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issue no. 11, summer 2004

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september 4, 2004     

Work is about daily meaning as well as daily bread. For recognition as well as cash; for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying... We have a right to ask of work that it include meaning, recognition, astonishment, and life.

~ Studs Turkel

Those of you who have been hovering near the site have seen the ever-present optimism on our home page, "coming soon: work." Like the over eight million Americans currently unemployed, it's taken us much longer than expected to find "work."

Now, just in time for Labor Day, On the Page has returned to explore, analyze, and reflect on images of employment in America.

In this issue, we share trench tales from nearly a dozen folks who are or have been out of work, and we interview half-a-dozen people who love their jobs. Photojournalist Doug Oakley provides images of people at work, from Hawaiian bus drivers to rodeo clowns. Two essays look at employment and film: John Carnahan examines the cinematic portrayal of work, and an article by yours truly, Nada Von Tress, discusses whether successful working women ever end up with a man. Poetry from Janet McCann considers the pleasure of lazy Sundays and the tyranny of red ink.

We've also gathered some labor statistics, witty and thought-provoking comments on work, and a selection of some very odd jobs. We highlight archived items that speak to the theme of work—including interviews with Ira Glass and Barbara Ehrenreich, and poems by Zoe Francesca and Susan Terris.

Happy Labor Day, readers. And may you have or find work that provides you with meaning, recognition, astonishment, and life.


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