I recently updated my social media bios and website about me section to include the word writer. It is a term I’ve used for myself on and off since 2008, mostly off. I was very proud of myself for doing just enough writing to earn that tag again.
I re-joined a writing club, now conveniently on zoom so that I don’t need to get off my ass. I bought a copy of Stephen King’s book on writing. Every weekend, I debate the finer points of writing with my new and old buddies. Today we spoke about one-act plays, a few weeks back, prose poetry. We have arguments about when to show and when to tell, and whether show don’t tell is a cliché in itself, waiting to be violated by bolder souls.
I have a movie review I need to finish, a novel I’m pretending to write, and a spreadsheet to track my daily word count. Instead of all that, I sat down to watch Godzilla vs. Kong, after several beers. If you’re wondering what the movie is about, there is something wrong with you. If you’re still asking that question, the title of this post should do. If you’re complaining about spoilers, fuck you.
The right question is, why is the plot of this movie the title of this blog post.
In the movie, the earth is hollow. And inside that hollow earth, at the earth’s core, you have mountains, trees, and most charmingly, sunlight. Kong’s ancestors had a nice ax, which did not pass on to Kong because they did not write a will, as is expected from giant titans who ruled the earth as apex sweet predators. As soon as Kong finds the ax, he also finds a nice charging point for it. Yes, the ax can be charged before use as a club to hit other monsters. Why, you ask? How else will you see it in the dark during chaotic battle scenes?
Show, don’t tell, we writers and wannabe writers say. This is why the movie makers cryptically called it Godzilla vs. Kong. It is cryptic for two reasons. One, it doesn’t say King Kong, leaving you very confused about the identity of the giant monkey, as confused as Lois Lane whenever Superman wore glasses. Two, it leaves out the amazing twist at the end, when Godzilla and Kong team up to fight Mechazilla, a millennial Kaiju who clearly spends too much time sexting and staring at screens.
The world-building is incredibly deep. You literally have to drill till the earth’s core to get to the titan monster world. The characters are amazingly layered, like the tiny tribal girl who taught King Kong sign language so he can keep whining about going home.
The story is so rich and nuanced, it felt like someone hit me on the head with my bookshelf, and then with each book, and then shoved my kindle down my throat.
I bought a copy of atomic habits to help with my writing habit, but Godzilla has atomic breath. Atomic breath made $ 96 million in profit. I googled “what can you buy for 100 million” and saw that you could buy Van Gogh’s ‘Portrait of the Artist Without Beard’, at its adjusted 2011 price tag of $98.5 million.
It was Van Gogh’s last painting, a self-portrait he gifted to his 70-year-old mother on her birthday to reassure her he was ok, shortly before he killed himself.
Van Gogh was an idiot. He should have made colors explode till they drowned out technique and made him money. Then he wouldn’t have died penniless and his mother would have known he was alright without a sad selfie.