The appearance of a new type of professional, The Creative, has put the rest of us in our Non-Creative places. We may not know how to compose a silly song, paint a lurid picture or graphically design an important branding logo, but we sure do know our place in the world.
‘I am a creative’ is a very different proposition to ‘I am creative’. The act of adding an indefinite article has the effect of fixing a behavioural strategy or choice into a personality type or variant of the species. This process of nominalisation as another aspect of rhetorical strategy: where words which are usually used as verbs or adjectives become nouns.
This nominalisation of creativity sees the creative class as latter day philosopher rulers, requiring ‘less creative’ members of society to provide services and facilities which they are either too busy, preoccupied or aloof to have to contend with themselves. The march of the Creative is unwaveringly driven by a sense of high stake self importance and knowing their role: to improve, large it and above all define the rest of us as possessing an absence: without and bereft of a special essence – the C word.
The rise and rise of The Creative bizarrely undermines the philosophy which locates creativity in everyone. It generates a superior class of philosopher king who will determine the policies and working conditions of the non-creative classes who struggle to cite a single classical composer or don’t know their Michael Jackson from their Jackson Pollock.
Creatives do and possess creativity in spades. They design it, perform it, think it, talk it, conceptualise it and expose it from behind their overcoats with huge rhetorical flourishes. The Creative knows above everything else that by defining themselves as such, they relegate everyone else to the lower division of the Non Creative.
The rise of the Creative depends on inequality. It suggests that the development of the creative class contributes to the maintenance of an underclass, a grouping of those whose creativity there is no need for or desire to increase or promote because it means one less person to empty the bins, mend the roads or provide basic facilities for the public services; and possibly, teachers to teach in public schools. Creatives may not be able to mend your car, iron your short or inhabit a life of faint disappointment but they do know how to make those who do, feel their own inadequacies.
Here’s to the Non-Creative, the army of stalwarts who teach in schools, run businesses, clean your car and serve you at supermarkets. Their creativity may not sing dance talk or write, but it gets everyone else through their daily lives with a fraction of the self importance the Creative is convinced they possess.