Richard Armitage Writes a Blog Post!

Eyes

I know… sounds like one of my weird dreams. But, no… Richard Armitage actually wrote a guest post on the Cybersmile Blog. It takes courage to open yourself in such a way, to put your thoughts out there to a huge audience. Perhaps more so when you put it out there in the wake of controversy and in your own name. I appreciate him for taking the time to compose a post, and I love to speculate about how much time it took him to compose it, and how many sentences he wrote, deleted, reworded… what’s your blogging process like, Richard? =)

I’ve read it through, twice. I’m still processing. It was not unlike some of my own posts- a bit meandering, but I think I can take away from it that the main idea he was previously hoping to convey was to think twice before you post on social media, particularly if you’re reacting to something that makes you angry or a topic that stirs feelings of hatred in you.

Several interesting items came up in this roundabout fashion of his.

He deletes more than he sends. (We noticed, Richard!)

He prefers what is said should be said using real names, rather than anonymously or using a pseudonym. (I assume he believes we’re more likely to think carefully about what we post if we can’t hide behind anonymity, and that is a valid point… but the fact that there are cyberbullies and other sick individuals out there who might seek to damage our reputations, businesses, families or even stalk us if they take exception to what we say online makes this a risky proposition!)

He doesn’t believe words should necessarily be censored by others, but by those speaking or writing them (I agree!)

He suggests an alternative outlet, such as an artistic outlet, for the negative energy that results in cyberbullying, or from cyberbullying. (Is that what you meant, Richard? I think that’s what you meant!)

Some food for thought there. (I admit I’m so fond of him I just enjoyed the novelty of him blogging.) I didn’t agree with everything he had to say, and again quite a bit of it was somewhat vague. Certainly once again some of it seemed to me to be a response to some of the questions and concerns many had after last week’s Cybersmile Interview. How much is he really watching? I’ll be curious to observe whether this just serves to stir the pot more, or if it will appease anyone who’s been upset or viewed the Cybersmile initiative as the “Cybersmile Debacle” but at the same time I’m a bit leary of venturing onto Twitter to see what may or may not be going on there today. =)

So I’m sticking to WordPress for the moment. Oh, and I think I’ll take Richard’s suggestion and check out “Catfish” (2010). It’s available on Amazon Instant Video.

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21 comments

  1. Perry · June 11, 2015

    I’ve been only following intermittently (RL taking over again), and I plan to write on this myself, but overall I think you and I are on the same page, especially, I would say, I had no negative reaction to this. HIs feeling about revealing one’s true identity on line is not always practical, and anyway, as bloggers, I believe our blogging identity is as real as it needs to be for our purposes. We don’t go around changing our online names or identities to make people miserable. I do think he was trying to say that there are other, creative outlets to expel negative energy and anger. I hope have the energy to write something on this – Hannibal, tonight, you know.

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    • jholland · June 11, 2015

      Yes, Hannibal, I do know… and I see you did have the energy to write about it. Yes, you and I seem to be on the same page. It wasn’t earth-shattering, his post, but I enjoyed it and found it revealing, which makes it very interesting reading. And I found it endearing. I can’t help myself. I think he’s sweet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hariclea · June 11, 2015

    with you on it, though i think he meant art to be an alternative outlet of all kinds, including for those being the victim and not knowing what to do, you can experience feelings in an art environment while being safe 🙂 He touched a very sensitive spot for me with that one, i couldn’t agree more, it as certainly my experience as a kid.
    Still processing so probably will come back to this later again, but wanted to say i was surprised he mentioned ‘Catfish’. Interestingly enough i’ve been watching a number of documentaries about social media and bullying in the past year, professional interest and general curiosity and trying to figure out how it works for me (social media i mean). In this line of thought i found my way back to MTV at my age 😉 Not at all in their target audience i suspect but i have been watching Catfish pretty much since they have started to air the series. Absolutely watch worthy i thought, very well and candidly done. Having disconnected from MTV many many years back when i just frew out of music videos and such 😉 i found myself reconnecting recently because of this type of content that they are airing. I think it is a brilliant show for young audience but interesting to watch at all ages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · June 11, 2015

      Are there two Catfish productions? The one he linked to I didn’t think was a TV series but may be a spin off… I’ll check into that. Maybe I’ll watch both, one on RA’s recommendation and one on your recommendation. =) The art as an escape/outlet for you… are you referencing your long-time love of opera?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariclea · June 12, 2015

        It’s the same Catfish. He linked the initial one where Nev basically talked about what happened to him. And because they realised this was happening to many people they embarked on a journey with people who approach them about their experiences. I’ve mostly watched it in bulk reruns at weekends. It was interesting for me as I have made quite a few friends through online interaction but we all know how risky this can be.
        It is opera but not only, we had music and theatre in school and it is a great way of being among like minded people or finding your niche I think. One of the problem in schools today is that there is less and less money to have arts in the curriculum and therefore less opportunity to interact on an emotional level and gather experience this way. I think it becomes harder and harder to teach and let kids experience things outside the internet these days.

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    • SH · June 11, 2015

      Yes, I believe he was saying instead of bullying, express yourself through art. That was one of my favorite parts of his post. My involvement with music throughout my life has been that sanctuary and place of expressing a sum greater than its parts, even though I’m no longer performing. I’ll always find it cathartic, and a way of expressing things that are important to me. That’s one of the most wonderful things about the arts…. and probably about sport as well, for those inclined that way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • jholland · June 11, 2015

        What kind of music, SH? I can’t claim to express myself through art or music and CERTAINLY not sports. But I take his point… find an outlet and a sanctuary that works for you. In junior high and high school I wasn’t really ever bullied to any extreme degree, maybe teased occasionally here or there and I didn’t fit the mold or experience popularity, or get a boyfriend, which caused me moderate angst. I would always escape into reading, writing or holing up with my pets or taking a long horseback ride (all things I generally liked to do when not upset, too!) My social life took off in college, and even then I was a relative hermit, but a hermit with a pretty cool social circle of others who never fit the mold. =)

        Liked by 1 person

        • SH · June 13, 2015

          I was a classically trained musician in piano, voice, arranging to an extent, but I’ve always loved all kinds of music, more now than then. I was never really a professional musician nor did I choose to teach. My career took a different turn, as have my current ambitions…. but I feel like I know “it” when I hear it in a performer & enjoy encouraging that when I hear / see it.
          And yes, I think what he said about the arts was kind of an extension / explanation of finding your voice. Searching for that place where you find your sense of significance, and ability to express yourself. I realize it’s a better suggestion for the long term than if someone’s in an immediate bullying crisis, but I think it could be a point of hope for some kids to latch onto.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Richard Armitage Blogs: There’s Nothing Wrong With the Pot Roast | Armitage Agonistes
  4. Sue · June 12, 2015

    Hey JH! Of the blogs I’ve read recently re: Richard’s blog on cyber bullying, yours seems to me the most reasoned discussion. Frankly I don’t understand the “controversy”, I agree with much of what Richard said, but in fact I’m somewhat amazed he choose to take on the difficult subject of bullying at all. Kudos that he did choose to wade into those turbulent waters, and if he does give folks things to ponder or another perspective, well great! Unfortunately bullying, cyber or otherwise, won’t end any time soon, but “you can do what you can do….”!
    I find his writing style humorous, a bit antic and full of side paths, and reminds me of some of the letters he’d post, earlier in his career.
    As you know, I admire Richard Armitage the actor, but I’m impressed with the human being as well. He’s choosing to be a “celebrity” with a social conscience, good for him.
    Take care,
    Sue

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    • jholland · June 12, 2015

      Hey Sue! I’ve spent a lot of time reading several posts and a WHOLE lot of comments and I find there are valid criticisms and concerns with what he wrote, but I personally didn’t find his post to be anywhere near as upsetting or disappointing as some found it. On the contrary, I enjoyed his perspective. He’s tackling a very difficult subject, and stepping up, and opening up. It can’t be easy to talk about being bullied in his youth, and on the whole, his message was positive. Also, this was his first blog post. It would be impossible to comprehensively cover the topic of cyberbullying, its ramifications and solutions, and he never claimed to be an expert. Just someone who cares enough to shine a spotlight on the topic and get people talking and thinking about it. I don’t know whether he will be posting regularly as a guest blogger or if it was a one and done deal… but there certainly are a lot of avenues to pursue if he does begin to speak out on this platform regularly. I think he knows he can’t please everyone.

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      • Sue · June 12, 2015

        I agree, I too hope this wasn’t a “one & done” deal, and true I’m sure he’s quite aware he can’t please everyone. I doubt that was his intention, in fact I’d wager he’s pleased (on one level) that his blog has generated so many comments! Nothing like a little controversy to counteract sheer adoration ;)!
        I wasn’t bullied when I was a youngster, (but I was odd, and in those days being odd was cool,) but then we didn’t have the electronic alien at hand. The message, “this will blow over” falls on deaf ears to young people enmeshed in social media – it’s a tricky problem to deal with. Richard’s suggestion of engaging in other outlets to gain distance and perspective is a valid one. It’s a sad irony that the Internet opens up our world and can narrow it at the same time.

        Hugs to the family!!

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  5. Kim · June 12, 2015

    I very much enjoy the approach that you take here. It reminds me of what my mom taught me when I was young. “Take what you need and leave the rest.” Obviously we’re not going to agree with everyone about everything. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something by listening to someone else’s point of view. So many times we forget (or are never taught) this. Richard’s blog was a joy to read and I can’t help but wonder if his writing is similar to what a conversation with him would be like. He’s very eloquent even if he does meander through points. I enjoy that though, as I believe the human thought process to be an ever meandering thing.
    Bullying is a very hard topic to tackle. It’s so very personal. And it’s so different for everyone who’s experienced it. I don’t believe that it matters if any of us agree with Richard’s opinions or not. If his words touch even one person in a positive light, if his suggestions help someone to find a more positive course in life, what an amazing thing that would be! I was bullied for several years in my youth. Fortunately, I have a wonderful support system in my family and was able to find an outlet through the arts, as well as many like-minded “weird” friends who helped me to get through it. I cannot imagine how much harder it is today. It’s easy for any of us to be critical, mean and spiteful. To be able to do it from a place of comfort through a computer screen where there is the safety of anonymity (if one so chooses) and no accountability is so much easier that I think it runs more rampant. We need to learn to be responsible for our words and actions again. To share a smile and a kind word instead of an eye roll and snide remark. Whether or not I agree with every opinion he has, I think that Richard’s public stance against cyber bullying is awesome!

    .

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    • jholland · June 12, 2015

      Thank you, Kim, and welcome! Yes, I thought his meandering style was charming, though I admit I’m biased because I’m, well, preoccupied with him.=) I know a few people wished he’d have had an editor or a coach… but that, to me, somewhat defeats the purpose of asking him to write a guest post. Why not just ask a well-versed sociologist or a journalist who’s researched cyberbullying to write the post? I’m not saying that a post written by said sociologist or journalist wouldn’t be worthwhile reading, but just that they asked Richard Armitage, the actor, to write the post because they apparently thought it would draw interest and readers. I don’t want to read Richard Armitage regurgitating someone else’s talking points… I’m interested in his perspective. Doesn’t mean I agreed with everything he said, but a lot of it I did, and I’d be happy to hear more if he is willing to blog again sometime. =) I love that he had the courage to share his opinions, and the generosity of spirit to embrace such a cause and to give of himself in such a way. He’s undeniably raised awareness of the problem, and yes, if his words strike a chord with someone who is suffering from bullying in any form, or has ever suffered bullying in any form and still struggles with its effects years later, then he’s done a wonderful thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Servetus · June 12, 2015

        An editor doesn’t rewrite things, though. An editor fixes unclarities (or asks for clarification), cleans up punctuation and grammar problems, and points out to the author where his/her or her ideas are confusing / hard to understand.

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        • jholland · June 12, 2015

          And if I’d been the editor, it would have been marked in red up one side and down the other. LOL. I still enjoyed it.

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        • Servetus · June 12, 2015

          yeah, my point is that a good editor reads a text carefully enough to understand “who you are” and helps you get your prose to a state that communicates that most effectively. The people who are saying, he should have had an editor aren’t saying, he should have said things differently, or, I wish a professional had rewritten this — that is not what they mean, IMO. They are saying, an editor would have let him shine through and pushed the problems in the text to the rear. An editor can’t usually fix poor argumentation, for instance, but s/he can put it in a place where it’s not so obvious.

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        • jholland · June 12, 2015

          Perhaps you are right. A good editor might have made some of his points a little easier to understand, and I can concede that some of what he was saying sort of lost me. I’m not saying that the post absolutely needed no editing, just that the post, as is, self-edited and presumably making perfect sense to Richard Armitage, was acceptable to me, and the basic gist of his opinions and perspective did not fail to “shine through” as you put it. Insofar as it was a blog post, and anyone who blogs should be forgiven if they ramble or digress, IMO it shouldn’t necessarily be held to the editorial standards of certain other publications. Heaven help him if he needs to write a dissertation, though. =)

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        • Servetus · June 12, 2015

          Well, no one writes a dissertation without an editor, usually at least three. Mine had three plus my ex plus my mother. It’s just impossible. I believe everyone benefits from editing, including me, and I do take advantage of it a lot, even for my blog. However, it’s just a personal preference.

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        • jholland · June 12, 2015

          Yeah, I know. I was joking. Hubby had 3 editors on his dissertation, plus me. Editing is a good thing. I actually thought of becoming an editor at one point as I love to edit and have for years been asked to edit rough drafts by friends and family members on term papers, college application essays and the like. I definitely break a number of formal writing rules in my blogging, though. =)

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        • Servetus · June 13, 2015

          One of the ways that you know an author is a strong stylist is that they know when to break the rules and which ones to break 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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