Would it be worth it?
User talk:Titan of Water
Thinking about getting an account at SciFied
Yeah, it might be. I can't say for sure, so you'll have to decide for yourself.
Just joined a few minutes ago! :)
My two cents on the "Is MV Godzilla a inherently pro-nuclear metaphor?" on SciFied
So I saw that there's this thread going on over on SciFied's Godzilla News page, and seeing as how I don't have an account but you do, I just wanted to share my thoughts on it.
I almost feel like Serizawa's sacrifice is a sort of reconciliation between Man and Monster. Both sides have done terrible things to each other. We dropped the bomb that either mutated or awakened Godzilla, and left him the last–and first–of his kind. He's slaughtered thousands, if not millions, in return.
But there comes a time when people need to move on from the sins of the past. When we must put aside our woes and rivalries to strive for a better future. To quote Serizawa, "Sometimes the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons who created them."
Serizawa is a man who's family bore witness to the Hiroshima bombings. And now, all these years later, he takes that weapon of destruction and turns it into a force for good. He turns death into a new chance for life, so that the whole world can wake up and live again.
Nuclear power on it's own is a neutral tool. How it's used depends on who that power is given to. If you give a knife to a surgeon or a murderer, they will each use it a different way. Nuclear power is capable of great harm, yes, but it can also be used for great good. Nuclear power is one of the cleanest sources of energy we have on hand right now, at least in terms of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.
I've noticed that Godzilla changes as the real-world changes around him. When he first debuted in 1954, he was, as everyone knows, an allegory for the horrors of nuclear warfare. But then, as time went on, he shifted from an all-out monster to a much more benevolent guardian of Earth, as seen in the late 60's and early 70's. Coincidentally, and even as far back as the 50's, nuclear power was harnessed not as a force for destruction, but as a new source of energy. I doubt Godzilla's shift to a hero had anything to do with it, but it is still something to note. And then he was rebooted in 1984. Tensions between various Cold War powers were very much tangible, and nuclear war was yet again a big concern, and Godzilla was shifted accordingly. Shin Godzilla was made in response to Japan's facing of several natural disasters in recent years, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
In other words, Godzilla can represent both ends of the issue. I think the MonsterVerse incarnation is a good example of this. He could very easily be a threat to humanity if we do something he doesn't like, but at the same time, he's also our biggest saving grace against worse threats like the MUTOs and Ghidorah.
And that's my take on the issue.
P.S. If you don't mind, do you think maybe you could share this over with the folks at the Godzilla News forums?
Alright I’ll post it for you.
Thank you kindly.
What do you think? Do you think I might be on to something?
Yeah you might be on to something.
Maybe it wouldn’t have seemed as jarring to the message of the original if Godzilla was revived by radiation in a weaponized manner.
Do you mean "wasn't revived by radiation in a weaponized manner."?
Perhaps. But, y'know, there's gotta be that little dramatic moment to really drive it all home. I don't think having Serizawa just letting the radiation leak into the chamber would be quite so thrilling, at least from a production stand-point.
Perhaps. This was an interesting conversation we had.
Glad we could have it. I highly recommend the Omni Viewer's analysis on the subject:
I’ve already seen it but thanks for the thought.
Been reading G.H. Gman's responses. I think my big problem with his rebuttals is that, even though the Godzilla franchise was intended to be coming from a certain point of view (that being a strict anti-nuclear message), it still doesn't change the fact that the topic of nuclear power is an inherently gray area. That is a fact in spite of the franchise. At the very least, the other side of the coin should be addressed in some way.
Take the 1970s animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax", for instance. As we all know, the star is very much against the sacking of the environment for corporate gain, and rightfully so. But in the cartoon, the Once-Ler points out that he can't just simply shut everything down all at once and fire 100,000 workers from their means of livelihood, to which the Lorax concedes that he has a point in that regard. See, what they do there is acknowledge that while there is certainly a problem, the solution isn't as simple as some may think. It's not a strictly black-and-white issue.
And take a look back to how it happens in the movie. Recharging Goji with a nuke is purely a last resort when there's no other option left to go for. It's either they detonate this nuke, or millions, if not billions, of people die. It's almost a similar situation to what the U.S. faced in WWII, or more related to the Godzilla franchise, what Serizawa does with the oxygen destroyer that he unintentionally created. And it's not like KOTM's nuke detonation has no consequences. Godzilla's energy levels build up to a critical overload, and it's only through the (apparent) intervention of Mothra that he ends up releasing all that energy in a way that doesn't kill him. And that doesn't change the fact that Boston is now completely leveled; thousands of people are now without homes or jobs. So yes, there are ultimately still consequences.
Now, of course, it should be kept in mind where Godzilla came from and what the circumstances behind his creation are. He was born from the lingering agony that Japan felt in the wake of the Hiroshima bombings. So their stance on nuclear power is perfectly understandable. I will not deny that in the slightest.
I think my concern is that, if we keep looping back to the same message over and over, the franchise will grow stagnant. It'll already be obsolete when we find something to replace nuclear power. But if you're going to make a series of movies on a multi-faceted topic like this, then I'd at least like to see it explored from multiple angles.
But what do I know? I'm just a guy from the nation who pulled the trigger on Hiroshima. Who am I to tell the franchise how to go about it's business?
Maybe KOTM should have ignored the nuclear theme and focused on just the climate change theme. That would’ve been better than pretending to have a anti-nuclear pretense while the writers have a more pro-nuclear stance in real life. I think it’s stupid to go against your principles just to appease other people. Now I personally don’t think Godzilla movies should show nuclear proliferation in a positive light in respect of the original. BUT, you have made some good points. Maybe Godzilla films can do what you said the Lorax did. They could take an anti-nuclear stance but they could have 3 dimensional, likable characters who take a pro-nuclear stance who make good points. That way they could stay true to the Original Godzilla but still have opportunity to explore a different perspective.
Do you want me to post your response to G.H?
I don't want to wind up using you as a mouthpiece, but you can if you want to.
Y'know, it occurred to me that there is a film in the franchise that at least kind of addresses something along those lines. Take a look at Godzilla 2000. The source of the rivalry between Shinoda and Katagiri is that the former wants to keep Godzilla alive for the potential boons he can bring to science, while Katagiri wants to kill him because of the threat he poses to the population of Japan.
Yuji Shinoda: To study Godzilla will be the key to disclose the secrets of living beings on the Earth.
Mitsuo Katagiri: Even so, you can't allow all the damage caused by Godzilla.
They both have very valid and understandable arguments (although admittedly, Katagiri loses points for not-so-subtly trying to bump off Shinoda during the skyscraper sequence), and Godzilla simultaneously displays attributes of both a destroyer and a guardian in the film proper. He's most certainly a recurring menace to Japan, but he's also the one thing that ends up saving the Earth, and humanity by extension, from the Millennian invasion. Godzilla is a menace, that much is obvious; but at the end of the day, he's much more preferable to the annihilation of every living thing on the planet.
And speaking of the Millennian's plans, think about Regenerator G-1, and both sides planned uses for it. When Shinoda and Miyasaka discover it, the first thing they can think of is how it could potentially revolutionize modern medicine. The Millennians, on the other hand, have a more sinister idea in mind, planning on using it to reform their bodies so they can initiate their conquest of Earth. Like nuclear power, Regenerator G-1 on its own is a neutral fact of life. How it could potentially be used is solely up to who's using it. See the knife analogy above.
Hey that’s a good point. Too bad Katagiri was a little too unsubtlely evil at times. If I could change one thing about Godzilla 2000 is that Katagiri would be an antagonist, but not a villain, as he’s revealed to be in the end. KOTM ironically seemed to try to do this as well, with Serizawa’s slow but moral approach for releasing the titans vs Emma’s quick but ultimately immoral approach to releasing the titans. Both had good points and, while Emma was ultimately wrong, she only had the best of intentions. One thing that differentiates between regenerator g and nuclear power is that people have seen the scars of what happened with nuclear power when it wasn’t used correctly. It’s harder for people to try again when they’ve seen the consequences of failing so horrifically. But anyway, you made some very good points, and made me appreciate Godzilla 2000 a little bit more.
By the way, I noticed you put up your "Maybe KOTM should have ignored the nuclear theme" on the site. I couldn't help but notice that the Lorax reference is in there. You might want to provide some context for that little tidbit.
Okay sometime. Nice seeing you.
So I had a bit of an epiphany today, and although we've all mostly moved on from the discussion, I thought I'd share it here at least.
Let's take a step back and take a look at the Titans as a whole, and for a moment take their beneficial properties at face value. It shouldn't be too difficult; we follow a franchise featuring a creature that somehow breaths visible radiation and defies square cube law by merely existing, so a little more suspension of disbelief shouldn't hurt.
Let's start with Emma Russell's plan. She believes that humanity's reckless exploitation of the planet has pushed things to a point of no return, and that something drastic needs to be done to restore her idea of balance. Enter the Titans; creatures who, in spite of their massive size and destructive capabilities, also have environmental benefits that could aide in the restoration of the ecosystem. Releasing them, however, puts thousands–no, millions–of lives at risk and would wreak great havoc on civilization. But she considers the risk to be worth it if it means that the planet as a whole can ultimately survive in a better state.
After thinking about it some more, it occurred to me that this is startlingly similar to the logic used to justify the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Wasn't that the US government's reasons? They figured that dropping the atom bomb would bring a swift end to the war in the Pacific and save the lives of countless US soldiers. Both plans are quite drastic and rash; given more time and thought, there could have been a way to introduce the Titans back into the ecosystem with minimal damage to the established way of life, and (while I'm not a war expert), perhaps the US could have found a way to win the fight with Japan without having to resort to the bomb.
Despite protests, Emma's scheme is put into action. And it goes completely pear-shaped, leading to a series of events that leave Ghidorah as the Alpha, and sending the Titans on a rampage of pure destruction around the world, ultimately causing more upheaval than even Emma thought was necessary, and putting the world in danger of outright annihilation.
Neither did the bomb work out so great either. In addition to the radiation killing more people than those at ground zero, everyone else–the Russians in particular–saw what we now had. Thus began the nuclear arms race, and everything else that followed. Stockpiling of nukes. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Chernobyl. Three Mile Island. The list goes on.
The point is, both situations started out with arguably noble intentions, but they were very rash plans that had the potential to cause greater harm than initially thought. And they did. In the real-world, we know this all to well.
And what of the ending? In the MonsterVerse, Godzilla eventually takes down Ghidorah, and the Titans become more docile under his control, allowing their environmental benefits to begin to take effect. But the damage is still done. Thousands, if not millions, of people are dead, and Lord knows what state society is in right now. Earth survives, and both the environment and humanity are now beginning to benefit from the Titans' return, but that does not change what went down before. And given that part of the plot synopsis for Godzilla vs. Kong allegedly involves a conspiracy to wipe out the Titans, I think it's safe to say that a good deal of people are far from likely to forget that.
Likewise, Man has found other uses for nuclear power besides weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear power is one of the cleanest sources of energy we have. NASA's Voyager probes run on nuclear fission that's kept them going for years since their launch during the 1970's. And, while a very risky procedure that is prone to side-effects, radiation has been a prominent tool in the on-going war on cancer. But even with all the benefits that nuclear power brings to the table, the scars of what it has been used for, and what it still can be used for, will linger with humanity for decades, if not centuries, to come.
In summary, the Titans as a whole could be seen as a parallel to the neutral power that the nuclear issue poses. Both can be utilized to do great good; but both are undeniably very dangerous if used or pushed the wrong way.
Had another thought in regards to the above statement, particularly about the arms-race thing. What's the very last thing we see in the movie? Alan Jonah purchasing King Ghidorah's last remaining head. And considering that he's apparently a known trafficker of Titan DNA, he probably doesn't have anything noble in mind.
And he's apparently not the only one. Remember that one exchange earlier in the movie between that soldier and Dr. Stanton? The latter mentions just how many things we can potentially get out of the Titans, like bio-weapons, pharmaceuticals, food, and then adding that "there isn't a country or a company in the world who doesn't want to get their hands on one of these suckers".
So even in-universe, there is now a Titan arms-race beginning to develop. It's probably being used to foreshadow a potential GvK villain, but the fact that it's there is still something to take into account.
I like how it kinda makes Jonah a hypocrite. He claims to be all for nature yet he has no qualms manipulating it with biotechnology.
The people who say humanity needs to die out are hypocrites in general. There's all this talk of how we're an "infection" and how the environment would be better off without us or whatever, but not a single one of them seems to be willing to go first, if you know what I mean.
There's actually a real-life group called the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement that was founded in 1991. And all of it's members are alive, well, and decidedly non-extinct.
A couple of quick questions
1. Do you have an account on Scified's Godzilla news site?
2. If yes, then what exactly was "the laugh" that they killed off Dr. Graham for?
1. Yes I’m on Scified. 2. Michael Dougherty literally said, “I wanted to add some black comedy to film so I decided to have Sally Hawkins get killed in a comical way by getting eaten by Ghidorah.” That isn’t verbatim but it was along those lines.
I think the joke was supposed to be that “ha ha, you thought you’d spend the entire movie with Sally Hawkins this time nope. And we’ll have her be killed in a comical manner.”
Does that make sense?
Also, no, that doesn't make sense. What he said, I mean.
Now, I don't claim to be an expert on black comedy, but let me give you an example of what strikes me as black comedy.
A burning train speeding towards a couple of people on a railroad bridge. That's just terrifying. But a burning train speeding towards a couple of people on a railroad bridge while blaring the Thomas the Tank Engine theme...now that's funny, at least for me. It's just so ludicrous and over-the-top that even when people are dying you're too amused by just how absurd their deaths are.
Y'know, I've been defending Mr. Dougherty and his movie ever since it came out, but now I'm starting to wonder (yet again) if the critics are right...
I still like KOTM. I’m not trying to defame it or crap like that. I was just shocked and mad from what I thought I heard. Maybe I interpreted what they said wrong. But I did not lie.
Yeah, I still like it too. Maybe they thought that they could get away with it because of how much of a background character she was. I mean, my own mother said she was too "mousey", so maybe they were kind of on to something. In a weird, twisted sort of way.
Honestly, the way the scene was framed didn't strike me as black comedy. I took it to mean "yeah, NOBODY's safe this time around...not even the returning characters". Mark and Serizawa's reactions really drove that home.
To be fair, Graham never really affected me one way or another as a character. Across both movies, she didn't really do much.
On a side note, I've been toying with the idea of making a fan-rewrite of the film someday, and I kind of want to explore the relationship between Serizawa and Graham, painting her as the person Serizawa wants to succeed him in Monarch if something happens to him. Sort of a protege, if you will. Her death would also happen BEFORE Godzilla shows up, and it's impact would be felt a lot more for Serizawa.
Just musings from a writer-in-training.
Well you can see the audio commentary for yourself. Part of it WAS to show that “no one is safe”, but they also did put it for black comedy. I would never lie about this kind of stuff.
Oh, I don't think you'd lie about it. I guess I was just shocked myself.
Y'all haven't seen Dougherty's other movies, I take it? He held back on the gratuitous murder for this one.
It’s not really how she dies that’s the problem for me. It’s the fact that she died for lulz after being an interesting character in 2014 we barely got to see and wanted to see more of in the sequel. Not to mention being played by a extremely talented actress. It just feels like disrespect to me. You may feel differently, but that’s just my opinion.