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Why? Because I’m a (D-word)!

So I told a friend of mine that I have a new blog up and running, and his first question was “why?”

And I didn’t have an answer, yet I continue to blog.

I still haven’t been able to explain the Moist Board to anyone, including myself, so it’s hard to say why I find writing this stuff interesting, let alone the arrogance to assume that anyone else would.

Part of it is that I make my living writing crap.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s GOOD crap; I write ad and web copy and whatever else anyone will pay me to do, and I’m proud of most of it. But none of it is stuff I want to write. I dabble in trying to finish long neglected novellas and plays begun in the days before poopy diapers, but most of that requires an intense focus that I can’t sustain. (I hear lots of men have that problem.) So my dabblings on the web are a release – a way to write what I want to write, when I want to write it.

That’s not to say that none of my writing gigs are any fun. The first time I was actually paid to write stuff, I was working for a newsletter called the “Entertainment Research Report,” which reviewed movies on behalf of prudish families who wanted to know the content of these films before taking their kids to see them, especially the R-rated films that they shouldn’t even be considering in the first place. So I got twenty dollars a flick to go in and count the swear words, chronicle the acts of sex and violence, and write it all up in a clinical report suitable for filing. Witness my “review” of “Indecent Proposal,” the utterly forgettable Robert Redford/Demi Moore/Woody Harrelson sleazefest:

What I failed to mention when I turned this thing in was that I got there about five minutes late and missed the big makeout scene at the beginning. So there may have been more groping, fondling, and ogling that went unreported.

In many ways, I find this review more titillating than the actual movie. Reading about “passionate kissing, petting, and graphic sexual motions” is more arousing than having to suffer through Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson going through said graphic sexual motions.

This movie was pretty mild compared to some of the refuse I had to endure. The record for F-words was 273 in Reservoir Dogs. That’s right – 273. In an hour and a half. That’s just over three F-words per minute. Quentin Tarantino only knows about six words, so he has to reuse them with offensive frequency. (Everyone thinks “Goodfellas” has more F-bombs than any other flick, but that only had 254. “Dogs” is the true F-bomb champ.)

So here’s a trick of the trade.

In order to track the number of F, A, and silent Q words in a movie, you have to write them all down at the moment they’re spoken. You can’t just write the word once and put a tally mark next to it every time an F-bomb explodes. I was carrying a Franklin Day Planner at the time, and I was using extra paper in the back to keep track of my reviews. At the time I had this job, I was dating the lovely woman who is now my wife, and one fine day she started thumbing through my planner just to be nosy, and her eyes bugged out when she got to the pages filled with profanities. It took her awhile to believe that Tourette’s Syndrome was strictly a verbal condition.

To sum up: Languatron is an A-word.

Hey, Rove! Divide This!
For he IS the Frumious Bandersnatch!

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Webmentions

  • Announcing Retro Friday | Stallion Cornell

    […] WHY? BECAUSE I’M A (D-WORD)! – posted August 17, 2007 Recounting my time as a movie reviewer counting profanities for the Entertainment Research Report. This was also the subject of one of my far-more-recent newspaper columns. […]

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    […] The third was on the front page of the Sunday Arts section and is titled Movie ratings useful, but can be arbitrary. It recounts a story that I told in one of my very first blog posts back in 2007. […]

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