human behavior

Can I say?

Posted in Anti-Americanism, Australian Culture & Politics, Foreign Impressions by humanb on April 2, 2010

Can I say… Kevin Rudd sucks.

Comedian Robin Williams had this to say on Letterman about Australia after a visit to the country:

“Australians are basically English rednecks. You down there, ‘how are ya? Good to see you. Hello.” he said. “I realized that if Darwin had landed in Australia, he would have gone: ‘I’m wrong’.”

Insulting? Sure.  But last time I checked, Robin Williams was a COMEDIAN, not a Head of Government.

So the Prime Minister of Australia thought it befitting of a man in his position to say in response on Australian radio:

“I think Robin Williams should go and spend a bit of time in Alabama before he frames comments about anyone being particularly redneck,” Rudd said.

Needless to say, the Governor of Alabama, a more dignified politician, was not impressed and responded more appropriately at the insult to his state:

“I’m not sure if Prime Minister Rudd has ever been to Alabama. If he has, he would know that Alabamians are decent, hard working, creative people.”

“That’s why Alabama is home to Australian companies like Austral which employs more than 1000 Alabamians at the world’s largest aluminium shipyard,” Mr Riley said.

Now that’s class. Recall that it was Rudd who was a career diplomat before becoming Prime Minister.

I’ve lived in Australia for 6 years now and not a week goes by where I’m not subjected to some insult as an American. I was in the Emergency Department tea room just this week where a bunch of nurses spent fifteen minutes talking about how stupid Americans were. I tuned out to keep my blood pressure down. In one nurse’s defense, when she realized that I was American and had heard the whole diatribe, she apologized profusely.

Usually, the Australian knows I’m an American and that is precisely why they start ripping into my country. I’ve had surgeons insult me in the operating theatre, an anesthetist insult me after inviting me and other students to his home for dinner, lecturers unknowingly insult me ad nauseum, and of course rank and file hospital doctors and nurses make disparaging comments to my face.

These same people would also ask me, “So how do you like Australia?”

“It’s a great country, I like it very much!” I say.

If I can be polite in the face of direct insult on a regular basis, surely the so-called sophisticated intellectual Head of Government of this so-called progressive nation can behave with aplomb without resorting to pettiness.

Can I say, Kevin Rudd, you suck.


One Response

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  1. condore said, on April 2, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    It seems that it doesn’t matter where you are from – folks only like their own.

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