You Just Know They're Americans

From Rawstory:

Taipei- A giant wooden sculpture of a penis on display at Taipei's international airport has stirred up controversy among some foreign visitors and flight crew, who have demanded its removal, media reported Tuesday. The one-metre-long sculpture in the Number 2 Terminal is part of an exhibition of artifacts of the Thou tribe, one of Taiwan's ten tribes. But some foreign visitors and crew find it offensive and have demanded its removal, according to the Liberty Times.

Some foreign crew members and flight attendants refer to the sculpture as "The Thing" and have posted the photo of it on their websites, saying it is an offence to female visitors and flight attendants.
Let's review. Non-citizen of Taiwan fly into Taipei's airport, see a sculpture sacred to one of the Island's ten tribes and because it's a wee-wee, demand that it be removed.

You just know that these people are Americans.

Our cultural arrogance is astonishing. When I was studying in Rome, I often visited the Vatican. To get into St. Peter's, you had to wait in line to go through metal detectors. There was a sign that said something like 'appropriate clothing required' and had a picture basically saying 'shoes and shirt required.' It was only in English.

While I'm leery of blind nationalism, I would really like to be able to go to another country and at least feel that the country I came from is a pretty decent place. I remember traveling in Europe in 1998. The 'Ugly American' was something people understood to be out of the norm. At worst, most Americans were the bumbling fat people in white shoes who talked to loud and didn't speak the language. Americans weren't hated. They were regarded as decent people, if a bit 'out of the loop' culturally. Getting back to that would be a start...

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