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Automatically generated diary of the recession

?- go( [recession] ).

<actors>
envt
stage
mark_steel
mr_bruce

<weather>
[good,sunny]

<intro>
UNEMPLOYMENT SOARS TO 8 MILLION

<day 1>
E:state=recession causes B:out=lay_off
B:out=lay_off -> MS:in=lay_off
MS:in=lay_off entails MS:job=unemp
focus [in]
stage!
  suggest S:mood=grim (intro_mood)
  suggest a/in/econ_setting/ (intro_setting)
  MS:econ_setting=explanation(recession)
  focus [in,econ_setting]
  suggest i/act/
  MS:act=abuse_icing_gun
  focus [in,econ_setting,act]
-

Mr Bruce called me into his office this afternoon. 
"Don't bother coming in Monday", he said. [in]

I was being sacked because the economy had collapsed, 
people were out of work and penniless or in work and hoarding every penny, 
the Chancellor was a cretin. [econ_setting] 

But I still had an hour to go on my shift before leaving. The rules were most
particular about that, even on one's last day. I still wonder which
unsuspecting shop assistant found themselves unpacking that batch
of 48 triple-choc-chip muffins - and found 48 repetitions of "Fuck the Chancellor"
staring up at them in bright red strawberry icing. [act]


<day 2>
MS:job=unemp causes MS:money=low
MS:money=low causes MS:goal=get_money
MS:goal=get_money causes MS:goal=get_job
MS:goal=get_job causes MS:plan=[visit_dss]
MS:plan=[visit_dss] causes MS:intended_act=visit_dss
MS:intended_act=visit_dss causes MS:act=visit_dss
MS:act=visit_dss causes E:out=dss_queue_dole(long)
E:out=dss_queue_dole(long) -> MS:in=dss_queue_dole(long)
focus [act,in]
stage!t
  suggest b/act/see_traffic/ (illustrate_traffic)
  MS:see_traffic=low
  focus [see_traffic,act,in]
-

Cycling down to the dole office, I notice how safe
are the roads. The exuberant traffic of recent years seems
to have dissipated, the thundering TIRs and Eddie
Stobarts now just a memory. [sees_traffic]

The dole office is packed. I've been unemployed
before, but <Year> unemployment is different. It seems that 
everyone is unemployed. People staring
up at wall-mounted TV screens, huddled sharing cans in the yard, 
mumbling at officials through the protective windows. [act]

My turn arrives. I am not surprised to hear that my dole will take 
at least a month to come through. [in]


<day 3>
stage!
  suggest i/emot/ (emote)
  MS:money=low causes MS:emot=frustration(money_low)
  focus [emot]
-

On the dole, you literally run out of money.
I have had frustrating conversations about this, in which
friends will shrug their shoulders and say it's a nuisance when
you have no money. "But I don't mean no money until I get
to the bank", I say, "I mean NO MONEY". In that situation,
one of the most frustrating pieces of advice is to be told
that X clothes shop had a sale of last season's trousers or Y
record shop was doing a promotion on cut-price CDs. Because
when you have NO MONEY, you go without. You might
just as well announce that Swan Hunter have a sale on battleships:
Iraq War seconds, only 80 million quid until the end of the month. [emot] 


<day 4>
stage!
  suggest i/emot/ (illustrate_stress)
  MS:job=unemp causes MS:stress=high
  MS:stress=high causes MS:emot=stress(unemp)
  focus [emot]
-

The same daytime soap operas on the TV. Can't afford to take
a bus, fed up with bunking the trains. Signing-on. Endless
pots of tea. Churning in my stomach. [emot]


<day 5>
stage!
  suggest i/emot/ (illustrate_depression)
  MS:stress=high causes MS:depression=high
  MS:depression=high causes MS:emot=depression(unemp)
  focus [emot]
-

I have given up trains, buses, and beer; now I am
giving up smiling, in preparation for all the other
things I shall give up. Giving up getting up. [emot]


<day 6>
-

 [emot]


<day 7>
- 

 [emot]


<day 8>
stage!
  suggest MS:in=cure(depression) (resolve_tension_and_close)
  focus [in]
  i/emot/ 
  MS:in=cure(depression) causes MS:emot=relief(depression)
  focus [in,emot]
close
-

Dry mouth, nausea, headache and a certain jerkiness of
movement. But the Prozac worked. I jumped out of bed
this morning, tore the curtains open to stare at the sun,
and realised just how sick I had been. [in]

It is such a relief to be in touch with the world once more. [emot]


END

30 March 2003.

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