FanstRAvaganza 3 Is Coming!

There’s something in the air.  No, not more snow (or rain as your case may be) but FanstRAvaganza 3 is coming March 12 -18, 2012!  Yes we return for a third year to celebrate Richard Armitage and his fans. This year introduces a new format.  First, there will be anchor blogs (so far):

An RA Viewer’s Perspective from 33° 0′ South of the Equator

bccmee’s Richard Armitage Fan Vids & Graphics

CDoart: Richard Armitage & History & Spooks

Confessions of a Watcher

DistRActed Musings of One ReAlity

me + richard armitage

RAFrenzy

Richard Armitage Fan Blog

The Squeee.

The anchor blogs will be joined by a tagteam of bloggers whose work will be featured each day on the anchor blogs.  Once the event starts, you will be able to catch updates as they happen at the twitter Fanstravaganza page, via our hashtag #fanstRA, or by “liking” the event facebook page. CDoart will have a dedicated content update page for the event (here’s link to last year’s page). We’ll also be interlinking all the posts so no one misses anything they really want to read.

All the F3 graphics are courtesy of the one and only BccMee. Thanks for the lovely images!

So be sure to watch for upcoming promotions.  It promises to be exciting!

 

Serene Sunday – Summertime

It’s still the dead of winter, so it seems like a good time for this song.  Summertime was composed for the 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.  The author of the book upon which it was based, DuBose Heyward penned the lyrics.  Here is a rendition with the great Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Summertime

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Summertime. The best version, I guess.

 

Surreal Saturday – 30 Words Rap

Well, it’s time to see what my man DeStorm is doing.  This time he has a challenge: write an entire song using only 30 words. Can he do it?

RAP WITH ONLY 30 WORDS!

My iPhone, iPod, iPad App: ‪http://tinyurl.com/DeStormApp‬ Also available on the Android platform. Go to the Android market and type “DeStorm” My Facebook: ‪http://apps.facebook.com/destorm/‬ My Twitter: ‪http://www.twitter.com/destorm‬ P.O. Box: DeStorm Power P.O. Box 461749 LA, CA 90046 rap with only 30 words

 

Why RA?: Part 5 – Who’s A “Real” Fan?

Last week, Servetus ran an interview for her Fan Showcase with the irrepressible Jane.  Jane is a fan known for her blunt but frank opinions regarding Richard Armitage, his roles and the direction of his career. She presents her views as one of an outsider.   She’s aware these opinions are not mainstream, and at times directly conflict with the majority of fandom.  I don’t agree with everything she says, but I respect her opinions and guts to stick by them.  The commentary was lively and interesting.  Unfortunately, the  post had to be closed because of ad hominen attacks.  I came away with a sense that some people saw Jane as hurtful to fandom and worse yet, not really a fan.

I find such attitudes disturbing.  A fandom is not a monolith.  We are all different people from different backgrounds, cultures, experiences, etc.  We are not a hive mind; we do not think alike.  So it stands to reason that there’s a a whole spectrum of fans and a broad definition of what it means to be one.  That the crush happens to be Richard Armitage doesn’t change that.

I agree with many of Jane’s core remarks.  I’m an outsider looking in as well.  I don’t subscribe to the idea that everything I say about RA must be 100% complimentary.  I see nothing wrong with criticizing a crush, or pointing out the Emperor is wearing no clothes if that’s true. I don’t think RA is the most special actor to ever come along; he is a very good actor with the potential to be exceptional. Whether he will prove to be so remains to be seen. I am a “polygamist,” in that I also admire another actor and think the same things about him as well.  I don’t believe everything he says, being mindful of the public persona he must present and the publicity machine of which he’s a part.  I don’t think my remarks mean one jot in the larger scheme of things, can “hurt” fandom in general or RA in particular, or that he need any protection.  I can embrace all of these views while still admiring and enjoying his work and respecting him as the person he present himself to be.  Oh, and he can take a bad picture.   Does that mean I’m not a “real” fan?  No, it just means my way of thinking about him may be different from the next person’s.

Last year, I received a private email from a commenter intrigued by this series.  She questioned whether there was room in fandom for people like her, who while admiring RA, did not necessarily agree with the consensus opinion.  I replied there should be room for everybody; there are different kinds of fans with a myriad of views who need to be heard and respected.  It makes for a richer, more interesting and mature fandom.  Happily, she started her own blog.

Yes, it’s possible to disagree, analyze, question and still be a fan.  Support and enthusiasm for a crush should not be measured by the degree others think a person should squee, gush, and go along with the program, but by that person’s own personal enjoyment.  Jane, although at times critical, gave quite some thought to her opinions.  Yet she still is an avid fan because her appreciation of RA continues. Likewise,  I have disagreed on my blog (albeit wrapped in snark and humor) but that does not diminish my appreciation.

So, there’s no such thing as a “real” fan.

 

Serene Sunday – Chances Are

Hello Dear Reader.  I’ve been fighting with Winston, still, this past week.  Right now, he’s run off with his tail between his legs.  So, I’m seizing this window of opportunity to post Serene Sunday.  It just so happens I got a request while chatting in ArmitageWorld last night.  The chatter loves Johnny Mathis’s smooth lush vocals and requested a specific song.  Said she, “Of course, I think of the words as they pertain to RA!”  So, this is for you (you know who you are).

Here is Johnny Mathis singing “Chances Are.”  According to good ole Wikipedia,  “It was listed on Billboard‘s “Most Played by Jockeys” survey for Johnny Mathis, charting in 1957, and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. The song reached No. 4 on Billboard‘s Best Sellers in Stores survey, along with its flip “The Twelfth of Never.”

Johnny Mathis – Chances Are

No Description

Here are some lovely pics to make your day serene indeed.  Enjoy everybody.

 

 

All pictures courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com

 

Free At Last?

Today is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, a federal holiday in the United States.  I’m still amazed I typed that sentence.  Even at the age of 51, I never really thought there would be national holiday for a black man who was neither a president, nor even held political office.  The younger generation seems to take this granted, but I don’t.  I can’t.

When I was growing up, special bulletins were truly special.  When a news program broke into a regularly televised show, it was a big deal and usually portended bad news.  So on a overcast April day in 1968 when a special bulletin suddenly cut into a program to say that Martin Luther King had been shot, my eight year old mind took notice.  I didn’t clearly understand his importance, but I knew it would be news to my parents.  I woke my mother to tell her, and watched her face closely for a reaction.  Her eyes filled with tears. “Well, the finally got him,” she said finally.  My seemingly stalwart mother shocked me.  Who was this man?  Then she learned he’d died and I learned he was a black man, just like I was black girl.  Even my naive self realized a news bulletin about a black man was a Big Deal.  My father came home early.  My parents sat grim and silent, watching riots break out that were somehow connected to this man.  My father occasionally cursed.  People on the news were sad and angry, even the newscaster.  I could tell.  Why would they want to shoot this man, I asked.  Thus began my political awakening.

Although I had been dimly aware of the civil rights movement, I didn’t really understand until MLK’s death. After all, I lived in the supposedly liberal North, not the recently unsegregated South, so my little world was unaffected. I devoured every magazine and newspaper I could find, avidly watched the funeral and every program about him afterwards.  I learned about inequality, injustice and evil in the world and the movement by many through the years to combat it.  I memorized the “I Have A Dream” speech and vowed that if even one person – me, would remember the past with an eye to changing the future, then he would not have died in vain.

Once I was ridiculed for being idealistic and naive but I cling to that vow in the face of cynicism.  Since the election of the country’s first black president, there has been a resurgence of fear and bigotry: covert and overt racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and sexism.  Some are calling it a backlash against political correctness.  I call it national amnesia.  With the passage of time and birth of new generations, there is a sense that history is dead and has nothing to do with present.  This has always been a fallacy.  We build upon the past, and if we don’t learn from it, we are fated to repeat it again until we get it right.  It’s a vicious cycle.

So today there will be tributes to Dr. King and civil rights movement, and congratulations on how far the country has come because people no longer have to fear being hosed down in the street, fire bombed or lynched, and the president is black.  People will act as the civil rights movement is thing of the past.  But it’s important to stop and take notice when somebody says something derogatory about the Muslim neighbor across the street, or the president’s heritage, or women being responsible for their rapes, or the gay man who can’t visit his ailing partner in hospital.  The civil rights movement was about justice and equality.   His work is still alive; it’s just taken on a different form.

Nina Simone performed the following song live a few days after Dr. King’s assassination.  It was used in a moving documentary called King: From Montgomery to Memphis produced in 1969.  Unfortunately, I’ve lost the tape and have been unable to find the actual segment from the film but the following  is close enough.  It makes my heart hurt but says it all.  To really celebrate Dr. King’s life, don’t let his death be in vain.

Nina Simone, Why The King of Love is Dead 0001

No Description

I conclude this tribute with his rousing speech, “I Have A Dream.”

Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963

I Have a Dream Speech Martin Luther King’s Address at March on Washington August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C.

 

 

Serene Sunday – Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen

Winston hasn’t been behaving.  He’s been running amok and taking all my attention the past few days.  Unfortunately, the to-do broke my proud running of streak of daily blogs since September.  Sad, but true.  There’s no help for it but to get up, dust myself off, and start again.  While the little monster is corralled in his kennel, this feels like a good day to present today’s song.

Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen is an old slave spiritual recorded by many artists.  Louis Armstrong’s version is best known.  Marian Anderson recorded it in 1925 and Lena Horne in 1946.

LOUIS ARMSTRONG – NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN

ONE DAY STANDING AT THE BUS STOP THIS SONG POPPED UP AND I WAS ALMOST IN TEARS. I GUESS LISTENING TO THE LYRICS AND THINKING ABOUT HIS LIFE SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ME. THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS.

 

Here is a version by Sam Cooke who set several spirituals to Rhythm & Blues.

 

Sam Cooke – Nobody knows the trouble the i’ve seen

Sam Cooke

 

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory hallelujah!
Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down
Oh, yes, Lord
Sometimes I’m almost to the ground
Oh, yes, Lord
Although you see me going ‘long so
Oh, yes, Lord
I have my trials here below
Oh, yes, Lord
If you get there before I do
Oh, yes, Lord
Tell all-a my friends I’m coming too
Oh, yes, Lord
* The second line (“Nobody knows my sorrow”) is changed in some renditions to be “Nobody knows but Jesus”.

Interlude XV

I’ve been caught out with no post coming to mind, so time for the RA Bag of Goodies.  Let’s go back in time to post-N&S but just starting S1 of RH.  He always seems so sweet to me in this interview, if not a bit clueless.  “I want their skin to crawl,” indeed.

Richard Armitage in a BBC 1 interview for Robin Hood S1; courtesy RichardArmitageNet.com

 

Serene Sunday – Amen

Sorry, I was captivated again by the damndest search terms landing on my blog.  But I’ve learned my lesson this time and won’t compound the problem by listing them again.  So, you’re just have to wonder.  Heheheh.

Getting back to some serenity, the following song popped into my head.  Amen was a written by Jeston Hairston for the Sidney Poitier film Lillies of the Field in 1963.  It was popularized by the Impressions.  It reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Single chart in 1964.

Lilies of the Field – Amen

This is the final scene in the film directed by Ralph Nelson. It’s the scene where Homer Smith, played by Sidney Poitier leaves Mother Maria, played by Lilia Skala after building them a chapel. After taking one last look at the chapel he built, Smith, knowing that his work is done, slips into his car and drives quietly off into the night.

 

Here is a modern version by Take 6 I particularly like.

Take 6 – Amen ! (Live)

Amen + interview 1991.

 

 

Surreal Saturday – Circle of Life (Lion King)

I couldn’t get let too much time go by without checking out my man DeStorm.  A few weeks ago, I found this great cover of Circle of Life from the Lion King.  It’s not strictly a capella this time but I think you will enjoy it.

Circle Of Life (Lion King) – cover

Please subscribe. It took lots of effort on that intro. Hope you guys like it!

 

 

Foolish Friday

Welcome back to Foolish Friday for our weekly old fashioned objectification. Since Guy has been getting a lot of attention lately, I’ve dug into the RA Bag of Goodies for one of my favorite screen caps from Robin Hood.  Let us admire the plains and curves.  This physique was many years in the making.  Even though RA no longer dances, he still possesses a dancer’s body.  And we see Marian getting an eyeful, like the rest of us.

Appreciating physiques since 1193. Courtesy RichardArmitageNet.com

 

One Year Down

On December 28th, I quietly passed my first blog anniversary.  It slipped by quietly because I really don’t have a definitive date when I decided to start a blog and did so.  This venture began by accident.  I thought to register as a commenter on WordPress and BAM it turned out I created a blog.  So a moment of clicking idiocy opened a door on a whole new world.

I still don’t know why I didn’t delete it since I had absolutely nothing to say at the time.  But an inner voice said no, this was one of those rare opportunities I shouldn’t let pass.  (I suspect the voice may have been my id, Jodi, trying to get me into trouble.)  Then Servetus commented, beginning a dialogue that continued for much of January, thus christening the blog.  Web caches had already saved it for all posterity.  It was a done thing.  I had a blog on LiveJournal which basically was a long Twitter with little thought behind it.  So I wanted this one to be more of an introspective experiment – an exploration on rediscovering dormant creativity.

This experiment has been daunting and a bit scary.  In order for you to understand what was happening (why isn’t she posting?) or why some events were so important (London trip), I had to reveal more about myself.  I’d never intended to talk about Winston and depression or delve into my psyche or share any of my work. Even though I called this blog an introspective experiment, I still thought of it in a shallow way.  But I realized quickly that introspection means digging deep and if I wanted to learn anything from this experiment, I needed to be honest with myself.  Such honesty out loud, on a public forum isn’t easy.  But this is all me; it’s who I am.  I’m learning to embrace all parts of myself, including the darker side, and not care who knows it.

So the blog has an added bonus of self discovery which has allowed me to push through obstacles in the way of drawing, vidding, and writing.   Looking back, I wondered what was so hard.  Of course, everything is hard when riddled with insecurity and this blog has helped put things into perspective.  I can still draw and write.  I’m not as crazy, hermetic, anti-social, inhibited [adjective here] as I think I am.

And I’ve managed to do it with your help and encouragement for which I’m grateful.  I’ve no clue what the next year will bring, but you all will be along for the ride.

 

Why RA?: Part 4 – Fandom Go BOOM

I’ve gone over my old posts and had several weeks to think how to best articulate what happened next with Mr. Crush.  The last post described how the fan club enjoyed a boom and a sort of creative nirvana.  Things moved along swimmingly (always wanted to say that). Mr. Crush (and his wife) took a sporadic interest in the club.  We seemed to go from strength to strength as we traveled to London several more times to see him two more plays and lunch with him.  However, underneath it all, things were unraveling.

The reason why brings me to my first axiom of fandom: do not learn too much about your crush.

Crushing intrinsically carries a certain idealization of subject.  You know the person is human with foilbles just like yourself, there is still a sense that this person may be more special than the next.  When the veil between subject and fan is pierced,  the allure, the specialness dissipates in the face of the person’s frailities.

In our case, we got to know Mr. Crush all too well. He was not nasty or sarcastic or caustic like my previous crush.  Mr. Crush was an affable, likeable man but  two aspects of his personality wore down the inner circle of which I was a part.  First, he was a flake extraordinaire.  He wasn’t deliberately rude; he simply marched to the beat of different drummer.  When we flew to London for an arranged meeting with him, he stood us up, seemingly having forgotten about us. A few days later, he called  the organizer wondering where we were.  He arranged a Q &A on his own initiative and then failed to follow through.  He was so unreliable, he became a joke and an annoyance in the inner circle.  We didn’t tell the rest of the fans although they were aware that events seemed to evaporate. Personally, I was anNOYed.  I abhor a flake and would never have one for a friend.  But I enjoyed the cameraderie of the group.  The club continued, almost inspite of him and then two big things happened.

This brings me to the second axiom of fandom: know what qualities you can and cannot respect in a crush.  If certain qualities would leave you appalled,  it’s time to walk away.

Here is where the telling gets tricky.  Let’s just say that Mr. Crush, who touted himself a family man, made an unwise choice at a convention which led a few of us to surmise that he was being indiscrete.  A short time later, his wife venting her spleen on Facebook indirectly confirmed our suspicions.  Our club blew  up.  Those who had not twigged were either deeply shocked and left, or sad but resigned.  Personally, I had lost interest over the flakiness but the cheating was beyond the pale for me.  Ordinarily I consider a person’s private life private.  But once I learn things, I cannot un-know them.  I cannot condone partner beaters, serial cheaters, bigots, and child molesters to name a few, and cannot admire a person I cannot respect.  I could no longer respect Mr. Crush although what he did privately was his own business.

The inner circle was done too.  The club limped along for a long time before the listmom jokingly changed its name.  The list still exists today but only as token to the past I suspect.  Somebody might post once in a blue moon. Upon reflection, it is likely things might not have disintegrated had we kept ourselves blissfully ignorant, more detached and not known Mr. Crush as well as we did.  But then again, who knows.  Today, I dig just enough to discover whether a person is worthy of admiration (i.e. not a creep as listed above) and stop.  As for the rest, I don’t need to know or want to know.  I prefer the fan innocence.  After all, my purpose in fandom is to have fun.

 

2012 New Year’s Non-Resolutions

Of course, you’ve all read, made, or discussed New Year’s resolution lists for the coming year.

Have no fear, this is not one of them. I’ve given up that nonsense.

Year after year, I lemming-like would draw up a list of resolutions.  Usually they involved becoming more thin, smart, compassionate, sociable and thrifty, and less selfish, judgmental,  isolated, cynical and snarky.  Each year I would fail miserable, having promptly forgotten most of them by the next day, only to remember finally when time to draw up new resolutions for the following year.

So, instead of concerted efforts of self-improvement, I simply seize the opportunities as they arise.  My depression pudge will diminish with Winston properly coraled; I’ll be able to get out more, meet more people and expand my horizons.  If a book seems interesting, I’ll download it.  If a situation arises, I’ll look at both sides of the conflict.  If I feel moved by a charitable effort, I’ll give.  The point is not to tie myself to lists or tests to pass or fail, but improve life as it happens.  I’ve found that I actually do get things done if I view them as an opportunities, rather than obligations.

Looking back on this past year I worked on getting Winston under control, journeyed to London alone, met new people, gave more to charity, started this blog, and explored my creativity all because the opportunities presented themselves.  They might be small, but they still feel like accomplishments.  This year, I won’t resolve to do more of the same.

But I’ll stay snarky.