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“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
It’s one of the most famous quotes in movies, as Michael Corleone rages in Godfather III over the assassination he narrowly avoided and his inability to steer the family into legit businesses.
Michael - Coyote - Someone - VERY - VERY
Michael is what I like to call a coyote, someone who is VERY smart and VERY strategic. Actually, too smart and too strategic for his own good, what a Brit would call too clever by half.
That’s in sharp contrast to his father, Vito Corleone, who is no less smart and no less strategic, but is somehow far less conniving and far more beloved.
Difference - Character - Deaths - Vito - Michael
You see this difference in character most clearly in the deaths of Vito and Michael.
How does Vito Corleone die? Playing in his vegetable garden with his grandson. At home. Surrounded by life and laughter and plenty of bottles of Chianti.
Vito got out.
How does Michael Corleone die? Sitting in a stony Sicilian courtyard as two skinny dogs scurry around. Struggling to peel an orange. All dressed up and no place to go. Alone. Utterly alone.
Smarts - Strategy - Cleverness - Michael - NEVER
For all his smarts and strategy and cleverness, Michael NEVER got out.
How did Vito get out, while Michael failed? I think it’s the whole too-clever-by-half coyote thing. Michael never trusted ANYONE in the way that Vito did. Michael was obsessed with finding the Answer, an impossibility in the game of organized crime. Or the game of markets.
Michael - Maximizer
Michael was a maximizer.
Which is another way of saying that, like most coyotes, he wasn’t very good at the metagame.
Game - Markets
Do you want OUT from the game of markets?
Game - Lehman - Drag - Game - Markets
Am I good at the game? Yeah. Do I enjoy it? Not really. I used to. But ever since Lehman it’s been mostly a drag. And that’s okay! The game of markets is a means to an...
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