On Fictional Characters, Hurt, and Happiness

What is it about fictional characters that we love so much? Sometimes I think it’s their inhumanity, their simplicity, their ideas about wants, but in reality, does that really reflect people? Does that really reflect why people do what they do? Wants?

Wants. In thinking about story, we often think, in its most simple sense, that it can be summed up as a character wanting something and there is something in his or her way (conflict). It’s all about how far they’re willing to go to get that want. Like in the picture, Rocky wants Adrian, and if he gets her, he’ll be happy … or so we think.

Does that really reflect reality? Do people go around just pursuing wants? I feel like I’m the sort of person that tries to do that, that is driven by sheer want, but in reality, I’m driven by fear and anxiety and my past much more than that. Sometimes I think to myself (though never in these terms), “If I can just catch a break, if I can just get X, I’ll be happy.” That’s the simple paradigm, right? That getting what you want is the answer?

Reality of wants. Fact is, wants are complicated and conflicting. Characters in stories may very simply want to get the Holy Grail or the girl or the boy or money, etc., but in real life, people also want to feel safe, to feel comfortable, to not replicate past hurts, etc. And these things get in the way of very simple wants. Good characters are conflicted in this sense. Good characters are a complicated amalgamation of their past, of their childhoods, of past loves, of an overactive brain, of mental illness, and, no matter how clearly the plot says that a character should want X, it’s never as simple as that.

TED Talks. I have a bad habit of watching TED Talks. I love them. I’m addicted to them, one might say, and there’s an interesting one on the idea of synthesized happiness. The basic idea is that people do create their own happiness independent of their situation: meaning, Rocky is not going to be happy just cause he got Adrian. People invent happiness or sadness if they want to. Shakespeare once said in Hamlet (and this is quoted in the video),

“for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

And this seems to be true. Here’s the video:

Happiness and Intelligence. Some of the saddest people I’ve ever known have been the most intelligent, and some of the happiest people I’ve known are what we supposed academics might call “simple.” Hemingway said of it,

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

Of course, that’s an unfair characterization, but intelligence seems often linked with depression, anxiety, rumination, etc. (I’m talking to you, artist-types!)

True happiness? Perhaps the happiest person I’ve ever known in my life was a guy named Kenny I grew up with. He was an athlete in high school, long and lanky, somewhat handsome, but when he finished high school, he was diagnosed (if my memory serves me right) with deterioration of the brain stem. He soon could not walk without falling, and he jerked and twitched constantly. He was not an educated man, but his mind still seemed somewhat clear. He was simply losing the ability to control his body.

Soon enough, he could not walk, and in his early thirties, Kenny passed away. Still, in the time I knew him, he was the happiest man I think I ever knew. I never understood it. He had every reason to be unhappy, but when I’d scowl as I’d walk past him, he’d extend a shaky hand and smile at me like he just had the best day of his life. I know it’s perhaps clichè, but it has always been hard for me to understand how people like him could be so happy.

Hurt and happiness. I’m a man who has known a decent amount of hurt in his life, but the reality is, we all have experienced abuse and heartbreak and violence and neglect, etc. It can come to define who we are, and while it’s important to recognize those things, if we ruminate on that too much, if we believe that we are doomed to repeat the cycle of hurt, well … we will. We are just repeating the hurt again and again in our overactive minds.

Characters sometimes show this, but often not. People are complicated things, and they are never as simple as want or not want. Characters need internal conflicts, that divide between want and fear and hurt. And that’s what makes an interesting character, I think. The ability to try to change. Einstein once said,

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

When we root for a character to succeed, it’s easy to think of the simple want (Rocky to get Adrian in the end), but in reality, what we want is for a character to find happiness one way or the other. People suck at happiness. I know I do, but, like the characters I’m trying to write, I’m working on my ability to change.

You and your characters will not often get what you want … but that has little, or perhaps nothing, to do with happiness. Just something to think about.

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5 Ways to Heal a Self-Poisoning Brain

OK, so, I’m going to do some oversharing and get maybe a little sentimental (sorry, writer types). But I hope I can help someone who struggles with self-destructive mindsets as I do.

Background: So, as my loyal reader(s) will remember, I talked about removing the root of bitterness in my last post. That is hard work, but part of the post talked about filling up the empty space with good soil, meaning replacing something painful with a stuff that allows you to receive love and joy again. That is something I have had a hard time doing.

I don’t know how your brain works (or if), but for me, my mind is a constant track of rumination. It’s easy to get caught up on memories, regrets, hurts, pains, the past. It’s easy to get stuck in the past, and with that comes a repetition of the hurt. I’ve definitely been up and down of late, and so, I’ve been researching and practicing various things to see what would help build that good soil. Here are five things I have found that have helped when I practice them on a daily basis:

Love yourself. I know it sounds trite, but it’s true. You need to love yourself. “How?” you may ask. Well, it’s a simple but abstract idea, isn’t it? But in practicality, I think one of the best ways I’ve found to love myself is to talk to myself. I go on walks with myself and affirm my value (body image, skills, traits, etc.). Yes, it feels weird, and honestly, it’s a little embarrassing to talk about. Plus, people probably think I’m insane living so close to Central State and talking to no one. But it works. It’s important to recognize the ways in which you love yourself, to tell yourself that you deserve love. Thing is, if you can’t love yourself, you will never be able to be loved. Not because people love those that love themselves, but because until you learn to accept love from yourself, you will never accept love from others … which leads me to my next point.

Accept love. It’s easy to feel unloved or unlovable, but in reality, if you think about it, people have said to you or about you very nice things. Thing is, our self-poisoning brains are very good at rationalizing away the positive (“They were just being nice,” etc.) and wholly accepting the negative. It creates a bias, a false perspective, and it’s hard when people challenge your view of yourself. It’s a lot easier, if you struggle with self-love, to confirm the reasons you are unlovable. The truth is, though, that there are surely people in your life who love and appreciate you. So, next time someone says something nice to you, no matter how silly it may seem (I was called “Sting” lately by a woman … how silly is that?!), don’t brush it off. Smile. Accept it, and simply say, “Thank you.”

Be aware of your body. This falls under the fake it till you make it approach. It’s amazing how your posture or physicality can affect how you feel. When we’re insecure or upset or down, it’s easy to hunch over and frown and get small. Science has born out (And you can’t argue with science, can you?) that when you take up more space, when you make yourself smile, even when you don’t feel like it, when you stick out your chest and keep your head up, amazingly enough, you will begin to feel better. The smile will start to not feel so fake. And soon, you’ll feel more confident and strong. Try it.

Envision a brighter future. One of the best ways I’ve found to stop harping on the past in my head is to envision what I want in the future. It’s kind of like envisioning the basketball going through the basket before you shoot it. It’s a way of taking control of the future by thinking about what you want in who you are, what you do, who you’ll be with, etc. Again, it may sound simple, but it helps to focus on the future with hope instead of looking back on an unchangeable past. There are regrets and hurts and shame and maybe even trauma in your past, and it’s important to recognize that, but the best thing you can do in that place is to look forward. Make a list of what you want. Dream like you did when you were a kid. Be specific in the kinds of people you want to be with. I’ve found this to be a great help.

Be grateful. Lastly is the act of gratitude. For years, I was ungrateful. It was easy to dwell on the hurts in my life, but gratefulness is a peek of sunshine on a grayscale day. When you’re grateful, you’re focused on the fact that good is in your life. And by being grateful, I don’t mean doing that in silence. Go to the people in your life that you’re grateful to and tell them. Thank them specifically. A grateful attitude is always a positive one, and being grateful is a gift for yourself and to others. Been hurt lately? It’s possible you can be grateful for that person, because it’s possible they could only hurt you if they once brought something good into your life. Be able to look at that hurt and horrid past with thankfulness, and soon, things won’t seem so dark. Things won’t seem so destined to fail. Hurt won’t seem so inevitable. This has been the best thing for me, and if you do only one of these things, try this.

Recap. I know there are many people out there who struggle with ruminating on the past, on destroying themselves through shaming and pain and regret, and I write this to offer some help based on what I’ve gone through. Some of these may seem obvious to others. For me, they were not, and it’s been a good learning experience. I would like to know if you try any of these and if they help.

If you have any other suggestions, I’d would love to hear them.

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The Root of Bitterness

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. – Hebrews 12:15 (KJV)

Taproots. In my time, I’ve pulled my share of overgrown shrubs and bushes, and it’s a tricky process. I always hooked up a winch to a tree, cranked it tight, and started digging my spade in around the base. I’d dig and dig and tighten the winch, cranking it till it got super tight and stressed, and the shrub would bend forward. As I’d dig in, I’d cut little roots with the blade of the shovel, but as I’d get deeper, the shrub would bend further, but it would barely pull from the ground because of the taproot.

The taproot is a tricky thing to deal with. It goes straight down, so it’s hard to get to, and it’s thick and deep. After a long time of sweating and cutting and tightening the winch and digging a ditch deep around the plant, I’d finally get to the taproot, and it wasn’t till that taproot was cut that the shrub would move. It’d pop from the tension in the winch suddenly and flop easily on the ground, and what was left was just a deep crater.

Bitterness. Over the past couple years, I’m afraid I’d become a bitter man. I had reason to feel it, but the net effect was that I shut myself off to others, emotionally, I closed myself off to the world. In the parable of the sower, he tosses seeds on rocks, where they die almost immediately, then on thorns, where the seeds would grow a little then become choked out, and then onto good ground where the seeds are allowed to grow and live.

The seeds are love, and I was the stone. Everything bounced off. Bitterness is like that shrub. It requires lots of digging, introspection, honest looking inside, and it requires lots of little roots of pain and hurt to be cut, and there’s so much tension, but nothing moves until that taproot gets cut.

Sometimes it takes a severe blow to snap that root. I had that happen to me of late, and it shook me to my core, but the result is the removal of that bitterness. What’s left is a gaping hole that needs to be filled with good soil.

The effects of bitterness. For me, bitterness led to depression, self-loathing, isolation, paranoia, and anxiety. Though the world seems like it’s hurting you, you end up hurting yourself with that pain and repeatedly abusing yourself. It’s a sure lose situation.

I like that Hebrews talks about bitterness defiling oneself. It’s a perfect word. It poisons you. It sickens you, and it slowly destroys you. I would not have been able to overcome this self-destruction without the love of some people around me and the hard choices people have had to make with me. For that, I am eternally grateful.

The takeaway? Don’t let it get to this. Don’t let your hurt and pain turn into a poison that simply pushes people away and makes you unlovable. Because when you are stone, those seeds of love can never grow. If you’re in that place, take a long hard look inside. Don’t lose good things in your life simply because you can’t bear to look at yourself. Love is the answer to bitterness, and there’s no amount of love coming in from the outside that’ll ever be able to make a dent in that place.

Jesus said that we ought to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). But how can you love the world if you cannot love yourself? You can’t. It’s impossible. You’re depleted, and what you will put out to the world will be hostility and antagonism and anger. Hurt is a real thing, but it’s how you deal with that hurt that determines what it becomes. A tender and forgiving and loving look inside is the key to this, and yes, after that root is finally cut, there will be a crater in your life, but it will give you a chance to fill it with good things rather than poisonous things.

Sorry if I’m oversharing, but there’s a lot of hurt in the world, and I hope that if someone feels as I did, maybe this will help.

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Love and Fear and Character

When we think of what creates a good character, we, of course, need to get into motivations. Vonnegut famously said in his eight points on writing, “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.” But is want everything? What is it that makes a character feel real?

Take a hint, bub! So, I used to say that characters had three basic motivations: love, hate, and fear. But in a discussion I had recently, the obvious pointed out to me that you cannot hate something unless you fear it. This is why, I assume, people do not hate the Buffalo Bills.

So, point made. Seems simple enough, but what of this fear thing? When we thing of character motivations, can’t they be boiled down so simply? As in, if a character must choose which road to turn down, left or right, he must consider what it is he is hoping to find down that road and what it is that he is terrified of finding. This happens in every story. It’s about risk.

Zzzzzz … Capitalism (bear with me) is about risk aversion and cost-benefit analyses. True capitalism, that is. It’s about investors looking for gains while mitigating risk all the while. But the same can be said of conflict and fiction. Think about it. In Jane Eyre, she makes a calculated risk to allow Rochester in her life romantically despite the fact that she’s been hurt by nearly every other person she ever got close to. The true conflict is about her overcoming her fear to get what she wants. But then, when the stakes get higher, when she finds out that Rochester is married and with that, the risk of public humiliation and shaming enters, her fear wins. The thing about Jane Eyre is that she does not triumph in the story. She fails to overcome in the end, and it is only when that risk is removed that she can rejoin her blinded and disfigured boyfriend.

You blog like the English cook. I don’t know why I have this tendency to boil things down. And yes, this point seems obvious as I write it, but it’s an interesting way to think about conflict, that it’s all internal and that it’s all about want overcoming fear.

So, the question cannot be just as simple as “What does the character want?” but “What does the character want, and what fears is he willing to face to get it.” I know, for me, when I write, I often think about what the character wants, but I rarely note exactly what it is a character fears.

Do you?

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What is the Writer’s Responsibility?

So, we as “literary” writers don’t often like the idea of pandering to the audience. It’s the sort of “The text will find its audience” idea. Still, does the writer have any responsibilities to the reader? And if so, what?

Charmed, I’m sure. In talking to a writer friend of mine, the word “charm” or “charming” came up a great deal. Is it the responsibility of the author to charm the reader? To entrance them? To pull them into your created universe without them knowing it?

But what does it mean to charm? I suppose there are a number of ways, but it seems to me that humor and wit are the easiest methods. Voice, in this case, feels very important for drawing in the audience … but I think it’s more than that.

Shut up, you pretentious windbag! I know, for me, I find a pretentious voice extremely annoying. It’s so often intellectual posturing, and posturing must by its very nature be disingenuous. It’s not just pretentious, but it’s sometimes with strange choices. For example, when American writers who have always lived in America refer to the TV as the “tele” or an apartment as a “flat” or instead of “taking a vacation,” a writer says “goes on holiday.”

This sort of posturing, this awareness of how the author looks in the eyes of the reader (as opposed to being an invisible and deistic creator), grates on me. The minute I say, “Yes, yes, I’m very impressed,” is when I put down the book. When I am impressed with the writer and the attention-grabbing sentences or lines, I am pulled from that universe I want so desperately to fall into, and I am incapable (or struggle with) enjoying or appreciating the content.

I am very aware that you are writing. Ok, so, I am getting off track some, but the point is, what do we owe the reader? Maybe more pointedly, what should we give the reader? In talking with other writers of late, I’ve come to the conclusion that the great spoonful of sugar, the great lubricant for content, for philosophies, for ideas, is humility. This struck me when we talked about it because I had a friend of mine recently say of my writing, “it’s for smart readers,” and that caught me off guard.

I don’t think it’s because I drop ten-cent words at every chance or write whole books without the letter “e” or write lines in iambic pentameter. I think what he was (perhaps unwittingly) saying to me was that I did not approach stories with enough humility. And when I think of the great writers I admire, perhaps the thickest chain that ties them together is humility, simplicity, and earnestness in the writing.

I earnestly want you to get off the internet. The idea of “a text will find its audience” or that we oughtn’t “pander” to audiences with short-attention spans is a pretty arrogant way of looking at the world. It’s easy to get caught up in our own artistic communities, like some strange church where we pat each other on the back and congratulate each other for how advanced, how empathetic, how deep we all are.

I dunno. I think I need to think more about this humility thing. I want to be that, but I haven’t quite figured out how to do it … suggestions?

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Public Reading at the Munch

Today marks my glorious return to the world of blogging. Are you not entertained? I update my fan(s) on what I’ve been doing, and have a recording of my most recent public reading to listen to … if you’re brave enough.

Adam Nannini Reading at the Munch

Ugh … he’s back. Hey, ladies and germs. Yes. It’s true. Rumors of my demise (wishful thinking) are greatly exaggerated. Still, I’m sorry I’ve been so vacant as it concerns my blog. I will work to improve my frequency.

Last you heard, I was about 23,000 words into my novel draft. I got up to about 40,000 words. I did not finish, but I am about to start over. I liked it, though. We’ll see where this goes.

I didn’t think you knew how to read. Anyway, below is a recording of my most recent public reading. It was as part of the Munch Reading Series, and I read a silly little piece called “Mr. Godzilla Goes to Washington.” It was just a piece I wrote in the midst of working on my thesis. I needed to do something silly, something fun. And this was it.

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Novel-Writing, 23,000 Words In

The process of novel-writing is a daunting one, and as I make headway through my first successful novel attempt (hopefully), I’d like to keep my fan(s) updated as to my progress and my thinking.

My guess? Both. Well, I’ve been writing pretty steady for a couple weeks, and I am near half of my 50,000 word goal this summer. The story is coming out quick and relatively easily, but as someone who thinks like a short-story writer, it’s difficult to know how it’ll all turn out. Thus far, it feels a little disconnected and strange since I let some plot strings dangle, waiting to be tied up later in the story (or to trip the main character along the way).

I’ve been having fun writing my main character, who is a rather disturbed man, and I have created a progression for him from just a little bit of a weirdo to much much worse. I don’t know if it’s believable, though. We shall see. His character’s progression has been exciting, though, so I’m happy about that.

When will your character progression begin? Yawn. One of the big things that is getting me that doesn’t typically get to me while I’m writing short stories is that it is a very rough draft. Now, typically, when I’m writing a story, I just get it out there, as referenced by this 2012 short movie in which I play myself.

But yeah, this time, I am nervous to have such a mess in so many pages. Scary stuff. I know this will take multiple draft and revisions, and this isn’t something to worry about now, but with long works, everything seems to get magnified. If I screw up a ten-page story, no big deal. But if I screw up a 200-page novel … eugh. Still, doesn’t do much good to dwell on it.

Are you done? Well, so that is my half-way update to my fan(s). The story still has a lot of momentum, and in fact, the momentum and action are building up. It’s a difficult story to control, but if I can pull it off, I think it’ll be an interesting one.

There. You are updated.

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Novel Writing, Day 1

Today, I annoy my “fan(s)” by explaining to them what is going on in my newest writing project, a novel. I keep them updated so that when it comes out and becomes famous, I can point at them and say, “Told you so!”

Very mature. So, a couple of weeks ago, I told you that I was getting ready to start a novel. I told you how I’ve struggled with this form in the past and how I’m nervous to start again.

But today, I started. I’m planning on writing 1500 words a day until it is drafted (I wrote 1600+ today), so we’ll see how that goes. The project is interesting because this is the first time I’ve written a novel infused with humor and absurdity (tools I’ve recently added to my stories). I think I have a pretty exciting and compelling premise, but I figure if it can’t sustain me writing it, I doubt readers will be riveted.

Yeah, alright Steinbeck. Writing has been a bit of an adventure for me of late. I’m enjoying it like I haven’t in years because I’ve given up on impressing people (not a writerly virtue, I think) and begun to focus on entertaining people. That isn’t to say that I have nothing to say, that I’m Michael Baying my writing (BOOBSPLOSIONS!), but that, at the end of the day, writers are here to entertain people. We’re here to create dreams, realities, escapes, and, perhaps most importantly, arguments through story.

Writing the novel fast comes from a mentor who suggested I get the draft out quick, so I am essentially nanowrimoing this bad boy. We often think of writers spending ten years or something on a novel, but perhaps most of that is in revising. I dunno. It’s interesting how each writer has a different approach that works for them, and I know, for me at least, writing with momentum is the way to go.

More like momen-dumb! The most interesting, and difficult, part of this project is the main character. He’s unlikable. He’s a killer. He’s disturbing. And I don’t particularly want to make him identifiable, which may be a mistake. We shall see. I’m hoping that tempering the story with humor and absurdity will make it more readable, but the entire premise is based on the fact that when something is horrible, people don’t look away. In fact, they rubberneck. They can’t help but look. It’s the voyeur in us. Maybe that premise is flawed. It remains to be seen.

Wrap it up, Tolstoy. Anyway, I plan on keeping all my fan(s) updated as to my progress. It’s quite an adventure.

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Godzilla Review

Here is my review of the 2014 version of Godzilla. I warn you ahead of time that this post will have spoilers, so please do not read until after you’ve seen the movie. You’ve been warned.

Isn’t it Gojira? This last weekend, I had the chance to watch the new Godzilla film, and I have to say, I was pretty excited about it. My history with the King of Monsters is pretty well documented, and I hoped that this film would make up for the 1998 abomination.

I’m approaching this review not from a stand-alone movie but as a representative for a franchise. The movie wasn’t exactly a reboot, as it recognizes the fact that Godzilla existed since at least the 1940s, but it does include characters from the original version, like Dr. Serizawa. I feel like the 2014 version made some interesting choices that I did not expect.

Admit it. You miss the rubber suit. Visually, this movie was stunning. I am typically not a fan of lots of computer graphics, but in the case of Godzilla movies … I’m not sure how else it can be done well. I loved the use of smoke and dirt and fog to obscure the creatures. That helped, I think. And keeping so much of it from a human perspective helped as well in keeping the monster somewhat real-feeling. Visuals have always been the weakest part of the Godzilla franchise, so it’s pretty easy to score well here. Still, I love that they kept more consistent to the original monster, with the spikes and the vertical gait.

Thematically, I also thought they treated the original Godzilla story with respect. Godzilla, Godzilla 1985, and Godzilla 2014 are all political movies. The original Godzilla is one big metaphor for a nuclear bomb in an increasingly Westernized Japan. Godzilla 1985 deals with the tensions of the Cold War. In this version of Godzilla, it seems to use the Fukushima nuclear disaster as inspiration. In this sense, I think the filmmakers did an excellent job of maintaining the thematic quality of Godzilla while modernizing it.

I was a bit surprised, and a little disappointed, in their choice to use the sort of “Godzilla protecting man from other monsters” version of the big guy. In my opinion, the best Godzilla movies are ones where he is wrecking Tokyo and other cities like a force of nature. I thought it was odd when that same Godzilla would come in to save Japan from various monsters. And this movie tried to explain it by having Godzilla act as a super-predator to the Mutos (Mothra? Muto? Get it?), but when he killed the giant creatures, he didn’t eat them. He just walked away. I could be wrong, but shouldn’t a predator be looking to eat its prey? Was it sport hunting?

My biggest issue with the movie was the human story. I thought Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody was great, but they killed him off quick and left Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Who? Exactly.) to carry the movie. What a lame plot they left for the human drama. It was essentially the exact same thing as Will Smith in Independence Day. Pretty character is invested in helping save the city that is being destroyed, because, dammit, his family’s in there! I feel like I can hear Harrison Ford shouting, “Bring me back my family!” The human drama, which made up most of the movie, was lame. Very lame.

Holy Crap! Finish already! Okay, okay. So, this version of Godzilla, while a huge improvement of the 1998 version, is pretty flawed. The monster is treated with respect, but the super-predator plot line didn’t hold up. And the human story … well … sucked. But despite all that, here is my rating:

Theatre One: Yes, I know that’s my highest rating. And no, it doesn’t deserve that, but this is a movie that is worth seeing in the theater. The sound is huge and the visuals are crazy. Watch it in the theater, but know that it’s not going to be a fantastic movie. It’s a fun movie. It’s a summer movie. Let me know what you think.

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Godzilla, King of Monsters!

So, I, rather famously, grew up as a big Godzilla fan, and with a new movie coming out (which I plan to see soon {watch for reviews if you’re unsure}), I figured I’d talk about the Godzilla canon.

Famously unread, maybe. When I was a kid, I slept ever night with a big plastic Godzilla. I’m not sure what drew me to this giant monster. May have just been I was crazy about dinosaurs. What kid isn’t?

Anyway, I have watched (and owned at some point) most every Godzilla movie between the 1956 American version of the original and Godzilla 1985 (a movie I’m struggling to find). I have always enjoyed the story, and a couple of years ago, I decided to rewatch the original Godzilla film. Despite the fact that Godzilla movies are fantastic B-movie fodder for worst movies ever lists, mostly for scenes like this, the original is actually a decent movie. Yes, the effects are pretty bad, given the time period, but it’s a smart movie that questions humanity’s use of super weapons, even in the face of massive destruction.

Canon? More like CAN’T … on. Hmm. Well, anyway, just like so many franchises, I feel like a few decent and interesting movies get tainted by a series of ridiculous movies. And the movies that I feel like deserve some consideration are the bookends of what I watched: the original, and Godzilla 1985. Why? Well, they make the most sense … or any sense. In the other movies, it’s like Godzilla is a different character, protecting Japan from other monsters (though if I remember right, Mothra protects Japan from Godzilla, but that’s an outlier). But which is he? Destroyer or protector? I feel like he can’t be both, and for that reason, I reject those other films.

Wow. Somehow, I’ve lost respect for you. As this new version comes out, yes, the effects will be better (though they were better in the ghastly 1998 version … buh), and yes, it will be less campy, but I hope that they will stick to similar ideas and themes. I would recommend, if you have not seen the older version yet, that you watch the original American version of Godzilla before you watch the new one. It’s available on Netflix, and it’s a fun watch.

Also, for some reason, I’m crazy about the Godzilla theme. It gets in my head. Give it a listen:

Godzilla's Theme by Akira Ifukube on Grooveshark

Anyway, watch the original. Give it a chance. I know most people struggle with the idea of old movies, especially black and white ones, and especially movies that seem so weird and goofy, but if you’re open-minded, I bet you’ll enjoy it. I’d love to know what you think … I can’t wait to see the new version. It looks pretty sweet.

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