Friday, February 02, 2007

Groundhog Day

Well, yesterday was Groundhog Day. A chance to find out how rodents react to the sun and a reference to my favorite movie. That's not entirely true. Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Chris Elliot and all my dumb friends is not really my favorite movie. I have dozens of favorite movies. Casablanca, Duck Soup, The Shop Around the Corner, Swingtime, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, any movie with Jet Li, ET, who fucking knows. I love movies. But there are those movies that I wll watch no matter what and weep copiously no matter what and Groundhog Day looms large among them.
It wasn't on.
Not on any channel.
My friend Willa said what the fuck is up with that? They show it all through Christmas week but today no Bill Murray? No angels in the snow? No chance at redemption at the beginning of the stupidest month of all? A month that seems to be designed by chumps. You can barely remember how to spell it. It's short. It's cold. It takes longer than any month in the world except maybe May in San Francisco but I don't live in San Francisco I live in the New York metropolitan area and it's the living, breathing, embodiment of hell. No. Purgatory.
Purgatory. A lamented Catholic state that should be brought back with bells on. Purgatory. It's just cold. It rains. It snows. You don't have any fun. Oh, there's the Super Bowl, a horrible media event concocted by chowderheads in the NFL that subverts everything great about football. They put it in a dome or the sun for God's sake! Football from late November to January should have snow and ice and fog and rain and men covered in mud looking foolish. No dice.
There's Presidents Day. A made up holiday to get out of two good holidays celebrating two great Presidents. Washington and Lincoln and gluing them together so they are joined at the hip with Grover Cleveland Alexander and Franklin Pierce and George Bush and US Grant who was a good general but basically ate shit as a president.
So all we do in February, unless you live in Arizona and only old people and curmudgeons and people from "the new southwest" live in Arizona, is freeze your fucking balls off and wipe freezing sleet and rain and snow off your face slogging to work every fucking day of a month that is only technically sort of sometimes 28 days long but seems to last till the end of time. Sometime in early January in New York Willa was complaining. She was coughing and sneezing and it was 50 degrees. She said it's "the bad air". Well, the motherfucking bad air is gone for good and even though the ice caps are melting and no one will be sunning themselves on the slopes of resorts in Switzerland in 75 years it's still just like winter always looked. Nasty. Brutish. Short.
They have Fashion Week now in New York but all I can see is armies of down. Men and women swathed in immense cloaks of puffy material sniffling and trudging slowly in brutish weather.
You'd think I could at least watch Groundhog Day. You'd think I could get some small chuckles when Bill Murray doesn't step in the puddle or when he hugs the oafish insurance salesman but you'd be wrong. All the tv programmers in the world are thinking about the great commercials for the Super Bowl. They're talking happily about K Fed or whatever dopey dot com company is willing to bet the farm that they'll drum up biz by being mildly controversial while we're all downing beers and falling asleep before Peyton Manning crushes the Bears and snow devours the world.
February deserves better. Put the Super Bowl on at 1:00pm. Let the Bears win on a snowy day in Soldier Field. Let Bill Murray hear Cher just one more time and please God, please, find a way to change the wind patterns around Madison Square Garden so that it doesn't resemble the Antarctic even in April. If we can't get that then I'll settle for Jesus coming back for the resurrection; but that seems a way off too.
With luck and seven or eight weeks my opinions and the global climate will have changed. Please God hasten spring. Oh. Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow which means the bad air will be back relatively soon.
In a better world the savior would have been born on February 15th or thereabout and you would get holiday gifts and light trees and treat each other with kindness. In this world we have to wait till he was crucified or whatever and it's Spring. Just a little while. Courage.

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