My dad likes to say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. He uses this as an excuse to support President Bush, “He doesn’t do what’s good. He does what’s right.” and not recycle, “Why bother? The world can survive us.” It was with these good intentions that I went to the neighborhood DVD rental store, Tsutaya, to rent a French language movie for my partner and ended up taking home a pornographic and graphically violent movie that has been banned in several countries.

I thought that my partner could brush up on his French like he had wanted, while I tried to understand what I could via my Spanish. Sure, I could have rented A Man and A Woman or some other classic but I wanted a movie we could both laugh at and quote later while getting ready for dinner or when riding the subway.

In my defense, the DVD jacket looked fun. And when I say “fun” I mean my kind of fun. Fun as in campy and obviously over the top. Scantily-clad, cheap-looking women wielding large semi-automatic weapons and big, ape-like guys lying open-eyed on the floor, blood splattered all over the wall.

As soon as I popped the DVD into the player, my partner asked what it was we were about to watch. I said, “Baise-Moi” in a nasally rasp meant to mimic my version of French. He said, “Fuck me?” I said, “I thought ‘baise’ was like ‘besame’ which means kiss me in Spanish.” He googled it. Turns out the original French title literally means, “Rape Me.”

And wouldn’t you know it? A gang rape scene followed almost on cue. I said, “Look! You can see the woman’s pubic hair! Stop playing poker online and look. You’re missing it. This must have gotten passed the censors.” No sooner had I said this when that opaque gray circle popped up over the woman’s genitals and then the man’s penis. My partner said, “I’m not going to see this shit.”

He then started reading out loud what he found on google, “Directed by a French woman known for sexually explicit and graphically violent images. Banned in Australia, Singapore and a host of other countries.” Blah, blah, blah. I turned the movie off.

I don’t find gratuitous sex and violence necessarily distasteful. My partner does. Of course, he won’t ride roller coasters with me and doesn’t like to watch horror movies with me, but he’ll wait for me while I ride and check in the dark when I hear something in the middle of the night. I’m not about to be done in by that ghost of the old lady who lives in the foyer of our apartment.

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