I’m looking, as always, for something in journalism. Or something — anything — that doesn’t suck the will to live from me. The market blows, and I am fucking sick of having the jobhunting blues.
And I am far from alone. You just have to read the comments made to my ARMACT Action Alerts posting, “Tell Congress to Improve Federal Unemployment Benefits.” These stories will break your heart and make you really angry at the heartlessness of the Bush Adminstration and the politics-minded clods who make the nation’s laws. Forget the lies the Shrub told about the union’s state — for too many Americans, these are the worst of times.
And of course US citizens don’t have a monopoly on the misery of joblessness. Lawn Greengrass paints a bleak picture of the labor market in his English hometown.
The employment situation has never been that good in dear old Stratford upon Avon. Work, unless you’re willing to dress up as Shakespeare and ponce about handing out leaflets, has always been thin on the ground. In my own experience and in an effort to keep the wolf from the door, I’ve done everything from cleaning toilets to shifting scenery. (The theatre work being the most lucrative but sad to say, no more. Someone had the wisdom and wherewithal to cut the Union’s balls off. Swine.) It was tough at times (I know people elsewhere have it tougher but I am writing about Stratford upon Avon OK?) but at least I found work. I’m not so sure how I would fare today. The situation is worse, much, much worse. So much so that I find myself worrying about the local population and what the future might hold. I think particularly of the up-and-comings, the young men and women like my kids who were born here, faced with the near impossibility of local work. Couple that with the traditionally low wages (groats and dustbin lids) and the outrageously high house prices and it becomes damn near impossible to raise a family and keep the Stratford line going, should they want to do so.
Many people there, as here, are desperately working to avoid having their backs broken by the last straw. And the number of straws is running out quickly; I know they are for me. Imagine how it must be for those who have it far worse.
Just ignore me. Depression is kicking in. It’s temporary. In the meantime, go back to the ARMACT post and take action.