While millions of jobless Americans struggle to pay their bills, said Kimi Yoshino in the Los Angeles Times, "others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown"—"funemployment." A new breed of "happily jobless" 20- and 30-somethings is forgoing the job hunt for travel, golf, and the beach, thanks to severance packages, unemployment checks, or parental largesse. Funemployment may sound "frivolous," but this mix of "narcissism" and backlash against the corporate world is a statement about America today.
Sounds great, said Hamilton Nolan in Gawker, as long as you have "a benefactor who's a steady stream of cash." If not, what? You're "unemployed and forced into prostitution in order to buy flour"? Trust me, you're not the only one who wants to "get gangsters to dispose of the linguist who coined 'funemployment,' then flee to live on a houseboat barge."
"Funemployment. Paycation. The unemploymentality," said Peter Jamison in San Francisco Weekly. Every generation has "an argot to describe the confusing terrain of joblessness." And the so-called millennial generation's "weirdly upbeat" word "speaks volumes" about how this well-fed, well-organized age group is dealing with the worst downturn since the 1930s—the "young and funemployed" are taking the time to relax and "find themselves," but many also volunteer or self-educate.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
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