The origins of the Cult of St. Giro are hidden in antiquity, and assuredly the modern day version has little or nothing in common with these now extinct pre-twentieth century forms.
The current wave of Giroism seems to be exclusively a trend amongst those lower and ill-educated classes that call themselves JobSeekers, although some still prefer the less fashionable terms of JobShirker or Dole Scrounger. The long-term unemployed who have passed certain grades of initiation may even call themselves GodSeekers. Space limitations here mean that I shall be confining my study to the largest and more orthodox group within this cult – The JobSeekers and The Client Advisors (the Servants of the Temple).
In this modern-day cult the name of the ancient Slacker deity – St. Giro – has come to mean almost exclusively the fortnightly payment on green paper made to the JobSeekers on St. Giro’s Day by their local cult leaders at the Temple of JobCentre. The JobSeeker accepts this payment as an implicit Vow of Poverty, excluding them from the normal activities of wider society. Indeed, The JobCentre may clearly be seen to house a religious cult, and one in the most authoritarian and obvious sense of the word.
On regular, preordained dates of the year the JobSeeker is required by the Temple to attend a ritual known as Sign On. In this ritual (the precise details of which are only revealled to initiates) the JobSeeker and the Client Advisor involve themselves in an Unspoken Pact of Mutual Bullshitting, The JobSeeker may be compelled to exaggerate, fabricate or lie on a number of randomly chosen topics, culminating in the actual Sign On, a renewal of the Vows of Poverty.
St. Giro’s Eve
After leaving the Temple the JobSeeker is expected to immediately return home, penitent, to fast and meditate for the next two days, until the arrival of St. Giro’s Day. This two day period is called St. Giro’s Eve by the Seeker and is seen as a time of solitude, silence, contemplation and fasting. Simple repasts of leftovers, food from skips and dog-end roll-ups are taken sparingly, the Seeker is permitted to take long walks, gaze out of the window and read holy texts, such as the Evening News JobFinder Supplement. During this dark period the JobSeeker is expected to reflect on past misdemeanours and job rejections, their self-evident failure to actively participate in normal capitalist society.
St. Giro’s Day
JobSeekers invariably wake early on the morning of St. Giro’s Day, either through excitement or sheer hunger, with St. Giro’s Day comes the breaking of the fast. They may wait for many hours and several post deliveries until the post finally brings their Giro, and this is accepted as part of the repeated ritual humiliation of the JobSeeker. The first thing a JobSeeker will do on receiving the Giro is take it to the Post Office, from there the JobSeeker may do any number of things, but all those things will be a celebration, each JobSeeker celebrates and thereby venerates St. Giro, and each in their own way. Some JobSeekers, those privileged enough to be able to commune with Lord Fuckit, may retire to the nearest pub and buy drinks for all their friends all day. Others, those more moved by the rigours of St Giro’s Eve, may simply eat their first proper meal in days, others may undertake a pilgrimage to the homes of all their debtors and thus wipe out their sins and their Giro in one fell swoop.
It is true that all JobSeekers agree that St. Giro’s Day must be royally celebrated with a can of Special Brew for yourself and your friend as an absolute minimum, cause for celebration is seen as a rare and sacramental act to the devoted JobSeeker. The ability to ‘get out of it’ with Lord Fuckit – that is, an intimate union with the God of strong booze and other intoxicants – is seen as entering a prophetic transcendental state.
The major symbolism employed by the JobSeeker to interpret the meaning of all existence is contained within the hieroglyphs of the Sacred Irreplaceable Dole Card (also called UB40, ES40 or SO40) and knowledge of these hieroglyphs bestows on the initiate the keys to the Rituals of Slackerdom. Through the Dole card the Seeker can learn the date of the next Sign On Ritual and using simple arithmetical calculations is able to predict the date of St. Giro’s Eve and St. Giro’s Day itself. Since the Servants of the Temple (the Client Advisors) jealously guard these secrets from the uninitiated, we can only speculate on the actual structure and workings of the so-called Ritual Sign On Calendar.
It is widely agreed that the crucial symbol on the Dole Card is placed in the box marked ‘cycle’ (See illustration below). That one of only two possible symbols (equivalent to R and Q) may appear in this box seems to suggest that the calendar incorporates two distinct, yet inter related cycles, indeed the calendar has a bi-cycle. The feasts of St. Giro are predicted through the complex conjunctions of the two interlocking R and Q cycles. Each of these cycles appears to be fourteen days in length, thus the individual R or Q JobSeeker will be working with a fourteen day cycle , while the Servants of the Temple and the calendar itself work on a twice fourteen day cycle, or a 28 day cycle, connections with the phases of the moon are inevitably made, and some Giro theorists have identified this Gironic sequence as a ‘Lunar Bi-cycle System’.
Clearly, there are many highly significant esoteric facts in this Cult of the Giro, which may in time reveal themselves to be central to the lifestyle of this growing secret cult. However, while the Temple of JobCentre maintains it’s grip on the minds of JobSeekers, using the Unspoken Pact of Mutual Bullshit to intimidate it’s adherents into silence, we can only speculate wildly on the realities of this bizarre and dangerous Cult.