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Today should be a national holiday


It should be a feast with sausage-based foods (i.e. ground hog) and viewing of the Groundhog Day, which is one of the most profound movies of all time. And if you do nothing else to mark this day, you should read Jonah Goldberg’s great treatise on the film. (Yes, even if you don’t finish this short blog post. But do finish the post.)

We’re knee-deep in ancient literature, and it hit me how right Phil is about the gods — the Greek version at least, not the “omnipotent, holy, Creator of the universe and Savior of my soul” one. Phil is deified by his knowledge that comes from having a lot of time and by the fact that he doesn’t suffer the consequences of his actions, even if those actions are multiple (successful) suicide attempts.

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And that pretty much sums up the Greek gods: they are strong but not omnipotent. They know a lot, but they’re not omniscient. And they face few consequences for their actions, although unlike in Phil’s time-loop, everyone else does suffer. Especially in the Iliad, the gods are depicted as petty, vain, capricious beings. Sure, their favorite heroes and mortal children may die, and that really ticks them off, but they suffer no actual harm. (Although when Aphrodite and Ares get dinged by Greeks on two different occasions, everybody cheers. Serves them right.)

Oh, and Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow, which means we might get to see some snow before the winter’s gone after all.

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone!

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