Boiled Politician

It’s not the crime. It’s the coverup. Even when there’s no crime at all: The day after German communist politician Sahra Wagenknecht cracked open a lobster at a Strasbourg restaurant, she decided that her entrée choice sent the wrong political message. So she sent an aide to delete the evidence from the camera of a fellow politician—but when the politician noticed the photos missing, she lodged a formal complaint.

Needless to say, the German media has sunk its teeth into the story. Wagenknecht is now insisting she only deleted the photos because she “didn’t like them.” According to a commenter on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free… site, she should have stood by her lobster: “Ideologically, it is very easy to justify what this person did. In spending too much (of other people’s) money on luxurious food, she is increasing the evils in our capitalist society and thus hastening revolution.”

This is as good a time as any to bump Robert Krulwich’s wonderful recent NPR story on the life cycle of lobsters. It turns out that we have no idea what the life span of a lobster is. The creatures seem to die only from external causes—seals, parasites, German politicians—and to keep growing indefinitely. Scientists have measured “no loss of appetite, no change in metabolism, no loss of reproductive urge or ability, no decline in strength or health.” Also, I highly recommend the extremely catchy song that accompanies Krulwich’s report. It’s sung by “Leroy the Uninterrupted Lobster,” who advises lobsters everywhere, “Eat, eat, eat! Molt, expand, repeat!”

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