Dear passengers,

this is your captain speaking. We are scheduled for lift off in the next twenty minutes. Our flight will take us to Italy and back, with our return scheduled for Sunday, June 1st. The weather conditions are clear and we expect a quiet flight.

Please note this is a non smoking, non drama flight, and that our plane does not afford mobile internet facilities. Emails will not be answered and comments on posts might stay in the moderation queue until our return.

Unluckily, the on-board entertainment system has suffered from a slight technical setback we are diligently trying to repair. Until then, we kindly ask that you make you own entertainment ; in case you are stuck for ideas, we propose the following quiz :

  1. Read the instruction manual carefully from end to end.
  2. Answer the following question : it is widely considered bad style to escape from life. But if you consider escaping to instead, what is the place every escape leads to called ?
  3. If you wish to try for bonus points, answer the following question too : how do you call a place you are not meant to escape from, and the people who are making sure you don’t ?

Also, please take note the correct terminology for the crew of this plane is not escapists — it is escape artists.

Have a pleasant flight.

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6 thoughts on “Dear passengers,

  1. I believe I’ve failed the test. I was fine with number one although I believe I missed a paragraph or two and had to read it again.

    But I have no idea where you escape to – I called it television, which got me wondering whether escapism is the same thing as entertainment, and if Second Life is merely entertainment then how come it doesn’t feel like television?

    Escape of course comes from the French eschaper, “to leave one’s cape behind”, as in getting out of the hand’s of one’s pursuers, leaving them only with your cape fluttering in their hand. So then escape implies being pursued by something. A person maybe. A bad relationship. Ennui. Media saturation. Commercialism. The drab streets of your home town. And in escape, be able to leave those things behind.

    However, it doesn’t seem to imply the destination. Is the destination always the avoidance and exclusion of the thing from which we escape? Because I was under the impression there was a thread of need to these things – it’s not what we escape FROM but rather the desire to express needs for which we have no place to fulfill them elsewhere. And thus, it strikes me that this isn’t in fact escape, and thus my confusion over question two. Escapism is exclusionary in other words. There’s nothing wrong with it, but escapism is negation, slipping out of the grasp of boredom, finding love because our world is loveless perhaps.

    Second Life is a great escape. But so is television (sometimes). Or the movies. Or going out to a pub. All that other stuff. And some of it pretty immersive to boot. But surely it’s not just the negation and slipping out of the grip of that which pursues us. Surely it’s more.

    As for the last question, I know I’ve got that one right – “Help Island” and “The Lindens”.

  2. 1. Read it, enjoyed it, and posted a comment…
    2. As long as it works, all my escapes are to my brain, for lack of a groovier description
    3. Life is a terminal condition. No one escapes, except that when we are gone, the cache or our existence may flourish and grow among others. God (or the Grid) may be our keeper. Not sure about that one. But I am absolutely going to pay attention if I can, when the net goes down for the last time.
    4. My question for you: What sets us apart from the ‘others’?

  3. @Farnham
    1. how nice of you 🙂
    2. of course — but where does it lead you ?
    3. most certainly — but escape from life through the brain is not always fatal
    4. that each of us is one of them.

  4. various proposals abound…

    personal bubble,
    hidey hole,
    mental stimulation center,
    creative outlet,
    sacred space,
    alternate engagement…

    the list goes on…. but I have a different question, what do you call the place you escape to in relation to the place you already escaped to, considering the new place causes a desire to escape backwards to the previous?

    On se veut…?

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