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Simulational Selves,
Simulational Culture in
Groundhog Day
A Review of Chapter 8

Monday, December 9, 2013
by N
athan
Davis

Monday, December 9, 2013
Simulational, defined:
The term simulational refers to an experience
that is contained within itself. The signs that are
w...
So.. What does simulational
mean?
Simulation is when a person participates in an
experience that is highly controlled, in ...
Examples of
Simulational
Experiences:
Monday, December 9, 2013
Video Games

Monday, December 9, 2013
Theme Parks
Monday, December 9, 2013
Spectator Sports

Monday, December 9, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013

Shopping Malls
Movies
Monday, December 9, 2013
Cru!es and
Reso# Vacations

Monday, December 9, 2013
Traits of
Simulational
Experiences:
Monday, December 9, 2013
Traits of Simulational
experiences
1. Simulational experiences are heavily
dependent on technology.
State of the art in 19...
Traits of Simulational
experiences
2. You can experience the same thing multiple
times within the Simulational “world.”
It...
Traits of Simulational
experiences
3. Simulational experiences can be highly
addictive..
This should do it...

Monday, Dec...
Traits of Simulational
experiences
4. The simulational
experience has become a
common trait of
industrialized capitalist
c...
Brumme specifically
mentions...
the U.S

Monday, December 9, 2013

Japan.

Western	 Europe
In order to summarize Chapter 8, let us look
at the 1993 hit movie
Groundhog Day
staring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell

...
Groundhog Day is a movie in which a narcissistic
weatherman named Phil Connors and his new
assistant, Rita are assigned to...
“This film suggests that many of us are Narcissus and in danger
of falling into that pool. Using the rhetoric of simulatio...
Let’s break it down and see
how very much this movie
demonstrates the idea of
simulation

Monday, December 9, 2013
Phil is told he will cover the story of
Punxsutawney Phil. He makes it clear
that he has done this job numerous
times befo...
Phil, the weatherman, even before living his loop in
Gobbler’s Notch, lives inside a simulation. The work
he does is tell ...
that’s sad.

Monday, December 9, 2013
Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, comes back
year after year even though the event has been
going on longer than any groun...
Phil Connors starts the movie off as a pretty
distasteful character. He is arrogant and rude; he
treats everyone, especial...
Now, recall that Phil Connors is reliving the same day,
groundhog day, over and over again.
Everything about each day is e...
Phil goes through many iterations of his daily
loop. Early in the movie, Phil becomes excited
about having no repercussion...
We don’t seem to have a sense how long
Phil is in his simulation, because the film
only highlights specific parts, rather ...
As the movie progresses, Phil develops a
romantic interest in his producer, Rita.
Unfortunately for Phil, Rita is not attr...
What did the five
fingers say to the face?!

Monday, December 9, 2013
That is okay with Phil, he has
nothing but time to try to win Rita’s
affection. This turns out to be a
harder task than Ph...
As we watch Phil sometimes squander
and grapple and sometimes succeed in
winning Rita’s affections, we are
reminded that P...
As the film progresses, we see Phil, who is
desperate to be released from his
everyday life, fill his days with mindless
a...
Phil begins to realize that his winter
won’t ever end. The only way it will end is
if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow...
After, comes a kidnapping (of the
groundhog), a police chase and a string
of suicide attempts that give him no more
relief...
We, as audience members, on Rita’s
suggestion that his simulation might be
“happiness,” might be swayed into
thinking so, ...
Phil, in the meantime, is falling for Rita.
As Brummet suggests, Phil gives up on his
former jerkiness in order to win ove...
Phil eventually moves away from trying to
seduce Rita and truly tries to develop a
relationship with her. As she lies one ...
Monday, December 9, 2013
So Phil decides to
devote his days to
helping others.

Monday, December 9, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
In this respect, he finally breaks the
loop of self-absorption and
simulational culture.
Phil stops living for himself, an...
Monday, December 9, 2013
Finally, after Phil has a truly epic
Groundhog Day and the culmination
of all of his good deeds and new
learned skills com...
The End

Monday, December 9, 2013
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  1. 1. Simulational Selves, Simulational Culture in Groundhog Day A Review of Chapter 8 Monday, December 9, 2013
  2. 2. by N athan Davis Monday, December 9, 2013
  3. 3. Simulational, defined: The term simulational refers to an experience that is contained within itself. The signs that are within these contained experiences will relate to the outside world but the signs in the simulational experience are meant to be understood within the context of the simulational experience. Monday, December 9, 2013
  4. 4. So.. What does simulational mean? Simulation is when a person participates in an experience that is highly controlled, in its own little world. These “worlds” can have variation, but when you are participating in these experiences, what happens within them has very little recourse for “real life” outside of that world. Monday, December 9, 2013
  5. 5. Examples of Simulational Experiences: Monday, December 9, 2013
  6. 6. Video Games Monday, December 9, 2013
  7. 7. Theme Parks Monday, December 9, 2013
  8. 8. Spectator Sports Monday, December 9, 2013
  9. 9. Monday, December 9, 2013 Shopping Malls
  10. 10. Movies Monday, December 9, 2013
  11. 11. Cru!es and Reso# Vacations Monday, December 9, 2013
  12. 12. Traits of Simulational Experiences: Monday, December 9, 2013
  13. 13. Traits of Simulational experiences 1. Simulational experiences are heavily dependent on technology. State of the art in 1993! (The year Groundhog Day made its debut! Monday, December 9, 2013
  14. 14. Traits of Simulational experiences 2. You can experience the same thing multiple times within the Simulational “world.” It’s Ned Ryererson.. Bing!! Monday, December 9, 2013
  15. 15. Traits of Simulational experiences 3. Simulational experiences can be highly addictive.. This should do it... Monday, December 9, 2013
  16. 16. Traits of Simulational experiences 4. The simulational experience has become a common trait of industrialized capitalist cultures. Monday, December 9, 2013
  17. 17. Brumme specifically mentions... the U.S Monday, December 9, 2013 Japan. Western Europe
  18. 18. In order to summarize Chapter 8, let us look at the 1993 hit movie Groundhog Day staring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell Monday, December 9, 2013
  19. 19. Groundhog Day is a movie in which a narcissistic weatherman named Phil Connors and his new assistant, Rita are assigned to cover the story of Groundhog Day in Gobbler’s Notch, Pennsylvania. What transcends is Phil then having to live the same day over and over again and he approaches every day in a very different way. The culmination is him finally winning the girl (Rita) through calculated actions, using this daily loop to his advantage. Monday, December 9, 2013
  20. 20. “This film suggests that many of us are Narcissus and in danger of falling into that pool. Using the rhetoric of simulations (although never using that term), the film is a metaphor for a life of social disconnection and self-absorption. A simulational culture is built upon, and builds, the simulational self, the film tells us, and until we can break out of that self-referential loop, we are doomed to the same old, same old every day.” -Brummett pg. 249 Monday, December 9, 2013
  21. 21. Let’s break it down and see how very much this movie demonstrates the idea of simulation Monday, December 9, 2013
  22. 22. Phil is told he will cover the story of Punxsutawney Phil. He makes it clear that he has done this job numerous times before...wherein lies the foreshadowing of the endless loop. Sure enough, he wakes up the day after Groundhog day and it is Groundhog day again, and this continues day after day after day. Monday, December 9, 2013
  23. 23. Phil, the weatherman, even before living his loop in Gobbler’s Notch, lives inside a simulation. The work he does is tell the weather that projects on a screen. He lives in this world, manipulating graphic information on a single blue screen. Monday, December 9, 2013
  24. 24. that’s sad. Monday, December 9, 2013
  25. 25. Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, comes back year after year even though the event has been going on longer than any groundhog could live. If one passes on, another groundhog is sourced for the job. Brummett points out that this loop is the same fait that awaits Phil Connors, the weatherman. He will come back day after day.. Not even death will stop the repetition. Monday, December 9, 2013
  26. 26. Phil Connors starts the movie off as a pretty distasteful character. He is arrogant and rude; he treats everyone, especially women, disrespectfully. He repeats this cycle of behavior, MANY times. Monday, December 9, 2013
  27. 27. Now, recall that Phil Connors is reliving the same day, groundhog day, over and over again. Everything about each day is exactly the same, except the way that he treats the people in his life and how he interacts with the people in the town. I should mention, Phil is stuck in the town he hates because of a blizzard on Groundhog day. He can’t leave, despite his best attempts at getting out. Besides, even if he was to leave, he would wake up in beautiful Punxsutawney the next day! Monday, December 9, 2013
  28. 28. Phil goes through many iterations of his daily loop. Early in the movie, Phil becomes excited about having no repercussions of his behaviors. He lives, literally, like there is no tomorrow. This is very in line with Brummett’s quote about narcissus and self-absorption. Monday, December 9, 2013
  29. 29. We don’t seem to have a sense how long Phil is in his simulation, because the film only highlights specific parts, rather than full days, but we do know, because of how he seems to know everything about everyone, that he has been in there a long time. Often, especially in the earlier scenes, he finds himself indulging in simulations and fantasies, but never really getting any fulfillment from any of it. Monday, December 9, 2013
  30. 30. As the movie progresses, Phil develops a romantic interest in his producer, Rita. Unfortunately for Phil, Rita is not attracted to pompous jerks like Phil. Monday, December 9, 2013
  31. 31. What did the five fingers say to the face?! Monday, December 9, 2013
  32. 32. That is okay with Phil, he has nothing but time to try to win Rita’s affection. This turns out to be a harder task than Phil probably thought possible. He takes on the challenge of learning EVERYTHING about Rita to win her heart. Monday, December 9, 2013
  33. 33. As we watch Phil sometimes squander and grapple and sometimes succeed in winning Rita’s affections, we are reminded that Phil will never be loved by Rita if 1) he continues treating women disrespectfully and 2) can only ever love himself. No matter which iteration of his everyday, it’s not until Phil sees outside of himself that he can have any hope of escaping his simulation. Monday, December 9, 2013
  34. 34. As the film progresses, we see Phil, who is desperate to be released from his everyday life, fill his days with mindless activity. He watches TV, memorizing every answer to Jeopardy. He appears depressed and lazy. Of course we, as audience members, feel the sting of this simulation, as we have all been in it ourselves from time to time. It’s impossible. You’re just passing time, to pass time. Monday, December 9, 2013
  35. 35. Phil begins to realize that his winter won’t ever end. The only way it will end is if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow and there’s an early spring. Just like if Phil doesn’t see his “shadow” (ie. indulging in his own self-absorption), he might find a way out of his eternal loop. Monday, December 9, 2013
  36. 36. After, comes a kidnapping (of the groundhog), a police chase and a string of suicide attempts that give him no more relief, satisfaction or consequences than anything else he’s done in the movie thus far...which unfortunately furthers his self absorption as he tells Rita that he is a “God.” Monday, December 9, 2013
  37. 37. We, as audience members, on Rita’s suggestion that his simulation might be “happiness,” might be swayed into thinking so, but after watching Phil’s failed attempts, his tragedies and sadness, we see that it’s clearly not. Because of the simulation, we see that Phil is not in happiness, but in hell. Monday, December 9, 2013
  38. 38. Phil, in the meantime, is falling for Rita. As Brummet suggests, Phil gives up on his former jerkiness in order to win over Rita’s heart. The more he finds himself respecting, admiring and loving Rita, the more he works himself out of his “simulational obsession.” Monday, December 9, 2013
  39. 39. Phil eventually moves away from trying to seduce Rita and truly tries to develop a relationship with her. As she lies one evening in his bed, instead of trying to seduce her, Phil tells Rita how wonderful she is but of course, she does not hear because she’s falling asleep. Phil’s so close to getting out of his simulation, if only she were awake enough to hear. Monday, December 9, 2013
  40. 40. Monday, December 9, 2013
  41. 41. So Phil decides to devote his days to helping others. Monday, December 9, 2013
  42. 42. Monday, December 9, 2013
  43. 43. In this respect, he finally breaks the loop of self-absorption and simulational culture. Phil stops living for himself, and starts living to serve the ones around him while not only finding his heart, but bettering himself in the process. Monday, December 9, 2013
  44. 44. Monday, December 9, 2013
  45. 45. Finally, after Phil has a truly epic Groundhog Day and the culmination of all of his good deeds and new learned skills come together, Rita falls in love with the new man Phil has become. Phil exits the simulation and wakes up with Rita next to him, the day after Groundhog day. Monday, December 9, 2013
  46. 46. The End Monday, December 9, 2013

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