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
- These 5 things will definitely happen after Obama moves on immigration
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What could happen if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- On immigration, Obama is flirting with tyranny
- Why are newspaper comics so terrible?
- Hillary Clinton needs to win big in 2016. Here's how she can do it.
- The psychology of bribery and corruption
- Don't change a thing: 8 inventions that never needed updating
Subscribe to the Week