Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's The Thought That Counts

"'It’s a Wonderful Life' is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation."

-- Wendell Jamieson, who can make one wonder if he, still, hasn't had enough of the bullshit - which wouldn't be surprising to TMR - considering it's coming from The New York Times.

I wasn't going to write about this article (because I just did a piece about the film, and having NewAge "angels" deciding to change my life into a "subsequent Bizarro-world alternate reality") but, since Hot Air's Allah Pundit has mentioned it - featuring the Jamieson quote about how, supposedly, "had George Bailey never been born, the people in his town might very well be better off today” - I thought it does warrant, at least, a few more words:

Mr. Jamieson says Pottersville is "cooler and more fun than Bedford Falls". Really?

I guess Mr. Jamieson likes the imagery, after George Bailey is dead, and the "villainous" Mr. Potter owns everything - how Violet (once merely the town Girly-Girl) is reduced to "a dime dancer and maybe a prostitute" and, when we see her later - without George around - she's become the screaming mad woman of Pottersville? How about the cab driver, Ernie, who doesn't know where his wife has run off to? Or how the cop becomes "a trigger-happy madman", no longer concerned with acting within the letter of the law?

Mr. Jamieson says, before George "dies", that his brother, Harry, returns home as "a slick, self-obsessed jerk." But isn't that because he went out into a world filled with Mr. Potter's?

And, I guess, Mr. Jamieson would rather see Harry dead, than that, right?

George certainly didn't think so.

Nor does George appreciate the change that came over his mother, who's become untrustworthy and cruel - or his wife, Mary, now the town librarian and a spinster. (It always kills me, now'a'days, when I see film husbands run, desperately, for their wives - before any other concern registers - and know that used to be me, before my own Mr. Potter made his debut.)

Mr. Jamieson says, after checking with a professor of urban policy, that "Pottersville, with its nightclubs and gambling halls, would almost certainly be in much better financial shape today. It might well be thriving."

But wouldn't that be because George Bailey wasn't there to help stop Potter's "scheming"? Because of George's dreams that got in the way - and could steer other's behavior to something better (which "We ease up on, a depression,” Jamieson's professor says) thus allowing the real community to thrive?

That professor, Mitchell L. Moss from New York University, says "Gov. David A. Paterson 'is under enormous pressure to allow gambling upstate because of the economic problems.'" I'm not surprised.

But the answer to those problems is to come to our senses - not to keep doing the things that got us into this mess to begin with. And I think Mr. Jamieson knows that.

See, he's telling us the thoughts he had watching "It's A Wonderful Life" as a 15-year old kid. And, as a youngster, I know the world can look like a pretty dull place - but that's because adults hide the real world, from kids, if they can.

Being a foster child, I didn't exactly have that option: I grew up in Pottersville, and now, I'm looking for a way out. But the only way for that to happen is for everyone around this foster child - everyone who still insists on thinking such evil, childish, thoughts - to finally decide that what they actually want to do is grow up.

So I'm stuck here alone, writing this blog, waiting. And you know:

Hoping, maybe, y'all will consider a display of maturity as my Christmas present or something.


  1. Crack Emcee,

    When I press the Donation button, all I get is a picture of the button itself.

    Am I doing something Wrong?

    And thanks for being here. The work you're doing I relate to with a natural ease. You're good man.


  2. JRN,

    I'm sorry - I just got these "TMR: Make A Donation" plaques, and have been spending my time attaching them to the, approaching 3000, posts, rather than figuring out the .html to turn them into functioning buttons - stupid, I know - but, if anyone knew of the effort I'm putting in here,'s sometimes overwhelming.

    Anyway, you've got to use the PayPal donation button (on the right-hand side of the blog) and "thank you":

    I appreciate your comments, and readership, much much more than you know - especially that "private" message - it really did my mind (and heart) a lot of good.

    Thanks again,


  3. So after peeling back the layers of the movie, where does your opinion lie? Can we strive to have "The Wonderful Life" or are we all doomed to live in Pottersville?

  4. Oh wow - Hi, Toke! (Long time: and hug my man for me:)

    I think we'd better strive for it. But that calls for doing some things very few, today, want to do - like passing judgement on those who want to take it away. George Bailey instinctively hated Mr. Potter, and all he stood for, and that instinct is exactly what we've lost:

    The will to fight for it.

    Merry Christmas, Toke, and all the best to you and yours.