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Free form Friday: Good for Godzilla!

“Free Form Friday” is my weekly non-Bowie related post. Come back tomorrow (and every other day) for more on Bowie. Otherwise, please enjoy…

I have to admit this first: I have not (yet) seen Godzilla Minus One. Also, I did not watch the Academy Awards. That said, several days later, I’m still elated that the movie won an Oscar. Or, I should say, the seven year old boy that still resides within me is elated.

Star Wars was released when I was eight. But before that, Godzilla was where it was at. When I was a small boy, all problems, it seemed, could be solved by size. Size was an indicator of rank, power and respect. Size was a function of age, and, year by year, people older than me — bigger than me— were empowered to do more and more things that I could not. This is well before driving was on my horizon — I’m talking about staying up until 10:00 or walking to the corner store. Size mattered, and nobody was bigger than Godzilla.

There was a kind of physicality to my youth that just isn’t a part of my adulthood. I didn’t get into a lot of fights, but it seemed that the threat of fights was ever-present. And, since children don’t know how to fight, both the best offense and best defense was size. I was born in January, so for my first few years of school, when months constituted a much larger percentage of one’s entire life, I was bigger than most because I was older. Then, I was treated with respect. Before, that is, Dawn Bethel grew taller than me. How could that be? And she was a girl!

Actually, I figured that Godzilla had to have been a girl, too. There’s a son of Godzilla, right? Well, how could there be a son without a mother? Therefore, logically, Godzilla was a mother. If you think about it, I don’t think Godzilla’s gender is ever firmly established, so hey, I might have been right.

I don’t think Godzilla Minus One is part of the recent series of “Godziallaverse” movies which I actually have seen. I have to admit that I have enjoyed these movies, which go for the cheapest of cheap thrills (well, I’m sure they were expensive to make, but that’s not what I mean). I remember sitting in a theater for the first one, which touted Bryan Cranston as one of its stars. Fresh off Breaking Bad, Cranston turned out to be in the Godzilla movie for about fifteen minutes. So that was a disappointment. And then, when Godzilla finally arrived (which took a while), she (yeah, I’m gonna go with, “she”) was big, but…where was the radioactive fire breath? Was this going to another Americanized ‘Zilla (what true fans call the 1998 movie with Matthew Broderick— not worthy of the “God” part)? In that one, I guess to make the idea of Godzilla more — he he he — realistic— there was no radioactive fire breath. Big mistake! Was this latest movie about to make the same mistake?

Then, when just about all hope was lost, Godzilla was battling some generic looking super monsters in the dusty ruins of San Francisco, and, amidst the dust, we suddenly see the dorsal spines glow blue and… blam-o! There’s the radioactive fire breath! The crowd went wild.

Similarly, there’s an even cheaper thrill in one of the sequels— Godzilla: King of the Monsters. After taking a pounding from Ghidorah, Godzilla left in the dust (again with the dust) gets a dose of life-giving radiation (don’t ask). As Ghidorah chases Vera Farminga through the streets of Boston, he doesn’t notice who’se suddenly pumped up and coming from behind. But Vera sees what’s coming. Her dying words? “Long live the king.” A glowing, radioactive Godzilla drops the hammer on Ghidorah. Chills! Chills, I tell you! Even typing this, chills!

In the ensuing 48 years since I’ve been seven, the rest of me has grown around the seven year old, but the seven year old is still there, still enraptured by Godzilla. And after 70 years in the movies, yes Godzilla deserved some sort of Oscar. Best special effects? Great! Well deserved.

And my seven year old self might still prove to be right. Size, might in fact be the solution to all problems. That I still have problems is merely a factor of not being big enough. Do you know who’s big enough? Godzilla!

Long live the king!

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