Thursday, September 29, 2011

99 Excuses for Skipping Out of Work

Most of us we HATE WORK and we are searching all possible ways to survive with or without it, to build sustainable social relations of mutual aid and to use all possible excuses and tricks for skipping out from work... Here you can find 99 smart and good excuses for many many free days. 

Try to use these days as best as you can for yourself and the people around you...:

1. My kids are locked outside.

2. My kids are locked inside.

3. My kids are stuck in the door.

4. I have to pick on my kids.

5. I have to help my grandmother bake cookies.

6. I have to help my Aunt Flo in Omaha make cookies. She’s much better now and she wants to send thank-you cookies to everyone who came to see her when she thought she was dying.

7. The water company has to read my meter once a year and this was the only time they would come.

8. The gas company has to read my meter once a year and this was the only time they would come.

9. The water meter guy and the gas meter guy were both leaving cards on my door about me not being home, and they got into a fight about whose meter was better, and I have to go home and clean up.

10. My daughter is graduating from high school and I’d like to go to the ceremony.

11. My daughter is receiving a Nobel Prize and I’d like to go to the ceremony. (Do not use within one month of #9).

12. I have to pick up my car at the shop. If I don’t get there in half an hour it’ll be locked up all weekend.

13. I have to get my car to the shop. If I don’t get it there in half an hour it’ll be locked out all weekend. (Don’t use if boss seems wide awake).

14. My dog has a rash all over, and the vet closes early today.

15. My cat has a rash all over, and the vet closes early today.

16. My kid has a rash all over, and the vet closes early today.

17. My truss snapped.

18. My support hose popped.

19. I got my fingers stuck together with Krazy Glue.

20. I’m arranging financing for a house.

21. I’m arranging financing for a car.

22. I’m arranging financing for a beef roast.
23. The couch I ordered umpteen weeks ago has arrived and this was the only time they could deliver it.

24. The refrigerator I ordered umpteen weeks ago has arrived and this was the only time they could deliver it.

25. The baby we arranged for nine months ago is arriving, and I think this is the time it’s being delivered. (Note: This is an excuse that can’t be used by just anybody. But if it’s close to accurate, it’s extremely effective.

26. I have been asked to serve on a presidential advisory panel.

27. I’m being sent to the moon by NASA.

28. It’s Dayton’s Warehouse Sale.

29. My back aches.

30. My stomach aches.

31. My hair aches. (This is more acceptable than “I have a hangover,” especially if offered in the early afternoon.)

32. My biological clock is ticking.

33. I have to take my biological clock in for service.

34. My furnace won’t stop running, and the goldfish are getting poached.

35. My central air conditioning won’t stop running, and the goldfish are getting freezer burn.

36. Both my furnace and my central air conditioning won’t stop running. The goldfish are fine but my basement is about to explode.

37. I have to go to the airport to pick up my mother.

38. I have to go to the airport to pick up my minister.

39. I have to go to the airport to pick up my minister’s mother.

40. I have to take my mother to the doctor.

41. I have to take my minister to the doctor.

42. I have to take my doctor to my minister.

43. I think I left the iron on.

44. I think I left the water on.
45. I think I left the refrigerator on.

46. I’m getting married, and I have to go pick out rings.

47. I’m getting married, and I have to take a blood test.

48. I’m getting married, and I have to figure out to whom.

49. I have to have my waistband let out.

50. I have to have my watchband let out.

51. I have to have my son’s rock band let out.

52. I’m having my eyes checked this noon, and they put drops in them so I won’t be able to work afterwards.

53. I’m having my ears checked this noon, and they put drops in them so I won’t be able to work afterwards.

54. I’m having my hats checked this noon, and I’ll be having a drop or two so I won’t be able to work afterwards.

55. I’m having a root canal.

56. I’m having a tax audit.

57. I’m going on a date with a sadomasochistic necrophile. (Is that beating a dead horse?)

58. My broker needs to talk with me about diversification.

59. I have to rearrange my savings so that there is no more than $100,000 in any one federally insured institution.

60. I need to break into my kid’s piggy bank while he’s not home.

61. I have to renew my driver’s license.

62. I have to get new license plates.

63. I have to stand in a long line for no good reason, while petty bureaucrats take inordinate amounts of time to work out the tiny problems that they detect in perfectly routine transactions. THEN I have to breeze by and renew my driver’s license and get new license plates.

64. I’ve got an urgent session with my therapist.

65. I’ve got a really urgent session with my therapist.

66. I’ve … I … I’m not … I don’t … I CAN’T COPE WITH THIS!!

67. I have to get my contact lenses fitted.

68. I have to get my hearing aid adjusted.

69. I have to get my big toe calibrated.

70. Hey, hey! The Monkees could be coming to our town.
71. My rheumatism is acting up. There’s going to be a terrible tornado.

72. My arthritis is acting up. There’s going to be a terrible blizzard.

73. The pharaoh is acting up. There’s going to be a terrible rain of frogs.

74. I need to give blood.

75. I need to give evidence.

76. I need to give up.

77. I’m going to my best friend’s engagement party.

78. I’m going to my best friend’s wedding.

79. I’m going to my best friend’s divorce. (We all knew it wouldn’t last. At the wedding, everybody threw Minute Rice.)

80. I have a seriously overdue library book that I have to return.

81. I have a bunch of old parking tickets, and if I don’t pay them I’m going to be arrested.

82. The police are at the back door. Cover me.

83. I’m having my nails done.

84. I’m having my colors done.

85. I’m having my head examined.

86. I’m going to the bank.

87. I’m going to sleep.

88. I’m going over the edge.

89. A friend of mine is dying and I have to go to the hospital.

90. A friend of mine has died and I have to go to the funeral parlor.

91. A friend of mine is being reincarnated and I have to go to the zoo.

92. I need to check out the hole in the ozone layer.

93. I need to check into a rest home.

94. I’m breaking in my shoes.

95. I’m breaking up with my boyfriend.

96. I’m breaking out.

97. I have to pick up my dry cleaning.

98. I have to pick out a car.

99. I have to take part at the demontration for the future of my kids, you motherfucker!

Creative Excuses to Skip Work

If you've exhausted all the common reasons for missing work, or you're simply looking for a laugh, check out some of the obscure work excuses found in the following articles:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"The Machinery of Hopelessness" by David Graeber

We have reached an impasse. Capitalism as we know it is coming apart at the seams. But as financial institutions stagger and crumble, there is no obvious alternative. Organized resistance is scattered and incoherent. The global justice movement is a shadow of its former self. For the simple reason that it's impossible to maintain perpetual growth on a finite planet, it's possible that in a generation or so capitalism will no longer exist. Faced with this prospect, people's knee-jerk reaction is often fear. They cling to capitalism because they can't imagine a better alternative.
How did this happen? Is it normal for human beings to be unable to imagine a better world?
Hopelessness isn't natural. It needs to be produced. To understand this situation, we have to realize that the last 30 years have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus that creates and maintains hopelessness. At the root of this machine is global leaders' obsession with ensuring that social movements do not appear to grow or flourish, that those who challenge existing power arrangements are never perceived to win. Maintaining this illusion requires armies, prisons, police and private security firms to create a pervasive climate of fear, jingoistic conformity and despair. All these guns, surveillance cameras and propaganda engines are extraordinarily expensive and produce nothing – they're economic deadweights that are dragging the entire capitalist system down.
This hopelessness-generating apparatus is responsible for our recent financial freefalls and endless strings of bursting economic bubbles. It exists to shred and pulverize the human imagination, to destroy our ability to envision an alternative future. As a result, the only thing left to imagine is money, and debt spirals out of control. What is debt? It's imaginary money whose value can only be realized in the future. Finance capital is, in turn, the buying and selling of these imaginary future profits. Once one assumes that capitalism will be around for all eternity, the only kind of economic democracy left to imagine is one in which everyone is equally free to invest in the market. Freedom has become the right to share in the proceeds of one's own permanent enslavement.
Since the economic bubble was built on the future, its collapse made it seem like there was nothing left.
This effect, however, is clearly temporary. If the story of the global justice movement tells us anything, it is that the moment there appears to be any sort of opening the imagination springs forth. This is what effectively happened in the late '90s when it looked for a moment like we might be moving toward a world at peace. The same thing has happened for the last 50 years in the US whenever it seems like peace might break out: a radical social movement dedicated to principles of direct action and participatory democracy emerges. In the late '50s it was the civil rights movement. In the late '70s it was the anti-nuclear movement. More recently it happened on a planetary scale and challenged capitalism head-on. But when we were organizing the protests in Seattle in 1999 or at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in DC in 2000, none of us dreamed that within a mere three or four years the World Trade Organization (WTO) process would collapse, "free trade" ideologies would be almost entirely discredited and new trade pacts like the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) would be defeated. The World Bank was hobbled and the power of the IMF over most of the world's population was effectively destroyed.
But of course there's another reason for all this. Nothing terrifies leaders, especially American leaders, as much as grassroots democracy. Whenever a genuinely democratic movement begins to emerge, particularly one based on principles of civil disobedience and direct action, the reaction is the same: the government makes immediate concessions (fine, you can have voting rights) and then starts revving up military tensions abroad. The movement is then forced to transform itself into an anti-war movement, which is often far less democratically organized. The civil rights movement was followed by Vietnam, the anti-nuclear movement by proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua and the global justice movement by the War on Terror. We can now see the latter "war" for what it was: a declining power's doomed effort to make its peculiar combination of bureaucratic war machines and speculative financial capitalism into a permanent global condition.
We are clearly on the verge of another mass resurgence of the popular imagination. It shouldn't be that difficult. Most of the elements are already there. The problem is that our perceptions have been twisted into knots by decades of relentless propaganda and we are no longer able to see them. Consider the term "communism." Rarely has a term come to be so utterly reviled. The standard line, which we accept more or less unthinkingly, is that communism means state control of the economy. History has shown us that this impossible utopian dream simply "doesn't work." Thus capitalism, however unpleasant, is the only remaining option. 

If two people are fixing a pipe and one says "hand me the wrench," the other doesn't say "and what do I get for it?"

In fact, communism really just means any situation where people act according to this principle: from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. This is, in fact, the way pretty much everyone acts if they are working together. If, for example, two people are fixing a pipe and one says "hand me the wrench," the other doesn't say "and what do I get for it?" This is true even if they happen to be employed by Bechtel or Citigroup. They apply the principles of communism because they're the only ones that really work. This is also the reason entire cities and countries revert to some form of rough-and-ready communism in the wake of natural disasters or economic collapse – markets and hierarchical chains of command become luxuries they can't afford. The more creativity is required and the more people have to improvise at a given task, the more egalitarian the resulting form of communism is likely to be. That's why even Republican computer engineers trying to develop new software ideas tend to form small democratic collectives. It's only when work becomes standardized and boring (think production lines) that becomes possible to impose more authoritarian, even fascistic forms of communism. But the fact is that even private companies are internally organized according to communist principles.
Communism is already here. The question is how to further democratize it. Capitalism, in turn, is just one possible way of managing communism. It has become increasingly clear that it's a rather disastrous one. Clearly we need to be thinking about a better alternative, preferably one that does not systematically set us all at each others' throats. 

Capitalism is not just a poor system for managing communism, it also periodically falls apart.

All this makes it much easier to understand why capitalists are willing to pour such extraordinary resources into the machinery of hopelessness. Capitalism is not just a poor system for managing communism, it also periodically falls apart. Each time it does, those who profit from it have to convince everyone that there is really no choice but to dutifully paste it all back together again.
Those wishing to subvert the system have learned from bitter experience that we cannot place our faith in states. Instead, the last decade has seen the development of thousands of forms of mutual aid associations. They range from tiny cooperatives to vast anti-capitalist experiments, from occupied factories in Paraguay and Argentina to self-organized tea plantations and fisheries in India, from autonomous institutes in Korea to insurgent communities in Chiapas and Bolivia. These associations of landless peasants, urban squatters and neighborhood alliances spring up pretty much anywhere where state power and global capital seem to be temporarily looking the other way. They might have almost no ideological unity, many are not even aware of the others' existence, but they are all marked by a common desire to break with the logic of capital. "Economies of solidarity" exist on every continent, in at least 80 different countries. We are at the point where we can begin to conceive of these cooperatives knitting together on a global level and creating a genuine insurgent civilization.
Visible alternatives shatter the sense of inevitability that the system must be patched together in its pre-collapse form – this is why it became such an imperative on behalf of global governance to stamp them out (or at least ensure that no one knows about them). Becoming aware of alternatives allows us to see everything we are already doing in a new light. We realize we're already communists when working on common projects, already anarchists when we solve problems without recourse to lawyers or police, already revolutionaries when we make something genuinely new.
One might object: a revolution cannot confine itself to this. That's true. In this respect, the great strategic debates are really just beginning. I'll offer one suggestion though. For at least 5,000 years, before capitalism even existed, popular movements have tended to center on struggles over debt. There is a reason for this. Debt is the most efficient means ever created to make relations fundamentally based on violence and inequality seem morally upright. When this trick no longer works everything explodes, as it is now. Debt has revealed itself as the greatest weakness of the system, the point where it spirals out of control. But debt also allows endless opportunities for organizing. Some speak of a debtors' strike or debtors' cartel. Perhaps so, but at the very least we can start with a pledge against evictions. Neighborhood by neighborhood we can pledge to support each other if we are driven from our homes. This power does not solely challenge regimes of debt, it challenges the moral foundation of capitalism. This power creates a new regime. After all, a debt is only a promise and the world abounds in broken promises. Think of the promise made to us by the state: if we abandon any right to collectively manage our own affairs we will be provided with basic life security. Think of the promise made by capitalism: we can live like kings if we are willing to buy stock in our own collective subordination. All of this has come crashing down. What remains is what we are able to promise one another directly, without the mediation of economic and political bureaucracies. The revolution begins by asking what sorts of promises do free men and women make one another and how, by making them, do we begin to make another world?

David Graeber is the author of Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion and Desire and Direct Action: An Ethnography. 


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Sunday, September 11, 2011

"We Demand Nothing" by Johann Kaspar

“I do not demand any right, therefore I need not recognize any either.”
— M. Stirner

On the night of August 8th, 2009, hundreds of inmates at the California Institution for Men in Chino rioted for 11 hours, causing “significant and extensive” damage to the medium-security prison. Two hundred and fifty prisoners were injured, with fifty-five admitted to the hospital.

On Mayday 2009, three blocks of San Francisco’s luxury shopping district were wrecked by a roving mob, leaving glass strewn throughout the sidewalk for the shopkeepers, police and journalists to gawk at the next morning.

On the early morning of April 10th, 2009, nineteen individuals took over and locked down an empty university building the size of a city-block on 5th avenue in Manhattan, draping banners and reading communiqués off the roof. Police and university officials responded by sending helicopters, swat teams, and hundreds of officers to break in and arrest them all.

After Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man, was killed by transit authority officers in Oakland, California on New Years Day 2009, a march of about 250 people turned wild when a multiculturalist’s dream focus group rampaged through downtown, causing over $200,000 in damage while breaking shop windows, burning cars, setting trash bins on fire, and throwing bottles at police officers. Police arrested over 100.

From December 6th, 2008 to Christmas, a rebellion swept Greece after the police shooting of a 16 year old boy in Athens. Hundreds of thousands of people took part, collectively ripping up the streets, firebombing police stations, looting stores, occupying universities and union buildings, all the while confronting cops on a daily basis with an intensity and coordination worthy of an army.

After the “accidental” deaths of two kids who were being chased by police in the Parisian suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, on Oct 27th, 2005, youths in the French banlieues burned thousands of cars, smashed hundreds of buildings, and destroyed shops large and small every day for three weeks in response. 8,973 cars burned all over France those nights, and 2,888 were arrested.

What unites these disparate events of the last few years? Neither the race nor class backgrounds of the participants, neither their political contexts nor social conditions, neither their locations nor their targets. Rather, it is a certain absence that unites them, a gap in the center of all these conflicts: the lack of demands. Looking to understand, manage, or explain the aforementioned events to an alienated public, prison officials claim ignorance, journalists scavenge for a “cause,” politicians seek something to negotiate, while liberals impose their own ideology. The fear is that there really is nothing beneath the actions, no complaint, no reason, no cause, just a wild release of primal energy, as inexplicable and irrational as a sacrifice to the gods themselves. At all costs, there must be meaning, they cry, some kind of handle to grab onto, something, anything. What do they want? everyone asks, and the reply is everywhere the same: Nothing.

From Chino to Paris, Australia to Athens, New York to San Francisco, these are only a sample of revolts worldwide that have increasingly given up on the desire to “demand something.” To the bourgeois press, the lack of demands is conceived of as a symptom of irrationality, a certain madness or pathology that plagues the disenfranchised. To the radical left, the absence of demands is seen as political immaturity, a naïve rage that can only exhaust itself in short bursts. But to those who’ve shared such deeds together, to those who’ve seen their demands become the means of their own suffocation, such a trend is a welcome sign of things to come.

Perhaps it’s time we stop seeing these struggles as “lacking” something, but rather as determinate acts of negation with their own particular force, meaning, and history. To take seriously the content of struggles without demands, one must see them not as isolated events, but as moments within a history of developing antagonistic relations between capital and the life it subsumes. What are the forms in which struggles without demands appear to us? As riots mostly, but also as wild strikes, endless occupations, violent rebellions, popular uprisings and general insurrections. Instead of seeing a riot as sociologists do, namely as any collective act of violence which seeks to directly communicate its message without respect to legal norms, we can see them as they appear to us: as developing forms of struggle adequate to the conditions of exploitation at their particular time. Riots usually start with some grievance, sometimes with a demand in sight. A riot can also start with no demand, but end with one. Other times, riots begin with a particular demand, but end without any care whatsoever for its accomplishment. Sometimes demands are forced onto a collectivity of rioters by a self-appointed “representative” and other times demands are decided on by the collectivity themselves. Every aforementioned case has occurred in American history, and it is the task of the insurrectionary scientist to uncover any possible logics to the historical development of such relations in the dialectic between demand and destruction. As the conditions of exploitation develop, so do the struggles against them, and with this the meaning of the struggles themselves change, expressed not by demands but by the content of the activity itself. It is this activity we investigate below.


What is a demand? Etymologically, it is a giving of one’s hand, an order. In the context here, the demand is a contract, the guaranteed expiration date of one’s struggle, the conditions for its conclusion. “If x is achieved, action y will end” is what the demand says. But this is obviously a trick, for a contract assumes two equal sides, two abstract individuals or entities exchanging the dates of their expiration of hostilities based on a mutual recognition of conditions. If the vote is the political equivalent to money, then the demand is the political equivalent to credit cards. It is faith, a contract, a password to get something when one has nothing. It can be used by anyone, thieves and king, rich and poor, just and unjust; its function is the same, to lock one in deeper to the structure of capital.

Why do struggles with demands tend to get wilder, and struggles without them tend to proliferate? On the one hand, the ability of the state or capital to satisfy minimal demands is being eroded. In a hyperglobalized economy, worker’s don’t need to be guaranteed to socially reproduce themselves as workers where they are, for all that capital requires is some worker, anywhere, to do the job. Wage-demands and demands to maintain work hit up against the brick wall of the law of value. Proletarians realize this and respond, now threatening to blow up their factory (at New Fabris in Paris, for example), kidnapping bosses (at Scapa in France), and striking not for improving conditions, better wages or even keeping their jobs, but for money, just more money when they sell the factory. No illusion anymore, they seem to be saying we are nothing, we have nothing, we demand nothing except some paltry means to soften our fall. The limits of demands reveal the limits of class struggle, which can either mean the opening to its overcoming through broadened social struggle — insurrection, social war — , or the closure of struggle all together. We bet on the former.