Krabasken er i embeds medfør meget ofte på vingerne. Han hader hele det latterlige ritualiserede set-up omkring flyvning (stewardesser der giver fundamentalt overflødige sikkerhedsinstruktioner; overflødig kontrol af håndbagage; tåbelige medpassagerer, der såsnart spænd bælte-indikatorerne er ophørt med at lyse efter landing kaster sig ud på midtergangen for at tilbringe de næste 10 minutter dér i voksende irritation; etc. etc.) –men ikke mindst hader han lufthavns-reklamer.

Særlig piner HSBCs reklamer det konservative krabaskhjerte.  Hvis De har besøgt verdens lufthavne indenfor det sidste års tid, er sandsynligheden 1 for at De har set bankens reklamer. De er overalt. De plejer at bestå i to sammensatte plakater, med det samme billede på hver, men modsatrettede begrebspar (på billedet kan fx være en mand i suit og en autonom med ordene “leader” og “follower”, hvorefter de på næste plakat med samme billeder er vendt).

Den begavede læser vil selvfølgelig se at det handler om den platteste form for hverdagsrelativisme forklædt som “kommunikativ kompetence”: 

The incidental beneficiary of that happy thought is HSBC. But the reality of the message is simply the biggest unexamined cliché of our time: that differences among people are simply so many “points of view” and therefore (note the logic) that discriminating among those points of view with an eye to favoring one over another is to be guilty of an intellectual incapacity that is at the same time a moral failing (narrowness, intolerance, elitism, ethnocentrism—the whole menu of politically incorrect vices).

This might seem like a prescription for moral relativism. Not quite. What makes the ad campaign a significant emblem of the Zeitgeist is the way it insinuates a consistent prejudice into its brief against prejudice. The smartly attired young chap and the slob in jeans are not so much equals as competitors. The moral burden of the campaign (as distinct from its aim of benefiting its client) is not to encourage us to think more carefully about what it means to be a leader or follower, to be good or bad, to be trendy or traditional, but rather to blur the distinction between those contraries altogether. The aim is to short-circuit, not refine, our powers of discrimination. And the goal of that disruption is always at the expense of one side of the equation. (Another irony: were the transvaluation implicit in the “point-of-view” campaign really to succeed, one of the first casualties would be competitive enterprises like HSBC.)

Uddragene er fra denne slagtning af fænomenet.