In an article so staggeringly dumb I can barely handle it, economic blogger James Pethokoukis has some very interesting thoughts about cosplayers. Mainly that "Dressing up like Wolverine or Cersei Lannister is probably more fun than scouring the classifieds for menial jobs."
In an article over at The Week titled, "Why the rise of cosplay is a bad sign for the U.S. economy," Pethokoukis brings up the relationship between the hobby of dressing up like fictional characters and the fact that our economy "averaged just 1 percent annually since 2006, as the Great Recession has been followed by a weak recovery." You may not have realized how intrinsically tied these two things were, but that's why you're not an economy blogger! As Pethokoukis explains, "When you're disillusioned with the reality of your early adult life, dressing up like Doctor Who starts looking better and better."
To be fair, despite the headline and subhed that seems to indicate that cosplayers are in fact responsible for the sluggish growth of America's economy, Pethokoukis states it's the opposite: "It's not to say that all or even most cosplay aficionados are struggling to find work. It's only to say that any rise in people fleeing reality for fantasy suggests problems with our reality."
That is possibly true, although it does kind of stereotype people who enjoy cosplay as poor bastards who have been trapped as immature man-children and women-children unable to cope with our current harsh economic reality, as opposed to, you know, PEOPLE WITH A FUCKING HOBBY. But the incredible asshattery necessary to choose cosplay — cosplay — as The Sign That the Economy Is Troubled over several hundred better, more indicative and certainly more intelligent answers is staggering.
If our economy is driving people to escape from reality, then perhaps television, movies, sports, books, alcohol, drugs, and videogames might be somewhat more recognizable factors than cosplayers. And if that's the case, then I also have to wonder if maybe — just maybe — this desire to escape is true of people of all ages who are being fucked over by the lacks of jobs and job growth, people struggling to find jobs and to hold them, who resent their lack of advancement, or more likely their lack of anything resembling job security. For instance, perhaps people in the 30s, 40s and, although I know is sounds completely unbelievable, but maybe even people in their 50s or older might also want to escape their shitty reality by going to see a goddamn movie.
Or we could just look at a group of younger people having fun and enjoying something we don't understand and assume they and the current social order is aberrant, and that's the only possible explanation. God fucking dammit.