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.

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