When Fandom Collides


Today I am struggling with my determination not to judge other fans. I am committed to the theory that all fans have the right to express themselves in whatever way they see fit, except if it is to harm the object of our affections.

There is a segment of the Armitage Army who felt it would be fun to tweet pictures of themselves in fake beards to Richard Armitage. They apparently hope to get a reaction from him. Not sure really, what they hope for.

For me, and some other well-wishers of Richard Armitage, it seems like a dopey idea. I hate spam. When I get tons of tweets/emails/whatever on a particular topic it doesn’t make me happy. I hate coordinated marketing campaigns. But that’s just me. Maybe Richard Armitage will be charmed by this spamming of bearded women.


Oh well. Why they would think that is unfathomable to me.

The point, though, is what is to be done when you are part of a fandom, and another part of the fandom takes public actions that you think are stupid on behalf of the fandom . I don’t want to judge other fans! But when they present themselves as the *fandom*, that includes me. If I don’t choose to Β be part of those activities, what choice do I have? I will be associated with them, willy or nilly.

Yet, if I tell those fans that I don’t agree with their activities, I am accused of having no sense of humor, of trying to be *the boss* of those fans. I truly am NOT! They are the ones who are representing themselves as the boss of me!

If fans wish to to play with the celebrity of choice, God Bless America. We are free to do what we wish. But is it right to represent your individual actions as being part of *the fandom*?? Like someone calling themself “(fill in the celeb name__US)”. Who made YOU the boss of me?? I am a fan in the US. If you call yourself “XX__US”, you are saying you represent me. You DO NOT have that permission! But how do I stop you??

I guess it doesn’t matter in reality. Does Richard Armitage care about any of it? Probably not. It’s just a matter of my feelings.

Good bye, my friends. Enjoy your RA fandom.



From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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34 Responses to When Fandom Collides

  1. I do understand your feelings and I agree. I am a US fan I used to run an official website for an actor. I’ve seen all sorts of fans from the casual to the extreme with that actor, I’m a quiet fan. I love Richard Armitage for his talent and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find him the least bit attractive, I think he’s gorgeous. That said, I’m very reserved in how I approach my admiration for him and how I show it. While I am not part of this beard parade, I am also doing my best not to be negative and judgy about those who are. I do wonder how Richard will take it. His decision to join twitter was very big on his part, he’s opened a door to his life, I don’t want him to regret it.

    • NYCPAT says:

      Yes, it is all up to him. I”m sure he understands that there is a wide variety among his fans! Still, it irks me that I am associated with actions I don’t agree with!! I have chosen to be public in my admiration of RA by having this blog. It gives me the forum to express my feelings. I thank you so much for understanding!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  2. πŸ™‚ Fans are as varied as snowflakes. I really enjoy reading your blog and I’m happy to have you as a friend on Twitter as well.

  3. kelbel75 says:

    I am not *technically* part of the Armitage Army, so I understand where you are coming from with this πŸ˜‰ although this beard thing doesn’t really bother me, there are others things that do. all it takes is one little thing to get under your skin and suddenly every mention of it irritates the hell out of you! the way that I dealt with that is to remove myself from the label, the group mentality. I’m still a part of a lot of things that happen in this fandom and I enjoy conversing with it’s members but I don’t let myself be defined by it. all you can do is worry about you πŸ™‚

    • NYCPAT says:

      Of course. This happens to be a Twitter event. Twitter is where I live, mostly. Feels really intrusive to me. Otherwise, who cares? Armitage Army is just a label. Who’s in, who’s not? I just mean fans of Richard Armitage. I completely don’t want to be part of *Richard Armitage_US”. Yet someone has set herself up as that. Can’t do anything about it!

      • kelbel75 says:

        well, Richard did kind of open the door himself with the beard thing, requesting pics of beards a few weeks ago. I’m not into the whole cosplay thing to begin with or selfies of myself in general, so this “event” is not anywhere near my alley. with Twitter though, he’s going to get many intrusive comments regularly. from the ever annoying “please follow me!”, to rude comments, to marriage proposals, LOL! that’s just the nature of the beast :/ I don’t like being lumped in by my geographical location or my gender/age or any other superficial thing. the people who matter won’t put you in those boxes, all the others are just noise πŸ™‚

      • NYCPAT says:

        Of course he will get dopey tweets! My objection is to organizing a campaign to “get his attention”. And claiming that it is on behalf of the *Armitage Army*. Not me!!

      • Servetus says:

        This was their announcement. I didn’t read anything in there about getting his attention. I read that they wanted to surprise him with beard pictures. Perhaps you can inform me where they said they were trying to get his attention. http://clodaghmonet.tumblr.com/post/97841760876/armitage-army-a-call-to-arms-beard-picture

      • Servetus says:

        No, making no judgments. Just asking for the basis in fact of this statement you wrote: “They apparently hope to get a reaction from him.” Where is the evidence that that “appeared” to be the case? Wondering.

  4. Servetus says:

    She says she hopes he will notice. But I imagine people also hope he will notice if they write him a letter or stand in line for him at the stage door.

    • NYCPAT says:

      Of course. We all want to be noticed. But some of us might prefer to be noticed for something other than wearing a beard? No judgements!!

      • NYCPAT says:

        Please leave me alone. I have the right to express my own opinion, which is stated in my blog. Thanks!

      • Servetus says:

        Leaving you alone. But when your opinion touches on facts that are not in evidence you should expect to be challenged.

      • NYCPAT says:

        Go away. thank you!

      • NYCPAT says:

        Why would they do it if not to get his attention?? Don’t want to get into an argument. Just leave me alone, okay? I don’t read your blog anymore. Don’t read mine, if it upsets you. Thanks! Have fun with your fandom, and I will with mine. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      • Servetus says:

        “Have fun with your fandom, and I will with mine.” — isn’t that where you started your critique of them?

      • NYCPAT says:

        πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Sending lots of love your way. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      • Gry4b says:

        What is it with this servetus person ?
        Surfaces everywhere like the monster from the deep, floating on her inflated ego.
        Ridiculous. Leave this woman alone. It’s her blog (which I think is awesome). She has every right to express her feelings. If you don’t like it then don’t read it.

      • NYCPAT says:

        Thanks for the comment! LOL!

  5. Perry says:

    I wonder who Richard Armitage thinks “The Armitage Army” is? Does he think it’s membership on a particular site or sites? Does he think there is one voice? Or does he think it’s a wide group of fans collected in smaller groups for some purposes? He seems to use the phrase (usually as a response) to mean all fans who express their fandom. The noisier fans.

  6. SH says:

    Well, I’m a little late to the party as usual, sort of a fact of life for me lately :)…. I agree with most of what Kelly said. I’m not a joiner by nature, rather new, a bit of a “closet fan”, and my involvement with the fandom is mostly through numerous fan blogs that I like. We also tweeted yesterday, NYCPAT, about this – I was horrified by the thought of doing such a thing, which is completely NOT my style!! I did come to realize though, that just because it’s not my style doesn’t mean it can’t be someone else’s. I think you know that too πŸ™‚ And you of COURSE have the right to express your opinion! This is your blog, and I don’t think what you said was insulting.

    I’m also content to just ignore any implication that anything anyone does as a fan of RA “represents” me. I really don’t know what it DOES signify when a group is called “RA France” or “RA Bulgaria” or “RA US”? Do they really intend to represent all fans in their country? Are they interested in helping coordinate fan events in their country? Are they just being patriotic, and identifying where they live? Most of my own “elected representatives” don’t represent ME all that well, so it doesn’t mean much to me if someone tries to say they rep me. Doesn’t matter if I don’t step up & agree that they do – so to a certain extent I’ll just ignore this too.

    Re: the beard event, what I saw of it was kind of cute, really…. I actually favorited 2 or 3 photos of people who I consider friends. You wouldn’t catch me dead doing it myself – but I guess that’s what the fandom has become to me, supporting people I consider friends and kindred spirits re: RA and whatever else. I take that more seriously than I do RA, really- he’s a sweetheart, but he’ll never know I exist! But hopefully I CAN make a difference to people I actually interact with! (Though if Twitter gives us the option to mute someone, we have the right to do that too.) Hugs all πŸ™‚

  7. SH says:

    (Sorry that was so long 😦 how can I handle Twitter?? πŸ™‚

  8. KatharineD says:

    I understand the frustration of feeling as though others are trying to represent you, without your permission, in a general sense. I dislike the term Armitage Army anyway, and it seems to be applied in varying ways, according to the demands of whatever discussion is taking place at the time.
    All we can really state for certain is that we as fans have one common interest, namely Richard Armitage, but our ways of expressing that interest are many and varied.

    In this instance, tweeting RA beard pictures, I like the idea that it’s an activity that brings the participating fans together rather than divide them, a bit of fun that in truth hurts no one, and is conducted in good spirit. I don’t have the sense that it purports to represent the entire fandom, and I doubt Richard would read anything much into it, other than a number of fans being creative on a theme that he introduced anyway.

    As you mentioned, there have been instances in the past that I felt misrepresented the RA fandom, and people were entitled to feel resentful, but in this case I’m happy to see a body of fans coming together and using their imagination, rather than bickering amongst themselves during a lull in RA news.

  9. jholland says:

    It was all pretty goofy! You’re completely entitled to your opinion on this. I have no earthly idea what he’ll make of it, but I know I had quite a few laughs looking at the entries. I suppose if the idea of RA concluding that #dementedbeardedladies represent the entire fandom is bothering you, you could tweet to him under the hashtag #OneBeardToBringThemAllIsImbecilicCountMeOut =)

  10. linnetmoss says:

    I would be very surprised if Mr. Armitage is not aware that among his fans there are many different types of people with different senses of style, humor and taste. I saw some of the beard pictures and I thought they were charming. I don’t consider them to be spam. It would be different if there was some “official” Richard Armitage fan club which was organizing this, but it seems to be a spontaneous thing that people on Twitter got excited about. Isn’t that the nature of social media?

  11. armitagedme says:

    I agree with you. I have an issue with some of the comments on Twitter but there will always be some that will go out of their way to try to get his attention.

  12. saraobsessed says:

    Quite frankly I felt that (1) the hashtags chosen #onebeardtobringthemall #armitagearmy implied that the entire fandom was involved. (2) this was intrusive and non productive spam which drove me off social media for a day, (3) it was designed to bring the participants to Richard’s attention ( http://clodaghmonet.tumblr.com/post/97841760876/armitage-army-a-call-to-arms-beard-picture ” I hope RA actually is around on Twitter to notice” ) , (4) anyone who objected to or criticized the “event” was labelled a saboteur. When RA asked for beard photo ideas, I happily tweeted one. Same for the Crucible WNTW1692. I have happily participated in RAndom acts of kindness. And with ArmitageWatch. But I do not want to be told “we decided” to do this when clearly we all did not. I personally interpret RA’s tweet to mean that (a) this joke is over and (b) there were no ladies present.

  13. WithTongues says:

    I confess to chuckling about the idea and initially thinking it would be great fun. But when I awoke on Saturday morning, I found myself counting down the moment when the event would occur, and feeling sorrier with each passing hour at what was about to happen to Richard. How would it feel to be on the receiving end of “our” prank?!

    I’m in your corner of the playground on this one, Marie; and mostly because I believe there is a certain decorum “we” should maintain in contacting others, especially strangers! He does not know “us” and “we” do not know him – however many autographs or sitings we can claim. First and foremost, he is just a man with a life and feelings all his own. “We”, his fans/admirers should respect that. My two cents.

    • NYCPAT says:

      It does feel like a playground! And not in a good way. I did also think it would be fun when I heard about it, but then I heard about a plan to tweet other celebs to ask them to tweet RA and tell him to look at his TL and I freaked out. Perhaps that wasn’t part of the initial plan. Then I got too tied up thinking about how I would feel if a group of people all tweeted me about something and I thought how much I wouldn’t like it. I’m in Labor Relations, and have been the victim of email campaigns, so I know how that feels!! Even if it is done in *fun*. Oh well. I’m sure the AArmy is resilient enough to weather this little storm. Thanks for commenting! πŸ˜€

  14. Nat says:

    You keep saying “no judgements” but you are judging, aren’t you?
    The beard thing rubbed you the wrong way… I get it. Fanfic rubs me the wrong way, but I’m not the fan police. I’m not going to imply people who write/like the stuff are dopes because it embarrasses me and I’m afraid I’ll somehow be linked to it just because I’m an RA fan. When it comes to fellow fans, my motto is: whatever floats your boat, folks! (Just no bullying.)

    • NYCPAT says:

      Thanks for the comment! It’s an interesting question – how does one disagree with someone without judging them? What I disagreed with was 1. using the Armitage Army tag for an organized campaign 2. trying to get RA’s attention by inundating him with images. Is that judging the fans who thought it was a great idea? It wasn’t the silliness of the images themselves. Everyone has the right to be silly! πŸ˜€ I’m with you on fanfic! I object to a lot of it, but I would never suggest that someone who likes is wrong or dopey. I just don’t get the appeal but it has nothing to do with me. There is a difference between fanfiction and a public campaign directed at RA himself, in my opinion.

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