Let’s start today with the ratings for Friday’s UFO programming. Ancient Aliens was close to its week-to-week and year-to-year average. The first new episode of the fourteenth season drew 1.3 million people, with a 0.26 rating among the advertiser-covered demographic of adults 18-49. It ranked seventh in the cable ratings for Friday. Unidentified, the To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science UFO series, debuted with 1.286 million viewers and a 0.22 rating among adults 18-49, retaining most of its lead-in’s audience and outperforming most of the other shows that have followed Ancient Aliens over the past ten years in that regard. It ranked eleventh among all cable shows airing on Friday. But don’t despair! Both were outdrawn by HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home, which had 1.6 million viewers and a 0.29 rating among adults 18-49. So, in the hierarchy of American life, lottery fantasies easily outdraw mind- and soul-shattering “truths” about time, space, and reality.
The ratings for History’s UFO shows dwarf the puny 440,000 who watched the return of Ancient Aliens’ onetime lead-out, America Unearthed, in its return to TV on the Travel Channel last week. But as we wait for America Unearthed to take on Ancient Aliens in an episode devoted to ancient astronautics, it might be amusing to consider how our favorite fringe themes recently showed up in a high-profile monster movie.
In the new movie Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the giant lizard is given a new origin story. According to the film, Godzilla was worshiped as a god by a lost civilization that is obviously meant to parallel Atlantis. In the movie, scientists trace Godzilla back to a sunken civilization. Its ruins are in a Classical style, and the scientists in the film compare them to those of Greece and Egypt. While the underwater city isn’t named, we learn that Godzilla’s movements beneath the waves may have sent the city to the bottom of the ocean, paralleling Plato’s fantasy about Atlantis vanishing in a single day and night. [Update: At least according to an article I read about the movie and Atlantis, since I have not seen a movie in a theater since my son was born; I understand that the article may have taken some liberties with interpretation.]
The movie also plays around with the idea that Godzilla and other giant monsters, known as Titans, were worshiped as humanity’s first gods, a concept that echoes H. P. Lovecraft’s use of monstrous otherworldly creatures as humanity’s earliest gods in the Cthulhu Mythos stories. Indeed, one of the Titans, Ghidorah, hails from outer space, just like Cthulhu. It probably goes without saying that when Godzilla returns to the underwater city where is worshipped as a god in order to hibernate and recover, he is basically acting like Cthulhu in R’lyeh.
As with other high-profile science fiction films like Prometheus, Alien vs. Predator, and 10,000 BC, it seems that when depicting ancient history, we can’t quite break out of the Lovecraftian/fringe history mode when trying to create a suitably epic vision of prehistory. Individually, there is nothing wrong with using this fantasy to create an entertaining story. It is fiction after all. But collectively, the growing number of big movies that allude to ancient astronaut or lost civilization claims becomes a bit worrisome because they have a collective propaganda effect of normalizing extreme ideas.
6/4/2019 10:28:08 am
I'm not sure where you got that Godzilla was responsible for the city being underwater. I've seen G: KotM twice, and I don't remember that at all. I'm pretty sure the city is in that cavern because of the "Hollow Earth" theory (little relation to any real world Hollow Earth theory) mentioned in Kong: Skull Island and G: KotM. Basically the earth has tunnels and caverns that explain how Godzilla and other monsters stay hidden and move around so quickly.
6/4/2019 10:46:38 am
Don't forget that Lovecraft co-authored "The Mound", a story about a vast underground civilization.
6/4/2019 06:15:30 pm
Thanks for all the backstory.
6/5/2019 12:16:32 pm
"Wasn’t Godzilla awakened/transformed by a nuclear bomb test?"
6/4/2019 11:09:11 am
You are forgetting the "Planet X" connection. If, I remember correctly, Ghidrah and Mecha- Godzilla came from another planet. A planet in opposite orbit of our Earth on the other side of the Sun. These Invaders arrived in Flying Saucers, and wearing sunglasses. Godzilla is eventually taken to Planet X for battling Ghidrah.
6/4/2019 11:17:08 am
As a matter of curiosity - do you know which author started the Planet X nonsense? It's only a recent thing.
6/5/2019 12:28:55 pm
The Planet X in Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965) was not connected to any real world belief in a Planet X, but was part of 1950's and 1960's trope of using X to stand for something strange and mysterious. Most directly, the screenwriters were probably influenced by movie The Man from Planet X (it features some plot similarities to Astro-Monster), but other titles from the era are X the Unknown, X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes, and The X from Outer Space.
6/5/2019 03:14:22 pm
6/5/2019 05:14:32 pm
AW, sounds like Ambassador Magma, known as Space Giants in English speaking markets.
6/6/2019 11:23:23 am
6/4/2019 12:33:06 pm
"we learn that Godzilla’s movements beneath the waves "
6/4/2019 02:19:21 pm
Planet X/Nibiru silliness goes back to good old Zachariah Stichen, popularized by Nancy Leider from incorrect data and evidence following the ousting of Pluto as planet 9. By 2012, when alleged planet was said to come, nothing happened, and it turned 2013 with no explanation from Lieder or others.
6/4/2019 03:59:47 pm
Gamera got a similar origin story in the 1995 reboot: a product of Atlantis, designed to fight bad monsters.
disco, disco, disco dance machine
6/4/2019 09:33:43 pm
The Japanese word “Godzilla” literally translates into a combination of the words for “gorilla” and “whale.” But Godzilla looks nothing like either a gorilla or whale! WTF?
6/5/2019 12:40:00 pm
"Gojira" doesn't translate to anything, it's written in the Japanese katakana alphabet, used for foreign words and made-up names. It has long been an article of faith among people writing about Godzilla that Gojira is a portmanteau of "gorilla" and "kujira" (whale) and that it came from the nickname of burly stage hand at Toho, but that explanation has come to be seen as unsupported folklore. The only thing we know for sure is that producer Tomoyuki Tanaka chose the name Gojira, and we don't have any documentation that explains why he did. Frankly, he probably chose the name because he thought it sounded cool.
It is very typical to display Atlantis in classical style, although this is (a) not logical, since Atlantis is described as a non-Greek civilization, and (b) it is directly against the words of Plato, since Plato describes the building style of Atlantis as "barbaric".
6/9/2019 01:58:19 am
Hello Accumulated Wisdom,
6/12/2019 02:50:03 am
Hello T. Franke,
When it comes to mathematics in Plato's work in general, maybe this is the best:
6/12/2019 03:19:47 pm
6/18/2019 01:19:34 pm
Surprised no one mentioned the Seatopians and their underwater civilization of Mu from Godzilla Vs. Megalon but then everyone seems to want to forget that movie.
7/29/2019 07:00:39 am
Really informative stuff that you have shared with us. Actually, i am searching about watches and landed here as i have a plan to change my current watch. According to LG, you can purchase smart watches both in the store and on the Internet in twelve countries: USA, Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Australia, India, Japan and South Korea. In another fifteen countries, the model is now available only from retailers; among others, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore and New Zealand are named. Earlier, on July 1, it was reported that the LG G Watch would become available in Russia in parallel with the LG G3, and they could be purchased at least at Svyaznoy stores. At the moment, in the online store "smart watches" are present with the note "The product will soon go on sale," the price is 7 990 rubles (~ $ 228). If you believe GSMArena.com, then in the US LG G Watch are sold at a similar price - which is good news. And do not forget about the protection against water and dust - in the asset compliance with IP67. I note that the LG or Seiko Watch http://www.rafiqsonsonline.com/product-category/seiko/ sports accessories can not be attributed, the lack of a heart rate monitor. The latter looks altogether strange - I have had the opportunity to communicate with representatives of brands “in the subject line”; there is an opinion that the subject of wearable electronics will ultimately be reduced to medicine. And here the company will win, which will be the first to create a full-fledged service of remote monitoring and issuing an intermediate diagnosis - in fact, something like replacing a personal doctor. Thanks
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