Ahem, that's "good enough for goverment work". I should know, I say it all the time.

Anyway, Godzilla is a man in a plastic suit in many (over 50!) Japanese movies designed to weaken the American economy after World War II. They would make excellent fodder for Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Godzilla: The Movie managed to be worse than the previous 50+ put together, despite working with more money than probably all of them together.

Godzilla can be viewed as a metaphor for the United States Air Force. In the years immediately following World War II, Japan's media was under the control of the occupying forces of the United States; making films describing the 'evil American bomber fleets' was not allowed. If you look at the original Gojira films, you find the following:
  • Gojira came from the Pacific, ostensibly from an American nuclear test. So did the Enola Gay.
  • Gojira makes his way towards Japan, inexorably, destroying various outlying islands in the process - a process which looks an awful lot like the American Pacific Theater bombing campaign.
  • Gojira is enormous, breaths fire, and destroys cities with firestorms and breakage. The U.S. Air Force was pretty big, dropped incendiary bombs, and destroyed cities with firestorms and high explosive bombing (breakage).
  • Gojira later on becomes the protector of Japan against other evil monsters. The U.S. Air Force later on became the protector of Japan against the Soviet Union and China.

...brings a whole new light to the monster movies. Now, if only I could figure out what the heck Gamera is a metaphor for...

This movie sucked, and that's a lot coming from me, since I tend to like bad movies... But man, what a pile of rubbish. The one thing that really bothered me was that they kinda contradict themselves on whether Godzilla is warm blooded or cold blooded. In the movie some helicopters launch some heat seaking missiles which go past Godzilla and destroy the Chrysler Building. They claim that this is because Godzilla is "as cold as the buildings around him". This would imply that Godzilla is cold blooded, else the missiles would have been able to track his body heat. However, through the entire movie, Godzilla is running around smashing stuff at high speeds (outrunning helicopters), and through the entire movie it is cloudy and raining or dark, and based on the cast attire one can assume it is supposed to be cold. Now, an animal that big which is cold blooded would not have the energy to move so fast, especially in such conditions as the movie depicts.

I don't know why I let these things bother me...

Also, the English title of the first japanese Godzilla/Gojira film, the one that started the legend, series and merchandising spree. Directed by Ishiro Honda, this Toho Studios film was originally released back in November 1954, just a few years after the occupation of Japan after WWII had ended, and any direct mention of the atom bomb was still taboo.

The film opens with an atomic test explosion on a faraway pacific island, setting the logical cause for what is to happen next: 2 merchant ships near Ohto Island in southern Japan are lost under mysterious circumstances as are the rescue ships sent out to find them. When a typhoon ravages Ohto island, killing several inhabitants and others witnessing a monster, the zoologist Dr. Yamane is sent on an fact finding mission to Ohto Island by Japanese government, uncovering that the giant monster does exist. It seems to be a dinosaur from the jurassic period that has survived sleeping in the depths of the ocean, only to be awakened by the bomb tests, which mutated the dinosaur into a giant atomic monster.

The monster is called Gojira by the villagers, who have had encounters with the creature in the past, even going so far as offering maidens to soothe the monster. As attacks on shipping in the Tokyo area continue, the Japanese navy attempts to destroy Gojira using depth charges, which only angers Gojira and directs his wrath towards Tokyo. Gojira quickly defeats the valiantly fighting but finally useless (they don't even manage to wound him) Japanese military forces using its atomic breath, swiftly proceeding to level Tokyo, leaving devastation comparable to the nuclear ruin of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in its wake. The Japanese Air-Force succeeds in driving Gojira back into the bay, but everybody knows that this will only be a brief respite.

Meanwhile, Dr. Yamane's daughter Emiko Yamane discovers that her fiancée, Dr. Serizawa, has developed a weapon he calls the Oxygen Destroyer, which he believes to be capable of destroying Gojira. She begs him to use this weapon to kill Gojira, but he refuses, believing that a horrible weapon like this can never be allowed to be used no matter how just the cause (Hinting that this should have also been the case with the Nukes).

However, seeing the destruction of Tokyo on the TV convinces Dr. Serizawa to agree to the use of the Oxygen Destroyer, insisting to be the one to use it. He proceeds to plant the Oxygen Destroyer near Gojira and and detonates it, while remaining in the water with Gojira. As Godzilla succumbs to the terrible power of the Oxygen Destroyer (A giant bubble bath in the model pool, which somehow turns Gojira into a skeleton), Dr. Serizawa sacrifices himself to prevent his invention to ever be used again by refusing to come up and cutting his oxygen line on the bottom of the sea, having destroyed his records before diving down.

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the spitting high tension wires down
Helpless people on a subway train
Scream bug-eyed as he looks in on them
He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town
Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Rinji news o moshiagemasu!
Rinji news o moshiagemasu!
Godzilla ga ginza hoomen e mukatte imasu!
Daishkyu hinan shite kudasai!
Daishkyu hinan shite kudasai!
Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah
History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men
Godzilla!

Awesome rubber monsters, indeed! The way I remember Godzilla will always be skewed by heavy metal geeks and a few wayward guys from the band groupies when I was young. I guess that's the way it always goes. (I can already see your faces. "Oh no, not another Siouxsie back in the day story." Well, you'll just have to sit through it. Just one more time. I promise.)

It was one day when I was enjoying a live show of a local band (of which all the musicians were close friends, I was their manager, at the time dating the drummer) and they started playing this song. As soon as the guitar rifts started, my friend Paul went nuts! He was jumping up and down, and had both of his hands raised up over his head, pogo'ing all over, playing the air guitar like a madman. You'd have to understand Paul to understand why this was even a big thing. He was, by all standards, the quiet guy in our group. Paul was the one who got shy and blushy if a girl smiled in the same room with him, he was the quintessential nice guy. It was the most fun I have ever seen him have. I asked him about it, and he said he loved Godzilla with some sort of childish passion. He had even named his car, a Corvette stingray, after the rubber monster.

For the next year or so, every time we went to see the bands around town play, Paul would ask them if they knew godzilla, and if they did, he would light up like a pinball machine. It started to get contagious. Sometimes I would just have to see Paul for me to get happy. Or he would walk past me and just say "Oh, no, there goes Tokyo!", and it would make the rest of my day. I didn't see it happening. I didn't see when it became necessary for Paul to be around for me to be happy, but eventually, it happened. Slowly.

Towards the end of that year, Paul told me that he was going to have to move away. I didn't realize then why he was going, and he didn't tell me. I was heartbroken. Who would dance out front of the stage with me? Who would want to hear Godzilla if he was gone?

When he left, he left me his car. No lie. He said that no one else would appreciate her. No one else would appreciate the fact that Godzilla must be a woman, either. Who else could be so beautiful and cause so much destruction? I was so sad to see him go, I didn't even hit him when he said that to me. And if you know me, you know that was remarkable restraint on my part. He came back a year later, and I gave him the car back. He didn't ask for her, but I could never keep a man apart from his destiny.

The one thing I remember most, though, about Paul, is the day that he came back, he showed up at the music store where I worked, and he was unsure about whether or not I would remember him! Can you imagine? Here was a guy, somehow turned a man while he was gone, who was my friend for years, who had given me a car--who thinks that I could forget him in a year! When I saw him, I let out a WHOOP! that could be heard through the whole store, and ran for the parking lot. He caught me up and swung me around until all of Florida boulevard was a blur. My heart ached with gladness to see him. Whenever I think of him now, the first thing I see in my mind's eye is the look on his face when I was running towards him in that parking lot.

Time happened, and work happened, and marriages and families happened, and I have never seen him again. I have no idea where he is, or how to get in touch with him. And I miss him. But I know that he's okay. Who could hurt a guy with Godzilla to protect him? (sigh)



lyrics by Blue Öyster Cult, from the album "Spectres", copyright 1977
CST Approved
Originall submitted for E2 Quests: Songs and Lyrics

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