ABC’s “The Quest” is Escapism on Steroids

Don’t get me wrong: I like some escapism.

Whether it’s watching “Game of Thrones”, or mindlessly following the trail of “suggested YouTube videos” for an hour, I am certainly a consumer of escapism.

But my problem with escapism is when it is used as a tool by the elite to stunt the potential of the masses so they become passive, inactive consumers of escapist-products like reality TV shows, celebrity worship, and trips to Disney.

So when I heard about ABC’s new reality TV show “The Quest”, I was admittedly fascinated by the concept, but also curious about its implications.

If you haven’t heard, “The Quest” is a new show that combines a traditional reality TV show, with a fantasy “Lord-of-the-Rings-Type” story line.  Think of it like the reality show “Survivor” meets the fantasy show “Game of Thrones”. That’s LITERALLY what it is.

They took real-world people, who were obsessive fans of fantasy already, and made them contestants on “The Quest”, which is full of castles, dungeons, monsters, and every cliched fantasy stereotype you can think of — oh, except, they added a black guy, lol.

Okay, okay, I know: who cares if he’s black? Oh, I don’t care, but it is funny that, as a contestant in “The Quest”, he’s the first black main character in a fantasy story that I’VE ever seen.


screenshot from “The Quest”

Maybe this just further proves how delusional this form of escapism is: it’s SO fake, it can’t even properly recreate the white-only lead roles that have dominated every fantasy movie since…since FOREVER!

But enough with the black dude: I actually like him the most (yes, I did watch the first episode, half out of curiosity, half for research purposes — I swear).

The first episode begins with background on the contestants.  The deep-toned narrator, speaking with the typical fantasy-narration-voice, sets the premise of the show to visuals of New York City time-lapse footage, saying:

“Our story begins in the most unlikely of places…


actual screenshot from “The Quest”

“…in a world far from EverRealm, where for most, life passes too quickly for imagination.


actual screenshot from “The Quest”

“Where epic adventures of dark magic exist only in books, and lore.  


actual screenshot from “The Quest”

“But here, 12 strangers go about their daily lives, and DO believe these imaginary places exist.”


screenshot from “The Quest”, where one of the contestants is notified of her acceptance onto the show by reading from an ancient scroll that was left on her doorstep (lol).

These 12 contestants are the EMBODIMENT of “escapists”, which is a word I use to describe someone who seeks to DENY the reality of their real ACTUAL lives by ESCAPING to distractions like fantasy books, movies, celebrity worship, etc.

Now, look, don’t take me personal: as I said at the start, there’s nothing wrong with escapism, and I do it too (though not as much as I used to).  All I’m doing here is pointing out human behavior, and most importantly what escapism says about the quality of people’s lives.  Because if your OWN actual real life was exciting and meaningful, you wouldn’t have to live vicariously through entertainment, would you?

You see, fundamentally, “The Quest” is escapism on steroids: it takes the average American’s desire to fantasize about a more exciting, or meaningful life, and shoves it right down their throats.

Swept off to a literal castle, surrounded by forests, mountains, valleys, and not a single sign of modern technology as far as the eye can see, the 12 contestants certainly got their wish: never again will they have to deal with their boring 9-to-5 jobs, partake in mindless consumerism, or deal with the family members they hate but can’t figure out how to escape from — well, I guess they DO know how to escape, but is reading “The Lord of the Rings” once a year REALLY escaping your miserable life, or just a band-aid over the wound?

To me, escapism into movies, or comic books, or Disney World serves as a kind of medication to dull the pain of quiet desperation. But worst of all, escapism is extremely dangerous, because it gives people the ILLUSION they have “escaped” their boring lives, without actually having esacped.

It’s the perfect tool the elite use over us: why would you EVER stand up, demand your rights, speak out against corruption, fight for what matters to you, and even start a revolution, if at the end of the day, you numb out your passion for life by tuning into prime-time television and football?

crazed footballs fans actually delude themselves into thinking they “won” when a team they have ZERO financial affiliation with wins a game…LOL

Escapism serves the perfect function: it gives people who, deep down, TRULY want to escape their mundane lives, a FALSE escape — a literal drug that SIMULATES escaping — whether to the fantastical world of Harry Potter, or to the tribal obsession over sports — so that people do not actually ever spend their time and energy trying to ACTUALLY escape the real prison of everyday life.

And yes, you can be guaran-damn-teed that every day life is a goddamn prison for most people. The problem is, we numb and deny the prison so we don’t see the bars.

To me, this modern societal “prison” doesn’t need bars: it simply needs the docile complacency of the masses.  Think about it: if prisoners never tried to escape, you wouldn’t need to spend all that money on maximum security prisons.

And in modern America, the average citizen doesn’t need maximum security, they simply need maximum complacency.  The proof that we live in a modern “prison-without-bars” can be found in 3 points of evidence, which I’ll pose here as questions:

  1. Do people hate most of what they spend their time doing?
  2. As a result of #1, do people seek various “medications” to numb the pain of their miserable lives?
  3. Because of #1 and #2, do people accept the state of their lives and put little, if any effort, in to changing things for the better?

If you answered “yes” to all three, then that is proof we live in a modern prison-without-bars. And hey, the fact that there aren’t bars doesn’t take away from how terrifying and tragic this prison is.

In fact, the FACT that people are so complacent that they don’t even need bars to keep them imprisoned, is scarier than any Orwellian police state I can think of…

Could you even be called a prisoner at this point? What “prisoner” wouldn’t try to escape if their jail cell was left open?  Maybe a better word is “slave”? Nah, slaves would try to escape too.  Oh, I think I found the word for a prisoner who is so complacent that he doesn’t even try to escape: a “zombie.”

And hey, the fact that so many of us are zombies wouldn’t be surprising in our zombie-obsessed culture. Have you SEEN how many zombie movies, games, books, and even TV shows have bubbled up from the grave in recent years?  Learn the truth about modern culture’s obsession with zombies in one my videos:

So, it becomes kind of freaky when you realize the DEGREE to which modern society medicates itself with escapism in order to maintain our complacency so we never revolt and TRULY escape from the “dark forces” of our mundane lives.

The video games, the movies, the trips to Disney, the tribal-pathetic obsession with sports (“WE WON!!” — no, you didn’t win shit), and yes, even the prescription drugs, which are a form of MEDICAL escapism: anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds allow people to escape the physiological symptoms of a miserable life (i.e. depression) by drugging their minds with “false happiness” (serotonin, dopamine, etc.).

Could you imagine what would happen if, in an instant, we took away people’s escapism-crack? There would either be an overnight revolution, or an overnight mass-suicide — whichever comes first.

ABC’s new show “The Quest” is escapism on steroids. Near the end of the first episode, the contestants are brought into an elaborate scene, with tall pillars, moody lighting, and 3 elegant figures standing under radiant, heavenly lighting:


actual screenshot from “The Quest”

In response to this impressive set, one of the contestants says something SO ironic, SO relevant to this article, that I HAVE to share it.  Her words were:   “I can’t believe this is real…it’s so dreamlike…”


I mean, could the irony be any greater?

A contestant, who is in a “reality” TV show, about a FANTASY world, saying that the set was SO “dreamlike”, that she could not “believe this is real”.

What the fuck…what did she mean?  That the set with fake pillars and lighting and actors was “real” in the sense of “it is made out of real parts and materials?”  Or did she ACTUALLY think the set was real, but couldn’t believe it because “it’s so dreamlike”?

Again guys and girls, I have nothing against escapism. But just remember: the elite, the ones who set policies, the ones who bomb other countries, the ones who spy on you…they RELY on you “escaping” from their tyranny by watching TV and going to Disneyland, so that you never actually try to TRULY escape by starting a motherfucking revolution…

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3 thoughts on “ABC’s “The Quest” is Escapism on Steroids

  1. Thanks for being so thoughtful and willing to share such thinking. The ’10 hours walking = harassment’ thing really struck a chord with me and helped my hopes that feminism is after-all and indeed turning to humanism. Power to the people, love and peace forever.

  2. I just don’t think escapism is inherent in the media. If you’re looking for something to point at then point at the whole picture, rather than a little part in the foreground. Our whole culture, even our race and the laws of lowest common denominator which obviously come with it, are all part of that picture.

    I wonder what you would think of a labrat who ‘escaped’ the maze only to turn around and create an even better, more entertaining maze for her fellow labrats. Has she truly escaped yet? How can you even talk about such things when there is no definition of where the maze ends and the ‘outside’ begins? Is Zion a deeper level of the matrix? It doesn’t matter.

    If the post-lab rat has created a new better maze which her fellows find value in (whether that’s as interesting, engaging, ‘wholesome’, mindless or whatever) do you attribute evil to the rat for keeping her fellows ‘trapped’ or to those who designed the maze which postrat originally escaped from (and if you don’t like the word evil, how about suppression of the masses?).

    On a tangent I think the whole idea about ‘suppression of the masses’ is silly. The masses don’t want to decide what the meaning of life is, they don’t want to question the beliefs and values that they inherited, they’d rather pour their passion and living into the inconsequential than the epic, and they have plenty of reasons for this. Let me ask you some questions. Why is it important to mention a black guy as a (non) traditional fantasy lead, if you already rofl with the irony of its real-yet-fake-ness? What do you think happened during the dark ages? What does your belief tell you about human nature?

    I think the whole matrix idea is comforting because it gives us an illusion of a veil, which once lifted, signifies freedom. In my opinion freedom is more like a stream, it’s constant and it winds many ways and we often find ourselves outside it and often find ourselves inside it and often delude ourselves either way. There are no evil forces trying to ‘pull one over on me’ and hide the stream from me, they just want to entertain me and get paid for it. Or control me and get paid for it. Either way, that’s okay, cause I want for things too.

    • Are you saying that every person part of the “masses” is not interested in being shown the meaning of life, or having their values questioned? I never said everyone wants to know these things, but some certainly would like to realize how social norms have influenced them into a state passivity. Important to mention the black lead role? Not really important, just something funny I noticed.

      I would agree, to an extent, that there are no evil forces conspiring to destroy us, because certainly, there IS a monetary interest for directors and authors to create fiction to entertain the masses. However, the question is: WHY is it that entertainment/escapism is so popular today? It’s everywhere, it’s nearly all-encompassing for many people (i.e. they live lives they find unfulfilling in terms of the work and relations they have, yet get their escapist fantasies met through entertainment instead of actually cultivating a life that reflects their values). A big part of the reason for this is that, deliberately or otherwise, there is a gigantic economic system in place that is headed by powerful and tiny-concentrated financial interests (i.e. corporations, wealth gap, 5% of the population owning 60% of the world’s wealth, etc.). These interests thrive by maintaining a lower class of passive, unengaged people who are mostly CONSUMERS in life, rather than producers or creators of their own individual localized sustenance and meaning. The best way to keep one’s wealth is to de-incentivize people from a) having high standards in their own lives which would b) encourage to become more active and engaged LOCALLY, instead of passively plugged into escapist entertainment fantasies. Kind of like men who play video games, spending 40 hours a week saving virtual galaxies from tyrannical aliens, instead of putting in those 40 hours into saving the REAL galaxy from REAL tyrants.

      The school system, for example, plays a huge part in de-incentivizing individual autonomy, passion, and engagement for life, and many historians point to how the modern school system was a creation of ultra-wealthy industrialists who were trying to streamline the masses into a trained-stated of subservience to ensure they had effective obedient factory workers to keep their businesses profitable and sustainable.

      So, there is clearly a combination of top-down DESIGN in this world of escapism-addiction, but also individual choice. It’s a continuum that feeds into itself from both opposing angles (top-down imposition vs individual choice), but neither of them are mutually-exclusive.

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