[The ‘Yours in Armitage’ series is a collection of posts documenting my changing perceptions about my celebrity crush on Richard Armitage, using excerpts from past correspondence to help me come to terms with the uncertainties. I’m sharing this writing exercise in order to illustrate the highs and lows a fan can go through]
November 17, 2013- [New York Moves article] I can’t say I agree with everything he said, but I liked seeing him speak out about his opinions. the way he fondly described New York City as a place where you can freely debate, says to me that he likes to have the kind of conversations where you can exchange ideas.
Three years ago I found it exciting that Richard Armitage chose to publicly share some of his political opinions in New York Moves magazine. he always seemed like someone who didn’t want to rock the boat, went out of his way not to alienate anyone in any way, and so kept most of his opinions (trivial or otherwise) to himself. I didn’t agree with the particular opinions he expressed in the interview but his thoughts about the subjects made sense to me from what I knew of his background and personality; it didn’t shock me. I also thought that how he chose to express those feelings, the venue he did so in, was appropriate. so all in all, the interview didn’t bother me.
Oh, what a difference three years makes! when Richard shares similar opinions now, it has the opposite effect on me. one difference is timing. back then, it was just a random instance of someone I admired sharing his opinion on political issues. now, it’s jumbled together with everyone making sure their political opinions are known. another difference is the platform. a magazine interview gives you space to better word your thoughts, Twitter does not. while differences in political opinion do change the shape of my bonding experience, it generally doesn’t make a huge impact. I think what bothered me in regards to Richard sharing his political opinions on Twitter is that it seemed to be a reflex reaction, it wasn’t as thought out and polished as I was used to seeing from him. his initial tweets regarding Brexit felt rather condescending to me. I don’t want to get into the actual politics of these matters but that specific instance did make an impact this time. seemingly out of the blue, Richard inadvertently placed himself within the ‘elite’ inside my mind. realistically, I will never be seated at a table discussing in depth subjects with him, let alone politics, but it did beg the question: would he be the kind of person I want to be around if I did find myself sitting next to him at a dinner party? the New York Moves article made me think that I would enjoy being seated next to him because he’s the type of person who would want to trade ideas, but those tweets on Twitter didn’t uphold that impression for me.
Where I’m at now: I’m trying to remind myself of how I felt three years ago when I saw Richard share his personal opinion on something for the first time. I’m trying to forget that the subject just happens to be politics, which I am so burnt out on at the moment. fandom has always been an escape for me but many of my contacts online have been sucked into the political vortex now, when they never mentioned anything political before. and really, that’s the crux of the matter: atmosphere. something that I learned while going through my old correspondence in order to find the excerpts for these posts is that other fans and their opinions/behaviors have influenced a lot of my struggles. how they felt about each other, how they felt about Richard, how they felt about how others felt about Richard…it was a cesspool of negativity; exactly like the current social media atmosphere.
I need to stick with what I feel within myself, what my gut tells me to be true. that Richard is still the same kind, passionate, slightly awkward man that took over my senses 3 years ago. I need to remind myself that this is about him and me. it was never meant to be about ‘them’.
Yours in Armitage,