A Different Kind of Rippling — RA on Politics Part IV

It’s hard to talk about politics and always has been. “Don’t talk publicly about politics, religion, sex or money.” I do not know how many times I have heard this saying or some variation of it. However you or I take that phrase, it is hard for many to talk about these subjects because we all have an emotional connection to them. But politics is the most difficult to discuss. With religion, sex or money someone can always preface her remarks as only pertaining to herself, but politics by its nature is about us collectively. This makes it impossible to limit any comments we make about it, so when we do speak of it, we’re destined to traverse a gooey mass of opinions.

As for myself, I have never had an issue speaking of religion, sex or money. I was brought up with very few boundaries in regard to discussing those subjects or almost any other subject, gooey mass of opinions or no. If anything, I had to learn some decorum. Politics was another matter. I was hesitant and still am, I can’t get around the fact that anytime politics is brought up, someone is going to be pissed off. Thankfully, I learned this early because I grew up observing a political operative, a master of maneuvers, if you will, who understood people and politics to a degree that still astounds me and others who knew him. I look back now and shake my head and chuckle at some of the things I observed my father doing and how he could get people to do things and in particular give time and money to causes. When it came to speaking politically, he was very circumspect and never lost his cool. I wish I could say the same, but I can’t. He saw politics or any communications about it as a minefield instead of a boggy mess, but he loved a challenge, so he thrived on navigating the potential bombs.

But most of us don’t thrive on the thrill of beating the explosions. We just want to say something and sometimes passionately and hope it will have a good effect, or maybe we’re ranting and not paying attention to how others may be receiving it. We’re just that damn mad. Unfortunately, you can’t throw a rock in a pond and expect no ripples (see how I scaled back that metaphor to something less militaristic? :D). No, seriously, when we speak and especially if we speak passionately, we are going to get a reaction, and if we don’t, I think most of us would be depressed at the thought no one is listening.

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Richard Armitage, who recently started making passionate political posts on Twitter, has been speaking to be heard. There is nothing wrong with his doing this. He should be able to do it if he has one million followers or two. But I don’t think he counted on how the blow ups from his tweets would affect him. He certainly expected his remarks to have fallout. He’s not a fool. This is not the first time he’s spoken politically and others had something negative to say about it, so he knew some people wouldn’t like it. But his reaction to the negative response is what I’m referencing. His passion got away from him and he made a crack of a come back, which the kinder, gentler Richard more than likely knew as soon as he’d done it (or very near) that it would rain down holy hell on the fan who had spoken. I believe for that reason he removed his tweet. He thought better of it and didn’t want to create trouble for the person. Yes, I want to believe Richard is this nice. Sue me.

As well, he probably didn’t want to give a platform to the person. But unfortunately, he can’t put a foot an inch in any direction publicly that the fans are not on it. I mean, man, are they on it. LOL!

So Richard, you can’t tweet and take it back. Dude, haven’t you learned by now that the minute (probably the second actually) you say something on Twitter…Wait a minute. Wait. Wait. Wait. a minute. Oh man, I just realized this tweeting and taking it back quickly was not a mistake. Well, a good chance that it wasn’t. Wait, was this planned? If not, then you stepped into something brilliant.

But I’ve got to recap to make this plain (for myself if no one else :D).

You were passionate about your beliefs, and in the heat of passion about them, you spoke very candidly and pointedly to someone who thought you had an unfair advantage in swaying others when you speak (and she is pretty much right about that, but hey, that should not stop you or anyone from speaking), and now you have lots of fans defending you as if you’re helpless. And I did it too! Oh damn. I did it too! APM made a stealth attack on me! LOL!

The APM aside, I understand, the fans are loving your tweets because of how real they are. No spin. Merely you being a person. a real person, being so passionate and getting all hot and bothered and then pissed off at something someone said to you. And it makes it even better in their minds that you were justified. You exhibiting righteous indignation — the real thing and not for some role?! I suspect this was a massive turn on for some who witnessed it. :D o_O

For those who didn’t like it, well, they’re talking about you too!

And there are a lot of others keeping mum, but they’re reading about this. Oh yeah, they’re reading about it!

A seemingly superb turn of events with respect to PR. *high five*

Signed,
A crazy, formerly APM infected fan who’s over it now – at least for this round, but a fan who still loves you. Yep, a fan who is always going to have a soft spot in her heart for you, Richard no matter if you talk about politics and create a brouhaha or not. Of course if you become a serial killer or worse, I will have to re-evaluate.

Okay, back to sanity. Some of you have asked for my take, and in fact, it was those messages to me privately that put this whole thing on my radar. Well, here’s my take. Richard Armitage has the right to speak his mind about politics. I have never thought differently. But I’m ashamed I became part of the clamoring masses trying to defend Richard Armitage’s right to speak. He has more of a voice than most of us, so this idea he can’t speak is laughable. But I do want to make it clear that I understand he is passionate about what is happening in his country and completely understand his compulsion to speak about it. I understand that all too well as I feel the same about what is happening in my country. We have some very serious issues going on in the U.S., and the frustration at the corruption that is happening is overwhelming. Our leaders and our institutions are failing us, but I don’t think that any of you want to hear me talk about all of that on this blog. And you need to ask yourself why you don’t want to hear it? I think most of it is because you come here to either be entertained or talk about entertainment and not to hear me wax on about my political views.

And now to discuss the fan and her response which set off the reaction. She absolutely has the right to have an expectation (of anyone) and to give a response when someone speaks in a public area. We all have that right. And our expectations do not have to be realistic. The only real boundary to expectations is when they translate into harm or illegal activity. Last time I checked, criticism is not illegal. As to the comment, I’ve thought about it quite a bit. Not because it’s important in the grand scheme of things, but because of my initial reaction, and what that says about me. I initially saw the remark as an insult and unfair, and it was because I like Richard Armitage. That simple. But I looked at it again some hours later, and it is not necessarily an insult and it’s definitely not an unfair conclusion.

I do wish actors would stay out of politics. They have an unfair advantage of swaying opinions due to fandom. Sad.

Of course it depends on how you read this whether it’s an insult or not. I think many of us took Richard’s cue that it was. As to the conclusion this person made, it’s generally true that (well known) actors do have more of a voice on an array of subjects including politics when they may be no more informed than any of the rest of us.

Richard, You Can Win This Way

Richard,

I really do think you are nice and hope you keep being your sweet self. I don’t say that because you happen to have beautiful blue eyes. I say that because I’ve observed your public demeanor for over eight years, and you are always a gentleman, a gentle man. That is a great part of your appeal, but it’s got to be hell for you on social media.

Frankly, you must have the gift of mercy which makes you so sensitive to people being at odds with each other. I’ll bet you despise confrontation but have had to learn to deal in it considering the business you’re in. And all of that is exacerbated on social media. Phew.

And then there’s Twitter. It’s a rough and tumble place, but if I’m being candid, and hell man, I’m nothing if not candid on this blog, I think it’s a great place — profane and absurd people and all. That’s just part and parcel of free speech. But I don’t envy you. You’re more of a target than most, but I do believe there’s a way to weather it, and it’s not by being frustrated at being miunderstood. You cannot win trying to appease everyone’s perception. I believe if you will not take all of us so seriously, you will enjoy it more. That’s a definite win. Will you get some heat for being less prone to react to the crap that goes on in cyber world? Oh hell yes you will get some heat. And that’s the point of this “letter.” You’re going to get heat no matter what you do (surely you know that by now), so be yourself, be the sweet man you are and let all the rest fall where it may. Definite win. (Don’t you love it when a fan gives you advice. :D)

I said I wasn’t going to give you advice, but I’ve been doing it for five years and can’t seem to stop. Plus, I’m a little bit infected with Armitage Protection Mode today ’cause I hate to see you stressing, or your version of stressing. None of this is to say that I think you shouldn’t have spoken about cyber bullying. It should be spoken about by many. And I hope someone scolds me if I ever do a cyber tackle on someone who says something mean about you. On second thought, I don’t think that’s going to happen. My general stance on people who are mean is either ignore them or tease the hell out of them. Depends on my mood.

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Here’s hoping you’re having a wonderful day and not thinking so much about who is offended or who may offend.

Signed,
Big Sister A Crazy Fan

P.S. Whatever you do, do not join tumblr. Repeat, do not join tumblr!

P.P.S. It won’t surprsie me if discussion pops up about the trope of your being a sweet, gentle man and how many of us may be deceived ’cause you’re such a good actor. But please keep on deceiving us with that consistently good behavior, if in fact that’s what you’re doing. :D

Obviously my two cents. Take it or leave it. Wait. I’ve got one more thing to say. When I think of fandom, it’s my dearest hope that some of you can just enjoy the experience and not let others ruin it for you. That would be a shame since so many of you are a pleasure.

Graphic courtesy of Armitage Besotted

Relax, It’s SOP

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Since Richard Armitage joined Twitter, I’ve heard a lot of gasps about the tweets that are directed to him. People are truly offended on his behalf, and I totally get it. There are some things said to and about him that are just flat out mean, but you need to remember it’s part of fame and/or accomplishment. I’ve said this before, and it’s just profoundly true. If you forge ahead, someone is going to come with something negative no matter how unjust it may be.

Dear Rich,

I hope you take a page out of James Blunt’s book on these negative tweets, and I hope you know that you and he are far from alone:

Sincerely,
A crazy fan who has a skin like steel on this (most of the time) and hope you do too.

note: SOP is the acronym for standard operating procedure

Poor Richard

It seems there is an epidemic which was first noticed on Facebook:

Area Facebook User Incredibly Stupid

Michael Huffman the Dumbass

DOYLESTOWN, PA—Describing him as frequently frustrated and overwhelmed, sources confirmed Monday that local Facebook user Michael Huffman is incredibly stupid. “I need stuff easy,” said the absolute dipshit, adding that he finds many things confusing, and that those things must be changed so that they make sense to him.

read the rest here

This article was the Onion’s response to Facebook’s plan to put the hashtags #satire and possibly #comedy on the Onion’s FB posts. It’s all because of the condition known as Drawing Unwarranted Misinterpretations from Bullshit, and this propensity now seems to be on Twitter and infecting Richard Armitage and some of those around him.

Oh shit!

Dear Richard,

I want to apologize for the fake fan letter to Elliott Lester and how it may have negatively affected him and you! I’ve had my tongue in my cheek so long I didn’t realize you and some others would actually take me seriously. This fear of being taken seriously is one reason I started using so damn many emoticons a few years ago. Before I did that, oh man, it was hell. I’m not a great writer you see, so I had to do something to make it clear I was teasing. But I guess the emoticons weren’t enough huh? Yes, I KNOW you read my fake fan letter to Elliott or somehow got wind of it and felt so put upon you had to actually provide a photo. No, don’t bother denying. I KNOW you did.

I just wish I had known you are both stupid. If I had, I would have put the ‘bullshit’ tag on that post, so you would not have suffered any mental anguish. And I NEVER would have said this when you were so kind to provide a beautiful photo:

Glasses Tweet

Oh man, I am so sorry. It was a sacrilege. I know that now, and please, no worries about acquiring glasses. I’ll just take the photo as it is, and every time I look at it, I will feel duly ashamed of myself for being so bold.

Signed,
A crazy fan who really, really, really didn’t mean to ruin your day and would love to know how I could make it up to you.

P.S. I guess I need to face the fact you’re an action fan who needs the dots connected. Yes, this is bullshit.

Watch someone think I really believe Richard Armitage is stupid. Oy.

Whatever, it seems Armitage Protection Mode is alive and well. (I wonder if it ever hits those infected that they’re trying to protect a 43 year old man LOL!)

And I have always wanted to title a post with that phrase. I’ve also been dying to use that Onion story. :D

edit: dropping the snark for a moment but just a moment. For those who are confused, just know that it seems some fans thought Richard Armitage was badgered into providing us a picture. To wit:

Getting There

GHow many of you have run a business? Raise your hands. Yeah, those of you who have run an enterprise for a decent length of time know it’s hard as hell. It’s like raising a child, and an unreasonable child at that because he doesn’t let you go to sleep at night, and when you finally do, he wakes you up. And no babysitter for him. He’s with you all the time. If by some quirk of fate he’s not, you are constantly thinking about him and what you want him to do next, and what he may do next that you don’t know about. But you don’t really mind any of this because he is after all, your child.

Right now I’m in the grip of this, and despite the unruliness of it, I’m enjoying and finding success. This makes it hard for me to give myself over to fan behavior as often as I once did. If I were a genius who had 48 hours in a day, I might be able to pull that off. But obviously I’m not. I’m just one person trying to make something that wasn’t there before.

I’m also the oldest child, which means I’ve often been placed in charge and feel most comfortable there. Man, I sound like an ass, but hey, it’s the truth. When you’re put in charge of the house or your younger sibling, it does things to you. Dare I say it makes someone bossy (no matter their sex)? Let me amplify that. I want to give advice and lecture, and it’s hard sometimes to keep myself from doing that. How’s that for some honesty?

I can also spot younger siblings from a mile away, and Richard Armitage has the demeanor of a younger sibling written all over him. Before I knew anything about his birth order, I knew he was a younger child. Older siblings never have the deer in the headlights look. If they ever had it, that was beat out of them at an early age. So when I see Richard, I often want to tell him what to do. LOL! Yes, I’m laughing. At the absurdity of that. But hey, I press on. :D

Where is all of this leading? You have to ask?

Richard,

There’s a lot of old thinking floating around. It says someone who is 42 almost 43 can’t break into Hollywood, or make any kind of major life change that’s productive to anyone but themselves. Don’t listen to that crap. Yeah, it’s crap. And those who listen to it are destined to be like most everyone else. I made one of my best life changes when I was around that age and know it was productive for others. And now I’m making another one and I’m, oh never mind, I’m supposedly too old to make a shift. Hogwash.

Anyway, you are unique, and I hope you stay that way, but I also know you’re trying to figure things out in this new phase of your career, and you’re not God and not going to make perfect choices. I would love to see the person who does. Whatever is going on, there is something so utterly appealing about who you are that it inspired me to write about you off and on the last four years. If you really knew me, you would know that is not anywhere near my MO. And there are lots of others in your “fandom” who are like me. They have been surprised at their reactions because it’s just not typical for them. But many of us have eventually figured out why the reaction, and it comes back to the fact you are not like other actors. It’s not just that you have managed at times to capture these slices of emotions that are so real they reverberate for years, but you have a kind of purity that seems like we can see to your back collar button. To wit your comment about being an actor [around 1:00]:

This also means your “trajectory” is probably not going to be like others. I’m totally okay with this and hope you are too most of the time. That’s what this note is about — a bit of cheerleading in case you’re not and from someone who is not a cheerleader by nature. Encouragement is not my strong suit. I’m a critic most days, and it’s so easy to be a critic. Any moron can be a critic. But I like you well enough as an actor and also as a person to step out of my comfort zone and say, “Keep going!”

Maybe this quote below is hackneyed. Doesn’t really matter. It’s true and still good to hear, and I’ve had it on my office wall for years and often glad. It knocks me out of the pompous critical mode and hopefully before it leads into harm of myself or anyone else:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

— Teddy Roosevelt

Mostly, it keeps me from becoming like David Letterman, a guy who used to be funny, but now just comes across as a bitter, frustrated, old crank.

As for “a worthy cause,” there is nothing wrong with making a living. That’s a damn worthy cause, and speaking of which, I need to get back to work.

Signed,
A Fan who is sometimes crazy but not today.

Yep, this is some Armitage Protection Mode. Why? Isn’t it obvious? I like the guy. But that’s not all this is. A story or maybe two short ones, and then I really, really have to go back to work.

When I started my first major business, all I heard was how it could not be done or how I was was doing it wrong — this latter mostly from people who had never run a business. LOL! Whatever the case, negativity was coming at me in unbelievable waves. I realized at the time I was doing something that most people don’t do, and since many around me could not conceive it, they were going to deem it impossible. Funny enough when I was successful, I heard another story from some of those same people. Things like, “I knew you could do it.” Oh yeah. I have a good memory, and I knew they were full of it.

I doubt I could have weathered that kind of talk if I had not had a great role model — my parents. My mother became a lawyer when females were still far in the minority of that profession. But her biggest sin was going to law school after she was married and had children. That simply was not done in the late 60s/early 70s! Never mind she was summa cum laude upon graduating from college and had never failed at anything academic in her life. She was turned down from her first pick of law schools because off the record she was an established (read that: old) married mother of two underage children. I know that was the case because one of the former professors of that law school and a close friend of our family contacted the school to find out how someone with her academic record and achievements was turned down. Mom was 31 at the time. This seems ludicrous now, but that was the conventional thinking of the time.

Obviously she didn’t let that stop her, and my father was her biggest supporter. I’m so glad I was old enough to take mental notes about what they were doing and to remember the large number of people (both men and women) who told my dad that once she had a law degree, she would have no use for him? WTF? My dad ignored that and pressed on. He and my mother were crazy about each other and married until my dad passed away over 25 years later. And from all of this I learned the priceless lesson that the masses do not know best. Their thinking is too homogenized and unimaginative and like water. Ever seen water run uphill? Yeah, I figured not.

Maybe I’ll come with H and I later today.

An Onion and Two White Chicks Sittin’ Around Talkin’

Get ready ’cause I was on medication last night, and it seems Heidi went off of hers. ;-)

We had a discussion about an issue Heidi raised, and something I’ve been asked about quite a bit in private and most often by new fans.

Note: I’m handling this like the old Point/Counterpoint segment on 60 Minutes with Shana Alexander and James J. Kilpatrick. You decide who’s Shana and who’s James. If you don’t know who those people were, then a) you probably live outside the U.S. or b) you’re not that old yet. :D

I’ll let Heidi go first:

OK.

There’s no easy way for me to graciously get into this without charging like the Taurus bull that I am into the China shop and just ask it:

Are RA’s letters to fans a hoax?

Now before the steam pours out of your ears like Popeye polishing off a chili pepper popper, let me tell you how this question came about.

Picture this: Heidi has insomnia, so to get to sleep, she decides to hit one of those sites that lists all of RA’s letters to fans. After all, the past snippets I’ve read sound like something straight out of a CBeebies episode, peppered with pleas for everybody to be “extra good, be willingly good,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Those things conjure an image of a placid, book-loving, thoughtful man who literally reads my child to sleep at night on Youtube in his sing-song, gentle voice.

You know.

This guy.

I mean, look at him, reading to that stuffed dinosaur. Aw. That’s exactly how I picture him talking to his fans through his letters. “Everybody, you be sweet and go to sleep and have sweet dreams, because we all need to be kind to each other.”

Aw!

Then all the miniature-action-figure-Thorin-toting women in the Western hemisphere collectively breathe a whisper of, “What a sensitive and caring man!” and nod off on their pillows and solemnly swear in their hearts to do every saccharine-dripping request that Richard Armitage asks of them.

You know, you picture this guy admonishing you in his gentle voice:

So Heidi is reading this stuff … trying to get to sleep … and then … WHAM!

A DRUNK GUY HAS TAKEN OVER RA’S COMPUTER AND HAS SENT THIS MISSIVE!

16th December 2008

Following the repatriation of the Robin Hood company to blighty, the spokesperson for RA has mysteriously disappeared. However, Hungarian ‘Rendorseg’ managed to locate a hotel room which was noted as his last abode. After searching the room and forensic dusting for fingerprints an ‘ubersuperduper unbelievably teeny tiny mini me micro film’ was located, secreted in a particle of dust which was lodged in a greasy finger print left on the rim of a pot noodle, evidence of Spokes persons seriously compromised existence. The ubersuperduper unbelievably teeny tiny mini me micro film then had to be dipped in Russian Standard Vodka for processing. Viewing the film proved to be nearly impossible but for a lucky purchase from Wollies at 50% discount of the very last “Ubersuperduper unbelievable teeny tiny mini me micro film player/clock radio with microwave and bagless vacuum attachment….it contained the following message:

“Agent A would like to wish all his contacts/agents a wonderfully joyous, peaceful and fun filled Christmas. He wanted to thank them all for their continued support this year and hopes to deliver ‘in spades’ for 2009. He is once again overwhelmed by all the generous gifts and messages and is attempting to respond a soon as is possible. He would like also to offer a toast to 2009 wishing all ‘agents’, success and happiness. In the spirit of peace and good will this message will self destruct in 3 seconds or if option B is exercised recipients will be termin…………… “

You know what, guys?

Um.

That’s completely and excessively much hotter than anything else I’ve seen RA quoted as saying, and here’s why:

HE. IS. FUNNY!

I mean, did he really WRITE that stuff?

Now, you have to understand that I’m a prankster at heart. I pulled countless pranks when I was in college. My
parents were convinced the family name would be so tarnished, that great-great-great grandchildren would be barred from our learning institution of choice, given the havoc I was creating on campus.

I know pranks.

And this, my friends, is one of the best pranks I’ve seen in ages.

Either:

A) RA’s friends stole his laptop in the dead of night and sent it off to this fan site for world-wide publication as a prank against their mate … or

B) RA himself drank five bottles of champagne by a roaring fire on a frigid Christmas season night and got so toasty silly that he fired this off and then decided to send it, just to see what kind of reaction he’d get. I mean, look at it. It’s Saturday-Night-Live-caliber comedy, poking fun at serious-minded middle-aged women who can’t get enough of reading about a man they’ve never met!

Richard, now come on. You are so busted.

Of those two options …. I choose A.

I think this letter is a hoax, and possibly many of the others he purportedly has written, too. I mean, you saw that intellectual and thoughtful thing he did at that blog with the book reviewers (if not, go here).

Either the guy is an onion with this prankster personality lurking under his Mr. Thornton persona – which, by the way, underscores his acting abilities – or someone has perpetrated one of the most hilarious hoaxes imagined: a letter embraced by fans as the real pearls of words penned by their beloved film idol.

Guys.

I’m going with the hoax.

And if RA actually did write that thing?

We will never hear it from him, because as a prankster to the core, I can tell you that we never breathe a word of our indiscretions. The fun of the prank is portraying to the world an austere and dignified front while on the inside, we are laughing non-stop at you.

Actually, I’ll bet this guy wrote it.

My turn:

This won’t take long. :D

Okay, let me see. You say he’s a prankster, Heidi, and that pranksters can effect an entirely different demeanor. Doesn’t that bolster the argument he did write the letter and wrote the Vulpes Libris answers as well? :D Speaking as a prankster and the offspring of a prankster, I totally know someone can pull off another side to themselves that might surprise people who think they know a person. ;-) Don’t ask me how I really know that. ;P

What I find interesting is this assumption Richard Armitage couldn’t haven’t written these because he’s sweet and kind and good with children — at least from what we can tell by the CBeebies videos. Yet most people have layers. Most people are onions. In fact, I’m married to an onion. He’s wonderful with children. They adore him. He’s a really gentle soul. But oh my gosh can he he come with the humor, and can also slice someone up with his tongue when it’s warranted, and sometimes when it’s not. Wait. He just came into the room. He’s grinning and doing some kind of twisty thing with his body while saying, “I can’t do this if you don’t put some curtains on the back windows.” LOL! Now he’s doing what looks like a dance. He just stopped to grin at me. ROFLOL!! I’m not sure I’m going to leave this in the post, but it may be too good to leave out!

By the way, this is the guy who our daughter wrote of him after his visit to her first apartment in NYC and her first time living away from home:

…my dad is an extremely kind, caring, down-to-earth person. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and is a funny, intelligent, artistic man. He loves the comfort of a well-written book, and has a better understanding of the true meaning of art more than anyone I’ve yet to meet in this artist driven city.

But one thing I love most about my father is his ability to love people exactly where they are. He can see past someone’s pain, someone’s anger or someone’s facade into their being and is able to appreciate them for everything that they are. He truly enjoys each relationship he has with people, knowing that each one is important in its own special way. Just as he enjoys admiring artwork and literature, he enjoys the beauty in humans as individuals.

And he’s also the guy who had me believing his girlfriend before me had a deformed ear which she covered with her long hair swept to one side, and when I met her, my shock evident that her hair covered no deformity. Yes, it was a good yarn. Damn good yarn. Oh that it were the last time he gulled me. He also has a way of twisting up words and phrases to make them funny. He’s the one who should be blogging, and honestly, he could have written that April letter. But those abilities don’t preclude being kind and sweet.

Yes, personal experience is king. Can’t you tell from my account and Heidi’s? ;-)

So B (see above in case you’ve already forgotten it :D), which I’m calling “the onion theory,” says Richard Armitage is thoughtful and kind (but not perfectly; who is?), and he was sitting around drinking beer with a bunch of his buddies who were teasing the hell out of him about the Army, and presto! the April letter (and maybe a few before it) was born.

So yeah, I’m going with the onion theory. :D

I feel another post coming on, and a good thing or this one would have difficulty loading.

Not Being a Dumbass

We have all done something dumbass although there are some who would never admit it. I couldn’t manage to cover all the stupid things I’ve done. Thankfully, most of my dumbass moves haven’t been published for the whole world to read — as if the whole world would even be interested. Billy Connolly maybe not so fortunate. He was recently interviewed about his involvement with The Hobbit, and either Billy was drunk or really is an idiot or the reporter chose to take comical remarks and disparage him by highlighting them as if they tend toward sincere, or the reporter is an idiot too. Whatever was happening, there’s dumbass going on somewhere in this exchange about Tolkien’s work:

So, how many times has Connolly read The Hobbit? “I’ve never read The Hobbit. Never.” What about Lord of the Rings? “Never read Lord of the Rings,” replied the 69-year-old Scottish actor. “I could never read Tolkien. I always found him unreadable … I didn’t read [the books], and I normally don’t like people who have! The people who love it, they’re kind of scary. They talk all this gobbledygook and they think of it as the Holy Grail.”

Yeah, I’m gonna go with drunk. :D Surely Billy knows it’s dangerous to make sarcastic remarks to a journalist. Okay, I will give him the idea that some of the Tolkien fans do spout things unrecognizable to 99% of the population, and before I took the time to seriously read Tolkien and get to know some of his fans, I was also prejudiced and thought it was odd. But at least I had the good sense to keep my mouth shut about it, and I’m not even beholding to any of them for part of my living.

Wait! Billy sobers a bit, er, I mean comes to his senses toward the end:

How, then, does Connolly plan to deal with Tolkien fans who will lob at him obscure questions about The Hobbit for the rest of his life?

“Usually I just make stuff up because I don’t know what I’m talking about,” Connolly admitted. “But invariably, there seems to be a sector of the press that is consumed by The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and it’s indicative of that notion, that it’s the Grail. So whatever I say is rubbish, but then I become answerable for it! People get all upset, they get terribly upset about anything that has to do with it, as if it were real! It’s a story! Just relax! It’ll go away and you’ll be just fine. Don’t panic.”

read the rest here if you dare :D And don’t even bring up his comments about 48fps. LOL! Yes, I really am laughing.

Dealing with the press is almost like a contact sport where you have to keep from getting boxed in and hopefully can emerge with no bruises, so I’m not really down on Connolly, and he may be more clever than he appears. It’s doubtful journalists or others will be on his back with questions about Tolkien when he comes with answers like those. I also appreciate the belly laugh he gave me this morning. But all of this has reminded me I’m so glad Richard Armitage is not an idiot.

Dear Rich,

Thank you for being intelligent and thoughtful and well, for not being a dumbass, and especially for never going out in public drunk –at least not that the public is aware. And I’m confident you had the good sense to stay away from reporters. Hell yes, I’m biased. What do you think this blog is about?

Of course you do have an obvious advantage over Billy. When you look like this:

you can get away with almost anything. And given that, you’re still kind to your fans. Amazing.

Signed,
One of your crazy fans who would forgive you for sticking your foot in your mouth but glad I haven’t been tried on that yet. :D

P.S. And thanks again for not letting us in on your politics. I really don’t want to know. It’s just one less thing to process.

No, don’t even bring up how completely insane I am for knowing so much about some guy from the U.K. who is going to be in a Peter Jackson production. What?! Yeah, sometimes it hits me that our guy Richard may actually make it big, may actually be a movie star despite his protestations, and you and I have been along for the ride.

Anyway, this insanity is still fun even if a few of us are infected with APM at times. :D

edit: speaking of dumbass, I published this under the wrong user name, which I’ve now corrected.