By Jim McGuigan (auth.)
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The stuff of the so-called ‘creative economy’ is made up of ‘intangible industries’. It is all about ‘intellectual property’, we learn from Howkins, including copyrights, patents, trademarks and designs. And, of course, ‘the creative economy’ is where the action is supposedly for today’s Schumpeterian ‘wealth creator’ – that is, entrepreneurs – in the twentyﬁrst century, according to the reductionist framework that has taken such a grip on not only private business but also public cultural policy thinking in recent decades.
It is everywhere. Coolness is not some marginal or dissident trend. It is at the heart of mainstream culture, insofar as we can speak at all of such a phenomenon. In Cool Capitalism, several examples of present-day coolness are given, particularly in commerce. The genealogy of the word and the discourses through which it has passed are also traced. ‘Cool’ derives from West African itutu, the core meaning of which refers to composure in the heat of battle. Although itutu was closely associated with masculinity in origin, it may not have been exclusively so back in Africa, and, in any case, it is not exclusively so today.
34 This blurring of categories is an ideological distortion that erases the differences between art and business (see chapters 8 and 11 for further critical arguments concerning the kind of analysis and advice produced by Florida’s management consultancy). 35 There is no more profound site of cool capitalism as lived experience than cultural work: the production and communication of meaning in symbolic artefacts, not just any old job. 36 Competition for such employment is ﬁerce because it is believed to be glamorous, though in reality this is not the case at all.