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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What matters...

It matters not whether you win or lose;

what matters is whether I win or lose.*

What is it about Winning?

We downplay winning in all cases except when WE are the Winner. We tell ourselves that it's really all about how well we play the game. We offer up all sorts of excuses for winning that invalidate the win, such as Luck (lucky roll, lucky draw...), just as we excuse ourselves for losing; and thereby negate the importance of competition completely.

In fact, we say that competition is essential in order to improve. And of course, competition is all about Winning and Losing. The loop of madness continues.

I like how we even create special rewards for Not Winning, such as Rookie of the Year, Sportsmanship Award, Miss Congeniality, Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement Award, and one of the cruelest: Finalist.

All of this philosophy comes during the celebration of Darwin's contribution to the theory of evolution and the survival of the fittest, natural selection. And this is even more support for the essential nature of competition, essential to the survival of the human species! Competition has been built into our DNA, it is our life force, it keeps us moving forward.

We can tell ourselves all we want that it is all about how well we play, but when a man approaches the table with cue in hand, he is on a mission of domination, or he is meat.

I must compete.
Competition is meaningless.
Therefore my life is meaningless.

All right, now that I have all that sorted out, I can get back to practicing those IPAT drills.

I have been looking forward to restarting these drills because it is a form of Competition but without all the accoutrements of competition, such as the inconvenient opponents, bad food, filthy toilets, bad equipment... I could go on and on, but why drag this party down any more than I have so far. Suffice it to say that the IPAT drills have all of the chewy goodness of competition without all the stick-in-your-teeth nastiness of competition.

*these words are attributed to a
Darin Weinberg.


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