Friday, July 04, 2008
The first proper novel I bought was Mario Puzo's The Godfather. I was in Form 5 and this chick told me that it was her favourite book. And when you are 16, it is compulsory to like the same books and movies that your crush (or girlfriend, or whatever) likes.
But she was right, because till today, it remains my all time favourite book. I have lost count the number of times I have re-read it and re-watched the movie trilogy. I have always maintained that anybody who has not read the book or at least watched the movie ought to be shot.
Anyway, in the book, when the ailing mafia Godfather Vito Corleone hands over command to his youngest son Michael, there is much surprise and dissension among the caporegimes (captains).
He does things that make no sense to his family and the capos . He allows the rival gangs to encroach on his territory and then orders his people not to fight back. When he interrogated a guy he was about to have killed to confirm his guilt, his gang took it as a sign of weakness, since they are the mafia and there should be no questions asked. His men address him by his first name, Michael - indication that they have no respect for his leadership.
His perceived weakness and incompetence led to an outright betrayal by one of his capos who plotted to have him assassinated. But out of the blue, in one swift move, he launched an operation to take out all his enemies and conspirators. In one day, he crippled the operations of all the rival gangs and managed to gain control of organised crime in New York. By sitting quietly and acting like an idiot, he allowed his enemies to be complacent and he managed to weed out the traitor in his family.
This is where I come to the final scene of The Godfather movie, where his men realise that he is a genius after all, and they line up to pledge allegience. He stands there like a Greek God presiding over his worshipers lining up to pay homage. The most senior capo bows, kisses his hand and calls him Don Corleone - the ultimate sign of respect.
The ultimate question over the last few days is...
Is our head honcho a genius like Michael Corleone who sits quietly and allows his enemies to take each other out, or is he really a lame duck?
Awesome post, pretty cool the way you linked it all up. And from the latest development in the SAPP's no-confidence motion saga, looks like he might be Don Lah after all.
mrsingh: I guess we can only wait and see.
suanie: I spent the weekend watching the entire trilogy again. 9 hours yoh...