Optional Failure with Ride
Success and failure are as much future potentialities as they are retrospective ones.
Ordering your life in accordance with the potential success or failure of a particular goal is not inherently a bad thing. In terms of pretending to be able to make sense of a chaotic and senseless reality, it’s better for your liver than alcohol and marginally less financially ruinous than heroin. In saying that, both alcohol and heroin have tangible rewards and are near-unbeatable when it comes to habitual predictability, whereas placing hope for order in the pursuance of a less chemically enhanced goal is much more of a crapshoot.
Which is why, for those horrific times in which we do not have access to chemical enhancers and must shift our focus towards achieving something we’ve simply been told has an eventual reward, we must remember that once we have obviously succeeded or failed, we then get to decide what our initial motivation was and thus change the outcome.
You can’t have failed your job interview if your retrospective goal was to succeed in discovering you require prescription-strength deodorant. You can’t have succeeded in destroying your marriage if your retrospective goal was to challenge society’s tyrannical notion of a ‘present father’ by failing to acknowledge your children as anything other than blurry money drains for twelve years. You can’t have failed at being a classic rock band if your retrospective goal was to succeed in inventing the shoegazing scene.
Apropos of the previous sentence, if you’re unfamiliar with the practice of retrospective order, take a lesson from Ride.
Along with acts such as My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and Slowdive, the British experimental pop group Ride helped lay the framework for the shoegaze genre. They are noted for layering sounds into complicated and lush mosaics, while maintaining a strong presence of pop sensibilities. Experience them live.
We can’t have failed in plugging a livestreamed performance by a famous English rock band if our retrospective goal was to succeed in emphasising the importance of making sure you always have a spare emergency stock of liquor and/or heroin around.