Three from Iowahawk:
“It’s true — U.S. government demand for art and art-like products has never been higher! Uncle Sam and the good folks at the National Endowment for the Arts are on the lookout for go-getting, obedient artists like you for a fast-paced career in state propaganda. With the quick and easy Federal Art Instruction Institute course, now you too can get a first class ticket on the federal art gravy train!
Tell Me More!
“From heath care to the economy to the environment, Washington has become infested with pesky state enemies who are clogging up the legislative pipeline and making life miserable for our cool, art-loving president. That’s why he has ordered the NEA to fund obsequious bohemians to help him exterminate the competition and drive traffic to his hip new website Servile.gov. The Federal Art Instruction Institute will show you how to get off funemployment and on the payroll of this exciting $3.6 trillion growth industry!” [more]
Who Loves You, Baby? The Nobel Peace Player’s Club, Baby, that’s who: Membership Has Its Privileges:
“Listen to these testimonials from some of our current members:
“My career as an international peace activist means lots of air travel — and dealing with pushy Zionists and . With my Nobel Peace Player’s Club GoldCard, I finally get the respect I deserve – and it makes getting through Gaza airport security a snap!”
– Jimmy Carter, 2002 Laureate
“I have to write a lot of honorary doctorate acceptance speeches, and writer’s block can be a problem. With the Player’s GoldCard I got great discounts at !”
– Rigoberta Menchu (1992)
“Economic Depression” once conjured images of tent cities and desperate job-seeking drifters, but for hordes of jobless Gen Xers, there is a silver lining in the new upbeat economic meltdown. These giddily carefree hipsters tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s, happily unencumbered by the obligations of parenthood or teeth.
Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks and free Salvation Army blankets, the nation’s new wave of hip funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. With no timeclock to punch, they travel on the cheap for weeks, bartering mix CDs or sterno or sexual favors for a fun cross-country boxcar trip. They study yoga and newspaper journalism, or grab a quick al fresco lunch at the neighborhood soup kitchen bistro. They participate in fun dance marathons and pole-sitting contests. And at least till the bank account dries up and the tuberculosis takes hold, they’re content living for today.
“I feel like I’ve been given a gift of time and clarity,” said Emily Horton, 29, of Austin, Texas. “And sometimes spare change.”
Horton, who was recently laid off from her job as a ElectoChill D.J. at a boutique hotel aromatherapy spa, says lack of a daily job obligation has been “a godsend.”
“I get to sleep in late at the shelter, and I finally have time to catch up on Tweeting,” she says. As she recently mused on Twitter, from an Austin public library: “Recession? More like relax-cession!”
Never heard of funemployment? Here’s Urban Dictionary’s definition: “The condition of a person who takes advantage of being out of a job to have the time of their life. I found a burrito with only one bite in it; funemployment rocks!”
It may not have entered our daily lexicon yet, but a small army of social media junkies — and regular junkies — with a sudden overabundance of time is busy Tweeting: “Funemployment road trip to Portland. Hope this truck driver doesn’t rape me! LOL!” “I can finally fit into my skinny jeans. Thanks, starve-cation!”
Katelyn Martinez, 28, lost her job as a sommelier at an upscale Costa Mesa oxygen bar on Feb. 1, and has no regrets.
“I used to be glued to my BlackBerry all the time,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing that again, especially after the repo man took it. Finally I can be alone to talk with my thoughts. Many, many thoughts.”
For many younger people, Dwight said, work is less central to their lives. According to her surveys, more and more young people are saying they are willing to trade off a high pay, high pressure job for one with flexible schedules and a lot of vacation time. “The new Admistration has been very responsive to that — just look at all the millions of new jobs with zero salaries and 52 week vacations,” said Dwight, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado.
Martinez said she finds herself looking into jobs she would have never considered before, such as selling crab apples or freelance prostitution. What’s more important, she said, is flexibility, vacation time and something that doesn’t have “that 9-to-5″ feeling.”And access to free clinics,” she added.
Melissa Browning, 34, is another funemployed L.A. single who has found new meaning in prostitution. After losing her job as a program coordinator for a non-profit Feng Shui education group in late March, Browning decided to go on a three-week interstate highway trek through the truckstops of central Arkansas with two friends, earning up to $30 per night while sleeping in tent-like yurts.
“I used to be so absorbed in the details of work, but prostitution has allowed me to come out of my shell,” Browning said. “Now it’s just so much easier for me approach new people, in idling semis, at 2 am. It’s just gives you such a positive pro-active outlook. I guess that’s why it’s called pro-stitution.”
Joining the world’s oldest profession has also given Browning the chance to reflect and contemplate. “Do we work to live or do we live to work? Do I have life goals that are not work goals?” asks Browning. “I guess what I’d really like to know is, who bogarted my meth?”
Both Martinez and Browning discovered that they like themselves better when they’re being consumed by hunger rather than their jobs.
“This is the best version of me,” Martinez said, adding that despite a distended belly and massive hair and tooth loss, she feels “completely healthy,” relaxed and focused.
“I used to talk a lot about living a ‘greener lifestyle,’ and now I’m finally doing it,” she said. “I’ve given up my car and I’m spending almost all of my time outdoors, surrounded by the beauty and insects of nature. And when I haven’t eaten in 4 or 5 days, I can look up into the sun and see angels. It’s very spiritual.”…