If Armond White Only Knew What a Monster J. Hoberman Really Is…


Armond White is miffed that last week I verified what some thought an urban myth by retrieving his 1997 review of Noah Baumbach’s Mr. Jealousy from the public library and posting on line it in its entirety, including the final sentence suggesting that Baumbach’s mother, former Village Voice critic Georgia Brown, should have gotten a “retroactive abortion” — a statement for which, he had only just denied “responsibility.”

Responding today to what he deemed my “personal attack against a fellow scribe,” Armond uses his review of Baumbach’s new movie Greenberg to characterize me as the unprofessional, pro-censorship, illiterate, warped, vicious, calumnious, sneaky, underhanded, self-serving, morally reprehensible, small-minded, vain, corrupt, lying perpetrator of “a racist lynching” — a contemptuous, pathetic, angry, conspiratorial, despotic, crypto-Communist brownshirt “attempting to besmirch opponents and write them out of history.” Good-natured stuff! (Imagine if I had written something about him rather than making available something he wrote.)

Further unburdening his mind, Armond expresses displeasure that I criticized Pauline Kael’s review of Shoah, panned a number of Steven Spielberg’s movies, and most recently gave “traitorous praise to the movie Green Zone for encouraging insurrection in the American military.” Sanity has prevailed, though. At least he hasn’t called for my “retroactive abortion” (yet), even if I am “the scoundrel-czar of contemporary film criticism,” a publicist-coddling representative of the film industry status quo as well as “a force behind racist snobbery in the film festival circuit (which led to such cultural disasters as Precious)” who, “like some nefarious, shadowy dictator in a Fritz Lang silent” exerts an influence that “stretches from coast to coast, institution to institution.” It’s true!

Tomorrow, I plan to get universal health care, settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn.

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