77. Annihilation (2018)

Directed by Alex Garland
Written by Alex Garland
Starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tessa Thompson
cw: pet death, human death, mourning

The trauma endured by five women makes them more inclined to accept a suicide mission. They’re all like: Sure. Fuck it. Why do so many dude writers think that only broken women are capable of heroism? I’ve often thought about how I’ll endure life’s next inevitable tragedy. Body mods and cigarettes are sure things. What would it take for me to start drinking again? Maybe one of my cats dying? Five or six years ago, the night X and I put Turtle, our ancient tortoiseshell with failing kidneys, to sleep, I drank half a bottle of gin and berated myself for eating meat again after ten years of vegetarianism. How could I claim to have loved our cat when I actively participated in an economy of systemic animal suffering? It’s probably worth mentioning I had beef for lunch yesterday. Maybe if I ever feel more secure in my femme-ness, I’ll shave my head again, laughing and weeping Chekhovianly as my locks fall in clumps to the bathroom floor. The awkward growing-out phase has always been torture, though. Death’s been busy lately. My friend C passed a month ago, and a handful of other friends are coping with the flagging health of older relatives. I started demoing some goth songs with dance beats and bouncy synth lines, and the lyrics I’ve written so far are about a person (a me-surrogate?) ruminating on mortality while their friend tells them to chill the fuck out. This is what happens when I try to be genre-appropriate and not take myself too seriously. I love how music, by virtue of its inherent abstractness, resists narrative. Without lyrics or an evocative title, no one could listen to a few bars of something I recorded and claim I was inspired by that one time I gave myself a mohawk after my zinester quasi-girlfriend broke up with me over email, or when I was six and my pet goldfish my sister and I won at the school carnival died after less than a day, and I cried and cried because it was the first time death manifested itself as something real. Or whatever. It’s just sound. But I guess all bets are off once I start singing.