Capra’s Tale of a Depressed Idealist: It’s a Wonderful Life, Part 2, by Gary David Stratton, PhD

Part 6 of: Hollywood & Higher Education: Teaching Worldview Through the Stories We Live By

From a worldview perspective, George is asking God–who has never been more than an otherworldly ideal to him–to directly intervene in his physicalist world.

by Gary David Stratton, Ph.D. • Senior Editor

The depressed idealist at home: “You call this a happy home? Why do we have to have all these kids?”

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) provides a wonderful expression of the complicated interplay between the macro-worlviews of Physicalism and Idealism as life-interpreting stories in the life of its main character, George Bailey. At the outset of the film George is caught in the vice between these two warring worldviews. He is an idealist at heart, anxious for freedom from the physicalism of running the family business where his father is trapped “spending all your life trying to figure out how to save three cents on a length of pipe.”  However, after his father’s untimely death, his own idealistic commitment to save the Bailey Building and Loan locks George into an ongoing struggle between these two powerful worldviews. Day after day he labors in the physicalist world of dollars and cents, while steadfastly maintaining his idealistic commitment to honesty, compassion, and justice.

George is a typical modern in that he simply cannot resolve the tension between physicalism and idealism. While the intuited ideals passed to him by his family’s worldview are strong enough to shape his own life, the dualistic skepticism imparted to him by his broader culture is dissolving his confidence that his ideals are actually making any difference in the physical world. Even a lifelong romance with his ever-ebullient wife Mary (Donna Reed) isn’t enough to stem George’s growing angst.

Physicalism at its worst

It is important to recognize how Capra sets up the conflict between George Bailey and the main opposing character, Mr. Potter: “the wealthiest man in town.” Potter (Lionel Barrymore) is the very incarnation of physicalism in its most devastating form—nihilism. To him, there is no meaning in his universe save his own will to dominate others through the power of his wealth.  Early in the film, George contrasts his father’s idealist view of human beings with Potter’s nihilistic perspective:

George: People were human beings to him, but to you, 
 a warped frustrated old man, they're cattle.

To Potter, men like Peter and George Bailey and their “so called ideals” are simply poor businessmen unwilling to dominate those around them for self-gain. Their idealism is nothing but “sentimental hogwash!”

George the idealist is able to smell out and resist Potter’s financial temptations

Potter will stop at nothing to get his hands on the Building and Loan—coercion, intimidation, seduction.  Yet, nothing succeeds. As a “steadfast main character,” George holds onto his ideals despite of the growing physical proof that his ideals have failed him.

The film’s defining moment arrives when George’s business partner, Uncle Billy, loses a $8,000 bank deposit. (Actually, Potter steals it.) Crushed between the physicalist realities of “bankruptcy and scandal and prison.” George chooses the idealist value of self-sacrifice and takes the blame for the shortfall. Finally surrendering to Potter’s domination, George asks his wealthy enemy for a loan.  Seizing the moment, Potter not only refuses to help, he swears out a warrant for George’s arrest. But before he does, he trashes George’s entire life story in a devastating radical physicalist appraisal of the failure of George’s ideals:

Potter: You once called me a warped, frustrated old man. 
What are you but a warped, frustrated, young man? 
A miserable little clerk, crawling in here on your hands 
and knees and begging for help. No securities––no stocks––
no bonds––nothing but a miserable little $500 
equity in a life insurance policy. [laughs] 
You're worth more dead than alive.
George the depressed idealist pleads with Potter for his financial life.

With nowhere else to turn, George makes the ultimate Idealist leap and turns to the one person in Bedford Falls he hopes might be more powerful than Mr. Potter: God. For the first time we see that George’s ideals are rooted not just in his family’s story, but in the broader Christian story of a theistic worldview.  While he is “not a praying man,” George reaches out to the God whose story undergirds the ideals he lives by.

Idealism Breaking In

Don’t miss the courage of how Capra sets up the solution to George Bailey’s dilemma. From a worldview perspective, George is asking for the God–who has never been more than an otherworldly ideal to him–to intervene in the physicalist world.  He is not asking for strength and courage to live out his ideals through this dark hour (as noble and important as such a prayer might be), he is asking God to reach into the physical universe and change it. He is asking God to reach out of the circle of heaven and break into the box of the earth.

With nowhere else to turn, George prays for divine intervention

George’s prayer is the very essence of Biblical theism wherein idealism and physicalism are reconnected and redeemed. George is not asking for the subjective private truth of his ideals to prevail, he is asking for objective public proof that God is alive and active in the world. In the pre-dualistic language of Jesus, he is asking for a God to exert his rulership on the earth so that “his will is done on ( the physicalist) earth as it is in (idealist) heaven.”

What’s more, Capra has insured that the audience already knows what George doesn’t: God is listening! The movie opens, not only with George’s prayer, but also the countless prayers of his family and friends flooding heaven with petitions on his behalf. While the corny constellation graphics are a bit over the top and his human-turned-angel theology flawed, Capra makes certain that audience knows that the world he has constructed in his film is inhabited not merely by physical human beings, but God, and angels, and human souls.

It is NOT a merely a physicalist world. It is an idealist one as well. They are interconnected. When a despondent George drives to the bridge to end his own miserable failure of an idealistic life, the world of ideals breaks into the physical world in the person of one very star-crossed angel–Clarence.

Clarence: You've been given a great gift, George -- 
A chance to see what the world would be like without you.
God’s inbreaking? Clarence Oddbody, Angel Second Class

Needless to say, the rest of the film is slow and certain vindication of George’s idealist worldview in the physicalist world of sense perception. One-by-one, Clarence reinterprets George’s idealistic decisions on an even deeper level than George ever imagined.  George was just trying to the “right” thing. As it turns out, he was also doing the “world-changing” thing. Not only is God willing to break into the physical world by his actions; George Bailey is changing the outcome of the physical universe in the direction of the will of God by his own idealistic actions.

Capra’s vision expresses the heart and soul of Christian theistic idealism: the possibility of the knowledge of God being manifest not only in the private realm of subjective knowledge, but also in the public world of sense perception. Jesus taught his disciple to pray for the “public” manifestation of the compassion and power of God, because “through answered prayer Jesus’ students experienced God as alive and active in the physical world.” He not only proclaimed the reality of the unseen (idealist) kingdom of God, he demonstrated its reality in the (physicalist) world through supernatural answers to prayer. (See, With Prayer in the School of Christ.)

Divine “in-breaking” is a key element of  Capra’s film. Just as people could “know” that the kingdom of God was “breaking into” the kingdoms of this world through supernatural answers to prayer in Jesus’ ministry, George Bailey (and vicariously, Capra’s audience) “knows” (in Hebraic language, understands by experience) that God has broken into his world. Just as Jesus called for his followers to bet their lives on the “unseen” ideals of the kingdom on the basis of the “seen” supernatural interventions of God (John 14:11), so George Bailey reaffirms his commitment to his unseen ideals because of God’s physical intervention in his life. As Clarence concludes:

Clarence: You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. 
Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?
George’s second prayer is the movie’s transforming moment

Capra’s moral premise is clear: despite strong physical evidence to the contrary, living in the light of idealism is “a wonderful life,” because those ideals are rooted in God himself. It is worth being an idealist even in a world dominated by physicalism, because as important as the physical world is, it is not all there is. They are interconnected in ways that George’s dualism (and skeptical hold upon his idealism) prevented him from ever imagining.  [1]

Next: It’s a Wonderful Life #3: The Courage to Live (and Create Art) Idealistically



[1] I am fairly confident that, like most artists, Capra intuited these worldview issues and expressed them in his art far beyond what he could have explained philosophically. For more insight into the concept of a “moral premise,” see, Stanley D. Williams, The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue & Vice for Box Office Success (Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2006).

48 Replies to “Capra’s Tale of a Depressed Idealist: It’s a Wonderful Life, Part 2, by Gary David Stratton, PhD”

  1. This article and the film have really opened up the notion of sticking to my ideals. I think that everyone has their own set of ideals and way of life that they try to live with but end up battling because of the physicalism in the world. It seems that, as was the case with George Bailey, it is easy for me to overlook the positive influence I have had while striving towards my ideals and focus more on the physical things I have not obtained. I hope that I am now more perceptive to the things such as the joy I bring to kids I have coached in youth football and not worry so much about the bonus I didn't get at work. Although it seems like a simple approach to life the task has proven more difficult than expected thus far.

  2. “What I learned from It’s a Wonderful Life about Atheism, Idealism, and Physicalism and their impact in my life.”

    In response to this beloved movie and reading Part II, I would have to say I never really thought much about the combination of both the idealistic and physicalistic worldviews in my own Christian faith. While I had a strong notion that I was not 'heavy-footed' in one or the other, reading the explanations in conjunction with the movie brought these two to light for me. I have learned that the combination of the two worldviews can exist in that one shows God's hope for mankind and the other His actual intervention within.

  3. This movie presents a moving tale of idealism in a world full of other ideas. George is a good man who is torn again and again by the people like Potter who only see the world for what they can take(physicalism). George is a man of high morals and character. Through his good works with the bank George proves that a life filled with faith, family and friends is no match for physicalism or the materialistic world we live in today. I realy enjoyed how God sent Clarence to be George's savior in his darkest hour. God does this for all of us just not in such obvious ways. This movie reminded me that good is always present even at the worst of time. God is always listening and he is there for us. We just have to listen.

  4. I have for years watched this movie during the Christmas season. In fact the first year I watched the movie in it's entirety I was in a spot in my live where the character really spoke to me. As a young man I had my life mapped out and was as sure of myself and my future as every. Much in the same way George Baily and I were idealist. The world was ours to explore, but certain events in both George Bailey life and mine caused us to examine and question our worldviews. With the loss of a job and financial devastation on the horizon I came face to face with a realization similar to George. My worldview was changing and I was having a hard time maintaining the idealist outlook I once had, So at Christmas time I found my self on a slippery slope and needing help a lot like George although I did not find myself on a bridge I did find myself enlisting Divine intervention. As the movie ended, I for a short period of time felt as though I had connected with George and we both had been given a second opportunity in life to make a difference in our families' lives. The movie still tugs at my heart as I relive the struggles George and I have shared. I am very thankful that I did not go the way of Potter and become a financial hoarder when my job returned. The temptation was their to shift toward a physicalism worldview, but each year I watch the movie and remind myself how lucky I am to have been given a second chance and just like George I want make the most of of my new opportunity,

    1. Wow, thank you for sharing Kevin! What a blessing to have been 'saved' from a Potter life before you started on that path.

    2. It's unfortunate that you had to go through such a situation, but it is also nice to know that you can make such a connection with George and take more out of the movie. This film is definitely an eye opener for me and hopefully many others about the impact we have in the world. It may seem insignificant to us when we're dreaming of bigger and better things, but the bigger and better things are right in front of us as long as we are able to recognize it. Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. One of the things that I learned about worldviews while watching 'It's a Wonderful Life' is that they are not always mutually exclusive. There's a lot of focus on the contrasting, and even battling, worldviews of Idealism and Physicalism; George Bailey's idealism drives him to want to escape the "box" (physicalism) that Bedford Falls and his father's life represents. He idealizes that happiness lies outside that box and so has a hard time recognizing the joy that a life of simplicity self-sacrifice and can provide him. Not until after his Dickens sequence of seeing what life would be life without him does he recognize the good he has managed to do from within the box and how it is truly fulfilling. So his physicalism becomes his idealism. The movie, along with the articles here, have showed me that perspective plays a role in worldview and that idealism and physicalism can influence each other.

    1. I like your point about perspective. Throughout the movie I thought that George was living a good life and helpign the world; just at the community level. It wasn't until the scene with him yelling at his family, when he kicks the models of his bridge and building that I realized he was still holding onto the idea of leaving Bedford Falls and doing "big things". It's all because I was looking at it from a completely different perspective than George was.

  6. It's a wonderful life was one of the most compelling movies I have ever watched. First off, for years I have always viewed the movie as another typical Christmas movie. Another replicate of Scrooge. But by using the Apologetics as I viewed the movie, my mind opened up to realize the meaning of the movie was so much more intense. I am very similar to George Bailey, I view life in a idealist view and my desire to help my fellow man/woman! I work a regular 9 – 5 job in order to survive, but ideally, I feel that God has a plan for each and every one of us!

    1. You are so right God do have a plan for all of us. For George's plan was to stay and help the people of his community. He made such a difference in so many lives that when he was at the end of his rope and so very discouraged someone above thought enough of him to send him a guardian angle.
      Sometimes I believe I also have a guardian angle, because sometimes I too feel discourage with my life but then someone or something give me a reason to want to live a little longer. Thank you Lord!!!!

    2. It seems so much more rewarding to be giving and helping other people. It is hard to imagine how a Potter can even get up each morning know that only he will benefit at the end of the day. It seems to be such a non fulfilling worldview. Although we read about Potter's every day in the paper and they seem to be plenty happy and full of themselves. I am with you, giving is afar better way to go.

  7. I have never watched this movie before in it's entirety. the little I had seen of it was very depressing. This was a great opportunity to watch the whole movie and see and understand the purpose of the movie. One thing that was really brought home to me was that we don't always know our impact on those around us. This movie really showed the rewards of having a good family and friends.George was able to withstand many trials like going to work for Potter and sacrificing his dream to stay and run Bailey's Building and Loan. George wasn't rich, but he was able to provide for his family. He lived by his principles and made moral decisions because of his morality, but in the final analysis, this was not enough. George needed God. like we all do. . This movie will be one that I watch again.

    1. My kids think I am a little odd but watching the movie each holiday season is a way to understand what is important in our family and examine our families worldview or story. The kids laugh but at the end of the day I want them to see the negative net result of being like Potter. They are reminded once a year how giving and sharing with others can pay huge dividends.

    2. I think that with TOO much idealism, it is easy to overlook the impact we have on those around us or the world. The movie showed me that being too focused on what you think you want and what you don't have can mean missing out on a lot of the joy in our day-to-day life.

    3. You are correct in what you say. George had his plan for his life early on. God had another plan for him. By living a good life. George developed strong friendships and those friends were there for him when he needed them the most.

  8. What I learned from It's a Wonderful Life about Idealism is that many times I get caught up in what I am missing. I am consume with what I could be doing and want to do. I tend to disregard the most important things and events happening right around me. Just like George, our mind wonders and see in the news of fun places, great things to do and we wish we could be there or go there. The issue of helping one another, we denied helping a friend in need or giving to the poor because we want to save up for this ideal place we want to go and we miss the very opportunity that God just put in front us. This was a great reminder for me to give at every opportunity and love at all times.

    1. You have captured my thoughts. I too learned it is better to give and to love often. This movie is a great way to look at what you have and not what you don't have.

    2. I couldn't agree with you more. The film is a good reminder that there are many things around us that we have a postive influence on but we don't see them because we're too caught up in the physical aspects of our lives. I think society is part of the reason we strive for bigger, better things while overlooking the good we can accomplish in our own backyard.

  9. This was a good movie for me to watch this week as I had a scene in my household similar to That in the Bailey home. With work (or worring about if I will have any), school, reserves, and other obligations I have been less than pleasurable to be around latley. Yesterday as I was starting this movie and trying to hear it over the chaos that are my three children, I had myself a Bailey blowup similar to when George comes home after the money gets lost. As I watched the movie I felt pretty stupid for getting so upset and my wife just laughed and said it could be a movie about me. Like George I also find myself questioning if my ideals are making a difference in the physical world. With busy schedules and the pressures of the physical world it is all to easy to forget what really matters in life. Although Clarence didnt show up to help me, God has his ways of getting you message. This time it ironically was doing my assignment.

    1. That's great Richard, I am a firm believer that God may not be there when you want but he is always right on time. I too had an extreme George Bailey blowup with my brother -in -law. I was just not happy with the way he was treating my sister and I told him so and in doing so I gave him a big piece of my mind. I hope that my words got through to him, and to my surprise my sister called me and thanked for standing up for her. She told me it was about time someone put him in his place. I give all I got to help people and sometimes I can be over the top in helping not considering myself but making sure things are good for others. This movie help me see my own character.

    2. Thanks for your transparency. Sometimes I feel that "You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have so many children?" moments!

  10. I agree we touch more lives than we think. God allows us to be in places at the right time in order to touch the lives of others. I held an Education Fair in Denver last week and left for a moment to use the restroom. I noticed a gentleman who looked very sad walking down the hall. I walked up to the man and explained how we were having an Education Fair and how I hoped he could join. He thanked me for taking the time to say hi and invite him to the fair. The man never showed up to the fair but he did pass by and waved at me with a big grin on his face. I waved back and didn't think twice about that moment. The next morning I received an email from the man in the hall thanking me for stopping to say hello. He went on to explain how no one in the building had ever gone out of their way to stop and acknowledge him or say hello. I couldn't believe what a simple smile and hello did for the gentleman I met in the hall that day.

    1. Kelly, yes we do touch more lives than we realize. One of the reasons I'm going to school for HR is because I want to work in a field that will make a difference and have a impact on every life I touch. When watching the movie, the most touching part of the movie to me is the scene in the building and loan when everyone came in to get their money out and how George gave up his honeymoon and hard earned money to help each and every member of the town who had stake in the building and loan. He didn't do it for himself, he did it to keep the townsfolk from being victims to Mr. Potter and his vicious business manuvers.

  11. As I learn more about worldviews and trying to interpret my own worldview I am coming to realize that I am in some ways like George, I am an Idealist in may ways but feel the responsibilities of a physicalist and even maybe a bit of existentialist. Research and this class will give me a better understanding I am sure. One Interesting aspect of the movie was how for George his deep rooted responsibilities won over his dreams throughout the movie and he continuely gave up his dream to fullfill what he felt was the right thing to do. Even though George felt like everyone was better off without him, his life clearly made a difference to many in the community. We fail to realize the impact that our lives have on others lives and the movie brings to light how different the lives of many would have been had George not been born and was the turning point for George. Good lessons to be learned for anyone.

    1. I agree even though we may not realize it every life plays a part in the big picture and affects others around us. It is up to the individual whether it will be for bettering lives around us such as George Bailey did or making things miserable like Potter

    2. I feel a little bit like George, I feel like I never fulfilled my dreams, it seems like something or someone always got in the way. I know I must have done something right thought because I am blessed with a great family and wonderful friends. I have always felt like the major decisions I have made are because of deep commitment to God and my family. I pray that I have had a good impact on my larger community as well.

  12. Addendum to my previous post:
    This morning, I had rather an A-Ha moment, as I realized that my thinking was changed just from the assignment to watch "It's a Wonderful Life". In previous experiences with this movie, I had certain expectations and hopes for what I needed (or wanted) from the moviie: "warm fuzzies", a sense of holiday tradition, human-interest and character engagement, good family time together, etc.

    While all of the above are valid personal reasons, my perspectives were challenged as I watched the movie out of typical context and setting. Watching the movie alone, on my computer; setting aside previous expectations; trying to disengage from the story so as to see what was really happening; and filtering my thoughts through the sieve of expert views ("Wonderful Life" articles 1,2, & 3) all challenged me toward a different experience. I admit to an element of sadness with the realization I will never view "It's a Wonderful Life" in the same way again. I also admit to a sense of joy that I will never view this story in the same way again.

    All told,iIt would seem that this assignment met the goal of stretching my perspectives and encouraging transformation! (though I expected a comfortable, familiar experience…and was longing for a bowl of popcorn by the fire…)

    1. I felt the same way – that I will never view that movie in the same simplistic lens as I have previously and was a bit saddened by that at first. However, once I get over that initial realization, I'm expecting to gain more and more insight and wisdom from it each time I watch it in the future. There are so many different things that we can take from the movie. One can analyze the role of Clarence and how even while George was being helped and transformed by what Clarence was showing him, that George actually ended up helping Clarence as well, but enabling him to "get his wings". One could also analyze more of the dynamic of the family and look at worldviews from their perspectives. George isn't the only person that must have had a worldview shift in the family. Then, there's Potter. What a crotchety old man. We all know a few of those. This movie opens my eyes to be more aware of the Potters all around us. There are plenty. All of that just to say, that I agree that I will never view this movie through the same lens again and that's a great thing.

      1. It was a great ending when George ended up helping Clarence as well. So many times when we help ourselves, we also end up helping other people. I was hoping that Potter would come to his senses and come to help George as well. I guess you still have those types of people that never do end up doing the right thing.

      2. Even though the movie is quite old, it carries a timeless message for humanity. I agree that I will look at this movie in a different light from now on.

      3. I agree with you, I also will never view this movie the same way again. The last time I watched it I guess I was to young to relate to it. I think its one of those movies that really hits home after you have experienced the ups and downs of life. speeking of insight did you notice the black bird when bad things seemed to happen and the squirrel when good things happened I wonder if that had signifigance or I just missed something.

      4. Your right there are Potters all around us. I think I may be working for his grandson.

      5. Another one you might enjoy is another Capra movie titled "You Can't Take It With You". My wife & I watched it last year, and we agreed that it was an incredibly clear presentation of the gospel. A older, patriarchal man invites people to come join him at his house, where they are allowed to do whatever it is they are good at (what they were made to do). I marveled at such a lovely view of God's invitation to each one of us, to come live with Him, and enjoy the gifts that He has given us.

        There is also Potter-type character, but this one has a much more satisfying ending…

      6. Tricia you took the words right out of my mouth….I too will never view It's a wonderful life again. First off, I previously viewed it as a typical Christmas movie. But after reading the articles and completing the Apologetics, I realized that the movie held so much more. I am much like George Bailey, I look at life in a Idealist view, realizing that everything in life does not have to be seen as hard evidence to be true.

    2. I had no expectations of this movie, but was really blessed by it. To see in film that God does"break through" and change the course of history is a great reminder for me. It is easy to become cynical in today's world.

  13. I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" with seemingly a new pair of glasses this week. The in-depth comments provided by the Two Handed Warrior articles (1,2, &3) shed new insight, and made me look beyond the surface of the story. I especially appreciated the challenge to understand more about George Bailey's struggles and worldview as he went through the major crises of his life. His struggle to find value, meaning, and a purpose for his life seemed to speak to the struggles which many people face in the journey of life. He seemed to struggle with the physical and spiritual elements of life–as he tried to determine truth and reality in his situation of crisis and conflict. The story took George from what seemed to be a narrow, rigid view of life, to the ability to see God's hand working in the bigger-picture of his story. I so appreciated the comment that "….despite strong physical evidence to the contrary, living in the light of idealism is a "wonderful life"…because those ideals are rooted in God himself." (Part 2, It's a Wonderful LIfe" commentary). George Bailey certainly came to that realization–as his experiences molded his worldview. I sense a challenge to be flexible and willing for transformation to happen in our lives–as we seek God's intervention and direction along the journey.

  14. I have been watching It's a Wonderful Life nearly every Christmas since I was a kid. I never watched from a Christian perspective, I only saw it as a Christmas tradition. What I learned from watching this time is the inevitability of a collision of iidealism with physicalism in our lives. We live a physical existence, but as Christians, we view life from an idealistic perspective. Whether we are waiting for eternity in heaven or facing life's difficulties, we are guided and directed by a power greater than ourselves. My view on atheism is it's the fallout from that collision, when we want to make sense of things in our lives, that need a supernatural response that does not come in our time, when God's plan does not look like the rosie outcome we had anticipated. I believe if we had an opportunity to interview Mr. Potter, we would find personal trauma at the root of his world view

    1. Great insight! I've found that many people's atheism is rooted in a time "when God's plan does not look like the rosie outcome we had anticipated." Those are certainly the times when I am most tempted to wonder if there's a God or not.

    2. Excellent post! I appreciate that you shared your "view on Atheism", as it seems that many of the posts in this forum have been tip-toeing around this issue. I especially appreciate your awareness of the inherent conflict (or, "collision") which is present between worldviews. Thanks for stirring the waters and helping us think through challenging perspectives about faith (or lack thereof)…

    3. Hi Kim,

      I appreciate your insight of what it means from a Christian perspective. I agree with you that Mr. Potter's past experience has shape and mold him to have the worldview he did in the movie. We all do, and through our experiences, I feel we can either move in the direction of love and hope or bitterness and selfishness. I personally felt the one most important thing Mr. Potter was trying to get he missed it all together. Imagine how rich he would have been if he would have shown the kind of love George did. George's old loan building would have been shut down so fast.

    4. Thanks for you point about Potter. I agree that people that I would call "heartless" just need healing themselves. Pain is displayed in many forms. People drink to much, over eat, work to much, etc…

    5. I never wondered what made folks be atheists, but I thought of Ebenezer Scrooge from a Christmas Carol when I saw this movie. The similarities are undeniable. They are both lonely, mean people. If one were trying to convert someone to this way of thinking, these are characters are not someone I would want to emulate.

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