It's A Duplicitous Life

Services for Real Estate Pros with Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina

For the first time, I watched "It's A Wonderful Life".  Just finished it about a quarter of an hour ago.  Despite it being on television with commercials and all, I sat through the entire way.  That's rare for me and a movie.  Even more rare is that the last forty-five minutes were spent utterly enthralled by the spirit of the film.

While another happy ending lends me to tears and also tends to bore me to them at times, I thought it appropriate with this film.  I was truly touched.  And my chin is wearing the stains of a few ducts as I type.

But then, as Life would have it, came "Breaking News" in color as the black & white of that classic film left my television screen ...

"Bernie Madoff's Son Found Dead After Apparent Suicide," next ... on your evening news.

That's not a happy ending and I'm sad to hear or read or see any of that stuff. 

I just am ...

Money rarely buys time or happiness.  And we could all use a Guardian Angel along the way.

Comments (28)

Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Actually, you get to declare yourself a grown-up when you can sit through It's a Wonderful Life. I was probably in my late 30s before my cynicism relaxed enough to let me watch and listen.

The Madoff son's suicide is very sad for his family. But can I say this without incurring wrath -- I understand it. I can see how someone who lived a life that was artificially created and maintained would see that life wasn't worth living when the world was completely changed. Can you imagine the stress of having to explain and justify your father's massive wrong-doing that you helped perpetuate? Please don't think that I think it was a good decision for this man to kill himself -- but I have known two people who committed suicide and seen families devastated for years afterwords...but humans are not perfect and they make mistakes.

Many major corporate scandals have a person who takes his own life -- Enron and Freddie Mac are two that come immediately to mind. But it's never the top guy, it's a guy one level below who made the top guy's deceit possible.

It is a wonderful life..and we are wonderful but fragile and imperfect. Such is life.

Dec 11, 2010 03:56 PM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

I couldn't put it better, Leslie.


Dec 11, 2010 04:03 PM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jason, this is freaky----we were both watching that movie at the same time.  Always gets me going too.  I agree the Madoff thing just shows how the things we do in our lives impact others in so many ways---both the good and the bad and the ugly.

Dec 11, 2010 04:15 PM
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Its a classic with a very profound story line.  I've watched it for many years and never tired of it.

It was sad to learn of Madoff's sons suicide and I feel especially sad for the children who the news said were in the home at the time.  What an awful thing for them they will never get over.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Dec 11, 2010 04:20 PM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Jason.. first off, congrats and it's about time... I have been watching that movie every year for like the last 15 yrs or so.. sure, I watched it before then, but have made it a point to watch it with my mom when at my parents for the holidays... kind of a tradition the last 15 yrs...

In regards to Madoff's son... any death is tragic in a way... but yes, I think leslie summed it up the best, because I am not always politically correct in my comments.

jeff belonger

Dec 11, 2010 04:24 PM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Jason,

Nice post.

Thanks for sharing.

The real life tragedy and the movie happy ending averting tragedy are very powerful.

God bless


Dec 11, 2010 05:29 PM
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield, WI
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate

Jason - I thought I was the only one that didn't watch that movie for many, many years!  I finally sat thru it about 6 years ago... I passed on watching it tonite.  My household was checking out the news for the info on the blizzard that is attacking us.  And on it's way eastward..... My hubby plows snow, so we are waiting and watching to see when he has to go to work.  Sigh.

Dec 11, 2010 07:29 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good Morning Jason. I watch "It's A Wonderful Life" every year at the Bellcourt. Neat old 1920's era theater in the "Village" in Nashville. Neat movie...

Dec 11, 2010 08:54 PM
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Jason - My boy is growing up! Frank Capra was a man who knew the power of redemption and put it to film. He was a one of a kind director like Cecil B. Demille. I guess we were all watching that movie at the same time , how amazing is that - and kind of spiritual - everyone getting a different meaning - I get a different meaning every time I watch that movie - it is a priceless work of art that has to be view time and time again to gain the true meaning...

Having said that, in a world of selfish motives - it is another example of how Madoff passed his legacy to his sons - completely void of the ramifications of the action one does in life to others.

Sad how one can be so wrapped up in their own world, and not consider the world around us.

We need to see movies and read books on what good people can do to touch others - and we do touch others whether good or bad - we must strive to do good so that we can be a better person and world.

One of the meanings of the movie is that one person can make a difference in people's lives - and I believe that!

Merry Christmas Jason and Jennifer

Dec 11, 2010 11:33 PM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Jason I was saddened by the news as well.  I was at dinner with my husband and some friends and they shared the news in that ghoulish way people have when bad things happen to people with money or fame.  My only comment was "how sad".  

On a happy note, It's a Wonderful Life is a beautiful movie.  I'm going to dig my copy out and watch it this week.  

Merry Christmas to you two love-birds.  I am very happy for both of you.


Dec 12, 2010 12:31 AM
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Jason, I watch It's a Wonderful LIfe every year, that Home Alone and A Christmas Story are all staples for me this time of year. All three have the real important things in life concept.

As for Madoff's son, I think Susan put it best. "how sad".

Dec 12, 2010 02:10 AM
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes of my favorite films. As for the rest of the news.... it is sad. It is sad that someones importance is wrapped up in the sins of their father.  It is sad that so many people feel the need to comment.  It is sad that somebody died across the street or around the corner and we don't know it happened.

The movie presents how many of us wish to be...the following news flash shows how we really are.

Dec 12, 2010 02:15 AM
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Sardi - I like the story line, but, as with RW, its not one of my favorite movies. But I do enjoy that you felt good enough about how the film impacted you to write about it. And when you juxtapose this with Madoff's son (I am sure he would rather be called by his name) it demonstrates what you wrote about money and happiness. Not the choice of songs I expected from you, Sardi. Good.

Dec 12, 2010 04:32 AM
Brenda Archambault
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


Oh my getting engaged and watching  "Wounderful Life" you are going up my boy, now how about "White Christmas" one of my favorit Christmas movies..

Aunt Brenda

Dec 12, 2010 01:07 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Clarence has intervened on my behalf more than once, I am sure. 

Dec 13, 2010 01:16 PM
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Lane - That was a very good one and very truthful when you come to think of it -

Dec 13, 2010 03:30 PM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Jason, I don't think I first saw It's a Wonderful Life until in my twenties but know it very well now. The son of Bernie Madoff story was not a good one. People think money problems crush them. Life is more than money. But I was not in his shoes, so he must have internalized everything and hit a breaking point.

Blog Award

Dec 17, 2010 11:30 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

one of my all-time favourites.  Capra was a genius, and he was at the height of his genius when he made this film. 

"Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death!?"


"now this is a very interesting situation... man doesn't get into a situation like this every day... requires a little thought.... i've heard about things like this, but I've never..."

Dec 18, 2010 03:02 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

May - Agreed.  That film, in of itself, is a gift to the entire world.

Woltal - I'll never know but you're right.  Hence the title of the post ...

Nicholas - Not sure of my Guardian's name ... but I'm sure they've been around at many a times in my life.

Lane - Probably a sure bet:)

Brenda - White Christmas will be next.  Merry Christmas, Aunt Brenda!

Saunders - You know me, like to mix things up and keep myself and others on their toes.

J-Mac - "The movie presents how many of us wish to be...the following news flash shows how we really are."  Astute comment, though something we should all build on to try and change.

Gerry - Very, very, sad ...

Susan - Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, Susan!!!

Dec 18, 2010 04:24 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Yes, we could all use a guardian angel,  and at times I am sure that I have one.. I've done too many stupid things in life for it to be happen chance that it turned out OK.. :)

Dec 18, 2010 03:28 PM