Sunday, October 12, 2008

Good Post Alert: Russ Douthart's " Not So Wonderful Now"

Undoubtedly, over the past few weeks (perhaps longer), scores-of-thousands unknowingly invoked a line from "It's A Wonderful Life", by rubbing a lucky charm and saying "Wish I had a million dollars", only to be foiled by fate.

Maybe, a lucky one, or two, happened to have a friend ("Hee-Haw") named Sam Wainwright, and said friend was of the means to cable them $25,000.

Otherwise ...

Pottersville for them.

And, with the cratering economy, it's doubtful that cash registers' bells are going off as frequently, thereby, less angels are earning their wings.

In today's WAPO, Russ Douthart cranks it up a notch.

In his "Not So Wonderful Now - Looking for someone to blame in the worsening crisis? Let's go back to Bedford Falls", he takes our current economic woes and puts the movie's fictional, idyllic town's template over it.

Yes, that George Bailey -- the hero of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," the most popular man in Bedford Falls, the man so indispensable that he earned a private visitation from a guardian angel just to show him how dreadful a world without him would have been. It's easy to forget, so potent is the supernaturally charged final act of Capra's classic, that before he was visiting looking-glass worlds where he'd never been born or scampering through the snow and shouting "Merry Christmas!" till his lungs burst, Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey was actually a pretty savvy businessman. And it's even easier to forget the precise nature of his business: putting the downscale families of Bedford Falls into homes they couldn't quite afford to buy.

This is the substance of the great war between Bailey and Lionel Barrymore's Mr. Potter, the richest, meanest man in Bedford Falls. Potter is against easy credit and the suburban dream, against the rabble moving out of his tenements and buying homes, while the Bailey Building and Loan exists to make suburbia possible.
I could quote more, but it would be better if you go out to it and read for yourselves.

It's a very entertaining, and enlightening, piece.

And, Douthart ends it with perfect pitch.

Go read "Not So Wonderful Now - Looking for someone to blame in the worsening crisis? Let's go back to Bedford Falls"


Bonus Clarence Oddbody Riffs

The Anonymous Liberal: The Bush Boom: Revisited

INTERVIEW WITH NOAM CHOMSKY: 'The United States Has Essentially a One-Party System'

David Goldstein and Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers: Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis

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