The Blather File

Notes from Beyond the Wall

The movie “Groundhog Day” has entered common American parlance such that virtually everyone knows what you mean when you say: “It happened again, it’s like Groundhog Day around here.”  It of course, means an irrational if not endless repetition of events.

What it does not mean is what the essential matter of the movie (“film” for those who believe there is a difference):  It is has a rather complex philosophical structure — and the implications of the basic premise is original enough to warrant thoughts of existential nature. No not the Sartre/Camus/Heidegger/Kierkegaard form of the term, the rather mundane sort — “pertaining to existence”.

When the world around you stays the same, and you stay the same, physically, but the only thing that changes the entire universe (presumably, certainly for all he knows) is him. When there is no repercussion for anything you do, either good or bad the utter pointless of life, of existence, as he knows it, comes relatively quickly crashing.

One might ask, what has this got to do with budget policy? Not much really, except he finds an escape. What it is, why it happens, if it really makes any sense, not really the point — he does find one. Therein lies the budget law angle. The pointlessness of attempting to fix the budget problems facing the Congress (not the President, not the Judiciary, — the Congress) seem as if the efforts made, endlessly, come to very little. To the extent a law is passed, it is either circumvented, ignored, or just makes things more complicated, which makes the first too even more likely to happen.


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