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September 17, 2009

Excess Killed the Celtic Tiger

8.5 HoursMORE THAN ANY OTHER thing I've seen about the demise of the Celtic Tiger, the film 8.5 Hours exposes a series of probing thoughts about how excessive consumerism killed off the hard-working demeanour that I saw when I first walked among the information technology work force in Ireland. In late 1994, I watched people coding web pages in coffee shops and in self-service laundries with washing machines spinning in the background. Ten years later, it seemed that some of that code-loving drive had moved east and was replaced with a fun-loving energy focused on loving life. All my impressions are my own, formed by places where I associated in the centre of Dublin or out at Citywest Business Campus. In both of those locations, I passed by people who wore the same kinds of clothing as the actors in the film 8.5 Hours and I listened to the same snippets of conversation in the film. Times have changed since those heady days. The Celtic Tiger was stabbed by the sword of consumerism and fatally slashed by easy credit that boosted people into unsustainable lifestyles.
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