Quentin Tarantino Has a Voice. So Do You and I. 

November 8, 2015

  
I rarely use my blog as a podium, but today I found myself inspired.

I have been following the recent news about Quentin Tarantino, who is very upset because he feels that numerous police forces are sending the wrong message about him by threatening to boycott his new film, “The Hateful Eight.” In case you missed this story, the potential boycott is due to Tarantino participating in an October 24 protest at New York City’s Washington Square Park, where he encouraged people to “rise up” against police brutality and the killing of suspects. “I am a human being with a conscience…I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers (police) the murderers,” he said.

Despite receiving a lot of flak, Tarantino has not backed down, other than conceding that not all police are bad. He has been in the news often, giving peace signs and talking about the fact that police are getting away with murder because of the “blue wall” that provides unjust protection. I have no problem with anyone speaking their mind. No one can question that there are good and bad cops, and standing up against injustice or corruption of any kind is not only admirable, but is something that is sorely lacking in the world today. However, I’m curious about Tarantino’s outspoken issue with murder.

“Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown,” “Kill Bill (both volumes),” “Grindhouse,” “Inglorious Bastards,” and “Django Unchained” have one consistent characteristic that stands out more than any other. Extreme violence. More specifically, grisly murders of (sometimes) innocent people. After this recent protest, I thought Tarantino might be changing his ways — then I saw the trailer for “The Hateful Eight,” and quickly realized he isn’t slowing down in the death department. (By the way, “The Hateful Eight” premiers on Christmas Day. What better time to serve the world a giant slice of hate and violence?)

I can’t help but wonder why someone who would publicly denounce killing and declare, “I have to call a murder a murder,” would make movies that glorify what he is apparently so against. Fans might make the argument that in many films the “good guy” is killing the “bad guy,” but remember that Tarantino said a murder is a murder. Oh, and let’s be honest, his protagonists aren’t exactly good people.

A 1994 Newsday piece had the following Tarantino quote:  “If you ask me how I feel about violence in real life, well, I have a lot of feelings about it. It’s one of the worst aspects of America. In movies, violence is cool. I like it.” Unfortunately, his opinion hasn’t changed.

I understand that he is an artist, and he isn’t expecting or wanting people to recreate the fantasy world he puts on the screen. I also believe people are responsible for their own actions, and that art can’t (and shouldn’t) be to blame for things that happen in reality. But perhaps — if he is sincere about wanting to decrease violence in the real world — Tarantino could use his art to inspire people to be better. Over a century ago, Oscar Wilde wrote in his essay The Decay of Lying that, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” That may be more true now than it was then. The more our society is exposed to violent death, the more we are all desensitized to it — even our supposed real life “good guys,” such as policemen.

Tarantino has a booming voice in this world. He is protesting violence, but doesn’t seem to walk the talk. He could make movies glorifying peace, love and understanding, which could be seen by millions. He could be a real agent for positive change in America and the world. I hope someday he will be.

In the meantime, remember that we all have a voice — a podium — even if it’s in the form of a blog read by a very few. Change starts with each of us. Please, go out and let your voice be heard.

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One Response to “Quentin Tarantino Has a Voice. So Do You and I. ”

  1. facetfully Says:

    We each have a voice…a podium…yes! Thank you for using yours.


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