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  • Writer's pictureThe B2

It's a Wonderful Life (not!)

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

Am I the only one who can't stand George Bailey in the Christmas classic movie It's a Wonderful Life? Frankly, he ticks me off with his constant self-sacrificing. Talk about a guy who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

George confers with Uncle Billy

Let's get this straight. George wants to prevent a toxic old man from becoming the local honcho. He also wants to help his nitwit uncle (whose subsequent idiocy nearly lands him in jail). To accomplish these goals, George throws away his education, travel opportunities, and architectural career. He forgoes personal fulfillment along with any hope of prosperity for his wife, kids, and widowed mother. Everyone in town is more important than him and his family, it seems. Good job!

Eric Hoffer has a profound insight in The True Believer. "The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless."

Then there is the film ending when everyone rallies to George's defense. Oh, please! The Storm of the Century climax is more likely - the most virtuous man in town gets slammed by everyone else. Too cynical for the holiday season? Better cynical than sorry.

Actually, the last part of the movie is fine. Good themes - the power of prayer, appreciation of family and true friends. There is no compelling reason for George to be in such a jam, though, other than his own stupidity.

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