Well, it’s happening. I knew that it would happen and it’s happening.
Unsatisfied with giving those of us from Jersey a bad name, Snooki and company have moved on to ruining the reputations of all Americans. Everywhere.
(Confession: I’m technically not a Jersey girl. I’m an Army brat, so I’m from both everywhere and nowhere at the same time, but my mom is from New Jersey, I have a number of relatives there and I’ve lived in the state on and off for about five years. So at least I’m closer to being from Jersey than many of the “guidos” and “guidettes” from “Jersey Shore,” who I understand are mostly from New York and Connecticut. I guess I should also mention that I’ve never actually seen the show. I couldn’t bear it.)
But, I digress. I was mildly horrified a couple months ago when I discovered that the cast of “Jersey Shore” would be filming in Florence, not only for reasons of national pride, but also because I’m headed to Florence soon, and I don’t want their reputations for drinking, hooking up and other hard partying to precede me.
“They’ll bring a whole new meaning to the term ‘Ugly American,’” I griped on Facebook, but even I would never have guessed that Snooki would manage to hit a police car less than a month before I’m supposed to leave. I mean, who does that?
In this case, I think Snooki is just being Snooki in a foreign country, but the incident has made me think about the often-terrible reputation Americans have abroad.
And unfortunately, as I saw on a recent trip to Mexico (Dispatches from the front lines (of Spring Break)), it’s often well-deserved. Why do we behave so badly? What is it about foreign travel that brings out the worst in many people?
I really don’t know. These are questions I’ve pondered more than once after seeing my countrymen destroy hotel property and treat local residents like dirt. And while we’re on the subject, can we all agree that yelling something in English isn’t going to make anyone understand us?
The bottom line is that we’re all ambassadors for this wonderful country, especially celebrities (I use the term loosely) like Snooki and the rest of the “Jersey Shore” crew. We should want to make it proud.
That’s my sanctimonious soapbox for the day, anyway.