February 3, 2007 by cosmoakacitizensmith
In the nineteenth century the industrial revolution promised a future of untold wealth and more leisure time for the working man. Machines would alleviate the burden of manual labour and man would have more time to engage in pure exercises of the mind… art, philosophy and politics.
What happened? Competition in today’s job market means that people are working longer hours, and are taking on more and more responsibility for little reward. Job security has become a thing of the past. Conversely, many people are trapped in jobs they don’t enjoy, only staying in the vain hope of paying off increasingly crippling loans, an existance no better than slavery; a situation that many grudgingly accept… You take out a loan to buy a house, fill it with the things advertisers tell you are needed to lead a quality life, then spend the rest of your life working to pay it off; a clever conspiracy to keep us chained to the treadmill!
Some interesting facts… In the UK, personal debt, in September 2006, exceeded £1.25 trillion for the first time. The average owed by every UK adult is approximately, a staggering, £26,525 – twice as much as the average western European, and overall, in the UK, personal debt is increasing by £1 million every four minutes!
Is it any wonder…. that more and more people are taking time off work due to stress and depression – the ‘modern malaise’; a term that accepts these conditions as a neccessary sacrifice for productivity, but belies the fact that the general morale of the country is at an all time low. Up to 5 million people in the UK feel ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed by their work, but continue regardless, not wanting to appear weak, resigned to a state of powerlessness, and accepting a lack of control over their lives. Other figures suggest that more than 1 in 4 people experience work-related stress at a level they believe is making them seriously ill!
Professor Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University… formulated an equation, adding the debt accumulated over Christmas, the anxiety of the bills arriving, the disappointment at failing to keep new years resolutions with the energy zapping effects of sunlight deprivation……arriving at the conclusion that the last Monday in January is the “most depressing day of the year”.
Is there an antidote to this poison that is paralysing the nation; a way for the common man to re-assert his will; a unifying gesture of discontent; a focus for workers’ rights; a chance to recoup and recharge the batteries?
Yes there is…
A group of people, who go under the umbrella name of Sicknote, have made it their mission to raise the morale of the nation.. In order to give people the chance to stop and reflect on this sorry state of affairs, Sicknote have decided to declare Monday, January the 29th, 2007 as ‘National Phone in Sick Day’, unleashing their first single- the euphoric ‘Phone In Sick’, see below for more details.
Throwing a ‘Get Well Soon’ party in the Welsh capital’s Coal Exchange the previous day, they are bringing together the cream of the capitals bands, DJ’s and performance artists and topping the bill with old school ravers ALTERN 8 and festival legends EAT STATIC.
Unlike Red Nose Day, they are not asking you to donate your hard-earned cash… All they are asking, is that, in solidarity with all those people who suffer in silence from work-related stress, on the morning of Monday, January the 29th, if you can’t have a duvet day, follow your employers sickness procedures, pick up the phone and phone in sick, for one day only…
This simple action, not only allows you a day to relax and reflect, it also sends out a message of dissatisfaction with this culture of work that reduces us to mindless slaves. In ancient Greece, slaves generally regarded work as a curse; the word for work was ‘ponos’, taken from the Latin ‘poena’, which meant pain and sorrow. Well now is the time to reject this life of pain and sorrow, and to allow ourselves a chance to rediscover the things in life which bring us joy…
PHONE IN SICK!
Sicknote’s first single: ‘Phone in Sick’
Available for pre-order download NOW at:
more info at:
The GET WELL SOON party at Cardiff Coal Exchange,
Sunday 28th January 2007
4pm – 2am
more info at: