Thursday, May 15, 2014

Godzilla Obsession Has a Long History in My Family




Tomorrow is opening night for the new Godzilla movie. Judging from the trailers, it could be sweetly awesome.

Love of Godzilla in my family goes way back. Actually it started with me. I was a child of the 70s, which means that we had four television stations. Three of the television stations had commercials in the content. (I know it's horrible to contemplate the suffering of couch potatoes before Netflix.)

But even back in that media dark age there was Monster Week. Every few months a local station would show Godzilla movies and sometimes King Kong.

I lived for Monster Week because I could watch Godzilla for five days straight. I entered the bizarre and radioactive world of Japan and watched Godzilla rise from the sea and either destroy cities or fight monsters, mostly both.

Every time he rose from the secret places of the ocean I got chills. I was mesmerized watching a vengeful Earth unleash her champion upon civilization so deserving of punishment.

Even as a little girl I recognized that Godzilla symbolized the superior forces of Nature. The movies showed the fragility of our buildings and our lives that could end in the screeching crash of a passenger train whacked aside like a jungle vine.

All Monster Week long I was plagued by nightmares. There was no escaping the psychological consequences of witnessing Godzilla rampages. My mother pleaded with me not to watch so I could sleep well, but the thought of forgoing Monster Week was anathema to me. Any price was worth Godzilla.

And I'll pay a shocking sum no doubt when I go to the movie theater this weekend. Godzilla might even deserve popcorn. It's a family event at my house, and yes I have a Godzilla-loving heir. He naturally worships Godzilla. I did not push it on him. He found it on his own on Netflix and YouTube. He has gorged on vast amounts of Godzilla content the likes of which my child-self could have never dreamed of. Often I've sat with him and gloried in decades worth of Godzilla movies and cartoons.

I understand him completely. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. And loving the divinely awesome Godzilla is the intelligent thing to do.

Followers