escapism

i think im suffering from this…

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extracted from Wikipedia

Escapism is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an “escape” from the perceived unpleasant aspects of daily reality.

Escapism has occurred constantly throughout time. Some believe that this diversion is more inherent in today’s urban, technological existence because it de-facto removes people from their biologically normal natures. Entire industries have sprung up to foster a growing tendency of people to remove themselves from the rigors of daily life. Principal amongst these are fiction literature, sports, films, television, roleplaying games, pornography, recreational drugs, the internet and computer games. Many activities that are normal parts of a healthy existence (e.g., eating, exercise, sexual activity) can also become avenues of escapism when taken to extreme.

In the context of being taken to an extreme, the word ‘escapism’ carries a negative connotation, suggesting that escapists are unhappy souls, with an inability or unwillingness to connect meaningfully with the world.

Some social critics warn about attempts by the powers that control society to provide means of escapism instead of actually bettering the condition of the people. In one of the interpretations of the famous quote by Karl Marx “Religion is the opium of the people”, religion (particularly religions that promise an afterlife) is presented as escapism with which believers distract themselves. Others may argue that means of escapism are provided by the market to those who desire a form of “escape.” Two fictional escapist societies are the Eloi of The Time Machine and the one in Fahrenheit 451, focused in visual entertainment.

However, there are some who challenge the idea that escapism is fundamentally and exclusively negative. For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien, responding to the Anglo-Saxon academic debate on escapism in the 1930’s, wrote in his essay “On Fairy-Stories” that escapism had an element of emancipation in its attempt to figure a different reality. His friend C. S. Lewis was also fond of remarking that the usual enemies of escapism were jailers.

A German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere ‘daydreaming’ or ‘escapism’ from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.

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