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Why scientists believe Godzilla's fictional growth is cause for real concern

Dartmouth University
Castle Bravo
Dominy / CalsbeekActivist

Tristan Greene
The King of the Monsters’
Nathaniel J. Dominy
Ryan Calsbeek
Little Boy
Fat Man
Susan Sontag



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The New York Times
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If you guessed a gym membership and a high-protein diet: you’re wrong.The King of the Monsters’ incredible evolution in fiction is, arguably, due to real-world global anxiety over increasing nationalism and the US military’s continued nuclear aggression.Hard Fork?Yeah, that old chestnut.The research argues that Godzilla’s appearance changes, while surely attributable to the various film companies and personnel who’ve worked on the movies over the decades, are due to spikes in “humanity’s collective anxiety.” In other words: the worse humanity becomes in real-life, the bigger Godzilla gets. What you may not know – unless you’re a hardcore fan – is that the kaiju (whose original Japanese name “Gojira” is a portmanteau of the words “gorilla” and “whale”) was created as a response to the US military detonating 23 nuclear devices in the area surrounding the Bikini atoll during a period stretching from 1946 to to 1958. Yet still we wondered, what agent of natural selection could act so swiftly and at such high intensity?The researchers conclusion, of course, was that the same thing that created Godzilla – military aggression and humankind’s recklessness – is what’s causing it to grow to such great proportions with its 2019 “King of The Monsters” version being the largest yet.Credit: Dominy / CalsbeekActivist Susan Sontag wrote one of the definitive research papers on science fiction movies in 1965, observing that it’s human nature to seek relief from existential fear by imagining our horrors in fiction where they can be controlled by plot. Whether reacting to geopolitical instability, a perceived threat from terrorists, or simply fear of “the other,” many democracies are electing nationalist leaders, strengthening borders, and bolstering their military presence around the world.Maybe Godzilla’s new bigger-than-ever aesthetic is nothing more than the byproduct of Hollywood’s perpetual game of self one-upmanship – perhaps subsequent iterations will continue to scale for as long as audiences will pay attention.

As said here by Tristan Greene