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!