by Anthony King
Let me be honest: I have a stupidly horrific competitive streak in me. But I'm not competitive during things when you're supposed to be competitive. Board games, hockey, video games – it's all about having fun for me. Win or lose, all I care about is if I'm having a good time. Yet I find myself competing for non-existent things against people who are not privy to the contest, nor would they ever consider what I'm competing for a contest. More in a bit. First, what I've been watching.
Of course, that was all bullshit. Now I don't have my own podcast. I spend less time bloviating on social media. I still have my column (thanks, Patrick), but this is sort literally my diary where I barf up all my incoherent thoughts, movie-related or not, and hope to god I'm allowed to write the following week. As I reflect on how I've presented myself in the past, I now realize I was more Benny Blanco than Carlito Brigante. There are people, two in particular, that I constantly found myself in competition with. Now, whether they knew they were in a competition with me, I don't know. Let's be honest: they probably didn't. The strange thing is that I still find myself bristling when I read a tweet or hear them on a podcast. “Anthony, why follow them? Why listen to them?” One is a good Twitter follow 98% of the time. And the other appeared on a podcast with other people I adore. But here's where the big change needs to happen. What it boils down to is that I have a picture in my mind of who I want these people to be; I have words I want these people to say; I have ideas that these people need to share. I need to come to terms, though, with the fact that I can't (read: shouldn't) change people to be exactly who I want them to be. I've worked long and hard in my sobriety to change that way of thinking when it comes to the people closest to me. Now it's time to change that way of thinking for the rest of the world.Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) and Waterworld (1995), both featuring characters who are confident in their own skin, their own lives. Cliff Booth and the Mariner, both played by two of the coolest actors to ever walk this planet, are guys who have seen their fair share of bullshit and are now happy to exist in their own little worlds. The difference between me and those two (well, one of the thousands of differences) is that I'm more about community than they are. Cliff and the Mariner are happy to live solitary lives. I, on the other hand, am not. I like people. Love them, actually. And I love having conversations with people. Especially conversations about things I'm passionate about, like movies. The problem is, though, that as soon as I get going I feel I need to be King Shit in this conversation. Movies? Parenting? Alcoholism? Life? I know it all. At least that was old Anthony's way of thinking. New Anthony, 2024 Anthony, has decided to change all that. I have nothing to prove. This column is a form of word vomit, in hopes that this vomit might help somebody someday, or at least give someone (and me) a sense of connection. I'm getting out of my own way. Something De Palma needed to do a little more of in Carlito's Way. And to those two people I was always competing against: I’m sorry for being such a dick.