Selfie Shmutz

If you read here on a regular basis, you know that I am generally not a fan of selfies. Neither of myself, nor of my movie boyfriend. Sure, I have taken selfies, documenting happy moments and encounters that I want to treasure forever. But they usually stay behind the invisible cut that separates my RL from any kind of online presence I might have. I dislike the pretense of selfies, which I find even stronger than in a portrait photographed by a pro – or any other third party. Portraits that have not been self-curated usually convey a truth that goes beyond what the sitter wants to show. And I like that ability of photography, capturing a moment, a sentiment, a characteristic, a stolen insight into a person. Selfies OTOH – those are snapshots that are nothing more than Gebrauchsfotografie, or “pulp photography”, trashy, transitory, forgotten as soon as they are taken. If selfies were a song, well, this one would probably describe them very well. (Put this on as the soundtrack to reading this post ;-))

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3OeA4rJ9XJNAygyNyTc2sI
Yeah, selfies are as insignificant as this music – cheaply made, tacky, inconsequential. You hear it once, and you forget it instantly because you have heard thousands of other songs like this one before.

That’s a lot of hate for an introduction on a post about selfies. But I have been asked to write about last week’s shower of selfies, so I better make it clear that this is not going to be an *ooof*. As you know, I never *ooof* selfies with one exception because I believe that only images that have been made with photographic *intention* are fair game for analyses. Good thing then that one of the three images from last week most definitely is not a selfie.

Richard Armitage for Harper Collins

This, quite clearly, is the best of the three images from last week. It’s composed to the advantage of the sitter – in this square image he takes up most of the space. The white t-shirt contrasts nicely with the darker tones of the headphones and the microphone screen. There is an interesting depth of field to the image that keeps the face and the accessories that characterise the image (the microphone/headphones) in focus while letting the background fall off. I particularly enjoy the angle at which the photo is taken: While RA is sitting at his recording desk, the photographer is standing in front of him with the camera slightly higher than eye level. This is an unusal perspective – with Armitage so tall, we rarely get images where the photographer is *not* shooting upwards. At the same time, this also is not what I usually call “selfie angle” (more about that below). It comes across as considered – and rather sexy because RA can still do his smouldering thing and look up into the camera from under his brows.

I really like this shot – the focus is incredibly crisp: We can see individual pores of his skin and we can count the grey hairs in his beard. And even with a potentially disfiguring pair of headphones on his head, RA looks really gorgeous in this shot – a man who is very attractive in his own distinctive way: a prominent nose, a gaze hooded and framed by long lashes, the hint of his strongly angled forehead. This is quite clearly not a snapshot. It doesn’t look as if the sitter is just looking up from his work, narrating an audio book. It is static, not mid-movement, but in a good way because it exudes a sense of calm and depth, particularly if you concentrate on the eyes. There is a smidgen of sadness in the eyes, but also strength, willpower and discipline, and as such this impromptu shoot in the studio environment conveys a lot about the sitter besides his current occupation as an audio book narrator. Full marks to whoever took this shot. If there is any criticism I would have, then it is the fact that this was quite clearly shot with available light, and even though the image appears very crisp where it matters (e.g. the face), there is that tell-tale graininess that appears when you shoot with a high ISO in an unevenly lit environment. For comparison, here’s a colour image that was taken in the same session.

Richard Armitage promoting his latest audio book. Image: Harper Collins

The colour version of the image cannot compare with the b/w imo. The skin tone looks far too pink for my liking, and the uneven grain is distracting. The reason for the discolouration and grain is the fact that the photographer has shot without a flash in an environment that is only dimly lit. On top of that, there are obviously several different types of lighting in this image – some very yellow tungsten (on the left) as well as some brighter, hotter light (could have been daylight or fluorescent/neon, maybe coming in from a neighbouring room or window) which create an uneven colour temperature in this image, to the extent of discolouring the skin and creating unnatural hues. It’s a typical problem to be faced with when shooting indoors and impromptu, i.e. without a flash. However, the image is nice, too – very “promo” of course, in that pose and with the book so prominently held. But as Auntie Guylty likes to say “When it’s shite, turn it black and white” – desaturating the image and making it b/w was a great decision.

Let’s move on then to the *real* selfies. Staying in the studio environment, here we have a self-portrait by the man, just as he is reading his next audio project:

Sigh. What can I say. This is the kind of imagery that I find very difficult to like. Let’s talk positives first. I love that little button at the bottom of the image. Because it is actually open, and hey, knowing that sets my brain in motion. Especially when coupled with the hint of hair visible in the open collar just above the button. Also: smile! It cheers me up that Richard, in his selfies, tries to convey a happy message. He puts on a smile and opens his eyes. It’s a friendly gaze, it looks open and inviting and happy, and that is always a pleasure to see – although I think that Richard needs to work on his mouth a little bit – show us those pearly whites, Rich. They are gorgeous and they were obviously not cheap, so instead of a tight-lipped grin, go the full hog and shine brightly!

And while I am at it with telling Richard what to do: Lay off those stupid filters, man! I think it has been well-established that – based on the reactions in your fandom – most women do not care about your laughter lines around your eyes. Or those lines across the forehead. If anything, the lines around Richard’s eyes give him character. They certainly neither detract from his distinctive handsomeness nor do they scream ‘old age’. If there is any ageing implied then only of the “experience/maturity” kind. Any middle-aged man – or woman – will have lines on their face. That’s just nature’s law, as much as we may hate it. Obliterating them with filters is a short-sighted short-term solution. Come the next photographer, those filters may not be used, and *bam* suddenly the lines stand out even more…

Absolute pet hate number 1, though: The classic “selfie angle”. Alright, alright, I understand that Richard was trying to capture the guitars in the corner behind him. But I don’t think it really counts as an excuse here because I have seen him angle his phone in this way before. And that really irks me because it is used predominantly by (young) women. It’s an angle that catches to birds with one stone: By shooting from above eye-level you a) give definition to the chin line and b) catch the cleavage. Considering that RA neither has a double-chin nor boobs, I just don’t get why he is doing it. It irritates me to the point of frustration – because the man is so freaking handsome, he does not need any cheap tricks. He is gorgeous as he is, lines, grey hairs, nose and all. Heck, even with that beard he looks hella attractive and super masculine.

The only time I really like his selfies, is when he is fooling around. Bacon beards, kumquat ears, tattooed-bum-shots – *those* are the selfies that are believable and insightful. They are not meant to impress but to entertain. And they do exactly that so brilliantly. They convey so much more confidence than any contrived, selfie-angle beauty shot. It’s when RA puts on a grimace that I like his selfies best. This latest one no exception:

I am so not a Halloween fan, but this selfie really made me laugh. There’s RA, essentially trying to look like the skull on his shirt. I think this is hilarious, not least because I imagine him taking this picture: Standing somewhere in his room, holding his iPhone and giving a big roarrrrr. And best of all: no silly girly selfie-angle! This looks like he is actually shooting up from below, angling his head down and leering into the camera. Really fitting for a roaring monster kind of shot. “I’m coming to get you, raaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!”

Also, the fun selfies are really unique! The typical selfie pose with the tight-lipped smile – interchangeable with any selfie taken by anyone *ever*. A roaring skull, a dribbling denture fitting and tearing a bite out of a Cryptozoic card? There’s only one man who can pull this off. I love seeing this playful side to that otherwise so measured and considerate guy. It’s another facet to the man, and one that makes him so much more attractive than the umpteenth beauty shot. Silliness is disarming, humour is sexy, and laughter lines don’t need any filters.

So there. That’s my take on the selfies. What do you think? Have I convinced you with my diatribe against the selfie angle? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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342 thoughts on “Selfie Shmutz

  1. Seine Filtermanie könnte er echt mal ablegen! Die Sache mit dem Winkel war mir gar nicht so bewusst, da ich selber kaum (und nur schlechte) Selfies mache. Aber es stimmt, meine Tochter knipst auch immer von schräg oben. 😉 Wobei ich mich und in diesem Fall hier auch als Fan des offenen Knopfes oute! 😜
    Das Schwarzweißbild ist definitiv das schönste und das Halloween-Selfie mit Designer-Skull-T-Shirt war höchste Zeit: endlich mal wieder der Dorkitage, der so lang vermisst wurde!
    Wie gut, dass es mal wieder Gesprächsstoff und Diskussionsgrundlagen gibt, oder? Abgesehen von Hörbüchern, Podcasts und Animé-Synchros.

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  2. “Heck, even with that beard he looks hella attractive and super masculine.” yes, yes yes ! You are seeing the light!? Thank you for this post today. I love when you analyze his photos. I totally agree number 1 in b/w is by far the best. His guitar one is super cute b/c of the tiny peek a boo chest hair. thump thump thump indeed. He does need a dental cleaning but ya know it’s nice to see the expensive pearly whites finally on display.
    One technical question: the color pic of him holding the book looks filtered too like the lines around his eyes are diminished or gone. Do you think he asked them to do that or that was a production/photographer call?
    I guess the McQueen tee was appropriate for this selfie with his jaws on full display..

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    • Hahaha, I *knew* you would notice that little sentence, Michele 🙂
      This was just a cursory analysis, off the cuff and without research. More or less a gut reaction to the pics.
      I had a closer look at the colour pic re. filter or photoshop but tbh I do not think it has been ‘shopped. I can still see the lines, both on the forehead and around the eyes. As a general answer to your question, I would say that he wouldn’t have asked. Post-production is completely the photographer’s call, not the sitter’s. (Unless the sitter is the client, i.e. the person paying for the pictures. Then they *would* have a say in how they are represented.)

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      • What I love about your analysis is that the are off the cuff or cursory-gut reactions ARE the best! When things get too technical my eyes glaze over (unless it’s Richard pic) and the techie words get lost in the vast open spaces in my brain. I’m glad you posted these pics and commentary. He’s the gift that keeps on giving.. I am now on Spotify b/c when I clicked on your link I went to Spotify so I feel more hibster now.( I like the Chainsmokers song w/Coldplay by the way.) Oh his eyebrows and mine could use some plucking…

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        • Gut reactions have their validity, I guess, but usually I prefer to have a bit of a think and back up my opinion with research. With photography I can usually write off the cuff because I have a solid basic knowledge of it. But I hear you – jargon is always a turn-off. Unless it is in a field that one knows a lot about.
          Ha, welcome to Spotify then :-). I admit I know nothing about this band The Chainsmokers. Their name is off-putting 😁. Especially now that I am struggling with giving up myself. The last bit of tobacco is now gone. I am not planning on buying new. But I can definitely tell that the trousers now sit tighter than last week, and my winter coat doesn’t close easily anymore. It’s going to be tough…

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          • Guylty I know but Richard has given you a plethora of Audio to whisper in your ears and walking is a great form of cardio so the trousers will loosen and the coat will close up or just scarf it that will look great on you as well. I was impressed about the song #selfie
            I agree about their choice of title for their group name not very pc. They’ve done songs w a multitude of artists apparently besides Coldplay. More then you need to know sorry!

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  3. Oh G, this made me so happy!

    Lessons learned from this post:
    a) Never show you any photos of myself, selfie or otherwise.
    b) I’m absolutely a fan of the goofitage. More please.
    c) Show us those expensive veneers. Bwahaha!
    d) LAY OFF THE FILTERS! Man, someone really needs to get that through his head. I volunteer to school him on this (yeah, right!). But we really should get up a petition and tell him we’d rather spend four hours swooning over his beautiful laugh lines and delectable forehead crinkles than griping about his filter use. Seriously!!
    e) You said this was not an ooof but I am definitely ooofing over your brilliant post. Chapeau! 😘

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  4. I don’t like selfies.the one that caught my eye,the plaid shirt. Right now I have the exact plaid design shirt.on. That’s freaky,also the same color. FREAKY.

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  5. “When it’s shite turn it black and white”
    (Wiping the coffee off my face after laughing so hard I spit all over myself, in public!)

    Thanks Guylty for all you contribute to RALand!

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    • 🙂 I learnt that the hard way, Monica. Thinking back to the red carpet in Berlin at the Hobbit premiere in Berlin, I had *exactly* the same issue with cross-lighting and high ISO. The pictures in colour were *horrible*. So from colour-shite, I turned it to black-and-white. The rest is history *grins*

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    • I am right in there with The Other Queen, Helen. Chapter 25, still 12 hours to go. But I have to say that I really love it! I am big into historical novels, anyway, and I loved The Other Boleyn Girl. So far, I am really enjoying it. Alex Kingston just has a beautiful voice, and I love her enunciation. So pretty to listen to. RA is good, as usual, with an entirely new voice. However, not the most attractive of his voices 😉 Anyway, it’s a great listen, but I am drawing it out so that the pleasure lasts longer…

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  6. I just finished The Murderer ‘s Son.Loved it.Just started The Man From St. petersburg, Waiting for The Other Queen to arrivre. And Heads You Win.. The Fourth Friend in Dec. Can’t wait..Yes I like audiobooks..

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  7. To me he looks like a totally different person in some of those old selfies, wax like is a perfect description, like a Ken Doll, why filter away stuff? Gosh if he’s insecure about things I wish he wasn’t about how he looks and I know I sound hypercritical saying that!

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  8. that black & white one almost looks like one of those digital drawings to me. if it wasn’t for the way his beard rounds out his chin I could almost accuse it of being photoshopped, in the sense that it’s so classically RA that you could just cut out his face from numerous pics and plug it in. that’s not an insult, I like his classic facial pose and the presence of the winkles around the eyes. I have to admit that I did not get the comparison between his toothy scream and the skull on his shirt, I just thought he was being ‘fierce’ b/c of Halloween. and I liked it, not for the scream but for his shirt, which seems so unlike him. now though, it’s lost it’s appeal for me. thanks a lot, Gulty 🙄 😀

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    • I like the classical face pose, too – that pose and that look on his face never gets old. Wrinkles or not, btw. There is something enticing, mysterious, compelling, intense about it, and age doesn’t even come into it.
      Re. Halloween – I think he *was* being fierce for Halloween – but somehow his face kind of mirrored that leering skull, too.

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      • He seems to do the pose or mysterious look quite easily for a professional photog whereas the selfies looked forced and self-conscious like “I gotta get the look right, not tell people where I’m at but make them devote a whole blog post to trying to figure out where the hell I’m at now… “

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        • I think you have totally hit it, Michele. That seems to be his whole approach with Twitter, anyway. Show presence but not give anything away… IDK, I’d rather get nothing on Twitter at all, but receive quality content elsewhere. But that’s just me…

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          • Totally with you on that! You know what I think about Twitter and even his IG sucks too but I do realize that he needs Twitter to use for his public persona and we need Twitter to figure out what he’s doing w his public persona 👎😉🤨

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                • When I was delving into him deep deep I read his posting as the spy or agent persona when he was on RH and that was funny and clever and cheeky. Also his list of what he got for Xmas from fans and his commentary on each gift was delightful and charming so he can be funny and disarming but the messages now are the same and I think they are just a thinly veiled disguise to get his fans to donate money to these charities. Ok great just freakin say that. Most are loyal soldiers and will do that anyway!

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                  • His messages used to be sweet and original. Now they are basically the same thing every year. “Be good, don’t fight, play nice, and don’t send me gifts”. I don’t mind that he suggests charitable donations – he’s basically driving home the point that he doesn’t want any gifts and would be happier if the money was spent on good causes rather than himself. I appreciate that – and respect that.

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                • His old tongue-in-cheek stuff was brilliant. Goofitage at it‘s finest. I have a weakness for his adorkable side. I want more of it. It‘s real and very charming.

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                  • Exactly. It was a major reason why I fell for him in the first place. He seemed real and sweet and “normal”. There was also that illusion of approachability there. All of that seems to be gone nowadays… sigh.

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                    • You don’t think he is approachable at all now? That really makes me crestfallen, not that I would stay calm around him but at least to conjure thoughts of him friendly and heartwarming to his fans in a theatre setting (hmmm please please) gives me hope. Wasn’t he pretty great at the Nwcastle Film Festival early this year? Those pics seem very intimate and engaging of him…

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                    • Sorry, that came across wrong. The Newcastle event seemed very fan-friendly indeed, and all my friends who were there actually said that he was very approachable. So, to clarify – I think he is approachable at small events such as Newcastle. But when it comes to red carpets, premieres, stage doors – at least in *my* experience, he is not really that comfortable with the whole fan interaction deal. Which can come across as unapproachability.

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                    • Guylty, I will say this if he does any theatre in London next year and I am lucky enough to go (all the stars align that is) and we all meet up (a definite must) I will need liquid courage to get through the show plus SD outing. My inner self is way too shy and reserved meeting someone like him as down to earth as he seems to be without a few glasses of Pinot Noir or Glenlevet or Jamison’s to wheel me to the SD. I am one where you can tell on my face how I feel and usually what I am thinking (I would suck at poker) so I would be so flustered without something to steady the nerves…

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                    • No worries, I don’t think you’d be alone. Mind you, the stage doors can turn into “every man for themselves”… And don’t worry about needing Dutch courage – not necessary. The whole thing is over in a blink. And there is no obligation to speak or to interact. In fact, I believe you actually see more of the SD and of RA if you *don’t* interact but watch from a distance.

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                    • Well I would be going to see everyone and meet this wonderful bunch of women for the first time more than to see him although I would like to try to gaze into those baby blues once in real life. “Every man for themselves” I can imagine…Knowing my luck my Iphone wouldn’t work even if HE pressed the click button… that would send me into a flurry of convulsions right there….

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                    • And that’s exactly the best attitude to have, Michele – see it as an opportunity to have fun with like-minded people. If you get a glimpse of those blue peeps, that’s a bonus.
                      And you should definitely pray for your iPhone to play up! It would mean that you’ll be standing next to him for a few seconds longer while he advises you how to get the phone working *grins*

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                    • Unfortunately I missed the days of (imagined) approachability. Maybe it’s for the best. I might have gone off the deep end.
                      But I started my journey there (late to the party, but still reading up on him chronologically) and one of the first impressions of him that I discussed with another person was exactly that: how genuine and humble he seemed, not full of himself and slightly incredulous at the attention.

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                    • Re. his character/personality, I do think that still holds true. But he has had to change his interaction with fans, probably because there are now many more than back in the early days.

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            • You see, the point is, I don’t even think that he *really* needs Twitter or any social media for his PR. Sure, he’s got 226K followers there, and his tweets receive plenty of ❤️❤️, but I really don’t think that Twitter maketh or breaketh a career in showbiz. At least not when used in the way he does it. The most successful celebrity gain traction, notoriety and followers by consistently expressing *clear* opinions and/or interacting with others – even fans *gasps* – on Twitter. He does neither. In fact, his approach feels haphazard – like an occasional after-thought. “Oh, I haven’t tweeted for a while, I better say something.” I think it would be more exciting if he didn’t tweet at all…

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              • Thank you! I will admit I’m happy if he tweets worthwhile stuff like his comments at May this summer to postpone holiday until they square Brexit agenda. I like when he is political or social like his beloved battlefield b/c those are tangible things that mean something to him. I think he thinks Twitter is the only way for him to PR. IG
                He gets so many comments like a zillion of them when he posts most of them all sweet and positive so people know about him, maybe he doesn’t really know what level of fame he wants? You all are on Twitter communicate a lot that way get intel that way so what would you all do if Twitter went away?

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                • I believe he doesn’t really want all that attention at all. He uses Twitter because he feels he has to. Or maybe he *does* get his info from Twitter, too. But he certainly does *not* use it to communicate with the fan community.

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                • You mean if Twitter as a medium went away or if he deleted his Twitter? I don’t think I‘d be broken up about him not tweeting. I don‘t interact with him, he doesn‘t post any original content (minus the selfies) usually, just RT info that I would see anyway if I read the #richardarmitage Twitter. For me, it‘s much more having a laugh with fellow fans than about his Twitter as such—although that was the reason I joined initially, so thanks for that, Richard.

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                  • Yeah I figured Richard was the initial draw on Twitter but the community of fans and friends keeps you there. He does tweet some original thoughts few and far between as they are like the Theresa May request or when he posted about his mum’s passing or that Bosworth Field petition. I’m sort glad you mentioned the #richardarmitage twitter feed. I view that every day now b/c there is some good intel and I see some familiar names pop up there (hmmm I wonder who?)

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              • Exactly! You’ve nailed the two key ingredients to a meaningful social media presence:
                1. Clear, ‘on-brand’ communication. Many celebrities have causes and promote them. But there needs to be a plan for this and if you’re too busy or just don’t know how to go about it, then you need a social media consultant to do that stuff for you.
                2. Interaction. Social media cannot exist in a near-vacuum. Whether you engage fans or meme-bomb your colleagues on a semi-regular basis, a mostly insular presence on social media just isn’t all that social.

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                • he could do with following someone like Gillian Anderson-i mean most people on earth find her attractive but she never worries about giving fans the wrong idea and happily interacts with people. Or if he dislikes it that much then he should stop, like Martin Freeman did-it’s not harmed his career! I don’t think he dislikes it as much as he purports though. My day was made a few months ago when an actor I highly respect (and is gorgeous) started following me after chatting on Twitter about android phones. Hes not a big a name (though i think that is starting to change) but doesn’t seem afraid of interaction!

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                  • Rachel I think MartinbFreedman lasted a day on Twitter got upset at the negative comments and that’s it I’m out! I think Huddleston hasn’t commented since last year. I will admit you’ve laid a little seedling here of curiosity who this actor is. I’m not on Twitter at all so it’s total news to me

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                  • I’ve had a similar experience with an up-and-coming young Irish actor. He had put out a YT series and I tweeted about that – and he followed me first before I followed him back. Then we interacted on Twitter over the fact that I would’ve liked to get a theatre programme signed by him after a show that I had seen him in. We subsequently even DMed, arranged a meeting in person, had a lovely chat outside the theatre – and I even got a sweet kiss on the cheek from him when I said bye-bye. Now, the young man is definitely at a different stage in his career than RA, but the point is that I am now a staunch follower of him and try to see him in every play that he is in in Dublin. His carefree, unprejudiced attitude to me/the public means that I am happy to forward his tweets and promote his work wherever I can – because I *know* and believe that he appreciates the attention and is neither embarrassed nor annoyed by it.

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                    • Ok so Now I’m curious who your Irish actor is and do you think Richard is annoyed at the attention ie why the hell do a con then? I think he may be shy about it but he’s secretly got to feel good that people go to his theatre and watch er um well maybe not any much longer his dwell into tv land.

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                    • The actor is called Stephen Jones – and he is *nothing* like RA 😉 But he is really, really talented, and every single play that I have seen him in (about 6 at this point) has been really great.
                      As for RA’s attitude to the attention he is given – I think he is (like any artist) pleased with any attention that is given to his artistic talents or the projects he features in. But based on how he appears at the SD and on Twitter, I get the impression he doesn’t like that the attention of the public also includes interest in his private persona.

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                    • Ah I will google Stephen Jones. I’m gonna check out Rachel’s guy Ink on Broadway too any excuse for me to train 🚊 to NYC! 👍😘
                      I totally get his need for privacy about his private life and the rare glimpses into his family and his political leanings I treasure

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                    • Guylty, I did google him (I’m a bloodhound when it comes to anything you all recommend)your talking about the 1977 born actor right? Gosh he’s even taller than Richard at 6’4!! Holy moly!! While we are on the subject of recommending Esther recommended The Split with Nicola Walker which I binged watched on Sunday. It is fantastic. She looks amazing, clothes are fab, set in London, love the writing, characters, that Dutch actor Esther said was good is a hottie too, his eyes are magnetic and I don’t normally like blondies but he’s got curls. He’s well built. Not straying of course but since all there is this ..nothing really right now I need other things to occupy my time. Well here of course but off hours I mean…

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                    • Oh gosh sorry about that! Yes he’s short and a bit stumpy but I’m so glad that you got to meet him and got a cheeky peck. I’ll have to investigate him a bit further. Too many Stephen Jones.. the other one that came up was born in 1956 and was a member of the Sex Pistols.. I didn’t think you meant him…

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          • I just wish he would figure out what he wants from Twitter. I get the feeling (and this is absolutely subjective conjecture) that he’s not quite clear on that. Is it a promo tool? If so, boring but fine if that’s your choice. Or is it a personal account where he allows himself to be himself?
            I think part of his reason for joining is his hall monitor mentality when it comes to the fandom. He once said that he wants to counteract divisiveness within the fandom—to make sure there are no factions fighting—and honestly, no. You can’t and you shouldn’t. That’s not your job. I’m a peace loving creature, but this is problematic IMO.

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                • yeah I don’t know about not reading the responses. He retweeted that BS1 collage by that Jenny Johnson on Twitter and he ranted a few years ago about his Twitter post being his playground (I know not the word he used but its early and I can’t think of the exact word) and play by his rules which leads me to believe he does read some if not all the responses. I’m mean he’ s human. It’s natural for him to peruse and see what is going on out there as he sits on his little hill.

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                • I am absolutely convinced that he doesn’t read the responses AT ALL. Unless a response is from a fellow celeb tweep. (There are special settings for verified users – they can filter the notifications so as to only see the replies from other verified users, for instance.)

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                  • I agree. He might use analytics to filter out certain results (hence the RT of the BS promo stuff) but other than that I don’t think he does a deep dive into the fandom. And good for him. I don’t see him as a guy who would handle that well tbh.

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                  • I recall the comments when he said he would ‘sort out’ some celebrity who wanted to see if I recall correctly The Crucible digital production I thought he meant he was going ‘help’ all of us who had paid and got ‘mucked’around by DT. lol

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            • I don’t think there is any question here at all. It’s pure promo. He definitely is not himself on Twitter. Ok, not that I can tell – I don’t know him personally. But just the way he is constantly second-guessing himself and deleting stuff… just doesn’t come across as happy to have fun.
              “hall monitor” – oh, that’s the perfect description of it! (And I have visions of long, bland high school corridors with those metal lockers along the walls, patrolled by a scowling Richard, iPhone in hand, and frantically tapping angry tweets with one finger…) I agree with you that that approach is problematic – and ineffective if not counter-productive. In the past we have seen it happen again and again – fans policing fans, using him and his messages as justification. His attempts at enforcing the rules are actually fanning the flames.

              Liked by 2 people

              • yes I see how Chris Evans is very political on his Twitter as well as promo mode too. I think if Richard has social causes he wants to promote or discuss openly then he should be confident enough to do that. He should be upset about Brexit and speak up esp with March looming. I mean if Twitter is here to stay (ugh) and he intends to stay on it then he should know 4+ years in how to use it to be heard.. There will always be people out there who say negative stuff. He can’t tell everyone hey you can’t say so and so. I thought the whole idea of social media was to be a global community and there will be good elements (like this here) and bad elements (like Kardashian bs) so he can’t police that and it isn’t his business to do that anyway. He wouldn’t go back to message boards-those are obsolete now right? I don’t know what other medium is out there except maybe starting his own blog (hmmm) but he wouldn’t have time to devote to it.

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                • Chris Evans is a good example, IMO. From what I‘ve seen (I don’t follow him closely, but come across his stuff every so often), he is a natural at this. He knows what he wants: fun personal stuff (dog pics) balanced with politics (RL Captain America style). He will take on people over politics personally, he will pal around with colleagues. I believe he is having fun (or doing a damn fine job pretending).

                  Liked by 1 person

              • If it is promo (and I agree, it‘s definitely not personal), it‘s not that effective. He‘d have to be original and funny to draw more people in. You gotta work it to make it work.
                I guess he would reject my hall monitor analogy. He probably sees himself more like a superhero with a cape. 😛

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  9. Great post Guylty! It seems many of us are on the same page regarding the filters and how he presents in them. If only he could see himself from our perspective. His character lines show that he is a man who has lived life…….smiled and laughed a lot. They are some of his most endearing features.
    I’m not a fan of that Halloween shirt but the goofiness of the selfie makes me laugh every time I see it. That goofiness is such a contrast to the debonair, worldly man we see in a tux but his many facets are all part and parcel of why I’m so hooked on him.
    As usual, I love the black and white photo. Have you seen the latest from Audible Instagram? That photographer (must remember his name – he’s brilliant) has captured him beautifully. Stunning pics.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Love this post! I very rarely take selfies. Half of my selfies (10 in total) were taken while across the pond and I had to do it to show that I was there. I figured they were moments where I would have a stranger take my photo anyway.

    As for RA, do away with the damn filters. He is a fine man and I want to see him naturally and not some glossed over Kardashian version. Some of the selfies he has taken do not look like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We should start a classic letter writing campaign: For Christmas we’ll each send him a print of our favorite non-filtered photo of him and # it #NoMoreFilters.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’m there for it. Seriously, everyone send me their chosen picture and comments and I’ll create a nice photo book for him. I’ll cover postage and expenses.

        Like

        • Not to rain on your parade, but I know of several books that have been made and sent to RA over the years, and I don’t think we ever heard anything back about them. I have become rather cynical about RA’s attitude to fan mail – especially now that his mum is not around anymore…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, I was kidding. I mean, it would be fun to make, not gonna lie, but the joy would be in the creation, not the reception. I think having any kind of expectation with fan mail (outside of some lackey slinging a pre-signed photo into an envelope maybe) is setting yourself up for failure. Yes, I’m that jaded. I mean, honestly, where would he find the time? He must get tons of mail (or am I wildly overestimating people’s penchant for writing fan mail?).

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            • Phew, I am so glad you are taking such a practical approach to fan mail. I really do not want to discourage anyone from writing fan mail. It serves two sides – the writer’s and the receiver’s. I’m fairly unsentimental and realistic about it myself – I just don’t believe that he can have the time to read all the mail he receives. Nor is it probably all that healthy to engage with it all – at least not for someone who seems fairly sensitive. It is wonderful that people want to open up to him (or any other celeb) about their reactions to his/their work, and that is a massive compliment in itself. But as you say, it comes with expectations that are probably impossible to meet. And it is sooo hard *not* to have any expectations when one opens up to someone else. The last couple of years I *have* written a Christmas letter to RA, mainly because I wanted to honour my fellow fans and let RA know how much money his fans are generating for good causes. And against better judgment, I *always*, always have this tiny glimmer of hope that the news will be acknowledged in some shape or form. When they aren’t, it leaves me with disappointment and sometimes anger. So yeah, I tend to think that it is better to not write at all – because then there aren’t any expectations that only meet with disappointment.

              Liked by 2 people

              • I thought that those days of fan mail were over like actual letter writing. I thought I read somewhere that one fan asked for an autograph pic from him and it took like 6 months to get a pic, no autograph, no letter even autoreply thanking the fan for the request. I miss actual letter writing. I loved writing a letter to someone. It was so personal and intimate and heartfelt but now everything seems the opposite…

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                • Oh no, I absolutely don’t think that fan mail days are over. Afaik there are plenty of fans who write to him on a regular basis. And since there is obviously no e-mail address you can write to, the only way of contacting him is via good old snail mail c/o his agents.
                  As for the turnaround times – 6 months actually sounds FAST!!! I’ve written to him four times, I think, requesting signatures on photos, and they always took a minimum of 6 months. Incidentally, the last request for autographs I sent was last December. No reply.

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                  • See Guylty that would upset me but I don’t have the nerve to write him and then it would take me back to my 15 year old self and that entity I don’t want to rear her head any time soon…

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                    • Well, I am not exactly losing sleep over the lack of a reply. It’s basically what I expected. Every time I received a letter with signed pictures back, was like a bonus.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • A signed photo or a politely worded restraining order is really all you can expect from such an exercise. *nods*

                      (Talking about myself, not you!!! I’m afraid my muse would turn a little whacko at the idea of “communication” with him).

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I wrote to him (late 2014 I think it was) with no expectations, requesting his autograph on the included photo, with a self addressed envelope, packing cardboard for protection and international reply paid coupons (no longer available and which took me weeks at the time to track down) then promptly forgot I’d done so. Six months later a large envelope appeared with my handwriting on the front and I had no idea who it was from, so it turned out a wonderful surprise! Needless to say I walked away from the post office with an idiotic grin on my face.

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              • Guylty that is very honest of you and I would be the same way, keeping fingers crossed that he would acknowledge receipt of a letter and I would be disappointed and angry too when he didn’t . You put time and effort into sending something that is so special to you for something that means a lot to him and there is no cognitive recognition. I think though doing it in the first place it is sweet and thoughtful and in the end that is what really counts. Like the pic with him, yeah it’s great to meet him (I would need resuscitation though) but the experience of meeting other fans and friends to share the experience of meeting him is more endearing .. ie those videos from Love Love Love…

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                • Well, the disappointment I feel is more on behalf of his fans. Personally, I have never expected anything back from him. Whatever I do as a fangirl, I do for myself, possibly for my fellow fans, but not for him. So I do not write fan letters to him as such, just like I do not want or need a selfie with him, either. I just dislike the idea of getting something back from him – whether it is a selfie or a pre-printed acknowledgment of receipt – that means nothing to him.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • I‘m a cynical b*tch, what can I say? Honestly, I‘m not trying to diminish the effort or value of writing a fan letter. Not at all. I‘ve done it.
                But I think you made a very important point there. The creation has to be its own reward and at least as important as any unlikely acknowledgement by the recipient. I imagine blogging is very similar. It‘s as least as much about you as it is about your subject, whether that‘s an actor or a hobby or whatever.
                Of course that doesn’t free us from hope or expectation. We’re only human after all.

                Liked by 1 person

                  • Not to devalue comments in general, but here’s the thing, though: The more comments you receive, the harder it is a) to stay on top of them all and b) to see them as individual replies. When I look at celebrity accounts on Twitter, I always get the impression that it really is only about racking up those little numbers beside the ❤️ and the 💬. Because no one is able to reply to each and every tweep who has commented. (That is one of the reasons why I almost *never* reply to RA’s tweets – absolutely no point. He will neither see nor reply to my comment. Might as well leave it.)
                    There is also the point that receiving a high number of replies becomes an expectation and a given.

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                    • Yes point well taken but to me it means there is interest in the blog and engagement. It’s like writing a novel–the writer wants the book to be read out there in the public, not necessarily to become A Davinci’s Code or shudder here but A Fifty Shades or Harry Potter but that the book reaches an audience. Twitter to me is so different b/c it is a freeway where cars are racing along and nobody really has the time to stop and smell the roses. Also blogs are more intimate esp well known and well loved blogs (looking at you dear) so the chatter that evolves from them is heartfelt and engaging. (Turn your deflection off)

                      Like

                    • You are absolutely right – comments/replies are feedback. And presumably everybody who writes public messages/blogs also *wants* feedback. When it comes to celebs on Twitter, they definitely also want people to read their content. But IDK, since they never reply, all *I* am willing to give, is a “like”.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Ah well my impression of Twitter which as you know is not good at all as far as celebrities go is that they want the followings or likes if that’s the techie term but who responds. Orser will respond on IG to comments from “civilian” folks but not everyone’s. To me if you’re gonna respond to one you should respond to all bad and good comments. I think that is just being polite and courteous. I view Twitter more as intanglible forum as far as celebrities go kind of high on a hill looking down at the masses not elitist per se but not used for engaging in everyday conversation.

                      Like

                    • I don’t think it’s elitist at all – but it certainly does come with a whiff of “exclusivity” in the literal sense: If you are not a verified, fellow-celeb, you are not worthy of response. As I said, some of that is simply down to numbers. It’s simply not possible for someone like RA, who gets 200 replies on his tweets, to respond to all. And tbh, I don’t even think that a reply to every individual comment is necessary. It perfectly suffices to reply to a handful – just to show that the celeb tweep is actually reading responses at all. Or a general acknowledgment of responses in the shape of a tweet would be ok, too.
                      Orser is actually not that bad on Twitter. He doesn’t post all that often, which is fine. But when he does, he often has interesting pictures. And he acknowledges responses with a “like”.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • I agree. Replying to everyone would be a full-time job. It’s simply not possible.

                      Maybe that’s why RA doesn’t. Kindly uncle wants to be fair and avoid sowing discord, so instead of risking alienating those he doesn’t favor with a reply, he doesn’t comment on anything. Am I wildly overthinking this? You betcha!!!

                      Like

                    • Yeah, I sometimes reply *on* his tweets , but not *to* him. If I interact, it’s as a reaction to a fellow fan, if they wrote something funny.

                      Like

  12. Well I will admit apart from the “OCD” induced selfie wrinkle washes, I like that he is modest in how he conducts himself and reserved in private and doesn’t splash his private life everywhere on Social Media. Even and this is a BIG admission from me his dressed down look (ie ole faithful tee) is very humble and down to earth and for me adds to his overall sex appeal. That his only real fashion vice is uber expensive German sunglasses I really like that.. esp that they are Aviators. Even the rolled out of bed in dire need of a shower look is genuine and maybe that is why my heart races and other parts wake up when I see pics of him.

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  13. In den wesentlichen Punkten stimme ich voll und ganz mit dir überein. Da ich selbst nie Selfies mache, stehe ich dem Ganzen vielleicht noch ablehnender gegenüber. Auch im RL nervt mich die ganze Selfie-Knippserei oft. Bei den “Anschauungsobjekten” fang ich einfach mal hinten an, da ich eine Frage an dich als Fachfrau habe. Ich weiß, es ist recht dunkel, was zu Unschärfe und Rauschen führt, aber ich frag mich, ob das Foto irgendwie bearbeitet wurde, um wieder “glattgebügelt” auszusehen. Ich muss zugeben, ich mag weder das T-Shirt noch das Foto an sich besonders. Über den Filter des Karoselfies wurde schon genug geschrieben. Ich verstehe sowieso nicht, wieso Leute Bilder so verändern, dass es dermaßen offensichtlich ist, dass es nicht der Realität entsprechen kann. Das überzeugt doch dann auch keinen, der irgendwelche Rollen vergibt o.ä. (falls das der Grund ist). Davon abgesehen fordere ich, dass zukünftig bei Verwendung der Selfie-Perspektive wenigstens der Zweck, das Dekolleté zu zeigen, erfüllt wird. Also bitte mehr als einen offenen Knopf (am besten gleich alle, nur zur Sicherheit). Das Farblesebild finde ich vom Gesichtsausdruck her eigentlich gar nicht schlecht. Die rosa Gesichtsfarbe war mir nicht aufgefallen. Allerdings war ich die ersten Male, als ich das Bild angeschaut habe, ziemlich irritiert vom Schatten des linken Armes, weil dann bei flüchtigem Hinsehen die Proportionen für mich irgendwie unpassend erschienen. Dafür ist das Schwarz-Weiß-Bild einfach nur ein Traum. Perfekt. Und dieser Blick. Was immer er auch als nächstes zu mir sagen würde, ich würd´s tun. Völlig egal was. Und da ich mich sowieso nur auf die Augen konzentrieren kann, ist es auch völlig egal, ob er das schäbigste weiße T-Shirt anhat oder gar nichts oder einen Kartoffelsack (okay, bei gar nichts, würde ich vielleicht doch abgelenkt 😉).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zu deiner Frage – du beziehst dich auf das Halloween-Foto? Jou, ich denke, dass auch da der Filter am Werk ist. Ich nehme mal stark an, dass Herr A da schon immer automatisch den Finger am Filter hat – egal ob das Bild überhaupt die Schärfe hergeben würde, Falten zu zeigen. (In diesem Fall wäre das Bild wahrscheinlich eh zu dunkel, um die Lachfalten abzubilden.) Diese Software ist auf den verschiedenen Foto-Apps ja schon automatisch mit dabei.
      Mir ist das Farbfoto mit Buch ein bisschen zu “verbindlich”. Das hat irgendwie etwas von Herrn Blümel – falls dir der Staubsaugervertreter von Loriot ein Begriff ist. Naja, ok, ist ja auch ein Promo-Foto, insofern passt’s. Aber wie du schon selbst sagtest, da ist das S/W-Foto doch ein ganz anderer Schnack. Ich würde schon so weit gehen zu sagen, dass das kein Promo-Foto, sondern ein Porno-Foto ist *totlach*…

      Liked by 1 person

    • #TeamShirtless
      Bin dabei!!
      Dazu sollte ihm gleich mal jemand die Illusion rauben, dass das jetzt jenseits der vierzig keiner mehr sehen will…

      Like

  14. 🙂 Great article with professional expertise views!
    Really, you don’t have to convince me with your diatribe against the selfie angle because I always have been hating them.
    But for my point of view, there is only one great picture: the black and white one. I should add that our eyes converge on the focus, in the middle of his face between his eyes. He is the main subject in the middle of the square. The main diagonal starts in the left corner at the top to go down on the right.
    I don’t like the last selfie because always he takes the same picture, where his body crosses the diagonal ( head in the top right corner and feet in the down left corner) and where he tends to eliminate all signs of time’s passing by exaggeratedly opening his mouth. As I wrote in Servetus’ blog, it reminds me: Edvard Munch, “The scream” (1893), https://www.kazoart.com/blog/loeuvre-a-la-loupe-le-cri-dedvard-munch/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, you are right about the focus in the b/w image. What I find really neat is that there are two diagonals in the image that really guide the eyes – the line of the stand that holds the microphone screen coming into the picture from top right, and his shoulder line bottom left. These things are coincidental but definitely help the composition.
      The Scream by Edvard Munch: touché!!!

      Like

      • ” the line of the stand that holds the microphone screen coming into the picture from top right, and his shoulder line bottom left.” I couldn’t explain as you do.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. I’ll take any selfie he wants to dish out. Having experimented on myself, I can report that: 1. it’s hard to figure out the correct place to look so your eyes don’t look dead, and 2. results are much more successful if you are attractive in the first place. He’s got both factors nailed. Bring it on.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. And I see the selfies as alternate head shots, or auditions, experiments at manipulating his own image, i.e. “Let’s see if I can look like ‘this’.” They are also hints of what he might do with images as a director, a role I think he will take on one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are two interesting points, Besotted. I particularly agree with you on the first one. I am actually all for people experimenting with their own photographic image. It definitely helps if sitters *know* which way they look best – it takes away their insecurity when being photographed because they know which way to present themselves in a photograph. So I am all for experimentation of this kind. (I have done the same thing myself. Where I differ is, I do not publish those pics *grins*).
      Selfies as directorial practice – nice idea. Directors definitely need to know about camera angles etc. Although they usually have a DOP they can rely on for that.

      Like

    • A few tears ago, fans asked for selfies. The cause of this mainstream mediocre photographic quality is partly due to the fact that it is the answer to an unworthy request.

      Liked by 2 people

    • About “he might do with images as a director”: For some time, I have been wondering weither he may possibly be working on his own movie project: “The Burning of Bridget Cleary” .https://vimeo.com/51875393
      At first because he often travels to England, he has enough free time between to audiobooks, he doesn’t introduce new series, movie, theater play…
      At least, being actor casting member in Julie Delpy’s long term project: “my Zoe” and his mother’s death life experience might have been some strong awareness that time flows only in one direction (cf SueBC website onSeptember 2, 2018 ,about ” Movies over the Summer and Michele Marsh comments)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Squirrel, from your lips to his ears! I wish you were right that he is working on a direction project. In all honesty I don’t think so. I think he’s either gearing up for a play and staying in London for his dad and family and/or some movie is on the horizon and he is keeping a well kept secret. I mean it is announced Wolverine podcast S2 is coming and bam he tweets a pic of him in Logan gear already in the studio. Last week he was doing Castlevania so yes he’s busy and over Audio busy (that’s just me I know you all love your Audio books sorry) but both projects won’t be out until Fall 2019 if I was reading the press release corrctly. I really hope Delpy’s My Zoe gets a decent release and The Lodge will probably get a good distribution b/c it falls in the popular supernatural genre that is the “hot” commodity right now. I’m totally speculating here. That Wolverine story would actually make a great movie plot in my opinion…

        Like

  17. Pingback: Quick Mid-Week Mix [with SPOILER warning for 2nd half of post] | Guylty Pleasure

        • To days ago, I attended a conference, where one of the two guests speakers was a customer of mine. This 74 years old lady was pleased to invite me. They talked about Neanderthal in my city. The extension of the city destroy many prehistoric places. They dig in their own gardens and find a lot of random “treasures” (common stones for me). So today, I was reading this to enhance my skills and I could not let my mind flying away.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting theory, although the article seems to suggest that the Neanderthal heritage is less about the way present-day people look and more about their behaviour – i.e. being night owls, loneliness, depression and smoking. (arrgh, sounds as if *I* am a carrier of the Neanderthal genome… three out of those four apply to me…)

      Like

      • Sorry, I didn’t want to make you sad. (I worried about if this study could remain you the use of other bad ones during the WWII.) But recent studies explains that Neanderthal has never been a truly “dumb brute”.

        Like

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