This week’s BBC Have I Got News for You (HIGNFY) programme featured a discussion of the now well-known term ‘gammon’. It also featured the SKWAWKBOX meme that has become indelibly linked with the term.
Not for the first time, the ‘MSM’ has used original SKWAWKBOX material with no credit:
Ben Davis did indeed tweet the image shown (the pineapple slices were added by HIGNFY). But the fact pointed out by host Richard Ayoade – that the image referred to a BBC Question Time audience – was in fact first raised by the SKWAWKBOX on the night the Question Time episode was first broadcast. Along with the image, which this blog created and published:
“Older, white, clearly right-leaning mean behaving aggressively”, which is the original definition of ‘gammon’, in the sense referred to by the show.
Of course, the MSM using SKWAWKBOX material without credit is not a new phenomenon. It happens quite frequently – such as when the Times used information broken exclusively by this blog about the identity and dress habits of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s fan who waded into protestors at a Rees-Mogg event:
On a more pleasant note, the original image had such an impact that it was used or referred to by people such as Joe Lycett and Kathy Burke and continues to circulate. It has also spawned a number of highly amusing ‘children’, including a beatbox version, a reggae version, a ‘Blue Monday’ tribute and a personal favourite – gammon commemorative postage stamps:
It's The Will Of The Purple pic.twitter.com/fcSMU2onsF
— Awatha #StopBrexit #ABTV #FBPE 😱 (@Mudjokivis) May 11, 2018
— DJ Reckless (@DJRecklessDnB) February 22, 2018
— Sketchaganda (@sketchaganda) March 15, 2018
— Jamie Webber (@webjame) March 16, 2018
No, YOU grow up. pic.twitter.com/zqqSqEKAku
— Balcony Shirts (@balconyshirts) May 11, 2018
Properly extended pic.twitter.com/42gcNmwto1
— Dan (@______1980) May 11, 2018
Haha. Also: https://t.co/XTbu2IgKWh
— Tommy Mackay (@TommyReckless) May 11, 2018
A year too late. You’ll be hearing from my lawyers. pic.twitter.com/FDbjZpis4k
— Battles (@366Battles) May 11, 2018
— Sick of popcorn (@lowerformofwit) January 4, 2018
There have been attempts, by right-wingers, to claim that ‘gammon’ is a racist term. But this entirely – deliberately? – misses the point that gammon is not about a skin tone but about attitude and worldview. Presumably the existence of the attempt is a sign of the meme’s effectiveness – and the lack of humour of the right.
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