Rhetoric in Popular Culture

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Rhetoric in Popular Culture

  1. 1. SIMULATIONAL SELVES, SIMULATIONAL CULTURE IN GROUNDHOG DAY Dee Menear Fall 2013
  2. 2. WHAT IS SIMULATION?  An experience that is self-contained within its self. Video Games are a simulation.  If a sword were used in a video game, it is not an instrument that can be felt but we know it is a cutting instrument to be used in the game and not to a real sword.  When the game is shut off that world is left waiting for it to be turned back on again.  Self-contained worlds can be repeated again and again giving us copies. The reset button on a game gives you a repeat. 
  3. 3. SYNOPSIS Bill Murray plays TV weatherman Phil Connors who will report from Punxsutawney, PA about the emergence of Punxsutawney Phil.  Connors is a self-absorbed man who has entered a ‘loop’ of repeating one day of his life over and over. Simulation. 
  4. 4. CULTURE AND RHETORIC Connors self- absorbedness can be found in most Western cultures.  Simulational natures of Western cultures are significant.  Connors repeat can be viewed as a sign life today.  The more digitally connected, the more unaware of the real world.  Theme parks put people into their world; unaware of the world around them.  Work, school, family are all secluded worlds which there is some separateness from other worlds. 
  5. 5. LIVING THE SIMULATION Connors continues to relive the day over and over, never experiencing anything new.  The alarm and the radio wake him up at the same time playing the same song every morning.  He grows angrier every day at this.  Rhetoric in these scenes is a sign of the cycles in life. Though they may not repeat as Connors has, our culture has rigidly adapted to schedules and cycles.  Work and family schedules  Train/Bus schedules  School calendars 
  6. 6. LIVING THE SIMULATION  Connors and the groundhogs shadows are a constant presence. Groundhog Phil’s shadow is a symbol of never ending winter cycle.  Connors shadow is a symbol of the never ending cycle of his life. Connor’s cycle helps him to know every detail of the day. He is able to save people, help people and eventually turn his selfishness into selflessness. 
  7. 7. TEACHING AIDE AND ‘RELATIONSHIPS’  Simulation is a sign of something that can be real.      Weather simulations help predict weather. Aircraft simulators help train pilots. Cars are simlations. They parallel park for us, drive for us and back up for us. Conversations through text and email are simulations of interpersonal conversations. Facebook can be a simulation of real-life relationships. We can expect simulations to be a sign of our culture and to be aware of them in order to be more aware of the world around us.
  8. 8. IN THE END  Phil Connors gets the girl, wakes up to February 3rd and lives happily ever after. Resources: Clip Art – www.dreamstime.com Excepts and ideas from – Rhetoric in Popular Culture, Chapters 4 & 8

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