Ciarán Hinds, Ciarán Hinds discussed ad nauseam, Conor McPherson, fandom, Journal of Irreproducible Results, Sam Hanna Bell, Still More Ciarán Hinds, Van Morrison, Yeats
Yes, I actually worked out a philosophy, based on Plato’s Theory of Ideas and Aristotle’s Ethics. Then there’s my Jungian animus theory. But these are probably best saved for the Journal of Irreproducible Results.
I date the onset of my fandom to a particular evening in January 2012. In Hindsight (heh, heh) I call it the Thunderbolt. At the time, it felt euphoric. I suppose it’s like that first hit of crack. (Or in my case, the first time I tasted rapini.) One minute I was innocently watching a costume drama ordered from Netflix. The next, I was a hopeless addict.
Oh, it took a week or two for me to realize what was happening. I’m not in the habit of scouring the web for pictures and interviews of movie stars, or anyone else. I had never been a “fan” of anything in my life. So it came as a surprise when I realized how much time I was devoting to this new interest, and how good it made me feel. At first I supposed that it was a passing whimsy, like my occasional cravings for Keebler Fudge Sticks or Habanero-flavored cheddar. Once you’ve had your fill, you’re pretty much set for another year or two.
Then, as it dawned on me that I was now an actual fan, I felt shame. After all, women college professors of a certain age shouldn’t be gushing over actors. They should be doing dignified stuff, like going to conferences called “Decentering the Subject Now That Foucault and Derrida Are Dead,” hearing papers on “Hegemony and Hermeneutics: Why Greek Derivatives Make You Sound Smart” and then trying to outdrink British Classicists at the hotel bar. (A very serious business indeed.) I was afraid to tell any of my friends, since none of them suffers from a similar affliction–so far as I know. Maybe they are all hiding from me the fact that they have a jones for Tommy Lee? A Rickman fetish, perhaps? Or a preoccupation with Oliver Platt?
Yes, there was that one Assistant Vice Provost who displayed a life-size cardboard cutout of Elvis in her office, along with an extensive assortment of lunch-boxes featuring both Jailhouse Rock Elvis and Las Vegas Jumpsuit Elvis. From the Olympian heights of my non-fandom, I had looked on her before with amused indulgence. But now I thought to myself: Dear Gods, Linnet, is that where you’re headed? [Answer: yes. See photos.]
It helped when I found an online community of fellow-fans, all of whom had experienced something along the same lines (and many of whom had been under the spell for far longer than I). What a pleasure to talk with like-minded people all over the world! I suspect that I managed to bore even these sympathetic souls with my endless flood of words about Himself.
Eventually I had to come clean to the Long-Suffering Husband as well. I tried to break it to him by degrees. I think the penny finally dropped when he learned that we were traveling to New York expressly to see Big Daddy in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and had second-row seats. (I reasoned that it was no burden on any man to watch Scarlett Johansson cavort in her slip for two hours, while I savored the Real Presence. Unfortunately, the LSH seemed, Ashley Wilkes-like, to be impervious to her charms. As for me, I spent the evening in a state of constant perviousness…)
The Long-Suffering Husband is indeed a Man of Nobility. He took it amazingly well, far better than I would have, were he to explain –for example– that he had been gripped by a powerful yearning to see Emma Thompson twerking. (I must say though, that he cherishes a rather suspicious interest in Tina Fey.)
Soon I realized that I could comfortably arrange my leisure entertainments around the Object of Interest. As it turns out, he has had quite a long career on stage and screen, and has given many an interview. So in addition to watching his own films, I could read the books they were based on, or sample things I knew he also enjoyed. (In this endeavor, I was fortunate to have at my disposal a vast archive of interview material collected by a small group of dedicated Überfans, who approach the Subject with scholarly rigor.) This seemed to me a legitimate way to gain a greater knowledge of Himself, while avoiding weirdo stalker-woman territory. And thus it was that I broadened my own horizons considerably. For example, over the past two years:
- I educated myself about the Troubles in Ireland and Irish history.
- I’ve listened to a lot of new music, especially Van Morrison. I finally realized that he’s from Belfast. Silly me. All these years, I thought he was American.
- I’ve read a lot of Yeats, a good bit of Shakespeare, numerous Irish heroic sagas, and several great novels (including that classic of Ulster life, December Bride by Sam Hanna Bell) that I would never have picked up were it not for my fandom.
- I’ve become interested in contemporary drama and widened my theater interests (which used to be mainly musicals) to include the works of Conor McPherson, Brian Friel, Harold Pinter (not Irish BTW), Samuel Beckett, and more. I also revisited old loves like Shaw and Wilde with a new appreciation.
- I even worked on my French. Believe me, Jean Dujardin, Jean Reno and Ciarán Hinds in one film is a painless way to increase your vocabulary.
See how good fandom is for my education! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. And then there was this little conversation with myself:
Jekyll-Linnet: I’ll learn to use iMovie and VLC so I can make videos for my students!
Hyde-Linnet: You’re so full of shit. You only want to learn iMovie so you can make tribute videos.
Jekyll-Linnet: That’s very hurtful. I was going to do a distance-learning class.
Hyde-Linnet: Sure you were. Can we get started already!? I want to bathe my retinas in screencaps of Himself.
So yes, maybe I am a bit mental. But it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.
I have not said much about the tender and painful side of fandom, which one experiences during the first year and periodically thereafter. My favorite philosopher, Epicurus, would say that sadness is best consoled in the company of friends, and in the contemplation of past and future pleasures. I would only add that when the gods amuse themselves at your expense, the wisest course is to join in the laughter yourself. Preferably with a glass of wine in your hand.
Oh my, this is bad…!
Yes, it has been two years of glorious badness;)
Let’s propose a toast to (at least!) one more 😉
I’ll drink to that! I’m surprised I still have this much mojo after two years. It does get less manic with time, but I think it will endure;)
Once that particular one wears off, he’ll be replaced… your subconscious is probably already searching for the next hit 😉
Oh no. I am monolatrous in the extreme! To be frank, I hope it does not happen again. I’m not sure I could stand the excitement.
Yes, I do know what you mean. It’s exhausting 😉
Ann Koplow said:
Great post. I, also, have been hit by thunderbolts of fandom. Fun, shame, learning … it was all there. Thanks!
Thanks and have a happy New Year of fun and fandom!
I like your philosophy 😉
Many thanks! Happy New Year!
Some very familiar behaviors – different object, but path is eerily similar 🙂
I wondered about that. Only other fans understand!
My journey as well. I certainly felt very odd about it at first. What was a woman my age doing fangirling? And then I started a fan blog! My kids think I’m a bit odd, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything…
Good for you! And how wonderful that we can support one another online…
Pingback: Armitage Weekly Round-Up Week 1 | I Want to be a Pin Up
Thanks for the ping! But I must say that mine didn’t start at all innocently (evil grin)
Followed Agzy’s link in the Armitage Weekly Round-up to your blog and really enjoyed reading this post. A fandom journey that I can completely identify with – alas with another object of adoration ;-). Nonetheless I get your attraction to Mr Hinds. Way before Armitage, Hinds certainly made my heart miss a beat as Capt. Wentworth, too, and him being (Northern) Irish certainly adds to the attraction. I must check what he is up to now…
Many thanks! Mr. H. is about to turn 61, but to me he will always be swoon-worthy;) He’s busier than ever these days, with stage projects (“The Night Alive,” which I just saw in NYC) and film (he has a bit in the upcoming Tom Cruise flick and voiced a part in “Frozen”) as well as TV (“Game of Thrones”).
Is he really turning 61? Wow – I never knew. (And am feeling slightly more connected to all those 20-year-olds on tumblr who have the hots for ancient 42-year-old RA and whom I occasionally look at strangely… *eeek* I was the same (mid-twenties and the hots for a man 20 years older than me)
I should really watch out whether he is playing here in Dublin, soon. I have always liked his work. Thanks for the update!
RA looks younger than his years, certainly! But there is something about the process of aging that makes it all more poignant, being a fan. RA is like CH, someone who can do leads but also a character actor, so he’s got a long career ahead;)
Mr. H. is often in Ireland these days, as Game of Thrones is being filmed partly in Belfast. I notice quite a few Dublin sightings on Twitter too. Perhaps you’ll run into him in a pub one day!
I had thought I was over fandom but am experiencing it all over again upon reading your blog and posts about CH. Thank you Linnet.
Thank you to you for stopping by, midwestone! It seems that when it comes to fandom, there is no age limit. At least that’s what I discovered…
Reblogged this on crystalchandlyre and commented:
One woman’s fandom theory who’s thoughts and conflicting feelings mirror, and are equally applicable to, my own fandom.
This especially includes the perpetual glass of liquid comfort.
I take her closing remarks to heart.
Well, having been on the other side of fandom all I can say is … wait, no. Sorry, that wasn’t me. Unless you consider a fairly consistent stream of Japanese men taking pictures of themselves in somewhat compromising positions and posting them to me in the mail ‘fandom.’ Unsettling is more like it. It might make nice wallpaper for the bathroom one day.
Love the blog, Linnet. 😉
I think it would be hilarious if Japanese men sexted me. No such luck… yet!
Hi There! Like Guylty, I threaded my way over from Agzy’s blogroll roundup through Crystalchandlyre & wanted to leave a small thank you comment for your thoughtful & entertaining post. I think the think I love the most about certain fandoms is the other fans! So clever, witty, expressive, funny and all with varying degrees of bemusement at their fangirling (which I don’t think is a bad thing!). And so many share their thoughts and provide platforms like this to link fans together. It’s really great! Rock on, Sister! 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your reaction. This has turned out to be my most-viewed post, thanks in part to the large number of Mr. Armitage’s fans who stopped by to leave their regards. We Ciarán Hinds fans are not quite such a large contingent online, though equally dedicated in our own way;)
women like to be treated like they are the most precious thing around, and in the eyes of God, they are, and men lost the plot slightly, great post, blessings, i’ll read it in detail when i get the time. children need hero’s, women deserve chivalry, men need to grow up, hahahaha
Thanks for the comment. Not sure what it has to do with my post, but still…
life is a mystery, it’s between the lines, happy days
Thank you Linnet, it’s like you read my heart and mind.
Thanks for the reply, Liz! On low days, it’s such a comfort to realize that other people have experienced the same, and on good days, it’s such a pleasure to share.
I am crying laughing at the fact that he has a “yin” for Tina Fey! He plays such serious roles, and I would never have guessed that Tina Fey was his “auld yin” wink,wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean like? 🙂
Oops, I was talking about the Long Suffering Husband there. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. H. is fond of her too! He has a great sense of humor;)
Oh god almighty! How did I come up with that interpretation? Now I am worried about the ending I saw to TNA 🙂
I’m here from Agzy’s link, too.
I read “One minute I was innocently watching a costume drama ordered from Netflix. The next, I was a hopeless addict.” and thought, “Oh yeah, she’s one of us.”
Suffering from crush-love single-mindedness, I was sure you were talking about North & South and Richard Armitage and gave you credit for editorial creativity: “But look how cleverly she’s interspersing this with pictures of that Irish guy. He could be a crush, too, I guess.” Then I got to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and realized I’d been duped.
[Writer takes 5-minute break to laugh at herself and returns when her hands stop jiggling enough to type again.]
Thank you for posting this wonderful essay which so aptly describes all of us. I choose to find that consoling rather than frightening.
Can we tempt you over to our side? We have more pictures than you guys do. And fanfics, and fanvids, and Richard Armitage has nice hands, too, and…Netflix has North & South. Have you seen it yet?
Oh, yes, I may be monolatrous, but that doesn’t mean I am blind (nor deaf) to the charms of other Beautiful Men! Thanks so much for the great comment. (And you may enjoy my tribute to Mr. Armitage’s vocal talents: https://linnetmoss.com/2013/12/06/bedtime-stories-for-ladies-read-by-richard-armitage/)
Forgot to mention: I totally loved “North and South,” mainly because of HIM 😉
Great post! Good to know also that there’s nothing wrong with me, as I have indentified myself in many things you have written (although with another object of adoration). BTW, an anecdote about my visit to Rome’s set. The girl who made the guide said: “I don’t know his name, but I’ve been told that the actor playing Julius Caesar was really gorgeous!” As the only freak-Rome-fan of the group it was me who told the guide: “the man is called Ciaràn Hinds and is very interesting indeed” 🙂
That is a wonderful story! “Really gorgeous” about covers it. People always notice him, but they can’t remember his name.
This is my all-time top post, something I never expected when I wrote it. I think it’s because so many people have shared the same experience, even if the One who triggers it is different.
Pingback: Linnet’s Third Fanniversary | Linnet Moss
Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes and commented:
I missed this post when Agzy linked it one year ago. Check out the comments.