabilize Obamacare–I think that’s a real shame. I think it’s something to really fight for and I don’t know why they’re doing it, really. But then I come from England where we’ve had a national health service since the Second World War and I think it’s so important. I take it for granted.”

Source

Roughly half the country is Republican, and Richard called them by name and thereby made this personally against them with remarks strongly implying they are just trying to make trouble and don’t really think health care for people is important or want to fight for what’s right and helpful. It seems Republican readers found it hard to conclude much else from his quote in the above paragraph.

More from the article:

With half of the government throwing a temper tantrum over the Affordable Care Act, it seemed unlikely that the US would ever have national health care to take for granted. From the moment Republicans won the House in 2010 they’d been pushing farther and farther to the right, trying to rescind everything from voting to women’s rights–often in the name of religion.

“I think it gets very, very complicated when religion and politics get tangled up together,” Richard acknowledged, nodding, “And I know for sure in England we do try to keep religion and politics very, very separate. I think it’s important when you’re campaigning on personalities that those personalities–for example, the President of the United States–has a faith. I think that’s important in terms of their character, but when it gets entwined into politics I think it gets very, very complicated. And it doesn’t function well.”

True enough, especially for the US. “You can’t [have religion in politics] because you’re talking about a multi-faith society.And that’s what the whole of the Constitution is built on–those differences.”

Source

In fairness, it appears the reporter and not Richard characterizes the Republicans as spoiled children in the first paragraph. Richard’s comments about separation of religion from government were not offensive as most who contacted me agree, but the placement of his remarks behind the reporter’s make it look as if he could be throwing in with her stereotyping of Republicans as religious controllers.

More:

The UK has never had their government simply close in quite the same way as ours did, which Richard attributed to debate. “We elect a government, I mean, I don’t vote in the US but you elect a government to solve the differences. As much as we in England were opposed to a coalition government, or surprised by it, or shocked by it, in a way it sort of is functioning rather beautifully. There just is always debate, but there’s always a decision,“ Then Richard paused and his eyes widened, almost apologetically. “Oh God, how’ve we got onto politics? I’m an actor, nobody cares about what my politics are.”

I assured him that Moves Magazine cared about his politics and we considered the UK too civilized to have their own government follow American practice in shutting down. “You’d think that,” he said, “but you look at what happened with the Poll Tax riots back in the ‘80s …the closer it gets to our home, the closer it gets to the pound that’s in your pocket, the more uncivilized we become as a nation.”

Source

Most who contacted me appreciated his attempt at humility and thought his comments in the second paragraph were trying to make a concession that any nation can be uncivilized and the UK is not immune either.

As for the comments on gun control, most didn’t take that personally even if they disagreed with him, and many agreed there is too much violence in entertainment.

But what was most commented on about the article was its contradictory stance of praising debate while making statements which essentially thwart it — namely stereotyping and somewhat demonizing one party in the U.S. As one person put it to me, “It’s hard to discuss something with someone who has decided you are insensitive or selfish or both and keeps throwing it in your face.”

My take on the contradictory stance is it’s certainly present. It’s also true that some people from both parties do this. Keyword there is ‘some’ since there are some reasonable people in both parties as well as the hate mongering people found in both parties.

So the Earth did not move. Nor did the world come to an end. :D But for Richard Armitage, if he had talked about being for nationalized health care, gun control, etc. and explained why without making things personal, I don’t think there would have been much offense taken if any.

My hope is if he keeps expressing political views, that he does so without targeting a group. Having watched him now for several years, I want to think he did it inadvertently because he didn’t realize referring to Republicans was not limited to politicians.

Rich,

I still say you were drunk. :D

Signed,
A crazy fan

I ask one thing from those of you who have similar views to Richard. Please put yourself in the shoes of those who felt he was in some ways denigrating them. Replace the word Republican with the word Democrat and change the issues Richard is supporting to something you don’t support and see if you would still feel so magnanimous.

Further notes from Frenz. I have now read quite a few articles at NY Moves and enjoyed them, but it’s hard not to see that this site needs work of the technical kind. I looked at it under the covers, and there is so much they could be doing to help themselves. I would love to get hold of it, but of course don’t think they would want my help after my criticism and parody of them. LOL! Whatever my stance on the RA article, it’s a shame an outfit like this does not have a better site.

Last note: new tag ‘not that Richard’