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Monday, August 11, 2003

The Evil Emporium

The post below makes me think about an aspect of Why They Hate Us---where "they" is not necessarily J. Random Mohammed, but Our Pals the Europeans, South Koreans, etc.

When I was in Australia I experienced one incident that could possibly be construed as anti-American (that is, aside from reading the Sydney Morning Herald regularly). I mentioned to a fellow that I was surprised to see the American flag used to advertise quite a few things in Sydney. My take on it was that Australian advertising firms used Stars N Stripes because somehow American was cool. I found that mildly amusing. (It was news to me that foreigners ever thought anything American was cool. They'd always told me that they found it 1) bad, or 2) insignificant.)

His view, however, was that the Eeevil Yankee Imperialists were shoving American crap down the throats of the Aussies---LOOK! IT'S AMERICAN! AMERICA = GOOD! BUY! BUY! BUY! YOU SHEEP!!

So (if I'm right) we have a situation where foreign advertising agencies sell American stuff in their countries with the American flag because the people they're selling to apparently think American=cool. Meanwhile, the people they're not selling to become more and more convinced that the Evil Empire is coming for their wallets, their souls, and their wimminfolk.

Mind you, I understand this attitude to an extent. I grind my teeth everytime someone tries to sell me something with "European elegance" or "Eurostyling". I once saw a "Eurostove". "Euro! Euro! Euro!" I cry. "I am so sick of 'Euro'. It's not flipping better because it's European, people! I don't want to see another damned thing advertised as 'Euro'!"

"You're so right, dear," soothed Niles, my Euroboyfriend.

But I don't blame European companies for selling their goods here; I blame those sheeplike Americans who can be hypnotized by the lulling chant of EuroEuroEuro. "Look, it's Euuuuuro. It's chaaaaarming. It's eeeeelegant. They're so much more sophiiiiisticaaaaated than we are. This will make you look smaaaart. Euuuuuuroooooo."