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December 9, 2003

Groundhog Day

by Red Wolf

United States: Proving that weird fundy phenomenon of seeing god in a potato, the latest object they have latched onto is a movie; Groundhog Day. The Museum of Modern Art has included it in it's The Hidden God: Film and Faith, retrospective of religious films.

Don't think that it's just one flavour of fundies who believe that the movie beautifully expresses Christian belief, apparently Groundhog Day crossed all religious boundaries. Rabbis are using it because of its illustration of the Jewish faith and the Buddhists are claiming it is quintessentially Buddhist.

In Mahayana, she [Dr Angela Zito, a co-director of the Center for Religion and Media at New York University] said, nobody ever imagines they are going to escape samsara until everybody else does. That is why you have bodhisattvas, who reach the brink of nirvana, and stop and come back and save the rest of us. Bill Murray is the bodhisattva. He is not going to abandon the world. On the contrary, he is released back into the world to save it...
...The movie tells us, as Judaism does, that the work doesn't end until the world has been perfected, Rabbi Goldstein said...
...Michael Bronski, a film critic for The Forward who teaches a course in Jewish film history at Dartmouth, said he sees strong elements of not only Jewish but also Christian theology. The groundhog is clearly the resurrected Christ, the ever hopeful renewal of life at springtime, at a time of pagan-Christian holidays, he said, adding: And when I say that the groundhog is Jesus, I say that with great respect.

Even Falun Dafa, has used the movie to instruct members in its belief that the spiritual self is not allowed to move to higher levels until it learns from past mistakes. And some Wiccans point to the film as particularly important to their beliefs, because Groundhog Day — the day itself — is one of the four greater sabbats that divide the year at the midpoints between the solstices and equinoxes.

The point we can really draw from all this is that sometimes a movie is just a movie, and the only insight you can draw from it is that there's a good chance it proves there's something in the water in America that causes mass insanity.

Groundhog Almighty - The New York Times, 7th December 2003 (via The Green Man).

Posted in Superstition and Other Silliness at 00:54. Last modified on September 28 2006 at 23:42.
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Comments

1: Posted by: Grammar police | December 13, 2003 1:15 AM

This is absurd; I'm an agnostic/atheist and I loved "Groundhog Day". On this we're in agreement. On the other hand, I can't stand the incorrect use of apostrophes. The following rules should be memorized (and followed!) by every blogger:

  1. Never use apostrophes for pluralization:
    incorrect: rabbi's
    correct: rabbis
  2. Never use an apostrophe for "its" when used as a possessive:

    incorrect: it's illustration

    correct: its illustration

  3. You may find the "his hers its" mnemonic helpful for the second point.

2: Posted by: Red Wolf | December 13, 2003 1:36 AM

Entirely my own fault for fiddling about with cut-and-paste and not checking the reassembled text for grammar oddities, but still, I have no excuses, as I bloody well know the errant apostrophes were wrong. Noted and corrected, although I'm still wondering where brain was when the post was saved. Thanks for pointing out the error, but I have to ask, does the role of Apostrophe Man come with a cool lycra outfit and cape.

Wax lyrical

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