Concretized Consciousness & the Citizen Kane of Kaiju

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Sell Fone, author image

Ack. My last blog post was a struggle to get out. It’s as if that damn six-day grind at the home improvement exhausted my psychological, let alone art-craft capable health. I can’t fully explain it except that when I work at anything I invest myself in it and cannot effectively manage to disengage myself in any healthy manner. I’m either all-in or checked out.

That, and I swear the additional self-awareness interjected by the idea that whatever I write here will perhaps become a blog post, on a bad day, serves to jack up my journaling vibe. I get that it’s silly for me to journal day after day and year after f*cking year to myself. (Even though I’ve done so for eleven years at anywhere from 500 to 1,000 single-spaced pages per year). Yes, write my way through things. Yes, use this journal as confession and so-called autotherapy or art-craft therapy. And the only effective method is to write whatever comes to mind, heedlessly, unhindered by thoughts of whether or not whatever it is I’m on about can be posted. Who fucking cares?

Well, I do. In many ways I feel that I’ve had my fill of private writing. It takes a person only so far to rant and rave confessionally just to move the energy. The energy gets moved, and oftentimes this becomes that, so to say, and what I jot down here can indeed function as a post. Odds are, in fact, that a journal entry can be posted no matter what. First, because who cares? Nobody reads this shit. Secondly, because, as I’ve discussed many times, this journal has never been a diary. A diary is always couched within a for-my-eyes-only context.

I have written things intended only for me; things I’ve torn up or otherwise destroyed immediately after writing them. That’s stuff is neither diary nor journal nor even confession. Nay, it’s more akin to a stream-of-consciousness, spontaneous, concretizing of all my spurious and nagging and otherwise emotionally charged inclinations, anxieties, obsessions and compulsions. Major life traumas inspire such psychological puking on “paper.” During those times I have no listener, no imaginary reader and my experience is one of immediate transmission, as it were: I write out in real time; sans introspection, interpretation, analysis or vision and it’s as if I’m watching my anxieties fall out of my head as text, as words on the screen and the sense of my fingers clacking away on the keyboard. It doesn’t feel like auto-therapy, either. It’s more of an energy purge.

Is it so-called free writing? No. Because as I understand that activity it involves a forced production of text for a specific period of time, whereby you will resort to typing the same word over and over if necessary just to keep typing. So that it’s really a fake-it-till-you-make-it type of thing. Neither would I classify it as automatic writing or psychography – I’ve never cranked out text unconsciously and frankly I’m not convinced this is biologically possible. That is, while the idea of a so-called ideomotor effect or ideomotor response (IMR) – unconscious physical movement – seems entirely plausible I’m convinced that if somehow your hands have been banging away on a keyboard or scrawling text on paper unbeknownst to you – fully unconsciously – then the phenomenon, if it exists, would not be akin to anything I’d describe as writing.

Anyone who has read TC1 understands of course that I’m all for experimenting with the ideas of unconscious anything and that I enjoy speculating about the forces and energies in the world and within our biology that remain inexplicable in traditional scientific terms. What’s inexplicable about our biology? Well, consciousness, to put it simply. And its opposite. (Not the black-out type but the active unconscious). Moreover, mythology. What about biology leads in any common-sense causal (or for that matter casual) manner to the nature of our experience that leads to that? Furthermore, just as human consciousness can be said to be more advanced than that of, say, a dog, doesn’t it follow, biologically, for instance, that there exist other beings with a consciousness surpassing our own?

I’m going to let that ride and move on to some concretized consciousness. Namely, a little discussion I had with HWG regarding not just Godzilla but the idea of the perfect Godzilla movie that has never been made. And perhaps cannot be made. All the problems with plot, character development, how much monster to show, how much human story matters or not, is CGI the problem, does the money involved fuck everything up, what’s most important about G, all that stuff. The crux of his argument:

“I not only want to see the Citizen Kane, or The Godfather, or maybe just the Bladerunner of Godzilla flicks be achieved, preferably sooner rather than later, but I also have an interest in seeing Grendel made into a movie.”

Grendel, namely, the 1971 novel by John Gardner, is its own discussion but I didn’t paraphrase out that part of HWG’s idea because it adds value to the argument of what is always wrong with G movies. Not that we ought to be seeing the world through the eyes of Godzilla for a change, which is the neat trick that Gardner pulled off. No. I’m keen to retain the reference to reinforce the complexity of what we’re identifying with when it comes to big G.

Me: The most affecting and enduring mythological images are always fully functional; that is, they express the four functions of (1) awe, (2) a cosmology that supports that awe, (3) sociology that establishes, essentially, morals & ethics, and (4) provides a pedagogical, supporting psychology (in terms of myth, Jung outperforms Freud by a long shot).

Given this, with the idea of the worthy G flick, you’re going to have to wrestle, as you are, with all four functions and either pick one, which is what I think the filmmakers and tv writers do, or allow the whole thing to happen as it happens. in other words, set the G free from preconceptions and allow your personal interpretation to screw it all up. So that somebody will inevitably say, that ‘ain’t Godzilla, dude. you’ve essentially arrived at the next step that you also allude to: you have to make the movie that’s in your head.

Now, how to do this? Well, as we know, there are two types of movies: (1) big budget, so-called “major motion pictures” which involve massive financials including very risky, very substantial, contracted investment: a G flick of 2021 stature probably has a long list of major financial stakeholders with a lot to lose for all their up front contributions – they want their money back and more; (2) DIY.

What is a DIY film? These days, it might be an essentially a zero-budget endeavor except for a cell phone and some Halloween store make up and perhaps some lighting courtesy of a shop light from the home improvement store. How to render G in this film? or Grendel for that matter? you already know that you can’t even have a rubber suit. suit of any type at all. Rather, just some glue-on nose, some pasted on hair or scales and, well, the tail is gonna be a pure prop – you can never show G’s tail actually connected to his body. That kind of thing.

What am i getting at? IMPLIED monster. Which, I would argue, is what makes, again, the first flick closer to the perfect G film. but even Gojira is doing SOMETHING else with the G idea: namely, in my opinion, freaking us out by indeed concretizing the manifestation: LOOK, it’s not just G’s head and his body is behind the hill. No. THERE HE ALL IS…!! this is the singularly freaky trick that a kid will ALWAYS be hooked by. I don’t think we as kids even possessed the power of suspension-of-disbelief. I would rather argue that suspension-of-disbelief is an adults-only phenomenon. As kids, we took the rubber suit G as fascinating just as presented. It was aesthetic arrest. A kind of blank inculcation and absorption of something an adult mind cooked up. We kids couldn’t make a G suit even that good, it took some adult means to create and film it. So, that’s why adult creations like horror movies give kids nightmares – it’s too much content, content beyond the means of their meager minds and pre-formed brains. adult imagery short circuits kid capability. And then it gets imprinted like a tattoo and you never really forget it in those freaky terms. This is all a different but related subject to the G-film.

You gotta ask: why make a movie? why not just render images? What is it about a movie that means anything? I have very little use for movies. if it ain’t to do with the so-called transcendental style by Yasujiro Ozu, Carl Dreyer, Ingrid Bergman and such or golden age Hollywood, I ain’t really interested. Bladerunner? It’s a unique offering but otherwise outside of the SFF genre.

Which returns me to G on film. If you made a tv show of G you couldn’t afford the 2021 CGI. Which is why you say tv has better writing: because it HAS to, they don’t have either the time or money to invest in costly effects. Gotta write your way through it. Gojira manages a magic trick of showing just enough and not too much of G: a tick either way and it would have been, god, look at that dumb dude in a rubber suit, or, geez, this story sucks, the characters are thin, the production values shitty, who cares about the lizard, this movie is BORING. I find lots of sci-fi tv and film suffers from exactly this: just an idea, or a scene, pounded out thin and resembling more one of my dreams which has all kinds of plot holes and repeating images, like a visualized compulsion.

So, what cell-phone video G film would you make? Locale(s)? Characters? Conflict? Departure, trials, return? That’s pretty much it besides how much G to show?

***

Conflict within the G-verse:

Whycome, as crafsman would say, does G get instantly attacked by the military in G movies? Two reasons, I’d suggest: (1) it’s always entertaining to make the military establishment, which always symbolizes the “establishment,” period, look stupid. And weak. Despite all their big money, big brains, and big guns. We love to tear down the monoliths we manufacture; (2) we are attacking ourselves, namely our FEARS; which nevertheless is the irrational within us. For what can we really be afraid of in rational terms? That is, if we understand the science, so to say, to any extent – the facts – what is there to be afraid of? Otherwise, heedlessly attacking that which we don’t understand is inherently childlike behavior.

Kids are mean, after all. Yes, they are cute and funny and “innocent” in the sense that they for the most part do not know any better, but they are not necessarily at all nice. They attack, like animals, anything that they don’t understand and will go as far as to kill it. Bugs. Amphibians. Especially anything that can’t fight back. All the while knowing nothing of value about it. Lord of the Flies, as I recall the tale, takes the meanness and heartlessness of kids to a nightmarish level. And of course becomes an analogy for adult politics. But to my point with G: to embattle something we don’t understand is a preternaturally childlike attitude. I don’t understand it, therefore it’s a threat, therefore I must kill it. Why is the unknown a threat to a child? I don’t know. But it explains why the same war gets fought over and over again on both the playground and the battlefield. So that when I say, “kids are mean” I really mean that children, as a result of their biology, lack humanity. To the extent that if it’s not like them – their interpretation of themselves, that is – it’s a threat. And must be killed. Attack G with tanks, guns, jets, rockets – everything we’ve got! Why? Um, dunno, just in case this thing is… well, just ATTACK!

Exile, then. Like all monsters, yes, G symbolizes the experience. Personally, and to an extent culturally, too. Gojira comes out and almost instantly there is a culture that identifies with the monster. Same with Frankenstein, Dracula and even real-life monsters – mass murderers and tyrants: these are humans, we share something at least with even our most horrible counterparts. Identity, after all, is the power of metaphor which is commensurate with the power of myth.

Your DIY G-movie. Concretized consciousness & the Citizen Kane of Kaiju. What will be the thing that manifests G? What happens or fails to happen that REQUIRES G? Because, again, G isn’t a slumbering animal but rather, in psycho-spiritual terms = mythological terms, a slumbering manifestation.