Updated: Feb 15
It's been over a year since my last post and so much has happened in the world. For my last set of posts, I wrote about a number of different protests going on around the world in 2019. I enjoyed writing about that and liked having a theme to focus my writing on, but this time I'm going to write more sporadically and spontaneously about a variety of different topics. This first post is about something that I've noticed for a while and something that really interests me.
Escapism. As said on Merriam-Webster, escapism is "a habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine". In this post I'm going to focus on entertainment as an escape. For me, I escape when I listen to music, read books, and especially when watching movies. Just for that hour and a half, I feel completely immersed in a made-up world and any stress I'm feeling has momentarily subsided. Escapism for me, and I think everyone, is necessary. Of course too much of anything is not good either and escaping too often alike can potentially indicate a person running away from their problems instead of simply finding a relief every once in a while.
This past year and a half since covid started, escapism has become more relevant. I've found reading old books, and watching childhood movies to be particularly soothing. As I watch them, I am instantly transported back to a time of simplicity, of joy and happiness, it's nostalgic. It allowed me to escape from a growing disorientating and panicked world and feel calmness for that moment.
Nowadays it feels harder to escape. You can only watch so many old movies before you want something new. The problem I find is that so many new movies, books, etc. are all increasingly making more and more political diversions when the story itself isn't political.
I find it saddening and disappointing when I watch a movie about a superhero for example discussing political issues from the real world rather than in the world of the story itself.
On the other hand, one could say "well isn't it good to be informed?". And while I agree (for the most part), I don't think spaces for entertainment are the best places to inform or be informed. More than that however, I really believe that unless politics is a part of the storyline or based on a true story, entertainment should be just that -- entertainment. A movie about a superhero should not have to be political. Entertainment, I believe, should be a place to escape the problems of real life, not a place that reminds you of all the very problems you're escaping from.
Overall, I think escapism is important for everyone, especially in the modern age when the pace of life is (at least before Covid) so fast. Having those spaces to relax and unwind are important and should not be infiltrated by politics, especially if it's there just for it being there and doesn't add anything to the story. I think politics in entertainment is just an indication of the growing problem of politics permeating everyday life.
This of course is just my opinion, what do you think?
Photo by: Trifon Bagkis - flickr.com/photos/136087992@N05/24295233423