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Letter from the Co-CEO: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Good by Lynette Lim

Three apples on a log with green grass in background. L to R: small mold-covered apple, slightly larger apple with bruises and some mold, larger unblemished apple.

 

Dear friends,

Those of you born before the 1990s will probably recognize that I am playing with a famous film title: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the 1966 Spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Leone.  The movie is about three different characters, the Good (Clint Eastwood), the Bad (Lee Van Cleef), and the Ugly (Eli Wallach), who meet as they all try to find the same bag of buried gold.  The beauty and great success of this movie catapulted Clint Eastwood to stardom.

(Before you think I am making fun of the millennials for not knowing about Westerns, I would be the first to admit that I have been living in a hole this whole time, because last month was the first time I have ever watched this movie!  At least I have heard the theme song before!)

The movie was excellent, and like many Westerns it had a predictable ending where the good prevails over the bad. The intellectual part of me has always sneered at Hollywood movies in general because of their seemingly formulaic ending: “and they lived happily ever after.”  But the reason why it is the formula is because it works.  People do want to watch a movie where there is a happy and predictable ending and the good guy wins.  Real life as we know it is messy.  It doesn’t tie up in neat bows.   And mostly, in our real life, the bad seems to prevail over the good.