Summit Up 4-5-11: Where Godzilla meets reality
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that is wondering what happens to the fish when you dump radioactive water into the ocean. Do you get those three-eyed things like on The Simpsons? Does it all just sorta mix into the ocean and spread out and not be a big deal? Do some of the radioactive (caution: carelessly tossed-in scientific term only vaguely remembered from high school chemistry class) isotopes drift to the bottom and infect clams and oyster, which later grow to great size and, in an eerily ironic twist, destroy Tokyo?We’re not sure, but radiation in the ocean is what we’re reading in the news and, we have to say, we’re a little concerned about it. At the very least, it’s going to put us off our typical Tuesday evening ritual of eating fugu (poisonous blowfish with Japanese overtones), because, hey, even if you get around the critter’s built-in poison stuff, you’ve still got the potential for radioactive dyspepsia. And we’re pretty sure no amount of peppermint tea can make that kind of tummy ache go away.Those of you out there old enough to remember watching those old Japanese monster movies from the 1950s and 60s no doubt remember that much of what was going on there had to do with radioactive stuff. And that’s understandable, since Japan had a real problem with this around the end of WWII, as some who recall their history may know. And it makes us wonder if, after this latest round of radioactive scariness in Japan, it will lead the way to a new batch of ridiculous Japanese monster movies.That, in our view, would be a bit of a silver lining on all of this. Because even if we look at these films now and realize how truly awful they were, when we were 10 – back in the pre-Star Wars era of special effects that weren’t all that special – it all looked real enough to us. And we never stopped to contemplate the fact that the reality behind Godzilla wrecking Tokyo was a guy in a suit stomping on a bunch of models.We were, we should hasten to add, at least cognizant of the fact that the lips of the actors didn’t quite match up with their English words. But the rest? We ate it up. And really, it was all about the story, wasn’t it? Mothra, the giant caterpillar that was summoned to do good by a pair of eenie-weenie Japanese ladies (and who appeared in later films following his metamorphosis as a giant and benevolent moth); Rodan, the flying pterodactyl-like thing; Monster X, with the three heads; Gamera, the giant turtle that flew with jets that came out of its leg holes; ultra-cheesy Ultraman; and of course Godzilla (and Baby Godzilla), who had radioactive breath and a really, really bad temper.Good stuff, we miss it!***OK, Random Ric writes in to say this: “In official reports, professional communications and research papers doctors and lesser medical personnel (The Randomizer holds LMPs in high regard BTW) refer to it as a natal cleft. Said natal cleft is apparently a necessary design by-product of a stability enhancement system enabling us to walk upright with ease and should not be filled in. Possible improvements: stick a tomato plant down there so as to divert attention, use camo paint to break up the outline or perhaps just hang a bag of banach or lavender potpourri. Me, I’m just going to ignore it; maybe go with a nice rosemary and wild fennel rub for special occasions like funerals and dates with celeb-utantes. As Chuck Berry said: ‘If it ain’t busted man, don’t mess wid it.’ Whatever you do don’t print the rest of this. I think I’ll get out the scooter, stuff my lap dog in the milk crate on back and cruise on over to Bed, Bath and Beyond and see what kind of potpourri they have. Oh my I feel so pretty, so pretty and witty and wise. Heysoos! I just can’t get that song out o’ my head now.”Sorry Ric, but the material was too rich to leave on the cutting room floor! We have no idea what you’re talking about, but keep it comin’!***So thanks to Silverthorne wildlife photographer extraordinaire Bill Linfield for sending over these swell snake-being-eaten-by-a-hawk shots. If there’s one thing we love, it’s that nature, tooth & claw stuff. Show us a National Geographic documentary where the crocodiles are nailing the wildebeests and zebras as they try to cross the river, and we’ll be glued to the couch the whole time. Our favorite all-time image was in one show where this giant bullfrog eats another frog, and since it takes a while for him to swallow it, we see the face of the frog being eaten as it contemplates the inevitable.And so we imagine that’s how this snake felt as he was grabbed by the hawk and taken up into a tree. For a little while there, he was still alive and knew what was coming – and that there really wasn’t a whole lot he could do about it. Fortunately, we guess, his little snake mind wasn’t too severely tormented by things he hadn’t said to his loved ones, novels left half written or anything like that. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. We out.
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