When I get bored and feel like laughing, I open the UN’s website. Seriously, these people are determined to ruin the Babylon Bee’s business. You always find something silly to make your day. The latest thing they’ve come up with is the “creative economy.” What’s more, they’ve named 2021 as the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. No kidding. It’s almost as stupid as 2019, which the UN declared the International Year of Moderation, but not quite topping 2024, which will be the International Year of Camelids, in a clear nod to Joe Biden.
I confess that, as a man of pure letters, economics is a science alien to me. Although I am the son of an economist, and may my father forgive me, I believe that the economist is just a guy capable of predicting, with little margin of error, everything that happened yesterday. I haven’t met anyone more skilled at predicting the past. Most of them are crazy — except my father, of course — and it’s understandable. I would also go crazy if instead my desk being full of books, it was full of Excel spreadsheets. For me, spreadsheets are good for nothing more than tinder to light my barbecue. I’m pretty sure that most of the numbers on them are random and are there, laid out in the tables, just to impress visitors.
Despite my economic illiteracy, I was interested to know what creative economics is. I suspect it is like creative science, that scientific discipline the WHO is so well versed in, and according to which an egg can be equal to a chestnut if it wants it really badly. Of course the most widespread branch is creative biology, and I can’t wait for someone to invent creative chemistry. Imagine what fantastic fireworks sessions we could have if we started practicing it in laboratories. It’s not about adding to the formula the chemical component that the manuals point out — that’s just plain fascist — but about adding all the chemical components your heart tells you to … Boooooom!
If creative science is the kind that swaps following Charles Darwin for following Goofy (a talking dog), creative economics is the kind that overthrows Adam Smith for Paulo Coelho, author of famous economic principles such as “Don’t let your mind tell your heart what to do” (tip: don’t try this when you have a credit card in your hands).
The UN maintains that creativity “is a renewable, sustainable, limitless resource.” And this is something only an economist could have written. As an author for 20 years, my two main fuels are creativity and beer, and I can assure you that neither is renewable. What’s more, I can’t recycle and release all the nonsense I write here, in other magazines. Naturally, it’s not sustainable either: I can show you my monthly balance to prove it. Just suggesting that creativity is unlimited seems to me too stupid even for a UN bureaucrat, whose closest contact with the real world of creative disciplines is likely reciting bad poetry to some poor girl at college whilst under the effects of a marijuana joint; a bit like Amanda Gorman, but ugly, wearing goofy spectacles, and addicted to Tinder.
The UN also says that “today, more and more people are turning their ideas and imaginations into livelihoods.” And it says this as if it were something worthy of praise. In reality, some of us can live off our imagination, thanks to the fact that the rest of the world is working. If, as they claim, the option of imagining things and drinking beer were to become the majority, the entire West would end up poorer than South Sudan. Worse still, can you imagine millions of people sharing their creations nonstop? Can you imagine the whole world suddenly being one huge Twitter feed? Personally, I’d rather have my liver pierced with a bit brace.
I don’t know if those people at the UN know anything about economics, but what is certain is that they know nothing about creativity, except for when it comes to inventing stupid terms, in which case they are a true world power. In a text consisting of three or four paragraphs I have read words like “resilience,” “sustainability,” “ecosystem,” and “gender perspective” about a thousand times. But I’m sure none of those idiots ever read Virgil in Latin. At least thanks to that I know that “Quisque suos patimur manes” — Each of us bears his own hell. And our hell is to live with the creative stupidity of the UN.