Friday, December 26

Ever watched "It's a Wonderful Life"?

On this day after Christmas, 2014, I'm trying to compare America today with the nation and society in which I grew up.  Frankly it's hard to do that without getting depressed, which is a good reason not to do it much.

This morning I was reading a piece about the Frank Capra classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life," in which Jimmy Stewart--on the brink of suicide because he feels he's failed at life--is visited by an angel who shows him how many lives he's affected in a hugely positive way by staying in his little hometown of Bedford Falls and doing good. 

In one sequence the angel shows Stewart what his town would have looked like had he not been born: it's become a sleazy place named Pottersville.  It's an effective comparison.

While the movie has become sort of a classic at Christmas, the author noted that many leftists seemed to find it not inspiring and sentimental, but pretty ghastly.  He quoted two writers from Salon:
In a 2010 piece, Richard Cohen described It’s a Wonderful Life as “the most terrifying Hollywood film ever made.”  [?!]  In the “Pottersville” sequence, he wrote, George is not “seeing the world that would exist had he never been born”, but rather “the world as it does exist, in his time and also in our own.”
Hard to tell without knowing something about Cohen, but it seems clear that he's not bemoaning the sleazy fate of Stewart's hometown had he not been born.  Rather, he's expressing his disdain for the fact that Capra idealized what Cohen sees as a stultifying small town whose residents--most of 'em, anyway--have classic values.

Nine years earlier another Salon writer, Gary Kamiya, had expressed basically the same view:  that the sleazy town of Pottersville rocks compared to dull Bedford Falls.  “The gauzy, Currier-and-Ives veil Capra drapes over Bedford Falls has prevented viewers from grasping what a tiresome and, frankly, toxic environment it is…"

A "tiresome and frankly toxic environment"?  Really?  Lord, that explains so much about the elites.  How many of you would rather live in a place where you weren't surrounded by needles, heroin, crack, meth and the like?  How about a place where you didn't have to worry about drive-by shootings?

How about a town where your kids could play in the local park without Child Services giving you a ticket for reckless endangerment?

Maybe it's just the time of year, or maybe it's a personal thing with me right now, but I wish we could somehow go back to the America of Bedford Falls and "It's a Wonderful Life." 

Hat tip to Ed Driscoll. 


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