Deathiversary Week 2017: Day 2

Dear Deathiversary Diary,

    In the morning, Kira called A1A again. That fucking bitch Stephanie said she left a message for the manager with our number for him to call us back. He didn't. It slipped my mind to keep harping on it, though. Yesterday I barely paid attention to any of the movies, and of course I've seen them before. A lot. The more I think about it, the worse it gets, and I need the distraction, but every second I waste dicking around watching Godzilla movies is another I'll lose putting the hammer to these fucking horrible unscrupulous monsters. I hate them. I hate them so much it is scaring me. I just want my stuff so everything can be normal, and if it's not here by the 12th, then we can kiss my "Alien Week" plans goodbye.
    Kira hadn't seen any Godzilla movies before me. Or Alien movies. Only a few werewolf movies. She saw the '76 King Kong at some point but didn't really remember it. She had never seen Zeram, Tetsuo, any non-Godzilla Toho monster movies, including House, nothing with Kato Yasunori in it, no good Draculas or Frankensteins, none of the scattered Yog-Sothothery flicks, no Full Moon Video things (nope, not even the one where the girls get shrunk down and trapped in little bottles), no nothing. She had never played Primal Rage and never even heard of SMT, never listened to neo-folk or goth rock or industrial or anything like that, etc. etc.. This is always my least favorite part of getting into a new relationship. It's boring and tedious. It's so annoying going along like normal and you drop one reference and it's like "oh, I gotta catch you up on all of THAT too." What makes it more of a chore is our age, we're 30, the point where we're pretty much set in what kind of entertainment we're comfortable with. But the worst part of all? She never really says "no." Normally people, you know, the ones with a spine, will have strong preferences developed already and will cut you off if they're not having it. Kira doesn't do that. I've done it to her, I'm no weeaboo and I'm not going to sit around and watch 400 episodes of cartoon girls meowing, but she's always ready for more. I know on paper it sounds cool that, even though she wasn't before, it's nice to have a girlfriend who is receptive to your interests, but think about how many Godzilla movies there are, and think about how much time we have left until we die. It takes me a week to get through all these damn movies and that's with little wiggle room. Now add in all the other good monster movies, etc., it's a chore to get caught up with someone who's not just a grown woman, but someone who has already gone through their wishy washy confused 20-something period and knows who they are better than they have ever in their life. We're not teenagers trading tapes, we're adults trading two entire lifetimes. It's exhausting.
    Because of my "make-up Deathiversary," or "Rebirthiversary," Kira is mostly caught up with Godzilla and I intend to finish the job here. Ephemeral things like music, movies, video games, fashion sense, kinks, favorite food, that stuff doesn't really matter. It's nice when you sync up with someone in those ways, but it's ultimately not the important part of the relationship. Godzilla, for me, is not optional. I don't expect anyone to be like me, especially not this late in life, but if you can't put up with that, if you can't deal with Godzilla, you can't deal with me. I am, more or less, Godzilla, I always say I'm one of his human avatars. It was heartening back in October of last year to see her reactions. Her incredibly genuine reaction to Godzilla, as if Honda was right there with me, her child-like joy from the juvenile end of the 60's, her being awestruck by the image of a giant rose growing out of Lake Ashino, Junior, her devastation at Destroyah (I stupidly forgot to warn her... she didn't handle it well), the wild ideas of the "alternate universe trilogy," her instant love of the GxMG main cast, her understanding of the incredibly sincere GMMG, and of course the fun of GFW. It's because she's held onto her innocence that she's able to get this much joy out of everything. Despite everything, she's still so bubbly and sweet and it's so incredibly adorable. She makes faces in her food. She plays with dolls and pretends they're her friends. My favorite part? She plays with me and we can keep it asexual. For so long I have been made to feel like a fucking mutant because I just so happen to ace and kinky, but not Mistress Kira. For her, joy is it's own reward, it's not part of some scheme, it's not foreplay, it's real and it's pure in a way that I've bemoaned losing ever since Hollywood killed Godzilla the first time.
    During Rebirthiversary, she saw the original Godzilla before work, while I stayed home to watch the next three. The next day, when technical problems made me freak out, she stayed home from work with me to help me through it, and as a result we watched #4-8 together. Aside from Godzilla vs. Hedorah, which I made it a point she had to see, we didn't see anymore until the weekend, and because we blazed through everything so quickly, we ended up seeing every Heisei era film as well as the one "Heisei" era film together. And, though we saw it on different sides of the continent, we both saw Shin Godzilla the next day. Later on, we caught up with the MST3k version of Megalon then King Kong vs. Godzilla twice, once just because and again for my Kong Week back in March. That leaves us with 7 left she hasn't seen. That's the entire Alien franchise up until next Friday. Yesterday we managed to catch half of GRA and this morning she saw Mothra vs. Godzilla for the first time, and of course really enjoyed it. She kinda has a thing for Mothra, it's really cute. We got a blu-ray with the "international" versions (typical Sony DVD stuff, international version but with the original Japanese audio track available) of the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, and she's already seen the first (of her volition, of course) and she had almost exactly the same reaction to it as I did the first time I saw it on that subtitled VHS from the indie-video store near the film college in Austin. She loved it. She also stuck around to enjoy some Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster again, and we had an awful lot of fun making voices for Godzilla and Rodan as they goofed around.
    After she left, I took a shower and watched #6-8 as I finished my entry for yesterday, talked to my mom (for like A WHILE), ate some yummy hot dogs, and made a little "banner" picture for my day 1 post. I haven't really been paying attention. I can't shake the constant fear of every little thing that could go wrong. I feel worn out, sore, like the only thing left for me to do is lay down and die. I keep wondering what I'll do when everything inevitably falls apart and I can't continue my monster movie plans. Because I'm being forced to use my digital copies since my, well, everything is still in limbo, I had to go with the Americanization of Monster Zero and Sea Monster (although those versions only contain minor edits with the exception of the Titra dub of GvstSM featuring a cobbled together cold open) and international version (a DVD rip) of Son of Godzilla. This is less than ideal. My digi-goji collection is kind of a hodge podge, so the quality runs the gamut, but it was quite fun to see the crummy recordings as it sort of feels like we're watching VHS tapes as was the original plan. Anwyas, point is that not having to read subtitles makes a movie way easier to drown out, it turns into a sort of podcast while playing in the corner of your eye, but after seeing these movies for the thousandth time even that sort of plays out on automatic and then it fades altogether.
    But it's weird... it doesn't feel like chore like it has at points in years past. It's not that, it's just that it feels... too normal. Double-clicking godzilla.mp4 is not a special occassion for me. I've made playlists of digital-goji-flicks and just let it run in the background while working on other things, this is just business as usual for me. My connection with Godzilla makes it all feel so normal and homey, and as I've discovered since the first Deathiversary, I don't even really NEED to watch these things anymore. It's like I've absorbed them into me and projecting them back onto a monitor just seems so... simple. Deathiversary is supposed to have more OOMPH to it. This is my week to reflect on... well, everything, this is the week I really go at it. But this year? Eh.
    No, this year it's not an event. Because this year Godzilla is not dead. He's back. The big 3-0 comes out this year, next year is 31, then 32, and then? Once the cartoon trilogy is over, I'm sure Anno will be ready for Shin Godzilla 2. Then who knows. Toho is being much more savy with their marketing this time around, and they have to in order to beat Hollywood at their own game, meaning the "Godzilla X Evangelion" stuff is only the tip of the iceberg, and we're already starting to see that. I've been saying for over a decade now that with the zeitgeist so heavily wrapped up in "anime," and what with Toho being a, you know, Japanese company and all, putting Godzilla out into that world chock full of weeaboos who will eat up anything introduces the Godzilla "brand" to an audience that, let's face it, couldn't possibly give less of a shit about Japanese film. It's so simple and obvious and it's honestly shocking to me we have had to wait until the thirtieth Godzilla movie to get one. Oh sure, there is a Godzilla cartoon, but that doesn't count because it's not Japanese. Ugh. I have proof the Godzilla anime works, too: remember when I mentioned Kira is a weeaboo? She loves Madoka Magica. It's not hard to see why after watching the series with with her. An incredibly genuine love story that meanders its way through a bunch of plot twists before it gets to the good part: Homura breaking down in Madoka's arms. I loved the witches so much, the girls are just adorable, the plot twists were inspired but felt natural (up to a point...), but that little moment where Homura says that she feels like she's losing herself, that's what made it work. Because the best art is built from scratch as a way to tell an ultimately mundane story. The best monsters are those who are creative, fantastic ways to tell stories about the real world, and the best "animes" are those that create a self-sufficient comic-book universe just to show how far people will go for love. I've jumped ships at least three times in the paragraph, but the point is, Gen Urobuchi is writing the next Godzilla movie, and it's being directed by those guys from Knights of Sidonia a.k.a. Everyone Blushes a Lot and We Make Up a Sci-Fi Excuse to Have a Transwoman Character Plus The Thing is in it. My weeaboo waifu would have been sold without me around, so it's clear this angle is going to work really well and best of all it's approaching marketing from an angle Hollywood - by definition - can't even fucking touch. Suck on THAT gino 2 2 and gino 2 vs. the actual real King Kong.
    So in effect going through all the Godzilla movies this year is not honing in on the source of my problems, it's not about saying goodbye to... myself... forever... it's the complete opposite. For the next week, my Deathiversary marathon will be my escape from the stress of moving, the stress of (potentially) lawyering up, and the stress of whatever other things will inevitably go wrong in the very near future.  In 2014 what I was writing was legitimate intended to be a suicide note, in 2015 I transcribed half-remembered anecdotes from drunken scrawl written by an angry, sick, miserable bitch who should have been dead for a year, in 2016 it was all I could do to keep it together while my babies died off one by one... but, in October of that same year, leading up to the domestic release of Shin Godzilla, I was... let's say "cautiously optimistic." I was wrong, of course, optimism is not realism, but the 29th Godzilla movie was very very good and I got to see it alongside someone who was actively trying to save me. But that week in early October was still with some purpose... Kira hadn't seen any of them, and I wanted to get at Shin Godzilla fresh not as the first Godzilla movie in 12 years, but as the movie that's going to have its poster placed side by side with Final Wars as if no time has passed at all. Because in the future when we see collages of Godzilla posters and faces and all the rest, they won't depict those long, long 12 years where everything fell apart, where the Zilla apologists became the new "G-Fans," with the BP Oil Spill and 3/11 and Trump, where one of his avatars shriveled up, nursing herself on booze trying to stay unconscious for days at a time. None of that darkness is going to be on wikipedia's list of Godzilla movies, you won't find it on lists of Godzilla suits (well, Shin-Goji was a puppet/CGI deal but you get it) or on fact sheets of run times or directors or Godzilla's opponents. No, when we look at those things, we will only see Shin Godzilla right below Final Wars, in it's proper place on the list, as if those 12 horrible years had simply never happened. I wanted to go into Shin Godzilla with that mindset, not thinking about it as his reincarnation, but as just another chain in his long history, no less, no more. Granted, it was a tall order, but here we are in 2017 and Shin Godzilla is already old hat, and I'm waaaaay more interested in the new Godzilla movie, which we will now once again be getting annually.
    Just like it was before. It's starting to go back to how it should be. For me, this year's Deathiversary isn't some grand festival where I re-examine everything I know about the beast and preach about war metaphors and how we didn't listen. It's about coming home. To get away from the stress, and come home to a no-longer-absent Godzilla, to be so comfortable it doesn't even really matter if the movie's playing or not. Since I first did this three years ago, we have come full circle, and at last I can watch Godzilla movies... almost as if they were nothing more than just movies. And after everything that's happened, that really makes all the difference.


Malyssa, May 10th 2017

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