When tech is NOT appropriate: Diplomacy

brown_obamaDude, what were you thinking? Was Desirée Rogers smoking rocks when this happened?

From YourHub:

If you have an open mind whatsoever, Google “gifts that Gordon Brown gave to Obama”. You will see 3 PRICELESS gifts including an ornamental desk penholder made from the oak timbers of a Victorian ANTI-SLAVERY SHIP named the HMS Gannet. That’s just ONE of the gifts, also pay attention to what Gordon Brown’s wife gave to the Obama girls… they were both given VERY expensive dresses by a highly regarded European designer.

In return, the anointed one, our messiah, our President, gave Gordon Brown (our most important ally) a 25 DVD set of classic American films. Something anyone of us could drive down to Best Buy right now and purchase for under $100 bucks. Michelle Obama gave Gordon Brown’s 2 boys replicas of Marine One (items that can be found at the Whitehouse gift shop for under $20. Before you start saying “So what, they’re stupid gifts to the Brits”, you need to know these gifts are honored traditions. They reflect upon the world opinion of this country greatly. Now he appears to be the “Commander in Cheap”.

The Brits are not too pleased about this.

From NPR:

President Barack Obama’s gift of a set of DVDs to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown appalled the British media, furious about the lack of traditional protocol afforded to Brown while he was in Washington.

Iain Martin, a columnist and blogger for the Daily Telegraph, wrote that he found Obama to be rudeness personified toward Britain.

Martin tells NPR’s Robert Siegel that Britons are used to a full news conference when their prime minister is in town.

“Only at the last moment was it agreed that there would be a small press conference, and, I think, it was read as a metaphor for the concern that Obama really just didn’t like having the Brits in town,” Martin says. “Yes, he’s dealing with the biggest global crisis in 70 years.

“Still, it would have been nice if he could have welcomed Brown with just a hint more enthusiasm.”

I have to agree with Martin on this one. I love technology, but DVDS???, While I am happy to hear Obama apologized, sometimes the gifts you give are a reflection on you.

American DVD’s have a different encoding on them that renders them inoperable on DVD players sold in the UK.

Prime Minister Brown is blind in one eye.

PM Brown brought dresses from a high-end store and books for President Obama’s daughters. PM Brown’s sons received replicas of Marine One, from the White House gift shop.

The gift exchange reminds me of those instances where folks unexpectedly show up and you have to race around your house looking for some to give to them instead of admitting that you don’t have anything for them.

We are taught that it is the thought that counts in gift-giving. The thoughts behind the gifts to the British PM seem to be little to none at all.

Mr. President, next time, please don’t raid the $5 DVD rack at Wal-Mart for your gifts.

Posted in Americas, Tech Life and tagged , .