Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day Sucks

Quick note; If you're looking for Caption This - and I'm hoping you are - please click here. I felt the need to rant a little this morning. Hope that's OK...
Sorry, I just can't get into the whole Groundhog Day thing. Sure, it was the basis for a wonderful, and indeed iconic, movie starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, but that's a discussion for another day. As the new week dawns, small towns in a number of North American communities are looking to their bizarrely named groundhogs to predict how much longer winter's going to be sticking around.

To the whole "six more weeks of winter" silliness, I say humbug. The sad truth is a bunch of drunken folks - typically old white men, go figure - wearing ridiculous clothes scare the dickens out of a poor rodent in a badly staged attempt to keep tourist dollars flowing to otherwise forgettable corners of the world.

If you stick around till the credits finish rolling after the average film, you'll notice the now-standard claim about "how no animals were harmed during filming." Something tells me the same kind of thinking should apply to this ridiculous annual charade.

I guess I'm a softie for the furry set. Punxsutawney Phil, Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam and their ilk would be better served sleeping out the winter, happily snoozing in whatever warm place they managed to find before the snow flew.

Your turn: How would you feel if you were rousted from bed in the middle of the night and held by the scruff of your neck in the middle of a huge crowd of morons? Am I being silly here?

This just in (8:49 a.m.): All three of the aforementioned varmints have apparently seen their shadows. I know this because every media outlet in the region is pumping out breathlessly worded breaking news alerts.

I'm curious about the news judgment, as this morning's paper chose to put news of our mayor's husband's DUI arrest on page 3. Tim Best, who owns the downtown Friday Knight Lights restaurant (I wrote about it here) is married to our mayor, Anne-Marie DeCicco-Best, and stands accused of hitting two cars in two separate incidents on the 401 Saturday night, sending one driver to hospital. The suspect fled both scenes, and was finally caught by police after a foot chase.

And what went on page 1? Discussion of tonight's city council debate about a possible deer cull.

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

18 comments:

carli said...

Little mostly-unrelated not-so-fun fact: During filming of the movie Flicka, two horses died, and so the message at the end of the film had to be altered to say that all animal activity had been monitored, as clearly they couldn't say no animal had been harmed.

And yeah, Groundhog Day is stupid. Not as stupid as Valentine's Day, since we don't waste our money for the Groundhog.

Katney said...

I am waiting for the sun to come up to see what Hanford Hank has to say about it locally. I don't think they roust Hank out of his burrow for the event, though.

And actually, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't, then spring will come in about 42 days.

Hmmmm. You do the math.

kenju said...

Yes, it is pretty stupid and I don't know if the predictions are on the mark either. This year, I sure hope not!

Mojo said...

Roust me out of a sound sleep that way and I will not be held responsible for the consequences.

Honestly, I find most "observances" like this pretty silly. Perhaps mildly interesting from a historic standpoint, but the history behind them is usually pretty silly too.

Sandi McBride said...

I haven't paid attention to Phil's predictions since...well, since never...I have to be reminded why February 2nd is important, and I don't give a rip for February 14th either...just another day to make school kids cry because they didn't get as many valentines as others...crass commercialism all...
Sandi

Kevin said...

"How would you feel if you were rousted from bed in the middle of the night and held by the scruff of your neck in the middle of a huge crowd of morons?"

Wasn't this also a scene from Animal House? "I, state your name, do hereby pledge allegiance to the frat..."

Fraulein N said...

I've always thought that Groundhog Day was pretty goofy. Aside from the potential cruelty factor, how do they KNOW the groundhog has seen his shadow? They can't very well ask him. I can't get my cat to look at her shadow; I doubt a groundhog is much smarter.

bobbie said...

I have always felt sorry for Phil, and thought the whole thing was pretty stupid anyway. Leave the poor thing alone to do whatever it is that groundhogs do - oh yes. They chuck wood, don't they? How much wood does a woodchuck.... etc.

DNLee said...

Oh, no! Say it ain't so.

Groundhogs Day is the BEST!!!! It is one of the few North American calendar celebrations of wildlife and ain't that grand.

Check out these 2 great Ground hog day post, maybe they will get you in a better mood about Groundhogs Day.

http://mls-serc.blogspot.com/2009/02/citizen-science-groundhog-day.html
http://urban-science.blogspot.com/2009/02/its-marmota-monax-day.html

Happy Groundhogs Day!!

Daryl said...

Personally I think the whole ritual is a joke .. hello .. its February and in the NE spring doesnt even peek its sleepy head out til end of April .. I will leave the math to you and this February baby is going to keep her boots, hats, gloves, scarves ready

sage said...

They could rustle this groundhog out of bed, but only if I get to be held by Andie MacDowell... otherwise, I'd bite into one of those gloved hands with my razor sharp teeth

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I've never went for Groundhog Day at all. The media is indeed hilarious these days.

barbie2be said...

we are currently enjoying temps in the high 60's - low 70's in san jose CA. 6 more weeks of winter? bring it on!

Wendy said...

Nope, I don't think you could make this up if you tried!!!
I think the reason the groundhogs saw their shadows was because the sun was out. Duhh!

I agree - that charade with the ridiculously clothed men and one poor little furry guy who was enjoying his nap - sucks!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Mayor Ann-Marie- Decicco-Best-Skinner-McLure-Mahosaphimapephalon will be in the local M.A.D.D. parade with Barney Gumbel this year.

Chief Wiggums

Mel Fraase said...

Hmmm, thought I had commented on this, I think my computer is flaking out.
Groundhog Day movie: pretty funny
actual day: not so much
It's so cold around here that winter and spring won't come until late April anyway. Thats why those Groundhogs don't live here!

I, too, question our local paper's front page judgement. A moose in someone's in-town backyard should hardly trump a plane crash, right?

sister AE said...

I thought of you when I heard on the radio that the poor beastie they hauled out in New York city ended up biting Mayor Bloomburg on the hand! Then I heard myself saying, "city boy!" oops, was that out loud!?

I have no problem with the idea of Groundhog day, but yanking a live mammal out of a cage is just stupid.

Thanks for the space to rant...

tom ato said...

I just saw this years later of course.

Look, Phil is being taken care of probably pretty damn well (its rough out there in the wild) and only has to play a dancing monkey for a movie once in a while. So, on everything holy, please save the PETA rant. Until man accepts his place as the dominant predator and THEN accepts the responsibility for it, better things would occur for all involved. But before THAT can happen, those changes must occur in the mirror first and blogging about pseudo animal cruelty while embracing technology (aka Apple tech zealots) and consumerism that leverages slave labor, while playing the good ostrich, well...that's just disingenuous.