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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Godzilla Returns?

broken heart

Japan's first nuclear "incidents" were the war crimes committed by the United States at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Godzilla movies appeared to assist, culturally, in coping with the horror.

What has happened, and is still happening in Fukushima, differs a great deal from that earlier blow in many ways, of course. It is nominally self-inflicted (they made the deal with the GE devil,) the composition and scale of the fallout is markedly different, and its ultimate dispersion is more of a world issue. Oh, and entire cities haven't been wiped out, at least in not quite the same way.

So, I am thinking of the Godzilla movies, the Godzilla characters, the story lines and scripts. And I wonder what Japan will do, cinematically, with this incident?

I don't mean this as a tasteless meditation. I am very curious and interested in cultural reactions to events, and film is one very common modern expression.

One thing about the Godzilla movies is that, since the events were inflicted upon the Japanese people from an external agent, there was probably very little inhibition in conceiving those fictionalized metaphors of nuclear horror.

One wonders how this sad event will be digested and expressed. How will this self-inflicted and relatively banal (in the evil sense) event affect the Japanese cultural response?

Don't get me wrong - I am not sociopathically awaiting some cool sci-fi out of this. I never enjoyed the Godzilla genre. I found the films fascinating only on a sociological level, and any "entertainment" was brutally tempered by their genesis.

My heart goes out to Japan, even as their RadioIodine goes out to the rest of us. (Which I understand has, mercifully, only an 8 day half-life, and there are ways to clean up. If you play the market (and you know you shouldn't,) perhaps you should grab a few shares of Reflex Industries or their ilk.)

I am so sad for the Earth these days.

Update: Geez, NPR even used the same image! And this righty fool also comments.

[Books are still available.]

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