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My Quentin Tarantino boycott has lasted 23 years
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The current police boycott of Quentin Tarantino coincides with my longstanding decision never again to suffer through one of Quentin Tarantino's films. - photo by Jim Bennett
Film director Quentin Tarantino recently made remarks about the police suggesting that cops are murderers. This has prompted a massive boycott of Tarantinos upcoming film, "The Hateful Eight," from police officers and organizations across the country, which, hopefully, will put a significant dent in the movies box office receipts.

To my fellow boycotters, welcome! Although, not to be too smug, I have to point out that youre a bit late to the party. Ive been boycotting Tarantino for 23 years, and my life is all the better for it.

Some background would be helpful here. The first and last Tarantino film I ever saw was 1992s Reservoir Dogs, which tells the story of a diamond heist gone wrong. At the time, I was a starving theater student at the University of Southern California and was supplementing my meager income by writing movie reviews for a newsletter called the Entertainment Research Report. I put the word review in quotation marks because my job wasnt to actually provide opinion or commentary on the movies I watched, but rather to list all offensive material contained in the film in order to provide potential viewers with an objective guide to all content they might find offensive. This meant counting all the swear words, noting all the acts of violence, and describing all the sexual material, albeit in a nontitillating way.

This was easier said than done.

Chronicling naughty bits in a dark theater requires that you write things down without being able to actually see what youre writing on, which, in my case, was my trusty Franklin Day Planner from years gone by. Consequently, when youre counting bad words, you cant just tally them, because you cant see where the tally count is. So when I heard a profanity, I would write it out in full and then count all of them in a well-lit room after the movie was over. This meant that I was carrying a planner around in which I had scribbled lots and lots of really bad words. This required some significant explaining when my then-girlfriend-now-wife flipped through the pages and worried that her then-boyfriend-now-husband suffered from some bizarre handwritten version of Tourettes syndrome.

Anyway, as I settled into watch Reservoir Dogs, my assigned project of the moment, I had no idea that I would fill up five Day Planner pages with 273 instances of the same four-letter word that bumps a movies rating up from PG-13 to R. That was a record for me no other movies tally on that score had ever come close. To be aurally bludgeoned by that same vulgarity 273 times in the span of an hour and 39 minutes is to begin to wonder if Tarantinos characters are capable of saying anything else.

But that wasnt even close to the worst part. The centerpiece of the movie is an extended torture sequence where a sadist ties a guy to a chair and slices off his ear as he dances to the 70s pop hit Stuck in the Middle with You. Even now, every time that song comes on the radio, I get a Reservoir Dogs flashback. Its not pretty.

After suffering through that film, I decided never again to willingly subject myself to anything else Tarantino decided to inflict on his viewers/victims. Since then, the man has been lauded and celebrated for his coarsening of the culture at large, yet I have chosen not to participate. To each their own. All I can say is that, for myself, the next time somebody has to count all the swears in a Tarantino movie, its not going to be me.