4:44 Last Day on Earth

4:44 Last Day on Earth ★★★★½

That lump in the back of your throat, inevitability of the end giving way to unending banality. A brutal kick to the nose, bleeding profusely and staring upwards into the green glow. You may not like it but this is your life, this is what you chose and this is all that it is and all it will ever be.

I love you. And we're angels, already.

I've been thinking about death a lot, not helped by today's news of Nwoye's passing, which I feel a strange way toward, similar to what I felt when Eli Hayes died. Despite distantly admiring their writing (which in Nwoye's case I'd only recently become aware of) I don't really have any relation to them at all, nothing to mourn. Yet both deaths have felt oddly close to home, perhaps because of how small this "community" can feel, perhaps because both represent this imagined ideal I strive toward: someone so strikingly singular that even in a vague projected sense you get a feeling that this is someone special and insightful, that they're someone worth your consideration.

I know I know I know this is not about me and an actual real person died that I do not know and never will, but still, I've been thinking fairly often about what will outlast me, what legacy I'll leave behind, and if it's not my art, it will be my writing, for better or worse. And in a recent bout of what I can only describe as depression-induced mania, I deleted nearly all of it. Over 1000 individual reviews, dating back to the ones I copied over from Facebook back in 2018. Thousands and thousands of words. I justified it with the idea that this was for the best, to clear the slate for something better, but I dunno. The anxiety of all of my thoughts over the years just being out there to be perceived by anyone and everyone, especially when thoughts I had days ago tend to already be out-of-date, was stressing me the fuck out.

When I first came to this website I was getting 3 likes from a handful of high school friends for page-long Facebook reviews. Before that I was writing my feelings in countless notebooks, tearing out pages and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting over and over, constantly dissatisfied with myself and what I could do. I was (still am) a compulsive list-maker, obsessed with organizing and ranking everything to the point that I think in numbers, that anytime my perception even slightly changes I rush to resort everything in a panic. I liked the tangibility of paper, but the internet at least saves me the time of rewriting everything every time there's a change.

But anyways, it took me a while to notice that I had developed a bit of a following on here. Nothing to write home about, but enough that I've gradually realized there is some small consequence to what I say. It sounds kinda fucking ridiculous, but I have become absolutely preoccupied with a sense of responsibility for what I put out there. Especially the negative shit, which I take very seriously for...some reason. It made me feel guilty that despite the writing I remain proud of being the confessional/positive sort, the sardonic, strongly negative things I wrote were what got the attention, what made a larger number of people say "yeah, that's someone I wanna follow for their insights"

Much of what appealed to me about this site in the first place was how relentlessly genuine (at least comparatively) the writing was, that maybe there was a place that opinions outside of the very negative and/or predictably safe could thrive, that I could find some people that wouldn't make fun of me for loving Batman & Robin or think I was being ironic. I came into adulthood in the midst of 2010s YouTube, and comparatively this site was (and is) a breath of fresh air. So like, the idea that I was feeding into a negativity that I wanted desperately to get away from, well, as stupid as it sounds, it ate at me for a long time.

So all of that led to me deleting most of what I now realize more consciously than ever could be a major part of my legacy. And I'm left with two dozen pieces of writing and a fractured sense of self (?) even as I've felt better lately than I have in a long, long time. It feels odd to say at the bottom of what has somehow become a long ass piece, but my will to write has been at an all-time low. Not because I have nothing to say, but because every time I want to say something I'm consumed by a sense of responsibility for my influence, with a feeling that what I have to say isn't as intelligent, or structured, or well articulated as it could be if I was anyone else, that even my "confessional" type writing is an annoyance at best and insufferably self-obsessed at worst. That even me thinking this hard about my own writing and the value of it means I must already be at that point, drowning in my own self-importance when I'm literally just writing bullshit on the internet.

But hey, it sure does feel good to write about it.

And it goes without saying that all of this insecurity extends to my art, my real life relationships, my inner dialogue. If I take a step back, I know that nothing I do on here is that serious, not really, but I can't pretend that it's not an important part of my life. I want to take my online opinions both more and less serious, in that while I'm going to be a bit more considerate of what I say and how it could impact people, I'm also going to try to put it into perspective and not dwell quite so much on how I'm being perceived. Try to remember that all of this is from a distance and that in spite of how much I share, none of this is the summation of me. That I am much more than a bunch of movie opinions, and that I'm sure that guy who responded to my Parasite review about how it contributed to my depression with "does the movie really deserve 1/2 star or are you being facetious?" probably didn't consider how callous and vapid that was to say or that I'd still be thinking about it.

Block or Report

Cecil Selwyn liked these reviews