Welcome, new readers

We enjoyed a spike in blog readership this week after being mentioned on a couple of more prominent blogs. Huzzah!

I’d like to welcome these new readers. Welcome! I very much hope that you stick around for a little while.

In case you’re wondering precisely what all the fuss is about, here’s a little FAQ by way of an introduction:

What is Escapology?

It’s about deftly avoiding the potential traps of modern life: debt, stress, unrewarding work, bureaucracy, marketing, noise, and over-government. It’s about embracing freedom, Anarchy and Absurdity. It’s about overcoming miserliness, passive-aggression, mauvaise fois and submission. Escapology asks you to consider the circumstances in which you would most like to live and encourages you to find a way of engineering them.

What is this blog?

It’s the online companion to a magazine called New Escapologist (available to order in both print and PDF at our shop).

Both the blog and the magazine both discuss the above subject of “Escapology”.

The blog is updated regularly, but not to a schedule.

What is the magazine like?

Each issue is a compendium of funny and existential essays and anecdotes relating to Escapology. It is beautifully typeset, it is square, it is released to an irregular schedule, it is between 34 and 110 pages, and it can be purchased (in either print of PDF) here.

Who writes all this?

The magazine has writers and illustrators from all over the world. The blog is maintained by me, Robert Wringham. I’m the editor of the magazine and also a humourist and a stand-up comic and a bunch of other stuff.

What would I do if I didn’t go to work?

There are many options. Escapologists have reported enjoying travel; charity work; political activism; cottage industry; dedication to an art or craft; physical challenges; autodidactism; and decadent laziness. To go some way to answering this question, I maintain an online diary to document my post-escape life. It’s called An Escapologist’s Diary.

You talk about minimalism a lot. What does minimalism have to do with Escapology?

One of the most important things to strive for as an Escapologist is mobility. Each possession or dependency is a threat to mobility.

Why be a minimalist? Who wants to live in a white-walled box?

I’ll hand over to Leo Babauta (who fields more questions about minimalism here and here).

It’s a way to escape the […] excesses of consumerism, material possessions, clutter, having too much to do, too much debt, too many distractions, too much noise. But too little meaning. Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value.

Does your project have anything to do with Houdini?

He was the inspiration for it. We use escapology as a metaphor:

Houdini’s popularity as an escape artist came about during a time of technological and political revolution. It was during the 1900s that Ransom Eli Olds implemented the first mass production of marketable cars, Tomas Edison’s phonograph made a commodity out of music, and the colonial expansion of Europe and America prompted the birth of the somewhat unpleasant political period known now as New Imperialism. Technologies and movements initially plugged as liberating would soon be discovered by thinkin’ types to be nasty, horrible traps designed only to placate, segment and enfeeble. When people become dependent upon companies or governments to entertain them, to transport them, to plan their days and to import their goods, they forget what it is to be free, alive and autonomous.

The work of Houdini and his contemporaries escaped the province of curiosity – that of conjuring and ventriloquism – and into the universe of metaphor.

Taken from An invitation to New Escapology.

So that’s us in a nutshell. There’s more about us here, and you can further connect to our goings on via our RSS and Facebook page. Enjoy!

Buy the complete back catalogue of New Escapologist with a 10% discount today.
Or buy the complete back catalogue on PDF, with £1 off the price each issue.


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

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