Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stupid Americans, Part One

There are few things that get me going like US citizens acting like idiots in public. US travelers have a knack of doing the most self-centered, disrespectful, thoughtless and inconsiderate things imaginable abroad, which is a fairly good indicator of their behaviour at home. So this item from Random Pixels, while truly cringeworthy, comes as no surprise.
Miami Beach city officials were in a reception line for the King and Queen of Spain at the Wine and Food Festival.

Before the event, the city officials were briefed on proper royal etiquette which included what to say and what not to say, and above all the officials were told that under no circumstances were they to touch their Royal Highnesses.


Fast forward -- King and Queen moving along reception line greeting city officials when Miami Beach commissioner Jonah Wolfson - dressed in a "raggedy t-shirt and jeans" - reaches out and touches Queen Sofia's arm and asks her, "Hey Queen, can I get a picture?"

A security man quickly intervened and corrected the commissioner, "Please address her as Your Highness or SeƱora."

This is the sort of behaviour that gives US residents a bad name in other countries. Commisioner Wolfson didn't dress properly, didn't pay the least attention to the protocols, and essentially behaved like a crazed fan at a sports event trying to get a photo op with an athlete rather than a responsible representative of local government in the presence of a high-profile international guest (never mind royalty). One understands Shrubisms like the silly nicknames ("Pooty-poot" for example) and the inappropriate physicality (like the manhandling of Chancellor Merkel) in the light of events like this, though it hardly helps the US' global image.

Apparently this wasn't the only unfortunate incident of the event.


  1. I think I'm going to tell people I'm Canadian.

  2. Yay! The comment published!

    Now, if only it had been more worthwhile. :)