The world is a scary place.
If I gave a list of the ways in which it was scary at the moment, the things that were being done not just on UK and US soil but far wider, then I would have to come back and update this blog every few hours - just as each new and toxic thing emerges, like an iceberg being hauled out of the ocean, or a thriller determined to deliver a shock every three pages.
So of course, the world of fiction is a very attractive one.
No reason why that is wrong, of course. It's not. Whatever form of escapism floats your boat, as long as it doesn't stop you getting in the way of getting shit done. I blogged about that once before. I also blogged about why people tend to like taking part in activities that are defined and precise - because there's no room for uncertainty.
Sometimes we read about things that parallel scarily with what is going on in real life. Anyone who has actually read Nineteen Eighty-Four will see the uncomfortable similarities with the way modern life and modern living seems to be going. Sometimes we go back to reading the things we've read a thousand times before, such as myself with H.G. Wells' The War Of The Worlds - I read it something like once a month.
The thing with fiction - with video games, with movies, with anything like that - is that we can put it down whenever we want. Our thoughts and feelings remain with us, but whatever stress and tension is created by the media itself goes away when we will it so.
The bad guys are more believable, too.
I mean, having read the first six volumes of The Expanse, I find myself understanding why the folks that end up as the series antagonists do what they do. Sometimes it is a shitty and selfish reason, but that doesn't mean I don't understand it. Sometimes it is misguided or ill-conceived, but I still grasp why the person in question would do that dumb thing, because we all do dumb things at times.
I don't understand a lot of decisions being made today that directly affect my life.
Like some of them are obvious, yeah? Cutting business tax, using public funds to cover business costs, reducing government outlay to the general public, reducing culpability - all of that is pure greed manifest in political language. That's wealthy folk looking after other wealthy folk.
A lot of their decisions seem to be just...nasty. Just plain hostile for no good reason, much like my last blog detailed.
So why wouldn't we go back to fiction? Why wouldn't we read about heroes triumping over villains, or threats far greater than just base humanity being defeated by courage and honour?
And even if the bad guy wins, it's a fictional world that he has triumped over. It's not us. It's not you and me. It's not our friends.
...and contrary to what a lot of folks might have you believe, indulging in the world of fiction is not mutually exclusive to engaging in the world of the here and now. Immersion in either is a terribly dangerous thing, and can lead to burnout and fatigue - at the least.
So pick up a book, folks. Watch a flick. Dig into some old comic books.
Ain't no shame in it.
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