“Are You Doing the Processing, or Being Processed?”
—Slogan of Processed World
Processed World was part zine, part street theater, part forum for college educated temp workers serving as grist for the machines of capitalism. The first issue was published in April 1981, at the dawn of the “information age” and explored its underside. The early 1980s were its hay day, but there were occasional “special issues”, like this on-point question from the 2001 issue, which is just as relevant now as it was then:
“What happens when pressure to work longer and harder constrains non-work life? When lunch breaks are shorter, less convivial, or simply an excuse to slip in more work? When fast food isn’t deemed fast enough, so we “drivethru,” take out, and dine alone, en route, as tens of millions of Americans now do everyday?
What becomes of imagination when we entertain, read, vacation, play, sleep (and, in consequence, dream)less? What happens to personal life when, as time-managment authors now advise, we schedule weekend “appointments” to garden, to have brunch or “romance,” or to meet with family to review the “domestic agenda”
What happens to work itself when, to get more done, we go at several tasks simultaneously?