Brian Dean on Anxiety Culture

david cameron David Cameron (the head of the Conservative Party here in the UK) is a ghoulish, possibly evil powerfreak. His new campaign is a stern-sounding warning about a pending social recession, a phenomenon that didn’t exist until he commissioned it from some spin doctor or other. It’s a dim little fiction he brainstormed in order to rekindle those 28 Days Later anxieties we had when we first heard about the global financial crisis. It’s natural to fear a ‘worst case scenario’ but they almost never happen. Fretting constantly about them is no way to live, so ignore Cameron’s shit-stirring and that of others like him.

Instead of barricading the door and stocking up on canned goods, try turning off the telly and reading fewer newspapers so that you don’t have to swallow this torrent of damaging crap any more. Be selective about the media you consume.

Brian Dean of The Guardian, Anxiety Culture and Media Hell writes in the pending Issue Three of New Escapologist. As a special social recession gift to you, here is the properly typeset article for free.

Issue Three of New Escapologist – the Practicalities Issue – will be released in February.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

8 Responses to “Brian Dean on Anxiety Culture”

  1. Ahh, that’s some good advice. I’m on an information diet myself these days, or better: Trying to create a habit for that. Already cut so much down that I find myself with too much time each day… no problem though, good books are here. I will also try the food trick, just in case.

  2. Rob says:

    Ahoy. I don’t feel I need to try the food trick myself: I’m more likely to read a book than watch the news anyway. But it’s a good ‘classical conditioning’-orientated pointer for those whose attention spans might not usually extend to sitting still to read books (something I can relate to in other ways!)

  3. dissident93 says:

    Just stumbled across this mag from a link at Brian’s website. I like it – the escapology theme seems inspired. Refreshing to see this kind of thing after the usual dull copy-n-pasted churnalism in blog world.

    Enjoyed the PDF article. I remember some campaign (“White Dot” I think it was called) about switching off TV, but it was spoiled slightly by a ‘superior’ attitude of the kind the article mentions. I prefer the idea of someone slobbing out on doughnuts and escapist fiction while avoiding the media.

    (Incidentally, I’ve not tried publishing a PDF document in WordPress. The display of the above was peculiar – no page forward arrows like the usual PDF screen. There were also a few typos which look like pdf-related problems. For example, I presume that the sentence “simply
    filter out the 99that serves no purpose for you” should have a percentage symbol in it? And Mori pole? Poll?)

  4. For me it was probably just about eating more chocolate, but I’ll better not admit that in public.

  5. Rob says:

    Hi Robert/Mr. Dissident.

    Thanks for dropping by! As I mentioned to Brian recently, I’ve been a fan of Anx Culture for ages and the newer Media Hell website is brilliant. It’s a pleasure to talk to you guys and to know that you’re aware of our stuff at New Escapologist.

    Anyhoo, yes, I remember White Dot and having mixed feelings about the superior nature you speak of. In a way, I enjoyed it because I probably share a similar attitude about telly myself (!) but it doesn’t exactly make it accessible: preaching to the choir and all that.

    I think some of the formatting errors in the PDF are indeed connected to the WordPress upload. This was my first time uploading a PDF through (though it does not seem to be a problem at, FYI). Some of the booboos are my own shoddy editing though. That’ll teach me to post actual magazine content before it’s been through the proof readers. It’ll be fixed over the weekend, I reckon!

  6. Rob says:

    You should go here on your travels, Fabian!

  7. This surely looks way better than Disney Land!

  8. […] New Escapologist Website New Escapologist Magazine « Brian Dean on Anxiety Culture […]

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