02 February 2009

The Age of Reason

America didn't invent Groundhog Day -- this article blames the Germans, though for them any "hibernating animal" would do in the old days -- but I'm sure we persist in the ritual with greater devotion than any European nation. I grant that we've gotten a decent comedy movie out of it, but that aside, isn't anyone embarrassed by all this attention to a dumb creature that doesn't know the significance of its acts? I can understand why Pennsylvanians promote the concept, since it means money to them from tourists, but why does the rest of the country indulge them? Why do TV meteorologists indulge the superstition when it makes them look like cretins? Perhaps it's a mass expression of the great craving for myth that apologists for religion are always talking about, though they don't talk about this one specifically. I don't want to be too hard on poor Phil the Groundhog or his ancestors, but when people attend so religiously to such an oracle, does it surprise you that people question global warming? Perhaps they should ask Phil. He's likely to give anyone the answer he or she desires.


hobbyfan said...

Once upon a time, I actually had some interest in the groundhog's forecast. Then I saw the movie "Groundhog Day" w/Bill Murray, Chris Elliott, & Andie McDowell. The spectacle they have in that little hamlet in Pennsylvania told me just how lame this really is.

Anonymous said...

I could never see the point. It always seems to me that if meteorologist trust a stupid furry critter to tell them what the weather will be, they wasted years of college education.