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Posts Tagged ‘The 1990s’

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Groundhog is one of my favorite comedies from the 1990s as well as all time. Because the movie which obviously is not believable that a basically normal even narcissistic man like Phil Connors ( played by Bill Murray ) could literally live the same exact day over and over with only Phil making any changes for how his day goes, unless he’s literally dreaming and just having the Hollywood dream of a lifetime. The movie is only about 1:45 minutes give or take, so why couldn’t a man be sleeping have this dream going on his head while he’s asleep.

The movie starts off with Phil who is a selfish unhappy narcissistic weatherman for a local TV station in Pittsburgh, which is a midsize city in a small market, with hopes of landing a job for a big station in a big market like New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, wherever it might be. But instead of getting a job like that he gets another assignment from his Pittsburgh station to cover another small-town event in rural Pennsylvania small-town Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Doing exactly what he doesn’t want to do which is to cover small-town events with small-town people with Pittsburgh perhaps being the biggest city they’ve ever seen in their lives.

And narcissistic Phil sees himself as much bigger than that is unhappy and cynical the whole time he’s there, until he realizes he’s living the same day over and over again. Groundhog Day which is a one day event for everyone else in this town becomes a daily event for him. With no one else realizing what’s going on with him. Because everything else is normal for them. But in Phil’s case the same day starts over and over again every time he goes to sleep and wakes up in his hotel room.

Groundhog Day for me is the opportunity for one guy to live the same day over and over and learn from those experience and try not to make the same mistakes. Phil becomes a less sarcastic, cynical, narcissistic, selfish man as the movie moves along. Once he realizes he’s in the same day over and over with no tomorrows. He also becomes adventurous knowing that there’s basically no consequences for anything that he does. He can literally do whatever the hell he wants because he knows he’ll start the same day over and over once midnight comes.

There’s a scene in the diner where he drinks an entire pot of coffee and eats all of the pastries in the diner while he’s smoking. He robs an armor truck. He jumps off a building. He drives a truck over a cliff intentionally. He drives a car on the train tracks and gets into a police chase and spends a night in jail. Of course, only one night because the same day just starts over for him once midnight comes. He also starts to get involved with his producer Rita ( played by the adorable Andie McDowell ) who doesn’t like him and sees him as an egocentric selfish jerk. And spends each Groundhog Day learning about her and what she likes and is interested in and changes his behavior and interests just to get her to like him.

I prefer movies that are realistic, with great actors, great plot, cover original great writing, with clever wit with a cast that is also witty but can act as well. Groundhog Day has all of that except for the realism. Unless again we’re talking about one man with a really strange dream while he’s asleep that no one else could possibly know about. Groundhog Day is that 100 minute escape from reality when people simply just need an entertaining break and time to escape and is a very entertaining and very funny movie.

Classic Movies Trailer Vault: Groundhog Day 1993- Trailer

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Source: Vanity Fair

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Looking back at it now twenty years later (think about that for a second) the difference between the 1960s especially the early 1960s with President John F. Kennedy and the 1990s with President William J. Clinton, has to do with the internet age and media culture. The personal scandals that Bill Clinton was involved both real and fake in the 1980s and 1990s, aren’t that different in seriousness from the real scandals that President John Kennedy was involved with in the early 1960s.

President Clinton, had a short-term affair with a White House intern. President Kennedy, had affairs with mob girlfriends, women who were still involved with their mobster boyfriends and would then tell those men about their involvement with President Kennedy. Judith Campbell was one of President Kennedy’s White House girlfriends. She was Italian mobster’s Sam Giacana’s girlfriend as well. Bill Clinton while as Governor of Arkansas in the 1970s and 1980s, had an extra marital affair with former model and now writer Gennifer Flowers. Jack Kennedy when he was Senator Kennedy in the 1950s and after he married his wife Jackie, had multiple affairs with multiple women, which continued while he was President in the early 1960s.

So what’s the difference between the affairs that Jack Kennedy had in the 1960s and the affairs that Governor and later President Bill Clinton had in the 1980s and 1990s? Only one difference really which is the media.

If you wanted to watch TV back in lets say 1963, you had three channels to choose from. In some big markets maybe there would be an independent station that wasn’t affiliated with CBS, NBC, or ABC. PBS didn’t even come around until the late 1960s. Forget about satellite, there wasn’t even cable. You wanted to read a newspaper of magazine, you had to subscribe to one and it would be mailed to you physically, not electronically and you would probably get it once a week. Same thing with a newspaper but it would be sent to you everyday. Or I guess you could actually leave the cocoon of your house and get some fresh air and go down to your local convenient store and pick up a magazine or newspaper.

You could also get news on the radio and have serval choices there. Cable TV and satellite, didn’t come around until the mid 1970s. And probably wasn’t universal until the mid or late 1980s. The internet, what the hell is that back in 1963. That didn’t come around until the early 1990s and wasn’t mainstream until 1995. Smartphones unless you include Blackberrys, have only been around since 2007.

My point here is (and yes I have a point) is the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton affair of the mid and late 1990s, was not new at least as far as how serious it was. Yes, both people especially President Bill Clinton who is old enough to be Monica’s father and of course was married, but then the fact that he’s President of the United States having a White House affair with a 20 somethingWhite House intern, showed horrible judgment here and have been paying a price for it ever since. The difference being is that we knew about everything that Bill Clinton was involved with by late 1991 and certainly into 1992 and for his whole presidency, because of new technology and the information age.

No longer just network news, radio, and the newspapers. Not just 24 hour news networks, but online publications (that we call blogs today) Americans simply having the ability to find out everything that they wanted to find out whenever they wanted to by only having a laptop or desktop, or a smartphone. As well as a new media culture that instead is run by lets gets the truth before we put it out, even if that takes longer, is now about having to get something out there before their competitors do, or it will cost them money. Especially ratings and advertising. Not sure that attitude has dominated network news as much as cable news and online publications, but others probably know that better than me.

Not saying the Clinton-Lewinsky affair wasn’t serious and shouldn’t have been paid attention to. How serious it was and what should’ve been the consequences for it, are really up to the people involved especially the people who were directly hurt by it. Most notably Bill Clinton’t wife and daughter. And to a certain extent President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky herself. Not by some religious cult thats from the 1950s and got caught in some Star Trek time warp and suddenly finding themselves living in the 1990s and deciding that since they’re now in the 90s that they’re going to not only bring their lifestyle and culture with them, but try to force every other American to live like them. And of course I’m referring to the Clinton haters that Hillary Clinton correctly labeled the vast right-wing conspiracy.

My point is what happened between Bill and Monica, is not much more serious and consequential if at all to the political and sexual affairs of the 1960s. What made Bill and Monica and different is the time and technology in which their affair happened.

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Source: C-SPAN

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

This is certainly an interesting combo to have Chris Hitchens and Pat Buchanan, on the same show. Hitchens, a self-described Democratic Socialist and Pat Buchanan, would be what’s called today an Alt-Rightist. Someone who tends to be against free trade, multiculturalism, non-European immigration and perhaps immigration in general. Anti-internationalism when it comes to foreign policy and not believing that America should be involved in other countries human rights crisis’s and civil wars. And then you have Socialist Chris Hitchens, who believes that the big central government, should decide what people need to live well. And that the central government should be responsible for a lot of those services. But tends to break away from Socialists when it came to foreign policy and did believe America and Europe, could play a positive role in seeing that people who live under authoritarian regimes, can break away from authoritarianism and even use military force to break those authoritarian regimes. Hitchens was in favor of America and Europe, being involved in the Balkans in the 1990s. Buchanan was against that. They weren’t two men that even though one was clearly on the Left, Far-Left even and the other was on the Far-Right, that you could assume that either would automatically take a certain position on an certain issue.

C-SPAN: The Washington Journal- Christopher Hitchens & Patrick Buchanan in 1993

 

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