No Wine, But Rich And A Wardrobe. And Sci-Fi

When it comes, it comes in droves. After yesterday’s Roundabout clip, we get another short sighting of Richard, this time straight from the wardrobe. I hesitate to say “courtesy of Audible”, but more about that later.

Whatever lighting he has in his make-shift home studio, it is doing wonders for his eyes. I love the sparkle in them. That may also be due to the fact that Rich is obviously amused himself about speaking from his wardrobe to his audience. That smile is unmistakable under the words.

Are stripes the new lockdown attire?

Not complaining. And as Cyn said on Twitter to me – at least he’s listened to my appeal. No micro stripes. 😂

So, hard at work for Audible. With two Agatha Christie books, which Rich has actually already linked to for pre-order. Busy little bee, and a smart sales man, too. Those books won’t be released until autumn, October 6th 2020, to be exact, but pre-orders are already open.

And now come some critical thoughts, so you are forewarned and can skip this bit.

Sorry, no link from me straight to Audible this time. Quite frankly, I have now had enough of their particular marketing shtick. Is it just me or did others also find the wording “you have been awfully good lately” patronising to the extreme? They all but forgot to add the word “girls” at the end of that sentence. Is this a reference to being compliant citizens who have stayed at home, in line with government regulations in most countries at the moment? In that case, I *have* been good. Or are we good girls because we have flocked to pre-order each and every recent Armitage-narrated audio book in record time? If so, I am not in the mood to be treated like a consumerist sheep that gets thrown a little bit of Armitage every once in a while in order to make Audible’s cash register chime. Yes, I understand that this is meant to be funny. But it is funny on a level that reeks to me of belittling and mocking women who have been at the receiving end of patronisation and condescension for centuries, yet are good enough to be milked as cash cows. And sorry, I don’t get that kind of humour. Just replace the hashtag #armitagearmy in the tweet with any random marginal group that has suffered discrimination, and it would be quite unacceptable to express yourself like that! 😡

Moving on from Twitter Audible’s modus communicandi I thought long and hard whether I should post the following.  Not least because it is expressed in a way along the lines of a controversy that caused a massive and very hurtful fall-out between me and a fellow fan a couple of years ago. The charge back then: I was cowardly and sneakily criticising Armitage because I was too chicken to address it directly at him via his Twitter. But then let’s see this not as a criticism but as an invitation for discussion. In a civilised and respectful manner, please! I mean no disrespect and and I am appreciative of the glimpses we have been given. But I am questioning whether the communications are open to misinterpretation. Could Richard’s tweets come across as somewhat tone-deaf these days? The two video clips have been very welcome, entertaining and heart-warming. It is good to see him. Not even “see him in good form”, but just “see him”. He was last on stage near the end of March, so it has been a while. And all of this during a challenging time for all of us. So seeing “movie boyfriend’s” handsome face and hearing his smooth voice, wishing his audience to “stay well”,  is balm for our souls.

I appreciate that he has made these little clips. Very much. But I find it hard to just take them at face value. Literally as “just happy at seeing his face”. There is an underlying issue for me, in that Richard’s communications in the last while (excepting the Roundabout video, btw) always contain a discreetly unspoken but nevertheless inherent invitation to purchase. It wouldn’t bother me under normal circumstances. After all promotion is part of his job. His career depends on the audience *knowing* that his work is available. And his work is a product that has a price. Fair enough. What strikes me as unfortunate in this context, however, is that promo communications always imply an encouragement to spend money – yet a core part of his very audience very recently has spent a considerable amount of money on theatre tickets and attached travel and accommodation costs, *and not seen a return on it (yet)*. That is due to the circumstances, which are out of our hands, Richard’s hands, the theatre producers’ hands, even our governments’ hands. I don’t blame him for that, and of course I don’t expect him to right the wrongs or reimburse his fans or to feel obliged to sweeten the disappointment with free consolation prizes. Not his duty. But I am concerned how the repeated (implied) calls for purchase come across. It is great that he has made a niche and wardrobe for himself in the audio book universe. And working even during this time of crisis, is laudable. But at a time when the public’s focus is more than ever trained at the internet and celebrities (for information and distraction), too much promotional activity can feel exploitative. I don’t believe that that is his intention. I just wonder whether it could be mistaken, especially by people who are *not* his fans. In short, a little less promotion and a little more non-commercial communication, please *cues Elvis*.

So there, that’s what I have been mulling over.

For other entertainment news

A trailer of the Korean sci-fi film Richard worked on last year, has been spotted online.

Much like Servetus, my first thought was also “Is he the robot?”

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… that would be such a pity if they didn’t include his face in the film!!!

 

We’ll see. Tbh, I would love to see RA in the sci-fi genre. It’s a field he hasn’t (really) played in yet. And the trailer actually looked pretty smooth. Fingers crossed we get to see it!

76 thoughts on “No Wine, But Rich And A Wardrobe. And Sci-Fi

  1. Lovely to see another glimpse of RA, striped shirt, shining deep blue eyes, killer smile and all.

    Side topic: (not trying to offend or cause a fight, as Guytly explained from previous time, only discussing) This is nothing new with Audible adverts. They are subtle at time or blatant on others Recall one advert where they portray the females as sloughing off in workplace, whilst she is sneaking off to listen to an audiobook while the males are having to do both their job and hers and now this patronizing “good girl” “pats on head” comment. There have been a few others. Would not surprise me to know to see male running their SM and males who approve their adverts.

    Thanks for also mentioning the “invitation to purchase” feel. Don’t think he intends that at all though seeing replies of having lost their jobs or not having gotten refunds from theatre, hotel, airline, it is a bit hard to take. He too has to work and he’s got obligations, but maybe a mention without anything to do with purchasing like you eloquently wrote would go a long way.

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    • Definitely nice to see him – looking well and cheerful. It kind of extends across the screen, and that is just what I wanted.
      “Pats on head” – touché. If there is one thing I hate, it’s that kind of tone, especially when coming from an anonymously managed account where I can’t even see who the actual person tweeting is. This kind of “funny” misogyny is even more annoying when it is clear that the majority of Audible’s audience is female. Tbh, I’d be pretty devastated if a piece of work of mine was marketed that way.
      I agree with you that RA is not tweeting his new work as an intentional call to action directed at his fans. But that’s where the “tone-deafness” comes in. He is, as he has emphasised again and again, a hypersensitive man. But it appears he has no sense of how his messages can come across – at *this* particular time.

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      • he’s very contradictory on that tbh -he kinda pulled himself up on it March 15th after he tweeted about people should listen to his audiobooks then he tweeted “I don’t mean to promote anything here (£) ” then a few weeks later he’s promoting his audiobooks again! lol
        I think some of the issue for me stems from the fact that virtually every tweet is a sales pitch and it gets a bit wearing. Doesn’t mean I don’t squee a bit when he gives us content-just a shame not more of it comes from Richard the person. But again-he doesn’t have to-I’m just saying it’s a shame

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        • In your tweet you mention two places where the cookie crumbles. 1) He does have *some* awareness that promo tweets can be either misunderstood or genuinely come across as inappropriate. Why then does he do it? Contractual obligations?
          2) I’d hazard the guess that the majority of his fans read his tweets/follow him on SM *not* because they primarily want to buy his work, but because they want to gain insights into the actor they are interested in. In that sense a sales pitch will never meet the needs of the audience, unless accompanied by some other content. I daresay that his audio books’/films’/DVDs’ sales are completely unaffected by the sales pitch. Or at worst, the sales pitch might be counterproductive. We would buy the stuff, anyway, whether he promotes it or not. Unless some of us get peeved off if we perceive to be treated as a target audience of buyers only.

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          • Oh good point. Yes that makes sense of contract obligations to promote especially as he’s increased the amount of books he narrates. Thanks for pointing that out.

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              • Not at all. I don’t mind the promo as such. Sure, it’s his job, so he has to promote the stuff. What I mind—and what you pointed out in your post—is that Mr. Empathy tweets purchase and preorder link almost to the exclusion of anything else. It’s simply unbalanced. If he or his agent want to set up a newsletter that solely features short synopses of upcoming work together with release dates and where those products will be available, great. That would be a what-you-see-is-what-you-get situation. But we hardly need to follow him for that. If there isn’t at least some added value to a SM account, well, it becomes counterproductive. There should be some semblance of balance and right now that is missing. My 2 cents on the subject.

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                • You have put your finger on it in much clearer terms than I have. The messaging is basically for paid content only. Which I am (mostly) happy to buy. I’d appreciate it if there was also another apparent reason for his communications. It would make him look a little less salesman-y. Besides, the point of SM was actually primarily NOT marketing and advertising. It has only become that over the years when companies realised that SM is a channel for organic (hence free) marketing. I doubt RA sees himself like that… but you might be fooled to think so.

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  2. I hear what you are saying; re: Audible, I usually just skip over their blurb. (I love the work, but feel almost dirty giving Jeff Bezos more money.)

    With regard to his appearances being for sellable purposes, that is what he does. As you said, it is part of his job to promote his work. Quite frankly, I find the celebrities who are posting their “what I’m doing during quarantine” videos to be irritating and pompous. I don’t want Mr. A to suddenly be all “I have to share what my life is about, so that I am viewed as equivalent to my subjects…er, fans.” 😒

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    • I have unfollowed Audible. But I guess I will have to do what you say – completely skip the blurb when they get retweeted.
      I am not following any celebs who are posting pompous quarantine ‘inspiration’ content. (That Muhammad Ali quote from a few weeks ago was enough for my taste.) I was already or am now following some celebs who are doing their best to entertain and distract. That is something that *I* appreciate. It’s not for everyone, and that is ok. But I have never felt the need to specifically “look up to” my favourite actor. I appreciate his talents and admire him for those. On a human level, however, I firmly believe that we are *all* equal, especially in an extraordinary circumstance such as the Covid crisis. Personally, I like to see that reflected because I need my favourite actor to be relatable. But again, everybody has different needs, and if you prefer him to be more aloof or more extraordinary or decidedly unlike your own life, that is perfectly valid and fine with me, too.

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      • My personal preference is to see him not be “tone-deaf” during this pandemic and showing more of his “empathy”. Maybe that’s not his thing, not comfortable, has reasons not to show this side of him. I find the promoting off-putting though others find it a positive time for them. Counting how many tweets were promoting some fort of sales is too much for me.

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        • Agree with you there. More empathy, less promotion. But as I said elsewhere, I accept we all have different needs. And of course, whatever I say, RA is under no obligation to do as I say. I’m just saying that I don’t really like his messaging at this time.

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      • i never really looked at audible.com, i find audible.uk is much more sedate and unintrusive, all i ever get from them is the daily books email which is fine and even the offers for books are sort of curated but essentially no different in tone from Waterstones or Wordery or other bookstores i subscribe to. Maybe they have less staff or know that certain tones would not work in this market, not sure. They do tend to promote very different content though as well, i guess it is market tailored. But regardless, my conscience prods me about them because i know they pay readers peanuts in general, as they do staff so it doesn’t make you feel great overall. But Waterstones have not been great either at the start of the crisis. At least it is books, arts and there are few income streams for them so not so bad paying something towards the genre and hopefully they will give some artists work who otherwise would have none whatsoever, i hope at least.

        But yeah, the few i follow have been ok, none of that ‘this is my life under lockdown’ stuff, but then again i don’t follow any mega stars and the few locals i do are very down to earth LOL it’s more like ‘my life descending into chaos’ and the classical bunch poor sods are barely scraping by anyway.. And really apart from 2,3 all the locals i sorta ‘follow’ don’t do SM either. I think in time i am leaning more towards wishing he didn’t either and i really like Kate’s idea of getting a newsletter instead informing about work 🙂
        But maybe it is the general atmosphere of this crisis, that rich, well off VIPs and celebrities have faded a bit into the background of reality and normal people have come to the foreground and rightly so. Maybe public opinion will become slightly less celebrity obsessed and we’ll value the normal people doing normal jobs more. It would be i think overall a healthy readjustment of public preoccupation. And he really is more normal than most, i miss seeing or hearing that side of him, like when he talked about the people he portrays and their lives, like the lovely messages about refugees when he was in Germany, even his preoccupation with politics when everyone also was preoccupied by it.

        I don’t know to be honest what would be better and i don’t want to feel like i am always criticising, but i suspect just being normal and leaving PR to the producers of the work might be more satisfying for us?

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        • I’m not so sure anymore that he is more normal than most celebs. After all, we don’t know the guy at all, and what he communicates on SM is carefully curated and impersonal. I suspect his messages from Germany were influenced by his friend Michelle Forbes. He’s never been as political (and preachy) again. I really think he should have a professional looking after his SM.

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          • I agree. At least that might prevent some of the less fortunate contributions. If PR is the sole goal, then a PR pro with an idea of what helps and what hinders positive perception of The Armitage®️would be better suited.

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            • 😂The ® behind Armitage 😂
              But indeed. If he sees SM as a marketing channel *only*, where all he does is encourage people to buy his wares, then he’d be well advised to have his channel run by professionals who market him as the brand that he has become.

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  3. I expect ‘the special story’ connected to Agatha Christie will be his mum’s story, but I shall have to wait until October to know if I am correct.

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  4. I’ve always hated the “Armitage Army” label, first because it’s corny, and 2nd because it implies lockstep to me (which I think was a bigger problem when I started than it is now re: intolerance of differing opinions). Yes it’s better than Cumber*itches, but it still seems to invite disrespect somehow. I agree that Audible is patronizing toward us & it shouldn’t be hard for them to refocus that. Loyal fans of an author or narrator is something they want, right?!
    I think Richard is the last thing from materialistic, and probably enjoys some aspects of being locked down (lol) & stops to sharing what he’s doing, when he gets to a stopping point. He may be avoiding focus on people’s financial hardships so he doesn’t dwell on his own work interruption with the play. I think he was quite angry about the lack of official closure of West End and how it affected his fellows as well as himself, to some degree. I understand that’s not necessarily comparable to what many desperate people are facing, so I’m glad he’s not doing all the “we’re in this together” a la Gal Gadot.

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    • Totally agree on the ‘Army’ label (although I occasionally step into the trap and use it myself. I guess it is a handy epithet…) – I loathe military references. At least when they are applied to private life. Lockstep is right. In this case, with Audible, the use of that collective epithet wasn’t really the worst thing for me, though. Their condescension is worse, and as you said, rather than talk down to us, they should be glad we are willing to buy their overpriced products – and butter us up.
      I have to say I did not understand why people got so angry about Gal Gadot’s attempt at cheering people up by getting their favourite celebs to sing a song? As an actor, isn’t she an entertainer, and as such she just did what an entertainer does? (At least she didn’t ask us to spend money on a product that doesn’t even exist yet.)

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      • I thought Peter Jackson was the model for how to both engage fans and treat them respectfully (he’s done an extraordinary job of it with all the Tolkien movies), until the producer of Into the Storm — Todd Garner — stepped in and showed how to really do it. Less obvious, and less slick (than Jackson), Garner invited three fan organizations to send interviewers into the press tent for the movie. And, of course, those three interviews were the most interesting of the day, because, hello, talk about informed questions, and, in Abby’s case (because she’s Abby), informed quips. So instead of the usual movie-blather from some dumb tv personality who doesn’t even know who he is talking to, and whose goal is to appear more clever than his interviewee, and whose staff member “prepped him” by spending 5 minutes Googling “Richard Armitage” (hence, non-stop repetition of circus question), we got new, insightful information out of RA, who reacted visibly — he was pleased! — to the revelation that these interviewers knew his personality and his career. All without patronizing behavior, or words, from any party.

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        • I definitely always liked the Jackson approach to fan relations. You could tell that he approached it from the point of view of a fan himself. His production vlogs were great – and the way he appeared at the premieres really cemented my opinion of him. I loved him.
          Todd Garner and ITS – that was definitely a new approach, and I think it worked pretty well. Also in the sense that it proved that fans are NOT crazy weirdos but actually better informed and more interesting than a lot of pros. Their reporting from the NY premiere was delightful.

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      • I occasionally use the label and find it funny. As to the corniness and disrespect it invites as SHeRA surmises—I don’t think it matters one bit. We are female fans. We will always be treated with disdain and ridicule, no matter the label.
        I’m #TeamCamp and #TeamCorny forever. Especially as in reality we are so far from being an army-like entity (or any kind of single entity for that matter).

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  5. Before I delve into the main topic at hand, which I might not do anyway because my thoughts might be a bit controversial, thanks for the movie trailer. It looks great! I vaguely recall that RA is playing a multibillionaire who invests in a project, so I’m assuming that his screen time is going to be quite limited. Again. Sigh… Didn’t the lead actor talk in an interview a few months back about RA’s role as the financial kingpin, and all the research he’d done for it? I got the feeling that he is playing an Elon Musk/Richard Branson-type character. Or am I so far gone that I’m just making things up? 😬

    On another side note, I’m making my very slow way through the first season of Berlin Station and am enjoying it quite a lot, despite myself (and the American accent). Just finished episode 6!

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    • The space movie looks quite well-made. At least the SGI sequences were quite elaborate, I thought. – Interesting re. RA’s character. I don’t think I ever heard that.
      Oh, is that your first time watching BS? What do you enjoy about it? Just the fact that you get to look at a darkly re-dyed RA in, or do you actually like Daniel Miller? Haha, that could be controversial…

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  6. I ignore twitter. I figure if there is something interesting happening, I will find out from secondary sources (I’m looking at you , Guylty). My first reaction was what has the Army been good about? How does he know who has been naughty or nice? The only answer for me was Army spending money on his projects. Fair enough, you are welcome, Richard. Although not in Army and not an audible consumer, I think it’s nice of you to share photos and videos. But it would be refreshing to have a message not made into a commercial.

    Ode to Info-commercial Tweets

    There once was an actor thought laudable,
    Especially while performing for Audible,
    His voice was a pleasure to hear.
    But when promoting his recording,
    His tweets were so boring,
    He didn’t seem quite such a dear.

    Kathy Jones

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    • OMG, Kathy – that ode!!!! Six lines – and spot on. 😂And the fact that you put it into rhyme tells me that you do have an emotional reaction to Richard’s infomercials…
      In fairness, it was Audible who tweeted that BS about “the army has been awfully good”, and not Richard. (I don’t think he would actually treat his audience so patronisingly.) Nevertheless, personally I would’ve felt uncomfortable having my content advertised in that way. Maybe he did, too.

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  7. I’m sympathetic to much being said here. I will never like audiobooks, so as much as I like RA’s narration, I will never get excited about any of his Audible projects other than the marketing being a chance to see him talk about something (even if the something is a book that sounds awful). Audible’s promo has always been cheesy and tone deaf, and not just for RA; it’s just their MO. Misogyny of course makes it even worse. It annoys me when any marketing person uses the cutesy Armitage Army tag because it shows they’re not savvy enough to realize people stopped using that years and years ago. But. RA seems to enjoy narration so I’m glad he’s keeping busy there in the cupboard during lockdown. I certainly get that people question the timing of his promotion in these financially challenging times. But if audiobooks are his main professional activity for now, and he’s avoiding pandemic inspiration, politics, and his personal life, what do fans think he *should* tweet about? I was thinking about his past tweets: most are about filming a show or staging a play: peeks at fellow actors or the directors and writers, work on a set or stage, the city of filming, themes of the piece. Those projects go on for weeks or months. Sadly, there is little equivalent to that for an audiobook beyond what he’s done: pix of recording, praise for the story and author…that’s it. The location is unglamorous (a studio or his closet), there are no other actors, the project lasts a few days at most. So I’m not sure his tweets around these projects are ever going to be spellbinding.

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    • Leaving Audible’s questionable marketing aside – you are right, there is little to talk about when we are currently all somewhat restricted in what we can do. I find that all the time with my family, too. The daily facetime with my mum is somewhat redundant. If nothing happens, then I can’t tell her anything new. That also applies to RA. Although I can think of more interesting (and appropriate) content than yet another encouragement to spend money on his audio books. It’s not as if anybody expects him to record himself pontificating about politics and philosophy. I’d find it interesting if he allowed a glimpse into his mind via the books he’s reading, the shows he is watching, or any other thing he is occupied with. It just feels as if he has become really one-dimensional, and that disappoints me.

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      • It’s so funny (or not really). I just read a comment on twitter not too long ago where someone was ranting at the bad fans who criticize him and why the hell do they even follow him and I thought to myself “where is this coming from?” This attitude that he must not be criticized or questioned in any way? I mean, we’ve said time and again, we don’t expect the full-on reprisal of Fred Astaire’s step routine to Singin’ in the Rain or a grand tour of his bedroom. But seeing the enthusiastic reactions to those two little videos shows how much even the smallest engagement with the fandom can cheer people up. Why is it a crime punishable by expulsion from the fandom to ask for the barest minimum of consideration from a celebrity who chooses to maintain several social media accounts ? Why is there this attitude of he is absolutely untouchable? It honestly baffles me how vicious people get about any perceived violation of the sacred contract between him and his fans that he must not be bothered. I am bothered—by that!

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        • I don’t see how disagreeing with/criticising a celeb and being their fan are mutually exclusive. I mean, I love my husband – but I am also his fiercest critic. *shrugs* In the greater scheme of fandom it doesn’t actually matter whether you adore every single thing he does, or whether you dare to voice dissent: It’s not as if he (or most celebs) acknowledge either. And as long as he doesn’t, I don’t see why I have to operate under some kind of anticipatory obedience or subject myself to some kind of prescient self-censorship. For all I know, he doesn’t care about (and isn’t aware of) my blog and what I write. That is exactly what I expect and I am fine with that because it means I can express myself truthfully.
          There are a hundred thousand different ways to fangirl, and if some people prefer to receive his communications with enthusiasm, then that is fine with me. I’d wish they’d extend that tolerance to my way of fangirling, too.

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        • Kate and Guylty, I hope my comments are not being equated with Kate’s Twitter example of fans who think RA is untouchable, as that’s not what I think at all. I come to blogs like this for intelligent discussion and debate. Sometimes I happen to agree with RA and sometimes I don’t; it may or may not coincide with the things you agree or disagree with. I hope people will distinguish between fans who blindly find all criticism of him sacreligious and those who express an opinion as part of a larger discussion.

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          • Not referring to you at all. Like you, I sometimes agree with him and sometimes don’t. It’s natural.

            There is, however, a part of this fandom who is in transports about his every hiccup and who viciously condemns (not civilly debates) those who dare disagree with anything at all. To them, he is always right and those who disagree at any time about anything are told to “just stop following him if he’s that awful” to kill any debate whatsoever. Those people can shove off as far as I’m concerned.

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  8. As much as Audible’s tweet annoyed me, in Richard’s defense, he wouldn’t have any control over what their SM person adds to the video he provides. I have a Twitter account but that’s as far as it goes these days – occasionally I will follow up something that interests me but, same as Kathy, I generally rely on secondary sources (blogs and Tumblr) for news, hence I’m not exposed to the sales push so much. Plus I cherry pick what I want to pay attention to or not. In this case however, my response was one of being quickly irritated, but it wasn’t by Richard.

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    • Oh, I totally agree. The patronising bullshit added by Audible is not Richard’s responsibility. But the sales pitch was his and not theirs in this case.

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  9. To start on a side note: when he says he records in his wardrobe, I wonder how big that thing is? I have clothes in my wardrobe and couldn’t fit in anything else.

    Audible – yeah, I felt like I was being spoken to as a little child. I presume they were trying to be funny. I ignore them anyway, only see stuff when it’s retweeted. Best to continue ignoring their marketing.

    As for RA on Twitter – that has become virtually only promotional anyhow in recent years, so it doesn’t bother me that he continues to use it as such. Sure, it’s preaching to the choir as fans watch/listen to/buy his stuff anyhow but I just see it as his way of letting us know what he’s up to workwise. That he includes a link to buy – to me it’s something like a service announcement. And it’s not only him making money, he probably doesn’t need to, but it’s also keeping behind the scenes workers (producers, mixers, etc.) in work as well. Social media to RA is about work and this is his way of showing everyone that he’s keeping himself busy; that’s the basic message I get anyhow. And it’s more than we hear from, say, Colin Firth. Would it be more fun to hear more relatable, personal messages from him? Sure, I’d love that! But he’s not a natural social media sharer – if we’ve learned anything about him in recent years it’s that – and I don’t expect that of him now at this time either. He ain’t no Sam Neill…

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    • I was wondering about the size of his wardrobe, too. I even checked on Ikea’s website to see what the wardrobes look like. Tbh I did not see anything there that looked big enough to fit a grown man with laptop and microphone. Maybe he was having us on.
      Such a pity that he isn’t more like Sam Neill. I don’t mind hearing from RA that he is keeping busy or that he will have an audio book out. He’s just a little bit too sure of himself with his marketing messages, assuming that everybody is going to flock to Audible and spend money on a luxury item. I think he has lost touch with normal life.

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      • Yeah, not quite with you on that but I get the argument. I’ve never flocked to Audible and that won’t change now. 🙂
        As for that Ikea wardrobe, I think it must be a joke or maybe he has one of those huge walk-in closets, that would fit.

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  10. Hm, i thought maybe the robot?too, unless he is like the secret baddie in the story, a bit like when Batchy did Khan in Star Trek? That would be nice.
    On the other subject i have to admit it bothered me already a while ago when the whole ‘i have build a studio for audible work’ started. It’s another reason why i think he’s no longer in the UK. But that can easily come across as slightly insensitive given that the arts here are literally on their knees, with most institutions threatened with permanent closure and most artists destitute. And those who can trying to highlight and push governments, not just here, but across Europe to not forget about the arts and artists and those who work in creative industries and help them survive. Also, numerous artists have tried to offer a bit of peace or light distraction in these times, all for no monetary exchange at all. Classical musicians, actors, etc I won’t name names, but they are all over the internet. And i felt immensely touched by their generosity, as all of them have lost work too but are trying to lift our spirits and remind us that a return is possible and will happen. I haven’t seen a single one talk or offer work against pay, apart from a few charitable initiatives where they themselves participated for free. Far be it from me for criticising him for working, i am happy he’s one of the very few who are able to do so.
    But it is a bit out of sync with what is happening with the arts in general and in the Uk in particular and the message artists in general are conveying. We know he is a private person and probably enclosed in his little bubble. But although i will very likely use credits to get the books in October, for now my attention and help, any i can give will go to those who need it way more.
    I don’t know, i am happy to see he is doing well, but the majority of arts is not and i think it’s worth remembering that.

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    • I do not think that there is anything wrong with doing paid work during this time. Even though I believe he doesn’t *need* to work, continuing to do his paid gigs is perfectly fine. Some messages of his support of the arts would be wonderful. As it is, being silent just looks uncaring and unengaged to me.
      I am not buying the audio books yet, if only to prove a point. (I have four credits waiting to be used, so I wouldn’t even have to spend money as such). It simply peeves me that there is this expectation that we have to buy his stuff as soon as it is announced. And especially now. I haven’t added it up, but I think I have spent roughly 500 Pounds on theatre tickets – which I haven’t received back even though the show has been postponed. Sorry, to me it feels a bit rich, asking fans to fork out even more money.

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  11. Yes, i agree too with the general feeling. Audible comment was patronising and I detected a sneer. I also resent them using Armitage Army as if it’s a thing. Yep, perhaps if RA’s only main use of SM is to promote product perhaps that’s sign that he doesn’t like SM. Another no show with the other dwarfs and their latest video. One thing I’m curious about with Audible is why the rush to pre-order? It’s not like the books are going to sell out – or am I being especially dim?

    Liked by 1 person

      • You could well be right, Besotted, about Audible’s motives. I’m not so sure about the rush to buy – even though I am guilty of it too! Perhaps it’s fear that the new book will vanish in a puff of smoke.

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      • I doubt they would cancel – after all they have already invested by the time they announce the new title. They’d be throwing their money into the bin. But they may draw conclusions from the pre-order figures for future bookings.

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    • I think Audible has its own bestseller lists. And if there is a rush on pre-orders, that obviously is recorded and feeds back into the bankability of a particular author/performer.
      Apart from the delightful dwarf reunion that RA snubbed, there was also Andy Serkis’ Hobbit re-read. I’m disappointed that a self-confessed Tolkien fan doesn’t support such ventures, especially when they are aimed at charity.

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      • Yes, what you both say makes sense, re pre-orders. I do find RA’s snubbery of the recent Hobbit reunions odd, as is his lack of acknowledgement or promotion of Andy Serkis’s marathon. It is not as if he is done with the Hobbit if he agreed to the convention in Germany, unless perhaps the wrangles with it has left a bitter taste. It’s baffling.

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          • He can’t be that oblivious, can he? He saw how many people were enthusiastic about the con and how many pleaded with him to join the dwarf reunion.

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            • Who knows what he sees when he looks at Twitter. I don’t have the impression that he checks in on the @ mentions unless they are from blue-ticked celebrity friends.

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        • I’m exceedingly baffled by the fact that he hasn’t publicly acknowledged and promoted the Hobbit reading. It was for charity for crying out loud. For a guy who has exactly two items in his bio—being moody and Thorin Oakenshield—he holds himself strangely apart from all of that. And that has been the case since long before the con snafu imo.

          Liked by 1 person

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