May 5, 2007

The Sneering Snobs Of Sulzberger's Salon

I want to calm the fears of our British friends: Queen Elizabeth was never in any danger of being assaulted with a snapped towel, nor does she need to wear plastic to avoid getting hit with tobacco spit. The snobs at the New York Times notwithstanding, Texans know how to act at formal balls and state dinners. The condescension and belittlement in what is supposed to be a news story reveals that the level of Bush Derangement Syndrome at the Gray Lady approaches hysteria:

How does George W. Bush, a towel-snapping Texan who puts his feet on the coffee table, drinks water straight from the bottle and was once caught on tape talking with food in his mouth prepare for a state dinner with the queen?

I suppose ... by not doing those things. He certainly managed it in Britain four years ago when the queen hosted him and Laura Bush at a white-tie dinner in London. Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Jim Rutenberg never put their feet up on a coffee table, and never drank water from a bottle?

The Anchoress wonders if the Times would have asked this during the Clinton presidency:

“How does William Jefferson Clinton - a pizza-box strewing Arkansas boy who puts his penis into interns mouths, invites “trailer park trash” to “kiss it,” and was once caught on tape laughing as he exited a funeral, only to quickly turn on the tears when he saw the press, prepare for a state dinner with the queen?”

She notes that it would be just as unfair to have done this to Bill as it is to do it to George.

It belies a snobbish mentality at the Times that this article made its way to print. Of course people have differing levels of etiquette, and Americans have less formality about that than the British do in general. That doesn't mean that we can't figure it out. It apparently surprises the Times that even Texans can figure out which fork to use, and not to call Queen Elizabeth II "The Deuce" at formal functions (or anywhere else).

Quite frankly, though, the amount of attention that royal etiquette gets in these visits are beyond me. We broke away from the British in the eighteenth century in part to disassociate ourselves with the entire notion of royal privilege, and yet Americans seem unendingly fascinated with this vestigial remnant of the days of empire. An entire industry of royal-watching media sprang up when Diana married Charles, and American tabloids and glossies like People and Star would lose one-third of their circulation if they skipped their royal coverage. We should receive the queen and her consort with all of the hospitality befitting a great friend of the United States, but all of the preparations -- like completely repainting the exterior of the White House -- seems a bit overboard.

And that's from a man who hasn't snapped a towel in decades and nearly choked the only time he used chewin' tabacky.


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» The White Tailed Brush Cutter. from bustardblog
Pls Double Click to Enlarge. Today's N.Y. Times has a silly little puff piece on the upcoming State Dinner for the Queen. They accept hook, line and sinker the Bush-made myth of Midland, and speculate on how tough it is [Read More]

» NYTimes: For Queen And Wife, Bush Won’t Be So Much Of A Hick from Iowa Voice
At least, that’s the impression you get from reading this article: How does George W. Bush, a towel-snapping Texan who puts his feet on the coffee table, drinks water straight from the bottle an… ... [Read More]

» I Saw A Werewolf Walkin’ With the Queen from The Democratic Daily
I saw a werewolf walkin’ with the Queen… He was even wearing a white tie… Well, I saw Dick Cheney walking with the Queen, Doing the Werewolves of Washington. I saw Dick Cheney walking with the Queen, Doing the Werewolves of Wash... [Read More]

» The White Tailed Brush Cutter. from bustardblog
Pls Double Click to Enlarge. Today's N.Y. Times has a silly little puff piece on the upcoming State Dinner for the Queen. They accept hook, line and sinker the Bush-made myth of Midland, and speculate on how tough it is [Read More]

» The White Tailed Brush Cutter. from bustardblog
Pls Double Click to Enlarge. Today's N.Y. Times has a silly little puff piece on the upcoming State Dinner for the Queen. They accept hook, line and sinker the Bush-made myth of Midland, and speculate on how tough it is [Read More]

» Dinner with the Queen from Don Singleton
Probably the same things he did four years ago when she invited him to a formal dinner. How does a figurehead queen of a former worldwide empire prepare for a state dinner with the first of many countries to seek independence from the British Empire... [Read More]

Comments (25)

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 12:12 PM

I like watching the Queen because she fascinates me with the concept of "duty" and adhering to ideas of what "duty" constitutes, as opposed doing what feels good. Of course, all of the Royals *do* do what feels good mostly, but nevertheless they are hedged in by "duty" and its requirements to a far greater extent than any American would ever allow ourselves to be.

I also like the Queen because she is one of the few people in the world who is rich and powerful enough to snub fake royalty like the Saud's and there's not a damned thing they can do about it.

Posted by Bookworm [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 12:17 PM

Biased of me, perhaps, but as a Californian who had the honor for many years to live in Texas, I doubt there's anything Texans can't handle. As for the Pinch set, those rarified creatures bounded by a few Manhattan miles, I'd be a bit more worried about their abilities to step out of their narrow native habitat.

Posted by Lew Clark [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 12:40 PM

The sad thing is that she is having to dine with a Texas conservative. It will be really boring. If she was invited to an elite leftist event, they could defecate on the American flag and discuss "slapping around some ho's" until the early morning hours. She may be so bored, she may never visit again.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 12:51 PM

Take away the West's fairly recent invention of Democracy, and you would absolutely need a King (or a High Priest,) someone widely respected, to prevent chaos. The King would declare the wars, would issue the edicts, and would be the ultimate judge and jury in disputes. The only thing more dangerous than having just one person in charge, is having nobody in charge.

I'm not recommending monarchy, but it did have a good purpose at one time--to prevent something even worse.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 12:59 PM

Nah. Most people don't look forward to getting visits from old ladies.

And, the best time I had with one of Tin Lizzy's visits, came when she went into a black apartment building, and against protocol, she got hugged by the homeowner. (Or tenant.) Take your pick.

Now, did Lizzie decide she needed to escape the "step down" of Blair? Something to "perk up" the old monarchy?

Her visit will never compare to Churchill's. Christmas time, 1941. When Churchill was hoping to convince FDR to "re-birth" the anglo-saxon alliance. And, Eleanor, also at home at the White House. Made sure to give Winston about as good as it got.

Winston? Nearly caused Chief of Staff, Marshall, to resign. Because Winston kept grabbing at the war efforts, we were just starting. With claims that London should be "on top of everything."

The door prize? Went to Patton. Not yet a 4-star. Who had to ride behind Montgomery; until he found a way to get to Sicily. And, brought the Americans onto European turf. OUT. OF. AFRICA!

Both Paton and MacArthur would get done in by men half as worthy. We shouldn't forget that. As we march around bestowing honors on a cadre of incompetents who get elected to the tip of the top. Bush? It's a family business.

Let him bow and scrape. I don't care.

I know the way he bet his farm; with the Saudis, COULD have problems ahead.

But when it was Winston's turn to feel the wrath of an American's voice, it was Eleanor who actually held up our end extremely well. While, in car rides to Mount Vernon. And, the church where Washington prayed; Eleanor would point out the OBVIOUS. Heck, even in 1812, the Brits could put fire to the White House; but not occupy us ever again.

Do you ever think of the outcomes, ahead? The stuff God knows, but we can only deduce from the randomness of probabilities?

WHAT IF the Saud's flame out? You don't think they can? You think they've built some sort of edifice "stronger than a bank?"

I think by the time Bush leaves office, we will know more. In terms of what the Iraqis land their hands on, in terms of oil wealth that they can spend without Saudi interference. (Nor are they part of OPEC. The strong financial arm that came to the House of Saud in the early 1970's. Courtesy of James Baker.)

What if the long term belongs to God and not to men?

What happens if gazoo is just a small picture of what arabs do with money, when they get their hands on it? Attached to real estate.

Tin Lizzie? Hasn't been able to birth her line all that well. So, that could be one sort of lesson you'd throw in, when evaluating "probabilities."

What have the Saud's got? They also intermarry with 1st cousins. (We know the kaput russians did the same with their Czars.)

You think the future is writ in stone? Really?

You think I care that Bush bows, or bow-wow-wow's at the Queen? I'm sure she finds the White House too small for her tastes. Not enough gardens to separate out the gawkers from her royal hiy-nas.

Posted by GarandFan [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 1:26 PM

I'm sure they repainted the White House, hoping the Queen would remark that it looked as if freshly painted. That way the President could remark about whose troops previously BURNED it. :o)

Posted by owl2 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 1:39 PM

Once again, the Anchoress gives it back. Good and perfect example.

The snobs must be referring to those Cut & Run & Hide Democratic Texans. Yep, we have those creepy critters. So scared of DeLay they had to bring in a corrupt prosecutor to protect them from that meanie. Hid out while the Pugs used planes to try to find them. Ha!

But we have the other kind of Texan and the perfect example is President George W Bush. Never pretended to be royalty. Nice humble guy showing good manners to all. I'll place a bet that Texan can stand up to any of them and retain his spine. He has.

We Texans are proud of our boots and pickup trucks and not surprised to see trash written up by some snobby Yankee. After all, we have been accused for years of driving around with a confederate flag waving in the back. Why would they think the son of a President who is now the current President would know how to act? Could we please take these igmos out to the south forty and watch them try to figure out the way back?

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 1:40 PM

I think John Kennedy said it. (Back in 1959, Motel 6's didn't dot our landscapes. And, when politicians went to out-of-state venues; to "press the flesh" ... they often stayed in the homes of ordinary Americans. Who offered more than just a vote. And, money. And, support.)

But it may have been Kennedy who said it. He hated the smell of fresh paint. And, people were always painting the room he's sleep in that night. They went to great lengths to clean their houses, too. But it was the smell of paint that burnt itself into his memory banks. Or? Whichever politician said this.)

As to the remark, above, that Tin Lizzie doesn't bow to the House of Saud, have I got news for you! Her son, the one with the big ear. Who can inherit her throne. Is already a SAUD. Already a muslim. And, she and her stupid husband know this, too.

More interstring? When she married, she was acdtually deeply in love with her husband. Who turned out to be a philanderer. Who married her for her money. And, he also thought. Since he slept on top. He should be king, too. (This was denied him.) Probably? Hidden among the secrets that Tin Lizzie carries around, is the "advice" she got when she was young. About how men really are. And, why she'd be better off if her husband walked behind her. A pace. Or two.) He never recovered.

And, all their kids are very stupid.

Which teaches you a FRONT LINE lesson about wanting to marry for good looks. Or money.

Bad bets.

Nature doesn't keep throwing the dice for the good looking people, when the women they impregnate, birth.

Marlon Brando actually taught me this lesson. Coupled to age. When those romantic glasses come off.

If Onassis were alive. And, could give Dubya advice? He tell him to paint her bedroom 'whore house, red.' That's what he did to Jackie. So, if he wasn't old enougn. Or short enough. Jackie ran into the realities, too, of what marrying money really means. (Though you couldn't enjoy her lifestyle without it.) It leaves some choices to be desired.

Posted by Captain Ed [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 1:44 PM

Yes, but I'm certain the the queen would respond by talking about the Battle of York and the American burning of Parliament that prompted their revenge attack.

I first found out about that when I visited Canada. Our history schoolbooks don't cover that one too well.

Posted by BillBC [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 1:53 PM

The Queen has a strong sense of duty, is honest, and has a natural dignity. Name the last American head of state of whom this was true. Eisenhower? Truman? Perhaps that's why she fascinates Americans.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 1:53 PM

The Bush Family, whose wealth is coupled to the House of Saud, is the second richest family on earth. The Saudi's come first.

So, do identify flying bullshit.

Is there a book that spells this out? Yes. HOUSE OF BUSH/HOUSE OF SAUD. And, the big linker-upper? James Baker. But he's not alone. Other big time law firms are up there. Among them the power houses that walked around, easily in congress: FULLBRIGHT.

In Riyadh, now, these law firms are guiding the Saudi "investments."

Doesn't mean God, Upstairs, doesn't own all the outcomes. And, it doesn't mean the Saud's are riding a wave that doesn't crest.

We. Just. Don't. Know.

And, among the things we don't know, is how the House of Saud's bet pans out over time. Since the Saud's are two family's. Fisal's and Bin Laden's. (No. Not the cave man. There are no banks in Afghanistan capable of writing the checks for the billions it cost to run the global terrorist network.)

But the other arabs?

You think PC's got your tongue? You have no idea how arabs "flap language" among themselves; without duly sharing same with the West.

I'd guess that there's enough wealth, underground, in both Iran and Iraq, to EVENTUALLY catch up with the Saud's.

There are also Shi'ite or Shits, as I call them), who will extract oil wealth outside the dominance of OPEC. You haven't seen this happening, yet? That's true.

But everything man builds can be like Osmandyas. (I know. Spelled it wrong.) But it's that famous poem. Where a poet's words ring true. Whether we see it in this generation, or not.

If you consider the wealth that fell into the hands of the House of Saud, you'd wonder why they went and built an edifice to their own family. And, progeny. Without even considering, for one minute, what lessons the russians czars would teach ya?

And, the russian bear is a tame animal in comparison to these 'people.'

We've had 2 Bush's in office.

America's wealthiest family.

Ya still gotta consider outcomes.

To list just one? Barbara Bush comes from the Pierce line. Who is Pierce? One of the ONE-TERMERS preceeding Lincoln. A man of the south. Made it into office on votes. And, OUT, by the boot kick from the electorate.

The Bush's downfall? Could be different.

Why? Because we're not really gonna go "all out" for the Saud's. 200,000 troops? What we have on display, now, in I-R-A-K? Haven't really held back the tides.

While Saddam was the secular dude.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 2:50 PM

I had the same reaction to the article. Interesting timing to the Queen's visits.

1957 (Eisenhower)
1976 (Ford)
1991 (Bush 41)
2007 (Bush 43)

Political preference?

NY TIMES:"Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat known for her elegance, will attend the dinner."

Conniving, partisan to the extreme, and other descriptions come to mind but elegant? ... Pelosi? Oh, yeah, it's the NYT.

Posted by scott [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 3:16 PM

I'm always amazed at Americans who feel that we need to pretend we live in Kent to greet the Queen when she visits.

Elizabeth likes Americans. She has said so on numerous occasions. We have something in common with other subjects of hers.

The British have gone all over the world in the last 300 years, creating new societies patterned on their old ones everywhere they went.

But some things were new to them; ranching and grazing, for one.

The Brits settled in Kenya, South Africa, Canada, America, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. All of these places teemed with ranches for cattle, sheep, and other food animals. The Brits exelled at this, and their descendants still do.

We are not strange to Elizabeth. We are just like millions of other Anglosphere peoples who settled all over the world and adapted our ancestral farming techniques to ranching and grazing.

George will do fine. Texas is no different than Australia or Alberta.

Posted by Bitter Pill [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 4:10 PM

Carol, get over your "House of Saud" obsession.

You're boring the crap out of everyone.

Posted by Palamas [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 6:36 PM

Actually, Carol never bores me. I can usually tell by the first sentence if the post is her's, and skip right over it.

Posted by vnjagvet [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 7:55 PM

The post is about the NYT, not Bush. And it is dead correct. The NYT article is disrespectful, snide, and yes, unpatriotic.

Whatever you say about GWB, up to this point, no one has ever suggested he and his wife have not been gracious and personable hosts to their official guests.

This artical is nothing but a cheap shot, and should be taken for what it is -- a thumbsucking hatchet job, written for the NYT main audience.

It is surely not worthy of this country's former "Paper of Record".

Posted by DaveR [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 8:26 PM

This morning on NPR, Daniel Schorr waxed eloquent on the noble contributions of the Graham and Sulzberger families to American journalism, and how it would be such a shame if the WSJ was taken over by "business interests".

Clearly, "journalists" like Schorr would prefer that media empires were run by families that project the truth that they themselves believe in, rather than simply report the truth.

Posted by Del Dolemonte [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 9:39 PM

DaveR said:

"This morning on NPR, Daniel Schorr waxed eloquent on the noble contributions of the Graham and Sulzberger families to American journalism, and how it would be such a shame if the WSJ was taken over by "business interests".

Toots Schorr is still alive?

Dan is as obsolete as his one-time colleague
at CBS News, Marvin Kalb. Last time we saw Marvin, he was denying on teevee that George Soros was a "leftist"...

Posted by johnpeach [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 11:31 PM

During the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, there was considerable debate about the benefits of monarchy, clearly indicating a fascination about it in general as well as the ascendency of families, ie. Roosevelts, Kennedys, Bushs and, hopefully not, Clintons. What's particularly sad is that only millionaires can run for the presidency and almost for any federal office. Even millionaires have little chance against incumbents, even when they are incompetent and/or corrupt, both of which are way too often.

Posted by flymorgue [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 11:55 PM

The Captain is mystified at any American interest in the crown - that sentiment is an Irish hang-up, end of story.

Posted by The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 2:46 AM

The NYT can't even get the etiquette protocols right.

Yes, the Queen isn't approached for handshakes, and her fork on the plate ends the dinner--anywhere she's recognized as Soveriegn.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 6:19 AM

So Bush, the evil genius who planned the 9-11 attacks AND suckered the Congress into voting for war with Iraq... is too stupid to figure out which fork to use?

I'm sure he and Laura will somehow manage to stumble their way through the state dinner without permanently rupturing Anglo-American relations. I realize that he's an idiot and she's a mere librarian - neither of them are classy, urbane, distinguished people like Slick Willie and the Hilldabeast - but I imagine that there are people at the White House who can teach them not to eat with their fingers, challenge the queen and other guests to a drinkin' contest, spit tobaky on the floor, and pop Liz on the butt with a towel after dinner.


Posted by The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 7:33 AM

of course you never know if he really needs to pop her with a towel, in which case he should memorize the following

"O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear
Kate, you and I cannot be confined within the weak
list of a country's fashion: we are the makers of
manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows our
places stops the mouth of all find-faults..." Henry V Act V, Scene II

Posted by William Teach [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 8:32 AM

So, does this mean that anyone who drinks water straight from the bottle is one of those crazy conservatives? Dammmmmmmm, we have a lot of supporters, eh?

Posted by Rich V [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 3:55 PM

I've NOT read any of the comments...but my comment is an observation...

Those people that obsess about British royals also tend to think about "titles" in this country...that being elected to political office endows one with the "title" of that office in perpetuity...think about many presidents do we have...only one at the moment...but all FORMER holders of that office are refered to as...MR a "republican" (i.e. NOT a royalist) in the truest sense of the word I personally find this practice appalling. You are granted office for a fixed period of time, the title leaves you with the office. I will grant respect for those who formerly held office, but NOT the title.

That being said, I am an admirer of England and the United Kingdom...just not the idea of a "titles" in America...for the record, I hold a Ph.D. in Medieval English History!

Thanks for the vent