What’s wrong with these pictures? Or, seeing is not always believing.



It’s me–but it’s not me. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of possessing big brown eyes with sooty lashes and dark brows, masses of curly black hair and a complexion to match. I also wanted to be tall with long willowy legs . . .  instead, I ended up slightly above average in height, with short stumpy legs. And I was still just as “fish belly-white” pale and blue-eyed and fair-haired and fair-lashed as ever. Plain ol’ vanilla me.

Clearly, I have tampered with the photo above, giving myself a virtual spray tan, changing the color of my eyes, darkening my brows and my hair and then softening up the whole image to be kinder to my 53-year-old self.

Here’s the original un-retouched image.


You can’t always believe what you see.

Which brings me to this image. Someone ran across it today and posted it at FB, admitting she was confused because how could two actors who were clearly on separate continents for the recent DoS fan event be photographed side by side?


The answer is, of course. Photoshop. Take note that Richard isn’t casting any shadow in this pic, which means he is either (A) actually a vampire or (B) isn’t actually in this photo with Lee in the first place.  The answer is, of course, B—that image of RA comes from the photos taken in NY with Orlando and Anderson Cooper.  This isn’t the exact one, but you get my drift.


I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I really am getting tired of this sort of thing. I am all for having a rich fantasy life and “viva” a vivid imagination, I always say.  Where would life be without such?


But it is important to recognize there is a difference between fantasy and reality, between wanting to look like an exotic gypsy-ish creature and actually being the vanilla girl next door. A difference between thinking “Gee, wouldn’t those two gorgeous guys make a hot-looking gay couple?” and enjoying some slashy fanfic along the way, and deciding this relationship MUST be so, it IS so, and by golly, you will MAKE it so. Come hell or high water!!


If it means inferring all sorts of things from the mere mention of these two men attending the same event (never mind that several other actors did the same) and plastering your inferences all over the Internet or Photoshopping pictures for possibly not-so-innocent purposes, there are some fans out there who are doing it.


Look, I personally don’t think an individual’s sexuality is our business unless we are in a relationship with them ourselves. Period. Whether or not Lee or Richard or anybody else is gay, straight, bisexual, asexual or omnisexual is not the point here.

It’s this straining and reaching desperately to make your fantasies into fact-based reality that I find truly objectionable. Apparently some fans tried to do the same thing with Orlando and Viggo in the LOTR films. Some things just never change, it seems. *sigh*

Just because you see it, doesn’t mean you should believe it. Don’t automatically accept things at face value.

Just because you want and wish it to be, doesn’t make it so.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t accept something as the gospel truth because it’s on the Internet!

Oh, yeah, and I’ve decided to embrace my Inner Pale Vanilla Goddess. 😉 Trying to keep the white roots at bay would be a b**ch these days . . .

130 responses

  1. You know, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to change “what” people do, but I do think that you make a really important point in exhorting people to be more critical of what the see and read…especially on the internet. The era of “seeing is believing” is long dead. It distresses me to no end that so many people just take things at face value, without question. Whether it is a photo like this (which is relatively easy to do) or a provocative political or religious statement – whatever. I doubt the world at large feels any great debt to the truth, but we owe it to ourselves to find the truth rather than just accept what’s offered as such. Just my two cents…clearly, it’s a bit of a hot button issue for me.

    • When I saw that this morning, it just really hit me the wrong way. Because this person was genuinely confused by this photo. And others will assume it’s real after a cursory glance. Never mind the facts, don’t let them get in the way . . . that commercial in which the woman says “it must be true because it’s on the Internet” is funny but sad at the same time. Because a lot of people do think that way. “I saw it on Twitter or Facebook or some website, ergo, it MUST be true/real.” I see on FB many “articles” posted that on further review are less legitimate news stories and more propaganda than anything else. And yes, we do owe it to ourselves to try to find the truth, even if the rest of world doesn’t seem to care.

  2. A couple of years ago my son needed a photo to put up on the Hall of Fame wall at his high school. The best photo was one with another runner, and we didn’t want there to be anyone else in the picture. Enter bccmee and photoshop. She took out the other runner and replaced him with slivers of photo from the stands. When I’ve shown people the before and after, they cannot believe it!

    Now you see him:

     photo beforescramble_zps3a752490.jpg

    Now you don’t:

     photo afterscramble_zpse2fb2192.jpg

  3. Angie, I resized those photos to be much smaller, so they should not take up so much room. Let me know if the resize doesn’t show up; otherwise, they are frigging huge!

    • Hey, it’s OK. I didn’t mean for my own face to be quite so large LOL I’ve been up since 1:30 am and starting to flag. Yes, the things that can be done with PS and similar programs mean anyone with the software and know-how can perform all sorts of photo trickery these days–making people disappear from a pic and appear where they weren’t in the first place! Uh, I actually erased an ex BIL from a photo of my parents’ 50th anniversary celebration . . . it looked so much better without him. 😉

  4. Personally I prefer your “au naturel” look if you know what I mean 🙂

    As for the rest, I’m not adverse to using photo editing software to enhance my own photos and cover up my lack of ability! I also have nothing against using it in the way Frenz shows above. However, the trend for creating what is effectively a false and misleading reality that gives rise to the impression that those we admire really are living out our (and I use “our” in the loosest possible sense) fantasies I find quite disturbing and a bit weird. It’s one thing to write stories or create artwork but altering photos in the way that that RA photo has been changed makes me very uncomfortable, and of course unless the photos are licensed for such use is actually against copyright laws.

    Incidentally and slightly off topic, some of the Cumberbatch fan sites have just been invoiced by a photographer for unlicensed use of his work…and I understand it was quite a hefty bill!

    • Photoshop can be used to great advantage, without a doubt. I enjoy playing with my own photos, trying different things, having fun (and removing ex-relatives when necessary *ahem*). But what we are seeing here with the altered RA photo IS disturbing and very misleading–makes me all kinds of uncomfortable, too, Kathryn. And you bring up a very valid point–it’s technically illegal on top of the fact it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Wow! I bet those Cumberbabes aren’t too happy! Thank goodness for those generous ladies at the Russian RA site who actually pool their resources to buy pix so they can share them legally with us. Oh, and thank you. After years of disliking so many things about my appearance when I was younger, I’ve decided I’m just fine being me with a little help from makeup and my hairdresser. 😉

          • It’s something I believe people need to be more aware of. I try to source photos I use on my own blog from the Creative Commons, get permission or simply use my own. I know I’m on dodgy ground with celeb pics. I’m very protective of my own photos and try to ensure they won’t be shared without my permission – not that they’re anything special. I use Tumblr and Pinterest but in theory any post or reblog / pin or repin without permission from the photographer/copyright holder (if not in the commons) is breaking the law. The whole thing is seriously dodgy ground and personally I don’t blame the photographer for protecting his livelihood. I do know what you mean though…it’s made me very nervous.

            • No, I cannot blame the photog at all. He’s got to earn a living. You know, Benny and I and a partner have a video production company and I also shoot stills for some events. We have invested in safeguards to try to protect the videos and still images we produce–this is a business, after all, and not just a hobby. I have watermarked images that I have shared on FB, but of course some clever clogs could remove them . . .

            • Kathryn,

              I don’t blame the photographer at all! This is one reason I’ve never had tons of photos on my blog apart from obvious promotional materials (from WB or Tiger Aspect, or Sky, etc.), and screencaps. When I have put up photo shoots from magazines or other publications, I’ve rationalized that someone else already put it out there which is what I did the other day. Not a great rationalization at all, but that’s what I’ve done. I don’t think one time have I led off with photos unless it was promotional materials screencaps. I have led off with video, but most of that was official WB or Sky or BBC promo materials, and they want us to propagate it — at least in part.

              That aside, I’ve been distinctly uncomfortable with posting some of the photo shoot stills that are not years old and done to death. Obviously, it didn’t stop me entirely, but a few months ago I became very sensitive about the Robert Ascroft and Vera Anderson shoots and ended up writing to several of the pros who have photographed Richard Armitage to ask them about this question and offer to remove photos. So far only one has replied and shall remain nameless at their request. Part of what they said to me was, “It’s a hazard of the profession, and it’s time consuming to track down the offenders. If a blogger has less than 10k readers, it’s usually overlooked by me. You are nowhere near that. Please just ensure I receive credit for my work, and I won’t make a problem about it for now.”

              Cumberbatchweb has many more readers and is no doubt what got them in trouble. So bigger is not always better, and this once again confirms I was right to discourage the Google bot. Oh, I’ve taken off the prohibition a few times, but for the most part, it remains. Otherwise, wordpress is an seo monster, and just one reason I am now building wordpress sites. When it’s self-hosted, the seo capabilities are enormous and rewarding. But for retread pictures of Richard Armitage? Not a good idea.

              I still need to go back through all of my posts with photo shoot stills and ensure credit has been given. I know I overlooked some.

              • It’s all going to change possibly in the very near future anyway because it’s too much freedom. (sarcasm). The current powers that be who decide on the industry standards for the internet (this consists of several groups who come together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium or w3c.org) have been in the process of agreeing upon accepted media on the web that will effectively eliminate the easy playback or dissemination of media ( reference and another ) Still media has also been discussed heavily and will be next once streaming is contained.

                This crackdown, as I think of it, will mostly be facilitated by computing making a leap back to something like the old model of the mainframe with dumb terminals. Today, commonly called the “cloud.” I’ve seen this coming for a long time, and as a techie, I’m not super keen on it. For some things? yes, but not for all things. I am not looking forward to the day when our systems are not really controlled by us and big bucks have to be paid to have an actual computer in the house.

                I will say the advent of the “smart” phone and to a lesser degree the tablet are the catalysts. I love those devices, but great as they are, they may be used to bring about what people do not realize could be the end of the golden era on the web — the days when it was a free for all and there were not just a few who had the power. Most people don’t realize this is happening, and people like myself are dreading it. If I really wanted to get on a tear, I would go off on Steve Jobs, who started out as a wild catter, and someone I could respect to later become “the man” and ultimately do more to curtail the freedom of the web than just about anyone. Shame on him. But I won’t go there.

                Then again, I have great confidence in the ability of techies to crack any wall Apple and the few want to put up.

                Part of me does understand the need for entities to easily continue their going concerns. But part of me is sad that the new business model of sharing is under threat so a few can control everything and effectively shut out the little guys — you and me. Google, albeit one of the few, is in some respects trying to protect the new model while balancing their investments; however, it’s hard as hell to do that when you have stockholders. On a related note, now that Twitter is public, it’s not going to be nearly as much fun. I hope I’m wrong about that.

  5. But does it really matter? Once, somebody edited RA and David Tennant standing together to make me smile (cuz I kinda like them). I saw another one online by a fan of both. Did it really matter if they actually posed or not?

    My attitude is the same about fans trying to force the the relationship issue between Lee and Richard as if two men posing together for a picture meant something. It doesn’t. Does it matter if people inferred something from it? If they’d actually posed for the pic? Not really

    I suppose I’m jaded, coming from other fandoms. I’ve seen just about everything. Fan will do what they like to amuse themselves. Taking fandom too seriously is like butting your head against a wall.

    As for issues surrounding politics and religions, people believing everything they see can be maddening when attempting a rational discussion. But here I take the same attitude: people will believe (or not) what they want no matter what. Sigh.

    • Does it matter? As far as photoshopped pix of celebs…probably not except to the extent that it is symptomatic of a much larger acceptance of “truth” that has become so common place.

      In terms of larger issues, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Ignorance isn’t just an inconvenience to conversation for me…it affects my life daily in real and often destructive ways. I don’t feel like I have the luxury of shrugging my shoulders and sighing “People will be people.” That is certainly true to some degree, but I don’t have to accept it as an immutable fact. If all I can do is encourage people to question before blindly believing, I’ll do it happily. (close rant 🙂 )

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I understand your outrage completely, having spent the past several years engaged in maddening debate in the political sphere. I can imagine how you must feel as an academic – maddened. Encouraging people to question in areas that impact our lives (and the world) is a good thing.

        But do you think the shenanigans in fandom is worth the aggravation? Just putting out the question as a devil’s advocate.

        • Fandom stuff? I don’t always like what I see, but I’m aware of my own ability to critically assess it. What troubled me here wasn’t really the image (not very suggestive as is), but the context in which someone questioned *fact* (ie that the bi-continental image) in face of visual “evidence.” I think provocative images and statements have tremendous potential to spark debate and conversation *if* people are able to be critical – it’s that giant IF that really gets under my skin.

          • Yes, that gets into the area of critical thinking, or lack of that Serv mentioned. I miss the days when intellectual acuity and critical thinking were things to be fostered, not ridiculed. Sigh.

            • Definitely…we actually *teach* critical thinking to all incoming freshman…18 year old voters/soldiers/adults because they have virtually no such skills. I miss those days too…which is probably no small part of my vehemence on this issue. I have two (no pride of authorship intended) exceptionally intelligent and articulate children, and I fear the world that not only ridicules, but censors and punishes them for qualities it should foster and celebrate.

              Look at that…rational discourse! 🙂

              • I remember kids in my high school classes who were clearly intelligent, and yet lacked those critical thinking skills. They just wanted to memorize for the test and then regurgitate and move on. Not really have to think things through and break them down . . . it was disheartening.

              • I think part of the current trend has something to do with raising children in an increasingly dangerous world. Parents keep their children much closer much longer, and consequently make decisions for them that you and I would have been making for ourselves, thereby honing our critical thinking skills. It’s a conundrum…I think it is highly likely that some things have to be learned the hard way. My daughter now knows we told her not to ride her bike down that hill…it breaks bones dear 🙂 Taking the leap and shoving them out of the nest to stretch their thinking wings is a frightening but necessary thing. I sincerely hope I’m not the only one 🙂

              • I think you have a point. Some parents still check in on their kids constantly when they are away at college–heck, some have even moved to the same town so they can be with their kids. I can understand feeling the need to protect your child, but at some point, you do have to let them make decisions and possibly make mistakes . . .

              • I should thank my mother for her “out of sight out of mind” parenting style 🙂 I had plenty of room to make decisions – and man, I made some BAD ones – and then I learned the results of bad decision making!

                That said, she did call the police to look for me when I was out until 2am once – I was 26 and living at home for a semester between grad schools. 😀

              • Dare I say the majority of public high schools in the U.S. do not foster this? It’s not the teaching staff but rather the general public reflected at the school house who does not support that kind of teaching. Too many parents simply don’t want to be bothered with thinking or encouraging it in their children when hell, American Idol is on! No aspersion on American Idol. : D

              • You’re not saying anything too controversial there IMO…the public HS in the US have been hamstringed by testing outcomes linked to funding. Never mind that they are turning out functional idiots (no one in particular, just a generation of kids who very often lack the ability to think and make independent decisions) …or worse, that’s the insidious plan. Thinking bad….ungh. (that’s my caveman btw)

              • I hesitate to even get started on the testing. But I’ll weigh in with this. All the mandatory testing has done is centralize funding with the state and facilitate bloated DofEs who rarely let that money trickle down effectively to the districts that really need help. Net: parity is seldom achieved.

              • No argument there…I had a teacher tell me last year “your daughter’s scores are really raising the district average” Great – that is just the type of information I want to hear. Maybe it’s time for a school board bid – I’ll probably get tarred and feathered!

              • Do you really want to take on that headache?!! if you’re willing, I commend you. I seriously thought about it at one point, This was after I had spent years writing grants and working in other capacities to help the local school district. I probably could have won or made a close attempt. But when I sat alone in a room and thought about the school district and then thought about my kids, I knew anything good I might bring or help facilitate would not affect my kids as much as it would a later generation. Selfishly, I decided to wait on anything like that until my kids were all grown and gone. Incidentally, I ended up homeschooling all of my children the next year. Well, I should say that my husband and I both homeschooled them, and we got really radical after they came out of the school, and no, I don’t mean wearing matching jumpers. : D

              • Something happened to SO and I once we had those kids in our clutches, as it were. We decided, “What the hell! we will teach them what we want to teach them, and that’s exactly what we did. Oh, they got the requisite core curriculum, but we went for it on really stretching their thinking. We did everything short of selling the house, loading up a fifth wheel and traveling country non-stop although we did take them places most kids either never go or never go before they’re grown.

                In a way, I’m now glad I became disenchanted with my local school district or we would have never had those wonderful experiences.

                Okay, I’m off the soap box. : D

              • I also agree that the current trend of parents making lots of decisions for their kids is a contributing factor. So many of the parents I hear speaking about doing this is a desire for their children to be children as long as they can.

                The best thing I heard before having children was from a parent of adolescents who said he was raising adults in training and not teenagers. My husband and I adopted that approach and let our kids make all sorts of mistakes while they were living with us instead of raising hot house plants that would wither the moment they were out from under our roof.

              • Crap…I lost my reply – ergh!

                I want my kids to be kids too, but there are certainly some decisions they can and should make for themselves. Reminds me…I wonder if my son is hungry. He still hasn’t told me that he needs money in his lunch account – even though I know he does, it’s his job to keep me posted. He won’t die from missing lunch, but he just might learn a lesson. (I can just hear a few people gasping – I know, I’m heartless!) 🙂

              • Keep it up! LOL! Since he’s a smart boy, he’ll figure this one out really quickly.

                If I heard once, I heard countless times what a cold hearted parent I was. Maybe it wasn’t said that way, but some things were implied, and I got some funny looks from other parents when it came to things like this. I don’t regret a thing!! Yes, I was the mean parent who didn’t rush to the school house to ensure my kid was able to eat lunch. LOL!

                Of course if my child’s health had been very dependent on never missing lunch, I would have handled it differently. It’s sad I have to make that disclaimer, but I’m sure there may be some parents reading who freak out at my attitude.

              • Obscura–I loved where you talked about explaining to your daughter why she shouldn’t ride down the hill on her bike…nowadays the parents sue the city to have the hill removed.

              • My husband’s solution was to ban bike riding! Seriously dude…I think the broken collar bone made the point! That hill has been the bane to many a child forever…it’s not going anywhere 🙂

                (He also thinks they shouldn’t walk on frozen lakes or swim in rivers – ever! )

            • Photojournalism ethics! Ethics is the word that was eluding me in my foggy state this morning . . . as I said, tampering with images in newspapers and mags is a no-no. It’s having standards about things . . . This is why this whole photo doctoring thing is such a bugaboo with me. OK. this was for “entertainment” purposes, I suppose you could say, and not a straight news story. Still. Did they acknowledge when originally posting this it was a manip? OK, these fans are (presumably) not journalists, just over-enthusiastic shippers of Lee and Richard. But am I still allowed to let me bother me to see stuff like this potentially passed as as “real”?? Just tryin’ to stand up for my POV, y’all.

              A digital composite of a British soldier in Basra, gesturing to Iraqi civilians urging them to seek cover, appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times shortly after the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. Brian Walski, a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times and a 30-year veteran of the news business, was fired after his editors discovered that he had combined two of his photographs to “improve” the composition.

              In this National Geographic magazine cover story on Egypt by Gorden Gahen, the Great Pyramid of Giza was digitally moved to fit the magazine’s vertical format. Tom Kennedy, who became the director of photography at National Geographic after the cover was manipulated, stated that “We no longer use that technology to manipulate elements in a photo simply to achieve a more compelling graphic effect. We regarded that afterwards as a mistake, and we wouldn’t repeat that mistake today”.

              The Charlotte Observer fired Patrick Schneider, a staff photographer, for altering an image of a fire fighter. Following the incident, the paper released the following statement: “Photographer Patrick Schneider’s photo depicted a Charlotte firefighter on a ladder, silhouetted by the light of the early morning sun. In the original photo, the sky in the photo was brownish-gray. Enhanced with photo-editing software, the sky became a deep red and the sun took on a more distinct halo. The Observer’s photo policy states: No colors will be altered from the original scene photographed.” Schneider said that he only meant to restore the actual color of the sky that was lost when he underexposed the photo. Schneider was suspended in an earlier episode after it was revealed that his award-winning photographs had been manipulated. Scheider allowed this case to be used to educate other professional photographers in ethics seminars. At the time he pledged, “I will no longer tone my background down that far.”

              A photograph by Adnan Hajj, a Lebanese photographer, showed thick black smoke rising above buildings in the Lebanese capital after an Israeli air raid. The Reuters news agency initially published this photograph on their web site and then withdrew it when it became evident that the original image had been manipulated to show more and darker smoke. “Hajj has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under”, said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters. “This represents a serious breach of Reuters’ standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him.” A second photograph by Hajj was also determined to have been doctored.

    • As somebody who comes from a journalistic background where I tried to discover and write the truth and help people sort out facts from gossip and innuendo and propaganda–yes, to me, it does matter, Judi, and it always will. And it would be totally verboten to ever tamper with a photo in the way this one was done. People often wanted to have their images touched up for photos within the news portion of the paper–not ads, mind you, but straight news–and that is not allowed. You’ve altered the truth of the image. So from my perspective, it’s wrong and that’s not going to change. And you *knew” the photo of Tennant and RA was shopped. That makes a difference, I think. There’s a difference between being creative and having fun and presenting something as factual when it simply isn’t.

      Do I think these people are going to change their minds or their MO because of what I’ve written? Hardly. As I have said, I am preachin’ to the choir.

      I don’t take fandom all that seriously. Have you read my ” Richard’s Secret Thoughts” or suggestions somebody make a life-sized cake of RA? I laugh, I tease. I like to think I’d make RA laugh if I had the chance.

      But I am sick of people IN GENERAL (and not just over-enthusiastic fans of whomever) twisting the truth and accepting everything at face value like slack-jawed morons. Maybe I am just wasting my time, but then again, it’s my time to waste as I choose. 😉 And now I will briefly step off my soap box . . .

  6. I understand, I’m part of the choir to whom you’re preaching. Guess I may have become too cynical for my own good. Gotta watch that. (Plus I’m in the midst of NaNoWriMo and might have burned out some brain cells). 😉

  7. Hmmm.

    I don’t see a big formal or moral distinction between gossiping assertively about things one knows not to be true, writing stories, and photoshopping things that haven’t happened into reality. (Incidentally, the insertion or deletion of people in pictures is a practice that goes back to the beginning of photography and it was particularly frequent in the Soviet Union, where it had political purposes.) Would it be different if someone had painted a picture of them standing next to each other? I can’t see how. These are all various kinds of representations. Pictures are only not a representation if you think that a picture is a 1 to 1 representation of reality.

    On the critical question — I know from teaching that my students are very uncritical readers, much more so than I was at their age. I don’t know why this should be, but it’s true. It’s extended to a kind of visual illiteracy. As much as they may be digital natives, unless they’re photoshopping their own pictures (and most aren’t) they don’t really grasp what can be done to a picture. So critical looking is something we need to teach as much as critical reading and thinking. Unfortunately, our legislators are busy taking art classes off the table, and art history (the subject where I learned the most about how to look at things — including to ask where the shadow falls in a painting) is seen as a frou-frou topic in college.

    I don’t know what happened in the encounter you’re discussing, but it seems that one aspect of fandom is that you gradually lose naivete about things — including pictures. Fandom is a cognitive process.

    • I agree. It’s probably the reason I’ve developed an armor of cynicism in fandom, where I take everything I see and read with a grain of salt. There’s been too much water under the bridge.

    • That would be considered a photo illustration if you had a painting (or drawing or collage) of the two men together (speaking from a journalistic POV). But to Photoshop an image to make it appear two people were at the same event when we know they were not would be considered not cricket. Again, this is from a newspaper writer’s standpoint–a legitimate newspaper, not tabloid fodder, of course. 😉 Although lines seem to be blurring there all the time now, too. *sigh*

      This was someone fairly new to the fandom and fandoms in general, I think, and she was clearly, truly puzzled by a photo that looked real to her but which she knew had to be impossible, given the logistics involved. Older fans looked at it and said immediately, “Photoshop!”

      • So she wasn’t actually deceived. In fact, she had an important learning experience (don’t believe everything you see).

        Maybe I’m wrong — but wouldn’t the majority of people who were likely to be in a position to see a photoshopped picture of Armitage and Pace have a significant overlap with people who knew they were on different continents when that picture had to have been taken?

        I suppose there might be a few people who could be briefly drawn into lending credibility to the ship on the basis of this photo, but my impression is that, like most propaganda, photos like this primarily serve to uphold the worldviews of those who make them rather than convincing people to believe something they don’t believe.

        • Yes, but she also couldn’t understand why anyone would see the need to do it in the first place. Why?? So someone explained about the whole RA/Lee shipping thing. Yes, I agree you are right about the overlapping and once again, I AM PREACHING TO THE CHOIR LOL . . . maybe I just dislike propaganda and people trying to intentionally mislead others in general. Maybe I am too idealistic? Maybe I really need to grab some lunch and take a nap before I have to get ready for play rehearsal, as I’ve been up since 2 am. Yes, that’s definitely it! 😉

          • I just think that almost everything we’re talking about here is propaganda of some kind. Even “real” pictures are produced for a purpose. The good guys make propaganda too. Some we like, some we don’t, some we vehemently despise. It’s just hard for me intellectually to grasp that I should put images whose existence is necessitated or even created by a huge media enterprise like WB, which seeks actively to take as much money out of my pocket as it can, in a different category than a fan photoshop that implies a relationship by putting two people next to each other who weren’t in the same place at the same time. It’s clear that as far as I go, the effect of WB is much more sinister than the effect of the fan. But I should clamor for official photos or at least approve of them because they are more real? They also represent things that didn’t/don’t happen.

            • Oh, yes, I definitely feel manipulated by WB—but then it’s my decision to allow myself to be manipulated, I suppose. Nobody is holding a gun to my head, I suppose . . . I don’t think I am explaining myself very well here, maybe because I am just too tired. So I think I will close my ‘puter down for now and try to rest before rehearsing my lines yet again. 😉 Y’all carry on.

  8. There are good things about photoshop–but this isn’t one of them. Since I was at the NY event, of course, I know that Richard was in NYC while Lee was in London–but why even do this? Is there a point? I think I liked it better when pictures were just pictures and weren’t so easily manipulated to perhaps be something else. Such as all the photos I keep seeing where Richard’s head has been superimposed on someone else’s body–a huge pet peeve of mine. again, what’s the point–you can’t improve upon perfection.

      • Very interesting. Oh, I know that trickery has been involved almost since the birth of photography–and that later with moving images, many supposed “newsreels” were also faked, using toy ships in tanks of water for battles, for example– but I still believe photos presented with purported news stories should be unaltered. That’s what I learned during my on-the-job training, and I’ve stuck with it.

      • Certainly this has been going on for a long time. Just as news articles from the time the newspaper first appeared are not always correct giving rise to the old saw that you can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.

        What has me curious about highlighting the history (and this isn’t directed specifically at you at all but rather a question to everyone) is this: does it make any difference how long something has been going when determining whether it’s right or wrong?

        • There has been an awful lot of yellow journalism in the history of newspapers, there’s no doubt about it. I do not argue this. But I was taught (and not having a degree in journalism, I learned on the job) to have respect for and to adhere to modern journalistic ethics. Sadly, said ethics seem to be falling by the wayside as the line between news and entertainment seems to be blurring more and more . . . and as throngs of competitors race to be the first ones with the scoop . . . never mind checking your facts or verifying sources or making sure the photo is legit.

          And because this is where I come from, what I worked hard at for a decade, I don’t take some of the photoshopping antics as lightly as others do. Because I do think when you are dealing with real people, not fictional characters, and making it appear they are at a particular place at a fixed point in time when they in truth are not–to me, that’s deception. That’s cheating.

          Unless you fully admit this is the case. A number of respected publications, including Nat Geo and Time has gotten into trouble for Photoshopping covers and images within their pages in ways that lie to the reader. Yes, they may have made the image more aesthetically pleasing, but these are not art magazines. They are supposed to give us legitimate news and images that are un-retouched and unaltered.

          As for your query, Frenz, for me, the answer is no, it doesn’t.

          • I figured you felt this strongly about it, and I don’t blame you!

            I’ve joked quite a bit about manipulation on my blog, but I have never stated if someone manipulates that this makes it right for others. It’s morally suspect no matter who does it. What makes this issue hard to discuss is manipulation is on a continuum. Selling one’s abilities could be called manipulation to the point that someone confident could be construed as a manipulator. So it’s not black and white although this photos is definitely wrong.

            Phew! I’ve got to go! Talk to you later. : D

            • Yep, it’s a complex and complicated issue (not unlike the characters our Mr. A enjoys portraying 😉 ) And of course we are surrounded by manipulated images in advertising everywhere . . . Have a good day. I hope to eventually get some sleep.

  9. It is way too late anyway as there is very little else to be found by those that google for information about RA’s private life. And if/when those two will appear at the same promo event every interaction will be scrutinized. And if they don’t interact at all that will suspicious as well.

    But you are perfectly right about fans of this pairing somehow faking the truth and crossing boundaries between fanfiction and real life. I came across a discussion on AO3 between two people that write Richlee slash (which I enjoy BTW) who were doing that. They talk about LP auditioning against RA (never heard of that, though they do have great chemistry in the few scenes we saw), RA seeing a play LP was in (which he did, but they were talking about a different play at a different time, and RA went to see OB’s play in NYC as well) and stuff like them sharing a trailer which I have never heard of either.

    • Yeah, see, that sort of thing just makes me a little–uncomfortable. As if they’ve gotten a little too carried away with the whole fantasy, you know? And I’ve read some fanfic pairing the two I also liked. But I know it’s fiction. Sometimes I am not so sure some fans recognize that fact . . .

      • I am absolutely no fan of mixing fact and fiction and if RA’s private life and relationships are discussed I find it essential to separate fact and fiction to avoid spreading false rumours. And faking “photographic evidence” certainly fall into this category.

      • I’m sorry I despise that slasher stuff. I think it degrades the actors we say we care so much about. Think about a fan writing a story about Angie and one of the actresses once she finishes her local theater. Just a harmless slash story, the lush, she didn’t really kill that kid on the bike after they got drunk together after the play.. Just saying.. I love you, Angie, you know that.

          • What you want is a blogger to preach a sermon, and that’s not what the average blogger wants. We prefer discussion or as much of it as we can stand before someone steps in to tell anyone who disagrees with her that they’re engaged in moral evil. If you want a discussion, it means not starting from the point that everyone who disagrees with you is bathing in moral turpitude. So you say you want a blogger to take it on, but only if you can control the outcome of the discussion.

              • I have never seen anything else. You, like most people in this fandom, have a footprint and a pattern. Show me something else, something that defies the pattern, I’d be delighted to see it.

              • I quite like many of the people in this fandom, and their little ‘patterns’. Not all, of course.

    • The stuff about Lee auditioning against Richard is either fabrication or fantasy, since we’ve all seen Richard’s audition tape – and Peter Jackson isn’t in the habit.of having actors audition against people already cast. Few directors are, from what I hear.
      The trailer is probably another piece of fiction, although I can’t imagine where this would come from. Did these shippers have a source they cited?

      • It is not unheard off, RA did audition against DDA who was already cast for N&S. But there is no evidence that LP did audition against RA. I think the idea come from the rehearsal clip in one of the vlogs that made quite an impression on the shippers. But that is one thing and the audition something else entirely as no-one has ever said that.

        I am almost certain that the trailer is fabrication as I have read that nowhere and I also imagine that a production of the size of the Hobbit can afford trailers for everyone. I might be more inclined to believe it if we where talking about a small independent film. Most fanfics have the actors actually living in the trailers, which is nonsense. Even during the location shooting they did stay in local hotels and LP wasn’t on location at all.

        If twitter can be believed it is a fact that RA saw LP’s play in NY in winter 2013, but it is a fabrication that he flew from NZ to NY to attend the premier of another play a year earlier.

        • I hadn’t even heard the crazy rumour about the NZ to NY premiere. Thank, I think 😦
          As for the auditions, it doesn’t matter what happened on North & South, which was being cast in one country, at one time, presumably from a smaller pool of actors. This was a Peter Jackson film: big budget, big cast, a literally world-wide cast of actors. I’ve not heard of anyone that was auditioned against an already cast actor.
          However, I’m completely puzzled as to the significance of the two actors auditioning against each other and what it means as to their personal relationship. Maybe I need a crinkly tinfoil hat for the logic of that one to become obvious to me.

  10. Jane, you say it is essential to separate fact from fiction to avoid spreading false rumors. But in your previous comment, all you did was list all or most of the false facts and rumors thatare circulating- just about every one of them. What’s the thinking behind that? Moreover, I’m pretty sure no one in this discussion intends to discuss his Armitage’s private life in this forum at this time- if for no other reason, that there are no known facts to discuss.

  11. I’m really that you are tackling this head on, because you are a known and respected blogger, and this has already been going on for far too long.
    Richard Armitage and Lee Pace have only ever been seen anywhere together once, except ina work context, or the context of a cast outing – and that one example seems to possibly have been another group outing. From this, and going to someone’s play, the shippers have created a whole fantasy relationship, complete with faux facts (presumably the stuff about the trailer).
    Failing actual sightings, they’ve taken to creating photomanips. Yes, plural. This is the third one I’ve seen. The other ones consisted taking a photo from the premiere of Strikeback years ago and placing Lee Pace where Andrew Lincolm was, and an equally ‘clever’ manip which put Richard in the outfit he wore in London apparently standing beside Lee Pace in the outfit *he* wore in NYC at the premiere. At least one of these things were then posted at a gay gossip site as serious ‘proof’ that the 2 are a couple! Obviously those with experience of critical thinking skills, knowledge photoshop, or of the actual actors will realize that these photos are laughable fakes, but new fans won’t.
    I guess my point is that the actors are not fictional characters, they’re human beings. Their personal lives are not toys to be played with by bored fans. It’s one thing to create ships and fiction about fictional characters, another to create them about real people, and then yet another step farther to claim that you fictions are truth.

  12. More serious bloggers would take this topic on if we thought we could have a discussion about it that didn’t involve someone immediately entering the forum to swing the heaviest moral hammer they could find. I’ve had a post about this ready to go for eight months, and I got close to publishing it about ten days ago, but witnessing this yet again just tires me out.

  13. Well said Cill.

    And at the risk of looking like the dumb one with no critical thinking skills, I haven’t always spotted a photoshop instantly. A future fan won’t necessarily look at the example above and know it’s a fake due to the lads being on different continents at time of taking. Most of us lead busy lives, with a bit of fangirling on the side, and we simply don’t have the time or inclination to question everything we see in the half hour or so we get to indulge our hobby. The problem is that they might be created with no intention of deception ( I’m being generous there and giving the photoshoppers the benefit of the doubt) but once they are out there anything can happen. I see the DT/RA shot and the RA with Gerard Butlers legs pictures on the net all the time, with no reference to what they really are.

    I’m normally the first one to point out that RA is a grown man and capable of looking after himself but how do you think it would feel to know there are photoshopped images of you doing things you may or may not do in RL? Frustrating, hurtful, annoying, are just a few emotions that spring to mind.

    Should the fun have to stop just because some of us are too dim to ‘get it’? Yes – when it is disrespectful to the subject- I think it should.

    • If that’s the criterion you’re going to apply, I’d just like to point out that it would tend to make impossible every “RA’s Secret Thoughts” post on this very blog. They are photoshops of pictures that put irreverent words in Richard Armitage’s mouth.

    • Or should I have stopped writing satire about Armitage’s beard because a few fans in Russia put my post in a machine translator and were horrified by it, not having realized it was satire? Is no satire allowed at all? It all puts irreverent words in Armitage’s mouth and puts him in places where he hasn’t been.

      • Oh, wow, this is getting rather heated but quite interesting. I’m not going to close comments, because I really do wish to know what you all think, whether or not I totally agree or disagree with you all. I have more to say, but I’ve got things to do before I leave for rehearsal (and heaven forbid anyone decide to write any fan fiction about that ham playing the drunken, lonely and filthy rich “widder woman.” I will say this, my viewpoint is not intended to be from a standpoint–I am not trying to tell people how to live, honestly– but concerns journalistic ethics, which is something that concerned me very much for a decade and still concerns me. And yes I know==these people aren’t journalists . . . I think it will take some time and another post to address what is on my mind. 😀 In the meantime y’all try to play nice, ladies.

  14. Bollyknickers, if we’re at the point where fans are being censored for what someone else thinks is disrespectful behavior and when some fans want to monitor what others create, then we’re in more trouble than I thought. The limit on how far we can go vis a vis speech or art, is the first amendment here in the U.S. I know there is something analogous in Australia. Why should fans be subject to more restrictive prohibitions than the rest of society? We’re talking about art, opinion and fiction, none of which is subject to restrictions on speech. What is the justification for imposing limitations on fans because what they do may hurt Richard Armitage’s feelings?

      • I’m not saying that. I’m saying you don’t have a right to impose your opinion on me or others.You don;t have a right to regulate me. No one attacked what you wrote- because you wrote what your opinion was. I understand that you think some of this is disgusting- and that’s just fine with me. But when someone says ” it has to stop.” You shouldn’t be doing it- that’s not the same thing as expressing your opinion. It’s my opinion that incessant nonsense talk about chesticles and arstitage, nape curl porn is unseemingly and stupid- and I would guess some of the squeeing that’s done -peaches, packages, is pretty disrespectful to Richard Armitage- but I wouldn’t think of telling people not to do it. I just don’t do it and I stop reading when it gets pervasive There’s a difference. But I don’s say it has to stop, though I wish it would..

        • So basically, *I’m* the one who doesn’t have a right to a point of view?
          You know, no one has asked me what I meant by “It has to stop”. Some people have just been too busy jumping on me.

          • OK, so tell us: what does “it has to stop” mean — apart from that some unspecified party (who isn’t doing it here, btw) should stop doing it? Is there another meaning to “it has to stop”?

            • It was an expression of exasperation, like “enough is enough already”.
              Believe me or not, I really don’t care. That’s what I meant.

          • You were not the target of my reply about” you have to stop.” Bolly was. You were the target of me pointing out the irony of you objecting to shippers relying on nonsense as proof and spreading rumors- and constantly repeating those rumors, giving them more credence and in more widely read fora. I’m not telling you not to do it- I am pointing out it’s contrary to your stated purpose.

            • That’s a fair point. Perhaps I should not have brought up the other manips.
              However, I didn’t think that by discussing Peter Jackson’s method of auditioning vs. those of other directors I was really spreading a rumour since it had already been introduced into the conversation by Jane.

    • I thought we were supposed to be fans of Richard Armitage? Shouldn’t we care about his feelings?

      • Please, ladies, no profanity projected at each other. It’s not that I don’t use bad words, I’d just prefer that not be used in this way here, OK? Thank you.

      • You drive your fandom your way and I’ll drive mine my own way. And if you’re such a fan and care about him so much, why do you keep spreading the same old rumors every chance you get- by pointing out that these rumors are terrible- and in case you don’t know what they are- here’s a list of all the shipper rumors.

        • I may have participated in discussion about the rumours, but I have not spread them and I do not appreciate the twisting of my posts here, You yourself were the one that pointed out that Jane brought them up, and I merely discussed the unlikeliness of some of the rumours.

          • So discussing photo manips is not discussing rumors … that’s hairsplitting IMO. The primary place where I see you (your “pattern,” if you will) is in discussions that touch on this ship. I’ve seen a handful of comments about other things since I ran across you, but your main rhetorical purpose seems to be to pronounce on this ship and the random fans who like it — and oddly, as far as I can tell, it’s only among people who actually criticize the ship. Why are you here?

            • Have we taken leave of reality here? I have commented on just about every post on the blogs of MorrighansMuse and kelbel, meaning almost daily. I have commented on Fedoralady’s blog, and this is maybe the second time that the topic of this ship has ever come up here – if that. (Fedoralady might remember the discussion we had about fibroymyalgia).
              I have commented on RAFrenzy’s blog, and I don’t think that the topic has come up even once.
              In fact, in my previous discussions with you, we talked about many fandom issues related to shipping and so forth *in general*. Many of them concerned the ships of the LOTR actors, and the fandom meltdowns related to them. So please take your accusations and stow them.

            • Why are we all here? That’s a question that needs to be asked of every single one of us commenting on this post right now, and shouldn’t be limited to only one person.

              • We were having a reasoned discussion without anyone preaching at each other despite some significant disagreement. I was participating in the reasoned discussion. Until I got preached at.

          • Same thing in my opinion. It only extends the discussion- but you’re right, I confused you and Jane for a minute. Absolutely correct.

            • I did mention rumours I read elsewhere but only to point out the difference between the rumour and the fact. I did nothing Angie did not do by posting the manipulated pic and pointing out that it is fake. Nothing can be done against rumours being out there, these days there are so many that it is no longer a question of not spreading them by not mentioning them. But discussing them honestly to separate fact and fiction actually may help because some new fans may read it. And if RA wouldn’t be that private about his private life, things would be different anyway.

              • IMO I don’t think fans need to be told what’s fact or fiction. They’ll figure it out for themselves. But as to your final point, I detect the same old saw about RA keeping his private life to himself. It’s fine with me if he wants to keep his private life private. Isn;t it fine with you?

              • Many people don’t think very far, apparently the fact that there is a “is he dating LP?” thread on IMDb is enough for some people to regard it is a fact. Some people genuinely don’t know what is fact and what is fiction because there is so much information out there, someone claims to have read something somewhere or someone adds two and two and gets ten and presents their conclusion as a fact.

                It doesn’t matter if it is fine with me for RA to keep his private life private, the result is that very few confirmed facts are out there to compensate rumours. The situation is quite different with lets say Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, another popular slash pairing. I don’t think many people confuse that with reality because it is well known how the reality of both gentlemen’s life and romantic past looks. Nobody thought RA was dating Orlando Bloom either when they had lunch together. In the end it is RA’s decision and he has to live with it.

  15. For what it’s worth — the original post was about two topics — visual (il)literacy and the possible failure to think critically (which wasn’t established) and the fact that the Armitage / Pace ship was the focus of that particular incident of visual illiteracy. I personally happen to think that the belief in the reality of the ship involves multiple errors of cognition and reasoning, and I’ve been amused by following their trail across the Internet. I also think that people should question what they see and read. I stand for that — how many articles have I published on critical reading of Armitage interviews now? Something like seven?

    Yet somehow this discussion turned into an unpleasant exchange about the (il)legitimacy of shipping and particularly of photoshopping to provide fake evidence for a ship. Statements were made about the motivations of the person who made the manip, when we have no idea of why the manip was made or what its original purpose was. In other words, most of this discussion is OT, and Cill, I’m sorry to say, you are at the center of every discussion of the illegitimacy of shipping that I have ever seen on a blog that I follow. Even though none of these blogs are actually pro-shipping! This post certainly wasn’t. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me that all you ever have to say about it is that it’s wrong and that you come in to say it, and extend the point, on posts of people who actually agree with you. You then want to legislate about what people can do based on the allegation of harm that you have never actually proven. Now you’re alleging hurt feelings in the mind of someone who’s never said a word about it either way). There are tons of cognitive and reasoning errors occurring in our world every day. Not all of them occur in the minds of shippers.

    So, I’m done now as I’d actually like to write something.

  16. Oh dear – it was me that used the term “should the fun have to stop..”, and i was paraphrasing RA when i said it. I apologise if it came across as a criticism of anyone in particular because it truly wasn’t meant that way – what i was trying to convey is that MY opinion that photo shopping is going too far because a photo can bounce about in cyber space for ever and can turn up in unexpected places. I don’t think it is the same as some of the satirical written works that tend to be read by an interested audience and then disappear into the archives (although i acknowledge it is feasible one could be dug up by someone who takes it seriously retrospectively). The same goes for the more controversial writing – which is often password protected or clearly marked with warnings so no one can legitimately say they didn’t realise. However, those photo’s turn up daily on (for example) Pinterest with no explanation, credit or reference. I also don’t think it is the same thing at all as Angie’s thought bubbles pictures which are clearly not meant to be real.

    FWIW – i posted that comment and went about my daily business (blissfully unaware of how much upset i had caused) and as i drove along i did cogitate on where my line is drawn. Personally, there are a lot of writing genres i don’t enjoy and my response to those is just not to look, which is quite easy. So my question was why the photo shopping triggers me so strongly. Are they any more disrespectful to the subject than some of the writing (and i stress the word ‘some’ – the sites i hang around are the ones that i feel do respect RA) that is out there? Probably not – but, for me, they just seem harder to avoid.

    • OK, I am truly sorry this descended into an argument, because this certainly isn’t what I intended when I wrote the original post. Not at all. I just needed to express a concern I feel about spreading gossip and manipulated images about ANYONE.

      I do have an issue with photoshopping that is not clearly identified as such–call me anal-retentive in this area, whatever, it goes back to the whole newspaper background–and I do realize that with the WWW it takes no time at all for words and images to go all over the place and to be posted here, there and yonder by people who just don’t care if it’s properly credited or who truly have no idea who the originator was (I have posted some fanart I really liked when I couldn’t find who to attribute to and later, when I did find out, I gave them proper credit). And if anyone takes my “Richard’s Secret Thoughts” seriously, I humbly apologize. I call it having a sense of humor and taking a good-natured poke at the our shy and reserved sex symbol.

      I am with Bolly, there is some stuff out there in the fandom I don’t really care for for various reasons, and so I avoid it–simple as that. But it’s hard for to avoid what shows up on my Facebook feed as this particular photo did.

      And Cill, I was hurrying before I had to leave for rehearsals, but yes, the request not to curse was meant for Arkie, not for you.

      And now I am going to put this issue to bed for the night and move on to something else for now.

      • I hope you get a good night’s rest, Angie. I just came back home and read this, and now I’m off to bed myself.

        Before I go, my two cents (and that may be what it’s worth to some of you. LOL!). In order to have a discussion and be able to disagree, the parties involved cannot take things personally even if they’re meant personally. Yep, easier said than done, but that’s pretty much the bottom line.

        • Thanks, Frenz, I am actually watching one of those truly cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies while I work on some stuff for the Humane Society. Needed something that wouldn’t overtax my brain. 😉 Tomorrow is another day . . .

      • I haven’t been around fandom much lately and the disintegration of these comments is definitely a confirmation that I’ve made the right call to step away. But I want to point something out, that I have yet to see mentioned. The original post where this image was shared was on Tumblr and was correctly labeled as someone’s edit/manip. So putting aside whether or not we as individuals like this kind of thing, the issues is not the edit itself. What matters here is OTHER fans, not the photoshopper. Other fans through ignorance, naivety, laziness or who knows what have shared this person’s manip without labels and tags or some other descriptor that explains what this image is. So perhaps a more productive conversation would be about responsible fangirling when it comes to sharing other people’s edits and manips. That is something the fandom can do something about, unlike getting everyone in fandom to see eye-to-eye on what is appropriate and what is not.

        I’ve personally been on the other end of this, having my RA in a kilt manip shared all over the internet without clarification that it was in fact a manipulation. That resulted in me being accused of trying to deceive other fans. Talk about taking the fun out of things.

        • Photos whether manipulations or not are subject to easily losing their meta data. So when there is a manipulation that’s subtle enough to look real, it’s probably going to be misconstrued as real. That’s just the hazard of making a manipulation.

          But there is a difference, at least to me, of putting RA in a kilt and putting him next to someone to imply he’s in a close relationship with them. I vote for more RA in kilt. : D


          • You’re point is totally valid. But I would still suggest that this entire post could have been avoided if fellow fans had bothered to look at the meta data and pass it along when sharing the manip elsewhere. Just because it is easy for that information to get lost doesn’t mean we shouldn’t encourage and educate fans to do their best not to lose it. Then there would not or at least shouldn’t be shaming of another fan. In this case such shaming was done by accusing them of losing the difference between reality and fantasy and trying to make said fantasy real through making an unmarked manip.

            This is probably falls into the ad hominem attack mode. But I can’t help but feel that Angie should have exercised some of that journalistic integrity she went on and on about in the comments before she published this post. Then she would have known that that the photoshopper marked it as an edit/manip and wasn’t trying to fool anyone or make Rich/Lee a “real” thing.

            • Unless the person who made the manipulation is a complete newbie on tumblr, then there’s a good chance they know the source of a photo gets lost and hence its meta data. What I sense from Angie is frustration that things like this get propagated with the likelihood the creator of the pic knew what they were doing and the mention of it being a manipulation an ass covering move.

              As for how I see the pic, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about it. To me a pic like that says boredom. But to be fair, I have to admit my blog has mostly been done out of boredom. Time sitting in doctor’s offices and hospitals and not wanting to think about anything else that’s heavy. Maybe that’s what was happening with the tumblr poster. They were filling up time and thought, hey, what the hell, Tom and Richard together. Yeah! LOL!

            • Let me be more clear. I don’t know what the person who made this pic was thinking. I am just speculating that they knew what they were doing or they were just doing it on a lark and not thinking. it’s one of the two, and as for Angie posting, I think she is educating people that these things can happen and don’t believe everything you see.

              • Last comment from me, because this is really probably a waste of both of our times. But if this post was educating people about not believing everything you see, it wouldn’t have included comments about creators of such things losing sight of fantasy vs reality, them trying to make the pairing real and so on. That was NOT educational, that was making assumptions about someone that are totally unfounded and frankly, really hateful and below Angie as a person.

                I’m all for educating people not to believe what they see. I’ve had two instances of people believing something I made was legit and then I had to go back and clarify what it was. I’d much rather they learn how to differentiate from the get go. I’m also totally cool with people disliking homoerotic manips of RA. Hater’s hate on the graphics all you want. That is totally your right. But if you’re going to knock someone (not just their artwork) for doing it (I’m not saying you are, this is a general you) do it based solely on your own opinion and truthful facts. Don’t try and legitimate your point with false perceptions of other’s thoughts and motives.

                And I just want to make sure it’s clear. I wouldn’t even bother writing this if I didn’t think Angie was a good person who is better than this post.

              • Angie, who was the poster of the pic? I don’t know, but now JasRangoon’s defense has me curious about all of the passion here about the individual. Not just from her but others and obviously yourself.

              • Okay, I lied and I’m back. 😉 While I’m not comfortable sharing the name of the original poster, they seem to be a Lee fan based on the name of their blog, although they blog pics of lots of actors. But this, along with my own personal experience of being given a hard time over a manip, is what makes me passionate about sticking up for the person:

                If you look at the tags on this screencap of the original post, you can see that they specifically tagged it as “my edit” and “fan made.” That’s not someone who is confused about reality. They know what they created falls firmly in the realm of fantasy. Nor are they trying to confuse others. This why I think all fans need to try and be more responsible about passing on the meta data along with the manips–all manips, not just those that are controversial.

                I don’t know if it matters, but part of the blog name is in Chinese. So perhaps cultural differences are at play here as well.

              • A relative newbie to the fandom who ran across the pic somewhere on the internet with no information on who had created it or that it was, in fact, a manip. Thus her confusion. She asked, “I don’t understand this photo, Weren’t these guys in two different places that day?” I think she was legitimately confused and not trying to bait anyone. Everyone is not as tech savvy as some are and don’t give things closer scrutiny to determine if the image is real or PSed. Not suggesting she was stupid or naïve, just human. (She posted it in the Richard Armitage Appreciation Society’s page (an open group) on FB. This is where I first saw it. I don’t spend much time on Tumblr).

                I am truly sorry this has turned into such a mess and now I’m being accused of something I truly, honestly did not intend, to demonize whoever first made this manip (which I did not know).

                I have just had my first relatively decent night’s sleep in several days, and perhaps my lack of adequate rest and a brain overburdened with RL concerns led me to write a post I should have put more thought and consideration into. If I have offended anyone out there, I do offer deepest apologies. As it is, I went with my gut concerns about the proliferation of images and material which often lose original identification data as they are passed from one social media site to another and thus float around to be used in a variety of ways.

                I am now going to close comments on this subject as I don’t think we are getting anywhere at this point other than beginning to hurt one another’s feelings. I you feel the need to contact me, do so by email. Thank you.

  17. I was thinking about this post this morning, and if I’m really candid, I honestly don’t have time to think about this. I mean no offense to anyone here by that. It’s just the truth. I’ve got a thousand and one things to do today, and after I comment, I’ll have to be off to do them or suffer for it.

    If someone (no matter who it is) deigns to state an opinion, they should be willing to live with the consequences (or the rewards) of what they say. About half of you were insulted by that comment, because it’s stating the obvious. Please know that wasn’t my intent, but sometimes maybe the obvious is good?

    Further, I’ve said plenty on my blog that some of you hated, and you’ve let me know it both publicly and privately. Oh man, have you let me know it. But when I read negative responses, I try to keep in my mind the idea that I should not utter something I think and expect everyone to agree or in some respects fall in line with the thinking.

    Now if we’re talking about my kids, it’s a whole ‘nother story. LOL!

  18. The chances of this reply getting to the right four posters is next to zero, but here goes:
    @Frenz, @JasRangoon@FL- the original post FL referred to was on Richard Armitage Appreciation Society Facebook page and no one was confused about its authenticity. She said, ” This picture is a mystery … how are Richard and Lee in the same place on the same afternoon since Richard was in New York and Lee in London?’ Any manipulated photo could have been used to illustrate the point FL said she wanted to make- don’t believe everything you see. No other lesson was necessary because the poster also said she was aware of rumors. So, in a post that touted truth and ethics in journalism, the facts were fudged.
    @jane – i know you always campaign for Richard Armitage to disclose his private life, but the idea that knowing about his private life will hush rumors is not convincing in a world where tabloids make up stories and publish misleading headlines anyway.You seem to be saying that if we knew facts about his life then rumors can be refuted- but if we know *nothing* about his private life, then rumors can also be refuted- because the retort is that there are no facts to support the rumors. I’ve been on DataLounge and I can tell you- but you probably know- some of those people are irrational. When presented with the argument that what they’re touting as proof is no proof at all- it doesn’t move them or change their opinion.
    As to the IMDB board, some troll who never posted before came in with that thread for the purpose of, well trolling. Anyone who bothers to read the comments will soon learn that the rumors are baseless.

    • And, one last thing, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t care one way or another whether Richard Armitage discloses or reveals his private life- sure, I’d like to know, but this discussion and others like it convince me that he might be onto something in keeping it private.

    • Perry, I’m having trouble following some of your comment, but I do want to say that some of it seems to highlight my point.

      This post seems to be totally based on the “original” Facebook post. There is no mention of any effort to find out where the manip came from, which is the Tumblr post where it was tagged appropriately. Had FL looked for the original and found it I would like to think that this part of her post wouldn’t have been included:

      “But it is important to recognize there is a difference between fantasy and reality, between wanting to look like an exotic gypsy-ish creature and actually being the vanilla girl next door. A difference between thinking “Gee, wouldn’t those two gorgeous guys make a hot-looking gay couple?” and enjoying some slashy fanfic along the way, and deciding this relationship MUST be so, it IS so, and by golly, you will MAKE it so. Come hell or high water!!”

      I just don’t see how anyone thinks it is appropriate to suggest that a person has lost the ability to recognize the difference between reality and fantasy or that they are going to “make it so” is somehow acceptable. Especially in this situation, where if one goes back to the actual original post it is listed as “fan made.” This reads very much to me like she’s saying the manip maker has some kind of psychological or mental illness. Not. Cool. At. All.

      The point she makes about not believing everything you see is one that people need to learn. Unfortunately for me, it was lost amid baseless accusations of another’s thoughts and motives. Which is even more reprehensible in a post where journalistic integrity is being touted.

      This may be a low blow, but it needs to be said. Angie, as someone who lost a job because of another fan attributing thoughts and motives to her that weren’t true should know better than to do the same to others.

      • @jasrangoon. I think what I’m unsettled about and what you’re unsettled about are different things – you think the post unnecessarily targeted the original artist who knew reality from fantasy but was described as psychologically ill. I was unsettled because this post portrayed the Facebook person who made posted it as a dupe and an uncritical thinker, when she wasn’t. Either way, there was a lack of journalistic integrity in this post.
        Then, there is the line of comments that consider these sorts of manips as tools to spread and substantiate rumors. I don’t think that’t the purpose of the manips- I think others use them in that way, but I still say that only a moron would draw any conclusions about someone from a photo like this one- real or doctored, and only a fool would believe rumors based on some of the other “evidence” floating around. Anyone with half a brain would figure out that the headline- “John Sleeps with Mary”, can’t be supported by a photo of John and Mary. Some have said they want to protect other fans from believing false information, but I believe you don’t have to be a genius or a detective to figure it out.
        There are other issues in this post and comment thread, but I think these are the ones you and I have communicated on.

    • It is not as easy as that, it is not just that tabloids fake stories, celebrities pay paparazzi and fake relationships for PR reasons as well or are suspected to do so. It is walking a thin line. It is way too late for RA to disclose anything now, it wouldn’t be believable. He should have done that when I was a TV actor. But a ton of actors manage a good balance, they aren’t publicity whores, they aren’t pestered by paparazzi most of the time and there aren’t many rumours about them. You just find the information you expect to find. Yes, a lot of things that are probably rubbish get written about BC but I don’t think that having a relationship with MF is one of them. By the logic of many people the lack of evidence for romantic relationships with women is all the evidence they need.

      • Sorry, I can’t do this anymore I’ll see you on another post regarding another topic. A lot of people wasted a lot of time with you on the IMDB board over this same topic and I’m just done.

  19. What I find amusing is that every time things even tangentially touch on RA’s private life, fans get screamish, even while they protest “but I don’t care what he does in his private life!”

    What do pics of two men supposedly standing side by side really mean whether they are PSed or not? Nothing. What if RA and LP actually pose in the same picture together? Is fandom going to freak out because they stood side by side? Does it matter? Does it matter if they’re acquaintances, close friends, lovers or even hate each other? Are fans hinging their devotion on what they think he does privately?

    Is anybody else seeing the absurdity of all of this? I don’t know whether it is about this fandom, but I’ve never experienced anything like in others. I wonder what all the screamishness says about this fandom.