Groundhog Week (revisited 2012)

As questions are still coming out of the woodwork about the 2012 Batman ‘show’ in all its forms, I have decided to republish the work that led to “Playing with Batman“.

It all started quite innocently … though on rereading I found a very intriguing synch to do with another ‘show’.

~  ~  ~

It started with a weekend, any weekend, after all they’re kind of all alike, are they not?

Perhaps you are an exception or perhaps I’m missing something. For now I’ll take it that many people have the same problems with weekends as me. I suck at them – and for the longest time I’ve thought it was just me.

But I’ve been having a closer look at something that has been hidden in plain sight for a very long time indeed – a provocative little number that takes hold of your senses & dulls them down with just seven swings of the fob watch.

Let us take a little look at ‘the week’.


1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7

On it’s lonesome, ‘a day’ has become inconsequential, without it’s siblings it’s a bit pathetic – but get the Family all together, well that’s another matter, you don’t mess with them, ever.

So lets meet the Day Family – there’s the five kids, Mon, Tues, Wednes, Thurs, Fri, & their parents, Sat & Sun. Now be warned, this family is a tad obsessive-compulsive, they always have to go in the same order, each family member has it’s own personality & even it’s own ruling planet. They’re more than just your neighbours, they live in your house & in your head – indeed they’re the ‘monkey on your back’.

So first off there’s Mon, he’s our least favourite, he’s callous & rude, charging into your room & pouring a bucket of cold water over your head, so you can get back to the real world & earn your way.

You put up with Tues, because she’s not quite as aggressive as her brother & by the time she turns up you’ve broken the hypnotic effect that her parents have on you.

Now Wednes you could so live without, full of woe. You can’t help thinking couldn’t his parents have taken ‘precautions’ just once?’ He does so make the week drag out.

Thurs is kind of bipolar, makes you feel good because it’s pay day & then crap because it’s all gotta go on bills.

You open your door to Fri & invite her in for a cuppa relieved to see her again, but she can ‘go on a bit’.

Satur is most welcome, but there’s just something about him – he just seems to promise so much more than he delivers.

Then there’s his wife Sun, she’s kind of laid back, but after a while she starts to get you down & you can see where Thurs gets his bipolar tendencies from because the longer you’re with her the more gloomy you get. On top of that she keeps trying to ‘get you together’ with her son Mon, I mean come on woman, can’t you see he’s a total jerk, damn it.

If you were about to celebrate, let’s say your 42nd birthday, your life would have consisted 2191 weeks. That’s quite a few revolutions of the groundhog wheel, BUT where did all your 15,340 days go – can you remember.

Now this family is THE Royal Family. Forget all those inbred aristocrats hanging round in castles, this is the family that rules the world. Yes I know they seem harmless enough, I mean they don’t play loud music or try & nick your credit cards & well, they’ve been around since the day you were born & heck everyone knows them.

But I jest not – this family rules your world.

The amazing thing is that today the 7-day week, which is widely viewed as being Judeo-Christian, even Bible-based, holds sway for civil purposes over the entire world, including countries where Judaism and Christianity are anathema. Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Africans, Japanese, and a hundred others sit down at the U.N. to the tune of a 7-day week, in perfect peace (at least calendrically!). So dear is this succession of 7 days that when the calendar changed from Julian to Gregorian the week was preserved, though not the days of the month: in 1752, in England, Sept. 14 followed Sept. 2 — but Thursday followed Wednesday, as always. Eleven days disappeared from the calendar — but not from the week

Today the seven-day week is enforced by global business and media schedules, especially television and banking.”

This family goes way back, it’s family tree can be debated, but not denied. The Bible itself bows to them, granting unto them the master number 22

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Genesis 2:2

Oh God, don’t tell me it’s Monday already!

We are not so much living in a world as living within a week – just one week over & over & over again. If you were to time travel back to any time in your life you could still slot yourself in quite nicely because the seven-sided framework around which you are to stretch yourself is already in place, you will know what to do simply by finding out what day it is.

So onwards.

The week has a very distinctive rhythm or heartbeat of it’s own – you know it very well, your very being is synchronised with it – it’s the 5-2 beat. You work (or are schooled) for 5 days, then you have 2 days off, 5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on, 2 days off ….. ….. ….. hypnotic isn’t it?

I thought I’d have a closer look at that rhythm – so I applied it to my breathing – to get a sort of experiential perspective – of course I knew I was doomed to fail & indeed in very short order I could no longer take in breath to the count of five, my lungs were too full I was forced to exhale mightily.

Hmmm… so what if our 5-2 weekly rhythm has a similar effect upon us, body & soul. Now I’m going to say here that I think this little test was not too far off the mark. Breath is what separates us from the dead, & it is supposedly living that we are doing during our weekly life. Even the word spirit is derived from the verb spirare which means ‘breath’. I’m thinking here that breathing is synonymous with living – we take in & give out our experiences constantly. So what happens to us when we overbreathe?

Chest pain, Confusion, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Lightheadedness, Muscle spasms in hands and feet, Numbness … Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Sleep disturbances, Weakness

… so many familiar names that experts tell us are caused by our stressful lives – well duh…

From the 5-2 beat, I got to wondering about the number 52 & if it might not play an important part in our lives. Right away the holding pattern of the 52 ‘reruns’ of the same week, any week, hoves into view & we call that one year.

The oh so trendy Mayan calendar has a complicated system (to me anyway) that creates a 52 year cycle:

It consists of two types of calendar systems : a ritual cycle of 260 named days and a vague year cycle of 365 days… these cycles run concurrently after 18 980 days, or 52 years of 365 days

It’s rather interesting then that 52 is the international dialling code for Mexico.

If you add the majuscules & minuscules of the English alphabet (big letters & little letters) together you get 52 – as numerologists give different values for these & as our written language has an enormous (hidden) influence on us I feel this is important.

There are 52 white keys on a piano & notable ivory tinkler Billy Joel brought out an album called 52 Street – celebrating the street of that name in Manhattan, while John Lennon had an apartment in East 52nd St.

52 is the title of a DC Comics limited series that debuted on May 10, 2006. The story is directly followed by the limited series Countdown to Final Crisis. It’s been a long time since I read a comic but my fellow bloggers have pointed to much imagery among their pages & certainly a browse through the wiki entry does reveal some interesting storylines –

A multitude of clocks are all stopped at 12:52 (00:52). Monitors show images of Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, a sailing ship with the flag of the Knights Templar, Elvis Presley, the Boston Tea Party and a dinosaur.”

TIME IS BROKEN” – 52 seconds are missing. In the final week, while witnessing the rebirth of the Multiverse, Booster Gold worries about the “broken time”, after being reassured by Rip Hunter that everything is finally the way it was meant to be.”

The number 52 in a circle litters the boards, the circles sometimes overlapping. The symbol of overlapping circles has been used in the past by DC Comics to represent alternate Earths, or alternate Earths fusing

World War III? Why? HOW?” — World War III was an important event in 52, as Black Adam (black + Adam (man) = Obama?) battled, and killed, several heroes

The old Gods are DEAD, the new Gods want what’s left.”

Due to the unpredicted popularity of the series, DC issued several series of comics based on the individual threads of 52 … 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen mini-series … covering the Four Horsemen’s battle with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The other strand of that story from 52 is taken up in … 

Black Adam: The Dark Age… following Teth-Adam’s quest to bring Isis back to life

In 1952, Elizabeth became Queen of England, the B-52 Stratofortress flies for the first time, the Diary of Anne Frank is published, the U.S successfully detonates the first hydrogen bomb ( codenamed “Mike”), the NSA is founded. Twice that year fatal smog descended on London causing the death of thousands Link

And one for Michael from Hidden Agendas – Werner von Braun publishes his ideas for a manned flight to Mars in The Mars Project.

Tellurium is a chemical element with the atomic number of 52. It is one of the nine rarest metallic elements on earth. Its name comes from the Latin tellus meaning ‘earth‘ & it was discovered in Transylvania in 1782. It was used as a chemical bonder in the making of the outer shell of the first atom bomb. In our modern world it is used in re-writable CDs & the new phase change memory chips.

And looky here from the 52 DC Comics –

Σ Te versus (Au+Pb)” — … the atomic number of Tellurium (Te) is 52. The other elements mentioned are Gold Au) and Lead (Pb). Gold and Lead are names of Metal Men, and alchemists attempted to transmute lead into gold. Tellus is a member of the pre-Zero Hour Legion of Super-Heroes

The 52 I found most interesting in all this, was the humble deck of playing cards & how well they mirrored our ‘timing’ – 52 cards to match the 52 weeks of the year, 4 suits to match with the seasons & 13 cards per suit – either to match the number of weeks in a season or the thirteen months that any pagan would fit into the span of one year – yes these are generalisations there’s a few days to be given or taken – but these are the numbers the majority of us understand & that I feel is most important.

Playing cards seem to have an undecided history, however they’ve been around for a long time

In spite of their indeterminable beginnings and their unvarying, centuries old design, the 52-Card deck will never find a place in our concept of mystery or wonders of the world, because no matter what language is spoken or what part of the world you are in, playing cards have become as familiar as the moon to the sky. We take them for granted! And question them not

But what if there is more to the cards than just mere games of chance? What if their true purpose was to leave nothing to chance?

What if their simple and well-preserved design was a language of symbols, passed down through the centuries, preserved as the worlds greatest past time? For those who know how to read the Little Book and its 52 Pages, the mystery is revealed as a map of the stars and a calendar of earth”. Link

I do think there is a lot more to the familiar deck of playing cards than we’ve been led to believe.

My Grandmother used to read them as another person would read Tarot cards. Certainly there’s probably meat aplenty to make a hearty post, but my eye was caught by something else. In the very week that the new Batman movie is released, how could I resist the call of the wild cardthe Joker.

If internet sources are to be believed the Joker is an American invention & appeared in the later 1800’s.

The Joker seems to have its origins in a special card used in a particular form of Euchre (a card game)… immigrants carried the game to the US … Americans added to the Euchre deck a card even higher than the designated Bowers (Jacks). It was called the Imperial Bower or the Best Bower. This was the genesis of the Joker

Note added 2012: – I don’t watch 24 but I did recognise the role name of Kiefer Sutherland – Jack (Bauer) Bower.

Fancy meeting him in this old article – 24 hours in a day & 7 of those in a week …

…early Jokers show much greater diversity. We find not only the trickster types but also children, stage characters, animals, etc. After the introductions of the Best Bower into Euchre, Americans equipped other card games with an extra card (usually as a wild card). Perhaps this is the stage in which the extra card became known as the Joker—meaning one that changes character or pops up unexpectedly. .. The choice of a jester is logical, not only because of his unpredictable behavior, but because he complements the court cards. In Europe, after all …

…  the royal court really was home to jesters, jugglers and other entertainersLink

Joker, jester, fool, buffoon, trickster. I have read that the origins of the jester go back to prehistoric tribal society. Certainly they acquired much popularity in the Middle Ages. I came across this…

The jester was a symbolic twin of the king

 and I wondered, could we say the Joker is the symbolic twin of Batman? Are we being shown two sides of the same coin?

Looking at the title ‘The Dark Knight’ – does ‘Dark‘ stand for the Joker & while the Knight is Batman & could the inclusion of Two Face be a little cryptic hint at what we’re being shown. I don’t trust this movie, for some reason the death of Heath Ledger brings to my mind the spell cast over Macbeth by the ‘weird sisters’ – far reaching & full of poison.

Batman (Christian Bale) has lost his symbolic twin. Just days ago we hear that this Knight was arrested for assault – I wondered if we are being shown something – that the Joker has not died, but has arisen within his twin. I am reminded of the loathsome ending of Twin Peaks many years ago, when the delightful Agent Dale Cooper is possessed by ‘Bob’. I wonder if these ‘trance’ themes reiterate the amount of darkness being pumped daily into our souls through the media.

Hollywood is built upon the hidden – we are aware of the ten percent that lies upon a variety of ‘Universal Studios’, it’s the ninety percent ‘that lie(s) beneath that we need to see – trickery – the art of the trickster or the Joker.

Often, the card is a wild, and thereby allowed to represent other existing cards. The term “Joker’s Wild” originates from this practice. The Joker can be an extremely beneficial, or an extremely harmful, card

Heath Ledger was reaching the end of his portrayal of the Joker, when the Jokela School Shooting took place in Finland on 7th November, 2007.

He also featured in the movie I’m Not There as “one of six actors trying to define singer, Bob Dylan.” Following the joker’s trail I find that it is generally agreed that:

the jester who sang for the king & queen, in a coat he borrowed from James Dean

… was none other than one Bob Dylan. The song American Pie mentions the jester twice more. He is

on the sidelines in a cast

& again

while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown“.

Certainly the Joker has stolen Batman’s thunder in the Dark Knight – this wild card is most certainly trumping the Box Offices of the world.

Well I’ve wandered a long way from where I started & I find that my weekend is closing in. Mon will be polishing his bucket & preparing to fill it with ice cold water.

If we pay attention for a moment we find one of the day-family’s tricky little secrets.

Let’s slightly adjust the magical spelling of the word ‘week’ & see what happens – now we have weak & if we carry that through to it’s ending we have weaken(e)d or weekend.

Hmmm … maybe that’s why we call them the …

… ‘Daze of the Weak’.

I don’t think I’d be too far off the mark to say it takes at least a ‘sevennight’ to unwind – you go on holiday but you need that time to relax & to find your natural pace. We’ve been told that we have life so much easier than our predecessors, so we shouldn’t complain. There’s movies to show us in case we doubt. We have technology, electricity, every comfort – here I must dip back to my previous post & drop in a little wtf… because look around, oh sorry you already have, that’s why you visit sites & blogs like this one.

I head back to work tomorrow, to tread the Groundhog wheel again, to rerun the week I did last week & the one before & the one before – but I believe this time I will not be quite so hard on myself. I thought it was me who was doing ‘something’ wrong – I hadn’t thought to look at a setup that is geared to keep me in one very small week. If you can’t see the invisible walls how can you find a way to scale them.

I believe the naming of days has created a seven sided see-through box. For as long as I can remember, the day that is looming ahead of me now has been Monday – I know what it looks like & how it will be, I hardly even need turn up, in reality probably only 20% of me has been there most weeks – the oh so dominating presence of Mon does the rest.

The week – the biggest Joker of them all?

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July 24, 2012. Uncategorized.

4 Comments

  1. ionmars replied:

    I see it plain as day now, Thanks.
    The LURE, the Be enmeshed within the confines of the 52 –Roam around, find your new spot to settle in…temptations abound…sucker punch ensues…

    love you Alex :)

    Keep it up cause no one else is even coming close to what you can/do/will see and relate in word -and imagery -of your writing….shining on…uncovering…

  2. alex robinson replied:

    Roger! Patrick :) … & thanks.

  3. Biggi replied:

    What a wonderful text about the week and all the wordplay with it. I reversed my work week, Monday is my Friday and Thursday is my Monday so I guess I daze myself and I like it.

  4. alex robinson replied:

    Hello Biggi, I once had a different work schedule – with time off during the week, I actually enjoyed it more – when you do work on the weekend people somehow the people you work with seem more ‘human’ – maybe its just our training that those are the two days allowed for humanity, while mon-fri are ‘machine’ days.
    Hugs

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