Various and Sundry…Armitage et alia

Well, today marks my first full, post surgical, week back on campus.  The surgeon tells me that I’m good to go (more or less) but I think I’ll keep up the facade of a restriction on lifting for a little while longer (those baskets of laundry aren’t going to carry themselves upstairs…)  As I try to settle back into my routine – which had been derailed the past few months by chronically feeling rotten – I’ve been taking stock of a few things..

  1.  After dithering around with framing it for over a year, tonight I finally said “F$&k it, it’s a poster!” and hung the Crucible poster that Servetus gifted me with last fall on the wall in my office…without a frame.

crucible poster

I think it fits in well with the ca 1954 map of ancient Greece and the SARCASM plaque…even without a frame!  Who knows…maybe finally hanging it on the wall will be the kick in the butt I need to go back and write that analysis of Sophocles, Antigone, Arthur Miller and The Crucible I’ve been kvetching to myself about for a year.

The thought of writing a classically inspired analysis of a piece of the Armitage oeuvre brings me to a second point I’ve been pondering:

Why is it that intersections of Richard Armitage and cheesehead hats generate so much blog traffic?!

armitage cheesea query for the sages no doubt!

And finally, another new piece of wall art for the new office – my recent comic book class has revealed the fact that I really dig the look of vintage comic art –

Cover of  Detective Comics No. 27 - 1st Appearance of Batman  (and man do I need to find more things to hang on that continent of beige wall!)

Cover of Detective Comics No. 27 – 1st Appearance of Batman (and man do I need to find more things to hang on that continent of beige wall!)


…reminds me that I’d promised to report back on whether or not my students were able to detect all of the background character development work that went into Richard Armitage’s portrayal of Heinz Kruger in Captain America The First Avenger:

That would be a resounding “NO” 

They all concurred that the Heinz Kruger character was more or less typical of the one dimensionality one would expect from the 1940’s era comic book villian.  (Sorry about that Mr. Armitage!)

Deep thoughts indeed  😉

Richard Armitage and Batman?

Far be it from me to not jump into the Batman mania.  There has been a ton of buzz about Richard Armitage being amongst the pool of actors in consideration for the role of Batman in an upcoming Superman/Batman effort.  If he were so inclined, I’m sure Mr. Armitage could nail that part.  Batman is in his wheelhouse – a flawed, but heroic character.  It’s all speculation at this point, I suppose.  As I understand it, there is not even a script for the film as yet.  Reading the comments on some of the reports has been extremely interesting. One particularly struck me in it’s reference to Richard Armitage as possessing the gravitas to do justice to the character of Batman.  “Yes!” I thought, that is the perfect term.


Latin authors, of both prose and verse, often refer to the mos maiorum (“the customs of the ancestors”) as models of correct Roman behavior.   According to the poet Ennius:

Moribus antiquis res stat Romana virisque.” (“The Roman state stands on ancient customs and heroes.”)

The Romans measured their Romanitas or “Roman-ness” via a series of qualities known jointly as The Roman Virtues.  Gravitas was one of these virtues.  Translated literally it means gravity or seriousness, but in the context of a personal trait, sums it up really nicely as:

“A sense of the importance of the matter at hand, responsibility and earnestness.”

I also find it interesting that secondary definitions of the term refer to heaviness or dullness – things that Richard Armitage has accused himself of on more than one occasion.   (He’s a bit hard on himself if you ask me…)

Richard Armitage reacts and responds to a question with gravitas

Richard Armitage reacts and responds to a question with gravitas

Gravitas is certainly a quality Richard Armitage possesses in his approach to his work.  His seriousness, responsibility and earnestness would all contribute beautifully to his characterization of Batman should he inhabit the role one day.

Incidentally, there are 14 other Roman Virtues, so we may just revisit this topic in the future 🙂