Philosophical Rambling: Escapism

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at
Mon Jul 17 13:45:31 EDT 2000

On Mon, 17 Jul 2000 17:35:07 +0200 (CEST), Britta Koch wrote:

>Hallie's mail ticked me off on another tangent:

I did a double take on that sentence.  Being "ticked off" is slang for being
mad at someone.  I'm pretty sure you didn't mean it that way...

>Aftwerwards, I was musing why she was taking so many drugs. Well, she
>was getting old and probably afraid of that, but it made me think why
>so many other people are taking drugs. "Why, to escape from reality, so
>that they won't have to face their lives", I thought, feeling quite
>self-righteous about not doing any drugs, not even alcohol, and so
>bravely facing reality. But then it hit me: what is reading but
>escaping? Reading, especially fantasy is just another way to escape,
>it's just healthier and free of any (bodily) side-effects, and you
>really can escape from your own life - even if you have to face other
>people's problems. And sometimes you learn from a book, or see
>something of yourself in a character, which is more than can be said of
>a night's bout of drinking. Drugs also give you an excuse (a legal one)
>for doing things you wouldn't do otherwise, which books don't
>("Honestly, I thought he was a monster ready to kill me because that
>was happening in the book, so I hit him..." - that's not going to work
>in court, is it?). 
>So,as an afterthought (and forgive my nosy questions ;): do any of you
>smoke? Or regularly take part in alcoholic excesses? Or did you at any
>point in your life, and did you read much?

I don't do drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol.  But that's more of a religious
thing than a reading thing.  Having just stayed up all night to finish a
book, I can tell you that the reading habit can have physical drawbacks if
you let it get out of hand.

I read a lot in High School.  I never went anywhere without a book and I
would often sit in the halls and read instead of just hanging out.  I didn't
do drugs or alcohol then, either.  Some of my friends did, though.  Come to
think of it, my friends that read a lot, also tended to be pretty mild, too.
I hadn't thought about it before, but my most wild friends (the ones
drinking and doing drugs) were the non-readers.  Huh.

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