Terence Smyre is UNP’s Journals Project Supervisor and he once bumped into the DMV (yes, the building) when he failed the driver’s test for the first time.
Godzilla. If you don't know who he is by now, you've failed a bit at life. Understand I'm not being mean; it's simply an objective truth. I'm not here to beat you up, though. I'm really a helpful guy.
So here's the lowdown for you uninitiated: Godzilla is a giant monster—think T. rex meets stegosaurus—created in the 1950s by the Toho Production Company in Japan as a response to the new nuclear realities confronting the world and their nation in particular. It's a wonderful movie and serious cinema (Scout's honor!). All the Godzilla movies since then have been primarily campy children's fare. But oh are they fun.
Well, kinda. If you grew up with them, which I did. I discovered Godzilla on TBS and on schlocky late-night local TV. Ever heard of Rockford, Illinois? In the mid-1980s someone who called himself Uncle Don (along with his hand puppet Sharky) would run the crappiest low-budget monster movies he could get his hands on. More often than not they were Godzilla flicks. The more I saw, the more I wanted, so my mom would kindly rent whatever ones she could find for me at the local video store.
There's healing power for a young boy in watching a giant monster stomp over everything with an indiscriminate verve. Maybe sometimes he's stomping for you. Maybe sometimes he's stomping on you. Either way, he's stomping. He's a big, green (gray maybe?), walking allegory. A symbol rife with subtext and loaded with meaning. And catharsis.
Which brings me to this sad fact: the first movie that ever made me cry was Godzilla 1985. I remember it quite well. That evening I was to take part in my class's Christmas concert, but there was no song in my heart that night I tell you. No. They had done it good this time. They lured my big, green monster friend into a volcano. With birdsong no less! It was horrifying. Godzilla is supposed to roar triumphantly, but that night he screamed. In pain. In fear. And so too did my little soul.
Cough. So yeah, I'm taking this afternoon to reconnect with my old friend, who once again finds himself in the theater. Here's hoping the only tears I shed this time are tears of joy.