Welcome to Pottersville
Everyone is familiar with “before and after” pictures. Some show a positive difference – “before and after” diet photos – and some a more negative result – usually pictures of celebrities “then” and “now.” But whether they flatter or expose, they make a point that cannot be ignored. These images are designed to inform the viewer of something that they might not otherwise see or understand; that is, the changes that have taken place to the individual involved – over time. But it isn’t just people who become manifestations of the treatment, or mistreatment of time! We see similar photos of things both natural such as landscapes or man-made objects such as buildings or cities. The passage of time affects all things but often terrible things occur that had we been aware, we might have stepped in and prevented or at least alleviated to some extent the damage those things created. The problem with such issues is that there is a point in time at which it is almost impossible to prevent the inevitable. But there is no doubt that the passage of time does much to hide the decay that is taking place, a reason why these “before and after” images are so uniquely informative! When you see the difference between what was and what is, sometimes even the most brain-dead wake up at least a little bit but usually when it is decades too late to do anything! Alas, often the result of knowing is painful when you realize that you did or accomplished nothing to prevent.
Now I did have a “Eureka!” moment when I recently watched that famous “Christmas” movie, It’s a Wonderful Life directed by Frank Capra. The story arose from a “Christmas card” created by the author of the story. It’s an interesting look at how the matter went from a sort of pamphlet that the author couldn’t sell to a publisher but ran off himself and mailed as a Christmas greeting, to the film itself. It wasn’t all that popular at its release but over time has been recognized as the great “story” that it is. I will not go deeply into the narrative save to say when all appears lost for the hero, George Bailey, his guardian angel is permitted to fulfill his desire to “never have been born.” Most people never realize the influ
Article from LewRockwell