Could Godzilla Raise Awareness About The Threat of EMP?


For The Daily CallerMatt K. Lewis writes: Take it from me: The new Godzilla movie is an utterly forgettable film. Unless you are a huge fan of the genre, don’t waste your time or money. By now, much has been written (pro and con) about this. But if there is one interesting thing left to say, it’s that the movie might (depending on your perspective) either raise awareness — or trivialize — the threat of electromagnetic pulse.76

“More Americans will learn about EMP — even in the flawed sense of being temporary — from Godzilla than from all the RAND studies and panel discussions at CPAC.”

— Grover Norquis

Before we continue, I suppose it’s important to discuss exactly what an EMP — which some believe could cripple civilization, sending us back to the stone age — is:

A few years ago, USA Today put it this way:

Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines.

One could make a good catastrophic film based solely on the premise that terrorists could utilize this potential to cripple America, rendering all our technological advances utterly useless. In Godzilla, of course, this is merely a part of a larger plot. And as Slate’s Forrest Wickman explains, there are stylistic reasons why this works:reLegend3a

 In Godzilla, the monsters often arrive in an eerie silence because their supercharged bodies function like an EMP, shutting off all electronics in the area. This is an old trick of Spielberg’s: In both Close Encounters and in Spielberg’s 2005 War of the Worlds, the aliens do the same, shutting down everyone’s electronics prior to their arrival. In Close Encounters, in particular, this is used to famously eerie effect, shutting down [Richard Dreyfuss‘ character] Neary’s car and radio before the aliens finally pull up behind him. Even in Jurassic Park, in which the dinosaurs do not, unfortunately, have any EMP capability, they still emerge from behind electrical fences in the midst of a complete power failure, just like the monsters in Godzilla…

In Godzilla, EMP also serves as a sort of deus ex machina to help explain the military’s impotence (it literally causes planes to fall from the sky). So there are many good reasons why this mostly bad film was smart to employ this device…(read more)

The Daily Caller

One Comment on “Could Godzilla Raise Awareness About The Threat of EMP?”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet For The Daily Caller, Matt K. Lewis writes: Take it from me: The new Godzilla movie is an utterly […]

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