The Success of Failure


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Those recapitulation theories are brilliant. Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection is what won out, but there were loads of variations for a good span of time.

All the also rans are important so you understand there were other options. Things could've turned other ways.
There's also the imaginative aspect. These theories can become sources of artistic inspiration once cleaved from the world of facts. Something like Burroughs' concept of language as virus is just a really convincing way of thinking about language too. I don't know how well it holds up under academic scrutiny, but it makes sense to me and seems like a helpful way of picturing the thing as a whole.


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yeah deffo - that michel tournier book "friday, or the other island" is a really good read for that sort of alternative "what if" stuff. he's in the same boat as ballard, pkd, burroughs.


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The Room's a good example of the success of failure; so terrible it's become a sensation with a book and a film about it.
This is a really odd one to me. I love things that are bad. I loved Footballers Wives and Sunset Beach, I bought Gigli and Birdemic on DVD, my favourite film is Leprechaun In The Hood, I've laughed at so much trash in my life. But I didn't think The Room was so terrible as to deserve its status as the cult bad movie. It's dreadful, but I've seen worse acting, worse plotting, worse cinematography and more, in plenty other things. I don't understand why it and not something worse than it became such a meme.


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Eddie the Eagle not so much

Burroughs had the Ugly Spirit chasing him, then it turns up as a Richard H Kirk work. The Ugly Spirit is like Jung’s shadow roided right up. Exorcism in a sweat ritual has an almost Lynch (Judy) vibe. Can you begin to imagine it? It seems insane not to at least investigate these presences for a period during our very short time on this rock, even as an anthropology

How do we even define success as failure? Force the hand of chance etc? Everyone fails in life, it’s how you learn. Success as failure seems the foundation for cult-status a lot - fore-gotten, occluded and/or hidden in plain sight

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
The Room's a good example of the success of failure; so terrible it's become a sensation with a book and a film about it.
It's a canonical example of something "so bad it's good", which unfortunately has become a bit of a genre in its own right - Sharknado and all that garbage. I suppose Snakes On A Plane bears some blame for this, although that film was at least fairly entertaining.

I think something can only ever be SBIG by accident, in the same way you can't deliberately make outsider art.

wild greens

Well-known member
Have any of you ever played Deadly Premonition? A deeply broken Twin Peaks style murder mystery, physics all over the place, NPCs with no logic. But at the heart of it an amazingly mad story, mostly put together by a lunatic lead director. Really compulsive if you can look past the faults (or embrace them).

The second one isn't as good really