0223 - In which an additional mistake is made. - 2022.01.10
My favourite movie of all time is Groundhog Day. I watch it every February 2nd.
One of the interesting things about GD is how panreligious it is. When I did my year at Tyndale Bible College and Seminary, I had a teacher who insisted that the movie was a parable of Christianity - that the groundhog coming up from the Earth was somehow a symbol for Jesus being resurrected. According to the director's commentary (which I recommend), when the movie was released, Orthodox Jews picketed outside cinemas in support of the movie, because they felt it so perfectly presented the ideals of Judaism. The director, Harold Ramis (who you may remember as Egon Spengler, from Ghostbusters) had a Jewish upbringing, but adopted many Buddhist beliefs from his second wife, and it's easy to see how the cycle of days parallels the cycle of reincarnation, as Phil Connors becomes a sort of bodhisattva.
Of course, the real resonance of the film is less esoteric. As Phil attempts to explain his predicament to the drunks at the bowling alley, he says "What would you do, if you were stuck in one place, and every day was exactly the same, and nothing you could say and nothing you could do mattered?"
And Ralph, the alcoholic, glumly replies "That about sums it up for me".
I've noticed a lot of time loop stories coming out recently - The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, Russian Doll, Palm Springs, Boss Level... and it's easy to see how this may be a fantasy that particularly speaks to a world in quarantine. What would you do, if you had infinite time, but couldn't go anywhere or change anything? What would you accomplish? Who would you become?
Many stories are about a main character growing and changing. Time loop stories, in particular, are about the protagonist learning. Lee is not a particularly self-reflective person, and is still a disaster in many ways, but they've learned that Zoa will show up if a public notice promises it an opportunity, and they've learned that, when you're waving around a kilocred, you have to be faster than your butlerbots.
This is, evidently, not enough learning to be able to do what they want to do, but my stated goal for Forward, like my previous webcomics, is to run for 1000 strips, which means the series is only 22.3% done. Lee may not be immortal, but - for now - they've still got plenty of time.