As a wise oracle once said, “Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives.” Time, there’s never enough of it. You can’t stand on it. You try to hold onto it and it slips right through your fingers. I know the feeling, you know the feeling, and Billy McFarland, the 29-year-old currently serving time in an Ohio federal prison for his Fyre Festival fraud, knows the feeling.
“I think the biggest mistake before I went awry was just setting an unrealistic time frame for the festival,” McFarland told podcaster Jordan Harbinger in an interview last fall. (The prison did not approve the podcast interview, and according to McFarland’s lawyers, their conversations have led to him being placed in solitary confinement. As the last year has shown us, you can’t really stop someone from podcasting.)
Yes, he did the fraud, and he would have gotten away with it too, if not for that meddling linear time. “Had we given ourselves a year or two and had I obviously not made the terrible decision to lie to my backers, I think we could have been in a bit better place, but regardless of the mistakes that I made or what made things go wrong,” he added. “So that’s where things started and ended.”
Yet despite his leaning on, let’s call it temporal context, to explain what went wrong, he did expand on the Fyre Festival’s actual original sin, and the one for which he is serving actual time: “I knowingly lied to them to raise money for the festival. Yes. And that’s what the crime was. The crime was inexcusably lying about the status of the company to get the money I thought I needed for the festival.”
Is there a lesson here to glean? I so love a lesson. I think maybe it’s that we too don’t have enough time. It comes for us all eventually—just remember that when you “defraud” your “investors.”
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