Update: Armond White Continues to be a Troll, Crushes on Annette Bening

1/22/2011 Posted by Admin

Update: Armond White Continues to be a Troll, Crushes on Annette Bening

Movie News/Commentary

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover

One of the biggest rules on the Internet is that if someone is being a "troll," that is being pointlessly antagonistic and vicious, you ignore them. Some sites even make a big show of warning users to "not feed the trolls." Why, you ask? Because if you don't ignore them, they just keep going. Just like Armond White.

After his performance art stunt of making the New York Film Critics Circle Awards a circus of belligerence and baiting, White has used his platform over at the New York Press to say that if you aren't on his side, you're possibly racist. But let's get to some of the other, less ludicrous claims White makes first, shall we?

First up is White's obstinate belief that Annette Bening's plea for him to stop being such a d!ck (in nicer words, of course) was actually an echo of what he was saying all along. White goes so far as to drool over her statement, which he believes to be "the finest, calmest explanation of the relationship between critics and artists that we're ever likely to hear in this era of media-crazed sensationalism." White caps that hyperbole off with a picture of White clutching Bening like a child molester who's just found an unattended child, complete with hearts digitally added around the two of them. I am so not joking. If that wasn't creepy enough, he also compliments Bening for her "sexy-maternal" ways.

White moves on to condemn Aronofsky's "weak joke" about White's inhumanity and to call Michelle Williams naive (because she was understandably offended that White could only give her a half-assed compliment about a film she made half a decade ago instead of the film she was being honored for...) and Mark Ruffalo gullible. In fact, White seems to think everyone who was at the ceremony, other than Bening and himself, are complete idiots and that the reporters following up on the story of the event are "perpetuating the power advantage of exorbitantly paid Hollywoodians over their Fourth Estate handmaidens." Whatever the hell that means.

In the alternate universe that White lives in, let's call it Bizarrowood, his hideously inappropriate barbs and retorts are "compliments" and the righteous anger over his behavior that erupted soon after is "a viper pit of enmity and discord." You see, those of us who aren't White, specifically EW's Lisa Schwarzbaum and the Village Voice's Jim Hoberman, are just dreaming up "sick fantasies and vituperation about what happened at the Critics dinner." The best part of Bizarrowood is that we're the ones who "resemble children who can't win an argument and so want to pout," not White.

Which brings us back to that first, most illogical claim, that "racism motivates Schwarzbaum and Hoberman," according to White.

As hilarious as it can be to watch White go further off the rails we now need to get serious. Can we continue to pay attention to White, even if the attention is negative? Are we in fact just letting a petulant child get his way by sending numbers to his decrepit paper? If we ignore White will it even matter or will his antics only become more and more severe until he, I don't know, firebombs the Academy Awards or something similarly destructive?

I'd urge you to go read White's fiery screed and judge for yourself whether we're perpetuating a problem by covering it or if things will reach a fever pitch and the sanctimonious idiot will finally be dislodged from his position. There's definitely a discussion to be had about the nature of criticism and whether the Internet has brought reasonable discussion to an all-time low or has just altered it, though it is pretty important to note that White has been doing this troll thing since before there was an Internet, let alone people to troll it. And I suppose that, love him or hate him, White is arguably doing more to bring attention to the dying world of criticdom than anyone else right now.

And how sad is that?

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