Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The United States of Pottersville: It's a Horrible Life

If you've ever seen the old Christmas classic, 'It's a Wonderful Life," with Jimmy Stewart, you'll remember that Stewart played the part of George Bailey, a tired guy who ran a crummy little "Building & Loan" in a place called Bedford Falls.

There was a greedy old misanthrope who lived in that town as well, named Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter was virtually identical to Mr. Scrooge from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. George Bailey, on the other hand, was like Bob Chitchit, only for George, the whole town of Bedford Falls was Tiny Tim.

In the presidential election of 2016, America rejected George Bailey (in the guise of Bernie Sanders) and elected Mr. Potter instead (in the grim visage of Donald Drumpf), and, with the attempts by Republicans to abolish Obamacare, basically said "Fuck Tiny Tim!" 

As anyone who remembers the movie knows, George is given the chance to see how life would've turned out without him. His older brother would've died, if George hadn't been there to save him as a child. His wife would've never married; his favorite bar, Martini's, would've become Nick's; and the druggist  Mr Gower would've ended up in prison for accidentally filling a prescription with poison.

Worst of all, however, is that the town of Bedford Falls, which was a place where hard working middle class and lower class Americans worked together, and relied on the old Baily Building and Loan - a place that clearly put people before profits - to survive and eek out the American dream together, had turned into Pottersville. In fact, today, for working with and in the community and having people pool their money to help each other, George Bailey would be pilloried by Republicans for being a communist and Henry Potter would be applauded for being the consummate capitalist - hard nosed and obedient to only the numbers in his financial calculations and investments.

Apparently, Christians think the magical pixie dust of their "religion" is expected to somehow moderate the cold realities of our "sinful selfishness" in an economy that worships the "love of profit" over everything else; and economy that is willing to sacrifice anyone and all to appease the god of fortunes.   

Pottersville is a place after the Grinch's own heart. Like Ebeneezer Scrooge (before he was visited by the 3 spirits of Christmas), Potter was all about binding everyone in the town of Bedford Falls with the heavy chains of debt worn by Jacob Marley. Those same chains not only bind America as a whole, even as the Potters and the Scrooges and the Trumps hide the ill gotten fortunes they've amassed (through their elaborate ponzi schemes) in bank accounts in Panama, but now threaten to drag the entire human race to a watery grave.

Merry Christ- funeral- mass Mr, Scrooge. It's a Horrible Life. 

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