Crab exits stage right
14
JULY, 2018
summer culture
M is someone I have known for most of my life. She is – by instinct – fair and level headed, but she is sometimes drawn from her instincts by watching ITV evening news. If Emmerdale followed Channel 4 news, we would have a whole different ballgame, but ITV news is the one that gets watched, and I blame Emmerdale, ITN’s race to increase audience share at the expense of value-light news reporting has given it an increasingly¬† Murdoch tint (or taint).
IT seems to promote an agenda around – immigrants are bad; Europeans are bad; sudden changes of temperature are bad; we live in dangerous times; we should all be scared of the new and the other; quirky stories are good.
M’s crab obsession seems to be at the nexus of several of these agenda items.
It is true that every time I visit her in the summer, a fresh crab sandwich on Paignton seafront, from one of the food huts, is a necessary part of the visit, so crabs are not unimportant. And their sudden scarcity has elevated her to brexit defcon 2.
She spoke mournfully on the phone of how we would have to forego this cultural imperative because crabs have been taken off the menu. She informed me irritably this was because the French were fishing all “our” crabs, a story she got from ITV news – I think they got it from the perfidious Daily Mail.
I suggested that the stormy winter seas, or the unseasonal warmth of the summer might have something to do with the crabs being too far from our shores to be properly considered “British”, but she was quite derisory about weather talk. This is not what I expected,- every time I call M she gives me a detailed weather report and forecast with the vim of a lifeboat sailor, it is one of her studied interests.
But apparently she has been overcome by the brexit virus affecting the media.
After about 100 stories of how Europe is wrong – even though she voted to stay in it – you just get brex-infected. And if there is any possibility that the French or anyone else was depriving us of our annual seaside crab sandwich, then a stand was to be made.