Will Success Spoil Block Stumblers?


You think failure's an orphan? Just look at this collection of upbeat failure-related quotes, or at this collection of even-more-upbeat failure-related quotes. Hey, Gloomy Gus, turn that frown upside down! Failure isn't so bad. It's success if you learn from it! It's the first step toward success! It's the path to wisdom, the key to experience, better than not trying, blah blah friggin' blah! The worst thing about failure, besides the fact that you have failed, is having to listen to a bunch of Mr. Sunshines (all of them successes, of course) telling you how great and ennobling it is to fail.

Here's one of the better things about failure. Failure magazine is celebrating its fifth anniversary today. Failure is a web-only publication that seems to be published really sporadically and written almost entirely by one guy, so it isn't setting the bar for success terribly high, but best wishes to them in making it through a half-decade of fiascos great and small.

Recent stories include a look at the ignominious end of the Hardy Boys. The Hardy Boys Digest books have been canceled, and in a fate worse than discontinuation, the formerly DIY Frank and Joe have been federalized: They now work as the "Undercover Brothers" for the government agency ATAC (American Teens Against Crime).

Also of interest: A retrospective on the box office flop of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which stumbled to the finish line as the number 53 film of 1971 and failed even in its original purpose of getting a Quaker Oats "Wonka" candy bar into the market. (As I noted to considerable controversy last week, the movie also failed to entertain my kid, and Reason's Nick Gillespie informs me that the new Tim Burton joint, despite winning big box office, underperforms the original in almost all respects, making a real hat trick of disappointment.)

So take it from somebody who lives with failure as intimately as Joyce Kilmer's trees live with rain (in a poem that succeeds only in showing the author's failure to make a poem as lovely as a non-sentient object that causes pollution). Failure is always with us, and Failure will show you the way.