Thursday, October 22, 2020

Bobs Cinema Diary: 10/23/20 -- 'White Noise'

Director Daniel Lombroso's documentary, White Noise, offers an extended look at three major personalities who represent various aspects of the alt-right world. Richard Spencer, Mike Cernovich, and Lauren Southern approach white nationalism from somewhat different perspectives and not one of them look like what you'd expect if Central Casting were asked to send over some white supremacists. These alt-righters are well-groomed, young and not entirely divorced from the world in which we all live. Movies such as White Noise put reviewers — at least this one — in a strange position. On one hand, I feel queasy about drawing attention to people whose views deserve to be marginalized, scorned, and generally ignored. On the other hand, there's some utility in looking at these folks and knowing what toxins course through their minds. Spencer, who at one point talks about being obeyed, seems the least prone to introspection, an ideologue wrapped in a warped ideology. Cernovich struck me as a guy who's trying to find a niche and a money stream; and the Canadian born Southern seems alarmingly sincere and aware that she's attractive, the girl next door who also happens to want to preserve white folks of European descent from being swallowed by the brown hordes of the world. By the end of the film, we learn that Southern has married and become a mother and that her husband is not white. But there's no suggestion that her views have changed. Cernovich, by the way, is married to an Iranian-American woman who hopes that her children will learn Farsi. That's not to say that these folks aren't part of the dangerous spawn of a world that's diversifying in ways that threaten what alt-righters evidently consider to be their root identities, the European -- read white -- origins they venerate. Yet, some of them are willing to hide behind facades of projected normalcy so that they can reject the possibility that they might have some responsibility for racist violence. Charlottesville? Not my fault, says Spencer. Remind you of anyone else? 

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