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.

stones-244244_1920

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.

Mr. Armitage Goes to Los Angeles, or RA on Politics Part III?

The conversation between Richard “I have no experience” Armitage and Little Jackie Paper was a scream. It seemed there was a private joke between them and any moment both of them would break out in giggles. Heck, I did break out in giggles when “Jackie” kept referring to Thorin “Orkenshield.” [edit: I have been duly chastened on the proper spelling of Orcenshield. :D]

Then it got even funnier when Richard gave a lesson on inhaling and blowing:
inhaling
And Jackie Paper is thinking, “Oh yeah, man, that’s perfect.”

puff

really big puff

bigger puff

Or at least it looked that way. But what do I know? Pass the brownies. :D

note: watch some people take this seriously.

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’

Richard Armitage on Politics and What Does It Mean?

No, not that Richard Armitage but our Richard Armitage.

Oh, I can feel the ripples rippling. :D

I just came home from being out most of the day and received a bunch of emails asking if I had read his interview in New York Moves and what I think of it. I hadn’t read it but went over to look at it and have just now finished.

It doesn’t matter what I think of it in terms of his political views, and I find myself fairly apathetic about what he thinks politically. Much of that is predicated on my becoming more and more apolitical as the years pass. I’ve had several come to Jesus moments which have brought home to my thinking someone who believes Christ is real and His ministry is real and reflected in scripture, is not to be about politics. I’ve said for years that one of the biggest mistakes Christians in America have made was forming political coalitions. All of these realizations have nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with Christ’s example.

For the record, I’m not part of any political party or movement and that’s been the case for quite a few years. I do have opinions about political issues from time to time, but if I were to give the definition of my political views, they are pretty much libertarian.

I do have an opinion about Richard Armitage getting political. It sends the message he must be feeling comfortable in his success. When someone makes definitive political statements to the point of criticizing a significant portion of potential movie goers, then it means they are feeling it’s not necessary to have those people patronize their movies. Certainly, there are movie goers who can put aside an actor’s politics, but it’s pretty bold for an actor to count on that happening in great numbers unless they are feeling financially insulated from a negative reaction. So yeah, this says more than anything else Richard has said or done that his pocketbook is doing pretty well.

Other than all of that, I hate the potential for his statements to polarize fans, the potential to create an us and them mentality. In other words there will be some fans who more or less think, “We’re the fans who are cool and agree with Richard, and the rest of you are just not quite with it and don’t see things the right way.” This would be true no matter what political views Richard expressed. Such is the problem with doing this.

My unvarnished thoughts about the interview:

1st thought — Richard was passionate about his beliefs, spoke them and damn the consequences — movie goers or no, good paycheck or no.

2nd thought — a small time fashion reporter in NY is giddy at what she’s achieved when really, Richard’s publicist was on vacation.

3rd thought — He was drunk. LOL!

Richard,

I still love you and hope you don’t take me or yourself so seriously.

Signed,
Your crazy fan

P.S. I hope you can say something in future to ensure the fans lighten up.

note: at the time this piece is being published, I have not read any of the fan responses. I have only received email from some fans urging me to read the piece and give an opinion. It will be interesting to see what has happened and will happen.