They also presented the Browns with two toy helicopters that are made to look like Marine One. Cool. Again, that seems reasonable. To me. That seems reasonable to me. It did not seem reasonable to this Iain fellow based upon what the Browns gave the Obamas. Are you ready for this? (If you didn't think that the Brits were snobby and/or snotty before, you will now.) They gave President Barry:
- "A pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa."
- "A framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute, a Royal Navy ship that came to symbolize British-American goodwill when it was rescued by the U.S. from icebergs and given to Queen Victoria. It is the sister ship of the HMS Gannet."
- "A first edition of Martin Gilbert's seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, whose World War II partnership with President Franklin Roosevelt symbolized the U.S.-Anglo alliance."
Oh, for Christ's sake, are you kidding me?!?! Am I supposed to be impressed or touched or something that the pen holder was made from the wood of an anti-slave ship? You know, President Barry wasn't a slave. Neither was his father. Yes, I am aware of the atrocity that was slavery. But is this gift supposed to hold more significance than if it was given to George Bush simply because President Barry is our first half white President? And a seven volume biography of Winston Churchill? Why not a biography (not a seven volume one) of George Washington? Or Abraham Lincoln? Why is it OK for Prime Minister Brown to give gifts that reflect his culture, but it isn't OK for President Barry to give gifts that reflect the US culture?
I mean, I'd like to know what Mr. Martin would have found more acceptable? A set of George Washington's wooden teeth? Monica Lewinsky's blue dress? Some tea from the Boston Tea Party? The key that Benjamin Franklin tied to his kite string? Joe Biden's fifteen volume autobiography (with footnotes AND an index)? I'm sure we can scrounge up some extra skin from some of Nancy Pelosi's many face lifts. Is that what they want? I don't get it.
And you're going to tell me that Prime Minister Brown went out and picked these gifts out himself? Went down to the ol' Dead English Rulers Shoppe and found that Churchill bio himself, did he? I don't think he did. Whereas the Daily Mail reports that "...the movie set included ET, Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz and was produced by the American Film Institute on "special request" from the White House." Special request. That sounds like a little bit of personal thought went into it. I'd way rather have a gift that someone thought about rather than a gift that someone else bought for them to give to me because someone else thought it would be "appropriate".
It's also noted in both the Telegraph and The Daily Mail that "...Mr Brown is not thought to be a film buff, and his reaction to the box set is unknown." See, and I don't know how it could be unknown, as the reaction should be and should have been "Thank you". But it would seem as if the US gifts given to the Brits don't ever meet their standards. Apparently W gave Brown a fur-lined leather bomber jacket, a fine gift if there every was one. Very cool. Nope. Didn't like that. Apparently Brown is a stodgy suit-wearer at all times. That's unfortunate.
The Brits, or at least Iain Martin, need to get over themselves. It's a fine gift that reflects America and Americans. Perhaps (one can only hope) that Mr. Brown will enjoy seeing the films with his family. (I don't know how old his boys are, but if they haven't seen Star Wars, watching them watch it for the first time brings a whole different dimension to the movie.) And perhaps President Barry will enjoy looking at the seven volumes of Winston Churchill sitting on his shelf. (Winston Churchill himself looked quite a bit larger than just seven volumes, I'll tell you that.) Here's a question for Mr. Martin: Why do you pay so much attention to the gifts that your Prime MInister receives from other world leaders? Might I suggest a night out in some village and knocking back a few pints with your fellows for a change? But here's another question, one that's more relevant to the situation rather than Mr. Martin's narrow view of the world as he would like it to be: Would Brits be just as appalled by the gift of DVDs if it was Ronald Reagan who had presented the gift? After all, Reagan was a Hollywood actor who had starred in movies. Would it have been OK coming from him? If so, then the Brits just need to lighten up. And if not, then the Brits just need to lighten up.
Thanks for the pen, Gordie!Sphere: Related Content