‘Competitioning’: An Existentialist’s Paradise? by Will Kay

Posted on October 6, 2012


Entering competitions obsessively (henceforth known as ‘competitioning’) is an enterprise known to few of Gen Y. You might say, “Rightly so, who is moronic enough to pit hope against logic.” I once have would too have said, “Rightly so.” Yet, I have recently fallen into the banal vortex of competitioning. Much like other disorienting activities, this vortex has changed my perspective on the nature of emotion, more specifically the importance of hope and anticipation.

Now, you might be imagining me all Edward Stamp-hands with an eviscerated Take5 magazine and envelope towers. But you would be wrong. This is not the gothic-fairytale competitioning of yesteryear, this is the age of the internet. This move to online competitions, in my eyes, only serves to further the anonymity and ease always desired by competitioners (one who frequently enters competitions). Competitioners are often acutely aware of the futility and nuttiness perceived in competitioning by those outside of the game.

Exacerbating that self-consciousness, competitioning was once the hallowed turf of stay-at-home parents, grandparents and dole-bludgers. Let’s not be too hasty and declare it otherwise. However, the competitioning bubble has enveloped (puns always intended) few more competitioners, namely delusional Facebook users who ‘like’ too many pages. In fact, if you are like me, you might have ‘liked’ a page solely to be notified of possible competitions. Why else would I have ‘liked’ a magazine I stopped buying when I was 14? (Just one of the 124 pages I have ‘liked’ this year) That which connects these competitioners, new and old, on a base level is a transmission of their dreams for success onto another, or a disregard for success, both represent a peaceful and frustrating existence.

What is the sense in this particular activity for these people of existential impotence? The vortex competitioning becomes a mood-altering activity. Competitioning engenders hope (however far flung it maybe) which, for those living a personally aimless existence, is a commodity that cannot be undervalued. The anticipation of the competition‘s results is almost as uplifting as the hope.

There is often a sweetly painful burr in the side of a competitioner; sometimes in order to win you might have to do something (other than providing your email)/make something! This impetus is just the exciting hopeful drive that a competitioner needs. So exciting that I have found myself lying on the ground in my yard with a sparkly gold party hat around my leg writhing around trying to take a picture. Neighbours walked by bemused by my strange behaviour, but I barely noticed; so intoxicated was I with the hope and anticipation that comes from competitioning.

The result of severe competitioning related intoxication.

Competitioning is not about winning (as our fridge can attest, it is laden with unused free movie tickets) because if you have nothing to hope for why would you need things? Competitioning is what the idea of winning can do for a person with nothing more important to think about. Hope for the hopeless. Anticipation for those with nothing to look forward to. Competitioning harmlessly fills the existential blanks with the idea of progress.

Will Kay is like your old English teacher, he likes to read into things that need not be read into. If you want more of his ridiculous reviews click here.

If you’d like to recommend some competitions, tactics or insights to fellow competitioners leave a comment below.

Posted in: Other, Sport