Gojiraholics Anonymous

"Come in, Gojiro...
Please come in, Gojiro,
Bridger of Gaps, Linker of Lines,
Nexus between Beam and Bunch, Defender of the Evolloo...
Please hear this humble servant's plea."

---from Gojiro, by Mark Jacobson

The one, the only,
The King of the Giant Monsters...GODZILLA!

I hear those who will scoff at this. "Doctor," they say, "this shows a grave lapse in taste. Surely King Kong - that immortal icon of adventure and romance, that classic of stop-motion animation - is of far greater value than the risible follies of an actor in a baggy lizard suit."
Now, I will speak no slighting word against the wondrous Kong, not the least. I have loved him since I was a child. He is one of the few of our monsterkin whose movie (sadly his only movie - for I credit no other) is acknowledged a true classic, transcending all genre. But I submit - although lovingly - that those who would award him the crown on this basis alone, do not truly understand Giant Monsters or the realm of their power.

Kong is a monster of the heart, a creature whose soul is so human that he rouses more pity and tenderness than terror. A bewildered captive, under attack in a strange land, his love unrequited - he is more akin to Frankenstein's creation than to his titan clan. His great size makes him dangerous, but everything else about him makes him endearing, understandable, forgivable.

And he loses - he lashes out in his own defense, but is overwhelmed and defeated,falling to his death. His metaphor is all doomed innocence, noble savagery and starcrossed love.

He inhabits a different land from other Giant Monsters, and there, gladly, I will let him be King.

But the realm of the Giant Monsters is a less tender place, and here we enter the kingdom of our page's hero. The true purpose of Giant Monsters is destruction and revenge. They are the avengers of children and teenagers, emblems of power at that time when one's ability to strike back at a grinding world-machine is least. They are the avengers of Nature, Her elemental forces given singular shape to crush a killing technology and the thoughtless hands that use it. They are Force Itself, unconquerable and almost unimaginable; crossing the land like a storm, wasting human pride and vanity. They are Chaos, the Message from the Abyss, the Dragon's Eye. They are the terrible price of our ignorance. On a more basic level, they are pure rock and roll, unstoppable hellraisers making a whacking great mess and racket, which is SO soul-satisfying to a kid of thirteen (or anyone else) filled with undirected rages and energies. They are monsters of instinct and anger and adrenalin, not of empathy. And, unlike sweet Kong, they never lose and never die.

Though the realm is filled with memorable images - Madame Gorgo and her child striding out to sea with a shattered London behind them, Ray Harryhausen's Rhedosaurus defiant in the New York streets or rearing in death-agony against the flames of a burning rollercoaster - no one in it approaches the juggernaut majesty of Gojira. "Who is like unto the Beast?" they rightly marvel.
He is a walking earthquake, a force of nature; an intelligent creature (so we're told)
but one as direct and elemental as the path of a tornado.

A prehistoric beast mutated by atomic energy,
he is outraged Nature's condemnation of her abusers, and an allegory of judgment...
a spirit of the deep sea who always comes forth from and returns thence, he is heir to the ancient tradition of the sea-monsters of Chaos - Rahab and Tiamat, Absu and Cthulhu -
those who arise, as do all nightmares, from the deep...
a behemoth who cannot help destroying the tiny world that has sprung up around his feet,
he is as innocent as he is terrible.
A great shadowy enigma, familiar yet utterly unknowable, Gojira - who we Americans instinctively deified when we changed his name, somehow knowing true pagan divinity when we saw it -
is a figure of awe.
Those who do not see him so...do not see him.

Some lands in the King's dominion...

The Fifth Godzilla, my essay on the newest Big G and his/her place in history.
See some terrific Godzilla art by William Stout in The Godzilla That Never Was!
Barry's Temple of Godzilla - **THE** coolest Big G site!
The Godzilla Index to Kaiju, a terrific, encyclopedic site.

Gojiraphiles have visited this room...
and returned to The Institute front door.

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