Another Onion Article?

A Fandom Divided: Oglers Unite as Theatre Purists Decry Images of Bare-Chested Actor

The notoriously drama-filled fandom revolving around The Hobbit star Richard Armitage has found another bone of contention to pick among themselves, sources say. Pursuant to the decision to film the British actor’s recent performance as John Proctor, the tortured protagonist in Yael Farber’s critically acclaimed production of American playwright Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (staged at the Old Vic Theatre in London, 2014), many believed that the fandom, loosely known as The Armitage Army, having united its factions with unparalleled success in its efforts to obtain a DVD or other recording of the vaunted Armitage performance, would continue to present a unified image to the world. However, it would seem that The Armitage Army continues to nurse grievances among themselves that periodically explode across social media.

The latest quarrel amongst the ranks appears to revolve around the mysterious release of several images of a bare-chested John Proctor, seen down on the floor washing himself at the beginning of Act 2. We contacted a spokesperson from Puritan Farmers Cooperative, and showed him the images. “I would have to say, I can not object to these images. Without we wash at the end of a long day, we land in the barn for the night. Does not every goodwife say, ‘Come you not to my bed smelling of manure’?” Our contact found nothing scintillating about the images, although he was quick to add that he does not plow on Sundays.

However, it would seem that many members of the fandom did, in fact, find the images to be stirring. One Armitage blogger was swift to share the controversial images, and likened the experience to a hormonal conflagration. “Yes, those images caused a spontaneous ovarian combustion! I’ve seen one of the images, or something close to it, already, but these camera angles,” she said, pointing with trembling fingers to images showing Armitage’s wide shoulders, muscular back, lean torso, and a tantalizing thigh/buttock side view, “Whew. These angles are simply spectacular!” She went on to postulate that the images might in fact be dangerous to reproductive health. “There is such a syndrome as Spontaneous Ovarian Hyperstimulation, you know.”

As of press time, representatives from the National Institutes of Health could not be contacted to answer whether these images might in fact be useful in the treatment of infertility in women, and the Armitage blogger was hesitant to postulate as to the effectiveness of Richard Armitage’s bare torso for the purposes of improving conception rates for struggling couples. “Whoa, now. I’m a veterinarian. I might be able to answer your questions about fertility in bitches, and I may occasionally refer to Armitage images jokingly as good medicine, but I’m not qualified to offer any sort of treatment plan for other women.”

Medicinal uses aside, many Armitage admirers appeared to seek sensual gratification by viewing the images. “It’s a rough job, but someone has to objectify him,” commented a preeminent Armitage blogger, viewing with satisfaction one of her own edits. The busy image depicts twelve locations on John Proctor’s exposed upper body that the blogger would like to kiss, and prompted many blog commentators to point out other areas that they felt were additionally deserving of collective smooching attentions. This post spawned further debate as to the definition of a widow’s peak amongst the fandom, so we contacted the Hairline Consultation Hotline, whose experts were familiar with Armitage’s work.

“While Thorin Oakenshield does show a prominent widow’s peak, it is our conclusion that his hairline was in fact achieved by use of a very convincing hairpiece. Upon review of images of Richard Armitage as himself and as John Proctor, most hairline pundits agree that he does not sport a widow’s peak. The traditional understanding of a widow’s peak is most certainly a V-shaped point in the center of the forehead. I would place celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Leonardo DiCaprio much higher on the widow’s peak spectrum than I would place Richard Armitage.” When asked to discern the V-shaped area of hairline that the blogger wished she could kiss, the hairline expert readily identified the disputed area as a receding temple, and remarked, “Mr. Armitage here is a lovely example of why a receding temple is not always an unattractive feature of a hairline. The sharp, almost dramatic points of his receding temples add interest to an otherwise rather humdrum hairline.”

When the controversial wash basin images were shared on Richard Armitage appreciation pages on Facebook, however, they were met in some cases with derision and incredulity. Taking down the images and citing her reluctance to circulate “beefcake screengrabs” prior to every fandom member first viewing the much-anticipated release of the Digital Theatre download of the Yael Farber/Richard Armitage collaboration, one Facebook administrator pleaded with disgruntled members to show respect for Farber and Armitage. Urging everyone to first watch, and register the pivotal themes and solemn subject matter, the administrator unwittingly stirred the pot in a fandom troubled by fears of internal policing amongst their ranks.

“You do realize that he took his shirt off approximately 101 times during the run of The Crucible, right?” wrote yet a third blogger, incredulous that the images of the “half-nekkid” actor should have been at the center of yet another fandom “dust-up”. Arguing that Richard Armitage not only knows exactly what he’s about, but appreciates occasional raunchy humor, including dick jokes, the blogger opined that Richard Armitage should be allowed to draw his own boundaries. A review of tweets from the actor himself seems to validate the blogger’s assertion. Not only dick jokes, but a flurry of scatological humor was discovered in a review of Armitage’s hashtags, which are widely accepted to have proceeded forth from the actor himself on many occasions, and have resulted in the actor’s followers topping 100,000.

When contacted to ask whether he intended to share scatological humor and dick jokes with his Chinese followers on Weibo, Richard Armitage declined to make any promises, but he did mutter that he didn’t understand how his foreskinned penis had anything to do with any of it. It is surmised that Armitage may have been referring to yet another blog post, whose author chimed in by implicating that the beleaguered anti-ogling faction was in fact akin to Judge Hathorne, the judge who presided over the Salem Witch trials, in their efforts to subdue the fandom’s reaction to the shirtless images of John Proctor. Yael Farber was also contacted for comment, and her representatives categorically denied any knowledge of Armitage’s foreskinned penis, but did confirm that Farber was aware of the actor’s actions while removing his shirt approximately 101 times during The Crucible run, and indicated that this would not hinder her decision to collaborate with Armitage in the future.

 

 

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51 comments

  1. Perry · January 29, 2015

    Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes and commented:
    Brilliant and fun – pokes fun at many on both sides of the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Thanks, Perry! And thanks for the reblog. Hope I didn’t step on any toes, but I had a lot of fun writing this piece.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Guylty · January 30, 2015

        Such fun! I love spoofs.

        Like

        • jholland · January 30, 2015

          And you excel at them! The RAPS advertisements are legendary. =)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Guylty · January 31, 2015

          Cheers, but so do you!!

          Like

  2. suzy · January 29, 2015

    Thank you for this wonderful critical “discussion” – Lol 🙂

    Like

  3. Sue · January 29, 2015

    Wait, there was controversy over pictures from Proctor’s wash scene???
    What, not enough Proctor visible?
    Nice Onion piece Jen!!

    Like

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      LOL! Yes, where WAS the “He shoulda tropped his trousers” faction?

      Like

  4. jazzbaby1 · January 29, 2015

    Lol — great summary, dude!

    Like

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Thanks, Jazzy! The debates, blog posts and comment sections have been mighty inspiring to me. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jazzbaby1 · January 29, 2015

    Reblogged this on FunkyBlueDandelion and commented:
    JHolland sums it up with a snicker. 😉

    Like

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Yes, more than a few snickers escaped during the writing process. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      • jazzbaby1 · January 30, 2015

        See, that’s when I wind up in trouble. I start laughing while I’m writing something and then I keep laughing and at the end of it the only person it makes sense to is me. Well done, j.

        Like

        • jholland · January 30, 2015

          Nothing wrong with amusing only yourself! Lol. Hubby does it all the time. Seriously, I married the emperor of terrible jokes.

          Like

  6. zan, O1C · January 29, 2015

    Reblogged this on Well, There You Go … and commented:
    *giggle*
    *chortle*
    *guffaw*

    Like

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Oooh, a guffaw? Now that is high praise indeed. And thanks for the reblog!

      Like

  7. zan, O1C · January 29, 2015

    Excellent!!!!!
    “Beefcake Screengrabs” sounds like a denizen of the Shire. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. obscura · January 29, 2015

    First limericks, now this? I bow to your masterful pen! 🙂

    Like

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Aww, thank you! I have the biggest smile right now. LOL

      Like

  9. Joanna · January 29, 2015

    A hahaha! Great article,JHolland! Thanks 😀

    Like

  10. Loakenshield (Girl of Gisborne) · January 29, 2015

    Love this, JH!!! LOL 😉

    Like

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Thanks L… PS see my message on RAC forum!

      Like

  11. zeesmuse · January 29, 2015

    I looked! I’m not ashamed and I’m damned proud of it.

    In fact, I think I’ll go look again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Ah, yes. I think I’ll head to your page and have another look, myself. And highly recommend fellow oglers head over as well… =)

      Liked by 1 person

      • zeesmuse · January 29, 2015

        I do not ogle. I appreciate and enjoy the beauty, as if it were a fine wine.
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        awright awright… I ogle. Some.

        Liked by 2 people

        • jholland · January 29, 2015

          Oh, absolutely. Clearly. Very occasional, very sporadic, very miniscule amounts of ogling over the 35 years of Proudly Perving. LOL

          Liked by 1 person

        • zeesmuse · January 30, 2015

          Perving… yes… crap, did I…. ooops, yes I did. Sigh Oh well…. yes perving! Proudly, at that!

          Liked by 1 person

  12. KatharineD · January 29, 2015

    Great stuff- a fun read, and the humour was spot on.

    Like

    • jholland · January 29, 2015

      Thank you, KatharineD! I enjoy the occasional bout of absurdity…

      Like

  13. linnetmoss · January 30, 2015

    Hilarious! Thanks for the dedicated reporting 🙂

    Like

    • jholland · January 30, 2015

      Thanks, Linnet! Read it to the Hubby… he says the Onion will be calling any day. Lol not likely, but it’s a fun exercise.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Gratiana Lovelace · January 30, 2015

    Such a giggle! *blushes*

    Like

  15. Hariclea · January 30, 2015

    great to end it in laughter ‘ggg’ and what a brilliant wrap up! or should it be ‘un-wrap’???? i laughed all the way ( and am certain the Old Vic laughed all the way to the bank by the way ;-))

    Like

    • jholland · January 30, 2015

      Oh, yes, I am quite sure they did, and Digital Theatre ought to make a tidy sum as well. At least, I hope they do. More incentive to ALWAYS film Richard Armitage on stage… I seriously think I got more laughs out of this than anyone. Every time I read it I realized how utterly ridiculous I am!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariclea · January 30, 2015

        you? all f us my dear :-))) looks at what comes out of our minds.. err.. fingers! 🙂 you just pulled our amazing ‘cough’ ‘cough’ thoughts brilliantly together! I do hope he takes on a part sometimes soon where we can all laugh 🙂 it won’t be ‘toothie’ i think 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • jholland · January 30, 2015

          Yeah, I don’t know. Haven’t read Urban yet, though I do have it. Is it at all funny? I can’t think the Irish monk role would offer much comedy, didn’t think Sleepwalker sounded funny, highly doubt Francis Dolarhyde is a barrel of laughs. I guess it’ll be down to us to provide our own RA-related giggles for the foreseeable future…

          Like

        • Hariclea · January 30, 2015

          Urban? not funny at all i’m afraid.. and yeah i hope we’ll at least have something to ogle in the future to lift me out of the depression all these upcoming roles will dump me in 😀 Thankfully there is always Guy, he never fails to deliver…giggles 😉

          Like

        • jholland · January 30, 2015

          That is the one certainty. We can, and will, ogle on!

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Another Onion Article? | mimicruzc
  17. Servetus · February 13, 2015

    Fantastic!

    Like

    • jholland · February 13, 2015

      Whew! I’ve been paranoid. You and the ah… facebook administrator were the only spoofed ones not to comment. =)

      Like

      • Servetus · February 14, 2015

        no, not at all. Loved this! (I’m drowning in notifications and I often miss the odd one here or there).

        Liked by 1 person

        • jholland · February 14, 2015

          Well, that thought occurred, too. “She’s miffed. No, she’s busy. But maybe she feels strongly about the widow’s peak. Nah, probably just busy.” Lol

          Like

        • Servetus · February 15, 2015

          I have a really hard time keeping up with stuff at the moment (although it’s getting better). Honestly, if I couldn’t take this level of persiflage I’d better not be in the game 🙂

          Like

        • jholland · February 15, 2015

          Persiflage! How apt for an Armitage spoof… =)

          Liked by 1 person

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