I'm glad I was finally able to get this story sorted out. It probably needs a rewrite, and it's not one of my stories with a real boffo ending, (Boffo Ending would be a good story title wouldn't it?), but it does have an ending that feels like it works. I dunno, I'll set it aside and read it again later and see what I think.
As usual I had more ideas than I could fit into the story so I made a new file with leftover parts, which I'll probably never do anything with. (One idea I didn't use involved the strike force employing a giant banana-wielding monkey mecha.)
I also created another new story file today. While listening to this week's To The Best Of Our Knowledge, there was a reference made to Karlheinz Stockhausen, a German composer who, a few days after the events of 9/11, said:
Well, what happened there is, of course—now all of you must adjust your brains—the biggest work of art there has ever been.
He of course got a lot of flack and had to try and explain himself. In the show (during an interview with novelist Richard Powers) they talk about whether art in the 20th century can be shocking or terrifying, in the way that it was (for example) during the first performance of Stravinsky's The Rites of Spring, which caused people to riot. And they discuss what Stockhausen meant -- that an artist wants to "transform people with what they do", they want to "create an effect in another person, to send a message, to transform history." Which according to Powers is the same thing a terrorist wants to do.
Anyway all of this got me thinking about terrorism and destruction as performance art, and what kind of villains would think that way. Carnival Act thought that way, but I've since killed him off, so I need to think of another villain of Grandpa Anarchy's who thinks in the same way.
I jotted all of my ideas on this down and saved them to a file called Godzilla Was An Artist.
Also, this is a strange side note, but in searching on "destruction as art", I came across The Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS), which was a 3 day gathering of artists, poets and scientists to speak on the subject of destruction as art. One of the events mentioned:
John Latham constructed three large "Skoob Towers" out of books, which they called "The laws of England", and set fire to them outside of the British Museum.What struck me was that this symposium was held in 1966 on Sept 9, 10, and Sept 11. (Cue Twilight Zone music).