Aloha Frida Motivation | reJoyce for Candlemas Edition | #27
Happy Aloha Friday!
16 June, irreverently dubbed Bloomsday, a nod to James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” set on this date in 1904, and 2 Feb, illustriously known as Candlemas in Europe (later Americanized, Dutch County Pennsylvania style, to Groundhogs day) have significant meaning in the life of James Joyce. “Ulysses” heralded as, possibly, the single most important Modernist work ever, is a modern take on Homer’s “The Odyssey” set in (then) modern day Ireland. Joyce is a divisive author and to wrap your head around his works is, oftentimes, like chewing through shoe leather with no teeth.
Cut to 1993, the release of the (at the time) somewhat critically acclaimed Groundhog Day which recounts the seemingly infinite time-loop of Bill Murray’s character, weatherman Phil Connors, over a single day, which happens to be 2 Feb, until Phil finally gets his act together and becomes a better person (quite subjective if you ask me). If you haven’t seen it, well you are the minority. It is now cemented (at least by Rotten Tomatoes standards) as one of the best comedies of all time. In fact, for those who have seen it, there is a 96% chance that you can quote at least one line from the movie. I made that statistic up, but it feels right. There is a hot debate over how long Murray’s character was stuck in the Groundhog Day time-loop. Further debate is made, mostly over adult beverages, on how one would spend one or many of those days. Of note, today, the cast of Groundhog Day all reunited in Chicago for the first time.
Many movies have tried to capture the philosophical conundrum turned comedic escapades, sprinkled with romance, levity and veritable spectrum of emotions cast by Groundhog Day’s long shadow (sorry had to drop that one in), but only one, in my mind, ever came close, Palm Springs. Be sure to check it out this weekend if you haven’t.
In summation, the one benefit of being stuck in a time-loop, if you were so inclined, would be that you could spend a lifetime trying to decipher the genius that is James Joyce, while listening to the album Rift, by Phish which was released on 2/2/1993. And, if your mind works like mine, 2/2/1993 is actually 2/2/22, because 1+9+9+3=22. It all goes back to Joyce!