The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

Immensely Successful Asshole Preaches Greatness o’ Failing

On my routine visit o’ the creative black hole that is DesignTAXI so I could learn mo’ ’bout the amazing existence o’ people who draw other people’s work with colored pencils, I found this article that simply regurgitated some corporate designer’s work to teach you not to worry ’bout failure—as corporate designers sure needn’t.

I must confess that my minuscule brain finds this message counterintuitive: the very definition o’ failure is that which one doesn’t want; acting to prevent that is almost the definition o’ acting in a successful manner. I’d even say that millennia o’ evolution has taught us that trying to avoid failure is the best way to, well, avoid it.

I think the idea is that failure somehow creates later success, a hypothesis that isn’t backed by evidence. Quite the contrary: success usually begets mo’ success, failure mo’ failure. One is probably better to stick with just success & leave failure to the people who hate living.

See, the wacky part ’bout failure is that it negatively effects someone’s concrete conditions. For example, Millman might say that the violent pain one would feel after jumping off a hundred-story building would teach someone not to do so anymo’, & that that lesson would lead them to succeed further in life by not jumping off hundred-story buildings anymo’. The negative consequences o’ failure teach people not to do the things that cause failure.

I’d agree, but also note that that person’s dead now, & can’t cash in that lesson anymo’. Thus, the problem with “learning” from failure: the time when that lesson is useful is usually after the failure has already happened. Thus, failure is usually only truly useful if one has a time machine to go back & prevent those failures. In contrast, not committing the failures in the 1st places gains one the same benefits. Sure, one doesn’t “learn” from the failure; but one skips the failure, anyway, so one doesn’t need that lesson—not to mention the various ways one can learn from failure without experiencing it oneself. Better advice might be, “Watch other people who fail a lot so you can learn from their failures & not suffer the consequences.” Wouldn’t that be mo’ practical?

Usually, when one “learns” from failure, it’s when they never truly experiences failure @ all. See, when I think o’ failure, I think o’ mentally-deranged people dying o’ dehydration & hypothermia out on the streets. Judging by Millman’s words o’ wisdom, she seems to think failure is feeling a tad sad ’bout oneself. With these radical differences in outlook, it’s not hard to see why we have opposing views on the value o’ failure.

If I were callous, I might even question what failures the “President o’ Design” @ the republic o’ Sterling Brands might’ve endured. ’Course, I am callous, so I shall do just that: what do you know ’bout failure?

Then ’gain, perhaps her “illustrated essays,” which appear to be emulating the style o’ my 6-year-ol’ nephew, prove her point well. I might even be impetuous ’nough to say that anyone could do such work; then ’gain, people said the same ’bout abstract artists. Then ’gain, said abstract artists said the same, too, so perhaps they were right. Millman doesn’t seem to harbor the same self-awareness.

’Course, there are 2 sides o’ failure: doing shoddy work & being treated as if one had done shoddy work. This is where our opinions diverge, ’course: she seems to think it important to do a lot o’ shoddy work—just don’t be treated as if you did shoddy work. Hell, our President o’ Design follows this: as we can see by her cliché collages o’ typography that’d make a art-school freshman roll her eyes, she continues to do shoddy work & be paid millions for it.

See, I have the opposite view, for some reason: I think people should put effort into doing good work, even if one doesn’t get any reward for it. That must be why I’m not President o’ Design—or even Speaker o’ the House.

You can’t fault some o’ her inspiring messages, however:

Start with a big fat lump in your throat.

Start by choking yourself to death. Millman doesn’t fuck round: we o’ the Millman cult induce failure @ its most basic form by failing @ life in the most hilariously pathetic way possible.

Start with a profound sense of wrong, a deep homesickness, a crazy lovesickness, and run with it.

I agree wholeheartedly. Truly: no sarcasm this time. ’Course all us humans should constantly understand what dregs we are, separate ourselves from our loved ones to minimize our burden on them, & run—just run far ’way.

In ordr [sic] to strive or [sic] a remarable [sic] life, yu [sic] have to decde [sic] that yu [sic] want one.

(I’m glad to see a reference to “DECDE,” my favorite Final Fantasy spell.)

It’s good to see that even with her childlike art, she still proves she can understand basic English (it’s only her shoddy composition that causes every middle letter to be cutoff that’s a problem). Yes, striving for something does mean that one wants it.

But as much as I knew what I wanted, I felt compelled to consider what was reasonable in order to ensure my economic security.


Phh. Yeah. Fuck that bourgeoisie noise. I bet the bums on the street have a blast dodging the police @ every moment they spend mo’ than a minute in 1 place. Why else would they choose to stay there? After all, all humans have magical powers to get whatever they want with their mind beams.

I think we look at these people as lucky, when in fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It is really about the strength of imagination [No period, as if she’s Jim fucking Davis.]

So she truly believes in the fantastical powers o’ mind beams. It’s good to see that belief in literal magic is still ’live & well in our “advanced” civilization.

Also, I love how 1 o’ the videos is called “FAIL: Debbie Millman.” Not funny, YouTube troll paid pennies to crowd the cesspool o’ cat videos & scarecam LPs even further with her masterpieces.

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Posted in Yuppy Tripe