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How to Lose Fans and Alienate the Internet

ClickOnline had a snippet of an interview with Richard Armitage earlier this week, in which the Armitage answered the question we have asked ourselves many times before: is he a cat or a dog person? Indeed, Servetus pondered this subject back in 2011, and in a poll, 21 people thought he was a cat person, to ten people who thought he was a dog person. 20 people played it safe and said he loves both kinds.

Apparently, no, no he doesn’t. He’s very much a dog person. In fact, he phrased it thus:

I’m a dog person. I don’t have a dog but if I were to have an animal it certainly wouldn’t be a bloody cat! Theyre just temperamental and dogs are just cute and faithful.

Ouch, dude. Ouch.

Can you tell he doesn’t really “do” the Internet? If he had done, he would have known not to phrase the answer like … well, a dick. The Internet is for cats, which is well-established by now. Cats and bacon. Imagine the uproar if he, in the same breath, had also chosen to denounce bacon as pointless, greasy, and downright disgusting? There would be hell to pay!

RA holding a sign saying 'Bacon?'
GASP!

You can’t do that sort of thing on the Internet, my friend. Not if you want to get away with it!

My mum-in-law has a slightly better (?) way of expressing her preference:

I love all animals, and I would never harm a cat or nuffin’, but I prefer dogs. I love dogs.

Or something along those lines. She makes it perfectly clear dogs are for her and cats aren’t, but she loves animals in general. (It does seem a bit strange that she always mentions how she’d never harm a cat, as if that would somehow be implied in people who prefer dogs? What?!) My niggle with the way the Armitage said it is that it kind of poo-poos cats and everyone who loves them, and if he had said the same thing about dogs, he would have done the same thing to dogs and their devotees. Cats, however, are huge on the internet, so he might have shot himself in the foot here … but hey, at least he didn’t insult bacon. 😉

When I first got Daisy, ten years ago now, I didn’t live with my parents because I was away studying. Coming home for a summer break that year was interesting, because my dad didn’t like cats … and his youngest daughter had brought one home with her. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. However, as the weeks went past, perhaps cats weren’t so bad after all. When I asked my parents if it would be okay for Daisy to stay with them between November (when I went home for a bit for work experience) and the Christmas holidays, and then until I moved back home at the end of January, they were happy to have her. (It would have been very stressful for her to move her back and forth every couple of weeks as it took about two to three hours by train one way.) Nowadays, my dad is more than happy to let their next door neighbour’s cat occupy his lap for hours on end, so Daisy taught him well. But then, it’s very hard to resist this:

Daisy

That the Armitage feels cats are temperamental just goes to show that he either hasn’t had much experience with them, and/or that he knows squat about cat behavioiur. If all you know are dogs and you see a cat that wags it’s tail, you’re bound to think that’s one happy kitty, right? (Wrong!) No wonder you’re confused if you instantly get a scratch when trying to pet them. In my experience, you can tell when a cat has had enough of you. Spending the last ten years with Daisy has honed my flinch reflexes, shall we say? She’s a lovely cat, but she is also a very determined cat who knows what she wants and how much, and her threshold for cuddles goes from “I’ll allow this for a good half an hour, thank you” to “you have ten seconds to fuck off”. Knowing what signs to look for, I know when it’s time to stop stroking her and leave her alone. To call her “temperamental”, though? I’m not so sure. It’s more of a personality thing, and everyone’s different.

The other two, the young boys, wouldn’t harm a fly. Okay, bad choice of words, they would definitely hurt flies – especially Monkey, who loves to chase them, and eat them, if possible – but they have never scratched either of us, and we’ve had them for ten months now. They don’t seem that way inclined. They’re more likely to drool on us, as it happens, and they’re just the sweetest guys ever. Is this what you’d call temperamental? Doesn’t this warm the cockles of your heart just the tiniest amount, Richard?

Elbie

Cute hairstyle, though, and well done ClickOnline for enabling us to create a new meme. 😉

Speaking of which, the same website has also let us know which book he’s currently reading: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach:

It’s non-fiction and it’s about our modern perception of cadavers. How they’re used and abused compared to the Victorian use of cadavers. It’s a really interesting book actually – plastic surgeons practise on dead human heads!

So that’s interesting in itself, but then I guess he likes to learn new things. A fellow Ravenclaw, perhaps? I’m more surprised because I’ve seen that book mentioned before. Or perhaps not so much mentioned, as seeing it on TV, but I didn’t realise it was a real book. Sky Atlantic have been re-running Six Feet Under from the beginning for a few months now, and in series four, a girl gives her uncle Nate a book that she wants David (Nate’s brother) to have, and it’s this very same book! How about that! It’s perhaps not that strange, considering the show was about the Fisher family, who ran a funeral home. If you haven’t seen Six Feet Under, by the way, you’ve missed out. A peculiar but brilliantly dark drama that ran for five series in the early-to-mid Noughties, but despite being an HBO production, didn’t require people to take their clothes off and/or have sex every five mintues.

P.S. I still think Richard Armitage with Cats is genius. Maybe someone should start a Richard Armitage with Dogs Tumblr now? That would be adoRAble too. 😀

P.P.S. The title was picked purely for comic purposes, in case that wasn’t obvious. 😉

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) where she lives with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted on the way.

21 thoughts on “How to Lose Fans and Alienate the Internet

  1. I think it depends a lot on the circles you move in. On the Jewish part of the Internet people diss bacon all. the. time. Just sayin’. I’d guess it’s not popular among Muslims, either. Then again, I’m not alienated by the huge swell of uproar pro-bacon that I’m inundated with by non-Jewish friends. Although I don’t eat it anymore myself, it doesn’t seem like a matter of world import to me.

    1. Haha, yeah, that makes sense. 🙂 The Internet works in mysterious ways, and I don’t get the whole “OMG BACON IS SO AWESOME” thing either. It’s food, it’s reasonably tasty, but then so are baked beans and people don’t seem to geek out over those. You can get bacon-smelling soap now, or shaving cream (lots of weird stuff here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/brain/whereisit.cgi?t=bacon ), but I fail to see the appeal. We got “Baconnaise” once for fun, but it’s just smoke-flavoured mayonnaise that’s slightly pink. (It doesn’t even have any bacon in it.) So, meh.

  2. Well, certainly he ain’t losing this fan (I know that not everyone can be as purrfect as us – the cat lovers) <My kitty and I still love him 😛
    And about his reading material, it's pretty interesting. I'm reading "Stiff" right now and it has been enlightening.

    1. I didn’t even realise it was a real book until he said he read it. Guess Mary Roach has had an upswing of sales in the past week!

      My cats wouldn’t care about him in the slightest, unless he was here in person giving them a cuddle. 😉

  3. Is it really fair to call him a dick because he simply doesn’t like cats?? Would you prefer him he lie? I guess.. that makes me a dick as well… (in my experience they are temperamental… doesn’t make them bad pets just not likeable to many of us out in the world and the INTERNET). Furthermore I don’t eat bacon (I don’t eat animals… period). Double the dickness, I suppose.

    1. Either there’s a culture clash thing going on here and you don’t realise how the British sense of humour works, or you’re a card-carrying member of the Armitage Protection Brigade, because you’re being surprisingly defensive?

      1. I have to say that I read a lot of British humor and frankly, it wasn’t immediately obvious to me that this was a humorous post, even factoring in that the word “dick” apparently has a lot more force outside the UK than inside of it.

        1. It’s also down to who you hang out with, and the people I’m around tend to use that phrase quite a lot. Probably 99% of the things I ever write about on this blog are intended as lighthearted, as opposed to any serious commentary about anything.

          Plus, there’s also the fact that it’s widely used nickname for Richard. 😉

    1. A lot of people don’t see the point in Twitter. I’m still fuzzy on the subject of Tumblr, and Instragram is a complete mystery.

  4. Well, I thought it was funny! Because I know you would never really diss our Dickie! :). Besides, acting like a dick (through ignorance) is different than actually being a dick. (Not that I thought he was either). He was probably trying to be light hearted and truthful and really so what?
    I do agree that he could have phrased it better but…. Here’s more proof he’s not perfect. Works for me!

    1. Couldn’t agree more! 🙂

      And yeah, Dickie Darling is hard to diss other than jokingly. He’s too much of a nice guy for that.

  5. I think he phrased it just fine and a lot has been misinterpreted in the absence of context.

    The only people who take offense from his “bloody cat” statement are the cat lovers out there, while dog lovers are like, hells yeah! But even if he rephrased it in a way that would have seemed very tactful and neutral, I wouldn’t be surprised if people wouldn’t have liked it as well. In this case, he was simply being himself – but even that apparently makes him a dick, whether you state it in humor or not.

    So no matter whether the man is coming or going, he can’t win either way.

    And because I apparently do not get this type of British humor, I do find calling him a dick for his choice of words (and animal) offensive, as I do when you asked if Rainrodrea Libro is a ‘card-carrying member of the Armitage Protection Brigade’ for being “surprisingly defensive”.

    Oh, but it could also be a culture clash on my part because I am so not British.

  6. I really don’t care if he doesn’t like cats or what not but the way his comment was phrased rubbed me the wrong way. There are plenty of people who torture cats and they have similar attitudes (not saying he does). I don’t know if it’s because he was tired or what, but the comment seemed to lack any grace. You may have written the article as a joke but I agree with sentiment behind it. He’s not perfect and frankly he may be an a** in real life for all we know, but he is entitled to his opinions and I am entitled to mine. Did I stop being a fan? Well, not really, I’ve already been on the fence about him. This just kind of pushed me a little bit further away.

    1. I adore cats and I have never been on a fence about him ( no fence anywhere in sight!). This was a post that should be taken lightly. If one chooses to be offended by it, that is a problem with their own interpretation.

      1. I wasn’t offended by her post, I liked the post. I was offended by his comment which is my right and my problem.

        1. it’s your right to have whatever reaction you have, but I wonder about your chain of reasoning based on his statement:

          “if I were to have an animal it certainly wouldn’t be a bloody cat! Theyre just temperamental”

          As a reader, I just can’t figure out how to reason my way from this statement (what counts in England as a very mild profanity or rudeness about a hypothetical cat, and a value statement about cat behavior) to the conclusion that Richard Armitage shares attitudes in a significant way with people who torture cats. Presumably people who torture cats don’t especially like them, but that doesn’t mean all people who don’t care for cats like to torture them. As I understand it, as well, such actions are not, per se, about the cat — as if someone who would have a dog as a pet would torture a cat. What I’ve read about this suggests that torturing animals does not fall into the category of expressing a preference about housepets — it’s a symptom of a severe mental illness and the point is not dislike of cats or other animals so much as it is that the person who does it derives enjoyment of watching a living being suffer. It’s also a crime. Having a preference about cats or dogs is not a crime.

  7. I thought you called him a dick because he was clueless about the impact of cats and the internet- not because he chose cats over dogs. Anyway, eventually I figured out it was a humorous post.
    Have you had bacon chocolate yet or its cousin, chocolate bacon?

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