Sunday, January 19, 2020

Money Heist | Lefsetz Letter


We’re only two episodes into the second season, and there are four.

If “Money Heist” were in English, it would be the biggest show on television.

That’s not to say it would be the best show on television, but once you get hooked, you eat it right up.

Now on one level the series is meaningless, as in it’s about a heist. And if you’re into cops and robbers, first watch “Spiral,” on Amazon, but that’s in French. And if you want to learn something, view “A French Village.”

But chances are you won’t do any of the above, because you’re too busy going down your own rabbit hole, and you’re not sure if you trust me.

But the reason to watch “Money Heist” on Netflix is because of the people, their personalities.

The truth doesn’t come out until the middle of the first season, they don’t go deep into the background of any of the personalities until then, but when they do, there are so many issues.

Can a group get along? Or is there always someone who bucks the system?

And when the going gets hard, do you stick to the plan or?

And if you’re a hostage, do you try to escape?

I’ve thought about that my whole life. As a Jew you grow up learning about the Holocaust, and you wonder, would you leave?

Looks all rosy from the other side, especially if you know history, but are you willing to give up everything, your house, your friends, your money, in order to try and preserve your life? And the emphasis here is on “try.” It’s like a human version of “Let’s Make A Deal.” And I’m asking you, do you feel lucky? I don’t.

Kind of how I used to talk to Republicans. I always tried to see their side, keep it calm, but the funny thing is they never tried to see my side. Oh, they thought they knew it and it was incorrect, so they had no time for it. But in the age of Trump, I don’t suffer them anymore.

Then again, I’m so busy listening to people to be a member of the group, to be friends, because the rewards are there, when you’re a pinball you learn the pitfalls, you gain experience, you have fun.

But few are listening to me.

That’s another thing I’ve learned about the modern age, how narcissistic people are. They’re just looking for an opportunity to sell you their vision, no matter how bogus, they’ve convinced themselves and now they’re trying to convince you. And they may throw some money to charities, but it’s about embellishing their brand. Poor people going nowhere have no brand, they give out of compassion. But in America everybody believes they’re going to be a winner, and you succeed by appealing to them. Want to know how the election will turn out? Watch the movie “Milk.” Harvey Milk is speaking the truth, but he’s giving no hope, and he loses until he does just that.

My hope is in these shows. Maybe because they’re static, maybe because they can’t jump off the flat screen and try to cajole me into watching. They’re another world, and as much as they’re an escape, I’m looking for truth. Flawed people, usually unaware of their flaws, trying to work it out.

I couldn’t work it out until I went into therapy. I thought I could see the landscape, but I couldn’t. Not that I had to adjust my entire personality, my doctor says you can change one tiny thing and the whole picture changes.

Now if you’re a parent, how involved in your kid’s roadmap are you?

The funny thing is the elites are heavily involved. Making sure their progeny follow the right steps to be comfortable in life, however unhappy they might be. And life’s too short to go through it unhappy, then again, I’ve martyred myself on the slab of commitment more than once.

That’s the conundrum. Rewards go to those who stick with it, but there’s also a time to jump, but those sunk costs…

So, do you pressure your kid into being a winner if they’re a loser?

And if you’re a loser, do you have to own it?

That comes up in “Money Heist.” As well as class. Your dream is you can climb the ladder, whereas those already up top not only won’t let you in, they’re ignoring you. Is it worth it to try and fight your way up there?

And so much of success comes down to character. Then again, many of the mega-rich are flawed. They had to be so myopic, they had to step on so many people to get ahead. Steve Jobs was inherently flawed. Mark Zuckerberg is too. Don’t wait for Mark to be reasonable, it’s not in his toolkit.

But it comes down to applying yourself, how long can you stay in the ring before you cry “uncle.” The truth is most people can’t last too long, so if you can, you march right to the head of the class.

And if you’re a parent, are you watching your own mistakes, or are you just passing them on to your kids, the after-effects or the lessons.

So, can a leopard change its spots?

In other words, once a criminal always a criminal?

And in today’s world, can you get away with anything but white collar crime, has technology progressed to the point where you’re gonna get caught, no matter what? Hell, there are cameras in your own damn house, do you think they’re not going to go to that videotape?

And what’s your price? At what point do you throw over your morals for money?

And at what point do you do what’s expedient, cozy up to your capturers believing it will keep you alive.

And personality drives the car more than looks. The way the women manipulate the men in this series… And they know they’re doing it! And can you handle when a woman comes on to you, when she is calling the shots, or do you get nervous?

And speaking of rules… Do you obey them or do you not? Every day in the news there are legends who have turned out to have crossed the line. Can you say “Houston Astros”?

And at what point are you in so deep that it’s not worth turning back?

And can you rely on others. Today, mostly you can’t, especially on the small things. Will the person show up on time? Will they show up at all?

And some of the winners feel like losers inside. The picture says one thing and the heart says another.

And it still comes down to the question of whether I’d try to escape. I think not. I’d think I could cozy up to my captors, I’d think I’d be rescued, I’d think if I broke the rules I’d pay the consequences, as in getting shot, killed. And death is final. Done deal. The world moves on, you don’t.

I know, I know, it’s just a genre series.

But the masterminding of the crime is fascinating.

But it’s the life lessons that keep me watching.


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