Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

Fan A-Z Challenge

B.) Which of his chaRActers do you think RA is most like? which is he most unlike?
I’m going to go in another direction here, because I have a hard time using Richard’s film characters to answer this question. I find a little bit of him in every character he plays.

Richard Armitage: potty mouth

I think that Richard (and most actors) have personas that they adopt when doing press and promos. not that they’re pretending, necessarily, but that they play up certain parts of themselves in order to get the job done.

what will it be today, adorkable or intimidating?

Unfortunately, I think that the Twitter Richard persona is probably the closest to who he is behind closed doors. I say ‘unfortunately’ because I have issues with his approach to using Twitter.

incoming criticism, arm yourselves!

Case in point: the recent brouhaha where an entertainment critic used Richard for her own gain, banking on the fact that his fans would come out of the woodwork to defend him. instead of passing on by, Richard chose to reply to her remarks. I understand the urge to confront a remark like that, truly I do (I’ve given in to it myself a time or seven) but in my opinion, Richard responding to baiting like that shoots his cyberbullying ambassadorship all to hell.

Richard, wondering where I hitched the horse I rode in on.

And then there’s the constant self correction. I’m a fan of Richard Armitage, I happen to think he’s pretty swell and so do a lot of other fans, many of whom follow his example in everything that he does. so when he apologizes for being himself, that’s not a lesson I want others to replicate. if you regret saying off the cuff things publicly, then curb that habit of saying them. if you constantly find yourself removing tweets because you regret that you posted them, think long and hard about what you decide to tweet in the future.

Laurel or Yanny- do I want to go to war today?

Or if you’re like me and remove things because you can’t stand your own grammar mistakes, then petition Twitter to add an Edit button. start several petitions, I will sign them all.

me, constantly rethinking my choice of emojis

Moving on to ‘least like’ character: Photoshoot Richard. I’m not saying Richard never smolders in his everyday life, I’m sure he does in certain circumstances

 

but generally speaking, I think Photoshoot Richard is much too confident.

boots don’t belong on furniture, mister!

I’m glad he’s not as confident though because that is part of his appeal, regardless of all that stuff I just said about Twitter…

I know I’m confusing, Richard, you should try living with me! no, seriously, you should live with me.

So yeah, I have conflicting feelings. Richard does that to me. I like that he does that to me- I can’t really explain why that is. I do know that he makes me feel, and he makes me think, and that’s why I keep coming back for more.

and this. I keep coming back for this too.

 

31 thoughts on “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

  1. Pingback: Richard Armitage tangentially related | Me + Richard Armitage

  2. This is interesting. We might differ slightly on our reading of the incident (I think her first tweets were made in total or near-total ignorance — she thought she’d get a freebie by slamming an unknown and a lot of approval and was surprised that he had fans — at that point, though, yes, she figured she’d use it to her benefit). But I have a lot of sympathy with your position about his Twitter personality. As you know I think the Cybersmile Foundation’s position on cyberbullying is incoherent — but I also agree that someone who has as much problem communicating on Twitter as Armitage is not ideal as an ambassador for their initiatives (no matter what I think of those).

    But I think the whole “say what you mean, and mean what you say” principle that I associate with moral adulthood is undermined by his tweeting patterns. I’m not saying one can’t change one’s mind — but if one doesn’t want to have an intense political discussion on Twitter in a fandom where many people are highly informed and involved and have and frequently share their strong political opinions, than perhaps one might choose not to start one. I thought it was interesting that they chose Stephen Fry as an ambassador (I’m sure he will claim to having been bullied on Twitter), because from my view, he is very prepared to start fights he doesn’t really want to ride out. That’s fine, but that makes one’s own moral high ground rather shaky.

    Well, we thought we might see more glimpses of the “real” Armitage due to twitter. Be careful what you ask for, is the moral, I suppose. The only thing I’d emphasize more than you do is that Twitter is also a performance of self. A less effective one no doubt, but also a performance.

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    • Hi Kelly! Nice blog you have here! Remember me? 🙂

      I agree with you Serv that the critic was probably shocked at the number of vociferous fans RA had but decided to go for the gusto. I think RA means well in his involvement in CyberSmile but his presentation is so damn shallow and trite. Dealing with the subject of bullying requires a more visceral approach than what he’s willing to give however. I’d like him to share his stories and be a bit more SJW on the topic rather than trot out platitudes and cliches but it’s not likely that he will unburden himself anytime soon.

      Which leads me the disappointing Twitter thing. I would agree with Kelly that he’s also presenting a persona there, but wouldn’t it be more…polished…by now? If it’s a performance, it’s a poor one. At times, I think he’s being as close to his real self as possible through all the “don’t ruffle feathers” baggage. All the deleted tweets suggest that he wants to be off the cuff but second guesses himself every time. You would think a man approaching 50 would feel more secure and confident on Twitter by now but there you have it. I’m also baffled that he hasn’t learned how to deal with his rowdy fandom. The best thing would have been to be quiet and let them duke it out, but he wanted to defuse the situation, which he did very smoothly and diplomatically . So he does a lot of bumbling around and then suddenly these smooth bits pop up. Which is the persona? Which is him?

      After grumbling to myself that RA was no Tom Hiddleston and would never be, I finally accepted that fact and stopped looking at his tweets (although I live in hope he will blow up fandom one day).

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      • I think he gets caught up in his own ‘sainthood’. I can empathize with that. there have been plenty of times on this blog when I’ve striven to give the most well meaning advice, to show the best version of myself b/c I knew that people were watching, and if I could gently push them in the right direction then maybe I could feel like I’ve done some good in the world. but then it got to the point where my ‘saintliness’ made me want to vomit, so I climbed down off my high horse and put him out to pasture 😀

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      • I guess we’re not going to agree about whether his response was a good one. I didn’t think so at the time and still don’t. None of this was a good look for him IMO. But I’m *really* hostile to his interventions in the fandom, maybe more so now than I was four years ago. Twice a year would be more than enough for me. (It would also allow him to be more controlled.) I am really hoping we don’t get another “message” for Stop Cyberbullying Day this year.

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        • I’m curious why it strikes you as an intervention in the fandom. I think he really was directing it at her, calling her out on it. Yes, it was done publicly where the fandom could see it, but that’s where he might think it could have maximum impact on her, potentially. And then the horoscope tweet was definitely for the fans.

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          • Because given that he could assume he would have no influence over someone like that, the only people who would be likely to pay attention automatically were the fans. It wasn’t a message to her, it was a message to us.

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          • Unless the point was the satisfaction of shaming someone who doesn’t realize they are being shamed, in that English way. Then the influence isn’t as important. If there’s a message to the fandom, it’s pretty indirect.

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          • We had a long talk about that possibility on my blog that I won’t rehash here, but: (a) if the point was shaming her in the English way, then it really WAS a message to fans, because they are the only ones paying attention and the ones who would be laughing at her behind her back (so to speak); and (b) if he was shaming her in the English way, there’s no way in h*** she noticed it. So again, I don’t see how the message was really directed at her except incidentally.

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          • It was marginally better than being told to shut up.

            I honestly wish that he’d just at some point say “I don’t need you to defend me.” Shatner did this to great effect. However, at the same time, part of fandom is arguing over preferences. Often it gets heated. Talent should stay out of it, because it’s not about him, it’s about fandom identity. This is something he consistently fails to appreciate — that the fandom experience is only coincidentally about him.

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          • Yes, more direct would better. I don’t think the Dana person is part of a fandom, though. She’s an Internet personality and supposed entertainment journalist. But I guess also a Pine fan.

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          • No, of course she’s not part of the fandom. That’s the point. He’s heard many more cutting judgments of his work in venues that probably matter more to him (I’m thinking e.g. of the Guardian TV critic in 2010 who called him variations on wooden all the way through Spooks 9). I don’t think he gave very much attention to what she said. And she only said it once, and she never tagged him until she apologized. OTOH there was a constant stream of tweets about it from fans because one of the things fans do is protect their crushes. There was almost no Armitage discussion on Twitter in 2010 but there was a similar level of vehemence against the Guardian TV critic. Just as their were fans who slogged their way through the TORN message board to defend him against people who protested his casting, and on and on. That’s why I’m saying that this was a message to fans — because the huge burden of tweets came not from people being incited to diss him, but from his defenders. She was almost immaterial.

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          • Well, you may be right. Sometimes I just wish we could ask what was in his mind when he did things. It certainly puts a different read on it if him tweeting “you may have a point” was meant to tell fans that they should let her have her point and stop arguing with her. It’s not how I had understood it, but it definitely could be.

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          • Not quite: the message to fans was that they should let her have her (non-)point because she was being ridiculous (hence the emoji nerdface, which was presumably ironic).

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          • I dunno — but the inclusion of emojis definitely adds to the difficulty of interpretation. As well as the cultural boundary. It’s just the case that I rarely find an interpretation of a tweet of his that I find both credible and flattering to him. Either the credible reading isn’t flattering, or the flattering reading isn’t credible.

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          • “I just wish we could ask what was in his mind when he did things” me, every time he tweets! I initially thought the ‘you may have a point’ line was in regards to her suggestion that a lesser known actor was used to let the women shine. all in all, I think the over all tone of the tweet was meant to be cheeky, to agree that she was probably right in her opinion but the fact that she was so ballsy to say so deserved teasing. but that’s just one interpretation out of many…

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    • I focused here on the negative aspects of ‘Twitter Richard’ being closest to the real him, but there are positives too. I hope he really does have the witty and sometimes not politically correct (gasp!) humor he has shown in his tweets (before he gets the complaints that causes him to removes all traces of it). I hope the compassion he shows is indeed an integral part of his personality and not just amplified for public consumption. part of me hopes he really is as innocent about how celebrity and fandom work, that he’s not as jaded and cynical as I can be about them. all in all, I’d just like him to stand up for himself more, be proud of who he is off screen as well as on.

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  3. Great post, Kelly. I love how you mix the humour and gifs with some good analysis.
    I wasn’t as troubled by his response to the insulting tweep. I think he called her out in a very matter of fact way and let her know that she had been caught. And then he walked away.
    The tweet/delete stuff I’m not a fan of, though. I think that he has a bit of spontaneity there, but then goes over and over things and wants to take back what he’s said. But yeah, maybe Twitter isn’t the best medium for him.

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    • I try to use humor to break up the seriousness and make it fun when I can, b/c I know that I’m much more likely to give something consideration if it’s suggested to me and not forced upon me. I will automatically reject something if it’s implied that I ‘should’ feel it or if I’m being guilted into it. and maybe if I stand alone in my opinion, then the lightheartedness will distract you from attacking me; Richard’s not the only one with a fragile ego 😉

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