As calexrose and vanessatshionyi discussed in their posts regarding failure and failed systems in the film Timeout, we look at life for Vincent after he has been fired from his managerial job and how he maintains and manipulates his relationships with the people close to him as not only capital but also as a way to “dogpaddle the space” that he has created around him now that he is no longer employed. In both instances, we understand the failed system of these “traditional national-liberal terms of social obligation” (201) that Vince falls out of by getting fired. Both also acknowledge the space between Vincent and his family but what’s interesting is while vaessatshioyi see’s Vincent using these relationships as a means to gain some sort of capital back, be it social or financial, calexrose views it as a means of coping with loss (I apologize if I put words in mouths). In a sense you can see Vincent’s creation of this space as a way of looking towards the future and reestablishing himself or you can view it as Vincent trying to mend himself and the failure he has gone through by losing his job.
I cited this because I think it’s important for the audience to understand where Vincent experiences his perception of failures (or if he believes that even fails at all), because his response to these shortcomings are the basis for both of these claims. Now Berlant claims, “Queer phenomenology, as a scene for putting into circulation a bodily orientation, provides another intellectual context for the rise of proprioception as a metric for apprehending the historical present” (197). So we examine the scene where Vincent gives money to Julien for clothing. The financial capital Vincent gives to Julien is a substitute for emotional capital that Julien actually desires from Vincent. A scene between a father and son that lacks intimacy is a good set-up for this queer phenomenology, but what skills is Vincent attributing to this rise of proprioception? Is it the fact he has the ability to provide capital without actually making it or is it his ability to maintain a relationship that provides some sort of capital for him? Personally, I think Vincent see’s the development of these skills as a success. Vincent losing his job wasn’t losing his way of life, it was just him losing the stability to support his way of life and he in turned has filled that by manipulating these relationships.
Truthfully I think they’re very similar. To maintain and dog paddle are two very different things because one has a connotation of balance where the other one invokes a sort of chaotic flailing. Yet whether he’s navigating these relationships smoothly or with hiccups, he’s still navigating them. Either way Vincent is using the relationships with his family as a means to stabilize himself, whether it’s his sanity or his various forms of capital. The proprioceptive skills he’s displaying are varied in this instance but serve as a symbol of the “flexibility” in a “neoliberal” market Vincent maintains (202).
Both venessatshionyi and calexrose both condole their blogs by citing the managerial position that falls into Vincent’s lap that he greets with a sort of “grimace.” Calexrose cites this as Vincent’s failure whereas vanessatshionyi begs the question about whether Vincent will really be happy in life. This is interesting because again I think they arrive at the same conclusion using different methods. This precarity of Vincent’s day to day activities has stifled his flexibility, causing him to fail. Furthermore, the fact he would accept a job from a market in which he despises shows his dissatisfaction. So if failure is the opposite of success, then dissatisfaction would oppose happiness, at least I this instance. The point being is that it doesn’t matter if Vincent is dissatisfied with taking the job or if he views it as a failure because they both men that Vincent wasn’t able to reach his goal. And that is the true failure in this movie.