Could I Blog About Richard Armitage Everyday?

WordPress is ready for 2012 with their kickoff of Project 365, and it’s had me musing about joining. It would be interesting to try it. Oh, heck yeah, I know how difficult it is to meet deadlines on a blog. Are you kidding me? I’ve now spent almost 21 months at this. It’s just, well, I want to get into really good blogging shape this year, and this is a good way to do it. My subject is certainly worthy, and there is a lot more to discuss. If someone can document “burger art” every day for a year, I think I could manage.

I know there’s not going to be much news about RA until near the end of the year, or will there be? Between you and me, I have yet to see a real drought. Of course I could be wrong, but wouldn’t you have fun watching me squirm to come up with posts? And things might get really silly, or maybe you would take pity and send me something to blog about.

Wonder if WordPress would include me in their line up for 2013 if I made my title ‘RAFrenzy 365’. Somehow I doubt it. But I’m giving this a shot, and really, it’s a public service for the new fans. :D

This will be me at the beginning:

Probably me somewhere in the middle:

and we’ll see what I am at the end.

Of course I will take one day’s respite since 2012 is a leap year, and I’m going to cheat a little ’cause I can’t really talk about Richard Armitage every single day. There will probably be some reblogged posts as well. Just sayin’.

Hang on while I begin flexing my blogging muscles.

Artwork from the EverythingBurger blog, and screencaps courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com.

Now That’s Out of the Way

I had to get that last post done. Wish you could have heard me laughing while I typed, but I’m glad it’s done.

Lately, I’ve mostly been dwelling on things that are fine and good and true and beautiful when it would have been so easy to focus on things that are not. What a wondrous thing to remember I don’t have to focus on things that don’t edify. It’s strange to make reference to it — even cryptically, and it’s certainly hard for me to take this place seriously. RA Universe doesn’t qualify as serious. Not even close. But I do have to make good on some promises I’ve made in the last year, and I will. But not today.

For SO and I, this sums up the state of our minds the last few weeks:

My brain is definitely out of control, and I mean that in the best way possible. But I’m itching to capture my thoughts, and just when I gave one of my prized possessions to my son. I’ve ordered another one, but it’s not here yet, and I’ve had to resort to pencil and paper when on the road. Painful!! LOL!

Onto some housekeeping of which this blog is in great need. My tags are a mess, but oh, you don’t know the joy of cleaning up a mess until you have to sift through pictures of and words about Richard Armitage. The challenge is to not get sidetracked.

And this is what I’m listening to as I sift:

I’ve probably got more to say about Oscar Peterson, Antonio Carlos Jobim, et al in more detail later. And okay, I threw in ‘How Insensitive’ (aka ‘Insensatez’) but don’t you just love Sting’s funky self?!! Yes, I’ll work him into another post sometime as well. :D

Do we need a picture of RA to go along? Oh yeah.

Manipulation courtesy of a fan, whom I’m not sure wants credit. I’ll have to check. In the meantime, enjoy, and remember you can click on it to enlarge.

edit: just as I thought — she does not want credit. That’s a shame since this is a great manipulation. Oh well, we still get to enjoy it.

Going With My Gut — Spoilers

Spoilers for Strike Back 2

Regular readers among you know how I feel about my gut and should know it’s for good reason. Do I need to remind about Porter’s demise? :D And if I were more eloquent, “gut” would become a beautiful euphemism. Alas, I’m confined to earthy, and being a bit earthy has usually served me well, so to hell with eloquence.

Several weeks ago I suggested a plan and thought a good time to execute it would be sometime between July 22nd (the opening of ‘Captain America’) and August 22nd (near the debut of ‘Strike Back 2’ and you know whose birthday). However, I’m having some reservations. This is not an appeasement of those firmly in Armitage Protection Mode (aka APM). I would still like to try for the trending, and I’m full of details and instructions about the goodness that can be Twitter if done right and most importantly at the right time.

The desire for the project started with the imminent release of ‘Captain America’ and my getting pumped at the potential swell of new fans in RA Universe. Still pumped about that, but I’ve had doubts about the effect of ‘Strike Back’ Series 2. It hasn’t been a good sign that it was airing on Cinemax, which after dark is little better than a porn network and commonly known as Skinemax in the U.S. Nevertheless, I was still open to trying to trend RA’s name simply because he has such an ability to take pulp and turn it into something fine. I have been hoping that would happen with SB2, but one man can only do so much, and it’s especially difficult when he isn’t given much to do. Hearing from friends and fellow RA lovers who have seen the first episode, the show could be boiled down to one word: crap. Several have told me, “Don’t bother.” I may not.

Oh, who am I kidding?! I’m going to watch it if only the first 20 minutes which include RA. No, wait! I understand there’s some of him in the second episode as well, so I’ll watch some of that too. And none of this would be a problem for me as a longtime admirer who has his other performances in my head to sustain me through whatever lameness is in Strike Back 2. But would I want to highlight on Twitter, which is notoriously short on explanation, something lame for new fans still taking their first impressions of RA?

Even if all of this hadn’t been enough to hold me back, I’m firmly in check by knowledge of the recent poll debacle. People, c’mon! ROFLOL! This is not espionage, and if the Anglophenia blog were simply some brash American site, then maybe the siege for Richard would be okay. Scratch that. It wouldn’t be okay. (I can’t help but think of my friend Hunkess, who has put up with all sorts of garbage to bring us all those Hunkie polls. She had to get her whip out at one point.)

Now I would be lying to say I’m above trying to vote more than once on a poll on a given day. Some of the fun is figuring out how to do this. ;-) And bloggers who put up these polls and don’t realize this can be a common response from readers of celebrity polls, perhaps need to learn the lesson, but somehow I doubt that’s really necessary. That aside, how embarrassing for us fans that the blog brought it to light (must be an Alan Rickman fan running things over there. LOL!! Yes, I’m kidding. Lighten up, people. :D ). NET: no way I would follow this with a Twitter campaign.

The capper is the news of ‘Spooks’ being canceled. I don’t want to draw more attention to that for new fans. Again, I’m talking about drawing attention without explanation, which would be the case for most on Twitter. Of course if they read my blog ;-), they’ll get plenty of explanation.

Do I sound like I have APM? Maybe a little. :D

If you’ve made it this far and you’re not thoroughly pissed off at me, hang with me for the rest, and oh! by the way, you British fans, note I didn’t say pissed. I’ve been recently schooled in some fine points of British earthiness:

…when you’re angry and upset, you’re “pissed off”, not “pissed”! As an Australian, I speak and spell more the way the English do, so I have an advantage, I think! If you’re going to adopt any English slang, it is better to use their exact expressions rather than adjust them, if you want to be easily understood in an international forum. “Pissed” actually means “drunk”. OK, English lesson over and done!!. I am just “having a go at you” or “taking the mickey out of you”, so please don’t take me seriously. — Kathryn

I will never misuse that word again! :D And don’t tell my family, but I probably need the mickey taken out of me on a regular basis.

Okay, so how to end this? Ooooh, I know just the thing:

Dear Richard,

I love your performances so much. Oh, you weren’t sure about that? Oh my man, you don’t think I would do a blog for just anyone? I’m not that kind of girl.

But I hope you meant it when you said you don’t read about yourself on the internet, and God forbid anyone tells you. From what I can tell about you so far, you would probably be embarrassed by this last week’s activity. So just stay away if you think you might get your knickers in a twist.;-)

And I really, really hope you or anyone even remotely connected to you never reads this blog! If that happened, I would probably want to crawl under a rock despite being anonymous. But I couldn’t stay away; I’ve missed cutting up.*

One of your crazy fans who at times needs this craziness to deal with the sanity of life. :D

P.S. Maybe I won’t be thrilled with SB2 when I finally watch it, but hey, I put up a new background in honor of your performances as John Porter.

*For those readers not familiar with this American idiom, it means joking and/or teasing.

Watch someone take me seriously about cheating at Anglophenia never mind that I set a record for emoticons in this post. :D

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com, and as usual, click to enlarge.

Following My Bliss

Spoilers for Robin Hood Series 2 & 3

Two days ago someone posted this video on Twitter:

Pompeii by E.S. Posthumus from their Unearthed CD.

I’ve talked about this one before as it’s been one of my favorites since I first saw it almost a year ago. From its finely done editing to its music, this is one of the best Strike Back videos and all around fan videos. There is nothing awkward in it. No moments when the music sounds incidental to the scenes. Just a tightly knit casting of John Porter’s life coming at you. But mostly what draws me is the feeling he has a much greater destiny than the machinations of an MI-6 agent. The sounds of a celestial choir no doubt contribute to this sense.

After I was done watching that one, I moved onto some others that for two to three years I’ve gone back to again and again. Most of them were set to background or theme music and most of them had a sense of the epic, which is what first drew me to fan videos and eventually led me to discovering Richard Armitage. I’ve had an affinity for this musical genre since I was a little kid and dreamed of writing movie scores for a living. One of my fondest childhood memories is spending hours and hours at the piano picking out expansive tunes and trying to perfect them. It’s still one of my favorite pastimes, and I can spend considerable time doing it.

For years after I was grown, I thought this was something entirely frivolous and hoped I would eventually snap out of it. And I did for a couple of years. But I’m coming to understand in a way I didn’t even come close to doing before that this sense of the epic is part of who I am and part of everyone else, and we are all part of it. We’re all part of something epic going on. We were formed to be eternal people with a destiny, and I find myself reveling in this more and more. Although at some points in my life I have considered the antithesis — that we’re a pale mosaic of organisms which has no purpose other than forming some random picture, but I’m not tempted by that any longer and haven’t been for many years. It’s unsatisfying and frankly, boring. Whenever I did feel myself beginning to take the yoke of that thinking, the cells in my body would go into rebellion, and when I examined what was so disturbing, I realized the random picture doesn’t square with the need to seek out my story, our stories, the story.

And how interesting that stories are so important to most of us, and quite a few reading this blog are especially attuned to them. It’s what holds us together as people and more specifically what holds many of us together in our fascination with Richard Armitage. There are plenty of very good looking actors. Plenty of tall actors. Plenty with a wonderful timbre to their voices. Plenty with pleasing personalities. What sets him apart is his determination to get at the story. Of course just like most of us, he’s done things to ensure he didn’t starve, but it seems he’s trying to get at the story as much possible. Or perhaps I’m putting my own views on all of you and should say that I’m fascinated with dear ol’ Richard chiefly because of his infatuation with the story, and certainly by what it is that motivates him so much to get at it and in a way that’s true. I’ll talk more about this later. For now this will have to continue as one of those loose ends along with the others laying around this blog.

So I’ve spent a couple of days rewatching videos that have a sense of the epic, and of all the videographers I’ve watched, none does a better job of putting a finger on the pulse of the story and bringing it to life for others than Angela (aka Spikesbint or Angelfish69).

One of the first that comes to mind:

“Ashielf Pi” by E.S. Posthumus from Cartographer

One of the first I saw of hers:

“Intro” by Caliban from Small Boy and a Grey Heaven

One that does not involve Richard Armitage:

“Central Park” by James Newton Howard from King Kong Soundtrack

One of her birthday tributes to Richard. Be sure to check out her others, and I hope she does one this year. This one made me cry the first several times I saw it:

“Generations” by Immediate from Trailerhead and “The Loss of Yours” by Adrian Johnston from Becoming Jane Soundtrack

And a masterpiece, which I can wax on and on and on about:

“End Music from Atonement” by X Ray Dog from The Vision

Here are some others who have done a superb job of capturing the story with epic music, but I’m only posting one video from each of them in the interest of not having this post go on and on.


“The Wolsey Commits Suicide / Finale” by Trevor Morris on The Tudors Soundtrack

One of the first North and South videos that was my favorite, and I still love it. By PoleStar00:

“Lake Constance” by Mike Oldfield from Millennium Bell

One by PhoenixLupin, who has some wonderful Richard Armitage videos, but this happens to be about “The Fall”:

“Summoning of the Muse” by the Dead Can Dance from Within the Realm Of A Dying Sun

I’ve labeled all of the videos with their musical pieces, but unfortunately, not all of that music is easily available to the public. That is slowly changing. Some other theme composers who are used by quite a few videographers are Craig Armstrong, Dario Marianelli, Howard Shore of LOTR fame, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith, Martin Phipps and Andy Price. There are also artists who frequently can sound epic but do not technically fall into the background or theme music genre. Some of those are Within Temptation, Secret Garden, Tarja, Linkin Park, Muse, and Coldplay.

Oh, and I swear James Newton Howard and Thomas Newman are the same guy, or is it just me who thinks they sound exactly alike? :D

And my mood is expectant as I’m listening to “Unbreakable” by James Newton Howard from the Unbreakable Soundtrack.

More Knots? — SPOILERS

SPOILERS for The Hobbit.

Below are my thoughts last night. Who knows? I might feel differently today.

John Porter is back with his tangled life. Or is he?

I don’t think I’ve ever felt something was a teaser so much as this:

Perhaps I’m changing my tune with respect to spoilers. I find myself wanting to know the ending to Strike Back II. When I watched the promos for the first series of Strike Back, I had a sense of hope and confidence that Porter was going to kick ass and get out of something that might even stump MacGyver, and it was so easy to think that since the series wouldn’t exist without him. So no need for a spoiler. But now? I look at this:

and I’m fully aware that this show is not where Richard Armitage’s future lies. But more than that, I’ve witnessed how his face conveys the truth of a character, and that looks like the face of a dead man. I could be wrong, and I hope that I am, but my gut is screaming that my plea was for naught.

All of that may sound pessimistic, and I guess it is, but perhaps this is just how it’s going to be for now with RA’s portrayals. If you know the story of Thorin Oakenshield, you know why I say that. And I would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realize that he keeps playing characters who go nowhere — kind of like music that doesn’t resolve. More on this later as my pseudo psychoanalyst is almost throttling me to take over, but I’m too tired tonight to run with it. Yeah, I’m sparing you.

Video courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com, and my screencap. There are some caps on the site, but I had to make my own. :D If you’ve never made screencaps, you don’t know the pleasure of really mining those microexpressions of RA’s. If you ever want to know how to make caps, let me know. It’s pretty easy. Anyone with a computer can do it, and there is no cost other than time. LOL!

Oh, oh, bccmee also put the SB2 promo up on YouTube, and if you haven’t had a chance to see her month long slide show, Graphic a Day in May, go look. She’s done some really cool stuff with photos many of us have seen countless time, and I love that her sense of fun is so apparent. I need to go over there and comment soon.

In the meantime, back to rippling. :D

Off the Wagon

I thought this objectification phase might be passing, and then the Russian site comes with this:

I threw the chair in to give your senses a break.

Uh, yeah. That is all. No, wait! What was I saying about being okay with the maternal feelings? Nix that.

As usual, if you click on the pictures, you can see the big format. :D

edit: and now I remember why I made a Facebook page. It would take something like this to prompt me. LOL!

[Note: for those who don’t know, the images were taken by the photographer David Clerihew. This is the same photographer responsible for the viral video which was posted on Vimeo by Sean Pruen, who is a motion designer/video editor and appears to have worked on the video. I wrote some about the video and Sean a while back and wasn’t sure I could stop. Find it here, here, and here. LOL!

However, I haven’t said anything about David Clerihew. I’ll correct that mistake today. When I first saw the viral video, I went over and looked at his entire site. Fantastic. I love the stark quality to much of his work. I can see why he was selected for Strike Back, but I’m still not sure why the images were never used for promotion. I hope our little highlighting of them in some way is a help. But if Mr.Clerihew has a problem with me putting up those images so a few of us can fangirl over them, I’ll certainly taken them down.]

Irresistible Instant Play or Netflix, I Love You

Something is changing with respect to the popularity of Richard Armitage in America (North America to be specific), and yet ‘The Hobbit’ is still almost two years away! I’ve been encountering more and more people who know RA’s name and have seen him in more than one role. Wow. What a change from three years ago! Or even one year ago. But I don’t think it’s due to his being cast in ‘The Hobbit’. At this point ‘The Hobbit’ is only on the radar of those in the movie industry, the LOTR fans, maybe a couple of other fan clubs and us. Everyone else won’t give a rat’s ass about it until we’re a few months or perhaps a few weeks or days from the premiere.

This recent awareness of Richard Armitage mostly comes down to Netflix. They are the only entity who provides us with a steady diet of RA. When I first started watching RA three plus years ago, there was almost nothing available in this country. The only thing I found was ‘North and South’ on Netflix and some documentary about that other guy. Now there are numerous things to watch, and many of them are ‘Instant Play’, and that’s the key.

Numerous friends scattered around the country who regularly watch ‘Instant Play’ have been discovering this “new” actor and just can’t tell me enough about him. Never mind that a couple of those people are the same ones I’ve told about ‘North and South’, ‘Spooks’, ‘Robin Hood’, etc. LOL! Hey, I don’t care how they discovered him; I’m just glad they did. Even my best friend, who at one point would roll her eyes when RA’s name came up, finally watched ‘North and South’ via ‘Instant Play’. Yea, Tammi!!! Of course she loves it and him. I knew she would! And she could have loved him sooner if she had just watched the DVDs I loaned her almost three years ago.

But I guess there really is something seductive about Netflix saying, “Tammi, rate what you’ve seen to reveal suggestions just for youwhile your ass is firmly planted on the couch, and you can merely push a couple of buttons as opposed to getting up and taking the discs out of the case and putting them in the DVD player. LOL! Oh, Netflix has the power! What was I thinking to encourage the viewing of some DVDs loaned from my special collection? I mean here I am Tammi’s best friend, and we love each others’ tastes, but those precious discs just sat on the shelf! In comes Netflix with its heady offering of ‘North and South’ on ‘Instant Play’, and what I could not do for almost three years, they managed in a moment.

Tammi’s conversion occurred last summer, but this phenomenon of Netflix and RA didn’t become evident until last fall. I was going to highlight this sooner but thought it would be boring to you. Yesterday changed that. I was surfing around and found this blogger. It would be interesting to know how long she’s been a fan, and obviously, Netflix is part of her RA love. Maybe sometime she will share how exactly she became a fan, since I’m not quite sure if Netflix did it or just inflamed her some more. However it happened, I never get tired of those stories! Always makes me feel more sane, and dammit, I am sane! :D

In the meantime, as much as I appreciate Netflix being the bearers of so much loveliness, I have a request of them:

To Whom It May Concern at the big host in the sky,

Thank you so much for introducing so many people to Richard Armitage! I can’t tell you how grateful I am. It’s helped my best friend join this wonderful madness with me.

But do you think we could enjoy his loveliness when we do a query on his name? If you would be so kind to give him an avatar, I’m not sure how I would show my appreciation. Maybe send out a few thousand of those trial memberships to my friends.

And if I may suggest, this might be a good picture if you’re not sure which one would be appropriate:

Of course I have no clue about the legalities of using it, but it is the one featured on his IMDb page, so I think it’s okay. But I’ll leave those details to you.

Thank you for any consideration.

One of Richard’s fans and great Netflix lover :D

P.S. How can we get Strike Back on the list?

Oh, and I would give credit to BBC America and PBS for the rise of RA’s star, but BBCA is sporadic in their love of RA, and PBS hasn’t shown much at all with him? Actually, I remember nothing although I have heard rumors that some regional stations have shown ‘North and South.’ Amazing that the network known for embracing period dramas has been almost a non-player of that mini-series, and it’s been necessary to mount a campaign to bring ‘North and South’ to PBS. Yeah, can you believe that? And I’m not even going to mention A&E beyond this sentence.

Note: FanstRAvaganza will return tomorrow; still waiting on something for now.

edit: Okay, okay, yes, YouTube has been instrumental, but it’s hit or miss there and the programs are usually not complete. For that you need Netflix.