Bookfair appearance

We’ll be running a stall at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair in Canada, at which we’ll hopefully be selling magazines and badges and generally spreading our Escapological whimsy. We’ll surely also blog about the event here as it unfolds. Any help or provision is welcome.

MAY 29-30, 10am-5pm
at the CEDA, 2515 rue Delisle
(a short walk from Lionel-Groulx metro)
FREE. Welcome to all!

Special Offer on Issue Three

We have a strictly-limited 20 copies of Issue Three available for the special price of £4 (usual price £6). The International shipping fees are also slightly reduced.

Issue Three is our finest issue to date, containing valuable practical nuggets from all manner of successful and aspiring Escapologists. Own a copy already? Why not buy one for a fellow Escapologist or inmate?

Issue Four in the pipeline

Rejoice! Work has officially begun on the fourth issue of New Escapologist, due for release in early August. This issue’s main topic is Mauvaise Foi: a concept discussed by Existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre whose rather handsome severed head is pictured to the left.

As a point of interest, Sartre also wrote the play, No Exit, which was one of the early title suggestions for our very own magazine (along with Ejector Seat and Scarpering Quarterly and other things too terrible with hindsight to contemplate).

Issue Four is now available to pre-order for £5. The cover price is likely to be £6 so take advantage of this early-bird price.

Freelance writers, illustrators and laypeople with ideas are welcome to send work, pitches or suggestions. Just check our brief contributor guidelines first.

The Practicalities Issue will be a hard act to follow but I think Issue Four will be something special nonetheless.

Illustration by Samara Leibner.

More words on needing less

One of the most important things to an Escapologist is mobility. Each possession or dependency compromises mobility, so why not hone a minimalist lifestyle? Here’s Leo Babauta on ‘needing less’:

It’s amazing what our culture has done to us: we have been conditioned to believe that luxuries are a necessity, that we need things that most of the world doesn’t even dream of having.

FAO: your lapel

There’s a beautiful set of New Escapologist badges available from our Glaswegian friends at Big Wow Badges. They come individually at a cost of 60p or as a glorious set of four.

Available are the the definitive ‘escaping man’ symbol; the Fluchtverdächtiger (escape suspect) badge from the Nazi concentration camps; the cool blue symbol of infinity or Absurdity; and Samara Leibner’s handsome turtle illustration.

The shortest route to freedom

“The shortest route to the good life involves building the confidence that you can live happily within your means (whatever the means provided by the choices that are truly acceptable to you turn out to be). It’s scary to imagine living on less. But embracing your dreams is surprisingly liberating. Instilled with a sense of purpose, your spending habits naturally reorganize, because you discover that you need less. This is an extremely threatening conclusion. It suggests that the vast majority of us aren’t just putting our dreams on ice – we’re killing them.”

I chanced across this 2002 article by Po Bronson, ostensibly an overview of his book What should I do with my life? (a book that profiles the careers of fifty interesting people and extrapolates prescriptions on how to tap inner callings). The article contains some insightful passages and is worth a read.

There are further sample chapters at the author’s tie-in webpage.

One thing I notice from Mr. Bronson’s profiles, is that most people who make breakthroughs about how they want to spend their life, start with a fallow period during which they contemplate the big question. One person spends six months in bed after a car accident, planning the changes he’d like to make once he’s back in the game. Another person deliberately quits her high-pressure job to spend three years mulling over the prospects of what she really wanted to do all along.

To me, this helps to confirm that the escape from depressing commitments is the first step toward committing yourself to something useful and that you’ll act deliberately when you’re good and ready. If dissatisfied, take the plunge and escape. You’ll soon find yourself making plans.

The Machine Stops

If we ever launch an anthology of classic literature with an Escapological flavour (which we might!), E. M. Forster’s short story, ‘The Machine Stops’ would be at the forefront.

The story describes a future society in which—natural resources having been squandered—the citizens live inside a gigantic life-giving machine. In the tradition of such tales, a man grows tired of this simulated life and seeks escape.

You can read the story online or enjoy a public domain audiobook version. There’s even a faithful 1960s television adaptation:

Thanks to Tim for the recommendation.

Cave dwellings, a Lego house and UFO ranches

They’re probably (though not necessarily) outside the budget of most Escapologists, but this shortlist of interesting homes certainly inspires one to think creatively about living solutions.

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