I’ve been writing for CHUD consistently for over a year now (I got my start doing DVD reviews back in 2012, but those were much more sporadic and short-lived), and I’ve been thinking a lot about my time here in the Sewer. I’ve been a reader of the site for longer than I can actually remember and CHUD has always felt like a place where I could always be myself. That’s intensified as the years have gone on and I’ve found myself with less and less people in my life. Over the course of my CHUD readership and eventual contributions, my father died suddenly, I was dumped from the best relationship I’ve had in my life, I grew incredibly distant from most of my family, and I broke things off with someone who I thought was my best friend. It’s been a rough number of years, but through it all has been CHUD.
In fact, CHUD has provided a much needed upswing in my life. Thanks to fellow Chewer Travis Newton, I returned to writing for the site and became a regular contributor. This also had an unintended side-effect: Travis and I became really good friends. I’ve also had some wonderful conversations with the rest of our writers (our group Twitter chats almost always bring a smile to my face) and I’m proud to be among their numbers. This is a wonderful bunch of people that have done more to cheer me up than they will ever know.
I also want to take a moment to talk about you, the readers, and how you’ve made my life imminently more fulfilling. When I started writing for CHUD, the comments sections of articles were often times utterly barren. There was a feeling like the audience had either departed or just didn’t care anymore. As my time here has progressed, the comments sections have become much more involved and there are regular commenters who I always look forward to seeing and talking with. Heck, I even find joy out of the more combative and disparaging comments, culminating in a comment on my review for Spectre that brought me one of my favorite moments of this year:
There’s so much about this that made me jubilant. First, “Jay” made a Disqus account for the sole purpose of posting this comment. Also, I love that “Jay” decided to use my first name like I was his friend and I’d betrayed him. Quite a few of our commenters and fellow writers came to my defense, and I felt incredibly grateful for that, but I found this moment to be so hilarious and, in a twisted way, very heartwarming. When you’ve reached the point where people are cursing you out by name on the Internet, you feel like you must be doing something right.
But, I do want to take this space to offer my sincerest gratitude to the readers of this site, even if they don’t comment or only do so on the CHUD message boards. It’s still utterly humbling that anyone would read the things I write, and even more humbling that they want to be part of a conversation with me. I love good conversation, especially when it revolves around my life’s obsession: movies. The fact that I get to be a part of that daily thanks to CHUD and its readers makes every day a lot more bearable.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention He Who Chews Behind the Boards, our beastly leader Nick Nunziata, and his unyielding commitment to this place and to us contributors. As Nick said on a recent episode of The CHUD Show, the site is on its way towards greener pastures and I’m very much hoping that I and our other awesome writers will aid in this new chapter of the site’s existence.
So, on this day of celebrating food and genocide (two great tastes that taste great together!), I want to express my thankfulness for anyone reading this, whether you be a fellow CHUD writer, a longtime reader, or someone who stumbled upon this place because you were looking for info on the 1984 cult classic about cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers (which we will provide if asked). You’ve made this year, and hopefully many more to come, a great time in my life. Thank you.