Sunday, March 7, 2010

Failure is not an option

Proselytizers of unconditional joy face the heavy burden of always losing the race to reach as many desperate broken souls as possible before the timer runs down, as I mentioned in my recent post about Alexander McQueen. There's always an optimistic pledge to reach the next person on the ledge, but always the letdown when someone isn't reached in time.

It was a bad weekend for goodwill hunting. No one got to Mark Linkous, the brilliant man behind Sparklehorse, and the sometime-collaborator with David Lynch and Danger Mouse. Many people expressed what I felt, particularly Venice is Sinking in their blog item, and Deral Fenderson in his open letter to Linkous:


Why did you do it?

You know I think about it everyday, and I ACTUALLY LOST WAY MORE THAN YOU DID. It wasn't even my fault. I didn't take a bunch of drugs and overdose and pass out on my legs... I was at work, and I stepped backwards into a hole.

And yeah, it fucked me up hard. But it humbled me. And besides.... I thought you had gotten way past all of that. I get sadness, Mark. I fucking get it. I'm sad every day of my life.

I feel like some beautiful flower that was planted in the middle of a field, away from the things that used to nourish it. Wanting the sunlight and the rain, but they never come. I pursue people, only to have them disappear because I'm "broken."

I THINK OF FUCKING DYING EVERYDAY, MARK. EVERY FUCKING DAY. You had it, Mark. Love, respect. You had the skills. Your skills have informed MY skills. I wanted to maybe work with you some day. You know, one weirdo getting it with another weirdo.

Guess I'll never get that chance.

I told Deral the rules are simple: 1. Keep up the hunt for the hopeless. 2. Provide those in need with a joy infusion. 3. Lather, rinse, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Accept the paradox that there will always be a failure rate of a few percentage points or so, but that failure simply is not an option. And never let the dead extinguish the joy or the mission.


Ruth said...

When I read this on GR the other day, Loring, I immediately felt that you'd got it just right.

As I said to my sister who just married her partner in AMS and actually got all the right papers to stay in the Netherlands, and afterwards literally climbed some hundreds of steps up in the Utrecht church, thinking back on all the proselytizers of unconditional joy ahead of her who blazed her trail, we just have to keep taking those small steps up up up. Sometimes our legs are weak and wobbly. Sometimes we want to jump out the window on the way!

The joy, the mission, the climb - it's all one.

Bless you.

squirrellevel said...

This is Jason from Casper & the Cookies. As much as I'd like to claim authorship for the post, we linked it from Venice Is Sinking's blog.

Loring Wirbel said...

Thanks, I just found that out from Deral Fenderson - he said the original Facebook post gave credit to you in its headline, which is where he got mixed up. I will make the change.

Loring Wirbel said...

P.S. Jason, you have a GREAT band, I'm trying to win you more Colorado converts.