Richard Armitage and a different classic tradition

image

Gary Cooper is on the left, but who’s that guy on the right?

Certain images in the Esquire spread definitely had a classic Hollywood vibe for me (others too!).  I posted this on Tumblr last night, so apologies for shamelessly cross platform re blogging myself, but I don’t know how to show it to non-Tumblrs any other way. (Instruction always welcome!)

ὅ παῖς καλός: Richard Armitage at rest

Kicking back... Source:  Microlina

Kicking back…
Source: Microlina

When I first saw this image yesterday I was struck silent (if you know me at all, you know that is saying A LOT!), and evidently, I wasn’t the only one.  What’s not to love? About thirty seconds later I was slightly uncomfortable.  I’ve been out of the Tumblr and blog loop since late last week, so I wasn’t aware of the source of the image.  At first glance, it looked to me as if Richard Armitage was unaware that he was being photographed.   We all have our own ideas and limits on our fangirling.  I’ve generally decided that I will not recirculate any image that appears to have been taken unbeknownst to the subject, especially in a personal setting.  (This is only my personal position, and I make no judgement on anyone who chooses to do otherwise)  Given that this image seems to have been taken in some sort of production “green room” and it appears on the DVD extras, it’s highly unlikely that Richard Armitage was completely unaware of the photographer.

Now that I know that this is a screencap from EE (excellent catch Microlina!!), not a photo snapped by the cellphone of a now unemployed member of The Hobbit catering staff,  I much relieved.  This is a rare glimpse of Richard Armitage at rest.  Not posed, not staged, just relaxed.  I don’t know that I’ve seen another image where he looks quite so laid back as he is here, schlumped on a sofa, not quite idle as he scrolls on a tablet with pages beneath.  The open, un-tucked shirt, the Belstaff jacket, the combat boots…don’t even get me started on how his hair looks damp in the front!  (just come from make-up/prosthetic removal?)  All in all,  it’s a potently artless display of relaxed male.  Here’s where it gets a bit weird…

I saw that image of Richard Armitage, which tripped all of those triggers,  and I immediately thought of a sculpture that I saw when I was in at the Met in New York in March.

Sleeping Eros Source:  Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sleeping Eros
Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is a Hellenistic representation of Eros, the Greek god of love, laid out, sound asleep and totally relaxed.  Now, before you go there, allow me to explain that the image of Eros as a chubby winged baby belies the potently sexual nature of this divinity to the Greeks.   In some ways, this image of Eros is so innocent that it is dangerous.  That is, people see Aphrodite, in all her voluptuous splendor and run for the hills to escape the power of her sexual spell.  Baby Eros?  Not so much.  He can kind of sneak up on you and hit you with a shot of lust right to the…  – er – … you know what I mean. No so different from the image above…just a guy kicked back relaxing on a couch at the end of a long day…but then….BAM!

ὅ παῖς καλός

Richard Armitage: RA, Aten, Ra

I was making my feeble every other day or so attempt at mastering Tumblr this week when I came across this post:

I have managed to figure out how to “like” something on Tumblr, which I immediately did…then I reblogged it (at least I think I did, I may be wrong).   I really liked this post, and since ancient Egypt crosses over ancient Greece regularly, I have an RA/Ra favorite I’d like to share:

aten

For much of Egyptian religious history, Aten, the sun disk was understood to be a component part of the solar god Ra.  Don’t you just love the little hands?  It’s like the warmth and light of the sun reaches out to touch you.  When I read I Still Believe in Lucas North’s original post, I thought of this image of Aten, and then I thought of Richard Armitage – RA – who reaches out and touches us with warmth and light.  It’s a good feeling isn’t it?

Popcorn Taxi Q&A My Cap

Popcorn Taxi Q&A
Source:  My Cap

et alia: Survival Guide for “orphans” of Richard Armitage Fans

I had a very interesting conversation with my teenage son a few weeks ago.  I don’t remember how it began – probably my walking into his room to nag him to work on his homework.  We were going to go out for lunch (he’s in virtual school, so campus is always open)  but he didn’t have any clean jeans to wear.  This led his mother to ask guiltily, “Do you have any not too dirty jeans?  I’ve been a little distracted with this new blog thing and have gotten behind on the laundry.”  I jokingly suggested he start a support group for the “neglected” children of Richard Armitage fans.  He replied, “Oh that?  Someone already invited me to join that.”

Wait a minute….what?  I pumped him for more information over pizza – he’s a teenager, and always hungry, so he talked.  Evidently, one of his legion of Facebook friends is a second generation fan of Richard Armitage and has started a chat page on her personal Facebook account where the children of Armitage fans can join to lament about their mothers’ obsession.  He hasn’t ever logged in he said.  I had no idea such a page existed, but it seems perfectly logical that it does.

How many times have I complained that real life has gotten in the way of my Armitage habit?  Plenty.  I wondered what my new “hobby” looked like from the perspective of my kids.  My seven (and a 1/2) year old daughter has already come over to the fold.  This week I came home from a night class to find her fast asleep with my iPad open on her bed.  She had fallen to sleep listening to Richard Armitage reading Flat Stanley on the Cbeebies Story Hour.  Interested in his take on my fandom, I asked my son if he would write me his version of a guide to surviving life as the child of a Richard Armitage fan, so I could post it on my blog.  He grudgingly agreed, only after I promised he would remain anonymous.  That was about three weeks ago, he’s a bit of a procrastinator – I think he gets that from his mother!

I expected something that looked rather like this:

1.  Learn to like Ramen noodles and EasyMac – if you wait, “just a minute” until your mother finishes that episode of Robin Hood, or chatting online, you might waste away to nothing.

2.  Ditto for laundry unless you are styling yourself as the 21st century Lady Godiva

3.  Answer her questions about how to arrange her Tumblr dashboard as simply as possible.  Be prepared to repeat when she doesn’t get it the first time.

4. Take advantage of her distraction and allow your bedroom to become a comfortable hovel befitting any lazy teenager.

Here is what he emailed me today: (I only changed a couple of typos – the language and sentiment are all his)

Contributed by Obscura's 14 year old son.

Contributed by Obscura’s 14 year old son.

On an average day, my son is a pretty easy going kid – so easy going, that he has to be prodded to get just about anything done.  He falls behind on his school work, not because he is unable to complete it, but because he just can’t be bothered.  I guess I just assumed that he was put out in some way by the increasing amount of time I spend on fangirling activities.  Given his generally mellow attitude, I shouldn’t be surprised that not only is he not particularly bothered by the independence that he’s gained in lieu of my new hobby, it turns out that he may just be the only person of my close acquaintance who really gets it.  Is it strange that my son and I have found new common ground in our respective fandom activities?  Truthfully, it does feel a bit weird, but it is also amazing to realize how similarly we view things, how much common ground we have.  Thanks Armitagemania for providing me an entre into better communication with my teenager!

et alia: So you want to write RAcy fan fiction? Caveat scriptor…

I had never heard of fan fiction before I “discovered” Richard Armitage in the summer of 2012.  Suffice it to say,  I had no idea what I was missing!  I became an avid RA fan fiction reader, hunting down stories about any and all ChaRActers on fanfiction.net, Wattpad, Tumblr, LiveJournal and finally Dreamer Fiction and an Archive of Our Own (If I’m missing any, please do tell!) .  There is a massive variety of stories from fluffy and sentimental to seriously sexy to downright raunchy.  (here’s another caveat for you…caveat lector – Let the reader beware –  My personal policy:  Don’t like?  Don’t read.)

In retrospect, this was no great leap for me really, since I have been a consumer of “romance novels” for decades.  I was in 6th grade, frantically trying to scrub the images of Steinbeck’s The Red Pony from my brain when a classmate slipped me a purloined copy of Rosemary Roger’s Sweet Savage Love.

sweet savage

The purple prose, the bodice rippery, crinolines, cravats, the eventual happy ending for the handsome hero and beautiful heroine, …I was hooked.  I was also eleven, so my interest in what my mother, to this day calls “smut books,” had to be kept on the Q.T.   Looking back, I know that at the time I didn’t understand most of the excessively euphemistic sex scenes, or the scenes of rape and abuse, but I became addicted to the formula.

Fast forward a bit.  The added incentive of stories about characters played by the oh so delicious leading man Richard Armitage was irresistible.  About six months after my entrance into Armitage World, I decided to take a stab at writing a fan fiction of my own – a “one off” in fan fic lingo, about John Porter in a life after StrikebackI’ve written reams of academic papers, and for the past decade I’ve spent an enormous amount of time correcting other people’s writing.  Consequently, I’m a pretty strong writer in terms of mechanics, but I’d never attempted creative writing.  I guess that I just need the right inspiRAtion!  Over the past few months, I’ve tapped into my inner storyteller, and as it turns out, she has a lot to say and she is often not G-rated.  🙂

John Porter - Strikeback S1.5 Courtesy of richardarmitagenet.com

John Porter – Strikeback S1.5
Courtesy of richardarmitagenet.com

So then, why do I warn, Caveat scriptor (Latin for “Let the writer beware!”)?  It all started with “The Longest Night,” my story about John Porter and an original character named Lindsey Tate.  I won’t give the details away in case you’d like to read it for yourself, but suffice it to say that sexy times ensued between Porter and Lindsey.  When it was finished, I gave it to my husband to look over for general readability.  I guess I did a pretty good job with sex scene in the story since I’ve had to beat him off with a stick since he read it… “I had no idea,” he says 😉  So, if you’re considering taking the plunge into writing RAcy fan fiction, Caveat scriptoryou may want to make a little room in your schedule before letting your significant other in on your new hobby!