Monday, March 19, 2012

Yet More Iconoclast Fallout

I expected as much.  No sooner did I write something about Larry Wessel's Boyd Rice documentary, Iconoclast (check out all of Wessel's stuff here) and the upset e-mail I got about my positive review of the film (and interview with the Wessel), when another e-mail found its way into my inbox.  You'd think I insulted the Pope.

"Doug, I consider you a pretty intelligent guy.  You like some weird stuff, but this is taking it too far."  That's how the e-mail starts.  It's all downhill from there.  I'm not going to reprint it all here, though it would make for some fascinating reading as everything from Boyd Rice's "Nazi phase" to his association with the Church of Satan to his "utter contempt of modern women" was covered with venom and (one would imagine) saliva.  "I've sat through reading about your contacts with GG Allin, the awful, hate-filled anti-humanity films you watch, and your repeated listenings to Death in June, but to give a documentary about Boyd Rice more publicity is the last thing the world needs.  I expected better from you."

Nothing like a little misguided indignity to start your evening off proper.  "Do you worship Boyd Rice now or something?  Or is this just you being shocking?  You can do better than that!  I've seen you do better than that!"  I hate to break it to her, but it's neither.  If she would watch the film she'd know that.

"I won't watch the movie.  I read the review you wrote, and I'll probably read the interview when it comes out, but I won't watch the movie.  I won't give these people any of my money.  It's bad enough you are probably causing people to want to watch it."  I sure hope so.

A good film is a good film no matter the subject.  For the record, I don't find Rice offensive, though I can understand why some people are bothered by him.  A film that can challenge your beliefs, no matter what they are, is a film I want to support.  Period.  What's the point of art you always agree with?  There is none.  Safe art is nothing more than entertainment disguised as ritualized masturbation.  It serves no purpose other than to make a certain group of people feel real good about themselves.  I'll take something that pushes buttons any day of the week over something I "agree" with.  Of course, this woman doesn't even know if this film will upset her because she refuses to view it.  I can understand that, actually.  I don't have to get shot in the face to know I wouldn't enjoy it.  That said, all of this was coming from someone who in that very e-mail claimed to be "open-minded" and "unafraid of viewpoints that are different from [her] own."  Really?  Regardless, that wasn't even the kicker.

"Maybe I should make a film about some Nazi who makes noise and calls it music?  Would you give that positive review?  Would you interview me in a national magazine?  Is that what it takes for a filmmaker to get recognized?"

Well, no.  What it takes, "friend," is to actually make a film.  Wessel did that.  It's getting critical praise from all sorts of people.  It's being shown at film festivals, and it's won awards.  Is it possible that is what really bothers you?  That there can be a good, insightful film made about a man you don't even know yet proudly proclaim to be a "monster"?  Does that ruin your worldview somewhat?  Here's something you didn't mention in your e-mail rant: Rice was friends with Tiny Tim.  Tiny Tim!  Does that not fit with the image you've painted for yourself?  He's enamored with Tiki culture, too.  Evil!  Oh, wait, I know!  Let's not forget that the guy you repeatedly call a Nazi worked at ... Taco Bell!  Jumpin' Jesus on the cross.  How's that for scary? 

For anyone else who wants to comment on yet another film I like that you haven't seen but still pisses you off -- don't bother ... unless you are going to do it here in a public forum.  Have some guts to let your views be known.  Unless, that is, you're afraid Rice is going to get you...

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