Sunday, September 16, 2007

Moved by the Movie

Longing for Bedford Falls....

I think I’ve got the answer.

Do you remember the story of “It’s a Wonderful Life”? The story of George Bailey, and his “wonderful old Building and Loan”? It’s a story about community, about values, about what is really important in our lives.

Why has this movie become a classic? Why do we watch it over and over again, every holiday season? Not surprisingly, it was panned by the critics when it first came out- they didn’t get it.

It is the story of a man, and his connection to the people of a small town. It is also the story of a building and loan, run on trust, built on trust. No collateral, no credit history, no FICO scores. You see, the community was the Building and Loan, and the Building and Loan was the community.

And when the time came, when George Bailey was in trouble, they came to his rescue…. passed the hat, and saved the Building and Loan. They told stories of what George had meant to them, what he had done for them. They were his family.

How different everything is now. We have small towns, but no “small town” values. We will stand by as millions of people lose their homes in the coming years, while banks and financial institutions get bailouts.

So, I had an idea.

We get our legislators together. They, supposedly are responsible for protecting our citizens - not credit card companies, not banks, not hedge funds, but the people of America.

And as they watch this story, over and over again, as many times as necessary, they will begin to get it. They will get that what is missing in their lives is that connection, to the people who they represent. It is the lesson that Bedford Falls has for them.

Now, before you write this off as the ranting of a lunatic, consider this - "An Inconvenient Truth", is a movie. If you doubt its impact on our society, open up any newspaper, any magazine, any TV channel, any day. The Green movement is everywhere. Did it start with this movie? Of course not. But it became part of our experience because we are now connected - we have seen it. It cannot then, be forgotten.

In the event that you think that this is an isolated example, consider that the fast food industry has not been the same since "Supersize Me", Morgan Spurlock’s expose’. McDonald’s has completely changed their menus, added healthy options, no transfats….and they are more profitable than ever.

Michael Moore’s “Sicko” hopefully does the same for the healthcare industry. Those images are going to stay with us, the knowledge that Cuba’s quality of healthcare is so superior to ours. We know that money is not invested in the service, it is paid to the providers… to all the partners, the drug companies, HMO’s the medical community, the managed care agencies, and nursing home facilities.

Perhaps “Sicko” does more to move us toward socialized medicine than Hillary Clinton could, because we felt it, we saw it. It wasn’t the words of a politician.

So, turnabout is fairplay. We, at the mercy of the marketing machine, will we use technology, and take back our power. Pick your passion. Don’t march in protest- pick up a camera, start a blog. Technology is power.

We’ve got so much to do.

Lights… Camera….Roll ‘em


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