Ignore Phil

It’s Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow, which in theory is six more weeks of winter.   But it turns out, there are groundhogs that disagree and predict an early spring.      Including one guy who bit a journalist, which I would also do if I were a groundhog on February 2.  So there is reason to hope.  (Mostly I just wanted to post this picture.)

And now I must go watch the best movie Bill Murray ever made.  (Yes, it’s better than Caddyshack.)

 

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30 thoughts on “Ignore Phil

  1. This is (coincidentally) the ONLY movie that I could happily watch over and over again without tiring of it. Murray’s loping stride, his rhythms of speech that always surprise and sound completely improvised, and the irritability of his persona during the first third of the movie are insanely good. I even found I could tolerate some of the other cast members that I have not particularly liked in other movies. Just a gem.

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  2. So #1, Phil’s track record is being right only 40% of the time so odds are that there WON’T be six more weeks of winter.
    #2 If winter absolutely ended on March 21 I for one would be ecstatic. Around here I think we’ll have a good chance be getting snow and/or the dreaded, deadly freeze/thaw cycle into April..

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    1. We’re doing pretty good for February, minimal snow and above freezing temps often enough that snow melts off in a couple of days. But I don’t trust in spring until April. March can be a real bitch here.

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  3. Groundhog Day, the event, is one of those things that made me think that ‘Merica has some truly odd traditions that seemingly cannot be explained by a reasonable assumption made before science taught us better.

    It’s slightly cooler in the mornings here but the days are still hot up to 30°C. Yesterday we had a wonderful storm that made everything look and smell wonderful afterwards.

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    1. The world is full of those. The Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny. The Hogfather. I was reading about somewhere where’s there’s a tradition of throwing cinnamon at unmarried women until they’re covered with it. Do you know how expensive cinnamon is?

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      1. Myth informs or gives rhyme or reason to many unknowns.

        But the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are not part a singular media event. The Easter Bunny comes from the fertility concepts that served the pre-Christian faiths, it was incorporated into Christmas, like the Yule log.

        Many odd things happen at Harvest festival or other fiesta times – chasing cheese down a hill based on surplus. Or fasting during eclipse to appease Gods, which is religious. There are other seasonal practices where superstition is still followed. I think of the herbs and live fish asthma cure in Hyderabad which is supposed to improve health. The reason it is done is because family who administer it says they received the recipe and method from a saint.

        So I meant that an animal looking at its shadow seems pretty arbitrary.

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        1. Argh. Some phrase missing there. I think “Just like how older traditions like it were incorporated into Christmas, like the Yule log.”

          Anti-histamines, y’all. And me dozing because its parent meeting at 2pm today and I need to be there by about 12.30.

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    2. Groundhog Day is actually taken from Imbolc, a Celtic Pagan celebration of the first subtle stirrings in spring (apparently in Britain it starts earlier than in upstate NY). The date is because it is a quarter-cross holiday, falling midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. The word Imbolc is said to mean “in the belly” referring both to the lambs about to be born and also the changing energies in the belly of the earth.

      No idea where the heck they got the groundhog from, though.

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          1. My Zoo’s groundhog died so we used a polar bear this year. I don’t think this was a good thing because it was -2 F when I left for work this morning. No clue on the wind chill.

            Of course I don’t actually know if the bear’s shadow was seen or not.

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      1. LOL, lots of things live “in the belly” of the earth, the groundhog being one. I read somewhere (Wikipedia, probably, so take it with a grain of salt) that it was a European tradition (possibly with another ground-dwelling animal?) before it was ours.

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    1. Right now it is nearly 70 degrees where I live. But I am not complaining since I spent all January driving at night in winter and there’s been either rain or fog or one special night, HAIL to deal with.

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  4. This pay for me thinking about movies I liked, but only saw one in a theater. Groundhog Day can be streamed, but not a movie called “Willow.” I just paid a hefty sum to buy it on used DVD. I hope I’ll still enjoy it. The last time I ordered an old movie on DVD, it was such a disappointment. “Foul Play” with Goldie Hawn. I’m not sure if it’s my sense of humor that has changed, the world’s at large, or both. But oof.

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    1. I don’t tbink the ditzy heroine works as well today as it did in the 70s, at least not when played straight. What’s Up, Doc still works just fine, partly because it’s farce and partly because the heroine is very smart and very effective, she’s just nuts. But a lot of the cute-but-dumb heroines are just annoying now. I still love How To Steal a Million even though Audrey Hepburn spends the whole movie with her eyes so wide open it’s a miracle her eyeballs don’t fall out, and Peter O’Toole takes the story away from her halfway through and she ends up saying, “You’re brilliant!” and following orders and being The Girl, but it’s still Hepburn and O’Toole, and that scene in the closet is probably worth all blue-eyed patriarchal stuff.

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      1. The ditzy heroine bits were actually the least of the problems for me. And she played a heroine who was ditzy, but also brave, a fighter, and could think on her feet. Semi-ditzy, I guess. But the whole scene where she attacks the character played by Billy Barty… oof. And so much more.

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  5. Ditsy Heroines: Bette Midler in Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune with Shelley Long, Hocus Pocus with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. Not so Ditsy: The Rose

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    1. Judy is What’s Up, Doc? is still my favorite. She’s an nightmare, but she’s an effective nightmare. And that movie had Madeline Kahn’s first movie role, too, although I have so many favorite Kahn roles that it’s hard to pick: Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Clue (“Flames! Flames on the side of my face . . .”).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxUaZh_b1Yk

      She was just genius in everything she did.

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      1. Love, love, love this scene. I am about as far from Madeline Kahn as can be, but I steal this quote this so often my kids chime in now. 🙂

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  6. I choose to ignore Phil and follow Thistle the Whistlepig. Not only did Thistle predict early Spring, it is also SO much fun to say Thistle the Whistlepig.

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    1. Wow! What an adorable little thing! Do you know, if they actually whistle? I only ever see the adults in midsummer in the middle of abandoned lots or lawns next to fast food places, munching on grass. Never seen such a tiny one before.

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      1. I’ve only ever seen pictures. I didn’t even know they were called whistlepigs until yesterday.

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        1. There’s a Curious George episode about Whistlepigs, which is the only reason I know about them. Gotta love PBS.

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  7. I’m just tired of the bitter cold. And hoping that we don’t get one of those huge March snowstorms.

    Of course, in upstate NY, even April isn’t a certainty. It has snowed on my birthday on the 28th on occasion…

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