Colliding Identities

RichardArmitage as SvengaliSeveral people sent me links to the newest interview with Richard Armitage. I finally read it yesterday, and then googled the journalist’s name, because I will admit unashamedly I didn’t know who she was. No, I am not cosmopolitan enough to be aware of all these journalists and their quests to capture the zeitgeist. But I digress.

There was a little angst going on in what I was reading. The almost palpable need to set someone or something straight was coming indignantly off the page toward me. Self-righteousness like that usually gets a negative reaction. “Judge not lest ye be judged…” kind of runs through my head, and I want to apply “the same measure” to the offender (no pun intended). I try to resist that, and I’m resisting today mainly because it’s not beneficial. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, oh well.

Mostly, I care what I think. Richard Armitage is something amongst actors I had never seen before. Many of us had never seen his like, and when I say that I’m not talking about his sexiness and the objectifying response that can provoke. I’m thinking of his ability to pierce reality with an elegant sword. Most actors I’ve seen use a club. But to be pricked with something powerful that is there and gone and you try to bring it back so you can take it apart to examine it and understand it and maybe recapture its sweetness, doesn’t happen very often. It’s special.

The journalist didn’t get this, because she couldn’t seem to get much past his pretty face or us. Maybe she didn’t have time to really understand him or us. Maybe she was under a deadline and worked with what she had. I know a couple of journalists reading this who are going to laugh at that notion. But hey, I’m trying to be charitable here. However, I believe she is like many in the press who don’t get Richard Armitage, because they have also never seen his like — someone who is himself, someone not easily whipped into bits of identity for quick public consumption. Is there any doubt that article was an attempt at a whipping?

What can be worse for a journalist than to ever think they don’t understand something or someone enough to make it into a tidy pronouncement? That is anathema and has to gall someone whose business is mostly summing up things and people. Yet how wonderful it would have been if she had seemed at least fair about who he has demonstrated himself to be over the course of years while passing judgment. There was almost none of that, and what was there seemed almost grudging and therefore a bit disingenuous, or maybe she’s just a poor writer. I honestly don’t know.

But I do know the summation was cliched. What else explains the portrayal of Richard Armitage as Svengali right down to the damn photo. LOL! (Sorry, I really did laugh. When I start writing as a journalist for a big time newspaper, I won’t throw in that kind of commentary. ;-) ) Like many of you I wondered about the graphic used in the article, but the text makes it obvious. He’s Svengali and those who find him appealing are Trilby — no good at anything really unless he hypnotizes us into thinking we are. How sad the interviewer was so afraid to let herself really observe someone like Richard. But then prejudice has always been fueled by fear.

Instead we got something intended to be a bit of an expose’ but sounded more like real fiction at times. And that got me to thinking. To thinking what has occurred to me on a few occasions when I’ve encountered someone who was so adamantly not a fan. The fear of truly observing someone like Richard Armitage is that he may cast a spell on the observer, and they may actually lose their godlike objectivity. Or they are closet fans desperately trying to appear fair. Yeah, I know the signs. I’ve been there. Whatever the case, this is what I long to say:

Ms. Gold,

You are missing out. Being innocent is not so bad, and really, if this is what it feels like, I want more of it.

Signed,
One of Richard’s crazy fans who is having a whale of a time :D

P.S. I don’t think your insult of Richard Armitage is going to have any impact on your career. You know that. But insulting Dawn French and overweight women? That was dumb and tipped your hand more than anything you said.

If you want to read the article, Guylty has it here.

Something About Meg

imageSome of you may remember Meg whom I mentioned will be attending The Crucible this evening. I’m tickled for her, and it couldn’t happen to a cooler kid. Yes, I said kid. She’s the same age as one of my kids, or about to be. It’s her birthday this weekend, and she will turn 23. She’s currently in school training for a career in tv production.

When I read that on her bio, I wondered what she really had. I was not disappointed. She has countless photos that elevate the mundane to something which can make you stop and really look and find it thought provoking as well as pleasing. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but she’s definitely got a great eye and feel for what the viewer will ultimately perceive. I think it’s a gift, and one that may well be wrought in part by her being set apart with something which most people often think of as disability. Meg has dyslexia. For the last several years, I’ve been coming to think of this condition as just another way of learning and possibly a way that supersedes the norm. There is speculation and some studies floating around that support the idea people with dyslexia see a much richer view of the world. If Meg is any indication, I believe it. More on this later!

All the best tonight, Meg, and how cool that your father is going with you!

Carry on.

Oh, wait! Don’t forget a website has been created to share The Crucible experience. I will definitely be pinging the site with Meg’s review. :D

Dreams and the Passing of Time

I’m not quite as up on Google Alerts about Richard Armitage as I used to be, and really there’s no need since so many fan sites keep up. I appreciate that! Plus, it gives me time to do something I really love which is watching videos like this one below from my oldest kid.

She wrote this in a few minutes, taped it and sent it to me. And she’s got about 20 more, since she can’t seem to stop. This one is not perfect, but I love it. Not just because I think it’s a great song and has tons of potential but also for what it represents.

She is pursuing her dreams, which very definitely include a highly artistic facet — writing, photography and music, and who knows what else. It seems when someone is letting their artist flow, it just doesn’t stop. This interview with Viggo Mortensen speaks to the mentality and reminded me of how I really did think as a child — that there were no limits on what I could do or express.

But the kind of focus required for these endeavors has “real life” envious and continually trying to intrude. The ability to ignore real life then becomes paramount to the creative if they are ever to do anything significant. They must learn to hang onto the precious dreams of childhood.

SO and I did not have a great ability with this. We were forever trying to please our parents. Sadly, our parents and others preached such a conservative approach to life that it almost squelched the creative in us. It’s been a fight to keep it alive! Even my father who was fairly unorthodox and highly creative was very conservative when it came to my future. Don’t get a degree in music, don’t play in a band for a living, don’t go off to parts unknown to do photo essays, don’t, don’t, don’t, because (gasp!) you might experience some hard times. This was said incessantly. Guess what? I’ve experienced hard times anyway. Don’t we all?

With our children, SO and I have tried to take a better approach, tried to inspire yet prepare them for what they were getting into without demoralizing them. Don’t be stupid and still pursue your dreams is what we’ve said. Certainly, that’s hard, but anything worth doing…

This was also talked about, and thankfully, they seem to have taken it to heart. Two have ended up in New York to pursue their passions and one is on the west coast doing the same.

And who knows what’s going to happen. At worst, they will always know they tried.

© 2014

In the meantime, this child keeps writing as well as bartending in the city with her sister (they are middle and far right) and going to school (the “don’t be stupid” part):

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What does all of this have to do with Richard Armitage? I’m getting to it. It’s been slow, and I’ve dithered around for a couple of years about my diary in the process, because it’s been hard to figure out what I should publish and what I shouldn’t. But I’m determined to finish. I’ve also talked to a lot of people (including all of the people mentioned in the diary), and almost all have said go for it. Even before I started, I had permission from those put in the most unflattering light, but I have still struggled with publishing. I’m very loyal to my family and never want to cause them harm. But I think I’ve come to understand that what I reveal is not harmful but a common reality and perhaps how it resolved in my life will help someone else.

I Made It to R

A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

Obviously, April’s Blogging A to Z is over for the year, and I made it further than I ever have. Kind of fitting I ended on R. I did have other posts ready for the remaining letters, but as I said in my last post, I got busy. Those were such good letters too! I’ll have to use them at some point in the near future. Maybe the next post. :D

As for that photo above, I’m not sure I can officially use it. I haven’t read the rules that closely. If I can’t, they can ask me to remove it, and I will. But in the meantime, my reflection of the event is that there were a few communications that could have been done better (but no biggie). Mostly, it was fun to be held to the challenge; however, the best part was discovering new writers and maybe rediscovering some I already knew. Speaking of which, if you haven’t checked out the series on the Philippines done by Morrighan’s Muse, it’s definitely worth looking at. And I’m still in love with this blog even if the author may think I’m a complete nutter. This dude has something, and I hope he keeps cranking it out.

Queue the Ride

I only know the basic plot of Into the Storm, and I know some of the characters damn near get blown away, and maybe some actually do get blown away. Whatever else happens, the cast is enjoying themselves:


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Everyone was smiling at WonderCon:

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And our guy most of all at times:


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He seems happy with what he’s doing. That sense of lightheartedness and joy has run through almost all of his interviews about Into the Storm, and it has made me rethink the movie. I have taken it way too seriously. Sure the subject matter is serious, but then so was the subject matter of ConAir. and somehow that was fun.

I could be so wrong, but Richard Armitage is a bit readable. I don’t mean about everything he does, but oftentimes he reflects the nature of what he’s working on, and with Into the Storm, I see him smiling a lot:

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I’m taking this as a sign we’re in for some fun times come August 8th. And Sharks be damned. :D

In the meantime, I really appreciate Heather sharing her work with all of us. She’s been a wealth of wonderful photos, and dare I say some iconic images of Richard Armitage. It does help that she’s a professional photographer. In fact, I have sometimes forgotten that because she is so laid back about it and just makes it look easy, and she happened to already be working WonderCon. Yay!

I told her I did not want to forget this time, and if you have never had the pleasure of seeing some of her other work, I created a gallery for you all to sample it.

The images above are also in large format (big mothers; I’m warning you, but they’re worth it). Click to access. The remainder of Heather’s photos for this event will be up at RichardArmitagenet.com later today or tomorrow.

Note to Heather: I could swear RA is looking at you in some of these photos. It does help that you’re tall. LOL!

edit: I was tired when I wrote this, hence the misspelling. It so happens I’m getting ready for one of the biggest meetings of my life. If I nail this client, I am going to have a slew of work. It has to go right!! Prayers and good thoughts welcomed.

Rethinking David Hewson

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At first glance I was convinced most of David Hewson’s books were not my thing. My reading fare does not usually include murder and mayhem. I have read some Richard North Patterson, Scott Turow, maybe some Patricia Cornwell and a few others I can’t remember when I’m in the mood. But I’m not in the mood often. It’s not clear to me why since I love puzzles. Maybe when I have a great stretch of time and absolutely nothing to do, I’ll examine it.

Despite my prejudice, I subscribed to Hewson’s blog, and something surprising popped into my in-box. As I read, I started to grin and then I laughed out loud. A real LOL. Imagine that, and provoked by a serious journalist and crime novelist. Here’s the part where you start thinking of all the crime novelists you know who are funny. Goodie. Feel free to share. Until Hewson, I didn’t know of any.

And now I’ve bought A Season for the Dead and have just started reading. Even if I find no caped crusader, why do I get the feeling Hewson will be into me for several more dollars before this is over…

And that my friends is how a book or two is sold.

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.