Why Do People Keep Saying We Need More Escapism?

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
Silentpony said:
Canadamus Prime said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
If that is what they are talking about then I kinda agree. Entertainment has gotten kinda dark and miserable. And I really hate dark and miserable.
I'm with you. I watch movies or play games or read books to feel excitement and hope, not just depression and misery. Life is terrible enough without inviting even more darkness in during your relaxation time.

For example I can't watch torture-porn movies. Saw, Hostile, the Purge, etc...even if the premise is they're bad people getting justice, its just 2 hours of people being graphically tortured and I refuse to invite those memories in.

Likewise those 'based off a true story' movies about the single mother, whose husband died in Iraq, getting raped by her boss and her struggle with depression that leads to her loosing her kids, her daughter goes to foster care where she is raped, and her son dies from a drug overdose, and the mother 25+ years later finally gets her life back on track and buys that dress she's always wanted. 80+ Oscars, all the awards, Jenny McVaren was great as the mother, etc...
Absolutely no fucking way. Its so fucking depressing.
That is why I stopped watching Gotham. It was just too bleak and dismal.


Queen of the Edit
Feb 4, 2009
Lil devils x said:
I agree, life is honestly too short to have it filled with so many terrible memories. Reality gives us more than enough as it is. I cry at work due to my chosen career, it can be very rough. That is why the suicide rate for those in my field is so very high. I cry when reading the news because it is so terrible for people to go through such things when they can be prevented. Why would I then want to constantly be exposed to these horrors in fiction as well? I don't, I want to be inspired, to have hope and to feel happiness to help remind me it is worth putting forth the effort to overcome life's difficulties in order to accomplish great things and to help others do so as well. I see the promotion of so much negativity as counterproductive to that.
Because fiction can help realize past trauma, help build a narrative out of it, and even can present questions about the nature of human existence itself? Serious ... you, personally, were non-existent for 13.8 billion years. You will very soon not exist for another how many billion years until the hypothetical end state of the universe.

You have preciselyone shot to scratch the surface on your own humanity and then you die. And that's that. You lost your shot. Fiction is just another tool to do so.

Let's face it, you're never going to get an uplifting version of Kafka's The Trial. Still kind of important and rewarding.

I will also say that exposure therapy can be useful. They've run studies about exposing soldiers to violent media and getting them them to revisit their thoughts on horrifying and traumatic events. Sometimes you need to be exposed to something that will most clearly nearly trigger an emotional event in order to realign and to reorder your relationship to the event.

They're actually thinking of standardizing the therapy as a pseudo preventative, and a way for soldiers re-acclimate after particularly trying events in a controlled setting ... thus increasing long term combat effectiveness and psychological stability for future deployments.

Given the rise of virtual reality tech it's being seriously looked at in various Western militaries.

The point is that ugliness is a pre-existing condition. Fiction can be a tool to lessen its effects and increase mental fortitude.