February 14th, 2012

On Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about Groundhog Day—again

In recent discussions of the film “Groundhog Day” on this blog, I’ve noticed a couple of people questioning why the Bill Murray character would find Andie McDowell’s Rita deserving of all those years of his devotion and energy. For example, “…[W]hat, exactly, made the lovely but, let’s face it, vapid Rita worthy of Phil’s centuries of effort?”

My answer is that he discovered love. Yes, Rita was beautiful, and a good human being with many excellent qualities. But of course she was imperfect, and over the years (centuries? millennia?) Phil no doubt had learned just about all of her flaws. Still, it didn’t matter to him because it wasn’t about Rita, exactly—it was about the fact that, somewhere along the long path of his transformation to wisdom, he finally understood that every person in town, including the ones he couldn’t tolerate at the beginning, was worthy of his attention—and of something one might call “love,” in its broadest sense.

And somewhere along the line to that knowledge, Phil’s efforts in “Groundhog Day” stopped being about getting into Rita’s pants or even getting her to love him, although that certainly took up a larger percentage of his time (and the movie’s length) than some of his other pursuits. But he probably spent at least as much time learning to play the piano (a form of love, too), or to carve ice sculptures, or to become skilled at some of the more mindless and meaningless tricks he mastered, or learning details about the life of almost everyone in town.

Was the old derelict, whose life Phil tried to save over and over and over, “worth it” either? Such questions no longer mattered to him, because the gesture and the effort were worth it, and every life was worth something to him.

Rita, of course, had always been physically attractive to Phil. But as the film (and time) wore on—and on—she became the object not just of eros, but of agape as well. By the end of the movie, I think that Phil had come to appreciate the idea of the theme and variations versus the symphony, which I wrote about here:

And, although walking repeatedly in the same place is very different from traveling around the world and walking in a new place every day, is it really so very much less varied? It depends on the eye and mind of the beholder; the expansive imagination can find variety in small differences, and the stunted one can find boredom in vast changes.

And I submit that love is like that, too. Some people spend a lifetime with one love, one spouse; plumbing the depths of that single human being and what it means to be in an intimate relationship with him/her. Others go from relationship to relationship, never alighting with one person for very long, craving the variety.

It would seem on the face of it that the second type of person has the more exciting time in love. But it ain’t necessarily so. Either of these experiences can be boring or fascinating, depending on what we bring to it: the first experience is a universe in depth, and the second a universe in breadth. But both can contain multitudes.

Towards the end of the film (SPOILER ALERT, if there’s anyone on earth who hasn’t seen the movie yet), right before Phil is liberated from the seemingly endless loop of the repeating day, he makes it clear that he has given up the pursuit of Rita entirely, and immersed himself in his love for her instead. Is this what finally frees him?

48 Responses to “On Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about Groundhog Day—again”

  1. Curtis Says:

    We have come here today to join Valentine’s day and Groundhog day together.

    A lot of noble and deep ideas here, enough for a lifetime of happiness.

  2. Happy Valentines Day « Says:

    […] Neo-Neocon discusses Groundhog Day (the movie) and how it relates to love. “…[W]hat, exactly, made the lovely but, let’s face it, vapid Rita worthy of Phil’s centuries of effort?” […]

  3. KLSmith Says:

    IMO, the answer is yes.

    Neo, I’m sorry I missed your addiction post yesterday. If you would allow me to make a late comment : it might save someone from major health problems.
    If any of your readers have ever wanted to quit smoking and been unsuccessful, I heartily recommend getting some information on e-cigarettes.
    The NYT (h/t Althouse) had an article about them a couple of months ago. Reading it motivated me to look into it. It’s a pretty unique product in that of course you still get nicotine but you eliminate the tars and other chemicals that cause health problems.
    I was a two pack a day smoker for 40 yrs and haven’t had a real cigarette since I starting using e-cigs.
    Sorry I missed the appropriate post but I think this is really a miracle product that could help some people.

  4. F Says:


    I don’t remember ever seeing an English film with English subtitles.

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    My answer is that he discovered love.

    my answer is that the vanity of women and feminism demands unconditional love from all suitors… that is, she has to do nothing but exist. ie. no money, not her beauty, not sex appeal, nothing that he wants he is allowed to enjoy and want… so the only allowable answer is just unconditional ‘love’.

    most womens movies and such fit this formula…

    most of us have no idea of these formula, despite some of them being very common and funny…

    but lets take another film…

    Pretty Woman… he is not supposed to question whether having a relationship with a potentially aids infected hooker is wise… he wants her unconditionally of her past and just accepts her… (oh and makes her even more pretty and desirable and puts her in places where she can be envied).

    Working Girl… what is supposed to be the Brooklyn equivalent of trailer trash ends up ladder climbing through ambition and her misrepresenting herself… then after the fact, all that is ignored and passed over by the suitor, who then defends her and insures her climb… the ending being the scene of satisfaction that her beauty and just who she is, beat all competitors

    in this movie… (groundhog day)
    they play a variation of the “Darcy Rule”

    to quote”

    Named for the Darcy character in Jane Austinís Pride and Prejudice. There will be one character at the start that will seem like the Last Guy on Earth the heroine would want-until she sees his home.

    This home will be
    A) large,
    B) beautiful,
    C) charming, or most likely
    D) all of the above to the point that the home itself will cause the heroine to rethink everything about the guy

    in this case… there is no home..
    but the Darcy Rule of creating the character that would be the last thing the female would be with… then ends up with…

    also.. she is the key to his freedom.. that is.. until he gets it right with her, he has to relive his hell every day… in a rut…

    so thats another myth… that she is the key to his freedom…

    women love their propaganda to always be the same and neat like a package… oh, they may say, for public reasons, that X has to stop and all that… but when you watch, the disapproval is not universal, quite the opposite. and what they complain about is often what hooks them in their flicks…

    their flicks often the equivalent of formulaic porn… just ask penguin press, and harlequin…

    oh… and women who seem to believe the press clippings over reality.. are ALWAYS SURPRISED about these things that are constant in their movies and stories and such that get them to drop their dime..

    there are tons of such rules in her movies to the point you can make them from formulea and just put new fronts on them., and barely update them to politically correct.

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s – innocent girl wrapped up in a very non innocent thing, just wants to be accepted without judgment for how she behaves and her choices…

    Titanic fits the rule that the best men die or are dead… live fathers are always scum… gay men are always primped, clean, fashionable, fun, etc…

    there are a ton whose theme is.. even though i had more sex on friday than Obsinia did all week, i should be loved as a pure vessel… not be jaded… not be deseased… not have any issues from all those others (except if those issues cause drama that leads to the happy ending)

    mostly they just want their emotions jerked around for a few hours to make them feel alive… (feminism tapped into that too)

    another one is that mothers and daughters are best friends… (even kellogs has one taking her pants back to couger her daughers boy friends).. step mothers are evil…

    [edited for length by n-n]

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    sorry too long and the bold went wacko… sigh

    a decline in Russian population from 148.6 million in 1993 after the breakup of the Soviet Union, to 146 million at the beginning of the 21st century, to somewhere bewteen 139 and 143 million today
    The UN Population Division estimated several years ago that Russian population in the year 2025. would continue to decline dramatically, settling in a range from 121 million to 136 million.

    their socialized health care has men dying 15 years earlier than americans

    16 Russians died for every 10.4 babies born, with population declining by 700,000 people a year.

    and their equalizing men and women with such policies we copied, and started back in 1917 with Kolontai free love, no fault divorce, daycare, abandonment to orphanage with no repurcussions, state education, no fault divorce, preference to women for jobs, and all that we have normalized her..

    which resulted in…

    Women on average had 1.34 babies during their lifetime, far below the 2.1 babies per woman considered the replacement rate in industrial societies (the rate to keep population stable) and far below the rate of 2.63 children per woman in 1958.

    the population went up in 1958 because they went backwards on these feminist things and promoted heterosexual family and births and gave tax breaks… but alas.. the changes in destroying the populations lineage to family had resulted in the same thing.

    ie, certain demographic groups.. like white middle class… (Same as there) are below replacement…

    in fact, go to the census site and you can read how this has happened before the planners thought and that the demographic changes for 2050 are happening now… and that the white/jewish populations are overly old (baby boomers keeping numbers seemingly high) and not that many young having babies replacing them (putting off, infertility due to stds, bad socialization cant get along with mates, hatred of mates, favoritism in courts, and on it goes). social engineering, redistribution of wealth, ideological fronts,…

    do the same things, and expect a different outcome… right?

    The causes of the alarming death rate include heart disease, accidents, violence, and suicide — often associated with heavy, sometimes binge, drinking. Smoking rates are among the highest in the world (twice as high as in U.S.). Environmental conditions, especially in the work place, are often poor. Diet is harmful. And the quality of the health care system is often low.

    men have little purpose there.
    so they sit around and drink… or do heroin.. which leads to Krokodil..

    since they are sitting around with no future.. women dont marry them… like here with the mancession… they instead become sexual to get favors while they can…

    so you have this oversexualize female population that uses abortions as birth control, and a population of bored, disenfranchised, incapable stupoforic abusive men to pick from..

    it takes four people to raise a kid there.. mom and dad, and grandparents…

    is it any wonder they load themselves up on dating sites?

    Women outlive men in Russia by 13-14 years, one of the biggest gender gaps in the world.

    read the rest of the article..
    then do a bit of research into the history of these policies
    then go to census and compare….

    dont wait for some newspaper guy to inform you about policies its critical for you not to know about to succeed!!

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    C. Wright Mills

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    F: yeah, I couldn’t find a version of the ending other than that one, with the weird subtitles. I have no idea what that’s about.

  9. davisbr Says:

    …just in case

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: I’m much more familiar with young girls (and women) who feel inadequate and unlovable no matter what they do. Both sorts exist, of course, and everything in between. But feminism is hardly the source of the idea/fantasy that the woman need “just exist” to be loved—it is the basis for most fairy tales, to give just one simple (and pre-movie, pre-feminism) example.

    Plus, if you could write that loving Rita was the key to Phil’s gaining his freedom, I don’t think you understood what my post was about, which was this: learning to love, period, was the key to his freedom, and doing so without thinking about the rewards in the future but just in the present. In addition, he needed to be worthy of love himself (by the entire community, as well as, in the end, Rita). He had to go through a huge transformation to be freed.

  11. Marine's Mom Says:

    Ah, Neo, ever broadening my horizons. Hubby and i watched GD again and, thanks to the discussion on your last post, were much more enlightened this time around.

  12. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    There are three things that are too amazing for me,
    four that I do not understand:
    the way of an eagle in the sky,
    the way of a snake on a rock,
    the way of a ship on the high seas,
    and the way of a man with a young woman.

  13. davisbr Says:

    It’s been a long time since I studied Hinduism and Buddhism, but this retrospect post has recalled some faint memory of those studies to my mind, perhaps worthy of mention on this subject.

    “I am an immortal. I have been stabbed, shot, burned, frozen, and electrocuted …I am a god. Not the god.”

    …let’s start from that Phil Conners quote ….

    Groundhog Day might be profitably thought of as an illustration of the Upanishad concept of karma samsara …and so each of the many repetitions of the single “day” (however indirectly the actual number which may be inferred from the movie) he experiences, represent Phil’s next reincarnation.

    But with a clever – and rather Western twist – to the classic Eastern presentation of karma.

    The law of Karma allows no room for chance or divine intervention as everything is inevitably determined by it. The Brhardaranyaka Upanisad simply sates “By good actions one becomes good, by bad actions one becomes bad”

    Unlike karma samsara as it is usually understood, Phil’s atman (that eternal and immutable substance of each individual being which has neither beginning nor end) does not experience avidaya (ignorance of his previous “life” …which is a gross oversimplification, but sufficient to the purpose here), but rather retains (or perhaps, is “the actual representation of”) his atman consciousness (his “true” self in the cosmic sense …again, a gross conceptual simplification).

    And by that continuation of consciousness every 06:00AM in the movie, he is able to consciously direct his karma.

    In that sense than, Rita isn’t only a woman, and a love interest, but is also a metaphor …Rita represents moksha (attainment …more properly perhaps, release from sansara).

    And as we began, let us end with a Phil Conners quote:

    When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

    (Full apologies to any scholars or practitioners here, for any distortions of meaning I have inadvertently introduced: any mistakes are certainly due to my negligent lack of deeper study …something I can only hope to rectify someday.)

  14. Anne Says:

    I’ve actually never seen this film, but the premise is so intriguing that I’ve been meaning to watch it for a while yet never got round to it.

  15. davisbr Says:

    I would also like to state this simply, and less ambiguously, in wholly Western terms: Groundhog Day implies and depicts the growth of a man’s soul, and the intertwining importance of the originally Greek concepts of love – eros, philia, and agape – in attainment of his soul.

    1 Cor 13:9-13:13

    For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

  16. NeoConScum Says:

    Sooooooooo pumped about my Valentine card this a.m. The Queen, 4’11”–95lb Sicilian Dynamo, did a card herself in that impeccable elementary school teacher way: Front page with hearts & arrows aplenty said: “93% WONDERFUL…7% Pain In the A**!!” Inside double page said(more hearts & arrows): “KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ——-!” Followed by: “I Absolutely Adore You!!”

    I was delighted and touched, naturally, and bellowed,”Honey, I’ve IMPROVED!!”

    Now, about ‘Groundhog Day’….Whateevvveeerrr..!

  17. Roy Lofquist Says:

    Anyone notice that “I’ve Got You Babe”, a song that irritates many, is transformed into an exclamation point for Murray’s enlightenment?

    Lust is good. It’s nature’s way to keep us together until love grows. Ever wonder why older folks are, on average, happier than young ones? It takes time to learn to love where you are.

  18. Otiose Says:

    Nicely put

  19. Gringo Says:

    what is the point about the Wiki link to C. Wright Mills?

    Your ramblings on Russia- interesting.

    Off topic: it is interesting that Dan Smoot and C. Wright Mills were high school friends. IIRC, Dan Smoot called him Charlie.


  20. Nolanimrod Says:

    The real victims of this film that nobody ever thinks about are those two poor bastards who have to spend ??? thousand days being grilled about what happened to that bag of money.

  21. I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism Says:

    >>> The real victims of this film that nobody ever thinks about are those two poor bastards who have to spend ??? thousand days being grilled about what happened to that bag of money.

    They have no memory, so it’s not significant in any way. 😀

    Not that it’s on-topic, but
    What We Lost In The Great War
    An excellent piece from John Steele Gordon.

    >>> he makes it clear that he has given up the pursuit of Rita entirely, and immersed himself in his love for her instead. Is this what finally frees him?

    I would concur. The movie does do a remarkably good job of “maturing” Phil, which is nominally what it’s all about, with the codicil of AD’s commentary laid on top of it, which is that it’s remarkable how much “maturity” in men resembles what is very good for women. As “The Myth of Male Power” by Warren Farrell notes, what men want in life is often denigrated and otherwise looked down upon as immaturity, foolishness, and generally inappropriate, while what women want in life is pretty much always painted as good, mature, and generally appropriate.

    In this sense, AD’s commentary is accurate. Phil’s development DOES follow typical “female-oriented” guidelines. They represent what is best for women in the world. Whether they represent what is best for men is never really brought to the forefront.

    Offhand, I’ve only seen two mainstream movies of which I am aware that really address the male role in society, and the fact that it no longer actually works for men (despite the claim by many that men are the subject of most films) — Fight Club and American Beauty. I’m sure there are some smaller films, too, but their distribution and the attention they’ve gotten are miniscule.

  22. Mac Says:

    This is a great reflection, neo. I would say more but don’t have time. One note about Artfldgr’s (did I get that right?) remarks: I haven’t seen any of the movies he mentions, but I have noticed, for what it’s worth, based on the occasional and more or less accidental glimpses of pop tv shows and movies over the past 10 years or so, that the attractive young female leads often strike me as hugely narcissistic and self-centered. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m old and jaded or if things have actually changed, or how much this reflects real life. For the most part women in the movies of the 1930s-40s-50s don’t strike me this way.

  23. NJartist49 Says:

    This is for Artfldgr: re the Singing Revolution
    The Bee and the Lamb
    by Takuan Seiyo (November 2011)
    The bee in its host

    This video accompanies the essay.

  24. Patrick Says:

    I’ve rewatched Groundhog Day looking for clues as to how long he was stuck, it’s probably a few years anyway.

    I figured the love part was a side effect of him becoming a better person. By the end of the movie he has learned to try to do something each day, live more in the now and not in the future, and of course to be less selfish, and I think that realization is what starts the clock ticking again. I think very near the end Murray says, basically – I’m happy now, this moment – and that was when time started moving again.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    Gringo to Artfldgr:
    what is the point about the Wiki link to C. Wright Mills?

    Several things actually…

    One is that i had used up my length quota. 🙂 to keep explaining and linking and such would only result in the “too long post” weather pattern.

    Two.. people wont read if i comment, but maybe their curiosity might get them to, and maybe they may be able to connect dots…

    [three. i might show some why comment, whether long or not, is required to ‘get’ a point and reducto ad absurdem in size is just as bad as the other reducto ad absudem in meaning… ]

    Mr Mills is one of those many influential people who the modern era, other than elite leaders and such, have completely forgotten.

    much as they have completely forgotten modern feminists soviet roots replacing progressive sex commune feminism of good ol moses, i have brought up before

    I will have to assume that you didnt go to the page… didnt read about him and especially didnt read bout the particular works and where they sit in the history of the actions of the people who choose things for us.

    We are VERY FAST moving to a soviet style state and since we have no EXPERIENCE with it, as long as its not too fast (to wake the bear), and doesn’t show the same front trappings, we wont get it..

    Go ask some ex-soviets!

    its his rhetoric and world view that you see running around now… (among others)

    The Power Elite (1956) describes the relationship between the political, military, and economic elite (people at the pinnacles of these three institutions), noting that these people share a common world view:

    the military metaphysic: A military definition of reality…

    (Most dont understand when the communists talk of fighting the war on the metaphysical level.)

    possess class identity / recognizing themselves separate and superior to the rest of society;

    [sound like the administration?]

    have interchangeability // they move within and between the three institutional structures and hold interlocking directorates;

    [it doesnt matter where they end up in state. so you can appoint a van jones, but if he is ousted.. he is not gone.. he just moves to another place in the structure… so you CANT get rid of him any more than you can get rid of a metasticising cancer… or anyone else… ]

    cooptation / socialization – socialization of prospective new members is done based on how well they “clone” themselves socially after such elites.

    ah.. if the emperor says its a lovely purple horse, those that repeat it are cloned copies of the emperior and known to be part of the team… those that say, purple, that horse is white, are still individuals asserting their realityu.

    so this is why they think they are so superior for parroting things… they are not PARROTING, they are pretending they are two parts of the same thing… and thinking with the same mind…

    but of course, so far, i have heard no one bring up any of this stuff… why should they?

    they are individual thinkers who make up stuff to fill in the gaps, and then dont understand WHY or WHAT is around them. they dont learn from the experienced, and they CERTAINLY dont study or think the not knowing may cost them their lives.

    they trust the farmer to treat the sheep well forever, and that when he takes them away, its to utopia.. not the abattoir

    These elites in the “big three” institutional orders have an “uneasy” alliance based upon their “community of interests” driven by the “military metaphysic,” which has transformed the economy into a ‘permanent war economy’.

    A war economy?

    you mean like the war against poverty
    the war against drugs
    the war of liberation
    the revolution of the people
    the war of sibelous and obama against the catholic church and religion
    the war of the sexes
    the war of the races
    the war of the young vs the old

    see anything having to do with a war based society stemming from socialism to mobilize people to civil war, division and the requirement of the state to lock them down for their own good?

    the banana theory… no?

    The Power Elite

    A main inspiration for the book was Franz Leopold Neumanns book Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism in 1942, a study of how Nazism came into a position of power in a democratic state like Germany. Behemoth had a major impact on Mills and he claimed that Behemoth had given him the “tools to grasp and analyse the entire total structure and as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalist democracy”. (C.Wright Mills: Power, Politics and People, (New York, 1963 p.174)).

    so if you were part of the elite THEN… you would have read this, as you would have read fukyama 10 years ago (or so give and take)


    everyone here is trying to GUESS or work out whats going on… and all you have to do is read what they read and then realize they took musings and such derivative stuff and then ACTED upon it.

    the ONLY way to know is to understand the true nature of the different fronts, what they do, what role they play in the construction site of rebuilding society. you will NOT get to that by reading the ad copy and spravka to manipulate you and sell you on either an outcome that wont happen, or some other tidbit to take a taste of the apple.

    one only had to read the wiki for the name, then follow the link to the books page, and then read what it reads…

    The main theses of the book, as set by Mills, are:

    Historical circumstances have led to the rise of power elite,
    They now make key decisions,
    The enlargement and centralization of means of power increased the potency of the consequencs of their decisions,
    The power elite is much more unified and powerful than the “mass society” (Chapter 13), which is fragmented and impotent.

    yeah.. when man fights woman..
    white, chinese fight black and spanish who fight each other…
    and children fight parents, and so on and so on..

    i would say that we have been divided by a elite who is using that distraction to build power and secure the future for their children, as they OFTEN have many… while their minions and slaves are told to exterminate themselves if they are smart… (and if not they help them along by taking their money, as they are not wealthy enough to protect themselves, and giving it to the lessers to increase their numbers. ie. the elite increase their numbers, the dumb and poor increase their numbers. and the middle is genocided out by demographics and ideological advice)

    Sweet? no?
    [well from their perspective its utopia, from ours, hell on earth]

    try this game on for size..

    The doctrine of the harmony of interests / balance of power makes dissidence appear to be the source of chaos and disturbance.

    by doing somethig wrong to their employers by acting like rulers… they show the balancve of power is to them, and not to the people

    but since they wear a nice kind face, and talk about reaching across the aisles, and how nice it wil be, and how everything they do will lead to social harmony.

    any dissent… like someone exposing the writings of feminist leaders. or claiming that X is socialist… or the tea party…

    instantly becomes the ones responsible for the chaos… this is why the chaotic OWS is not seen as chaotic.. ie. they are all for peace, harmony, humanism, etc… so by this metaphysical definition, they are not the ones causing the problem (but the tea party is)

    and why do so many idiots seem to say what the other idiot says about the OWS?

    bevcause they are cloning themselves to show they are part of that leadership no matter what tht leadership requires.

    [edited for length by n-n]

  26. daxypoo Says:

    phil wanted out

    the novelty wore off all and he wanted was to get to “tomorrow”

    after the failed attempts to get into rita’s pants phil began to see the connection between “completing” the date and getting to the next day

  27. Artfldgr Says:

    Gringo to Artfldgr: it is interesting that Dan Smoot and C. Wright Mills were high school friends. IIRC, Dan Smoot called him Charlie.

    why stop there?

    Our Establishment Church: Its Rules and Credo

    The broad concept was soon adopted by wide-ranging American analysts of the powers-that-be, such as Richard H. Rovere, C. Wright Mills, Dan Smoot, Phyllis Schlafly, Carroll Quigley, John Kenneth Galbraith, and G. William Domhoff.

    Phyliss shafly… the woman that blocked feminists… Dan Smoot..(what character in the movies used that name? anything else about him?)… anyone familiar with the others?

    if you really knew history and politics the answer would be a roaring yes…

    Bacevich concentrates on the immediate post-World War II period of history, tracing the Establishment’s bipartisan “foreign policy consensus” on the Cold War to the present Bush/Obama war on terrorism. He see this as the crucial gestation period, a time implementing “the American Century” of Henry Luce, of the Truman administration’s creation of the National Security State and its doctrine of Containment as a public rationale for global intervention and the military-industrial complex (and George F. Kennan’s, Robert A. Lovett’s, and the Dulles Brothers’ clandestine policy of Rollback or Liberation through covert operations of the OPC and CIA).

    hey!!!!! all those others i talk about.. and the link to the spycraft history and George Kennan who i said to read.

    you see… I cant teach the ignorant about 200 years of history that they dont know, and that also includes similar histories in 100 important states that interweave.

    in a paragraph..

    failure to know where your from
    means that you dont know where your going!!!

    if you dont know a prior location, can you draw a line to figure out what direction your going?

    and THATS the game… always stuck at now, without a history, you have no way to compute the vector

    hows this for a big kicker?

    the Establishment’s rules and credo were sketched on papyrus long before 1948.

    They were put forth by visionary prophets of pelf, plunder and empire fifty years earlier, during the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection.

    A central figure was the sinister Elihu Root, later founding chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, who like his fellow interventionists and war criminals Theodore Roosevelt and Barack Obama, was recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    He was the archetype of the Establishment’s much-abused “Wise Man” category, the mainstream media’s designation of select servitors of power stretching from Root to the recently departed Richard Holbrooke – Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bilderberg group, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, former managing director of Lehman Brothers, and board director of AIG to July 2008 (just before the bailouts).

    of course if you delve into CFR, Trilaterial, and Bilderburgs, your a crackpot who believes in conspiracy (collective action where the other does not know)…

    but of course… why bother to connect the OPEN and easy to confirm dots?

    Before the acclaimed “Wise Men” of the Truman regime came the “Four Evangelists” of an earlier era.

    Led by Elihu Root, his protégé “Colonel” Henry L. Simpson, along with “Colonel” Edward M. House and Raymond B. Fosdick, these little-known four were the real architects of the American Establishment and its interventionist gospel of the Welfare-Warfare State. It is they who wrote its rules and drafted its credo which has transformed the American republic into a squalid and overstretched empire.

    but of course.. who cares..

    you dont need to know who did what, where they got their ideas from, how they behaved, what they believed in, where their children and students are today, and on and on..

    ‘Why does war command a solidarity of devotion that cannot be marshalled for peace?’
    Raymond B. Fosdick, Foreign Affairs, January 1932

    [the creation of the war society is to mobilize the people as in war when not in war to satisfy the above!]

    Raymond Blaine
    Fosdick (1883-1972)

    aide to US General John
    Pershing (Commander of US forces in Europe during World War I) during the Paris
    Peace Conference

    Under Secretary-General for the League of Nations in 1919-1920; [precursor to the one world government UN…]

    nearly three decades of close involvement in the network of foundations
    established by John D. Rockefeller Junior, including as a trustee to the Rockefeller
    Institute for Medical Research, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, the
    International Education Board, the General Education Board and the Rockefeller
    Foundation, and later president of three of these philanthropies, including 12 years as
    President of the Rockefeller Foundation

    anyone know who he is? 🙂

    The Rockefellers are alleged to have been behind Colonel House, who is credited
    with manipulating President Woodrow Wilson into supporting both US involvement
    in the First World War and the subsequent creation of the League of Nations.

    House is the other man on that list…
    see the book: Woodrow Wilson’s Right Hand: The Life of Colonel Edward M. House

    here is more on Elihu Root…

    when you read it, if you read it
    wonder ONE thing…

    why doesnt the public know of such a man?

    [edited for length by n-n]

  28. Artfldgr Says:

    [edited for length by n-n]


    but if people knew the basic history of their own lives and country… i would not have to try…

    and cutting it just means that they wont learn

    and if they don’t learn the con, they cant beat the con… can they?

    in fact… their conversations show that they are sucked into it as the leaders who are friends, meet with others, share children and intermarry…

    are pretending to be good cop bad cop…

    refusing to that is the thing that eli Wiesel wrote about when he talked bout closing the doors on his wife as he sent her to the gas chamber…

  29. Artfldgr Says:

    lets make it easy…
    lets just delete my posts outright…

    when i just give the minumum..
    i am asked to explain
    when i explain
    the answer is cut for being too long

    so.. what to do?

    post minumum and if someone asks tell them thats their problem?

    dont post at all?

    help progressives erase the history by not sharing it? doing the job of the Stalinist by censoring that history and removing it?

    what is the compromise here?

    we are talking about people who have lived in a country and cant even give a basic accounting of people of such weight and worth that they pretend that if they dont know them then their is no real reason to.

    HOW can rockerfellers family not be a critical part of this history when there is a dynasty member in cabinet? or that obamas mom and family were part of the micro loan programs and big oil stuff out in indonesia by these SAME FAMIIES… who owned standard oil?

    there is SOOOOOOO much..
    but even a smattering, which is what the above is… completely concentrated to the point of almost a list…

    is still too big..

  30. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: as I’ve said before, I edit your comments by lopping off the ends, leaving quite a lot of length, actually. I tend to err on the side of allowing more length than is usual. I would do the same for anyone here regularly posting such long comments (or I would, as you say, just eliminate their comments entirely, but I leave most of yours because I think you bring a unique and interesting perspective here).

    My suggestions to you are to frontload your comments with the most important parts, and then to stop when you know it’s getting overlong. Also, to shorten your quotes, and to use fewer line spaces.

  31. Artfldgr Says:

    ok…i will just concentrate my point to names…
    and thats it.. hopefully a list of names wont be too big..

    note that his is only a tiny partial list of the actual history… i have no space to comment on almost all of it.. as its too long,..

    but DO note the interesting end…
    i put in a historical twist and a feedback 🙂

    Henry Tudor, Richard H. Rovere, C. Wright Mills, Dan Smoot , Phyllis Schlafly, Carroll Quigley, John Kenneth Galbraith, G. William Domhoff, Henry Morgan, Rockefeller family, Henry Luce, Sulzberger’s, George F. Kennan, Robert A. Lovett, Dulles Brothers, Soros, Koch, Frederick T. Gates, Elihu Root, Project on the New American Century, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, George Bush Senior, George Bush Senior, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Rockefeller Foundation, IMF , World Bank (Which lead to micro loans to underdeveloped nations – ie, Obama mama), Gary North, Woodrow Wilson, “Wise Men” followed by “brain trust” followed by…
    Richard Holbrooke, Barack Obama, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg group, Trilateral Commission, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Phoenix program, R.W. Komer, Jimmy Carter, James Johnson, Fannie Mae, credit default swaps, David Rockefeller, Payseurs family, Senator John Kerry, Warburg, John Davis, League of Nations, UN (who bought the property and donated it?),
    “Colonel” Henry L. Simpson, “Colonel” Edward M. House (the man who controlled Woodrow Wilson –he also published anonymously Philip Dru: Administrator A Story of Tomorrow (1912), the book by B.W. Huebsch that created the first idea of the TOTALITARIAN administrative state and details how Dru becomes dictator of America, and aspires to create a “comity of nations” that will bring peace to the world and the brotherhood of man ), Raymond B. Fosdick, Jacob Schiff, Kuhn Loeb & Company, Mayer Amschel meeting in Frankfurt (see William Carrs book: Pawns in the Game), Andrew Carnegie, William T. Stead, Cecil Rhodes, Rhodes scholarships, Fullbright, Fullbright scholarships, America’s 60 Families – by Lundberg 1938, Cleveland H. Dodge, Harold F. McCormick, International Harvester, Thomas F. Ryan, Lord Robert Cecil, The Old Savage in the New Civilisation (endorsed ‘a planetary consciousness’ and ‘a collective intelligence.’ 1928 “The assertion of the absolute sovereignty of the state has
    become in our time the supreme anarchy.’”), Winston Churchill ‘Shall We Commit Suicide?’ 1924, Abraham Flexner (permanent world government), Frederick T. Gates…

    if you look up all those names and their histories, AND stay away from tin hat wild areas, you will see a whole lot you never saw before, and see inter connections that no one brings up..

    I will only put up this text from a paper on Fosdick, and perhaps you can see HOW interrelated it is… as those names above seem to have nothing to do with other areas of progressivism, and eugenics, abortion on demand (obama again) and all that stuff.. does it?

    The second program that bears Fosdick’s imprint, but only tangentially alluded to in
    his memoirs and his review of the Rockefeller Foundation, is population control.
    According to Collier and Horowitz, it was Fosdick who had ‘first alerted Junior to
    Magaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood movement and the importance of birth control
    in general.’ Fosdick had apparently discussed the matter with another Rockefeller
    philanthropic acolyte, Beardsley Ruml, then director of the Laura Spelman
    Rockefeller Memorial Fund, in 1925. Ruml had agreed – with what must have been
    Fosdick’s suggestion – they should ‘push the Birth Control Movement in all
    appropriate ways.’ Later, in 1931, just prior to Junior giving Sanger a $5000 grant,
    Fosdick had written to him calling the population problem ‘one of the great perils of
    the future.’201 More funding for Sanger was to come from Junior and his sons, though
    anonymously, and from the BSH from the 1920s through to the 1940s.

    The second program that bears Fosdick’s imprint, but only tangentially alluded to in
    his memoirs and his review of the Rockefeller Foundation, is population control.
    According to Collier and Horowitz, it was Fosdick who had ‘first alerted Junior to
    Magaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood movement and the importance of birth control
    in general.’ Fosdick had apparently discussed the matter with another Rockefeller
    philanthropic acolyte, Beardsley Ruml, then director of the Laura Spelman
    Rockefeller Memorial Fund, in 1925. Ruml had agreed – with what must have been
    Fosdick’s suggestion – they should ‘push the Birth Control Movement in all
    appropriate ways.’ Later, in 1931, just prior to Junior giving Sanger a $5000 grant,
    Fosdick had written to him calling the population problem ‘one of the great perils of
    the future.’201 More funding for Sanger was to come from Junior and his sons, though
    anonymously, and from the BSH from the 1920s through to the 1940s.

    Of course we don’t know this history much
    Sanger is a feminist hero for the protection of a womans right to her body

    Most feminists have no idea of fosdick, moses Harman, and all this history.. its all open, you can go to wiki for each name and read…

    But sangers planned parenthood, was originally the negro project…

    Interesting that we cant know this history because its TOO LONG…
    And our attention spans are TOO SHORT…

    How did sesame street shorten our attention spans? Were any people above or organizations above the people funding such things, like Katherine T gibbs? Andrew Carnegie Foundation? Rockerfeller Foundation? Annenberg Project? Don’t you remember your childhood and the non commercials advertising them?

  32. Artfldgr Says:

    My suggestions to you are to frontload your comments with the most important parts, and then to stop when you know it’s getting overlong. Also, to shorten your quotes, and to use fewer line spaces.

    i agree..
    so what i did was just give a list of the involved, the organizations, and some relationships.

    do note that the list is only covering a short period of last century, there is still 50 years of names and history and organizations to list.. which i wont do

    there is JUST no way to front load it as you say, when just a list of the people related in the subject is too long…

    i hope people will at least pluck names out..

    they might find out that holbrooke in project phenoix did some interesting things in vietnam before he did things for CFR, and worked for lehman and AIG when all those swaps were going on.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Program

    The Program was designed to identify the Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) supporting the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF), more commonly referred to as the Vietcong (VC) and neutralize it through capture, coercion or killing its members. Phoenix Program operations were carried out by the South Vietnam’s National Police, National Police Field Force, Special Police Branch, U.S. and Vietnamese conventional armed forces; and by what became known as the Provincial Reconnaissance Units, or PRU’s

    does anyone know that one of the key people in the meltdown was also connected to the other names and did that above?

    bet not!!!!

    so really, there is no way to clue people THIS far removed from basic history of their own..

    and that list above, does not include frances history, englands history, germanies history, turkish history, europe history, avoids soviet history, etc etc etc.

    talk about being far behind the curve and not being able to catch up even if you had years of vacation time to try..

    even the summaries are too long for the SESAME STREET GENERATIONS…

    their attention spans are too small..
    the self control to get through it all is too tiny
    the temptation of entertainment forces them to avoid unfun learning…

    so… its all moot…
    isnt it.

    as i just proved i cant even share a tiny bit of the history becuse their minds are so devoid of 99% of it that to even attempt to give a tiny smidgeon of it… taxes their abilities and time and such…

    talk about how the names above, and others crippled the mind of americans… as 20 years ago, i could talk to adults who are now dead that DID know that stuff to some degree…

    i havent been posting as much..
    hoping that the stuff i didnt post could be added up so that the long one would last.

    but thats a pipe dream…


    will down edit everything to sesame street leve, the approved pc discussions and just avoid all the history that would help us understand HOW We got here..

    when someone like some of the names above did SO much and are completely unknown…

    thats a big problem for those wishing to know

    have fun…
    cut as you will

    (you do realize that if you made the blog wider, my posts would be shorter? 🙂 just kiddingt..)

  33. Gringo Says:

    Artfldgr to Gringo

    I will have to assume that you didnt go to the page… didnt read about him and especially didnt read bout the particular works and where they sit in the history of the actions of the people who choose things for us

    You are correct that I didn’t go to the Wiki page. You are not correct in assuming that without Wiki, I knew nothing of C. Wright Mills. I have two of his books on my shelves [Power Elite and The Marxists], and have read/skimmed other books he wrote.

    Family friends knew C. Wright Mills from university days. (Re he and Dan Smoot being HS friends- I picked that up from my own reading years ago, not from the family friends.) One of the family friends lent me Mills’s Listen Yankee when I was in high school. Some years ago, I revisited the book, after I was fairly knowledgeable about Cuba. From the revisiting the book, I made two conclusions. 1) Mills does a good job of promoting the Fidelista case. 2) Any promotion of the Fidelista case involves selection and omission of relevant facts, which means that any promotion of the Fidelista case becomes propaganda. Since Mills wrote a book which shilled for Castro, I decided he lacked integrity. That is, he was just another bullshitting sociologist. Is there any other kind?

    After revisiting Listen Yankee, I did not open another Mills book.

    For a good debunking, albeit somewhat dated, of the Fidelista case, Google “Renaissance and Decay,” with the quotes. (spam-o-meter ate the link)

  34. davisbr Says:

    artfldgr (and others) –

    …this might be a useful suggestion for formatting and previewing your comments.

    Hotair has a preview tool for their commenters.

    The nice thing about the Hotair preview tool is that all the usual html tools they use correspond to most of the ones here at neoneocon (neo has “extras”).

    If you write your comment in a Hotair comment box (or copy it from your text editor to their comment box), you can easily add italics, bold-faced, links, and quotes, use the preview to see what the comment will look like …and then when you’re finished with the edit, you can just copy the whole thing here and paste it in. (And just close the Hotair tab.)

    Writing comments that way kind of gets around a bunch of formatting issues we’ve discussed, and is easier to format & link. Plus it only adds a minor step or so to the process, too.

    For long comments, it’s almost invaluable.

    Works for me.


  35. Daniel in Brookline Says:


    You have a lot to say, and a lot of it is very much worth the saying, and worth the reading. (I won’t say all, because I rarely have time to plough through your longer comments. I enjoy hanging out at Neo’s place here, but I do also have a full-time job, a wife, and five kids, not to mention other hobbies besides reading blogs.)

    But you write at great length, with sometimes difficult-to-follow formatting and punctuation and spelling. Our gracious hostess spends her own valuable time formatting what you write, as a favor to you and to her other readers (in that she’s making the reading easier for the rest of us, thereby making it more likely that your words will be read). This, of course, is her perfect right to do; it’s her house, and she can set whatever rules she likes. But in response, you sarcastically asked why she didn’t just cut your comments altogether.

    Perhaps that doesn’t sound like ingratitude to you. It does to me.

    I would suggest two ideas for your contemplation; like all my suggestions, they’re worth every cent you paid for them. One, try to comment on just one topic at a time. It’s a lot easier to read, and who knows, you might just find them easier to write.

    And for your writings that are just too big to cover in five-paragraph-essay format, I truly think you should get your own blog. Blogger.com is free and extremely easy to use; so are several of its competitors. (I note, for the record, that artfldgr.com is available for purchase, as are .net, .org, and many of the others; mydomain.com will rent ’em to you for ten bucks per year.) Write however you wish, as long as you wish, in your own territory… and post links here, e.g. “Funny, I was just writing about that [link] here [/link] on my own blog; have a look!” (And your commenters will have their own say, if you choose to let them.)

    In short: there’s no need to complain that this borrowed soapbox is too small or too restrictive, when soapboxes are free. Go ahead, have one.

    Daniel in Brookline

  36. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    In re Groundhog Day, by the way — yes, I love the movie too, in spite of the too-common theme that it’s men who need to change, not women. (In fairness to this movie, Bill Murray has a nearly endless amount of time to grow and change; Andie MacDowell has one day.)

    My wife commented similarly about “Nine Months”, a chick-flick with a similar unconscious theme; the guy has to turn his life inside out, to his girlfriend’s specifications, while she makes no changes for him at all. (Too bad, because it’s a great movie in many other ways; the scene with Barney the Purple Dinosaur makes every parent in the audience start cheering.) No doubt further examples abound.

    Are there movies that show the converse, in which the woman must change to meet the man, who is not expected to change at all? Certainly, but they’re largely of a different era, and can be difficult to watch today. “Carousel” comes to mind — sorry, Neo — with its explicit support of wife-beating.

    I’m trying to think of a recent movie in which a man and woman were BOTH expected to change, to evolve towards one another, to make their lives work together. At the moment I’m not thinking of any, although I’m sure they must exist.

    That makes me wonder — although homosexual love stories are not yet thick on the ground (and I’ll admit I’ve not seen very many such), does this issue exist for them? Is one person expected to change for the other? And if there’s a definite femme vs. butch dichotomy, is it usually the same one who changes? I don’t know, but I’m curious.

    Daniel in Brookline

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Daniel in Brookline: there is such a recent movie (where the woman must change to be worthy of the man), but it’s a pretty raunchy one: “Bridesmaids.” I watch so few movies that I’m not aware of the plots of most of them, but my guess is that there are others.

    And also, I’m somewhat puzzled by this idea that “Groundhog Day” is about Phil changing to be worthy of Rita. It’s more about Phil changing to be worthy of any human relationships. He’s pretty much an unpleasant misanthrope.

  38. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I’m afraid I started the theme that Phil had to change to be worthy of Rita before Neo rightly and richly pointed out that I got it flat wrong. By the end of the film, Phil has recognized that everyone in Punxsatawney is worthy of acts of love — even the little brat who never thanks Phil for catching him when he falls from the tree.

    As for tales in which women must change to be worthy of men, of course they’re out there. I don’t have time to come up with a good list and would certainly agree that it’s a rare theme in contemporary film — but just look at fairy tales — for instance, the Hans Christian Andersen tale, modernized not so long ago by Disney, of “The Little Mermaid” who must painfully exchange her tail for legs, give up her voice (in the original tale, if not in Disney’s version) leave the ocean world where she belongs, and move to the world of men to gain Prince Charming.

    But why does sacrifice have to be gender-specific? Doesn’t love usually require both partners to compromise some aspects of themselves for each other? Either partner may make the mistake of giving up too much and end up wounded and resentful. Or, with better luck, both may end up enlarged and exhilarated, having gained more in exchange than they lost. We won’t escape compromise by getting stuck in gender wars, blaming everything on women (see artfldgr) or on men (see, for instance, practically every commercial on TV). In Groundhog Day, one of the basic messages is that love may arrive when we ask ourselves to grow — learn to play the piano, sculpt ice, change tires, catch brats falling from trees — rather than blaming The Other for everything about ourselves that isn’t just right.

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    Mrs Whatsit: bravo!

  40. davisbr Says:

    @Mrs Whatsit As for tales in which women must change to be worthy of men, of course they’re out there.

    I’m gonna step off the cliff and say it’s pretty much untrue to suggest that men are the only ones who have to change to win the girl within this movie genre.

    (I do understand that if you’re a guy who is pretty much allergic to romantic comedies, or “chick flicks”, you might not be conversant enough with the genre to be aware that reliance on self-change to win the other person, is pretty much gender neutral in movies of this category …and that it’s the script which is the basis for whether the guy, or the girl, or BOTH have to go through some changes for the story’s development.)

    …like these (favorites of my wife and myself), and presented in no particular order (and as I’ve provided links, I’m not including a synopsis):

    The Holiday (Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jake Black) …trailer.

    The Lake House (Sandra Bullock, Keenau Reeves) …trailer.

    Must Love Dogs (Diane Lane, John Cusack) …trailer.

    Life or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie, Ed Burns) …trailer.

    Mostly Martha (Martina Gedeck, Maxime Forste)…foreign, subtitles …clip …and trailer.

    No Reservations (Katherine Zeta Jones, Aaron Eckhart) …trailer. (English version of Mostly Martha)

    Overboard (Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell) …trailer.

    The Proposal (Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds) …trailer.

    Runaway Bride (Julia Roberts, Richard Gere) …trailer.

    Somethings Gotta Give (Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson) …trailer.

    You’ve Got Mail (Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks) …trailer.

    Two Weeks Notice (Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant) …trailer.

    Shall We Dance (Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon) …trailer.

    Ramen Girl (Brittany Murphy, Toshiyuki Nishidi) …trailer.

    Under the Tuscan Sun (Diane Lane) …trailer.

    In most of the above movies, the story was either primarily about changes the female character had to undergo, or where it was necessary for both characters to change).

    …and actually, as I was compiling this list (which is pretty much made up of movies that my wife and I both enjoy), I came to the conclusion that it’s more rare within the genre for the movie to be about the guy winning the girl, rather than either the girl changing, or both changing.

    I can pretty unequivocally say that it’s a very rare “the guy is the only one who has to change” movie, that makes it to the Davis’ favorites list.

    …and this is just a short list. I could easily add maybe 50 more movies to this list where it was the primary female character, or both characters, who experienced change as an essential part of their characterization and/or of the storyline (and it’s almost always a prominent back-story).

    (Also, within this genre, I would find it much more difficult to come up with an equivalent number of movies where the story line was about the main male character being the only one who had to change. That said, A Good Year with Russell Crowe(…trailer), is a personal favourite where the man changes.)

    Hmm. Actually, thinking on it as I write, I’m pretty convinced that the common feature isn’t about “necessary” character development at all …but rather a successful story-line is more likely to be about “endearing” character development. And the primary thing that both my wife and I enjoy about this genre, is whether when all is said and done, the story has impressed us as being endearing.

    …and last, I’d add that any of the above movies makes for fine, light entertainment of an evening.

  41. davisbr Says:

    …oops. Probably too many links. My [previous, last] comment is awaiting moderation neo ….

    [from neo-neocon: fixed!]

  42. davisbr Says:


  43. davisbr Says:

    …and of all the movies I didn’t include, this is one I inadvertently skipped (and just forgot while I was editing, especially as it’s such a lovely – and obvious – counterpoise to Pretty Woman).

    Notting Hill (Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant) …official trailer 1 …and official trailer 2.

    …yeah, I probably could go on for hours.

  44. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    What a great list, davisbr. I haven’t seen most of them but they sound like exactly the kind of stories that Mr W and I also enjoy. Another light romance where both must evolve: “When Harry Met Sally.” And also fun and endearing, though I can’t remember if anyone evolves at all: “Green Card.”

    On a more serious note, you asked earlier about stories in which both characters must evolve toward one another, and I thought of “Children of a Lesser God.” I haven’t seen it in years and may be remembering more than was there, but I seem to recall that the point of the story was that both partners had to leave behind their own worlds — his, the world of the hearing, hers that of the deaf — in order to find each other.

    And Neo, thanks.

  45. davisbr Says:

    @MrsWhatsit –

    It’s been years since I’ve seen Children of a Lesser God too …oddly enough, I was describing the movie to my wife a couple of weeks back, but couldn’t recall the title.

    So: I thank you very much.

    The film whose-title-I-could-not-recall at the time, had come up during a conversation we were having about Mexican food (don’t worry, it will eventually make sense).

    We were driving around while conversing and searching Yelp & Urban Spoon and trying to find a good Mex’ eatery (me driving, her searching, both talking) in our newly adopted hometown of Spokane (fruitlessly, as it turned out: good Mex’ cuisine wasn’t apparent, that day at least, as I’m a[n ex-] Californio with nuanced chile tastes LOL).

    The indirect gambit to the film was my relating to my wife an old anecdote of an [equally] older friend of mine – Jack S_ – who had formerly been head chef at a wonderful local Mexican restaurant – Garcia’s – in Arcata CA, in its heyday. And though years before we formally met, my wife knew the restaurant well also.

    Jack’s wife was deaf, and she’d been my introduction, as it were, to the concerns and mores of the deaf community (I still recall her answer when Jack asked her about a visit she’d just returned from …she signed “My fingers are so tired from talking” …I was having dinner with them that evening, and 30 years later I can still – almost – taste Jack’s chile relleno …Jack had also tried – in vain, sad to say – to teach me its rudiments).

    From the faint memory, I related to my wife how very good Marlee Matlin – an actress my wife was not familiar with – had been in the film, and that I recalled it had been her premier performance.

    Hence the round-about conversational connection to the film through a deaf actress, Mexican cooking, and William Hurt …as we’d only recently seen his film The Accidental Tourist (which is also an example of a male character changing) …and as I’ve been a huge Bill Hurt follower since seeing first seeing him in Paddy Chayefsky’s Altered States, Body Heat with Kathleen Turner, and The Big Chill – and many others, including Children’ – from so many, many years ago).

    And you’re correct: Children of a Lesser God certainly is a sterling example of a both male & female character development.

    …and as for When Harry Met Sally, of course! Another of the Davis’s favourites of the genre, and one I’d meant to include but forgot while editing.

    …and yet another thank you, as I’ve added your suggestion Green Card to our viewing list (and from the trailer, Andie McDowell seems particularly suited to her role in this movie).

  46. Ymarsakar Says:

    You’re going into even deeper inspection of these issues than even I could have imagined, Neo.

    One reason why I like Japanese anime is the number of interesting and sometimes outrageous settings and plots that are created to test the decisions and judgment of the numerous interesting characters in that world.

    In Groundhog day, the element was time manipulation. A sci fi notion, if anything else. But not about science or even science fiction. It was about what humans valued, not what technology needed to work (techno babble).

    If you download Brandon Sanderson’s podcast about all things writing, which has gone on for several years now at a certain website, you can hear many interesting conversations about what makes good writing vs bad. Good writing that comes from focusing on characters and how they grow to become heroes or fall to become villains, is always going to be more interesting than some dry description about the world and its elements. While some people appreciate dry dissertations on the elements common and different to species of the world, other people just don’t care. And those other people compose the majority of the human market.

    Btw, I have always heard about the title “Groundhog Day” but the title seemed so um, what’s the word, insipid, that I never really looked into it. I thought Groundhog Day was about… Groundhog Day, you see. Some thing about golf, holes, and animals digging holes. That’s why I hadn’t seen this movie, until the last few years or so. Also, I was feeling a distinctively anti-Hollywood bias then, which blew up into a full blown anti-Hollywood containment procedure these days.

    My suggestion to Art is to write everything he wants in a notepad or memo pad, then reread and cut out all the parts that were just fluff or tangents that weren’t important to the central issue. This is a rewriting skill authors either like or hate, but they learn it if they write enough.

    Neo’s blog has progressed to the point where she no longer has a “small” loyal following where everyone’s comments are unique and interesting. Thus it takes a substantial amount of time to go through the comments, and many people simply only want to read certain people’s comments or subject matters. Because there’s no way to simply collapse a person’s name, they can’t simply scroll through your comment, Art, because it’s long. If they scroll too fast down, they can skip even reams of shorter comments left by others.

    In that line, Davis BR has a useful point to make. Both in reference to the karmic cycle as well as to the issue concerning Art.

    I’ve said before that I’ve been in Art’s situation before, so I know the difference between people who complain just because, and people who are able to offer up something that can help the problem. They’re not just complaining, they actually have an idea on how to solve the problem they are pointing out. I don’t tolerate the former, the people who think others exist to give them stuff for free. I do encourage the latter, however.

    My other recommendation for people who wish to make a lot of points and have “a lot” of references is to do one of two things. Either state the premise and then all the conclusions, first, and don’t bring up the sources at all unless somebody asks about it.

    Or, make a synopsis for each source link, that’s like 1-4 lines. Then make a conclusion based upon that, at the end. Then you can title each comment based upon which source you wish to discuss or describe further. All the sources should be at the front or the end. Not in the middle interspersed everywhere. For citations and sources to be in the middle of a “paper”, that requires things like foot notes and bibliographies. The internet isn’t cut out for formal writing of that nature.

    Going back to karmic cycles and GH Day, my analysis is that change is one thing, positive change is another. It’s one thing for a male romance involved character to go from stupid to beta male, than it is for that person to go from stupid to alpha male. The protagonist in GH Day exhibits many of the traits found in alpha male positions. Basically, he has the respect and trust of those in a community. He has personal connections to many people, and thus is not out to try to buddy up to get a “sex friend” with one girl, while ignoring everybody else. This is why women often find men who are confident, but married and not available, more interesting than men who are still young, obviously interested, and not married. Basically, if you have a woman, that at least shows somebody thought you were worth it. But if you have no one and you’re trying to get close to a girl, and the girl sees you as a stranger, then to her you have either unknown worth or zero worth. But anyways, not a thing to bet on.

    Alpha male positions, thus, provide many different pieces of evidence for other people to see and say “yeah, that guy has value and social status”. Many people part of the “hook up” scene may perhaps try to ape alpha male personal traits, such as hiring a wing man (or girl) so that they go into a social place having an attractive woman on his arm. That woman then goes off and perhaps talks to other women that may be interested in you, or you do the talking, but she may or may not come back to give you any advice, depending on how well you are doing on the dating scene. This is then hiring an “escort”, but not for sex, just as a status boost to make other women pay attention to you. But it’s still illusionary, aping the qualities of a true alpha. A true alpha already comes to parties having every woman, married or not, around them following him around trying to make conversation, asking for favors, talking about fun things, etc. He doesn’t need to “stage” it.

    And with that, we’ll end it on this note. If you haven’t seen GH Day. Go and buy/rent/download it from some place.

  47. Hope Change Says:

    Thank you, thank you for posting about Groundhog Day. Love, love, love this movie.

    The writer of th script says in an interview that people of all kinds of religions and backgrounds write to him and say, “that’s just what I believe.” True love. “Is there anything I can do for you today?”

    Hey, and also, has anyone mentioned the Japanese (and first) version of “SHALL WE DANCE?” It is awesome — and the cultural issues IMO are so much more poignant that this could be in the United States, because there is nothing considered unsavory about ballroom dancing here, or at least by no means to the extent is apparently is in Japan. Beautiful film, beautifully done.

    Thank you, neo-neocon, for your cultural, artistic, heart-centered blogging. It is wonderful to read.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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