We must find a way…

So, Muse has been gripped by the political situation as well, as evidenced by their new single Dig Down that was released a few days ago. Some of the lyrics:

When hope and love has been lost
And you fall to the ground

You must find a way
When the darkness descends
And you’re told it’s the end
You must find a way
When God decides to look the other way
And a clown takes the throne
We must find a way

Face the firing squad
Against all the odds
You will find a way

The music video features model & activist Lauren Wasser, who lost her leg to toxic shock syndrome. The song reminds me a bit of a hit Muse had a few years ago called Madness. I absolutely love Madness…

… so I am very inclined to love Dig Down as well! The lines “Dig down, we must find a way” have been running around in my head in a loop ever since I first heard the song. The video was released on May 18th and is nearing 3 million views already on YouTube. I’m apparently not alone in liking this. ūüôā

In an interview lead singer Matt Bellamy said that one of the reasons I wanted to put this out so quickly is because it felt quite reactive to the climate in the world right now.”¬† This makes me think of what Meryl Streep said during her Golden Globes speech at the beginning of the year, where she quoted Carrie Fisher, saying:” Take your broken heart, make it into art”.

It’s not the first time Muse makes an album (or in this case, a song) in reaction to what is happening in the world. Their 2nd Law album addressed the banking crisis; their last album from two years ago was called Drones and was all about the nonsense of war. So, lately I had been wondering whether Muse would also be addressing the Trump and right-wing politics issues (also prevalent over here in Europe). I got my answer the minute I heard Muse’s new single. They have a knack for taking broken hearts and making it into art, it’s one of the main reasons why I love them so much.¬† I’m so curious to hear more of their new material! It’ll probably be a while, though, as they have only just started their North American tour.

muse_dig_down

Oh, how I wish I could go see them!

The RA challenge, part 3

Continuing on from here and here, now part 3 of Guylty’s RA challenge! Questions 17 to 24…

2017-ra-fandom-challenge#17 The Character You Love to Hate

Hmm… a love-hate relationship with one of RA’s characters… Had to think on that for a while but¬†then I came up with¬†Gary Fuller from Into the Storm. He’s not a baddie but the hero of the story and yet I could never warm up to him. I’m OK with Richard playing a somewhat one-dimensional character in an action flick but what really bothered me was that¬†I¬†literally cringed¬†every time¬†he spoke! His accent felt¬†so wrong to me and I’m still not sure whether it’s because¬†the accent was badly done or because I find it difficult to hear Richard not speak British-English (FYI, his American-English in¬†Berlin Station¬†doesn’t bother me nearly as much). In any case, I couldn’t bear to hear him talk, or even watch him talk for that matter. The way he moves his mouth when he speaks looks forced to me and he just never felt real.¬†But… he¬†did look¬†like someone I could know in real life, and he wore glasses, and he was a vice-principal, and he is a good man; many things there¬†I could potentially¬†totally love about him!

RA Into the Storm breakfast

So, while I find Gary cringe-worthy, I still occasionally like to go back and take a peek at him.

#18 The Top Three Things on Your To-Do List if You Suddenly Found Yourself face to face with RA

I have already interacted with the man when I expected to see him (at the stage door) and I was all jittery from just those few moments. What I would do if I bumped into him accidentally in the street, I don’t know. I wonder if I could even do anything coherent! I’m not sure I’d be any good at any sort of fleeting contact. However, maybe if I bumped into him in a less fleeting situation… Say that, for argument’s sake, I was by chance seated next to him on a plane or something. I hope that, after the first shock, I would…

  1. Stop my cheeks from burning bright red, breathe and then say hi.
  2. Then hopefully interact with him on a slightly more meaningful level. I’d have to mention I’m a fan, I don’t think I could hide that (I could maybe downplay it a little), but I’d hope to then ignore that¬†and go on to talk with him about movies, books, current affairs,¬†maybe a little personal history,¬†and music, while we each sip our glasses of red wine.
  3. At the end of our conversation we’d arrange to go see Muse¬†live in concert together because we both love the band so much!

#19 A “Ship” in the Fandom You Can’t Stand (canon or non-canon; of characters or RP)

You know what? I don’t follow ships that closely. Bagginshield or RichLee or Guy & Marian or John & Margaret are the ones I am most aware of¬†and there are others that I also come across occasionally. I just don’t do much RA fan fiction these days, I’ve never been big on Tumblr, I don’t do Reddit and I never get on C19 anymore, so I’m missing a lot of these ships now, I think. Of the¬†four I mentioned here, I think Guy & Marian least interests me because those characters are just not that appealing to me…

#20 The Best Fanfic You’ve Ever Read involving RA or Characters

When I first fell in love with RA, I was reading all sorts of North & South fan fiction, mostly on a special website that closed (I can’t recall the name anymore – I think it may have had ‘yellow rose’ in the title? Or maybe that was a fan video site? I just don’t remember…), and I read fan fic on the C19 message board. Was obsessed, it was all I read for quite a while.

After that Richard didn’t do many roles I cared to read fan fiction for, so I pretty much quit reading then and haven’t read much since. I had an interest in Real Person Fiction (RPF) for a bit but I never found one I really liked so I gave up on that as well.

From the old N&S days I remember reading a John & Margaret one set in modern times. I think it was set around a building/project development company in the US. I don’t remember much about it except that it stuck in my mind as the one fic I had enjoyed the most. If anyone knows the one I mean, feel free to point me towards it! I have no idea where I read it, so I’m sorry I can’t link to it.¬†I didn’t think of documenting anything in those days, I was just consuming like someone posessed.

#21 On a Scale from Secret Admirer to Panty Sniffer, How Obessed Are You with RA?

I’m not a secret admirer – at the very latest when I went to see Richard in The Crucible did the people in my life realize how much I like the man. My husband was aware from the beginning. However, I don’t wear a¬†‘I ūüíē Richard’ t-shirt (don’t own one) and while I have some fan items (and Richard is prominently featured on my phone) my house isn’t covered in them. I am not obsessed enough to go ferreting out news actively and when new interviews come out during press tours I admit that after seeing about 5 of them, I tend to not bother with the rest of them. But I do follow certain sites and Twitter feeds for news and as soon as there is some substantial news to be found, I do tend to go into panting mode. I want to see everything he acts in but I don’t listen to his audiobooks (even though I do have a few of them).¬†I have written some of my¬†own, personal, Richard fan fiction that will never see the light of day but which gave me enjoyment. Oh, and I blog about him quite regularly. So, where am I on that fan obsession scale? Not in panty-sniffing mode but I certainly am in quite-preoccupied mode. Why else would I be doing this challenge? ūüėČ

#22 The Character You’d Want as a Drinking Partner

The obvious answer would be Thorin Oakenshield, I think. Dwarves, after all, are known for their fondness of drinking. However, I think Thorin is a little too aloof to let himself go into full-out party mode. I think Claude Monet in The Impressionists knew how to party, so it would probably be him!

Monet Armitage bottle

#23 The Character You’d Want as a Fuck Buddy

John Porter from Strike Back. He was just finding himself again and was a little obsessed with sex after going without for a while. I think he’d make a most ardent (and physically fit) lover…

john-porter-kiss

#24 The Character You Find Most Relatable

That would be Harry Kennedy. I mean, I know it may be unlikely that a guy like him would fall for someone like Geraldine but I like to think that it could happen. He’s just a regular guy and I wish they could have given him more to do on The Vicar of Dibley. Even with the unlikeliness of the love story (it all went so fast too!),¬†I still find him very relatable. It’s like I could know him in real life and share a glass of wine with him while he does my taxes.

P.S. I just adore that little headshake in the gif on the left. Richard does that in I think pretty much all his roles. For me it’s one of his signature moves and I look out for it every time I see him do something new. ūüôā

The final questions to this challenge will be answered next week… off to research. ūüėČ

The RA challenge, part 2

Continuing the Richard Armitage challenge from here that Guylty has set; questions 9 to 16…

2017-ra-fandom-challenge

#9 Funniest moment you have seen RA in

There are many, small, funny moments and I especially love it when Richard giggles or he is in stitches. In the acting department, I loved seeing him on The Vicar of Dibley. His role was pretty straight compared to the other characters there and not really ‘deep’ but the show makes me laugh so very hard, I was just thrilled he was a part of that. I absolutely adored the proposal scene! Alas, I can’t find a clip of that scene online, but I could just watch it forever!

Harry Geraldine kiss

I also laughed so very hard at this little Strike Back scene:

There are many priceless (behind-the-scenes) moments and interviews but the first thing that springs to mind of real-life Richard are the two Cinemax interviews where Martin Freeman interviews Richard and vice versa.

#10 Saddest moment you have seen RA in

Thorin’s death in the last Hobbit movie. I know Richard has died often enough in other things, but this one really tugged at me. Powerful, heartbreaking scene that made me cry and still gets to me when I watch it again…

#11 Something you wish hadn’t happened in context with RA

I don’t really have many things I wish he hadn’t done. I may not agree with all he does but usually I can let the more bothersome things slide. Live and let live and all that. Having said that, I do get annoyed with his tweeting and deleting. I know it’s his Twitter and his right and all, but it’s annoying and confusing when it happens so much and I really don’t like it.

The other thing that comes to mind is that second Anglophile Channel interview he did. I enjoyed the first one (plenty of adorable giggles in it!) but that second one, the interviewer made me cringe so very much, I just wished he hadn’t done it… Not linking to it here, I just can’t watch it…

#12 Something you wish would happen

I don’t have the need to see Richard do any specific kind of role, he has challenged me with some roles he has chosen and I like that! Of course, I wouldn’t mind another romantic hero but no, my wishes are not for certain roles. What I do wish for fervently is that Sleepwalker, Urban and the Shed Crew, Brain on Fire and Pilgrimage¬†would become widely available to audiences everywhere so that I too can see them! For Pilgrimage I have hopes of a wider release and Brain on Fire is supposed to go to Netflix, but where is it already? Basically I hate when my fave actor makes things that I can’t see. I also wish Love, Love, Love had been filmed and I wish for him to return to the London stage! Oh, and he’s always welcome to come spend a weekend at my house! ūüôā

#13 A song that reminds you of RA

I have 3 songs that immediately spring to mind! The first one is Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back due to a fan video I saw way back when in my early fan days that became very popular! I didn’t know this song before I saw that video and I immediately found it very fitting; the video made me laugh. I always loved the first one most, maybe because it’s the first one I saw, but HeathDances later made two more Sexy Back videos, which are also good.

Also, songs used for other fan videos (see my #3 answer in my previous RA challenge post) always make me think of Richard as well.

The second song I want to mention is the Misty Mountains song that Richard himself sang in the first Hobbit movie. Still gives me goosebumps when Richard starts singing… I had it as my phone ringtone for a while but even at its loudest I wouldn’t always hear it properly when the phone was in my bag, so I recently changed the ringtone again. Nevertheless, I love hearing Richard sing this!

And the third song is Muse’s Starlight. Richard referenced my fave band Muse in his birthday tweet last year and I was incredibly stoked when he did. Now, when I listen to Starlight (or to Butterflies and Hurricanes which he referenced a few months later in an interview), I have the added bonus that it now also reminds me of Richard!

#14 Favourite Villain

Surprisingly Francis Dolarhyde!! I do not to horror well at all, avoid it all cost if I can. So, when Richard got this horror-part, I wasn’t sure I could deal with it. I was always going to watch it but I was determined to feel no sympathy whatsoever for such an evil serial killer. And then Richard pulled off the impossible – he made me feel sympathy for Francis! Very well done, Richard!

#15 A character everybody else loves that you hate

I don’t know about everybody but Guy of Gisborne is quite popular and I just don’t… *ducks behind counch – don’t shoot me*…

Guy Richard

I mean, Richard did good, I really do think that, and I don’t hate Guy, but he just doesn’t do that much for me… Maybe it was the guy-liner that was too distracting?

#16 A character everbody else hates that you love

I’m racking my brain here. Richard has played some hateful characters and I can’t say I love any of them. Maybe the answer to this is Francis Dolarhyde? He’s a difficult one to watch and I know there are fans out there who have never been able to even attempt watching him, which I can totally understand. While I can not love Francis Dolarhyde by any stretch of the imagination, he is the one that surprised me and unexpectedly made me feel sympathy (as I already mentioned above). So, I guess that would be my answer to this.

That’s it! More next week, hopefully!

Doomsday songs pick-me-up

In the news here on Dutch TV this morning: the party of far right leader Geert Wilders (the PVV – ‘Partij Voor de Vrijheid’ which means ‘Freedom Party’ but there’s nothing free about it, in my view) leads the polls. He’s been leading for a few months now and his lead seems to be lessening but still he is leading! We have a multi-party democracy here in The Netherlands where several parties have to form a coalition in order to have a majority to govern. Thank goodness the center right party VVD (which is the largest party now and comes in 2nd in the polls, also one of the current governing parties) has already said there is a 0% chance they will form a coalition with the far right PVV whose main agenda is islamophobia. Even so, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that such a man as Wilders could end up getting the most votes here in our upcoming election in March! Same trend as in the UK with Brexit and in the US with Trump and it is all truly freaking me out! And this coming Friday super-narcissist Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the next US president despite losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.

danger

This feeling of danger and doom has me playing all sorts of doomsday songs in my head…

For instance, the song ‘Land of Confusion’ from the mid 1980s by Genesis… I very well remember the videoclip at the time with ‘Spitting Image’ puppets, when we thought Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were questionable…

Or this R.E.M. song that I have always loved and feels more relevant to me than ever… don’t know if I feel fine about it, though…

‘The End’ by The Doors is depressing…

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival sounds more upbeat but the lyrics certainly reference doomsday. The lyrics can be taken both literally and figuratively…

David Bowie’s ‘Five Years’ springs to mind (here elections are held every 5 years…) about a world going to pieces…

I also think of Chris De Burgh’s song “Spanish Train”, which is this story about the Lord and the Devil playing cards to win people’s souls and the devil keeps on winning… I only like early Chris De Burgh, he had interesting stories to tell before he became too sappy with “The Lady in Red” and the like… (Not at all about doomsday but check out “Patricia the Stripper” for a funny story and clever rhymes).

And there’s Muse, a lot of Muse, that I am thinking of! Like my go-to song from the time I was going through a downsizing crisis at work and this song helped me release my inner frustration… Naturally, I don’t want to literally shoot some leaders down, but figuratively, yes, I can subscribe to that!

“Hard times are ahead […] your time is now to be heard […] your number has been called”, as sung by Muse in ‘Butterflies and Hurricanes’…

“Time is Running Out” springs to mind, even though it is more personal than the other songs I reference here, but the time is running out feeling is relevant to me…

And then there’s the song ‘Panic Station’: “And this chaos it defies imagination […] you’ve arrived at panic station”

I think of the ‘Psycho’ song, from Muse’s last album, about being part of a war machine…

Or the ultimate protest Muse song ‘Uprising’…

The fact that these songs are out there makes me despair a little less and helps me feel a little better. They tell me: “You’re not alone!”, the same words David Bowie uses in his ‘Rock n Roll Suicide’ song, a song I absolutely love. I still get a thrill at the thought that I have seen the actual lyrics written in Bowie’s own handwriting for myself

There is always hope, right?

Richard, Berlin, Love & Muse

So many Richard Armitage goodies these days, I can barely keep up! I skip through and read and watch videos (THANK YOU, Servetus and Perry for your constant updates!) but don’t get around to commenting or writing much…until now. I’ve just got to share my highlights of the past week or so or else I’ll burst…

8 days ago there was Berlin Station press in New York, with Richard again in (more casual) blue and grey. They really are his colours, aren’t they? I do really love him in that! Also loved the grey shoes and the shade of blue of his coat is absolutely gorgeous! I really enjoyed the expressive shots taken of Richard during that interview he did…

There were also pics of him with Michelle Forbes which were fun (although I do admit to Michelle feeling a little scary to me, I don’t quite know why…)

From the Love, Love, Love play there is even video footage, with great glimpses into the play! You can watch it HERE. I already hate, hate, hate that I won’t be able to go to New York to see this – I so hope a filmed version of the play will be viewable sometime!

There was an interview with TV Guide about Berlin Station which I enjoyed more than the other interviews I have seen… including the charming way in which Richard corrected the pronunciation of his name:

And a few days ago this image surfaced, which I absolutely love, love, love! It’s already right up there with some of my fave shots of him ever.

But this interview with Richard Armitage had me squee!! OK, I already knew he liked Cate Blanchett, and Love in an Elevator in the shower I seem to recall having heard of before as well, he has mentioned The Goldfinch before but that was quite a while ago, and House of Cards as well, I totally agree on bigotry (which may be my biggest allergy as well), I too love Rome (in part due to the movie¬†Roman Holiday,¬†I even visited locations from that movie when I last was in Rome a few years ago), I had never heard of ‘Angel Delight’ before (not that I recall anyway) and it’s a pity that he prefers coffee over tea (I just don’t like coffee myself), but what made me squee was this:

Who is your favorite musician or favorite song? At the moment my favorite band is Muse. I am just maybe into them and I don‚Äôt know why, and there is a song called Butterflies and Hurricanes which is really cool.”

To regular blog readers, you may already know that I love Muse, that they are my absolute favourite band! When Richard referenced Muse in a tweet on his birthday I already shared my giddy happiness over him sharing a Muse song. I have since wondered whether sharing a link to the¬†Starlight song was just a one-time thing. Did he just like that one song or does he just like a few Muse songs or could be possibly even be a Muse fan? Well, I got my answer here! Muse is Richard’s favourite band too! Squeeeee! I don’t quite know what he means by “I am just maybe into them” but Muse seems like a recent discovery for him. He may not stick to them in the long run but for now he has mentioned them as his favourite band and I am so psyched about that! So, it’s not just the one song, he’s pretty serious about Muse… for now. That’s my man. ūüôā Oh, and Butterflies and Hurricanes really is a very cool song… Richard has good taste!

Should he ever wish to see them live I would more than gladly take him to a concert! I have seen Muse live three times already, they are at their very best live and they are totally worth it. Wouldn’t that be a cool date? ūüėČ