OK. I am feeling kinda sorry for E.L. right now. However . . .

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EL James recently held one of those Twitter Q&As. Not sure she will do another one anytime soon, as the “50 Shades” author apparently got raked over the coals. (See the link below for an MSN story about the debacle)

http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/books/‘fifty-shades’-writer-el-james-whipped-mercilessly-during-twitter-qanda/

Now, our own Wydville happens to be acquainted with Ms. James in real life and can attest she is a funny, bubbly sort of individual who is probably well aware she is not the second coming of Shakespeare. And I can’t help feeling twinges of sympathy for anyone undergoing trial by Twitter. I have sort of been there myself and it ain’t pretty. I hope Mr. A never has such an unpleasant experience via social media.

Then again–I have to give James’ detractors credit for getting in some good zingers.

“What do you dislike more, Independent strong woman or the English language?” (tweeted by “90210” actor Trevor Donovan)

After the success of ‘Grey,’ have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write.”

But there were serious tweets along with the snarky ones, such as this one:

“how do you feel knowing that you have essentially invalidated the experiences of many abuse survivors around the world?” 

Having read not only comments on the post I wrote about “50 Shades” from individuals who had experienced abuse but the emails they also sent me privately, I know how hurt and disappointed many felt by this fractured fairytale. As if they’d been assaulted all over again. And I confess that is what I have such a hard time getting past in terms of her wildly successful trilogy.  That, and that far better writers are out there struggling to get their stuff read. Well, whoever said life was fair?

As for my trepidations about her new novel “Grey” (after reading those random cringe-worthy lines US posted)–seems my fears were justified. Entertainment Weekly’s  Jessica Goodman had a review of the book in last week’s issue. It got a D+. It seems the story when told by Mr. Grey does make you wonder what in the world poor sheltered Ana ever saw in the creepy stalker guy in the first place, helicopter or no helicopter. I quote, “Swapping out Ana’s ‘inner goddess’ for Christian’s freakish musings leaves you with a guy who pretty much fits the definition of sociopath.”

No arguments from me.

Things I have learned lately. Some of which include Richard Armitage.

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Bras are inherently humorous.

Along with the lack thereof.  Also, that bras have their very own personalities . . . I always suspected this, but now there’s PROOF.

 

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Richard Armitage looks cute in a flower crown.

And I was really chuffed he finally won an award for Thorin. So very much deserved. <3

 

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Even hard-core Hannibal fans seem to find the current season less than spectacular. Good to know it is not just me, a newbie to the show: this general sense that watching paint dry–or golf–would be about as compelling. I suspect that if the first few episodes of the production’s first season had been like what I’ve seen thus far, there never would have been a second.  Not entirely surprised the ratings continue to drop. I just hope someone sticks around to watch RA–because I know in my heart that he will give an amazing, nuanced performance, even if it breaks said poor old heart to watch it.  Sometimes I think I may be a glutton for punishment.  Shades of watching the calculated dismantling of Lucas North episode by episode. At least I know this time around what to expect . . .

Let’s see, three more episodes before Francis Dolarhyde makes his appearance. I feel oddly like a kid anticipating Christmas.  Christmas as interpreted by David Lynch, perhaps (hey, I loved “Twin Peaks” before it got just a little too weird). Nothing like looking forward to a serial killer who slaughters entire families and likes sinking his teeth into some of his victims, is there? Oh, Richard Armitage, the things I put myself through in order to appreciate your artistry (currently re-reading “Red Dragon”). Will I be drawn to making fanvids or fanart from this character? I have to say the jury is still out on that. So far, I haven’t felt that tug . . . I tend to be drawn towards the humorous, irreverent and “sexy with a wink “approach (as most of you who are familiar with my vids know).

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Stay away from your FB feed on certain days. Just because.

When people start getting on their hobby horses about Confederate flags being removed, gay people getting married, and the latest in a long line of presidential candidates announcing they are running, it is better for my blood pressure and general stress levels to back away. For the record, this born-and-bred Alabama girl supports the first two and has no idea who she will vote for in the next election. It may be a case of choosing the lesser of the evils.

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I think I’d rather vote for this cat than I would “The Donald.” But that’s just me . . .

 

I still love to write.

And I am reasonably good at it.

I love making videos.

I do it for pay now as part of our video production company’s DVD packages, and it still gives me a great deal of pleasure.  And photography and photo editing continues to be a wonderful creative (and cathartic) outlet that also allows me to earn a little extra money. As a friend and neighbor who has also been a client commented, “It’s so good you can do something you really love like that.”

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I am also capturing the young people of our community as they grow and change from year to year, watching them gain in knowledge, skill, confidence. Watching them blossom. That, I think, is a good thing.

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And now I’ve got a castle I need to draw . . . it’s good to flex our creative muscles, yes?

Congrats, Mr A. Looks like you had a fun night. And richly deserved.

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I hope your Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Fantasy film–your truly epic performance as Thorin in The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies –is just the first in many more accolades won for your acting prowess. You looked as if you were having a good time hanging out with the Hannibal peeps. And that cool trophy echoes the selfie you recently posted. A premonition of things to come? ;)11061955_809071129210855_8692823586910927282_nAnd what do you know? The flower crown teased on Twitter appeared on that handsome head after your win. CIZ5iNiUwAAgR2Q

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And somehow it all made me think of an image like this (with apologies to Caravaggio):

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I hope you enjoyed good drink, good food and good friends on your big night. You deserve it.

P.S. Loving the slightly longer hair (any way I could talk you into growing out those nape curls? Pretty please?) and that neatly trimmed beard. And those faithful old boots.  ;) Those boots make certain fans VERY happy.

OT: Each life can make a difference, for better, for worse. An acquaintance who lost a friend.

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I hope this link will work for you. My friend Dr. Jean Thompson, a retired English professor at our local community college, shared this with me on Facebook today. It is Dr. David Saliba, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Greenville, my hometown, sharing his personal experience as a classmate and friend to Clementa Pickney, the slain pastor of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. It made me cry but it also gave me hope.

David spoke at the baccalaureate service we videotaped for FDA as part of their senior package. A warm, personal address with a pinch of humor–he did it sans his loafers, in very colorful socks, as requested by one of the graduates. Love a preacher with a sense of humor.

Peace, y’all.

http://fumcgreenville.sermon.net/main/main/20424778#.VYnLOPi3hv0.facebook

OT: Ala. Governor Removes Confederate Flag from State Capitol

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This was just posted online by The Huffington Post. Thank you, Governor Bentley. It needed to happen.

WASHINGTON — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol Wednesday morning, saying it was simply “the right thing to do.”

The flag is part of a confederate memorial at the Capitol in Montgomery. Two state workers came out Wednesday morning and “with no fanfare quickly and quietly took the flag down,” according to AL.com.

Bentley said his decision to remove the flag was, in part, a response to last week’s massacre of nine African-Americans in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann Storm Roof, the accused shooter, was a racist who proudly displayed the Confederate flag. The incident has sparked renewed criticism of Confederate tributes across the South.

“Yes, partially this is about that,” said Bentley. “This is the right thing to do. We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”

A spokeswoman for the governor told The Huffington Post she was looking into whether the removal of the flag was permanent.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has called on her state’s legislature to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds. The move would require a two-thirds vote of approval from both chambers.

Will the real Richard Armitage please stand up? Or–maybe not.

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“Who’s Richie A, Who’s the real guy, will the real Richie A please stand up, please stand up”

(with apologies to Eminem aka Slim Shady, who is, in fact, actually a guy named Marshall Mathers)

Fedoralady plays the devil’s advocate a bit here . . .  tossing out some food for thought.  Glean from it what you will.

 

Who exactly is Richard Armitage? That seems to be a question a fair amount of fans are asking these days.

What concerning RA can we agree upon?

I think we can all agree he’s enormously talented. Charismatic. A hard-working professional (maybe even a workaholic). He shows an appreciation for his fans and has a generous heart, supports worthwhile charities and encourages others to do the same. He is not at all hard on the eyes. In fact, he seems to get more attractive with each passing year. There is a lot to like and appreciate here.

The RA that most who have been fans for a longer period have come to expect is this thoughtful, diffident, humble, bookish, boyish, good-humored and gentle sort of gentleman—a kind of Harry Kennedy come to life in some respects. Richard himself once said HK was the character he had played who was most like him in real life, which led to quite a few “squees” in the fandom.

 

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We saw glimpses of this “Admirable RA” in television and radio interviews to promote his shows and films, in the behind-the-scenes features for DVDs and in some print interviews. There was never a great deal offered up about his private life, even when interviewers tried to pry or provoke it out of him. He preferred to focus on his work, a subject about which he was clearly passionate.

Some fans who first discovered him as Thornton in “North and South” found Richard Armitage the perfect romantic hero and longed to see him in more high-quality period drama. Those who adored him as Harry Kennedy pined to see him perform in a wittily scripted rom-com. Others found “Action Hero with a Heart” Armitage and “Beautiful Baddie (Who Really Isn’t)” irresistible.

 

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For certain fans, RA pretty much ascended onto a pedestal. If he wasn’t a saint, surely he was an angel, almost too good to be true.
After all, look at all his virtuous qualities . . . he was different from all that riff-raff out there in celebrity land, and we could pat ourselves on the back and smugly smile and say, “We fangurl only the best and the most pure of heart.”

 

And other fans said (in private, if not on forums), “Virtuous qualities, shmirtuous qualities. He can effin’ read the phone book for all I care (preferably in really tight jeans and a shirt with a few buttons undone) as long as I can hear that smooth chocolate baritone and gaze into those hellagood azure eyes and imagine all the bad, bad things I could do to him!” (I should point out these feelings can be found in fans who really, really admire his personality and acting talent, too.)

 

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As for Richard, he has always tended to dismiss talk about his sexual allure, expressing disbelief that he could ever be considered a hottie, proclaiming he’s always found himself a bit odd-looking.

RA has seemed like the perfect celebrity crush for the discerning fan girl: bright and gifted, yet humble and modest. Beautiful and sexy, yet seemingly unaware of his physical charms (although quite a few of us found that hard to swallow). Here was an intensely private man who clearly intended to remain so, one who wanted the focus to be on his body of work as a serious actor–and not his body, as it were.

And then he joined Twitter. Dived in headfirst, one might say.
And we started getting selfies. Lots of selfies. Some were quite funny and cute and a little weird, but in a good sort of way. And one or two were— “Huh? Zat you, Richard?”
They seemed to be of a handsome young man but they didn’t exactly look like Richard Armitage—maybe a younger look-alike relative?

Clearly, our Richie was doctoring his images. Hey, no big deal, right? Don’t all celebrities (and quite of few of us nobodies) use filters and other touch-up tools on our photos before we post them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like? And he’s working at lot in Hollywood now, where youth is the religion; he’s almost 44 and there are always younger actors up for the same roles.

 

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B4cEX4uCIAE03cWAnd maybe, just maybe, Mr. A is a bit more vain and conscious of his good looks than we were led to think.

Then there’s this whole thing of tweeting—and deleting. And tweeting and deleting some more. “Make up your mind, Mr. Armitage, a legion of fans is apparently hanging on your every word and trying to dissect what went wrong that caused you to need to remove a particular image/words!” Fans cry out.

So, tell me, Richard,  are you just teasing us, or are you in fact still a bit inept when it comes to this whole social media morass? Inquiring minds want to know. Some fans are getting downright frustrated!

And there are some of the roles Richard is choosing—very action-oriented, one even described as “hyper-violent” and of course, that blood-soaked turn as a serial killer later this season on “Hannibal.”
Didn’t he once state horror was a genre he didn’t think was a good fit for him?

“What caused you to change your mind?” ask some fans, disappointed over your decision.

“Aren’t people allowed to change their minds?” Other fans respond. “This isn’t your run-of-the-mill splatter fest, anyway. There’s great scripting and character development. The critics love it!”

There’s a lot of disquiet and a certain degree of disappointment expressed in the fandom of late and it has led me to query: While we’ve never been completely harmonious, were fans in general happier when RA was actually less accessible?
Was ignorance bliss for some of us when that alluring veil of mystery still swirled around him? Is a portion of it still there or has social media permanently dispelled it?

 

8992342a74186be2f224f6dbd9d00254I wonder, would it be more acceptable for some fans if he were like a movie star in the old studio system, in which the Powers That Be carefully groomed and molded their stars’ images . . . and kept anything negative out of the press.

Has Richard Armitage as an individual actually changed in any fundamental way, or are we simply seeing him break out of his shyness and shake off some of that British reserve,with the self-professed late bloomer now “busting out all over” with a nearly nude photo posted on Twitter? (Of course, it’s not like he hasn’t gotten naked before for the camera . . . on several occasions, in fact. “Between the Sheets,” “Spooks” and “Strike Back.”)

Do we know/see a little too much now, and are some of us afraid of what we might discover next about “our Richard” that could potentially shatter our illusions about him?

And do we as individual fans and as a collective truly want the real Richard Armitage—whomever and whatever he might prove to be—to stand up? Or can we ever really “know” a man who is such an expert at immersing himself into his characters?  Actors–well, they ACT.

Would we prefer to only fangurl a Richard made to our personal specifications . . . and is there any harm if we do?  Should we hold tight to our fantasies even if reality turns out to bite?

I wonder.

*NSFW* Still giggling. Had to share.

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I needed a really good laugh of the Beavis and Butthead variety, I guess. I don’t even know if these auto-correct fail text messages are legit, but they almost had me ROTFL.  There are some profanities and obscenities, so don’t read if your sensibilities are feeling particularly delicate. My husband, on the other hand, loved them. ;) And there’s no blood or gore! :D If you dare, scroll down and have fun . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take heart, Fannibals. Axed NBC shows can have long lives . . . a case in point.

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thRFX1OAB8I know a lot of “Hannibal” fans are pretty unhappy right now since the news broke that this cult-favorite show has been officially axed by NBC at the end of its current, and third, season.

I can’t consider myself one of those Fannibals–I am watching the current season simply as preparation to see one of my all-time favorite actors perform for the first time on American TV screens (discounting a very brief appearance on the Cinemax version of “Strike Back”), the very same Richard Armitage for whom this blog is named. Starting with episode 8, RA will be playing the serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, aka “Tooth Fairy,” previously portrayed on screen by Ralph Fiennes (“Red Dragon”) and Tom Noonan (“Manhunter”).

Mr. A was only lined up to be in those final six eps, so none of his fans were anticipating seeing him in any future seasons of the show.  Some RA fans haven’t and won’t be watching because of the blood and gore attached to this production. Just not their cup of tea (and I am not too sure it is mine, either).

However, I know there are Armitage fans who are also Hannibal fans, who watched before and would have watched after Richard Armitage had come and gone.

For all of you Fannibals out there–take heart. Cult favs can and do have second lives, particularly when you consider all the television channels now existing, not to mention streaming services.

Many of you are probably too young to remember seeing a certain NBC production from the mid-1960s. It was different from pretty much anything else on television at the time–science fiction when westerns and crime dramas were staple fare. I wasn’t even six years old yet when it first aired, but I was captivated, as was my 12-year-old sister. We watched faithfully every week as this ground-breaking series took us “where no man has gone before.”  What it lacked in sleek and pricey production values, it made up for in a set of unforgettable characters and riveting storylines.

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(courtesy of Bing images)

Who knew when “Star Trek” was cancelled by NBC after three seasons that this cult favorite would go on to spawn an animated series, books, several successful TV spin-offs, films and more?  Now, realistically I don’t anticipate Hannibal dolls, cartoons or a slew of TV spin-offs–I would say it’s even more of a niche show tailored to specific tastes (no pun intended) than “Star Trek: The Original Series” ever was.

Still, I say there is very likely life after cancellation for “Hannibal.” Show creator Bryan Fuller seems stoked on taking his show to a new home and there are a number of possibilities out there. Fans are rallying to the cause (see link below).

https://www.change.org/p/nbc-netflix-what-are-you-thinking-renew-hannibal-nbc

And Fuller tweeting photos like this probably can’t hurt his cause. ;)

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Richard Armitage getting his Red Dragon tats painted on for his Dolarhyde role. What that man won’t go through for his art.

Maybe the honeymoon is over . . . Fedoralady, RA & the fandom

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I used to experience many more highs and lows when it came to my participation in the RA fandom.

I would be giddy with anticipation awaiting any new project, gleeful when new images (or old images new to me) surfaced, glum when we went weeks, months without hearing or seeing much of anything concerning my favorite actor, desperate for some small bone to be thrown the fandom’s way.

I wept with frustration when my not-so-high-speed internet connection didn’t allow me to properly watch live streaming from various premieres and other events. And to be perfectly honest, I was more than a little green with jealousy when others got to see him perform or be interviewed in person, got to meet him, feel his arm around their shoulders, or just bask in the glory of his presence. Don’t get me wrong; I was also genuinely happy for those fortunate fans, too.

Still.

Something has happened to me in regarding how I view the fandom and Richard himself. I am not completely sure why.

Maybe part of it is I am tired of the squabbling amongst various factions of the fandom over things that just don’t seem all that important to me, and weary of efforts to police other fans, which I find abhorrent.

Maybe it’s Twitter and Weibo and other social media making him more accessible and thus, the mystique I always appreciated about him has been encroached upon . . . again, I really am not sure.

I just know there have been internal changes as far as I as a fan am concerned.

I went to my Pinterest board for RA a little earlier and changed its title. It used to be “Richard Armitage Owns Me *sigh*” and now it’s “The Armitage Effect on Pinterest.” I guess I just don’t want to be owned anymore? Go figure.  I haven’t really wanted to make a fanvid, create fanart or write fanfiction in a while. I still do and (enjoy) video/photo editing and writing, only now it’s for our production company and for the newspaper.

I still admire, respect and love Richard as much as I can anyone I don’t actually know, will never know or have as a daily presence in my life. Not in the same way I know and treasure my husband, pets, family and friends, both in real life and online.

I think Richard is well-intentioned and a truly kind person at heart. He’s a bright, wonderful, versatile talent with the gifts and the drive to go far in his chosen profession. And I will always be grateful for the creative inspiration he and his ChaRActers brought into my life and the difficult, dark waters he helped me navigate.

Perhaps, I have moved through the blazing bonfire of infatuation/obsession and on to a sort of low, slow, steady burn that comforts rather than ignites?  I can’t speak (and have never pretended to speak) for any other Armitage admirer. I can only tell you what I am experiencing.

I will keep you posted.

US’s most cringeworthy lines gleaned from EL James’ new book, “Grey.” Literature, this isn’t (it *is* NSFW).

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I have absolutely no intention of plowing my way through any more of this woman’s work. But I did read these 21 lines the people at US Weekly took from the 500-plus pages of her latest opus, “Grey,” which debuted yesterday.  It basically covers the same story as her first three books, only from the POV of her, uhm, hero, that creepy, whip-loving stalker billionaire Mr. Grey.


I read the lines out loud to my husband, who alternately snickered, groaned and rolled his eyes. Honestly, just when I thought a writer couldn’t get worse–she proved me wrong. I think she should have quit after making an obscenely huge amount of money from her trilogy.  *sigh*

My husband said, “Never underestimate the general stupidity and slavish devotion to crap as far as vast numbers of our population are concerned.”  Sadly, I think he’s on to something there.

Read on–if you dare. ;)

21. I strip off all my clothes and from a drawer pull out my favorite jeans. My DJs. Dom jeans.

20. Boy, she looks good in a harness. 

19. Part of me wants to spank the shyness out of her. 

18. Much as I’d like to, I’m not going to f–k her in the restroom at IHOP. 

17. I ask, “Are you hungry?” “Not for food,” she teases. Whoa. She might as well be addressing my groin. 

16. I could tease and torture her until she begged for release … the images make my jeans even tighter.

15. Once she’s cuffed I step back and take a deep breath, relieved.

14. Oh, this is going to be fun. You’d be amazed what I can do with a few cable ties, baby. 

13. Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick. 

12. My hand glides down her ass to the blue string and I tug out the tampon. 

11. I’m confused. I wanted to spank her. But she said no. 

10. There’s not a mark on her. The thought is unsettling.

9. She has a fine, fine ass. And I’m going to make it pink…like the champagne.

8. I imagine dripping hot wax onto her breasts and her squirming beneath me. This has a radical effect on my body. 

7. I’m going to make you come like a freight train, baby.

6. She thinks I need some TLC. F–k that Baby. I’ll take your body if you offer it up. I’m doing just fine. 

5. Her cheeks are coloring their familiar rosy pink, like her ass last night.

4. I hold her down so she can’t move, and I start to f–k her, consuming her.  

3. People like me like inflicting pain … I am used to making women cry – it’s what I do.

2. There are three stripes across her backside. I make it four … There’s no one to hear you, baby. 

1. An image of her shackled to my bench, peeled gingerroot inserted in her ass so she can’t clench her buttocks, comes to mind. 

PEELED GINGERROOT? Well, butter my backside and call me a biscuit!

Prayers for the Charleston congregation. Nine shot dead at Emmanuel AME Church

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http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/shooting-reported-at-church-in-charleston-south-carolina/ar-AAbKtKj?ocid=ansnewsreu11

 

A house of worship should be a safe place, a haven, a sanctuary. Tonight, a white gunman went into an African-American church service and began shooting. Nine people are dead; no word yet on how many more might be injured.

Natural disasters–earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tornados–are bad enough.  We have no control over such tragic events. But when a person makes a decision to take innocent lives in this manner, I cannot wrap my head around it.  What sort of hatred must you carry in your heart to do this?

Have we come no further than this over the last 50 years?

Crying.

Fedoralady on ‘Manhunter,’ ‘Hannibal’ and Armitage’s flawed heroes (who haven’t actually eaten anyone)

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Richard and I have “been together” for just under eight years now. I discovered him as that absolutely delicious baddie (who turned into a goodie but still had to die for his past sins) Sir Guy on BBC America.

Initially I found Sir Guy to be a smarmy bastard, albeit a good-looking one. I did not fall for him right away as many viewers did when watching RA as John Thornton three years earlier in “North and South.” It was more of a slow burn . . .

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I noticed something curious happening—the villainous master-of-arms actually had a heart, damaged and flawed though it might be, with glimmers of humanity in all its vulnerability peeking through that arrogant, brutish facade.

By the end of the first series, I was solidly Team Leather, and angry with Marian for leaving him at the altar. I grew increasingly tired of her machinations in the second series. Marian was a tease, and it was a dangerous game she played with this passionate man who went out of his way more than once to protect her from Vasey.

When she taunted him so cruelly in the desert, I decided she had lost her mind. Poor, devastated Sir Guy acted in desperation and disbelief to her words, and went on to clearly mourn her far more than her husband of five minutes ever seemed to do.

By the end of the third and final series, I cried like a baby. I mourned the death of Sir Guy more than I did  some of the actual flesh-and-blood relatives in my extended family. I was, and am, and shall ever remain a Sir Guy of Gisborne apologist.

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Richard Armitage doesn’t have to play “good” characters for me to relate to them, care about them, root for and mourn for them. I love his flawed heroes like John Porter, Lucas North (I don’t believe in Bateman) and Thorin. These characters are all complicated and damaged creatures with their own particular emotional baggage: professional disgrace and estrangement from family, prison, loss of home and fortune, each of them struggling in his own way to reclaim his former life and redeem himself (John Proctor I will discuss in a future post. He deserves one all his own).

Richard has himself said in the past his fans won’t like all the roles he chooses, and at the time I thought primarily of Thorin. Let’s face it, more than a few people, fans and non-fans alike, raised eyebrows over the idea of our tall, handsome heartthrob of a fellow as a 250-odd-year-old hirsute dwarf who could have played Disney’s “Grumpy” as far as his personality was sketched out in Tolkien’s original novel. This character certainly wasn’t the romantic period hero or the charming rom-com leading man some fans were hoping to see him play.

Today, Thorin is the favorite RA character of many newer fans, their gateway to discover other Armitage projects, and they can’t imagine anyone else performing in that role (neither can I). It turns out vertically-challenged hairy dudes can become major heartthrobs, too–at least when played by Richard Armitage.

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Richard managed to not only look majestic and handsome beneath the dwarf suit, wig and prosthetics, he also fleshed out that role and brought those subtle layers to Thorin. We felt our hearts constrict when the paranoia and gold lust overcame the warrior king, we cried when he saw him fall “one last time.” Another death, another redeemed character.

But how do I deal with Francis Dolarhyde, a cannibalistic serial killer? Here is a character who does not kill people as part of his employment as a medieval henchman in a difficult time when life was “nasty, short and brutish.” Nor is this character a member of the military or the secret service who sometimes must take a life to save many others.

He’s not a warrior prince fighting to take back the kingdom lost to a fierce dragon years before in order to reclaim a throne and restore his people to their rightful place.

Dolarhyde is a monster who kills innocent people and eats portions of them . . . and let me be perfectly honest. It makes me more than a little uneasy to think I might possibly fall for a monster, even one that’s a fictional character. I guess I wonder if I do get infatuated with Dolarhyde, just what might that say about me? Yes, I know the character had an awful childhood. So do a lot of other people who don’t turn out like this.

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I have read the book “Red Dragon” and while I didn’t see the film of the same name, I have viewed the 1986 Michael Mann film “Manhunter” starring William Petersen of CSI fame as the Will Graham character. It’s actually a very well-made film with solid performances, including that of Tom Noonan in the Dolarhyde role. I felt a certain pity for Dolarhyde in this film, but he also scared the daylights out of me.

thHB7J4B83It’s been a number of years since I last saw it, and I would like to see it again.  ( Images found on Bing. Noonan as Dolarhyde and Petersen as Graham).

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Manhunter frammenti di un omicidio

I am currently watching the new season of “Hannibal” and find I have no desire to re-watch the two eps I have seen so far. I have read raves about this series from critics and some of its fans, but somehow, I am not “getting it,” not yet. I suppose it would help if I had seen the first two seasons, but I have no desire to do that, either.

Does it have great production values? Yes. Does it have a talented cast? Yes. Do I thus far find it excessively bloody, at times pretentious and on the boring side? Yes, yes and yes. Apparently the ratings are down, making me suspect many of RA’s legion of fans are opting out of watching it until RA appears in the last six eps, and some, not even then. Cannibalistic serial killer seems to be that deal-breaker role for some of us.

I certainly haven’t shied away from scary, spooky, even gory films and TV series in the past. I am not averse to dark, morbid humor. I loved “Dexter,” and its protagonist was a Miami crime scene blood specialist who, oh yeah, was also a serial killer, BUT he only killed other serial killers and similarly rotten individuals. He had a code taught to him by his adoptive father, a cop who recognized the tendencies within his son and taught him how to channel his “dark passenger.” Michael C. Hall did a marvelous job of making Dexter somehow likeable and relatable even as we glimpsed the monster within.

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(Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan. Bing IMages)

So I am truly curious to see what Mr. Armitage will bring to the table (other than body parts) in this role. We know from the stills already released that he is in fine physical form for the role and if nothing else, we can enjoy that, I suppose. But I have always found more to appreciate in his performances than merely those bodacious biceps and broad shoulders. Those attributes are the yummy icing on the cake of the chaRActers for me.

Thus far, “Hannibal” just isn’t doing it for me. I want to tell Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) to get away from that crazy nutcase, the same for Gillian Anderson (who plays Hannibal’s wife).

Mads Mikkelsen is a very prominent and respected actor in his native Denmark, and considered quite sexy by many, but honestly, he was creeping me out before I saw him in this role. Granted, I’ve only seen him as a Bond baddie, a BBC Sherlock Holmes baddie and as Igor Stravinski in a film about his affair with Coco Chanel that I found beautiful to look at but ultimately empty—style over substance. The sex scenes seemed clinical and cold. He doesn’t capture my imagination the same way RA does. Maybe if he did, I wouldn’t find “Hannibal” such a disappointment  . . .

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This role is not helping the gut “ick” reaction I have to Mr. Mikkelsen to subside. Then again, he is also playing a cannibalistic serial killer, so should I not be icked out? I just have very, very, very mixed feelings about all of this.  I don’t like what I call “torture porn” such as one sees in films like the “Saw” franchise and this show is feeling like that for me, albeit with an elegant and refined façade tacked over it.

Oh, Richard. I understand and applaud your desire to take on a variety of roles rather than falling into the rut of playing the same character again and again. To challenge yourself, to stretch yourself as an actor. To take us on new journeys of discovery with your characters.

And I am sure you will do a brilliant job of bringing Francis Dolarhyde to the small screen, just as you have in so many other roles.  I have complete faith in your acting abilities and good sense.

I just wish that you had stretched in a different direction this time around.

Then again, what do I know? This controversial character may become a new fan favorite–and bring you a whole new crop of fans. We shall see . . .

I just noted this. Yay for y’all and my little blog.

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While getting ready to publish my last post, I happened to look at site stats for the first time in quite a while. I discovered I now have over one million, one hundred thousand hits on this blog.  So thank you to all who have visited here since its inception. No one is making you stop in, so I do very much appreciate it.   Many thanks to you and to the always fascinating fellow who was the reason I started blogging in the first place. 1461153_405122766286348_1428413154_n

Richard is no plaster saint. It’s OK not to agree with him 100 percent of the time

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I’ve thought a lot about the subject of RA as ambassador for Cybersmile, about bullying in general and cyber-bullying in particular over the last few days. I’ve read various blog posts concerning RA’s blog post for Cybersmile. I’ve voiced my own opinion in comments.

Clearly, this fandom is not a united front when it comes this issue, just as it is not over RA’s selfies, RA’s choice of roles, RA’s friendships and possible romances and a laundry list of other aspects of the man’s personal and professional life. Frankly, I don’t think the fandom has ever really been completely harmonious (not in the eight years I’ve been part of it, anyway). And I don’t think it ever will be.

With a growing number of fans quite different from the middle-aged, educated, BBC Radio 4-loving motherly creatures we were reported to be back in the day—with more kids, teens, guys, male and female fans of adventure/fantasy films vs. period dramas, individuals from very different cultures than our own joining the ranks—there are bound to be differences in tastes, attitudes and viewpoints on his work and his life–and how we should and should not behave as fans.

Some in the fandom seem to imply that if we do not show wholehearted agreement with everything Richard Armitage says or does, displaying a sort of slavish adoration of every word issuing from his mouth or keyboard, then we are not “nice” or “good” or “loyal” fans.

I beg to differ. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Richard and how he’s conducted his career, which I have watched closely over these eight years, and for the man I perceive him to be: a kind-hearted, compassionate, sensitive and well-mannered gentleman with a lively and slightly naughty sense of humor.

I have seen him grow in confidence and poise in public appearances and interviews, and in terms of his physical beauty and overall attractiveness, he really does seem to grow better with age.

But what I do not see him as, is this faultless, saintly individual who can absolutely never do wrong and whose words and actions should never be questioned. Frankly, if RA was a perfect human being, I doubt I could be the long-term fan that I am. I’d have found him an insufferable “goody two shoes” to whom I could not remotely relate and ditched my interest in him long ago (other than strictly as an actor).

Richard Armitage isn’t some plaster saint to be parked on a pedestal, but a real, flesh-and-blood human being who happens to be nearly 44 years of age. HE is not a vulnerable child in need of our protection from the big, bad world, even if his boyish impishness still surfaces.

Surely he is capable of recognizing and coping with the idea everyone isn’t going to agree with all his choices or comments. Aren’t we doing him a disservice by treating him as if he isn’t capable?

The man I love most in my life, the man I married thirty years ago come Monday, is a wonderful man—intelligent, talented, modest, funny, kind and thoughtful. Yet I hold no illusions he is perfect, and he certainly knows his wife isn’t.

We’ve both got our bad habits, our quirks and our failings. Sometimes he gets on my nerves and I get on his. Sometimes, he makes a comment I don’t like and vice-versa. Sometimes, we have to agree to disagree on certain subjects, but it doesn’t make us any less respectful or appreciative of one another.  We are still besties and will be for life.

Recognizing and acknowledging our human frailties doesn’t make us bad spouses or our marriage an unsuccessful one. I like to say we aren’t perfect, but we are perfect for each other.

There have always been those who would seek to police this fandom. As many of you know, I was the direct target of one of them and lost a paying writing assignment at Comic-Con a few years back due to their machinations, after being described as a “dangerous, obsessed fan” from whom Richard Armitage needed protection. This is the same individual who has interfered in the real lives of other fans/bloggers. My sincerest empathy is extended to anyone who has been the target of her and other “fans” like her. And yes, like many of us, I endured some bullying by classmates as a child. My heart hurts for anyone who has had to, or is, enduring it.

At the same time, I have grown really wary of, and quite uncomfortable with, attempts to police or shame fans and their fanfic, blog posts and comments. There is room for many different voices in this fandom. If you don’t like a particular voice, you don’t have to listen to it. It’s never a good idea to tell a blogger they shouldn’t be expressing a particular opinion; it’s their blog and their right to do so.

I am not saying I think RA should not be ambassador to Cybersmile; I am saying I am not sure he was completely prepared for the task. And that surprises me, given his track record of dedication to and research for projects undertaken. I guess I’ve grown to expect him to always bring his “A” game, as we say here.

Given his short time spent immersed in the sometimes murky and potentially dangerous waters of social media, I simply wish he had given himself a little more time. I sincerely hope that this organization can accomplish all that it desires to, with RA as its face and voice; I also wish they were a bit less vague in their mission statement, but maybe that will change. We shall see.  Looking forward to quantitative positive results from the project.

I do applaud him for his continued desire to aid young people in need of a helping hand, just as I applaud him for taking on controversial roles he believes will challenge and strengthen his acting chops—yes, even if they aren’t the kind of project with which I most wish to see him involved.

And speaking of “Hannibal”—well, that, my dears, is another post.

Shallow Fan Fedora Lady will note he looks damned good wearing only his fancy tats. Mmmm, mmmmm.

(A little laughter in life, boys and girls, a little laughter in life.)

There will be a sixth WETA Chronicles book, with afterword by Richard Armitage

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fedoralady:

I have all the other WETA Chronicle books and they are definitely worth the investment!

Originally posted on Me + Richard Armitage:

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But not available until November 3, 2015. If you preorder from WETA, you can get a signed copy with some other stuff included. At that same page is a preview of the pages describing how they filmed and choreographed  Thorin’s fight with Azog.

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