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: 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.