The early twentieth century found itself awash in different artistic responses to the myriad of socio-economic changes which characterize modernity. Absurdism and Surrealism were born and raised and flourished in such an atmosphere, feeding off a feeling of alienation and anxiety over the modern world. It was this environment which brought us Luis Bunuel and his “eye-opening” Un Chien Andalou, the works of Salvador Dali, and the literary craziness of Franz Kafka.
The modern workplace was often a source of that anxiety – Kafka’s Gregor Samsa was a salesman before awaking to find himself transformed into a cockroach, after all. That tradition has carried on to this day. Everything from Monty Python to Dilbert serve as absurdist pastiches of and savage satirical commentaries on the anxieties of the modern workplace.