Friday, February 13, 2009

umbrage


Our stock in trade here in our space (synchromysticism) is film, and I take these pretty seriously.  When asked to "define" myself once through movies that I like, I answered doubly.  I said that the best film is probably Citizen Cane, but my favorite film is It's a Wonderful Life.

A recent opinion in the New Yorker's "Talk Of The Town" besmirched George Bailey, and got it wrong, completely wrong.  The piece, by Adam Gopnik, was thinking about hope in that space between Christmas and Obama.  The focus of the piece had to do with the financial crisis that we are all beginning to think about now every second, every day.

Basically, he blamed the current crisis on George Bailey and The Building & Loan.  For some reason, this really bothers me.  The little guy is not our problem.  George Bailey did nothing but promote a local ethic. He lived and thought locally.  He shopped and ate locally.  

I think there was a bit of inherent classism in this piece, intimating that a small business owner like Mr Martini would be better off renting or wasn't good enough to own.  How much money does one need before they are not allowed to fail? People make bad decisions, but George Bailey created a web of community connections building strength and relationships into the community.  He was a hero of the people.

Mr Potter is an emblem of what is wrong with this county.  Dollar first.  More. Better. Cheaper. Faster! Money is the top priority.  We do what we do with profit as our guiding light.  George Bailey put people first.  He was not motivated by greed.  He would have nothing to do with subprime lending, and it is insulting to have this film read this way.

Our problem is our identification with material.  We will not find happiness in material, and we will lose our real treasure in this quest for material.  Think on this difference again from my 10:01:



I understand George Bailey.  He wants to be a "Big Man."  But by not being a "Big Man" he ends up becoming bigger.  So maybe it is better to have and be nothing.  Know what you serve.

Remember that you vote everyday with your money.  And the most important decision you make is how you eat.  Live and eat local.  Instead of more, better, cheaper, faster, try seasonal, fresh, local, organic--in that order.  Don't support Mr Potter.  Make him irrelevant.  Be a part of your unique community.  Grow something this year.  Grow the New Earth.

2 comments:

Jaspal said...

It is always a pleasure to read your posts, keep up the good work. A friend of mine once told me that he thought the meaning of life was in that film.

George Bailey sacrificed everything of his own, and always put others before himself, something which today’s selfish, instant gratification at all costs society, could never understand. Try telling someone that their cheap goods and clothes are probably made through the exploitation of the poor, usually children, in Asia and Africa, and they’ll just shrug their shoulders. For someone to have something, someone has to lose something, that is the Yin/Yang balance of the world, the laws of Karma.

When they tell him at the end that he is the richest man in Town, they are not talking in terms of material wealth. Money is an exchange of labour, peoples energy trapped in a peace of metal or paper, like in Monsters Inc, energy given to you through love is worth more than that taken through fear.

There are only a few lights in the world that can touch other lives for the better, and they are gradually depleting in this Kali Yuga.

Eunus Noe said...

Interesting response, Jaspal.
Happy to see that you are still reading.
Like the Monsters Inc. ref.
-Do we get our "star maps" from disney as children? probably.
You touch a pretty dark note at the end. I'm interested in your thoughts of "the end". How do you think the shrimp fry is going to play out?
-It almost ended, the whole deal, on the 13th, but that's just between us.
take care,
en