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Godzilla Getting 'the Dick Drop' Is the Best YouTube Video

Godzilla got fucked up.

The Best YouTube Video is an occasional series where Motherboard searches for the best YouTube video ever made, usually on Friday afternoons right before the margarita alarm rings. Previously The Best YouTube Video: "2 Cool Llamas."

We're all going to die one day. For reasons as yet unbeknownst to all of us, some force will cause enough of our bodies' (we're speaking collectively here) processes to shut down, such that we'll no longer be technically alive, whatever that means. And without life, the unbelievably beautiful antagonist to universal entropy, the soup of cells and weird liquids that we call home will dissolve into the ether, leaving no trace behind, aside from memories left in the minds of equally fragile humans.


It's all kinda fucked up, right? Well maybe not, it's just the nature of things. Regardless, the reality of our own mortality is something that we generally don't think about. Imagine—but just for a second!—a world in which everyone was aware at all times that death is perpetually on the horizon, and that, TV movies aside, we have literally no idea when it's going to come knocking.

The world would collapse. None of us would be able to do anything remotely productive, because we'd all be obsessed with the fact that our lives are more fleeting than anyone realizes. In fact, the only reason the world works at all is the fact that we're willing to push accepting death down to the bottom of our mental to-do lists. Who in their right mind would go to work if he or she truly realized that the end is possibly nigh?

Instead, we'd all spend our days doing whippits and stealing Ferraris, guzzling Mad Dogs and arm wrestling other mammals because shit, might as well live a little while you can, right? The Macbook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013) I'm writing on only exists because an enormous group of engineers, designers, and factory workers all suffered from the same delusion that it's not all going to end at any moment, probably sooner than we think.

We're all just sacks of bones and other junk that somehow works together in a magical way, but could stop doing that at any moment. Does that not freak you out constantly? Image: NLM

And that's pretty great! Deth Sux, as I believe I once sharpied on a t-shirt, and thinking about it all the time is a waste of our magnificent brains. And they are truly magnificent, but not simply because they're the most powerful brains yet discovered in the universe. A large part of the beauty of our minds is based in their incredible ability to ignore the obvious.

(Our brains aren't perfect; as I write this, I can't stop thinking about how I can't stop thinking about how I'm convinced that I'm going bald, and while I know that can't actually be possible—I come from a background of thick, luscious hair—I'm certain that the more I stress out about the fact that I can't stop stressing out about going bald is ACTUALLY making me lose my hair, and I pretty much spend all my time thinking about this while pawing at the back of my head and looking at my hands for any single loose follicles.)


But yeah, we humans are really good at ignoring shit. My favorite example is the shirt you're possibly wearing right now. How often do you think about the clothes you're wearing? You know, like actually think about the fact that you're wrapped in cloth, and that it's constantly touching and not touching your skin. The short answer is that you don't, which is pretty amazing in itself.

We humans, like most animals, are extremely well attuned to external stimuli, which is a product of our evolutionary upbringing. You're able to notice the guy (it's always some guy) breathing on you on the subway because being able to sense slight changes in the environment around you probably saved the life of one of your long-gone ancestors. We all have incredibly refined senses of touch—weird as this sounds, our entire bodies are touch sensors—which helps us navigate our world with the dexterity and deftness that we humans are known for.

So why don't our clothes freak us the hell out? We stop noticing our clothes thanks to a phenomenon known as sensory adaptation. Our nervous system is highly tuned to sense even small stimuli, but it's also built to fairly quickly accept and eventually ignore constant stimulation.

When you rest your hand on your desk to type out yet another email, you only notice you wrist touching said desk for a wee bit, because otherwise you'd go insane with the whole world touching you all the time. Basically, because the world is so FULL of things trying to interact with your five senses at all times, our bodies have evolved to ignore things after we process them, lest we become so overstimulated that we end up unable to even move.


And believe you me, such adaptive behavior isn't limited to our senses. One of the most commonly studied areas of neural adaptation is actually in regards to muscle development. You know, chucking iron and getting ripped. And as any good weightlifter will tell you, building strength isn't solely about getting huge muscles, it's about mentally getting stronger—training your nervous system to put out more effort than you expect, like when a mom flips an SUV off her stricken child.

As DG Sale writes in the abstract of a 1988 review of neural adaptation research:

Strength performance depends not only on the quantity and quality of the involved muscles, but also upon the ability of the nervous system to appropriately activate the muscles. Strength training may cause adaptive changes within the nervous system that allow a trainee to more fully activate prime movers in specific movements and to better coordinate the activation of all relevant muscles, thereby effecting a greater net force in the intended direction of movement.

Basically, we get stronger because we train our bodies to work harder, which is done by more or less ignoring our old plateaus on a neural level. To put it in really simple terms, working out allows you to chuck larger rocks into the Mississippi because you've trained your muscles to forget that they can't.

What it means, then, is that we humans have become all-powerful largely because we've managed to ignore reality. It sounds like a slogan on a snooty marathon runner's t-shirt, but we succeed because we refuse to understand that we can't. That doesn't mean that the world isn't soul-crushing—it certainly is—but the reason we don't walk around all day freaking out about death and ripping our clothes off because they WON'T STOP POKING ME and being afraid to lift heavy objects, but instead go about actually living our lives, is because, at a fundamental, biological level, we simply don't give a shit about the annoying stuff.


Which brings us to Godzilla getting impaled in the crotch by a transmission tower. As my colleague Brian Merchant recently explained, Godzilla's trials and tribulations have mirrored the manmade disasters of the 20th century, and as such is an excellent commentary on the folly of our own hubris, neurologically-coded or not.

Godzilla soared to such destructive heights because it, being an enormous, super-buff monster, does not understand the concept of "no." If we humans have found our success in being able to ignore obvious hindrances to our success, Godzilla's might can be attributed to a fundamental inability to even comprehend the existence of the deleterious aspects of life.

That single-minded incomprehension of limits is how Godzilla found himself flying through the air in the talons (?) of what looks to be King Ghidorah, before being stabbed explosively in the penis area.

It makes me think of Edward Teller, the real-life Dr. Strangelove. Unlike Robert Oppenheimer, who was genuinely horrified by man unleashing the atomic bomb on the world, Teller had a near sociopathic obsession with the potential of the bomb.

While most of us are capable of not perpetually thinking upon the horrors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—there's that adaptive response again—we still recognize that, whatever you think of the merits of said bombings, dropping atomic devices on cities is not something to be taken lightly.

But Teller, having seen that destruction, became fascinated with the potential of atomic bombs to do good, and led a couple decades of experiments into using atomic bombs to blow tunnels through mountains and dig new harbors. It's stunning to look back upon, and stands as an example of what happens when we ignore too much: We risk losing sight of the costs of our own progress.

That's something that we humans risk with every major, world-shaking advancement. Our technological advancement has reached heights humans could never have expected, progress driven by our own sensitization to (and perhaps general boredom with) the now.

But with superintelligent AI and various Terminator scenarios on the horizon, it's also important to remember that our worldview is shaped by a flexible version of reality that ignores bummers at will, lest we charge into the future like Godzilla—and end up getting the dick drop.