BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ugly Americans, Part Dos

Today's headline on CNN.com --

Behavior guide targets 'the ugly American'

Quick info --
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Alarmed by the relentless rise of anti-Americanism around the world, a business-backed group is trying to change the behavior that spawned an enduring stereotype of Americans abroad -- loud, arrogant, ill-dressed, ill-mannered and lacking respect for other cultures.
Waitaminute, me blogged about this...a month ago!

* * *

People...

Traveling abroad?

Worried about gettin' pegged as a "Yank?" Gettin' spit on in the Cock & Bull? Hassled for bein' W-supporter?

Don't worry, Ugly Americans, help is on the way!

'Speak softly, don't argue and slow down'

The State Department is "looking out...for you!"
The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not...just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate.

Now, the State Department in Washington has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.

Under a programme starting next month, several leading US companies will give employees heading abroad a "World Citizens Guide" featuring 16 etiquette tips on how they can help improve America's battered international image.
Important note:
Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), a non-profit group funded by big American companies, has also met Karen Hughes, the head of public diplomacy at the State Department, to discuss issuing the guide with every new US passport.

The goal is to create an army of civilian ambassadors
.
Created by Karen "Mother Hen" Hughes.

Unbelievable.

Some tips, people:
Think as big as you like but talk and act smaller. Talking about wealth, power or status - corporate or personal - can create resentment.

Save the lectures for your kids.

Speak lower and slower.

Your religion is your religion and not necessarily theirs
. Religion is usually considered deeply personal, not a subject for public discussions.
"Have you accepted Christ as your personal lord and savior?"

"'M Catholic, miss. We dunna do tha'."

"Then you're going to hell."

"An' you are out o' yer fookin' 'ed!"
If you talk politics, talk - don't argue: Steer clear of arguments about American politics, even if someone is attacking US politicians or policies. Agree to disagree.
"He lied you...yobbos into this war so his cronies could make a few pounds."

"The world changed on 9/11!"

"And you are either stupid - or naive - or both."

"Can I have a headset, please?"

"Piss off!"
Keith Reinhard, one of New York's top advertising executives, who heads BDA, said:

"Surveys consistently show that Americans are viewed as arrogant, insensitive, over-materialistic and ignorant about local values.

That, in short, is the image of the Ugly American abroad and we want to change it."
Good luck!

On that note, remember the simplest move if/when things get hairy in the pub:

"No, dude, I'm Canadian."

Goo loo goo goo goo goo goo goo.

More later...

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