But more than all of that put together, the greatest evidence of our collective mindset is our outpouring of rage and grief upon hearing that the The Great British Bake Off was moving to Channel 4. Booo, hiiissss……… And then our pure, unadulterated joy that Mel and Sue announced they wouldn’t be ‘going with the dough’ (nice bit of punnery there). The pièce de résistance though, was news today that tent Queen Berry – announced she’s staying at the Beeb. News programmes have been interrupted and online media was awash with ‘BREAKING NEWS’ stories within seconds. Accompanied by a unanimous whooping and cheering by the masses not heard for, well….. since we whooped and cheered for something else.
But have we actually gone mad? I don’t think so. It isn’t as trivial as some might say. We’re desperate. These are desperate times. Our seemingly ridiculous level of over-interest in this story is perfectly understandable. To my mind, the GBBO debacle has become a microcosm of our wider concerns…… To us mere mortals currently up to our eyeballs in shit, with little hope for the future of the human race – we’ve been hoping that amongst the drama, something would come right in the end. Dramatic, moi?? We’ve clung to the hope that eventually, somewhere among those involved in the Bake Off story, someone would do the right thing…. Surely, La Berry couldn’t be corrupted by the dollar. Could she? I’m not sure we could have coped with that bombshell. She’s just so, well nice and BBC, she belongs there – it’s her TV home. We’ve clung to that ideal, like a piece of moral driftwood in a sea of lies and populism and corruption and avarice. We were initially distraught that big money had snatched our soggy bottoms from the heaving bosom of Aunty. ‘Love’ Productions – my arse. How could they? Then, like latter day knights in shining tinfoil, Mel and Sue restored our faith, at least just a little bit – that there were right and just people in the world and that not everyone can be swayed by humongous mountains of cash. Mary’s rejection today, with a statement stating she will remain ‘loyal’ to the BBC, because they have ‘nurtured’ her; was just what the doctor ordered. It compounded our naive hope that some good still exists this horrible world, that values count for something, that not everyone does in fact, have their price.
So thank you for that Mary Berry, and Mel and Sue too, so much. Thank you for being the heroes in this 21st century morality play about the evil and eventual consequences of greed. Today we have a little bit of redemption…… Lord knows we needed it.