The “creative industries” must “play their full part in the vital task of economic renewal”, says Taoiseach Brian Cowen (the Irish prime minister). It’s a ghastly term – out of the same dictionary of corporate and marketing crapology as ‘Ireland Inc.’ and ‘tourism products’.
We can now look on the Book of Kells with value-added awe. Those poor monks — little did they know they were part of the creative industry, and were growing a major tourism product.
As Richard Florida put it, “human creativity is the ultimate economic resource”. So much for the old-fashioned notion that creativity has something to do with playfulness and freedom.
We’re cleaning up the banks (supposedly), but what about cleaning up the language? I suspect that the banks would not have gone bad — or not as bad — if we had kept the language clean.
Why does such language induce a feeling of nausea in those who are not in thrall to it? Probably because, in our guts, we know that this kind of language ultimately reduces us — human beings — to commodities, to statistics and, when required, to collateral damage.