Wednesday, March 23, 2011


According to this story from io9, we have been Googling Godzilla in record numbers since the threatened Fukushima meltdown. Are we unfeeling bastards or just looking for comfort in pop culture?

“Over the past few weeks, we've sought to understand the science behind the unfolding disaster in Japan. But a fascinating statistic from Wikipedia shows that hits on "Godzilla" jumped tremendously after the disaster too. What does this say about us? As we struggle to assimilate news about the quake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant leaks in Japan, many of us turn to rationality for comfort. We've tried to educate ourselves about how radiation works, and whether earthquakes can be predicted in future. Ultimately what we're trying to find, though, is perspective. It seems like the worst disaster we can imagine, but is it really? Knowing the answer to that question can help us view what's happening without being overwhelmed by fear and sadness. I would argue that people are looking up Godzilla on Wikipedia for the same reason. It's become a kind of pop culture joke that Godzilla is a symbol of atomic disaster in Japan. But there's a serious side to the joke, a poignant side. The big rubbery monster is the antagonist (and later, protagonist) in our best-known modern fable of nuclear destruction. When people search for Godzilla in the wake of atomic destruction in Japan, they are looking for context and meaning - they are following the same impulse that drives other people to learn about millisieverts.”

Click here for original Gojiro trailer

The secret word is Metaphor

1 comment:

Don said...

I remember the ending in the original movie. To kill Godzilla all life in Tokyo bay would die too.
That ecological sense seemed double tragic when compared to the destruction Godzilla had inflicted on Japan.
I'd seen the big monster movies but Godzilla had a special symbolism. The movie's ending brought the price of atomic testing home.
I had a fuchsia plastic model of the big lizard on my dresser for years. It may still be around my Mom's house.