Monday, January 26, 2009

A Ramble on Failure

Failure is much in discussion these days. Banks, administrations, stocks, businesses, bureaucracies, teams, marriages, armies, movies, CEOs, jet engines, governors, software, trust. It's a great big fail fest out there. Failure is the great big excuse now. It's the new predicate. Obama is elected because supposedly Bush and Republicans failed so horribly to do, well, something about everything. There were many successes but from the perspective of certain people, they are failures. For example, the liberation of 50 million or so damned souls, regardless of the reason why, is one of George Bush’s most unforgivable failures. The fact that the United States did not experience a major terrorist attack on its soil since 9/11 is not a Bush success, but a terrorist failure. Prescription subsidies for old folks is a huge failure because they have to pay a bit of the cost, as opposed to getting full ride. No Child Left Behind is a failure because it causes schools to fail because of its heartless standards setting. A full-service prison holding scum taken from the battlefield is deemed a failure and must close. With so much failure in the air, one would think that a success here or there would be cause for hope. Who doesn't love success? Lots of people. This headline is indicative:

“Girls Basketball Coach Fired After 100-0 Win”
One might surmise that the coach of the team that lost to another team by 100 unanswered points was the poor slob cast into the unemployment line. Nay. The coach of the winning team was fired.

“The coach of a Texas high school basketball team that beat another team 100-0 was fired Sunday, the same day he sent an e-mail to a newspaper saying he will not apologize "for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity."”

Surely the coach said or did something to warrant this response. He failed to do something, but what?

On its Web site last week, Covenant, a private Christian school, posted a statement regretting the outcome of its Jan. 13 shutout win over Dallas Academy. "It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honorable approach to competition," said the statement, signed by Queal and board chair Todd Doshier.
Oh, he simply failed to be like Christ. Good lord. SBD does not remember where in the New Testament Christ spotted the Devil 20 points in competition. I seem to recall the devil going 0 for 40 in some desert challenge with Jesus.

"In response to the statement posted on The Covenant School Web site, I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed," [Coach] Grimes wrote in the e-mail, according to the newspaper. "We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity."

But as we drill down, we find a bit of information regarding the other team, the losing team, the failed team.

“Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school. It is winless over the last four seasons. The academy boasts of its small class sizes and specializes in teaching students struggling with "learning differences," such as short attention spans or dyslexia.”

These are the real heroes -- the genetic failures, as it were – not the boastful score runneruppers. They deserve great applause for playing the entire game, for not whining, for persevering, for failure to not bailout in the midst of crushing, in your face defeat. They signed up to play and they played. They are a success for that reason. Their teachers, coaches, administrators, what have you, could have pulled the plug and stormed off and taken righteous umbrage and in today’s climate they would get some kind of bailout – in the coin of sympathy and cooing salves to their punished little egos. But that hasn’t happened too much. In other words, they made a particular commitment to an endeavor – in this case basketball - bounded by set of constraints, rules and opportunities. They have stuck to this plan for four years and have yet to find success, but they continue on, finding success in the effort itself. We should root for them and hope they find a win.

Back on the national stage, we find a similar mindset. President Obama is to engage in a series of escapades designed to deliver us from the successes, as it were, of the Bush years. We have been instructed to wish him success in his efforts. But he can’t be allowed to fail, we are told by fairies in the air. He must score 100 points! His detractors must fail miserably; they must be squashed, humiliated, excoriated for their intemperance in the face of divine wisdom, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Now, Sydney Brillo Duodenum embraces the culture of failure as much as the next cynic. The fact that he has time in the middle of his day to post about failure is indicative of a certain amount of failure in his own life. SBD is a tiny wheel in the great clock that is Stateus Corruptus. SBD expects that a good deal of President Obama's agenda will fail miserably. History and data indicate so. Obama will not revive the economy. Government will not revive the economy. Bureaucrats will not revive the economy. Technocrats most certainly will not revive the economy. Americans will revive the economy with their effort to succeed for their own selfish reasons. Leave them their money, stay out of their affairs, allow them to fail or succeed. If they score 100 points. Cheer them wildly. If they score none, pat them on the back and tell them to get ready for the next game. There is always a next game – if you want to play. They will not have a chance, though, if they too much buy into Obama’s drivel that the government is the answer to all the nation’s ills (although he will not admit that it is responsible for half of them). Obama will tell you that 50 points is enough for you and he will give a certain number of points to your opponents, depending on how pathetic they are.

Rush Limbaugh states that he “hopes” President Obama fails. SBD doesn't see a need for hope. Obama is programmed to seek state centralization of economic power; to redistribute from success to failure; to create governmental programs and policies run by people who have never in their lives run a profit-loss center and who have not an entrepreneurial cell in their body; to takeover business too large to fail and thus by definition proving they should fail. By the principles and foundings of our great Republic, socialism is by definition a failure. By the science of economics, socialism is a failure. SBD is not ready to declare the Republic a failure. He knows that Obama will fail. He doesn’t need to hope for it.