I’ve made some for myself having cut down the five days a weekcommute down to four. I enjoy the travelling – I read, write and doze – but after a while it wears. The coarseness of incessant interaction. Man sits opposite with mouth gaping open in sleep teenage girl on phone (mercifully in Dutch), neon strip lights accentuate the grey.
We’re desperately trying to be private, claim a pocket of seclusion while pressed up against each other’s thighs. Initially you’re easy but there’s a drip-drip-grind in discomforting parts of the brain – on the peripherary of awareness you know this is not OK.
The job is simple and there’s not very much to do. I’m able to work quickly and touch the lives of thirty to forty people in a day with motivational emails full of get-up-and-go. In slack times I invent tasks for myself – research studies of behavioural change, write articles on stress reduction and invent seminars to present to colleagues.
The beauty of these is that my manager believes me innovative and dedicated. This is not the kind of job one easily drops.
Nonetheless, I’ve cut down to four days. it;s a regular thing in Holland and I believe a mark of civilisation. The 5 days squeezes from you too much creativity, nails you with exhaustion and causes my body to physically ache.
“The body holds wisdom greater than thy deepest learning” said Nietszche and the whispers of this delicate frame are telling me to slow.
So we’ve got some easy time back again, drifting contentedly on the early week’s graft. I’m in danger of getting carried away with the satisfaction of the situation.
The UK governement announced today a shock measure to restore people’s confidence in themselves.
“The Banks have given us a stark lesson in self-castration” said Alistair Darling at a hastily assembled press conference “so we’ve decided to save ourselves a lot of money and give £5,000 to every man, woman and child irrespective of wealth, job status or legal recognition as a UK citizen.”
The £300bn reappropriation – which represents approximately 25% of the UK median wage – signals recognition by the government that the fundamentals of the economy are shifting and in ways too unpredictable and complex for one government or sector of sperm-bloated irresponsibility to decide on its own. It is hoped that by diffusing the bailout in a series of lump sum grants the decision will help shift the economy onto a footing that people would rather see it go.
“For too long we’ve been behoven to a bunch of public school schisters deciding the fate of humanity. It’s time for a squeeze of economic democracy” Darling added, himself squeezing Gordon Brown’s knee.
As well as extended binges, mass polo matches and clumsy street parties, the decision is seen as a test of whether people really knows what’s good for them.
“Everyone knows the UK public is brainwashed to the eyeballs on a daily diet of talent contests and bullshit propogated by the overly paid and morally destitute. What we’re interested in seeing is if people cast off the shackles and work together to forge a society that is a little more human and a little less grimy” A leading psychiologist noted before ripping off a lab coat, shitting in his hand and smearing “You’ve no self knowledge” on a nearby Mercedes.
Optimism has reached the UK from south west France where a similar scheme was launched to bribe people into not voting for far-right leader Jean-Marie LePenn. “We took it hook, line and sinker” said Jacques LeFruit “alzo’ instead of spending money ourselve we combine in a mighty collective way and invest in projets de communites.”
Much of this, M. LeFruit describes went into the highly successful Marechal Petain appreciation society with the slogan “Les 68ards ne savent pas de quelle cote leurs baguettes sont beurres” therefore conflating two episodes of history into a single prescient political point. “It was a great example of somezing people really want to see and most important it come from ze people.”
Humanist optimists on this side of the Channel are hoping for savings and loan trusts, rural commerce and indigenous welfare to thrive.
“Yeah, we’re all for an Indigens revival. Never the same since they broke up in the 70s” said Spinal Pete amongst the wafts of a fan shirt that hadn’t been washed since then either.
Not surprisingly Darling’s announcement caused a storm in the Commons, with several MPs astonished at the diminuation of centralised control. A refutation to which Gordon Brown was scornfully smug “I’ve spent a lot time telling the public that no one knows how to spend their money better than me. Besides, we’ve undereducated folk for long enough now that they understand that collective voluntary actions are the stuff of tooth fairy idealism and can never really actually happen.”
Nevertheless, a poster campaign encouraging community investment will see the soon-to-be-not Prime Minister winking from a thousand 30 foot blilboards “Remember your schools!”
Other initiatives belied the government’s professed faith in the will of the People. “What we’re trying to avoid,” boomed Alistair Darling from the loud speaker of a helicopter specially comissioned to fly over middle and lower England “is that people think that this money is in any way enough. For goodness sake, do not stop working, drinking or ignoring each other five days of the week “your Economy has never needed you more than now!”
A bout of non-descript warbling could be heard from the direction of Hazel Blears until fascist Terrier was scissor kicked in the jaw by a protestor now flush with legal expenses.