Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why We Root for Godzilla

Human beings fear the monster. But we also love the monster. The monster, personified by Godzilla, has an enduring magnetism for many of us. Why do we love the monster so?

In between tastings of Lamole Chianti Classico and Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris de Cigare and over a period of days, the image and idea of Godzilla has been slowly resurfacing, much like the monster does in the movies when he comes back up from the depths of the sea. Lurking, seething, totally unfiltered and unrestrained, Godzilla is the ultimate badass. Moreover, Godzilla is old-school, and Godzilla gives each and every one of us tacit permission to embrace old-school ways.

His approach is straightforward. I’m coming to get you.

How, you are saying to yourself about this time, does this interweave with anything on the wine trail in Italy? I was hoping you’d ask.

Godzilla, for all his feral and unorthodox ways, offers a way in today’s obfuscated wine world. Godzilla represents clarity of approach, a simplification, a Zen-like stroke of the sword, cutting to only that which is essential. No IPad, no texts, no Reddit, no Tumblr, nothing peripheral. Just the straightforward approach.

And while Godzilla is a little sloppy in that he leaves a swath of detritus and destruction, one never interprets it as an anger driven passage. Godzilla has simply found the simplest path to his goal. Something many of us, with our technology, our PowerPoint, our endless meetings and presentations, could take a lesson from. What do you wish to accomplish? What must you do to get to your goal? What is the simplest, quickest way to get there? What are you willing to sacrifice to get there?

Mind you, Godzilla does not traverse unopposed. He has forces that rally against him. There are people who don’t want to see him reach his goal. And Godzilla has really never reached his goal. His is a process of arriving but not quite ever reaching the Promised Land. Isn’t that really our story too? I could think of a thousand Italian wines and winemakers who could identify with this. Perhaps with a little less flare and fire, but the forces are similar.

What inspires me about Godzilla is his intractable determination. Which one of us has not felt empathy for this creature, when it seemed the cards were down for him? I would always root for him, my badass buddy. I know Godzilla. There is a Godzilla in every one of us. He is the warrior, the toppler, the closer. How can you not love this creature?

Think about this in your daily life. What is it about Godzilla that can inspire me towards my goal? How can his example make me a better winemaker, a better salesperson, a better writer? You want to sell your Italian wines in America? Embrace your inner Godzilla.

The possibilities are endless. Even for those of us on the wine trail in Italy.

written by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Ah, yes, the classic WWGD, What Would Godzilla Do? Destroy Tokyo is the only true answer.

The original Godzilla, the Japanese film from the 1950's,, showed Godzilla being created because of radioactive material dropped in the ocean. Godzilla represents the sensible fears the Japanese had about everything atomic. Godzilla actually represents our fear of the future, how the unknown can destroy us. But, oh well, everything is open to interpretation On the Wine Trail in Italy.

But if you're going to write self-parody, Alfonso, where does that leave me? WWGD?

Alfonso Cevola said...

Ron, in a post-Fukushima world, it appears your theory about the Japanese fear of anything atomic was not widely regarded in Japan. I prefer to think of Godzilla as the proto-typical blustery American who blazes on, leaving death and destruction in his path, but determined nonetheless.

Manifest destiny, indeed! The real question, imo, is WWMD (what Would Mothra Do?)

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