Occasional Verse 3: Reading Nietzsche Before Watching It’s a Wonderful Life

These spirits do not mix.

All it took was a 30 minute dose of Nietzsche

on the herd mentality, mobbing, 

and the perversion of the ubermench’s spirit, 

to make George Bailey’s wonderful life a Greek tragedy.

Prior to this encounter, I had seen the movie

over 15 times, usually during holidays,

and never failed to be touched.

But this was the first time I saw 

George’s family, friends, and townspeople

ply that combination

of guilt, shame, and sex 

(not to mention some angel dust pyrotechnics)

to level George Bailey, man of talent.

And on this viewing, surprise of surprises,

Mr. Potter turns out to be the only man

trying to save poor George,

even if it is

only out of self interest.

And all those gut-wrenching moments 

coming so close to escaping:

the board meeting,

the bank run,

the train station with Harry,

the call from Sam Wainwright,

(if that idiot can make it anyone can).

If only Ernie the cabbie

would just chloroform Georgie-boy.

Just so he could get out of his own way 

for a half an hour. 

The real dagger in the soul though is the end

when he’s wet, disheveled 

with tinsel matted on his head, 

looking out as an imbecile on all proceedings,

as he is made

to feel grateful for it all.

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