Monday, February 23, 2009

European condescension

I just read an entry in Sasha's blog that got me feeling incensed and bristly. I have (without her permission) copied and pasted a conversation that she had with someone in Amsterdam recently:

Dutch Guy bumps into me, like tall people do to short people.
DG: Oh! I'm so sorry!
Me: Don't worry, it happens all the time.
DG: No, really, I'm sorry! Where are you from?
Me: The United States.
DG: Ooh..ouch.
Me: Well...
DG: You're very beautiful.
Me: Oh...Thank you.
DG: Yes..very beautiful! For being from the US.
Me: I think you just complimented me and insulted me at the same time?
DG: Really! You're beautiful, for being from there!

What kind of socially retarded snot-nosed asshole says things like that, anyway? I've had similar conversations with people who make sweeping generalizations about Americans and the U.S., and then I find they've never even been there or MAYBE they went to like, Florida for a week or something. This is basically what's being implied:

DG: All Americans are uneducated, obese, hate the Mexicans, don't know anything about world history, are all Bible-thumping cowboys who think all Muslims are terrorists and love George W. Bush, and shit you guys don't even have passports - Europeans are so superior! Oh ho ho! Your beauty is tarnished by the fact that you are a scum American! Oh ho ho!

Maybe the appropriate response for Sasha could be

Why thank you, you're looking fine yourself for someone who is freakishly tall with a weak chin and a big nose, eats pancakes and rents hookers all day, and comes from a country which is famous for people who are rude and frugal and that crazy guy who made the anti-Islam propaganda movie and then wondered why people were angry!

Since you know, all stereotypes are the whole truth and all _________ people are totally alike...argh.

Ignorance. It lives everywhere, and no one's better.


  1. Augh. I tried all day yesterday to post a comment saying that it was ok to use my conversation and that I had an experience that balanced it out (a woman who'd visited the US telling me that she loved it) and that that experience pointed out to me that all I really want is to hear some *informed* opinions.....but blogspot wasn't letting me. Sigh. This statement has gotten less clever and witty every time I've tried! Now it's downright boring.


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