Skip to comments.Wonderful? Sorry, George, Itís a Pitiful, Dreadful Life
Posted on 12/22/2008 4:47:10 AM PST by 7thson
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Yup. Pretty much. Barring people who have disabilities, and such, who are always going to have a hard time.
Keep in mind, of course, that your definition of "real hardship" and mine might be a little different.
Neither Frank Capra nor Wendell Jamiesen is really talking about small towns. They're talking about visions of Americas, which used to be and still are found in small towns and big cities. Oottersville and Bedford Falls both exist everywhere.
Frank Capra loved and admired Bedford Falls, although he might enjoy an occasional night out in Pottersville. Mr. Jamiesen loathes and despises Bedford Falls and its inhabitants. If he were to have his way, all of us would be forced to live in Pottersville.
That's the way I take the movie. When I first became a Christian, I marveled at the Word of God and the doors that swung open for me and the miracles that I was privileged to witness, but the people around me seemed still to be stuck in some bizarrow funk and couldn't see what I saw. I asked my pastor how he could continue to get in front of the dead mass of humanity every weekend and no one respond to the work he was doing? He didn't even take a breath before saying he didn't do it for them, he did it for Jesus. God would put the message in his heart and God would put the people that needed to hear it in the pews. He just obeyed.
I've always found this to be true. You do and say what you do and say for the sake of goodness, not for some reward. The rewards will come as God wills it. If everyone was rewarded for being "Christian", then everyone would be a Christian and be rich. Obviously, that's not the way it works. We are good to please God, not for money or promotions. God will provide our rewards as needed.
BTW, The pastor and I have moved on to other things and God has opened many doors for both of us. He is now the pastor of what some would consider a mega church and I have also done well spiritually since that day. God is opening and closing doors every day if we just look at what He is doing instead of what we are doing. The NYT writer seems stuck on the natural instead of the supernatural. The blind will never see. The dead just rot from the inside.
The Christian life is paradoxical. It is joy through service (ultimately, service to God).
Liberals will try anything rather than surrender their wills to God. Pride is a terrible thing.
We never hear this line of reasoning when Democrats use illegal foreign contributions to win campaigns and then they promise to "give back" the illegal contributions AFTER THE ELECTION. With no additional penalty.
No home, no car, no money, no food, at least one dependent.
I’ve seen it, and been entirely too close to it.
I’ll certainly grant this: the primary difference between the last 30 years in USA and the Great Depression (or the Third World) is that if you have any sort of useful skill, you’ll probably find paying work. Sooner, rather than later. Most of the time. As opposed to going on that way for years or even a lifetime.
I kind of understand what gridlock is saying. Yeah, there have been people in the last 30 years that have had bad times. But the Great Depression officially ended 1n 1946. From 29 to 46, the United States lived in and through a Great Depression and war time rationing mainly brought to them by their own government. Compare that to what we - and children born in the last 30 years - have grown up with. What has been the challenges for us since the 60’s?
If you have grown up in the last thirty years, you have known nothing but wealth and opportunity at every turn.
And I'm definitely calling BS on that.
How's Atlantic City doing? And not just "financially". Or to bring it closer to home, how was Times Square for 50 years? Nice place to live in the 1970s was it?
Which contributes more to the strength of the community, state, and nation?
If all of us lived in Potterville, swing dancing the night away, we’d have to buy our manufactured goods from China where George’s kids would die of lead poisoning from the paints used.
Pottersville might be an interesting place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. It would be a horrible place to raise children.
Liberals believe that debauchery and narcissism is freedom.
Are you saying you have no home, no car, no money, no food and one dependent? If not, than what exactly do you mean? Please spell it out. Are you going through hard times now? In the past? Know someone close who did or is going through hard times now?
I don't think gridlock is saying no one has been through hard times but when compared to 30's and 40's - or even the 70's - does it compare? How many people going through what is called hard times today have a color tv? A car? A place to sleep? A cell phone? A PC? Internet service? Cable? And if they are poor and have little or no food, than why do they have that stuff? Why not stop getting that stuff and put their priorities right?
There has been wealth and there has been opportunity.
Anybody who worked hard and applied themselves over the past thirty years succeeded. This time has been remarkable, in this regard. It has been free of the kind of economic cataclysms thay wipe out the hardworking and idle alike.
Of course there are a heck of a lot of people who did not work hard and apply themselves, which is why we have the poor. Universal opportunity does not equal universal wealth.
I think there are quite a few libertarians, and a whole lot of Randians, who would agree with this.... Which just shows the fundamental moral poverty of looking at the world through an economic lens.
Eventually. Most of the time.
At "Every turn"????
BS. That claim was utterly false, and nonsensical.
OK. Opportunity at every turn. Wealth only if they took advantage of that opportunity.
Luck has something to do with. Many who become rich do so at least partially because they are in the right place at the right time.
Others, equally hard-working and dedicated, never really get ahead because of their own circumstances.
I must admit, however, that in this country over the last few decades few who are competent and willing to work hard have been mired in severe poverty. They may not have gotten rich, but they’ve done ok.
At this point, I'm not sure we're talking about the same planet. And you have given no clue as to what you consider "hardship" ... so we may not be even in the same Solar System.
Wow. There are just so many great posts, and the thoughts therein to bump, and/or expand upon, but for the moment, here are my two cents to offer.
The author, quite simply, has never grown beyond his 15 year old perspective of the world. As the mom of a 20, and a 23 year old, (who where always pretty durn savvy for their ages, and are still growing wiser by the minute ;), I find Wendell’s arrested adolescence, unspeakably sad, and frightening.
Great, great thread. Thank you!
Merry Christmas to all!
Are you too arrogant to answer to specific questions? Are you so arrogant that you must be curt and short with everyone? Are you so impatient with others that only rudeness suffices in your answers to others?
Interesting you are asking for specifics in the term ‘hardship’ when you are too arrogant to answer specifics asked of you. Have a Merry Christmas/
That is an important point, that seems to be getting lost here.
May you have a lovely day, an even lovelier week, a very Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and the abundance of all of God’s blessings.
I was not talking about Sam Wainright rich, or even George Bailey rich. I was talking more like Ernie the cab driver, with a little house in Bailey Park rich.
Arrogant and sarcastic. A lovely combination.
It sounds stuffy, but it's not. Dale has a great sense of humor.
Yes, it makes sense. Merry Christmas to you, too.
Does this make sense? :)
Most materialists / atheists / strong agonistic mentalities are faking it. The proof? Few of them have the courage of their stated “convictions”:
“....When you have successfully demystified the world, your soul is officially dead. ....I’m trying to think of an example that even a materialist with a blunted sensibility might understand. For many people who have successfully demystified the world, the only time they are able to unwittingly appreciate the sacred is when they are directly confronted with it in its most vivid form: death, the birth of a child, marriage, etc. Imagine being so spiritually insensate that you had the courage of your convictions and successfully drained the world of its sacred dimension. Upon the death of a loved one, you would simply put them in the garbage. After all, it’s just a sack of meat. The birth of a child would be no different than termites hatching in your backyard. Marriage wouldn’t exist, because there would be no recognition of the sacred dimension of male and female sexuality. Euthanasia would not just be legal, but mandatory, on grounds of common sense — as would the abortion of youth in Asia — as in China. Believe it or not, there are people who more or less experience the world this way. But we do not call them “enlightened” or more in touch with reality than the rest of us. Rather, we call them schizoid or autistic. ..” ~ Saturday, February 03, 2007 Radical Wonder and the Remystification of the World http://onecosmos.blogspot.com/search?q=Radical+Wonder+and+the+Remystification+of+the+World +
Ayn Rand (for instance) claimed to be an atheist. (If she really was, she lived behind bars she couldn’t even see, all the while claiming to be a Libertarian:) See below.)
...After all, anyone can practice a religion, whether it is Christianity, Darwinism, Atheism, or Materialism, but that doesnt mean they understand their religion in any deep way. For an atheist to reject religion means only that he has failed to understand it, precisely. A confession of atheism is simply an honest confession of ignorance of any realities that transcend the human ego, nothing more, nothing less. And why argue with a man who not only clings to ignorance, but is proud of the fact?
When we talk about metaphysics, we are talking about very basic truths that are adequations to divine/human realities that cannot not be, such as Absolute, being, truth, etc. But... ~ Gagdad Bob
..any argument for or against free will automatically presumes its existence, which in turn proves the reality of that which is free to choose, i.e., the soul. To say that free will does not exist is to void ones argument at the outset, since ones arguments can appeal to neither truth nor to that which may know it: as Poincaré commented, no determinist argues deterministically, so all arguments against free will are so many proofs if it (Jaki). ..
If everything is subjective, then there cant be free will either. This leads to an interesting speculation about the necessity of the world for Gods freedom. In other words, just like us, how could God be meaningfully free unless there are objects (or, in his case, subjects) to act upon? To put it another way, perhaps Gods freedom is ultimately given its highest expression in the existence of the human subject which can either deny or align itself with him. Thus, denial of God is the ironyclad proof of his existence. But you knew that already. ..
Every free act transcends matter, which is why any form of materialism is anti-liberty, which is why the secular left, dipso shitso, is so dangerous. Im very much looking forward to Jonah Goldbergs Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, as I am certain that this theme will be explored, thus freeing me of the responsibility. That is, intrinsic to the project of leftism is the abolition of that which transcends matter, and therefore, the dehumanization of humans. This is why their assault on religion in general and the soul in particular is not accidental but absolutely essential to their goals. They must replace transcendence with immanence. Once thats accomplished, then everything else falls into place. Its like building the cage. Once the cage of immanence is complete, then man lives behind bars he cant even see, bars as strong as steel and as high as the imagination. ..
December 29, 2007
Degrees and Chimes of Freedom Fleshing
Thanks for the tip! I will definitaly check out the link.
The Ernie of Bedford Falls was a whole lot richer than the Ernie of Pottersville.
His blank-eyed stare in Pottersville indicates to Mr. Jamiesen his essentially “venal internal self.” To me it indicates his depression over his loss of his family, a fully justified sadness.
George Bailey, being a white guy running a small business, was obviously an oppressor. He deserved a miserable life </sarc off>.
I love this movie and also hate it. I hate because everytime I hear Harry say “To my big brother George, the richest man in town,” I always start sobbing.
I think it is about rethinking or rewriting your dreams.
I think it is about rethinking or rewriting your dreams.
Ping for my favorite movie. 1st saw it as a re-make in the 70’s though w/ Marlo Thomas starring in place of Jimmy Stewart.
Wendell Whatsisname completely misses the point. Pottersville was everything George Bailey wanted -- it was exciting, foreign, full of color. Thanks to Clarence, George finally got away from it all -- the Building & Loan (disbanded), the junky old car (vanished), the noisy, annoying, constantly-sick kids (never born), the leaky-roofed, drafty old house (never his home) -- everything in miserable old Bedford Falls. He even got away from that wife (now an old maid) and all her nagging about "torturing the children".
And let's not even get started on that G--d--ned newel post.
Yes, God gave George Bailey his heart's desire -- freedom. And George discovered that he hated it.
The point of It's a Wonderful Life has nothing to do with failure, depression, or dreams deferred. The point is that freedom is a false god. The message is that rational self-interest is neither, and that there is no virtue in selfishness. The moral of the story is that the only life worth living is a life lived for the sake of one's duty to God and one's neighbor. George Bailey's life was wonderful -- not in in spite of all his hardships, sacrifices, and dreams deferred, but because of them. By sacrificing all for the love of God and his neighbor, George Bailey unwittingly laid up for himself a treasure far beyond that of Henry F. Potter's wildest dreams -- a treasure in Heaven.
"Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also" [St Matt 6:19-21].
So let the corporations tumble and the banks fall. Atlas, shrug away! As long as we each of us love our neighbor as ourselves, and God above all, we have all the wealth we will ever need.
Here's to George Bailey -- the richest man in town.
Uh, you do realize that Ayn Rand was a foaming nutter, right?
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