Stupid or Evil?
Boyd Rice: Nazi or the original troll?
Larry Wessel’s 2011 Boyd Rice documentary Iconoclast was, I thought, an interesting way to spend four-odd hours. In it, Rice does come across as a curious individual, half dark lord and half fabulous fan-boy, with a mania for tiki bars, practical jokes, and a hundred other peculiar hobbies and fixations. It was noticeable however that the film—seemingly made in close collaboration with its subject—was also something of a white-wash regarding Rice’s flirtation with white-supremacy.
It seemed significant, for example, that the following appearance by Rice on the US Nazi Tom Metzger’s self-styled “controversial pro-white TV show” Race & Reason didn’t make Wessel’s capacious final cut. When not discussing electronic music’s “intrinsic whiteness,” and deriding “pitiful liberal humanist values,” Rice, Tom Metzger, and the show’s co-host (a Neo-Nazi Hank Kingsley!) find common ground concerning Adolf Hitler’s underrated prose style. “Whenever you see Mein Kampf referred to in print,” muses Rice, “they always use the exact same words—they call it turgid prose and incoherent and stuff (…) when you read it it’s like the exact opposite.” (Which, according to the Thesaurus, throws up the following antonyms: “humble, modest, quiet, reserved, self-effacing, balanced, collected, normal, sane.” Sounds like Mein Kampf to me!)
If one was looking to claim an appearance on Race & Reason was just a big giggle (one of Wessel’s talking heads, I recollect, says Rice is a Nazi in the same way “Mel Brooks is”), Nicholas Schreck and former Radio Werewolf bandmate Evil Wilhelm have an altogether better—if still not exactly watertight—case, since their appearance on the show is almost endearingly daft, as they dole out, well, turgid guff about “lycanthropic legions” while Metzger (beneath a sublime hairpiece) furrows his brow and accepts a special Radio Werewolf button like a wooden uncle doing his best to humor a nephew he worries might be just a little too, er, imaginative…