Fascination Fandom

A couple of days ago I had a really interesting conversation. I am still wondering why it happened at all, but the context is this: My son is currently travelling in South Eastern Europe with a friend. Master Guylty was calling from the Greek island of Samothraki on Sunday, and by way of conversation I reminded him that I had been to Greece myself a few years ago, travelling with a group of fandom friends. 2016 – goodness, already five years ago! Shout-out to Obscura, Jholland, Kathy Jones, Cramerry and Wydville. 👏🏻 While Master Guylty and I were battling with breaking up internet connections, he must have told his friend about his mother’s activity in the Armitage fandom. So when the line was reestablished, it was Master Guylty’s friend who took over the conversation. He is a recent psychology graduate and was evidently fascinated by the notion of fandom. His first question – “Is Armitage a good guy compared to other celebrities.” So I answered essentially saying yes, he is, but also adding that there are things about him that I see in a critical light. His response was that he was surprised – he had assumed that fandom was “mainly about adoration” and he had not expected that there were also critical voices within fandom. In my reply I explained my hypothesis that some of the different approaches may be explained by the length of time an individual has been a fan of the particular celebrity. The more you know – the more details you may find that are *not* to one’s liking. A bit like a relationship – there is a honeymoon period during which every little thing the other person says and does is just wonderful, but over time you also get to see the flaws and the opinions where you differ. But generally within the fandom there are some fans who always react enthusiastically to Armitage *no matter what*, and others who maintain the right to voice criticism. – So far, so pedestrian. But then we got to the interesting part.

What is the biggest, recurring issue within fandom?

In particular, he was referring to the issue that sparks most conflict between the two above mentioned groups of fans – those who prefer to react *only* positively, and those who reserve the right to express criticism.

Oh dear, what to say???

I suspect he expected an issue that either referred to Armitage’s body of work (such as “Armitage was great as Adam Price” vs. “Armitage was lacklustre as Adam Price” – don’t kill me, this is just an example. I don’t believe he has *ever* been lacklustre in anything) or Armitage’s body, full stop (“TeamShrubbery vs. Team Lawn”). And so he was quite surprised by my reply. Can you guess? In my opinion, the most contentious issue is not whether Armitage is gay, whether he has a US passport or whether he is leading us on with his constant hints about his writings. Where *I* see the most volatile skirmishes, is not the Armitage-related issues – although they are often the starting point for the *real* point of contention. In my opinion, the recurring issue is “how to fan”, i.e. whether you can only applaud and adore Richard, or whether you can also critically react and analyse Richard’s work and public appearances. Connected to that is the ever-resurfacing issue of one group telling the other that “you must not…”.

Unfortunately, the line broke up after this, so I didn’t hear his reply to my answer. But the conversation has stayed with me since then. You know where I stand on the issue. I have always been of the opinion that every fan has to fan the way they feel is right for them. Fandom, more or less by definition, is a “happy place”. If that means you don’t want to hear anything that has even the whiff of criticism but want to perpetuate happy thoughts, then by all means be a fan who exclusively reacts with enthusiasm and admiration. That is perfectly valid, and more importantly, is what makes *you* happy. However, for some people, *their* happy place is where they can critically analyse and discuss Richard in depth, expressing their thoughts without suppressing critical opinions. Spending time and energy on a discussion is simply another form of expressing enthusiasm and admiration. If I didn’t like Richard, I wouldn’t bother to critically assess his work or what he says. My general disposition to like what he does, is a given.

I can happily arrange myself with “peaceful coexistence”. I don’t feel any urge to convince “the other side” to fan the way *I* fan. We can all do it the way we feel is right for us individually. I’m sure that there are “happy fans” who roll their eyes when the “critical fans” get stuck in discussions of minor details – and vice versa. The only thing I have a strong reaction to, are attempts by either side to tell the others “don’t do it this way”. No. *You* don’t get to decide how *I* or *they* should fan like. If you don’t like how *I* fan, then I respectfully ask you to ignore me and let me be. It’s better for both of us – and for the fandom at large. Because ultimately, skirmishes between fans make the whole fandom look bad. We don’t *have to be* a homogenous group – and we most certainly aren’t. In a way, that is the most fascinating part of fandom – being a gathering place for people of all backgrounds, ages, genders, nations, approaches and opinions. I’d rather celebrate the diversity than synchronise us all into conformity.

Conformity is boring…

In any case, I would love to continue the discussion with my son’s friend, especially since he also briefly touched upon the gender issue in his questions. I’ll have to wait until he returns from Greece. But what is your take on the most contentious issue within our fandom? It comes down to our own perception of fandom and what role it plays in our individual lives, I suppose. What can I say? I’m deRAnged…

71 thoughts on “Fascination Fandom

  1. I’m a shallow fan, I fear. I definitely switch off when the minor details are being thrashed out! Don’t really like all the speculation over whether he’s gay (I think he probably is and I hate myself for rather wishing he weren’t) but it’s simply not our business.

    Btw I’m currently enthralled by his narration of The Garden of Angels by David Hewsom 😀

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    • Haha, perfectly valid, Helen. Also added to that is the fact that you’ve been a fan for so long, so many of the details are old news and have been discussed already. I tune out of that myself, too.
      Kudos for your honesty re. gay – completely agree. On all counts. Including business ownership 😁
      I can see how you’d be enthralled by that particular audio book, Helen, set in your beloved Venice. Did you recognise some of the locations? (I didn’t particularly like that book, I have to say. Possibly motivated by my passionate dislike of Hewson 😬)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, whatever younthink of Hewson (I didn’t realise youndisliked him) he knows Venice. The only thing that irritates me is that RA pronounces most of the Venetian places perfectly correctly but then gets other Italian words just a bit wrong 🤔 – grazie for example!

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        • Yep, not a fan of Hewson. But I totally give him that he knows (and loves) Venice. La Serenissima is a strong character in his novel.
          I’m glad you are saying that re. pronunciation of words. I don’t speak Italian but generally have a good ear for languages, and there were a few instances where I did a double-take and wonder whether Armitage got it wrong – and why nobody noticed it in post-production. Little bits like that always annoy me most.

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          • Hewson for sure knows and love Venice very well. And Verona too. When he wrote Romeo and Juliet, I discovered places in Verona that I didn’t know. 🙂
            And yes, Armitage pronunciation of many Italian words wasn’t right, or somehow awkward. Maybe somebody should have made a list of the italian words in the book and have them pronounced by an italian speaking person, so Armitage could hear the right pronunciation.

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            • Glad to hear my impression corroborated by an Italian speaker. I mean, it’s all very well – RA is not Italian, therefore it is hard for him to pronounce words correctly. My criticism is really aimed more at the producers of the audio book who obviously skimped on either preparation or post-production proofing. That kind of thing annoys me – it doesn’t just make the audio book sound cheaply made, but also falls back on the performer, and that’s just not fair.

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          • I had this with the “heads you win” Audio book – mostly his Russian accent and pronounciation of single Russian words sounded pretty convincing for my non-russian-speaker-ears ( and for sure playing Lucas North and all that previous work, played into that)
            but right at the end of the book he says “Vladimir Putin” and pronounces “Putin” like “Pjoutihn” and its just jarring. 😝

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            • Ugh – that is really a pretty bad slip-up. – I remember being quite impressed by his Russian (and Russian accent) early on until I watched Spooks together with my RL RA friend who is half Russian. What sounded perfectly Russian to me, was ‘alright’ but not outstanding, by her standards. The whole German thing in BS eventually brought home to me how over-exaggerated my expectations of him were. He definitely did not sound like a native speaker of German there, but then again – why should he? Most of his films/books are not aimed at the markets of the foreign language spoken in them, so as long as he “sounds” convincingly foreign to the listeners, he’s done a good job. (I just dislike it when people enthusiastically compliment him on sounding native, when that is not true.)

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  2. I’m a happy fan. Yes, I don’t agree with everything RA says/does, but I just want to enjoy the ‘pretty’ so switch out of the more in depth discussions. People aren’t perfect, but this part of fandom is my fun space, so I shall float gently along on the top and ignore troubled waters underneath.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perfectly valid approach, Hobbit. Do whatever it takes to keep the fandom your happy place. If it isn’t fun, it has to stop, as the man said himself. I think we have the responsibility ourselves to create our own space within it. ❤️

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  3. as someone who has been a part of more than just the Armitage fandom, I think the issue of ‘how to fan’ is universal, and it causes the most uproar in all the fandoms I have observed! I’ve been on both sides of the issue myself, seeing criticism as disloyal when in that Honeymoon stage that you mentioned, and then switching gears and feeling like my individuality and free choice are threatened when I’m not ‘allowed’ to do my own thing. I think it comes down to how fandom functions for each of us, what we’re personally getting out of the experience. there are some fans who just like to play and there are some fans who use it as an introspective tool, and there is a lot a grey space in between those two benchmarks. I’ve learned so much about myself as a person through my experiences with fandom, and it’s also been a huge comfort for me when going through difficult times ‘off line’.

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    • Thank you for your comment, Kelly. I always really value your perspective on fandom issues, precisely because you have navigated not only this fandom but others and you are now looking at it from a slightly more objective (?) pov. The “how to fan” is probably a recurring issue in every fandom, as you said. I suspect that much of that is actually also dictated from *outside* the fandom – with the assessments, stereotypes and opinions about fans imposed on us. It’s definitely also a matter of personality – for instance whether one likes discussion or shies away from conflict, for instance. All fair enough. – I have always enjoyed the community aspect of it but I accept that it may not hold the same kind of comfort or interest for others. But yeah, where there are people, there are differing opinions…

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      • outside opinions can definitely stir the pot and cause drama where there wasn’t drama before, but our own issues are a really big factor as well. once upon a time I would get very defensive when jabs at Richard’s intelligence were made or judgements about his upbringing/background, until I stopped and asked myself why was I jumping to his defense so vehemently, when I didn’t even know the man? he wasn’t some weakling who couldn’t stand up for himself and I might actually be overstepping by doing it for him, when maybe he didn’t even want me to. it was then that I realized that those were *my* issues, things I felt I had in common with him and that I was insecure about. a lot of my hot air deflated once I realized that.

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        • Absolutely agree that we bring our own issues to the whole fandom thing – and sometimes it may just be the day that’s in it that shapes our reaction to something. By and large, I don’t believe that Richard needs me to defend him. He’s a big boy and has been a professional in his field for many years. He is used to criticism and deals with it whichever way he has found best for him. (Tweet-deleting? *coughs*) So I generally do not feel responsible for defending him. But I can see how many fans (myself sometimes included) identify with him and therefore feel defensive when he is criticised. I don’t believe that the conclusion from that should be to forbid all criticism. But it does mean that we need to be careful in how we express criticism.

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  4. I think you’re spot on. The nastiness comes from disagreeing on who is being a “true” fan.
    I’m glad there are no real rules to being a fan other than to respect each other and human hood of the “idol” being followed.
    My fan ship is pretty limited in scope, but it’s deep in respect where it lies.

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    • Thankfully “true fan” is undefined and there is no rule book that goes with being a fan. I’d hate to be hit about the head with it 😂. If there are any rules, number one should simply be “have fun”. That’s what all of this is. Fun. I mean, we are not building a nuclear power plant here. It’s a fun past time where there is no room for attacks and vendettas.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re a human and humans have opinions. Some like to express opinions, others do not. We’ll just gravitate to where we find our tribe. All good.

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  5. I’m not sure where I am as a fan of his these days. I mean, I am still a fan of the “man behind the mask” but there are roles he’s played that I still haven’t seen. And don’t plan to go out of my way to track down in order to watch. If I see them, I see them; if I don’t, I don’t. And I don’t do audiobooks at all – I’d much rather read than be read to.

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    • My approach is – if you like RA, and you want to talk about RA with others who share your interest in him, then you are a fan. That’s all that is required – an urge to discuss RA with like-minded people. I’ll get the membership pass in the post to you 😉

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  6. Wonderful piece, Guylty! I quite agree with all you’ve said. It seems to me that conflicts within fandoms arise when different understandings of loyalty are at stake, and when fans place differing degrees of importance on “loyalty” as a component of fandom. Some see criticism of an actor as a lapse in loyalty, but it’s not a club where you have to meet someone else’s criteria in order to call yourself a fan. At times I’ve struggled with something similar where I was surprised by fans of a certain actor who spread their love around and were fans of several other actors. Personally, I am a fan of only one actor and I can’t imagine that level of engagement with anyone else (it would be too exhausting, for one thing). I never actually criticized the multi-fans out loud, and I’ve learned over the years to still that inner voice saying that they were disloyal. There is no one “correct” way to be a fan.

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    • Loyalty! That’s it. It’s about who is the most loyal fan. As if it was a contest *sigh*. You are hitting it right on the head there, Linnet – “it’s not a club where you have to meet someone else’s criteria in order to call yourself a fan”. In the absence of rules, we can cast our net wide and fan together, in all our myriad ways.
      However, I do understand your “irritation” (for want of a better word) with multi-fans. For much the same reasons, I have often also looked at multi-fans as if they were less committed to *my* “one and only”. But that’s bullsh*t, and I know that. In fact, sometimes it is fans who are little less “involved” who spark interesting discussions or notice things when I can’t see the wood for the trees. And the longer I have been active as a fan, I have also learned that there can be a place for everyone, and it is highly likely that they will find a grouping within the wider fandom where they can feel at home. The more, the merrier – and all just the way *they* like it.

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      • I can only speak to my own experiences but to give some insight into a ‘multi’ fan: I usually have one actor that I heavily ‘stan’, meaning I’m up to date on all their current appearances, interviews, photos, etc. and although I may not have seen everything that they’ve been in, I’ve seen a big chunk of it (most likely consumed in bingewatching sessions that occur over the course of a few weeks or even a few days). I will fangirl this actor heavily, analyzing their characters and creating my own headcanon for what they are like offscreen as well as on. I was drawn to something in them that spoke to me and so I use them as a creative tool to better understand myself. eventually someone else will most likely spark something different in me and the cycle starts all over again. I don’t ditch the former muse completely though, my strong attachment to them won’t allow it! so maybe I’m not up to date on all the current interviews and the like, but I’m aware enough to still consider myself a fan. I have resurgences of strong adoration for them and will revisit my favorite media of them but that other guy is still at the front sucking up most of my fangirl time. you are 100% correct when you say it seems exhausting, b/c it can be! that’s why I tend to focus on the current one and the formers just fall in line behind. it’s also that exhaustive quality that causes me to keep the others around to fall back on, b/c it starts to become too much for me, feeling too much and thinking too much about one actor/character. it’s just how my brain works, always seeking, always learning what I can about different people and subjects through the stories these actors tell. the funny thing is, that in ‘real life’ I’ve been with the same man since I was 17 yrs old. so it’s not like I have commitment issues 😛 (just to clarify: I wasn’t offended by these remarks, I’m just offering a glimpse into how/why the multi actor thing works for me 🙂 )

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        • Thank you for sharing this insight. It makes perfect sense when I read it here (although I am a total one-trick pony *haha* and would find it hard to divide my attention to several celebrities). In a way, you are getting the most out of more than one world, so all the better for you. And there is definitely one thing I am envious of: With every new actor you start fangirling over, you have the privilege of discovering his back catalogue, his interviews and other public appearances. So there is a wealth of new material coming your way, and a rush of emotions that come with it. Haha, maybe you are addicted to being in a constant honeymoon mood? 😉 I mean, I can see why – it is so energising to discover a new movie boyfriend.

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      • That’s true, what you say about multi-fans offering a new perspective. And they can be just as enthusiastic as us “one and onlies.” It’s also interesting to me to see who their “also” actors are. I’ve found great new shows to watch this way : )

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  7. I think the man is a fabulous actor, but I reserve the right NOT to watch every little thing for reasons. I think there are things that are none of our business unless he reveals it and one group shouldn’t tell another group, ‘if you don’t believe this, such as puts his left foot first into his pants, rather than his right, then you’re not a fan or your delusional.’

    Not your place, honey buns.

    then again, I’ve been told I’m a terrible fan or why do I fan due to my political leanings. I don’t see what mine or anyone else’s political leanings has to do with the price of rice, but that’s me and I’m old, so I learned a long long time ago to try to not major in the minors.

    Also – Team Shrub, all the way!

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    • I suspect he came at it from a psychological pov. Maybe he is looking for a topic for his MA thesis 😬😱. Neither my son or his friend have any experience with fandom, I think. He did mention something he had observed in relation to a podcast host that he follows, namely that the die-hard fans of something/someone also seem to be the most vocal critics. I think that was where his initially curiosity in relation to our fandom came from.
      And yes, I’d love to continue the conversation with him, too. Not least because I am keen to put the public stereotype of “screaming, obsessed female fans who adore a male celeb” into perspective for a young man. Fandom is much more nuanced than that, yet we are still stereotyped in that misogynist way.

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  8. I shall always be grateful for the pleasure the whole adventure of being part of ‘something special’ gave me
    From experiencing a film premiere event to visiting New York
    While Robin Hood was on our screens it pulled me through a difficult time
    I think we have to take what brings joy to ourselves rather than worrying what others think

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    • Spot on. Fandom is as much about ourselves (individually) than it is about the celeb in question. And therefore our responsibility is to ourselves, and to making sure that our activities are making us happy – not sad or angry.

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  9. Yes, fan shaming and trying to conform others to the ‘correct’ way of being a fan really is the biggest bone of contention in fandoms. Anger is often born out of frustration that others don’t conform to our own ideas but people are all so very different, it is impossible to all be fans in the same way. Live and let live may be one of the hardest things to do in life…

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    • It really is. I mean, I won’t deny that I sometimes feel angered by other fans just because they do not conform to my idea of fandom. But it would be a bad idea to impose *my* rules of conduct on others. It’s none of my business what others do.

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  10. This is a fascinating post. For me as a fan, the big elephant in the room has been RA’s sexuality and the likelihood that he is probably gay. And anything (slightly) taboo tends to make me want to discuss it….I think I probably belong in the second more “critical” category of fan you identified.
    I still like him all these years later after N&S first came out. This is despite the fact that I think he’s an ok actor, not a great one. Half the stuff he’s been in I haven’ t seen (and am not interested in). I don’t particularly like it when he is in “luvvie” mode or virtue signalling or attempting to lecture his fans on how he wishes them to behave (the Cyber smile stuff comes to mind).

    I do think RA has mellowed (matured) and appears less hung up on what people or his fans think of him than he did a few years ago. I like to see glimpses of his ordinariness and quirks (Mr let me first unpack my suitcase before I go to the toilet 😂). I don’t think he meant to be funny but the mental images of some of his remarks still bring a grin to my face. I guess fundamentally I am trying to ascertain an understanding of the man behind the image.

    I don’t know what my being a fan of RA says about me (not sure I would want to know either), but it has brought me pleasure being able to read about, and share my views on Richard (and all his foibles) with fellow fans online. IMO I think he is incredibly lucky to have such a loyal (and largely intelligent) fanbase behind him, supporting his career (guaranteed bums on seats in theatres for the producers). Which loops back round to the question of what is it about Richard that still inspires us to continue to be his fans….

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    • That question regarding RA’s sexual orientation has definitely been a big source of discussion and/or conflict in the fandom. It’s basically the one topic that I generally ignore and do not like to discuss on my blog (although that probably gives the false impression on the outside that I might have a problem with him being gay. Truth is – I don’t. I actually think it is more than likely he is gay. But I simply believe that the topic is evidently sensitive to him, considering his own vagueness on the subject, so I don’t think it’s up for discussion.)
      Ooh, haha, Zigzag, “ok actor, not a great one” – LOL, that opinion could be the spark that fans a whole war 😁. No, seriously, I think he’s fab, and I like his choice of diverse roles that have always widened by horizon. There is very little in his career that I would criticise. His personal conduct, however… yeah, virtue signalling or telling people how to behave, are big no-nos and frustrate me whenever he engages in that. Cybershite actually enrages me everytime I even just see it mentioned anywhere. He appeals to me most when the mask slips a little bit, he is not playing any role and we get to see the actual human. By and large, I think he is a decent fella, but extremely private. The latter really keeps the mystery alive, though, so even though I wish I knew more about him, I am secretly happy that he keeps us guessing. That ensures future blogging about RA 😁

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  11. I think I am some sort of content fan. I don’t care about fandom rifts, or how to fandom. I don’t hesitate to say I like Richard’s roles more than I like him as a person portrayed by his interviews and social media. I especially like the roles where he gets to lean in on the masculine aspects of his personality. Thorin Oakenshield, Raymond De Merville, John Proctor. For me, that’s where he shines the most. That’s my jam. (It’s no surprise to me that my man is a bit shorter than me, has wide shoulders, epic beard and after the pandemic, even luscious long hair…) And I love Richard’s voice and his talent as a narrator. I usually forget I’m listening to him, he’s that good. As to the fandom, I love moments where we come together – like Flat Richie, that’s been so much fun!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting, Korinka – “leaning in on the masculine aspects of his personality”. I like how you put that, and come to think of it, that’s also what I am here for (at least when it comes to Richard, as opposed to fandom). I guess that’s no surprise, given that I am a heterosexual woman. There is probably some sort of innate desire for an idealised masculine hero in me 😂. Ultimately, however, since Richard doesn’t really give his fans more than his little finger, it’s the fandom itself that keeps me occupied.

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        • Do you mean the Flat Richie journal with all the contributing pages by the participants? You are right, I have shamefully neglected that and never continued posting the remaining contributions. And yet the Flat Richie journal is still sitting in front of me on my desk… I should take it up again…

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post and discussion – as always I enjoy reading other’s perspectives and opinions about RA and the fandom, even though I stand with Sue in that I count myself as a shallow fan too.
    Richarding is my happy place. I have a blessed life, but it’s still nice to have an escape where I can forget about the crap that goes on in the world, and Richard gives me that. Yes, there are things he’s said and done that irritate me, but I let them pass, they don’t matter in the greater scheme of things, and let’s face it, it’s not like I have to live with him 😉 (as much as I enjoy that fantasy lol)
    Regarding multi crushes, I miss that initial high of new discoveries about RA, there was so much to see and listen to. I have enjoyed it with the occasional side interest such as Michiel Huismann, but ultimately I am a one-crush fan, it’s just Richard and has been that way for ten years now. I always look forward to sight and/or sound of him and when it happens, it still has the power to induce that leap of excited giddiness inside (latest shot of him with Jo Joyner a case in point)

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    • Shallow fan sounds so negative. I think it’s actually a good idea to focus on positives only – in a world that provides enough negatives already. Richarding as a happy place has my full approval. (It’s just that I occasionally need to vent when I am irritated, to keep the happy in place…)
      Discovering old “new things” about Richard was really the best part of becoming a fan. But quite honestly I am simply to lazy to throw myself into discovering a new favourite actor.

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  13. This is such an interesting post and discussion. What a great opportunity to talk about RA crushing with an outside too. The RA fandom phenomenon would make a fascinating documentary (not that I would volunteer to participate!). Loyalty versus disloyalty does seem to be the most divisive issue in the fandom but I think the like/ dislike of participants’ personalities are also at the source of this polarisation, i.e., although there is often healthy good-natured debate and disagreement too, participants tend to support the views of those they like and not the ones of those they don’t. But Armitage world is my happy place and so I try to switch off from the squabbles.
    (That clip of RA always makes me yawn, he does it so convincingly!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if you remember this, but there was someone who wanted to make that documentary — Sara Aliza Cross — and even did a few interviews. But most of the people I knew who were approached said they would not participate, either (that was my response).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Talking about the fandom with outsiders is always really interesting, I find. I mean, I don’t do it often because I’d rather avoid being subjected to the usual responses. (“You’re a fan? At YOUR age? Isn’t that something for teenagers? What do you get out of it? Are you all drooling over that guy?” – meh) But when I do, it often leads to really interesting new perspectives.
      I think you are spot-on re. personalities. There’s nothing wrong with that, though – there’s no point in forcing people together who don’t like each other. I’d say that peaceful co-existence is perfectly fine. Anyone who deliberately tries to polarise others, should be ignored. So keeping out of squabbles is perfectly fine.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: 2021 Armitage Weekly Round-up #19 | Guylty Pleasure

  15. To support the views of those they like or don’t like, when there is no agreement with the words of the said person, seems to me to be only nothing but flattery, sycophancy, hypocrisy and even treason.These are only exchanges of smileys and likes to increase the notoriety and the financial value of the respective blogs.
    I have been wanting to create my own blog for a very long time, but today, the day before its’ opening, I have never had so much doubt and I am wondering if I should not go away to protect myself permanently. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know, Radaghast, I wouldn’t see quite so strictly. I think it’s possible to read other blogs and leave comments in support of the blogger even if I don’t necessarily agree with them on the individual posts. Depends on the topics, of course – there are some topics or opinions that I wouldn’t tolerate. Flattery, sycophancy, hypocrisy and treason – of course those are all negative and to be avoided, and personally, I don’t think *anyone* is long-term interested in sycophantic responses, including celebrities. However, if fandom is a happy place, and if an individual fan wants to escape the negativity of their real life by being a positive fan only, then I can also understand that. It’s not really my cup of tea – in both ways. I can’t stop myself from occasionally expressing criticism, and I also would feel uncomfortable if someone treated me with sycophancy…

      Liked by 1 person

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