My Neighbour Errol: Contests
So TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) is having a showcase this month of all the Studio Ghibli films (creators of Totoro, Spirited Away, etc.). Don’t know who Studio Ghibli is? Then you have clearly not met Errol.
Errol is one of the biggest Studio Ghibli fanboys there is. Heck, the name of this blog is an homage to My Neighbour Totoro. So naturally upon hearing that he could spend an entire month seeing their films in theatres, Errol got a titch excited.
Then TIFF in their marketing genius decided to launch a contest to find the biggest Studio Ghibli fan. You upload a photo proving your love of Ghibli, which is voted on and judged, all for the chance to win ten free tickets to the showcase. This, unsurprisingly, was something Errol wanted to enter. And, also unsurprisingly, he went overboard to prove his worthiness. This is his epic entry:
It was pretty impressive actually and because it’s Errol and he knows absolutely everyone, he quickly pulled ahead in the polls. It was fine at first. I voted like a good friend, and I checked back from time to time to see if anyone was catching up. All good, no stress. After all, it wasn’t ME who had entered the contest.
And you’d think it would continue that way, wouldn’t you? It’s just a silly contest. But then Errol began to get competition, competition that quickly caught up to him, and the Errol obsession grew and the stakes started to rise in the race to win the title of “Biggest Ghibli fan in Toronto”.
Errol obsessing over anything is dangerous. Not just because of the onslaught of twitter spamming and facebook posts and bringing it up in every conversation (seriously, he doesn’t say “Good morning” anymore, he just says “Did you vote?”), but also because somehow, SOMEHOW he gets everyone around him obsessed as well.
Okay, more specifically, me. This contest, which seemed so meaningless when first I heard of it, is now consuming all my thoughts. It’s stressing me out. Every time I see new votes, I get anxious about how close the votes are. I am thoroughly invested in the outcome of this competition.
“But Manda”, you might say, “That’s crazy. You didn’t actually enter the contest. And it’s not even that big of a contest”.
YES! I AGREE! IT IS CRAZY! Is this a worldwide contest? No, it’s relegated to Toronto. Is the first prize a dinner with Miyazaki himself? No, it’s ten freaking movie tickets. Are those tickets extra exclusive, is this showcase some posh event that only the richest can afford? No, they’re regular movie tickets that anyone can purchase for $13 and that Errol will buy anyway even if he doesn’t win. There is absolutely nothing special or exclusive about this stupid contest.
And yet never has anything seemed so important as this contest. It’s a ridiculously unimportant event but the stakes still seem incredibly high! I mean think about it, I think the stakes for a Ghibli movie ticket contest are just as high as when I was trying to graduate with honours, just as high as when Cyan was trying to get to their 1.1 million dollar goal in three days, EVEN just as high as an opening night for a show. And if anyone knows me, they know that last one is saying a LOT.
What is wrong with me? Why am I caring about this so much? Part of it might be empathy. It’s not always good to be empathetic. Sure, you might be in tune with people’s emotions, but that’s ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. Not just the good ones.
But the other reason is Errol, the black hole who drags people into his fandoms and events whether they like it or not. Think about if he put the same amount of energy into something like inventing a new fuel source. The entire world would be emission free.
So, if not for Errol’s sake, then for my own, vote. Because now suddenly my sanity is on the line with this contest. The only thing that can calm me by this point is a Miyazaki film. That’s Errol’s fault too. Freaking Errol. Stupid jerkface Errol…sigh…vote for Errol.