Blog Archives - FAILURE FARMS
 
The Death of Jack Layton. The week has just begun but the failure for this week broke through a CBC morning radio report about the horrors in Libya, and brought what feels like a very personal tragedy home to my house. I knew Jack in the way that so many Canadians appear to have known him. I knew him because of the help he offered me and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (A Toronto based Queer Theatre) during the time that I was leading the company. It was a difficult period. He supported the company long before I was on the scene and he continued long after I left. So I knew him because he would "show up", he would "support" and he would "party". I was an immediate admirer and have remained so ever since. Buddies in Bad Times was not always an easy place to love. When I came on the scene, many of Jack and Olivia's colleagues were hoping we would vacate the premises, give up the dream and allow for a more generalized grouping of artists to take over the space. Jack and Olivia understood the need for Buddies. They understood the fun, the passion, the comedy, the sexuality, they understood that humans are widely unique and that this needs be supported not reigned in. I felt then, and I feel it again now - especially after reading his last letter, that in many ways he understood this way more deeply than I. He is one of those rare, rare humans who did not lose his way when he gained power. He never lost his love of a dance move or joke and he - clearly - never lost his optimism. And he is a great inspiration to me; especially as I struggle to see how an interest "Failure" can positively impact upon the planet. I am angry that he did not make it. But this is a failure in me. And I believe that this man, this leader would have understood this failure, supported this failure and had fun with this failure. I firmly believe that Jack Layton understood that failure is the fastest route to success. I firmly believe that he understood that there is no top without a bottom. And finally his very life lived, is a testament to a man fearless in the face of adversity and optimistic in the face of despair. His life lived was a tremendous success. His life lost and the manner in which he went can only be seen as one of the more remarkable achievements of personhood and statesmanship combined. I will continue to fail as I aspire to live close to the shadow space of this excellent human. RIP Jack Layton. My thoughts and love to your family and those who loved you well. You have left the world a better place. It is up to us now. to Fail. BUT to Fail Better.
 
Certainty. This is the week that certainty failed. A week where I was introduced to Yvonne Rainer and her bookFeelings Are Facts. This introduction linked with a grouping of tiny stories has got me thinking about certainty and how its smooth facade allows for an acceptable ordering of the chaos. "I am certain I will see the sun come out again" we say or "He is certain that that the stock market will rise/that love will return to whisper in his ear/that a parent's love will never die" Without certainty it'd be pretty hard to get anything done. And yet, let's face it, certainty is a joke, a construct, a smooth kind of pudding that aims to soften the blow of its opposite, and much more accurate counterpart: uncertainty. "He is uncertain that the stock market will rise/uncertain that love will return to whisper in his ear/uncertain that a parent's love will never die" I believe in the second guy, the uncertain guy,  and I find I am more drawn to him as well. He is dressed a little oddly, the hint of dandruff on his rumpled collar, the unseen hair lingering on his chin. And he is also the guy who is "uncertain that the sun will come out again". And I am drawn to him! Because this week I learned that the sun is not certain. Bill Clinton has become a vegan, my mother has become a ghost,  peace has not prevailed in Lybia, in Israel, in my neighbourhood, in my heart, but free speech has gotten a lot quieter. I am certain that the icebergs will melt. I am certain that It is perhaps because of this statement that I think certainty failed this week. Uncertainty is waiting in the wings....
 
The UK Riots What is going on? the riots the complete chaos. the unfettered response. the unexpected dignity the rise of vigilante -ism. The riots were not the failure. NEWS OF THE WORLD. greed. lack of connection. FAILURE. I learned once that the world was insane. It struck me then as slightly insane to even give the world "human" attributes. It strikes me now that I was absolutely crazy not to understand that the world is insane. and it can only become less so one conscious person at a time. And that one at a time will never catch up with the billion towards infinity population growth we are seeing.(But not aknowledging)  Does any young person living in a city that exceeds - say 5 million - really believe that the world - as an entity has its shit together?..............
 
The Debt Ceiling. I am not sure how to choose from the smorgasbord of frailty on this one. So I will start with the blanket. That thing that coddles and confuses us, that thing that puts us to sleep and then wakes us up again because it is choking us. That thing that Marshall Macluhan became famous for seeing. I call it the blanket. But it is that thing that we now just simply call The Media. And why not? There is scant a press to be found anymore anyway. The trees should be sighing but it is hard to do so when they are on fire. This was a rough week. A week that succeeded brilliantly at failing in a variety of ways. But I will stick with the start. The Debt Ceiling and how the story got told by The Media. Why oh why did we the people, the plebeans who listen to the radio, who grew up with the notion that there was a trustworthy news source out there, believe anything? Or was it just me? Now it is me sighing and I definitely feel like I am on fire. The failure is within, perhaps. Why oh why did nobody report on how raising the debt ceiling - until this week - has been as common in American politics as fairly elected representation appeared to be? Why oh why did it take the 11th hour story telling for it to emerge that Obama, and with him an enormous part of the world, was being held captive by a kind of corporate racism and belligerent fear? A fear so rampant that it is bound to tear so many  -  albeit flawed -  but largely civlized processes apart? Should I blame Poetics for how our news stories unravel? There is an anecdote about Ghandi that used to make me laugh, that when he first returned home to India from America he was asked "what do you think about western civilization?" To which he replied: "I think it would be a good idea." I miss being moved to laugh on this one. I miss believing in the notion that flaws were merely indicators of a system that was largely holding. I miss believing in evolution being the key agent of change. Change is not a positive. Not necessarily.