Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Latest Fakeroversy: Grope-gate

Remember the last time that President Barry had an interaction with Prime Minister (known to some as the Prime Mentalist, but whichever you prefer) Gordon Brown? PM Gordie gave President Barry some sort of desktop pen holder that was carved from the wood of Noah's Ark by Jesus himself (or something like that, I really can't remember all of the details, only that it was extremely extravagant) and President Barry gifted back with a box of 25 DVDs. 25 DVDs that turned out to be the wrong region and therefore were unplayable over there in the UK. Oh. Unfortunate indeed.

Side note: I had initially defended the gift, saying that a gift is a gift and you should just say 'thank you' even if you hate it because it's polite, etc. And while I still don't think that it was a horrible gift, it was absolutely a bonehead of a play for someone to not get the correct region of DVDs. That's pretty lame. You can give any gift you want to, but it does have to work! That's the rule. You can't give gifts that are broken or incompatible because if they are, then they're no longer called 'gifts''; they're called 'crap'.

Somehow it seemed that everyone got all up in arms about the whole incident and the media was the arm-iest of them all and blew it hugely out of proportion into a fakeroversy (fake controversy) of epic proportions. So when I heard that President Barry was going to be meeting with the Queen whilst he was over there for the G20 Summit, I thought that he would find a way to redeem himself with the media and show the citizens of the UK that he doesn't hate them. (But even if he did hate the Brits, which he doesn't, how would that translate into purposely giving the Prime Minister a crappy gift? It wouldn't. That's why it's a ridiculous notion to toss around there. You know who you are.) President Barry might be redeemed (or, at least, forgiven), but that didn't stop the criticism from becoming media fodder around the globe. What did he do, you ask? He didn't do anything. It was Michelle who was the fakeroversy topic this time. Because she touched the Queen. Wait. What?


Correct. She touched the Queen. Touching the Queen, while it may sound like some sort of San Francisco parlor game, is apparently a bad thing. It's like the Queen has this glowing ring of kryptonite which surrounds her and no one is allowed to cross the plane of said glow. And Michelle Obama touched her. What was she thinking? Maybe she was thinking that since the Queen touched her first that it was....wait. What was that? The part about who touched who first. The Queen touched Michelle first? The Queen started it? And Michelle touched back?! Oh, sweet fancy Moses, those in the media are morons.

Let me just sum up how this meeting went. President Barry and Mrs. Barry met with the Queen and a guy who is supposed to be her husband, Prince Philip, but reminded me of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. Anyway, they met and the Obamas towered over the Royal Lilliputian couple. They exchanged gifts. (Here's where I cringed. I was waiting for President Barry to whip out either a very redeeming gift to make up for Gift Gate, or I was waiting for him to whip out that box of 25 DVDs that he gave to Gordie and re-gift it to the Queen. (Talk about breaking protocol! You never re-gift to a Queen. Never!) President Barry gave the Queen an iPod filled with showtunes. Quaint. The Queen gave President Barry a framed picture of herself and Mr. Burns. (As a friend had said to me about this: Ostentatious much?) Then they took some photos. Then they were whisked away to some secret location for some reception with a bunch of the other G20 folks (those would be the G19.)Then things start to get weird. Or they don't. It just depends on whether you're going to buy into the fakeroversy or not.


At the little chat fest, the Queen, who is not known for being overly affectionate, reached around Michelle Obama and appeared to give her one of those side hugs where you're just barely touching the other person. It's like your appendage is just hovering right above the surface of their skin, but it's not all the way touching. In light of that display of affection, Michelle must have figured out that it would be rude to not return the gesture and she gave the Queen the same side-hover hug. That lasted for about 10 seconds. Then the Queen removed her arm and a few moments later, Michelle removed her arm. That's it.


That's it?!?! Yep. That's it. Oh, wait, there was one more thing. Michelle said to the Queen: "I really enjoyed our meeting." In response, the Queen said to Michelle, "Now we've met, will you please keep in touch?" Aaahh. Sounds like she was still a bit peeved from all of the touching, doesn't it? NO! It doesn't! What is wrong with the media?!

Seriously. Now that you know the story, let's look at some of the headlines that were used to describe this incident and turned it into the huge fakeroversy that it became. The folks over there at Time Magazine ran with the headline: "The Queen and Mrs. Obama: Did the First Lady Break Protocol?" CNN.com went with the equally inflammatory: "Michelle Obama's warm touch with Queen draws gasps." (Did it? I don't think it did. Pipe down, CNN.) And then there's Fox News who wrapped up the fakeroversy trifecta with: "Don't Touch: Michelle Obama Abandons Protocol With the Queen." Please. Please make it stop.


So now I keep hearing/reading the term "breaking protocol" or "a breach of protocol." According to Fox News "It had been considered a breach of protocol to touch the Queen." Hey, Fox News guys! Does your little "Quirky Facts About The Royal Family" pamphlet over there discuss the "protocol" when the untouchable Queen does the touching first?! You know, in many a land, having one person touch you first tends to indicate that they're OK with it if you touch them back. Granted, sometimes they won't be touching back; they'll be running away. But the point is that if someone touches first, they're OK with the reciprocal touch. A concept that was clearly lost on the hoping to incite hysteria media.


Just who is it that sets the protocol? Isn't it the one whom said protocol is for? Regardless, she's the freaking Queen of all of England! She can do whatever she wants, right? In my estimation, the woman is at least 173-years old and seems perfectly able to swat someone off if she thought she was gonna get goosed or something.


So once again, no controversy. False alarm. It's just a fakeroversy. Nothing to see here folks. Move along. Keep it moving, keep it moving. And just remember, George W. Bush not only aged the Queen by about 200 years, he also winked at her. If that isn't a breach of protocol, I'm not sure what is. The video of that tender moment is below.


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3 comments:

Ruth@VS said...

You're quite right - much ado about nothing. Actually from the footage you can see how well they all got on and Her Maj really liked the Obamas, despite the fact they are giants! I don't think she felt the same about Bush at all.

The only rule I know of in meeting the Royals is that you don't actually "shake" or squeeze their hands as they have to do this hundreds of times a day and they can get arthritis or other injuries. I was told this at my graduation by a severe ex-military person before my degree was presented by a minor royal.

The President apparently gave Gordo a model of Marine One to play with - about his level I think! Wish he would go play with it and leave our country alone.

grannyann said...

I thought Michelle's clothes looked like she was going to a picnic. Think she thought the Queenie was having a picnic or throwing something on the barbie?

Ruth@VS said...

grannyan

I have to disagree with you on that. She looked stylish and, as is the convention, didn't overshadow the Queen. I noticed a lot of comment in the American press about her dress but I think it is a question of difference in style. American formal wear for women is massively different to European, and specifically British clothing. There was no comment in the British press except for admiration of her colour sense. I noticed she adapted her style again for France, so it seems she gave a lot of thought to what to wear in each country.

I personally thought she looked great, better than the wife of our PM.