Lots of folks are
atwitter over the release of the "World Citizens
Guide" – which we posted about – that
seeks to help reduce the amount of ugliness Americans export within themselves when they head abroad. Only you can know
xactly what your "AUE" (American Ugliness Export) quotient is, but my guess, esp. if you like fast food and
Hawaiian shirts, is that it’s pretty high.
The guide was underwritten/assembled by the Business for
Diplomatic Action (BDA), a non-profit group funded by big American companies, who are saying the anti-Americanism is
bad for business. It features some 16 etiquette tips on how Americans can help the country by not fulfilling
stereotypes of themselves as brash, loud, annoying, fat, stupid, bossy philistines. Ed Gomez over at SF Gate
examines the subject and finds many of these stereotypes sadly accurate. While, over at the UK Telegraph, Philip Sherwell
probably has the best take on the subject, as he makes the point that it’s not really American tourists who are the
problem, it’s more often the perceptions of American policy…although loud fat Americans don’t help themselves much
So let me put the question out there? Are we fat, loud, bossy, annoying, etc.? Or is it just that
people like to pick on the big guy? Or more, are people in general becoming more like us? I mean, have you ever seen
German travelers? Let’s get the debate started.