Friday, January 13, 2017


This series is inspired by the "Words From
Unity" public service announcements
that ran on television (particularly in
Kansas City) in the 1970's and 80's.
"Failure is not an option!"

"Epic Fail!"


A word that once drew shame is now thrown around like a dart at people and situations we consider substandard and inferior to our sensibilities. I see this word used way too often in too much hyperbole. But since it's fun to toss about, I don't expect that to change.

I don't expect people to understand the nuances, either. A distinct difference exists between a failure and something that just didn't work. Failure, as hyperbolism now defines it, implies spectacular loss or defeat -- epic failure! Many times failure isn't epic; it's the inability to achieve something at a particular moment, despite having the necessary preparation, smarts or equipment.

Look it at this way: The University of Arizona Wildcat basketball team has gotten into the NCAA playoffs nearly every year in the 17 years I have been in Tucson, yet they have only made it to Final Four once in those 17 years. I don't consider that a failure. They have played their tails off and taken some grueling losses. Some teams were sub-par in some years, but you don't get deep into the tournament if you don't have the skill set.

So failure is a matter of perspective. In absolute disasters, the word fits unequivocally. Other times, it's just one of those trendy buzzwords.

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