It’s Christmastime (Advent if you want to get technical) and for me that always means baking and candy making. This morning I’ve been working on Paleo peppermint patties. So, so, sooooo good! But anyway, while I was making the candy I had time to think. This post is basically me thinking aloud. I just need to think this through and in the past this blog has been a good place to do that.
So, the other night my good friend Snickers’ Mom sent me an email after a discussion we’d had saying that I might soon be the anti-fan blogger. Dear Judiang protested, “But I’m the anti-fan!” Love ya, Judiang. In response I told Judiang that the difference was snark versus legitimate anti-fan feelings.
Judiang told me she thinks I’ve moved into the disillusionment phase of fangirling. That I’ve gotten to the point where Richard Armitage is no longer some godlike creature on a pedestal to me, but a real person. So instead of just rolling with whatever he says or does, it gives me pause when something doesn’t sit quite right with me. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days and while I get that that is a legitimate stage of this whole crazy fan experience, I don’t think it quite fits where I’m at for a couple of reasons. For one, I’ve never really had him on a pedestal. He’s always just been the smokin’ hot guy who has the sexiest voice I’ve ever heard and is also an amazing actor. I’ve never been delusional about him lacking flaws. Secondly, Judiang pointed out that she thinks RA is trying out a new persona. I won’t say anymore about that in case she wants to blog about it, but I think the new persona has more to do with my “anti-fan” status than disillusionment.
The anti-fan feelings started with my take on a couple of interviews where RA seemed dismissive of book fans to me. (I don’t want to rehash that, especially after another blogger informed me and all of her readers on her blog that she knows the subtext of my thoughts better than I do). I wouldn’t even class this as anti-fan, because while I didn’t care for what I perceived, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I certainly wasn’t angry just somewhat disappointed.
But then I saw the Cinemax interview. I don’t want to lay out what in the Cinemax interview made me angry, yes actually angry, with him because I don’t want to draw attention to something that might hurt a certain segment of fans if their interpretation matches mine. One friend felt as I did about the interview. A few others whose opinions I value thought he was joking. If that’s the case, the joke was in poor taste…
…kind of like one of those photos that Josh Horowitz tweeted yesterday of himself with Richard. While that specific photo didn’t stir up painful feelings for me, I was seriously unhappy about how it affected at least two people I care greatly about in this fandom. In general, I support Richard’s right to say and do whatever the hell he wants. If he pisses me off that’s my problem not his. I wouldn’t go so far as to call that photo malicious, but certainly incredibly thoughtless and in extremely poor taste. I’m aware that Richard isn’t the first and he won’t be the last to mimic hanging himself with a tie. Another friend pointed out to me that Richard can’t possibly know what will trigger negative feelings from fans. In general I would agree with her. Anything could set anyone off in some way. But, and this is a big but, he’s a smart man. He should know that pretending to hang himself with a tie would be problematic and even hurtful for a lot of people.
I mentioned to Snickers’ Mom last night that part of me thinks RA is trying to emulate Martin Freeman, at least partially. It appears he might be trying to crack jokes and be more lighthearted and it just isn’t working quite right. I really hope that’s the case, because otherwise there have been some other unkind words thrown around about him in private that I won’t repeat here.
For the most part I really enjoyed the PR blitz this go round. But unfortunately the last few days have seen things that have stolen the joy from fangirling over Richard for me. Someone shared a new pic with me that I hadn’t seen yet last night and there were absolutely zero of the euphoric feelings that always come with seeing a new pic of the man.
I find this all to be quite the dilemma. I’ve always said that I just want him to be free to be himself. I still want that for him and the more I think on this the more I realize it’s true. For his own sake he needs to be the person he wants to be and is. But it saddens me that it might come at the cost of my enjoyment in this fan thing.
Who knows, maybe by the next PR blitz he’ll have worked out the kinks in this new persona, if that’s what it is. But for now, here I am…Jas, the (very, very reluctant) anti-fan.