Sunday, 17 May 2009

Escape Pods

My husband now officially calls me a Sci-Fi geek, which is in some ways an honor and in other ways a surprise. It got me thinking about when I started to get into Sci-Fi - was it in the PS 321, Park Slope, Brooklyn playground, where I pretended to be trapped in the jungle gym as Princess Layla, waiting to be rescued by Luke Skywalker?

Surely as kids, we're all kind of Sci-Fi aficionados in our own way. ET, A Wrinkle in Time (one of my favorite books in elementary school, along with Judy Blume of course), Star Wars and other fairy tales and fantasies get wrapped-up in reality. Parents, separation, moving, coming to terms with monsters and odd fears. Sometimes I remember childhood as a confusing time. Anyway I'm going off tangent. Back to escapism.

My interest in Sci-Fi, particularly Battlestar Galactica, really kicked-off while I was studying my Masters in Global Affairs (and writing a thesis on post-conflict peace-building, a comparative study of Sierra Leone and Cambodia and papers on the use of media in Rwanda, both as a vehicle of war and terror and reconstruction and other harrowing, but interesting topics). During whatever free time I had, I wanted to escape to a different planet altogether.

During uncertain times, when the world financial system is being turned upside down and inside out and the Internet/usable technologies are transforming industries, people's habits are in flux and changing. Escapist entertainment is on the rise (video games and home entertainment purchases) and a retreat into times past, the future or different places altogether, is reinforced by communications that underscore the practical and trustworthy; using straight-forward and down-to-earth language or going the other route and creating new exciting worlds (Call of Duty).

On this lazy Sunday (the weather has been totally schizophrenic - rain, to sun, to clouds, I'm still waiting for snow), I came across an interesting article in the Observer about how fancy dress (costumes) sales are up by 35%.

Apparently people are finding it incredibly exciting to be someone else and pretend to be somewhere else during times of economic turbulence and uncertainty. Whether at festivals, gigs, parties or clubs, people are dressing up in elaborate costumes that range from bananas to Tube Stations.

I suppose it's no wonder that we will be heading to the White Mischief party this Saturday for my birthday. I'm still trying to decide between a circus act or burlesque costume? There's nothing like throwing your hands towards the sky and relinquishing yourself to ambiguity while wearing a rockabilly dress.

Where are you going? And what will you be dressed-up as?

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