An Escapologist's Diary. Part 5.

I’m still enjoying my planned escape, far away from home. Specifically I’m in Montreal.

In the city’s commercial districts, bilboards groan with high-profile advertising for a new interactive computer game called Beatles Rock Band. It’s an ingenious misappropriation of something that was once radical and important.

Forty years ago, John and Yoko conducted the third instalment of their Bed-In peace protest in this very city. Let us remind ourselves today that The Beatles wasn’t always an empty brand synonymous with inane, distracting tat:

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Issue One relaunched

NE1-150x150After a year out of print, Issue One of New Escapologist is now once again available.

With our new higher production values and Tim Eyre’s sensational typography, the relaunch is a highly improved version of the original.

The relaunch features our classic articles by Lord Whimsy, Judith Levine, Neil Scott and Robert Wringham and is illustrated throughout with new work by Samara Leibner.

Buy it now at the magazine shop for the limited special offer price of £3.

Glasgow event. 7th October.


The Idler and New Escapologist have teamed up for “The Great Escape”: an evening of discussion, music and freewheeling anarchy.

Tom Hodgkinson (How to be Free, The Idler) and Robert Wringham (The New Escapologist) discuss practical ways to escape the banalities of modern life. This will be followed by a light hearted war-time type sing-a-long, with the audience invited to join in with the hosts on idler-themed songs.

For more information, see the official microsite or the Facebook event page.

Come along. Bring your friends.

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New Escapologist at Urban Dictionary

Escapologist” has been honoured with an official definition at Urban Dictionary.

Noun. (pronounced: es’cap·ol’o·gist). One who seeks to escape the imaginary manacles of modern life: work, debt, government, leisure industries, status and anxiety.

Derived from the stage magic of Escapology. Used metaphorically.

Coined by the satirical publication, New Escapologist.

You can give this definition a ‘thumbs up’ at Urban Dictionary, though I don’t think that makes us any money or saves the world or anything.

An Escapologist's Diary. Part 4.

I’m a month into my mini-retirement in Montreal. So far, so good. A typical day consists of a late rise, breakfast, bread-baking, writing, exploration of this new city and night-time festivity with new chums. I’ll write more about the joys of not working in New Escapologist Issue Three, which should be available early in the new year.

A few days ago, I enjoyed Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times at a local cafe-theatre with live piano accompaniment from Roman Zavada.


It’s an entertaining film for Escapologists in that it sympathises with the modern escape fantasy. Chaplin’s character attempts to escape humiliating work in factories, ship yards and department stores. He also ensures a brief spell in prison where he is taken after being mistaken for a the leader of a Communist demonstration. Tellingly, Chaplin begs the jailer to keep him locked up when the subject of his future employment is raised. Prison incarceration is preferable, it seems, to the world of work!

It’s fun that the film begins with the rapidly-spinning hands of a clock. To any worker, it prompts instant identification: a watched clock is surely the truest motif of modern division-of-labour-type work. Read the rest of this entry »

School of Life

Alain de Botton and friends recently set up the School of Life on Marchmont Street in London. They offer philosophy-lead courses and secular sermons. Looks like fun. If you’re interested, there’s a free-entry open day on September 5th.

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