“He’s Just Not That Into You”

Publicity photo, courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com

Remember when you were in school and you had a close friend who was into a certain guy?  She would do special things for him, fret over his slightest woe, talk and think about him incessantly and think the sun rose and set on his head.  But she would tell you confidentially that nor matter how much she adored him, he never wrote, rarely called and seemed so well… inattentive and busy with his own life.  Remember when you had to pull her aside and tell her the brutal truth: “He’s just not that into you.”

There has been much debate over on Servetus‘ blog about discussing sexual fantasies and Richard Armitage. (Frenz makes a statement about fans who don’t fantasize about him here.)  Discussion has been thought provoking.  Some commentators gave me pause with their noteworthy points.  However, on the way to sorting out my own thoughts, I noticed a pattern in the replies of some of the more skittish fans, that in some way, some how, no matter how remote, RA will be hurt and therefore it’s best not to do X, Y and Z.  Attached is a corollary that somehow one can control what other people think, say and do.

Is that really true?  I mean, seriously?  Let’s take the corollary first.  Richard Armitage is an actor, a public figure who is aware he has a fandom and status as a heartthrob.  Given some of his roles, he must also be aware that some fans sexually fantasize about him.  Fans talk amongst themselves privately and publicly.  Would he actively solicit it? I don’t think he’ll ask whether we fantasized about him last night, but he knows his heartthrob status is integral to his image as a leading man, which is how he’s currently being marketed.  So, yes, he is indirectly acquiescing.  I’m sure he’s savvy enough to realize there is no way he can control what his fans think, say or do.  The reality is that he can’t really give a damn what fans say about their fantasies as long as we keep them away from him; anything else is crazy-making.  We must stay in our world, and he stays in his.

What about the possibility of harm by what fans say?  As one of his much less ardent fans listening to more ardent ones fret over this question, I have to suggest that any “harm” sounds interesting on paper but doesn’t work that way in real life.  When RA first garnered attention, he was thrilled to have fans.  In the flush of newness, he became quite involved by sending relatively frequent chatty messages.  It was all quite naive and sweet but he quickly learned that such closeness brought expectations from fans, and so he distanced himself.  He realized he had to stay in his world.  He stopped visiting forums and reading about himself.  He stated this. He’s kept his word.  He’s now a very busy actor, totally immersed in his roles and career.  He’s disinclined and has no time to sit in front of his computer googling himself, fretting about what fans think.  As a friend recently pointed out, he’s happy not to think about his fans now, aside from feeling very appreciative and knowing he is beholden.  Hence, he doesn’t call and he rarely writes, as it were.

I’ve noticed, especially during this drought, that fans have taken on the role of the adoring girlfriend who thinks her beloved is as obsessed about her and she is about him. From what I’ve observed about RA, that’s just not so.  Also, the uber-protectiveness advocated by some fans is misplaced.  He knows where he wants to stand in relation to his fans; he can protect himself.   That’s not to say he doesn’t care; it just means he’s busy with his own life, and it’s not his fandom.

It’s simply he’s just not that into you.


84 thoughts on ““He’s Just Not That Into You”

  1. Judiang….YOU have literally put my feelings and thoughts into words. I do not think he is into me. LOL. I really do not think he is going to be devasted whether I read fanfic/real fic or not. Whether or not I fantasize about him or his roles. I actually think he has better things to do than really sit and ponder about me or his fans on the internet IMO, this is more about each individual fan and how they process their unique experience as his fan. I think we need to give him a little bit of credit that he can decide for himself what is good for him. That he can make his own decisions about his celebrity status, fame, fans, what will harm him, etc.  And if we think that there are things written on the internet now, wait till he becomes a household name as the world’s heartthrob dwarf.

  2. Whew!  Thanks for writing this, Judi!  Nicely done!

    I really enjoyed that book and movie, too.  😉


  3. Having fantasies about an actor is perfectly all right. It’s what fandom is all about, really. Human beings need to feel emotional connections. Like the old song says:

    Imaginary lovers
    Never turn you down
    When all the others turn you away
    They’re around
    It’s my private pleasure
    Midnight fantasy
    Someone to share my
    Wildest dreams with me
    Imaginary lover
    You’re mine anytime
    Imaginary lover, oh yeah

    (with credit to Atlanta Rhythm Section)

    Sharing those fantasies with others who admire the same actor can be just fine, or it can get dicey. The problem comes when someone (I don’t really know anyone in this fandom, so I’m speaking generally and not pointing fingers at anyone) starts losing track of the boundary between fantasy and real life and starts believing she (or he for that matter) has some type of ownership over the celebrity and resents anyone else fantasizing about him. Most fandoms have a few individuals like that.

    The other time the fantasies become a problem is when you try to share them with the celebrity. He knows you have them. You know he knows. But it’s still going to be embarrassing for him if you start talking about it. That’s why fans should never try to share their fan fiction with the object of their fandom.

    Fantasies are for the fans. They fulfill a very real emotional need for many of us. There’s nothing in the world wrong with fantasizing as long as you know where the dream stops and the real world begins.

    • You wouldn’t, perchance, have any experience of the supernatural fandom, would you? I used to love that show but it seemed to me thet from day 1 of my involvement (around about season 2) the crazies had already taken over the asylum.

      The least of what they do is trying to show slash-fic to the 2 lead actors. Their are also wild conspiracies about how they are secretly in love (despite both having wives, I think. Well 1 is definitely married and just had a baby, the other might just have a girlfriend). These fans see secret coded messages to the them on things like sports jersey’s they’re wearing, messages which prove their theories correct, god damn it! The venom aimed at their so called “beards” (wives) is just hateful, and i really haven’t dared to look at what they’re saying about the baby, aside from knowing they don’t think the actor is the father. They also posted the address and pictures of one of the stars homes!.

      At one British convention there is an incident known as “the flying fan”. This girl literally launched herself at one of them and clung on for dear life!

      Those types of fans terrify me and that is the reason why I have never dipped more than a tow into that fandom.

      As for the actors, i don’t think they like it, obviously, they have even written storylines into the show about fanfiction, crazy OTT fans and how much it is not cool, but ‘thats just the writers’, and ‘they have to deny their two wub, don’t you see!’ Anyway, these guys are still doing fan conventions, so even with all that crazy out there, they obviously don’t feel in serious danger. I certainly would.

      Thankfully that level of crazy if very rare and not something i have ever encountered in the RA fandom.


      • The whole Jensen/Jared thing hasn’t been soley propugated amongst over the top fans. Mainstream gossip columnists have also suggested that there is more than meets the eye to their relationship. I’m not saying one way or the other, but to totally blame fans is unfair.

  4. After the discussions on other blogs this was most refreshing to read and echos my own feelings on the matter…so thanks!

  5. LOL!   I see the  the argument of protecting RA’s reputation or his feelings has unwittingly provided a straw man.



      • A dissenter to this argument?  No, I’ve said  quite a few before your post  yesterday that  Richard Armitage does not read these blogs, and if he does, he’s not as busy as I thought.

      • The straw man is that there is this great siege against Servetus talking about her fantasies, yet it seemed to me only a few commenters on her blog raised an objection to her doing so and most of that was not about Richard Armitage  reading but about other people reading.

        Also, I guess I don’t know why my blog was cited as being one that was debating the sharing of fantasies. There are no  arguments on my blog (either in my post or in comments) against someone publishing their fantasies and no mention from anyone of trying to protect Richard Armitage except  in your comment, Judi and my response to it.,

        My piece is about the inference that some feel is drawn about them as a fan of Richard Armitage. They were uncomfortable since much has been made about fantasizing sexually about him and almost nothing about not fantasizing sexually about him.  My post obviously is about the latter and so people would know that yes, there are those of us who do not fantasize about fucking Richard, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Where in that is debate?

        BTW, I did chuckle at the ironic title of this piece given that  Servetus intends to publish her fantasies of Richard in an intimate position with herself.

        • I wasn’t characterizing it as a siege, but I think a post that has generated 93 comments/replies and counting, certain qualifies as a big debate.  It’s true that the inititally comments on her blog were favorable, but I began to observe APM creeping into comments regarding the chance of RA being offended.  When I last checked about comment #77, remarks had offered caution based on the remotest chance RA could be offended.  That is what my post addressed, that this excessive protectiveness was getting out of hand.

          No, you didn’t offer a debate on your blog; your post was a different statement from Serv’s.  Because sexual fantasy was a topic you both had covered, I lumped you both together  in the same sentence which admittedly is inaccurate.  I’ll correct that part.

          Regarding the title, it is funny that the object in fantasies are extremely into the dreamer; it wouldn’t be any fun otherwise. But in reality, it just isn’t so.

          • Thanks for acknowledging that.

            Also, since Servetus did close comments, I was not able to further clarify where I’m coming from.  I am doing that on my blog as a response to the mail I’ve received.  I also want it clear for future readers.

          • Candidly, I’ve hesitated to address this on my blog because  I’ve wanted it to just stay under the radar as Servetus’ other fantasy fics have been, and which I’ve only read part of one before I realized what it was.  Unfortunately, this one is linked with a prominent person and obviously draws a lot more attention.  Since comments closed,  those reactions are going somewhere and it’s not all this blog piece. I’ve been hit too, and mostly the questions have been, “Why?! is she doing this?”  and “Do you support this? “

        • I closed comments on the strand. I had tried to write the post in a way that said: I have decided to go in a direction some people will disagree with; I acknowledge that there are relevant ethical questions involved, which I have thought and will continue to think about; I am not prescribing or judging what others think or do about this; I am warning you that this is about to happen so if you are apt not to like it for any reason you can stay away from it without any prejudice from me; I am providing a mechanism if you want to stay away from that stuff but still read pieces of the blog that you like; I will have no negative opinion of you if you don’t read. There were many supporters, but the critics I got, after initial comments that were useful, had devolved in their comments into an insistence on a standard of “harm” that was so broad that it almost implied I shouldn’t walk across the street if I thought Richard Armitage might disapprove or fellow fans might see me doing it and draw the wrong conclusions or I might risk some negative outcome myself that I hadn’t anticipated. Fan fantasy was described as potentially or probably harmful to Richard Armitage’s career in that it “isn’t true.” (Would it be less harmful if it were?) In other words, they seemed to imply, I should only write anything if it could be assumed with airtight reliability in advance that it would have no possible consequences. Writing isn’t like that. One commentator in particular seemed to feel the need to teach me a lesson. None of this had anything to do with the rationale for the initial post; it was all about disciplining me. It’s always been interesting to me that I attract negative comments that are so moralistic whereas other bloggers don’t; I assume this happens because I acknowledge ethical issues but admit that they are not easily decided and try to keep discussions open. It’s of huge irony to me that the most negative comments I get both on and off blog accuse me of having bad ethics although ethics are almost all I ever think about when I get serious.

          There are really valuable ethical discussions to be had on this topic, and I was willing to have them, but some commentators insisted that the discussions were already closed and I was on the wrong side even though I hadn’t written anything or they hadn’t written read what I had written! I was being judged negatively in advance of ever having done anything or warned condescendingly that anything I wrote would inevitably devolve into something unethical or at least harmful. These are arguments that simply don’t hold water either logically or empirically. Honestly, I don’t see why I should be expected to accept every contribution from every contributor as if it were of equal good will or equal value. These sorts of comments are made to shut down discussion or ensure that it never goes in particular directions. I eventually get tired of them, and then get put in the position of having to shut down the discussion in the interest of maintaining my own sanity. I wanted to see if there was a way to maintain open comments on my blog and still write about things I am dying to write about, especially because after two years I want to fulfill the purpose that I had set for the blog in the first place — but that particular test failed miserably. Even after two years of reading me there are people who still don’t trust that I have a conscience as an author simply because I don’t have theirs. The jury is still out and I will see what happens in the next few weeks. But in a situation like that, one has to ask, why are people so focused on disciplining each other? Judi’s post provided a reasonable answer to that question for me.

          On the question of the non-cultivation or non-presence of sexual fantasies about Richard Armitage as himself, I read your blog post as an indirect response to my concession that I had been putting off questions about the content of my own sexual fantasies in my public writing because of ethical concerns or a desire not to theorize about the issue. To me, that post was arguing, just because some people concede that they have sexual fantasies about him the person but haven’t been talking about them, doesn’t mean that everyone who doesn’t talk about sexual fantasies about Richard Armitage the person actually has them, i.e., don’t assume from my silence that there is something here that I am (or others are) not talking about; do not assume the premises from a conclusion that is now being drawn into question. Perhaps I was wrong.

          • Serv, I was disappointed you closed comments (as I usually am) because I thought there was room for more discussion and I was ready to add more.  Perhaps if you had sat back from replying and let the rest of us talk amongst ourselves, we might have been able to debate more, as you had intended?

            From a commentator standpoint, I viewed the general reception as a success.  You will NEVER be free of fans dedicated to exaggerated moralistic policing; that’s a given in any fandom.  You will always have shoddy ethics as far as they are concerned no matter how careful you are.  But that’s not the audience who will be reading your fantasies.  You wanted to learn if you’d still have an audience at the end of the day.  Had the majority castigated you, it might have been a good idea to reconsider your endeavor.  But that’s not what happened.  The concensus was your audience will still be there.  Some won’t read the private posts, but your audience will be still stick around for the rest.  Trust in the audience you have and concentrate on what you are dying to say.

            • “Concentrate on what you are dying to say”: that is useful advice. I think that’s what I’m meant to be learning from all of this; it’s too long to post here but I’ll try to write something about this in the next day or so.

          • What I said on your blog wasn’t meant as a criticism of anything you posted but in general I do think we are responsible for what we write about other people. Richard Armitage may not read it or may not care but I do believe that what fans write on blogs and message boards shapes the image that people that read it have of a celebrity, just as much as articles and interviews, reviews and reports in tabloids do. In a way we are all amateur journalists  and we do have a responsibility for what we write and it’s effect.

            I don’t say this out of Armitage protection mode, I feel the same with regards to other celebs I don’t care about personally. For example, when a certain young actor out of the blue left the cast of the Hobbit, it leaded to a lot of wild speculation, some of it potentially harmful to his reputation. Some people wonder what may be the reason, the next reads it, takes it for fact and posts it as a fact on the next blog or message board. Posting on the internet is potentially posting it for everyone to read, it is not talking among ourselves on a kitchen table. I think when people discuss a subject like mentioned above publicly, they must be very careful. Same goes for any discussions about an actor’s private life. Lots of rumours are not based on tabloid reports or paparazzi pics that might have some grain of truth, but on fan’s speculation.

            I am aware that what I am concerned about has not much to do with posting sexual fantasies but the discussion turned into that direction.


            • Did you read me as claiming that I intended not to be responsible for what I said?

              In the end we are all necessarily responsible for what we say: we can’t avoid it. What the consequences might be is a different question — but of course I am responsible for what I say.

          • My blog post was in response to people who emailed me about the possible inference that would be draw about them. I think I said as much.  Unless you are under a rock, you had to know there would be people who feel you are representative of the RA fans despite protestations that your views do not necessarily represent all of the fans.  Such is the trial of being a very notable blogger.

            • It’s just that that is an impossible standard. My goodness. That kind of claim gives me an equivalent status to the Pope for Catholics. I am not having it, and I don’t think I have anything to apologize for for shutting down discussion that goes in that direction.

              • Perhaps thinking of yourself as the representative of the fans is an unrealistic standard, but you had to have known you are widely read and that posting something controversial would get some negative reactions.

                • I never asked to be seen as “the voice” of the fandom and do not believe that I am. Yes, I was aware that both the decision and the post would be controversial. Most bloggers who reach a point where they can’t talk about the things they want to say either stop or go private. I decided to go for a strategy that allowed me to explore why what I wanted to say was tabu.

                  At the same time, however, just because a post is controversial and I indicate that I am willing to consider seriously some aspects of the controversy does not mean that I am required to read, accept or respond to any and all unreasonable and repetitive arguments advanced against it (or the action announced).


  6. Judiang, thank you for writing this. I haven’t commented elsewhere on this issue, because I’ve been trying to formulate my opinion into coherent thought. You did that for me, here.

  7. Ah! The voice of reason is very refreshing indeed!  Thank you for saying what needed to be said.  Now we can all go about our merry business and stop worrying. 🙂

  8. Well, judiang, I have news for you. RA may not be into you, but he is certainly into me! He’s sitting beside me nodding in agreement (doesn’t matter that he may or may not be under duress…).

  9. Judiang, thankyou for writing this.  I know he is not into me, and have never been under any illusions that he takes time out of his busy day to worry about his fans, but as someone who has a realistic brain and a heart that can leap a little too easily into APM, this is something I needed to read.  🙂

    • Thank you for you comment Mezz.  I wondered if some might be upset by the post.  You’ve made me feel a lot better.

  10. Great post. Just as reasonable and rational as i have come to expect from the RA fandom. In fact I have only met one crazy fan and she is positively shunned by anyone with half a brain.

    I don’t think we nor RA need to worry just jet.

    Perhaps with the release of the Hobbit we might get an influx of crazy (or really really over enthusiastic) fans but I’m pretty confident that they will quickly be shown the door of most boards, blogs etc.

    We do police this fandom already, see, it’s just that most of us are reasonable and rational beings and know the difference between fantasy and reality. If RA ever does need protecting from a crazy fan, i have little doubt that the warning flairs will be sent up in plenty of time to stop anything bad from happening.

    • Thanks Cat.  I’ve been part of the Doctor Who and Trekkie fandoms and some things have given me the heeby-jeebies.  Yes, those types of fans end up either being contained or alienating themselves right out of the fandom.   I’m concerned about the other end of the spectrum, the protectionist mode that takes policing to such an extreme, it has a chilling effect on discourse.

  11. Ah-ha!…he is not  into me because…. he is into you,right?:)…another proof,Judiang! 😉

  12. What a nice sensible post & very refreshing. Not sure if you know Dr Who, but there was a series years ago devoted to “E” space – sort of another universe. Well, this is how I think of the fandom , as “F” space. We have our normal lives, the same as Richard, and then we have “F” space where we congregate as fans. Richard, the man himself, never comes here although Richard, the actor, heartthrob, sex god, whatever, inhabits every corner.

    Sorry if this sounds slightly weird, it all sounds sensible to me – but then I have had a couple of glasses of Cab Sav 😉

    • Beachbaby, I’m a fan of old and nu who, so I know exactly what you mean.  He inhabits his bubble world, we inahabit ours.  Sometimes the worlds bump (chance meetings, autographs etc), but he isn’t in world and we arent’ in his.  We don’t have any personal relationship with him warranting over-protection.  We should give him credit that he can decide for himself what’s harmful.

  13. I’m another agreeing with your opinions. Thanks for posting, I’ve nothing new to add. 🙂

  14. In MHO, it is not for us to protect RA, he has people he pays to do that(agents, publicists, mother,LOL). Even here though I think we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us (preach), or put yourself in thier shoes, or in an empathetic way.  We can disagree the way we usually do by changing the channel or tunning out, so to speak. It is part of his journey to learn all about the world of being a publicly visible figure and actually hoping to be more so.  I think as the future of the internet becomes more controlled, there could be a danger of stepping into the world of liable and charecter assassination and such.       Also you are putting yourself in a compromizing position, if your true identity were ever to come out, or your family, kids, DH, SO were to read your post.  Just some thoughts on the whole fandom thing, and any post you do.      Hope I am making sense.

    • I do think before posting. Ethical considerations are always foremost in my mind.  As for legal considerations, the written word is already covered by libel laws of the relevant country.  The internet is not immune.  I don’t think anybody in AW has remotely come close to character assassination, nor would even desire to do such a thing.  That type of concern among fans is what my post was addressing.

      I agree there’s an anonymity issue, but that exists with every single thing we put out there.  As I told AAA below, personally, I’m unconcerned about what I post. There’s nothing here that would affect my personal and professional lives, and if my real identity were revealed, nothing I would feel the need to justify.


  15. I’ve been out of the loop all week (on a marvelous and much-needed 5 day vacation!) and am just now able to sit down in front of an actual keyboard and type my thoughts…not that my thoughts are particularly sought after or wanted or important.  But, I have watched and read all of this from afar.  I agree with PattyC on several points, especially on her points about anonymity.

    But the thing is…how did this discussion get to the Protection Mode?? I didn’t see that coming at all!!!!  Yikes!  I saw one blogger deciding to do something different and asking for opinions.  Those were given and after reading the blogs featuring this theme, never did I get that anyone was thinking Mr. Armitage really cares about or reads any of this stuff!  I never construed any of this into protecting him.  And certainly, I didn’t think anyone was pointing fingers and/or judging.  It’s a matter of taste, for some,  and for some, ethics. But I haven’t seen anyone being intolerant or trying to “police” anything.

    I’m pretty sure some of you know where I stand on this fanfic stuff whether it’s real fanfic or fiction fanfic..(is that right?  Very confusing.)  Porn is porn.  I just don’t know how else to say it.  Yes, I’ve read some of it.  No I don’t like it…for a lot of reasons.  BUT, if you choose to write it or read it…not my business. And can solve the dilemma very easily but just not frequenting blogs/sites featuring such fanfic. I don’t blame anyone.  I am not chastising anyone. I won’t try to tell anyone what to do or what I think…unless I’m asked.

    I do think it would serve the general fandom to place it in, ummm, less accessable places…perhaps, less “fan centered”.  But that is only my opinion.  I would NEVER tell anyone else what to on their own blog, unless they ask. And only then would I dare to make a suggestion.

    And if I decide to give you boring accounts on my blog of my 4 pregnancies, I’m sure you would also have the choice to read. Or not.  That simple.  If I had videos of every graphic detail of the birthing process (which thankfully, I don’t!), I would have the “right” include that in my blog, but would it be wise? I don’t think so.

    I don’t see any bad guys or good guys in this discussion.  Just folks who were asked for opinions and gave them.  And I would say that the comments on all blogs discussing this have handled  the topic fairly and intelligently.  I’m just seeing this from an old woman’s point of view.

    Now, I say it’s time to get back to real life stuff.  Like wondering who the heck was strolling thru the park with RA the other day?  Or did I dream that?  🙂

    • Hi NovemberBride!  Hope you had a great vacation.  Your pictures were gorgeous.

      The comments on Serv’s post could be construed as veering off into protectionism; raising concerns so broader, they would paralyze a writer talking about RA in anything other than squee-ese.  The purpose of this post was do to a reality check.  I sincerely hope the majority of fans don’t seriously think RA cares about or reads any of this stuff.

      As for who RA was strolling with through the park to the other day: Still no comment.  😉


  16. It was an odd thing. If a person writes a blog or a blog post suggesting openness and a desire to hear from others, its confounding when the blogger then over-reacts to opinions that are contrary to her own, becomes defensive, announces–in this case–that the fandom has never had any effect on RA whatsoever, and creates straw men or women who have announced the blogger is so well known that RA will see her blogs explicit fantasies and will be distressed by them. Its confounding particularly if a witness can then say I dont see any bad guys or good guys in this discussion. Just folks who were asked for opinions and gave them.

    Its not the only time Ive seen that happen in the fandom. If a blogger has decided on a course of action, feels that its the right thing to do, and is clear about it in her conscience . . . well, why not just DO it? Why ask for opinions? Why throw things open to commenters who may say, essentially, Well, since you ask, I dont think its a good idea for reason X and reason Y? Blog posts announcing Ive decided to do such and such dont require the blogger to ask for comments. Its easy to shut the comments function for that post. If the decision is made, well, let rip with it.

    I do want to echo Jane, though, in saying that we should be aware that were not talking at home, with the door shut, sitting around the kitchen table. There IS a public aspect to any blog that gets a lot of hits from strangers. Theres no telling whether or not theyll cause a ripple in the universe, and no way of stopping it if it does. It seems to me that the other position– were in a closed universe and nothing here really counts–may be wishful thinking. We cant know that in advance.

    And as PattyC suggests, theres no guarantee of privacy for any of us. If I was a blogger with on-line friends, I cant imagine NOT wanting to meet some of them if the chance arose. But that may involve revealing your name and things about where you live, what you do for a living, and so on. The more one reveals ones real identity, the easier it for it become public, and–if a blog contains posts that reveal too much–the bloggers personal or professional life is in jeopardy. In arguing that, I frankly am going into protective mode– but my concern here isnt RA. Still, please dont take this opinion as me making a command to bloggers.

    If theres one thing that the hacking scandal in British newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch makes clear, its that ordinary people–not just celebrities–can be the object of intrusive scrutiny. (The outing of a blogger named Nightjack is instructive.). Its easy. Someone who was curious about me paid for information about me without my knowledge not too long ago and learned a great deal about me, some of it garbled but much of it right on the money: my email address, my home address, my husbands name, when and where we married, where he works, other things . . . And he did that on the basis of knowing my name and where I had worked. If I had a blog, I imagine hed know that too. I really didnt need him to be that into me (or me 30 years ago, when he knew me. Pathetic.)

    Im not trying to scold or to tell anyone she should or shouldnt post things. Thats not my call, though I dont necessarily think every site and post in the fandom is tasteful or a good idea. If I had a blog and was interested in writing sexually explicit RA fic, Id at least disguise myself minimally and post in the dreamerfiction site, home of explicit RA fic, under a very different pseudonym–one my blog friends wouldnt recognize. Any competent hacker could break that disguise, but Id feel at least a little more anonymous than I would if it was on a popular blog and my identity was even minimally known. But Im rather paranoid about online security, as has probably become clear.

    • IIRC, Serv opened comments on that post to gauge reaction and determine whether posting her RA sexual fantasizes was viable option.  While I was disappointed she closed comments, I could understand why she grew frustrated.  The discussion degenerated from addressing her question, to fears and concerns so broad, that it had the effect of shutting down the discussion because it had no where else to go. It no longer helped Serv with her question, and only served to derail the whole discussion.  Debating about “whether an action will cause a ripple in the universe that we can’t control” tends to do that.  That type of discussion is creatively paralyzing. No straw people are needed.  That logic suggests to me I should stop writing anything because I can’t know or control how my words will impact somewhere else. Using that frame of thinking, I could go back to all my RA posts and argue that somebody in RAVerse could be potentially offended, yet nobody has ever suggested that to me.  My point, and the point of this post is there has to be some reasonable demarcation between debating justifiable fears and arguing in the realm of the absurd.  You may consider the idea of RA and his fans being in separate worlds wishful thinking, but I argue that exaggerated concern about ripples in the universe is excessive, fearful thinking.

      It strikes me that at the end of the day, this is all what type of personality we all have.  I’ve seen versions of our arguments in politics, religion, what have you.  The reticent personality advocates strict caution.  The more intrepid personality finds that intellectually stifling.  I imagine we will see the same trend in whatever is the next debate.

      Servetus will have to decide where she stands, and only she can judge the anonymity issue.  As for me, I’m unconcerned about what I post my blog. There’s nothing here that would affect my personal and professional lives, and if my real identity were revealed, nothing I would feel the need to justify.   I consider the ethical issues, then proceed according to conscience.

    • I have read this a few times and have concluded it’s unfair to push this all off onto Judi’s blog. I may try to formulate a response, although there’s never been any evidence that anything I say will change your mind, and frankly, there’s no point in justifying myself repeatedly to any reader who is not willing to entertain a justification even hypothetically. You have a long history of objecting to many things I do on my blog, always on the same basis, and also of insisting that experiences of yours have a validity for me that they clearly don’t have in my view based on what I can know about them from what you have said.

      I opened comments on that announcement — as I said at the time — not because I felt they were going to change my mind, but because I was willing to hear perspectives on the issue. I also think that there are interesting discussions to be had on this issue, but they have to be more subtle than “don’t do this because an unspecified person has the potential be hurt in an unspecified way,” which is what your arguments amounted to in the end. I don’t care to go around the track about this any more. What I write is simply not harmful to Richard Armitage, and it is not harmful to me, and beyond reasonable caution, which I believe myself to be exercising (not “yelling fire in a crowded theater”), I cannot control what others may take away from it. If you had wanted to talk about some of the issues beengizzied raises below in the complex ways that she raises them, I’d have been game. In particular, I was interested in the question of ethics of fandom and boundaries of moral introspection. But not from the standpoint of being forbidden to raise any topic. I’m always up for questions. I’m not up for being preached to except possibly in shul.

      What I did not say at the time is that I know I have several readers who object to erotic writing for religious reasons, and I wanted to signal to them that I was hoping they’d stick with me for the “rest” of the blog — which is going to continue to be the majority of it. I wanted to be considerate of their sensibilities, precisely because I wasn’t saying that what I was doing was prescriptive for anyone. It is the right decision for me right now.

  17. I’ve read your post Judi and Servetus’ and would have commented there but the comment thread was closed. I can’t stress enough how horrified I am that Servetus has chosen to go down this path publicly and that so many of her “friends” encourage it. Personal exploration and reflection is laudable but not every bit of it needs to be public and to state otherwise is not being honest with yourself. I believe what Servetus plans to do is hurtful to herself personally and to her career, whatever that may be. In addition, each one of you who encourages her owns a part of the hurt and destruction to her and possibly Richard Armitage that will ensue. Make no mistake, someone will be hurt by this.

    I was also somewhat appalled at the smugness of this post. Look in the mirror ladies, most of you have now become THAT fan.

    I had stopped reading most of the blogs for a year already because the weirdness passed my tolerance limit. I feared that this type of thing was inevitable. You don’t know how much I wish I was wrong.

    I wish you well but please delete my name as a tag and I will unsubscribe from the blogs in question as soon as I figure out how to do that unless you can do it for me.






    • Annie,

      Obviously you are very distressed from your heated remarks. Clearly we share very different views, but at the end of the day whether we agree or disagree, Servetus will go where her conscience leads her. When she says she has contemplated all the ethical considerations and consequences to herself, I can only take her at her word. None of us has the right to censor what she blogs; it’s her prerogative. We have the right to read or not read it, as you have decided. It’s unfortunate you could not see the point I was trying to make.

      I’ve been quite proud to have your F2 contributions on my blog, but since you now apparently wish to disassociate yourself, I’ve removed your tags as requested. Your request is admittedly hurtful but it’s your prerogative. You are not subscribed to my blog so you coming here shouldn’t have been due to any notice from me. I wish you well also.


    • I’m not sure you’ll ever see this, but: I believe that in the end, each person is the only one who can determine (in the sense that you mean) when she is or isn’t being honest with herself. We never know all of what is going on with another person whom we’ve only “met” online. I never stated that all introspection by any fan that ever occurs in all times and place needs to be made public. I said that I had been struggling with this issue for myself, considered the goals of the blog and my impetus for continuing, and come to a decision about it that I was going to be more honest about certain aspects of my introspection.

      I won’t rehash my arguments about harm to Mr. Armitage, as I’ve stated them already, ad infinitum.

      Pax. If you’ll accept it.


  18. I am not illiterate, honestly, but I am writing here with an iPad for the first time and it has taken many of my punctuation marks on a walk. Perhaps it is down to writing here on an iPad for the first time.

    It is obvious that I share the concerns that Annie Vickery has, and what perplexes me is the necessity to make these RL RA fantasies public. It was clear from the beginning that the resolve to make them public was going to be controversial, as Servetus indicated from the beginning, snd barring Tourette syndrome, is there need to put such controversial material out for public viewing?

    If the goals involve the blogger growing in creativity and self-understanding, surely sharing the,writing with sympathetic, trusted people who welcome them would foster those goals best? Asking interested parties to request the fic by submitting their email addresses seems to work well in general, and insulates the writer from hostile reactions.

    In a creative writing class members sign up hoping others will applaud their work but knowing they very well might not, and if a writer fears critical reactions that are voiced or silent, that is not going to be a comfortable place that fosters his creativity. It may be quite the reverse. When we seek greater self-understanding, too, a therapist is trustworthy and may aid that; sympathetic friends may also be hugely helpful. I do not believe that posting one’s sexual fantasies about an actor on an easily accessed blog is likely to be as helpful and supportive.

    I agree with Annie V in feeling that there’s a potential for exposure that could be disastrous for Servetus; she may be comfortable with the risks or feel that they do not exist, but true friends would want to consider how much they wish to encourage her in her self-revelation.

    • I really think, at the age of 43, I’m capable of both estimating risk to myself and of accepting responsibility for the consequences of it.

      The rest of this I may or may not respond to on my blog at my leisure, but I don’t think Judi needs to host it.

  19. I think it’s just great that so many have felt free to express their opinions, whether in agreement or as a dissenter. The level of concern that so many have for others they have not met is staggering. However, we each are individuals and as such will make choices for ourselves . These decisions are made of our own accord and while others may agree or be critical, they are our decisions and we each will live with the consequences of our actions.

    Even those posting comments on these sites should be concerned over their security and the release of personal information mentioned while commenting. I’m sure some googling could produce some clues as to identity. Using the internet is a security risk and those afraid of the risks would probably be better served by refraining from commenting and using the internet in public ways such as blogs, twitter, facebook and so on.

    • Indeed. Since anyone who comments on a blog leaves her IP address behind, unless she’s randomizing, she probably shouldn’t comment on a blog. In essence, we’re all caught up in a web of trust together.

  20. How far along the iconographic or daydreaming/fantasy spectrum is too far when it comes to fan type activities? That seems to be one of the issues here. What steps over the line?  It cannot be asking for autographs and pictures because the celebs and/or their management participate in that. It’s part of the business. What about manipulating photographs to suggest things of perhaps a sexual nature? Wearing a celeb or a slogan about them on a t-shirt that covers your breasts? What about a celeb’s face on your panties? I think I’ve seen such things for sale somewhere. What about publishing stories that could be traced to having been inspired by celebs? Putting it behind a password is a gesture not a guarantee I wouldn’t think. Is there such a difference between a video clip with exposed body parts and writing about body parts in sexual situations? Are words more dangerous than pictures? Are fantasies written down more dangerous than fantasies in one’s head that might direct/affect  actions?   I can’t imagine how everyone’s thoughts can be kept PG rated. Nor can I see how words can be. Or should be???  Public people have their images and names and descriptions used for propaganda and titillation and entertainment and social commentary and on and on. Think about how many Che Guevara t-shirts are out there? Did someone get his permission for that at some point? Or do we only protect the living?  Are we to be worried about all ways that celebs and other public figures are exploited?  Is it ok as long as they are being paid, like to sell a phone or coffee?  Or is all the concern just about sex? What is so terrible about sex that doesn’t break laws? I’m not talking about sexual abuse etc. There needs to be care taken with outrage. (Just my thoughts … don’t hang me)

    • BG, you raise good questions.  We have been discussing in chat what is really at the center of this debate that’s so touchy?  Is all the concern just about sex?  There’s a joke here in the US about people not getting upset about depictions of violence, but lighting up the switch boards in protest when a nipple slipped during a “wardrobe malfunction” on the Super Bowl.  If Serv was talking about something else besides sexual fantasies, would the outrage be the same?   It definitely makes me wonder.

        • So shouldn’t an author have the right to figure out which horse she’s using? Are there horses that should never ever be ridden?

          • I say go for it. I don’t understand the problem people have with realperson fic versus character fiction. The character they fantasize about is played by the real person. I guess I’m just dense. Anyhow, ride whatever horse you want cowgirl!!!!

  21. Just to say, and again it is a general comment and not directed towards servetus or judiang, not even exclusively or mainly concerning RA – yes, there are things that I wish that won’t be out there for everyone to read and if I could I would stop it. People always claim that they have the right to post whatever they like (and of course technically they have and no-one can prevent it) and suggest that people that don’t like it, simply don’t read it. Sometimes that isn’t a solution. Sometimes there is stuff out there that shouldn’t be there at all and no-one should read it (it may vary what we feel what falls into that category). Is it supporting censorship to feel that way? Does it make me weird and a crazy fan that I sometimes think that? When I feel that the boundaries of basic human respect and decency have been crossed? That celebs are treated in a way no blogger or poster would like to be treated and treat the people he knows in real life, like neighbours or co-workers? With the excuse that they are public persons and choose to become public persons by becoming an actor and accepting a role in a high profile project? So now they are regarded as fair game? Technically they are, and many people will treat them like that, but does that mean, it is okay and everyone should feel free to do so? In my opinion there also is a difference between someone who let’s say takes part in a reality show and truly asks for it and someone as reclusive as RA. On the big RA message boards rule has been to accept certain limits of “taste and decency” and only write what we are comfortable with if he or his family and friends read it. Doesn’t mean they do these day, but it is a fact that in the early years, someone did. Is that weird and being over-protective? Or is it showing basic respect for someone we claim to like and admire? And doesn’t everyone deserve it, not just an actor we care about personally?

    • I think the lines around basic respect are hard to determine. There are very clearly people in the Armitage blogosphere who feel even going to the stage door after a play would be too intrusive and unrespectful. Or to use an example that emerged early on in discussion my blog, the possibility that I’d travel to England to watch multiple performances of a play Armitage was in was seen as intrusive, even if I never went to the stage door. It seems that there are in fact commentators who believe that precisely the intensity of one’s admiration for someone (paradoxically) requires them to stay away as completely as possible.

      I think, though, that there’s a difference between distasteful behavior and bad ethics.

  22. *Peers through the smoke and rubble and coughs.*  Wow, judiang, you blew up the fandom.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, 139 people are trapped in an avalanche in Pakistan.  A little perspective.

    • I don’t think this issue is quite powerful enough to break up the party, but you make an excellent point about focus.

  23. Oh, dear. I have been to stage doors to ask for autographs; that’s the ideal, ritualized time when that’s okay (excepting the notorious Kevin Spacey). Actors, especiallphysically attractive ones, are often wary of possible stalkers; I don’t even know if you planned to go more than once, but a fan who is there daily with no apparent end in sight might FEEL like a stalker if he had been, however benign the fan’s intention was. In a small theatre, if actors can see faces in the crowd and the identical person was there taking extensive notes, as you planned to do, the actor might feel wary and uncomfortable. Unintentionally causing someone to feel wary and uncomfortable–if it even happened– is NOT stalking him, imaging that he’s in love with you sending cards and multiple letters and little presents every week: that’s stalking, and I do not believe that I have ever claimvbyou are a stalker, because I don’t believe that is true.

    As you have no doubt noticed, somebody who has been stalked tends to be perhaps too wary about behaviour tha

    • AAA, to whom and what comment are you referring?  Do you wish to discuss my counterpoints to you?  I’ve noticed you’ve not replied but gone off on other tangents.   The purpose of comments here was to discuss the particular issue at hand (privately blogging about sexual fantasies of RA).

      If you wish to debate other problems you have with Servetus’s behavior/views, please take them over to her blog or better yet, privately discuss them with her.  Based on your comments on her blog, mine and Frenz’s, I’m sensing a thread of general animosity towards to her.  My blog is not a forum for subtly ripping Servetus or anybody else.

      • I apologize; not only have I posted the same stuff twice, I’ve expressed mysel poorly and, perhaps, am misunderstanding the situation. I did believe that Dr S was making reference to me, and i wanted to say that I expressed myself poorly and was rather paranoid, and also that I don’t consider her a stalker; she doesn’t have the characteristics at all, as far as I can see. So again, I was hasty and expressed my self poorly if I conveyed the idea she is one. I think I’ve been trying in an extremely awkward and verbose way to apologize for leaving her with the impression that I think she is a stalker. She just isn’t one.
        And with that, I am gone; please delete anything you would like to!

  24. Pingback: On the persistent fantasy that Richard Armitage is reading this blog | Me + Richard Armitage

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