The Corner

The Mothra Meme Will Not Die!

Andrew – I can’t let that go. Not that you’re wrong about anything in particular but A) Mothra memes are so rare and therefore should be kept alive B) I thought memes don’t really die C) you overlook an important monster-movie trend.

Let’s concentrate on C. Almost all popular monsters — not just Japanese ones — eventually become good guys. Godzilla was originally a bad guy. Mothra really was a bad monster at first. But even occidental monsters became good — or at least sympathetic — figures. Dracula is increasingly portrayed as misunderstood and not particularly evil. I can’t remember the last time Frankenstein’s monster was a really bad guy. Even Hanibal Lector became a (anti-)hero — as did the Terminator. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, in the Jim Carrey version was a picked-on outcast. What it says about American and Western culture that we can’t keep monsters monstrous is a rich topic for discussion (and one I’ve touched on before) but, alas, there are few giant moths involved.

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