Executive Omission

David Hesmondhalgh’s mammoth, brilliant, funny, and carefully argued The Cultural Industries (3rd Edition) articulates its plan to explore the changes in Cultural Labour (among many other things) during the post-1980 era, both explaining and evaluating the changes and continuities within institutions and the texts they’ve created.  That’s great; H continues, categorizing cultural laborers as Symbol Creators, Technical Workers, Creative Managers, Unskilled Workers, and Owners and Executives.  When he gets to the detailed analysis of these groups, though, he spends the lions share of his time on Symbol Creators (as Makers of Texts) — and winds up ignoring “Owners and Executives” completely!

 

Am I supposed to take this personally?  I spent more than half of my 25-year career as a “cultural industries executive” (I prefer the term “Culture Industry,” but that’s a rant for another day) — so, David, what am I, chopped liver?

 

“Weird Al” Yancovic, “Take Me to the Liver”

(Starts at about 3:30)

 

Rev. Al Green, “Take Me to the River”

 

Talking Heads, “Take Me to the River” (from Stop Making Sense)

 

  • They make a nice chopped liver sandwich [Kenny & Zuke’s, pdf]
  • Like Bubbe made, only better — and they dare you to finish it [Katz’s Deli]

 

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