I highly support this. It is responsible. In an ideal world (well, someone’s ideal world), there would be no STDs, or they would only affect “other,” more promiscuous, less moral people — you know, the ones who don’t go to youth group. Or something. But HPV is huge. The CDC (via Planned Parenthood) reports that “by the age of 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired sexually transmitted HPV.” According to a 2004 report by Heather Boonstra (also quoted in Planned Parenthood’s article, but originally published in the Guttmacher Report on Public Policy), “HPV is so common, in fact, that it is considered a virtual marker for having had sex.” It’s a sexist disease, too, rarely showing itself in males, leading to cervical cancer in females — often without symptoms apart from an irregular pap smear. I never thought I would say this, but kudos to Texas for taking a stand, controversial as it is. I hope it sets a standard. When we have the power to prevent a disease that affects so many people, and when it is a fiscally responsible thing to do (saves money in the long run), why would we refuse?
It actually felt good getting back to work today. I love my Monday-mornings-off schedule, I have to say. The hours add up, and I feel free for half a day each week. This weekend I heard a lecture by Liam Gillick, a conceptual artist who has a show at the Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar. Much of it was over my head (I don’t think I’m alone in this), but he mentioned something about Volvo’s employees enjoying relatively unstructured days — working hours they chose, taking breaks as needed/wanted — and actually becoming more productive in the process of working less. For the life of me I can’t find a study or any documentation of this. I know it happened pre-Ford… This is the best I could find that might hint at such a strategy (and there’s a chance that it all lives in Gillick’s mind, anyway). If any of you can come up with more substantial information on this, I would be grateful. And if you head to Belmar for the exhibition, I offer this advice: read the guide, read the introduction. This work is interesting, but falls into the category of art that people don’t really understand without some extra information from the artist. Once you hear what he has to say, it makes sense (mostly), but it doesn’t stand alone (theory-free) very well.