Notes from Date Night with Godzilla

“What do you think,” my wife said, “shall we go enjoy the destruction of western civilization?”

“I sit around and watch that every day,” I said.

We finished our drinks and went across the street to get more drinks and see Godzilla.

I’ve been exercising a lot lately. I thought it was because I’m playing chicken with 40. After the coming attractions, I think it’s so I might ruggedly assist my family in avoiding monster/alien/weather/Michael Bay-related catastrophe.

Should I need to outrun a dust/debris storm, I’ll be ready. Need to jump start Optimus Prime? I don’t have jumper cables because cars aren’t my thing. That’s what my AAA membership is for. But I will (maybe ok probably not) have shoulders that hold up my T-shirt with slightly more style than a hanger. If I’m asked to go into space and save humanity with McConaughey, I’ll have the lung capacity for zero-gravity bong rips.

It’d be crazy cool to go to space with Matthew McConaughey.

Some have read Godzilla as “an anti-global-warming alarmism” flick. Not anti-global warming, as in the “holy shit global warming is bad and we should try and do something about it” meaning of the phrase, but more “meh, global warming.” We released MUTO by mining out its lair, and Godzilla (nature/God his own bad self) is there to balance the damage. Nature (Godzilla/God/Pat Sajak*) will do the same for us now in the real world so drill baby drill. This ignores one key point: To balance the damage, nature was forced conjure A GIANT FUCKING LIGHTENING BREATHING GIANT that destroyed San Francisco and Hawaii in the process.

Godzilla doesn’t have anything to do with global warming. It’s about a road trip, a meditation on the horrors of traveling in the modern age seen through the eyes of our hero, Ford Brody. (Ford Brody. Sounds like someone drove an F-350 through the front of an Abercrombie.)

Ford’s father drags him off the beaten path, to a run down sideshow attraction. It’s closed; they trespass; they’re arrested. From that point on, it’s one travel-related nightmare after another. The airport monorail breaks down (while he’s stuck watching someone else’s kid). The airport blows up. He eventually winds up on a train, but that (and a major piece of the rail system) is destroyed. He finally ends up on one perfectly good plane and has to jump out of that, only to get to a boat with a bomb on it. Not once does he eat, and just as he’s about to fall asleep, someone shines a bright light in his eyes. This is exactly what it’s like to fly commercial today.

(*There’s a moment when Godzilla lets out this deafening, badass, don’t-fuck-with-me roar—a little like mid-career Kevin Garnett used to and I’m sure Pat Sajak does on a regular basis. Like right after he posted this tweet:

I don’t know why I was thinking about that Pat Sajak tweet on date night and in the middle of Godzilla, a movie about a road trip, but I was, and I think what’s most disappointing about that tweet is that Pat Sajak has spent his entire professional life around words. Simple words, yes. Simple words that make up simple phrases. But words nonetheless. He’s done that, it turns out, without having any idea what words mean. He should get a medal or something for outstanding achievement against all odds.)

— The female MUTO is knocked up. I was lucky when my wife was pregnant. Not once did I have to make the fabled late-night run for ice cream, or pickles, or lottery tickets and a bootleg copy of Terms of Endearment, or whatever. The poor dude MUTO had to go out looking for radiation. He did so with silent (for MUTOs) resignation and, I’m sure, the recognition that if he doesn’t come home with radiation there will be hell to pay. And there is no kind of hell like “where’s my radiation?” hell.

— A late-night happy hour is now 9:30 p.m. But the tacos and margaritas were nice. 


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