Dingus of the Week: People Who Say, “Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Work Anymore?”
What mysterious force could have disrupted our capitalism in such a way?
This is the weekly dingus. The fun exciting newsletter that makes you laugh on a bleak Friday when all is lost. It’s the newsletter that rounds up something very dingusy in the news, gives you something good, some links, and a drink. What more can you ask? Never miss a dingus. Subscribe.
Hey, y’all. I’m concerned about society today. Like, where are the workers? Why does no one want to work? Did you know that 1 in 7 prime-age men 25 to 54 are not working today amidst a massive labor shortage? Did you know that there are 2 million fewer women in the workforce than there used to be? Did you know teachers are quitting in droves? Did you know it’s really hard to hire for minimum-wage jobs? Why could that be? It’s not like it’s impossible to live off minimum wage or anything. Did you know that, actually, a lot of people are weirdly quitting their jobs and asking for more money? And even if they stay in their jobs, they’re doing this thing called quiet quitting, which the best I can tell is them just doing their job, only their job, and demanding compensation if they are asked to do more. Horrid!
What a fascinating and upsetting social phenomenon.
Also, other things seem to be going wrong too. Petitions to join unions are up 60%! And in the most audacious move yet, workers do not want to sit in their sad, gray little cubicles anymore, even though bosses have kindly offered them pizza from Domino’s. It seems as if people would rather have job flexibility and a better work- life balance than make their boss, someone who works less, but earns more, happy.
I wish there was something to explain why everyone is suddenly opting out of being a cog in the wheel of capitalism. It’s almost as if a mass- extinction event happened and took the lives of 6.53 million humans, leaving the rest of us contemplating our existence and realizing that there is much, much more to life than just being another turtle in a large turtle pile for Yertle the Turtle to sit on top of. But that can’t be it. It’s most certainly not it. It must be that Gen Z with all their genders and their crop tops who are ruining this for us!
We should probably commission a study to investigate the mysterious and mystical causes of such a phenomenon. But I am pretty sure it’s the youth and their youthiness!
And Now for Some Good News:
It’s DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, MOTHERFUCKERS! (My house has been decorated for two weeks.)
The Beyond Meat guy ate some meat. (I will not apologize for putting this in the good news section.)
A bank CEO kind of apologized to Elizabeth Warren. Meaning, there are now approximately 80 million more people who still owe her an apology. I’ll wait. (The first sentence is misleading, but the good news is, Elizabeth Warren keeps Elizabeth Warrening.)
The Iowa City Book Festival begins next week. (Click HERE for an event schedule.) You may not know this, but I’m on the board of the City of Literature, which has been just a really fun way to volunteer in my community. So, I get to sit at tables and say “wow this is amazing!” To all the good ideas other people have. But it’s great because I’ve been going to Iowa City events for years, hoping that maybe one day, I’d be cool enough to be part of them. Well, on Sept. 29, at 7pm at the Coralville Public Library, I’ll be in conversation with THEEEEEE REBECCA SOLNIT!
I’ll also be in the audience at a panel discussion about crafting a just city, involving one of my favorite humans and favorite local journalists, Zachary Oren Smith, whom I call “the most trusted mustache in journalism.” That event is Oct. 2 at 2pm in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.
If you aren’t following Zach and his work, rectify that. He works for Iowa Public Radio and is an amazing journalist.
And of course, I’ll be at the Elizabeth McCracken reading Oct. 8 at 2:30 pm at Prairie Lights Books.
I’ll be attending other events, too, as time allows. I hope if you live locally you can pop over and celebrate the fact that Iowa is just a catalyst for amazing writing.
What I Am Reading:
I’ve been powering my way through the works of Rebecca Solnit. I’ve been crying a lot as a result. Right now, Orwell’s Roses and Recollections of My Nonexistence are my favorites.
Two weeks ago, I took my kids to BoucherCon, a crime-writing conference to cheer on my dear friend Elon Green who was up for an award. There, we met the incredible writer and cartoonist Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell and bought her book The Murder Book, and when I finally got a chance to read it, I found an incredibly tender and wonderful graphic novel about a mother and a daughter. Also, Hilary has a newsletter that’s delightful cartoons!
Cancel your plans and snuggle in and read the tale of the guy who is probably (maybe) the Zodiac Killer.
And it was Betty Friedan week on MYAM, your favorite newsletter.
What I Am Drinking:
Last week, people gave me some amazing drink suggestions. I didn’t make any of them and spent the majority of the week not drinking. (I had some whiskey last night after working on a demoralizing story.) But this weekend, it’s my sister’s long-overdue wedding celebration. You may recall that the last time I hung out with my sisters I got a black eye and heard a story about a nipple being ripped off by a screen door and then got my first tattoo. Oh, you don’t remember that story???? THEN YOU MUST NOT BE A SUBSCRIBER.
This weekend, I will not be getting a black eye. But I will be drinking beer in Chicago.
But, for those of you not hanging out with me and my kids and large extended family in Chicago, here were two drink suggestions that are at the top of my list: One is from Jenni D., who suggested Tinto de Verano, essentially house red wine with orange or lemon-lime Fanta. We simply love a trashy drink that has a fancy-sounding Spanish name. Even if Spain is the Wisconsin of Europe, people don’t know that.
The other was drinking Damiana, an herb liquor. Which I have not had but am eager to track down and find.
This week’s song comes from Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, who texted it to me on Wednesday after reading the newsletter.