Why RA?: Part 6 – Why Crush?

So my last fandom lay in tatters, a ghost of its former self.  But it continued to limp along while I continued a growing disinterest.  I had a few brushes with potential crushes but no fandom in which I could actively participate.  Writing those words make me wonder: what is the purpose of any of these crushes?

Could it be as a boyfriend substitute? I don’t think of them as fantasy boyfriends and many fans have partners in their lives.  Could it be freedom from boredom?  A crush certainly creates a heightened level of interest in discovering the person and his work and a thrill in the newness of it all, but I can still become bored.  (Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Blasphemy, I know).  I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but I can’t enthuse endlessly, any more than I can read or draw or write constantly.  It takes away some of the novelty.

Could it be to fill something missing in ourselves?  This could very well be in some fans, especially those who take their zeal to the disturbing stage.  I suspect if everything possible filled my life, I would still have room for fandoms, mainly because I enjoy the surrounding community so much.  With each group I’ve made friends (or learned how not to make friends) who have lasted over the years.  I’ve also gotten invaluable insight into human nature and diverse experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered.  By the way, it’s ironic that if an object is the interest, it’s approved as a hobby; but if a person is the interest, it’s called a crush and treated warily.   It’s okay to love the Chicago Bears but it’s odd to adore Mr. or Ms. Crush.   When you think about it, everybody has some sort of interest or hobby, whether a sport, or craft, or show. This demarcation is a bit unfair.

Is it a culmination of experiences, perceptions, brain chemistry that is sparked by the crush’s appearance, voice, mannerisms and personality?  I suspect this is more the case.  There are actors who I like that just don’t do it for me.  Then there are those I’m at a loss to explain, especially in hindsight.  “There was just something about him at the time!” I look back on my former crushes and scratch my head.  Obviously there was something about them that worked for me at that point in time.  Sometimes I wonder if my crushes aren’t an evolving ideal of what I would like in a real life man, something like a safe virtual Ken doll who I can dress in different combinations of qualities.  Hopefully, my taste is getting better, not worse.

But I digress.  Flash forward a few years.  I’m watching a television show with two buddies.  The New Guy appears onscreen. (You all know who he is, but I’ll keep him incognito for continuity sake).   “Isn’t he cute?’ gushes one friend.  “He’s repulsive,” shudders the other.  “Meh,” I say.  I didn’t like him.  I continued to dislike him for several episodes right up to the minute he got a cute shot, and another, and another, and “oh, could he possible be cute?,” and then “oh, this guy can act!,” and then – I was a fledgling fan of Mr Crush #3.


18 thoughts on “Why RA?: Part 6 – Why Crush?

  1. In a way I think you answer your own question about why people are wary of someone having a crush, when you note how you are unable to figure out your former crushes. I also think that, when crushing on someone, as time goes by, a need emerges to know that the object of ones affection is actually worthy of being liked to that degree. And unfortunately, the more you find out about someone, the less likely they are to live up to being worthy of your love, because they are, after all, only human. Of course, Mr Crush #3 is perfect 😉

    • Oh, I was cured of the “need to know more” element with #2. By the time I encoutered #3, I hit a happy balance of knowing just enough to respect, and no more than that. Plus not being a hard core fan helps too. Oh sure, perfection has been found. 😉

      • To be very honest, with all respect to privacy, I would like to know a little more precisely to determine if he is worthy of a crush or not. If there is something unpleasant to know, I want to know, and as I don’t know anything, I have to consider the possibility. You mentioned the previous crush who appeared to be a “worthy” and “safe” object of admiration because he was a family man – frankly I would prefer RA to be that, as opposed to someone whose private life is mostly a mystery. But as your example (and countless other) shows, a perfect façade can easily  be torn down, so it means nothing. I suppose we have to continue to either trust him or not to care.

        • I may add, the day we will learn more about what is going on in his private life may not be far away even if he has disappeared from the surface of the earth right now. We will see to which degree he will manage to maintain his privacy and what might come up – and if there is nothing of interest to be found, what kind of rumours will come up. One thing is for sure, people will want to know and won’t be satisfied with being told that private stuff is private.

          • Hi Jane – I have only recently begun to start questioning this standing assumption to some degree.  For example, who among the LOTR cast really became a mega-superstar after the movie?  Maybe Orlando Bloom – but even then, he is better known for his success in another ensemble series franchise – Pirates of the Caribbean – than any movie he was able to carry solely on his own (Elizabethtown & Kingdom of Heaven were disappointments, if I recall).  Orlando Bloom is actually better known to me for the press surrounding his very successful Victoria’s Secret model wife, than anything noteworthy he has been involved in since LOTR (Pirates, notwithstanding). 

            I’m not saying RA is going to stay unknown – of course not.  The fact that I can rattle off names like Viggo Mortenson, Sean Bean, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Elijah Wood, & Andy Serkis from memory is proof that he’ll likely become a household name.  Now whether I can tell you anything that any of these actors have been in in the past 10 years since LOTR that’s made an impression on me?  That may be another thing.  These are just my growing reflections in light of (what I perceive to be) everyone’s assumption that The Hobbit will launch RA (or anyone else in the movie) into megastardom simply by being a part of such an incredibly well crafted Peter Jackson movie.  And I do agree, that in the very short term after release of movies – there may be more nosey press – but I’m not completely convinced yet how widespread it will be, unless Armitage unwittingly colludes himself by behaving badly in public.

            • I’m not necessarily talking about superstardom and being followed by paparazzi all the time like OB and his wife. I’m quite sure he will continue to stay away from anything that could draw attention towards his person in public.  But to date there is not a single paparazzi pic and not a single report by so called insiders about RA and that is uncommon for a reasonably well known TV actor. Most of them make it into the press at least sometimes. Actors like VM or EW are no superstars, but it is no problem to find out who they have dated.

              Even if nothing emerges in the press the amount of people wondering and publicly speculating and occasionally spreading rumours will surely increase and a lot of misinformation will float around.


              • Ahhh, I take your point.  I should say I am also cynical about reading the words, “insider”.  To me, this always translates to “publicist”.  🙂

                As for being a well known TV actor – I guess that’s true, but I think you may be surprised by how low key these actors lives can be here unless you’re David / Victoria Beckham or Pippa Middleton.  Even Fassbender has a pretty low-key life here and his face has been plastered everywhere of late… so while I definitely agree with you that there will be some change, I’m not quite convinced to the degree it might change yet (remember, even after Hobbit 1 is released they are still in NZ the following year)  The press seem to have certain targets they salivate over … and usually it’s something they think will sell, sell, sell.  It would certainly help if RA started dating a Victoria’s Secret model, that would make it oh so easy!  Two for price of one!

                But otherwise, I’d expect to see something about as exciting as a picture of him at the local Sainsbury’s buying groceries.  🙂

                • Yes, insider may be a publicist who deliberately leaks something, it may also be someone working on set or something selling a story. That has certainly happened. After all “insiders” don’t always tell stories that show the person in question in a favourable light. Or those insider stories could be a fabrication.

                  MF may be low key with regards to his personal life and in spite of all his high profile project I suppose many people still don’t know who he is, but there is some info about him out there that can easily be found, even if it doesn’t make it into the headlines, and some of it is thanks to paparazzi. About most actors some info can be found.

  2. I love him,especially when he seems to say”Listen,I’m boring,awkward,not very talented,not very wise” when everything about him shouts otherwise.  Richard seems so humble…hmmm..I’m surprised that he made a career in this enviroment.

    • Joanna,
      RA’s humility and him seeming to be an every day bloke–with an extraordinary talent–is very appealing.
      Cheers!   Grati  ;->

  3. Whether or not present crush is a lovely boring accountant or not, no idea. No doubt he has massive great faults, and perhaps would pall 24/7. He seems to be a sweetie; however, I’m quite happy to allow him to dwell in my imagination. Crushes do take up considerable in that realm – that’s fine! (As long as they know their place 🙂 )

  4. Good Morning, Judiang,
    Is  he ‘just’ a crush?  Or does our collective admiRAtion for him as an artist and the gentlemanly person he seems to be go deeper?  No, I don’t think he’s perfect–god for bid!  Ha!  And he is my ‘first’, so I haven’t experienced disallusionment with another as you have. 

    One thing I try to not do is to judge others for their choices.  They may do things I don’t understand, but it is their life and I respect that they have to live it as they see fit.  So RA should live his life as he sees fit. Amusingly, I have a relative who takes the “my way or the highway” approach to life–but she does not realize it.  She merely feels that she is ‘right’.  Goodness!   For my part, I would think it would get tiring ‘being right’ all of the time.  Ha!

    And yes, I’m a lady with a love partner–my wonderful hubby of 22 years.  He is quite sanguine about my interest in and admiRAtion for our crush, RA.  My hubby knows that he is my in situ and coporeal love and lover–never to be displaced by another, no matter how gorgeous that other might be. Ha!

    And this particular RA fan community–as you mentioned–has brought a whole new aspect of friendship as we share about him, appreciate others’ viewpoints, and seek to explore our own creativity.  So, all good things in my view.  Afterall, I met you and others and you have enriched my life beyond measure.  Shhh!  Just don’t tell RA–lest he become jealous.  Ha!

    Cheers!   Grati  ;->

    • Yes, people come to this fandom for different reasons. I was just throwing out possible factors in what might have brought me here. It could one, some or all of the above for all I know. Glad you’re enjoying yourself here as well. 😀

  5. I was chatting with a fellow fan about the potential dangers of Armitagemania, and I said, you know, it’s not an issue right now because I am not in a relationship. But when I was in one, the greatest danger to that relationship on both sides was not infidelity of any kind with a person — it was the seduction of working more. I have spent many, many, many more hours immersed in scholarly research than I have dealing with Armitagemania — even now, it doesn’t even come close — but no one ever said “work will be dangerous.” Maybe they should have.

    • Nobody ever does. Some do caution against workaholism but it’s still seen as a badge of honor, being part of a work ethic. I wonder if crushes are dismissively treated because they are considered frivilous and unworthy of time. Yet tailgate parties at sporting events are smiled upon but conventions for get-togethers are considered weird. Heh.

      • Hi Judy, I have to say I am perplexed by the strange ‘pass’ that sporting event fanaticism receives in our society, particularly given the fact that some of the highest death tolls at sporting events have been at football games.  (The Hillsborough Crush at a 1989 football match in Sheffield comes to mind).  Sporting event fanaticism also exacts a financial toll in the need for higher police count to control the ‘hooliganism’.  I used to live by the Arsenal stadium in Highbury.  And every other weekend, it was like an orchestrated parade – with police on horseback and streets showing up 2-3 hours before a game to create a human wall to to contain the sea of bodies that would come to and leave the stadium by every accessible tube stop available. (This actually became rather soothing to watch – the calm movement of red clusters of red Arsenal gear progressing down Holloway Road to Drayton Park / Benwell Road, accented by lines of brightly yellow neon police officers forming lines at checkpoints.)  But the cost has to be enormous for all this control and safety!  So is this form of fanaticism deemed more ‘acceptable’ simply because a higher number of people are interested?  And why is ‘sporting violence’ acceptable while embracing activity surrounding love and inspiration is considered ‘creepy’?

        • You made an excellent point, Judi.  Why is a “crush” on a sports team (or any other object) acceptable but a crush on a person is not?  I live in a place with a college football team that is worshipped.  People will not schedule events (weddings, etc) until they check the football schedule for possible conflicts.  Rooms are decorated in honor of the team.  The financial cost of tickets, parking, tailgating, not to mention travel to see away games, is phenomenal.  And to say that you do not support the team is practically blasphemy.

          Yet this obsession with the team is perfectly acceptable.  Why?  Because everyone does it, so it must be ok?  Seems to me that those who would question participation in a fandom (I’m referring to those outside the fandom, not those within questioning their own participation) would do well to look at their own interests before criticizing others.

          Hope I didn’t offend any sports lovers here.  I just don’t understand why everyone can’t have a “live and let live” attitude.  We each have our own idiosyncrasies, as long as we are not hurting others, what’s the harm?

      • There is also a difference between being a fan of a show vs an actor. Being an ardent LOTR or Doctor Who fan or a comic book movie geek is nothing to be ashamed off. Maybe that is because many members of said fandoms are male? And any “girly” hobby is dismissed? Even liking the typically  “female” variety of shows like period drama is frowned upon and can barely be justified by  it being adaptions of classic literature.

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