You know I don't grab for attention and so I won't link to the interview my post refers to, nor any of the comments and posts answering and interpreting and ... it.
I don't want the attention a direct link to it might bring, nor do I appreciate major parts of the discussion which followed the interview.
Though I am aware that my post, rather than letting the topic rest, once again puts up a clear opinion and view of the world and the statements RA made in his interview.
If you can't bear my open statement of my opinion, stay away from the freedom of opinion and don't read my post.
Wer sich in Gefahr begibt, kommt darin um.
(Who willingly encounters / searches danger, dies therin.)
I am not sure if in the translation the ambiguity of the German proverb still is as present as in the original, while even in Germany, most people no longer can apply the proverb correctly or see its whole meaning.
The interpretation possibilities are manifold, though the sentence itself looks rather self explanatory and straight forward, but it is not all as it may seem or as clear an advice for action / none-action as one might read into it.
The connection, why this proverb came up in my mind while thinking about RA, was the whole discussion about RA's interview and his position about weapon possession.
While RA's position is exactly what I would have expected of every well educated and sensible European, it lead to heavy discussions in the fandom.
I know about the background of U.S. legislation, the 'oldest' democracy - and according to that, the first test ground of democracy, while other countries and forms of constitution already had samples and could select what they found re-usable and fit to be copied.
So I don't need a reminder or hint that Europeans just don't see the special situation and necessities of the U.S. (It is rather a well established way of not caring about the specifics of other countries and expecting the same from them in return. I continuously encountered that attitude while visiting the U.S.A. but fortunately also found some very interesting exceptions to that rule.)
Still, the fan-debate - though I followed only very (!) loosely (for reasons of self-preservation. I just hate to explode about things I can't change.) - astonished me in its fierceness, when in my opinion and European world view, it should be common ground to try to live and establish a better future from an obviously not well working out past and present.
Europe has a history where people slaughtered one's neighbours for the least of reasons. The only way to live together in some kind of peace in such a densely populated area is, to set the hurdle to kill as high as possible.
So I am deeply in favour of our strict weapons legislation we have here in Germany.
Everyone who possesses a weapon, but should not, commits an immediately punishable crime.
Whoever can possess a weapon, e.g. for reasons of job (hunters, police forces, etc.), hobby (sport, hunt), is constantly checked and controlled: Mentally, ability (weapons training) and security (safe keeping of the weapons, separated from the ammunition and especially unavailable for children).
Every breach means the loss of all weapons and enables the police to enforce the prosecution.
Clear, clean and secure for all involved.
I myself did shoot and was even asked to join a sports club of shooters in my youth. But while I enjoy shooting at fairs and as teen was allowed to use the air rifle of my uncle to learn how it works, I was more interested in the mechanics than the shooting itself, though it is nice if you exactly hit your intended target.
Still, I am very much against weapons. I even broke the connection to the first boyfriend interested in a closer relationship, because he worked in a weapons factory (Not just guns, but a bit more heavy and sophisticated killing machinery.) and thought nothing of it.
They paid their employees extraordinary salaries to forget about their morals and provided exceptional additional educational and work possibilities.
In weapons lies money, big money.
So the two things I detest most and are up to no good, come together here to build an unhealthy union.
To allow everyone to have a weapon just is like trying to extinguish the devil with Beelzebub. (Another German proverb: Den Teufel mit dem Beelzebub austreiben.)
It won't work, ever.
Or can you imagine me with a pistol trying to defend myself against professional killers?
Think again, if you ever want to reason with me that this is a sensible way of defence, except you think the killers will fall over dying on their own laughter over seeing me thinking that I have a chance that way.
Though I even know where a sharpshooter needs to place an exact killing shot or where a shot is more likely to kill, ache, heal or simmer and lead to cruel death or amputation.
Curious, how my mind works. But that knowledge interests me far more than wanting to possess a weapon and actually shoot.
How many people in possession or able to get hold of a weapon do you think also know those facts? How many do you think are even interested or even able to direct and execute their shots in such an exact way?
The professionals need to learn those things and need to train their abilities, to get their moods under control as well as get their abilities up to scratch to execute exact shots.
I am glad to live in a country where I can rely on the strict rules and training of security services to guard my safety, much better than I ever could or would like to and am grateful that they create big hurdles for anyone to possess a weapon.
Thank you, Mr. Armitage, for making this statement and hoping, as I do, for a better future and not giving up on us ungrateful and unworthy humans.
(As I don't really want to hear a single word more about this discussion, but felt it necessary to make this clear statement, comments are closed on this post. What, by the way, I never did before, as I am a fierce democrat - just not a compromise-democrat - and believe in the freedom of opinion.)
Slowly news and hints come out that RA might attend the European Premiere Event of "The Desolation of Smaug" in Berlin, the capital of my country, on the 9th of December 2013.
My position that I don't want to stand at a red carpet event has not changed.
And Berlin is about as available for me as would be e.g. London, or any other European town, so quite an effort and amount of time to reach it and invest into the effort.
But RA in Germany !!!
That now is something where I really would like to show my support and show that RA already has fans in Germany. (Though German reporters still avoid mentioning him in news about "The Hobbit".)
I even would have a business contact in Berlin already awaiting my visit and so I could combine pleasure and work.
But, what holds me back is:
I am currently so embedded in work that till Christmas I should rather work night and day.
If something should go awry, I am sure I will accuse myself mercilessly.
So can I - rationally thinking - convince myself to show support, spend money I shouldn't and burn time I do not have, or will sesible thoughts win the battle?
Would my bad conscience cloud my perception of the whole event in Berlin and especially taint my perception of RA? - As far as I know me, certainly! I am very good at destroying the pleasure of a situation with supposed bad conscience.
So my solution:
Creating a welcome banner for our King visiting Berlin from FanClub Munich ...
And the really wonderful thing is, I have a fellow fan in town, who might even take the banner with her on her visit to Berlin and the Premiere Event. Thank you, (You know who you are) !!!!
Though I don’t feel eligible to celebrate it – after keeping silent for so long and blogging so infrequently (for a multitude of reasons, not only work-, but also RA-related). No – you need not worry. RA still is my one and only ;o)
I am just not so overly enthusiastic about Thorin. He depresses me. His fate depresses me and its parallels to my own life and the uncertainties regarding what is needed of one to fulfill one’s fate cause me utter despair. To keep my mind in working order – though good working order is not what my mind currently readily accepts - I need to reduce the despair input, so to speak RA, rather Thorin.
But why I take up the pen and write a new post today is, because lately, I really would like to ask RA a question:
How did he, in his early teens, manage to convince his parents to allow him a different educational / career path than his brother?
That is something that really puzzles me and something though I might have urgently needed, did not manage at the required time. My parents were rather of the belief to keep me in line and ‘form’ me, though I was never one to step out of line and to rebel. The only difference I had compared to my sister was, that I stayed – or was left to maintain the obligations my sister rushed into obtaining, while she lightheartedly and without remorse or causing offence or ill feelings or grudges managed to abandon, while I had to remain (to replace her) and was bound. As this also caused me to spend much more time with making music, this was something I was not too unhappy with and for a long while thought music to be my career path. But for that, what I only later discovered, I would have needed earlier support and guidance for my career path, which I openly declared to be my choice when I was 9 years old.
So, I come back to my question, how did RA convince his parents to support him in his chosen career so early on, when mine only saw my choice as passing fancy and my piano teacher much rather had supported my sister (who did not care for music and her talent) than me, holding the strong belief only one child in a family (and at that only the older one) would really put energy into her learning. He nearly did not take me on as a pupil at all and then only after my father (not playing the piano himself) taught me the first year and then I had to pass the teacher’s invented test to qualify. No, certainly no help ever came from him, though my sister pressed me into his choir (as she was only allowed to join if I went along). I never had wanted to join, but then supported it for years, while my sister almost instantly left again. The good thing for me is, that I closed the chapter of a musical career in my late years at school, when I realized the option was gone. I never delve in ‘may-have-been’ things, but rather focus on what options still are available.
Still, I am utterly curious how RA managed that essential first step of his way into the career of an actor. (And here not necessarily the official version, but the ‘real’ one.)
Today, after a long while, I once again listened to some music I had not heard for years. The group causing a musical revolution back when they published their music – and by the way were forbidden to listen to at my school (while I put my CD into the CD-player of my choir teacher [I know neither you nor she ever expected that from me of all pupils ;o) It did go well. I was not expelled, but rather we had a wonderful discussion about Gregorian choral because of it, which I loved to sing and our choir was one of the very, very (!) few who sang them before that CD came out ;o) ]
But why I mention it here and today is, that I recognized more clearly, what I want of RA and what aspects I am not interested in.
The group doing the music was involved in a rather nasty extreme-sex-money-scandal-rumour kind of thing and later broke apart. That did not influence my appreciation of their music one bit. I can’t even tell you the details or specifics of the scandal back then, because I was not interested in it in the least. Their music was wonderful and that was all I was concerned about. Their interpretation of music and Gregorian choral was unsurpassed. Even their second or third CD did not get anywhere near the quality of the first one, but perhaps the scandal already caused the quality to suffer or the extreme ... Whatever, it did not work any longer to produce quality. But all the others trying to jump onto their lead did not reach their quality either.
With RA – I know I don’t speak for other fans here – I am rather not especially interested in his private life and feel rather uncomfortable hearing too much about that. (Nothing has changed in that regard since the beginning of my fandom, though I had expected it to.)
While I am extremely sensitive that he is put into a position to be able to produce the highest quality of work I know he is able to give. So in a way, I still am interested in his surrounding, just to be certain he can work well.
Does that make any sense or is that just another sign of the crazy routs and circles my mind takes?
Rumours keep going round that a potential next role of RA might be "Poldark".
The long locks shown at the BAFTA event lately might also confirm this assumption.
So why am I sitting here - with all the anticipation around me and my constant hope for a new role - and so fiercely hoping that this role will not be his next project?
... it might break my heart to se RA in this role.
There is a short and a long explanation to why that is so:
The short one, I hate Poldark and what he does. It is unfair to himself and especially to the women who love him. His behaviour creates an entanglement and tragedy I can't bear to watch.
Now to the long version as to why I don't like "Poldark": I was forced to watch it, by a sister absolutely smitten with the actor playing Poldark in a TV production. Not that she had been smitten by Poldark, but rather by James Bond. (While I did not care for both roles, but I obediently followed where my sister dragged me along. - I think I already had mentioned once that I as the younger sister was in the unlikely and somewhat strange position of 'chaperon' and my parents were relieved to send me along to watch out for my sister. - Not the best attest for a funny teenager time, but it was not very funny for me anyway. No fond memories of that time. I overcame my aversion for the film at least enough to bring my sister the video and book versions back from my school trip to London.) Not especially caring for the main actor, I did not much care for the whole production, but still I cried for the damning conditions and impossibility of returned love which the main female character had to endure. So, if I already cry for characters I don't like, imagine what I will do for the gripping performance RA can make. I will never ever come out of my tissues again!
That leaves me in a situation where I don't know what to do.
Not seeing RA or seeing him and not being able to stop crying and as a result not seeing him again, because I can't look through all my tears?
Now, what to do as a fan?
Hope that RA is not cast as the next Poldark
or wishing him well and just avoid seeing Poldark?
[This article was originally meant to be a series of 7 articles during the KingRichardArmitage Week 2013, but due to time pressure, the topic did not get the planned wider execution, but now comes condensed and shortened down to this minimal rump-post. Please excuse the wide range and only touching of an abundance of topics. I just want to put down these ideas somewhere, to keep them.]
King Richard III had so much drama in his life that it was even too much for the congenial William Shakespeare.
He needed to flatten his character into inrecognizablility to be able to bring him on the stage.
But why is that and why do I think an artist like Richard Armitage could do more and bring more aspects of the complicated life of King Richard III to a wider audience and show new aspects of an individual, so far flattened and simplified into unrecognizability by either literature and research?
My main question is, what aspects prevent King Richard III from getting a just and scientifically adequate research into his life?
His blood relationship to the current royal house reigning over England?
His supporters giving the impression (though at closer contact mostly a false one) of manufacturing facts in their / his favour.
Scholars have established their position and hate to be wrong or proven wrong about something.
King Richard III just is such a convenient villain one need not think further about. That is much easier than to do extensive research about him.
King Richard III really was busy during his just 32 years long life. He is accused of being a:
father figure murderer - getting rid of opposition and his former tutor and fatherly friend
murderer out of envy - murdering the first husband of his later wife to make her available for himself
brother murderer - out of greed, to gain the inheritance of his wife, to ascertain his succession into power
king murderer - to fulfill his duty towards his oldest brother King Edward IV.
murderer of Scotts - good that was war and ordered by his brother and no
closer sources are available about that, but we certainly can invent
some kind of case around that
child murderer - to gain power
wife murderer - to fulfill his duty as king, to ascertain a secure bloodline and consequential peace for his country
friend murderer - to ascertain and continue in his ill-gained position as king and defeat all opposition.
We should note, that except for his wife, King Richard III was very friendly towards women and tried to avoid killing those. So, unlike Jack the Ripper, his preference clearly was on men.
That could make it a decidedly good role for Richard Armitage and his female fans ;o)
Getting rid of, ... - sorry, just read a book about a court case, where the end-consequence really lead me to feel happy that some of the men were just...
I would not have even stopped at the end and had some more candidates I would have gotten rid of as author. Unfortunately, the real author of the book did not agree with me on that and left some of the annoying men alive at the end.
But King Richard, the murderer, we already discussed in the last post as well. That is the most common interpretation of his character.
The interesting thing about King Richard III is that he has - or could be manipulated/interpreted into having - so many more character traits to make him the ideal subject for a film crew.
Just to list a few which readily came to my mind:
The forgiving brother / husband / son / guardian.
The frightened child.
The fearful and uprooted son.
The carefree participant of social games and play at his home in Middleham.
The loving husband.
The learned / well educated scholar.
The pious man.
The obedient subject to his king and older brother Edward IV.
The able ruler.
The observant creator and founder.
The open-minded and loyal friend.
The power-sensitive observer.
The patient creator and taker of opportunities.
The brave warrior.
The envious brother.
The greedy husband, marrying an exceedingly wealthy dowry, not the woman. (Though it was disputed and needed a good and long fight to achieve it.)
The power crazy conniver.
The devilish single-minded king.
The forgiving patron of York.
The able and merciful ruler over England.
The political tactician.
The far planning patron of trade.
The wise founder of learning & universities (Cambridge, Kings College).
The supporter of liberty and free spreading of knowledge. (Printing trade)
The straight forward fighter in conflict.
The defender of the weak.
There is not really much of an emotional sentiment you cannot in some way or other dump on King Richard III.
Is it possibly not too few murder cases but too much drama in King Richard III's life for film makers?
Are they not able to cope with such a multitude, after all, not even Shakespeare could cope with all of it and was only able to show an un-recognizable excerpt of King Richard III's life in his drama?
Is King Richard III just too much for the abilities of today's film makers?
Still, I believe Richard Armitage could do better than what was previously done with the subject.