Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Are you ready for some baseball, even though it's 5 a.m. CST?

Get excited, baseball fans! (Even though it's 1:58 a.m. here on the East Coast.) Baseball is T minus four hours away, and how! (It's too late... I don't know what that means.) Opening Day is upon us! (Well, not exactly. It's not Opening Day, capital O and capital D -- MLB's not advertising it as such, preferring instead the phrases "Opening Dawn" and "Opening Series" so it can save "Opening Day" for what has become a sports holiday in America: the return of baseball. That will have to wait for March 31.)

This bears repeating: baseball is here! (Yes. My late-night schizoid voice agrees.)

It took months of negotiations and an 11th hour clearing up of confusion, but the first games of the Major League Baseball regular season are going to happen shortly from the Land of the Rising Sun. This will actually be the third time the Tokyo Dome has hosted regular-season baseball games -- the Mets and Cubs opened their seasons in 2000, and the Yankees and Devil Rays visited in 2004.

As this is happening in Japan, it's inevitable that someone -- probably us -- will make mention of Godzilla. Which makes me wonder: is that sorta kinda politically incorrect? Racially insensitive, perhaps? The concept of Godzilla is a byproduct of the nuclear age, with the monster as a stand-in for a nation's fears of nuclear holocaust -- which, unlike Western fears of the same thing around that time (capital N, capital H, as the science fiction writers and pamphleteers would have it), wasn't at all fanciful or abstruse, as the witnesses will tell you. I shouldn't even need to mention that the original Godzilla is a literal reincarnation of the atomic bomb, having been born out of American nuclear tests.

Of course, Godzilla has transformed over the years, losing its symbol of "death, destroyer of worlds" (Bhagavad Gita's words, as quoted by Robert Oppenheimer and mentioned in this excellent article from The Revealer), turning first into a generic monster that fights an oversized gorilla and then protector of mankind, prompting someone to muse, "Godzilla is inside each of us" (there's some really profound meaning in that, I'm sure, but it's 3:05 a.m. now and this discussion will have to be postponed for another time; real quick, though: I think that the character -- who is Japanese, of course -- is saying that the people of her generation are all descendants of the nuclear age, and those implications include death and destruction, sure, but also a second story of recovery and redemption). Ultimately, if you ignore these deeper meanings -- God forbid an American director ever gets his hands on yet another reincarnation of the lizard -- what you are left with is pure kitsch, like Miss Atomic Bomb herself.

Anyway: more Garamon, less Godzilla. Unless Garamon's supposed to represent the H-bomb, in which case, we'll just stick with making fun of King Kong.

1 comment:

  1. I hate Opening Day in Japan.

    my thoughts at http://ifyoulikeititmustbeterrible.blogspot.com