Seattle, Washington Because I Am Weak And I Cannot Resist

Matt,

You’re an idiot!  Once again an arrogant American steps up to show the rest of the world that we have no respect or understanding of other countries or cultures.  I have spent the last 25 years of my life fighting the image idiots like you leave with people in other countries. Dancing like a jackass at Angkor Wat, presenting that what defines Bangkok is a brothel?  You’re a dumb ass on the highest order!! Stay home stupid so others don’t have to keep apologizing for stupid insensitive Americans like you. No wonder the rest of the world hates us!! You’re embarrassing us.

Not a fan not stupidity

Bruce _______

                           * * * * *

Hi Bruce

Thanks for your comments and opinions. I really appreciate your feedback.

When calling me "stupid" in the vocative case, the word functions as a parenthetical phrase and is best surrounded by commas. Without them, it becomes an adjective and I am encouraged to "stay home" in a "stupid" manner.

Also, when announcing your distaste for stupidity, your words would hold more authority if they formed a coherent sentence.

-Matt

                           * * * * *

Melissa: "Do you feel better now?"
Me: "Yes."
Melissa: "Okay, then."

58 Responses to Seattle, Washington Because I Am Weak And I Cannot Resist

  1. Dude, you’re right on. Nothing bugs me quite as much as people who call others out on their stupidity while they reveal their own in the process.

    Besides, how could anyone question the cultural merit of the world’s leading crusader of stupid dancing?

    Long story short: Bruce not a fan not stupidity not big on punctuation do us all a favor and shut up stupid.

  2. Phil

    Who was it exactly that appointed Bruce as the “smart American” who goes about improving the impressions other nations have of Americans?
    How does one get this position? Evidently proper English is not a requirement for it, oddly enough.
    And does he really get to travel the globe over fixing misunderstandings and America’s poor image thruoughout the world’s nations? Wow, what a guy!
    Just seems he has a fixation on brothels, and a severe lack of commas, periods and such things.

  3. See. I told you. Reading you journal/blog is great fun. And we even get to learn some correct use of english grammar in the process.

    Matt, Good to have you back on updating the website. Also keep you on my RSS reader.

    Bruce, just “stay home stupid” and stop being the arrogant captain america you so much dislike.

  4. John Cook

    Very nice response, Matt, and entirely deserved.

    Just to get this straight – Bruce believes that anti-American sentiment in some parts of the world is exacerbated by… you dancing badly?

    No chance it’s just a result of US foreign policy or something like that? Hmm.

    Honestly, if MORE Americans traveled abroad and interacted with people in the light-hearted way you do, the world would be a better place. Guaranteed.

    “Meh” to Bruce. Looking forward to the video release!

  5. Mahmoud and Osama

    Matt,
    We want you to know that we have been sitting here watching your video and have decided you Americans are really OK!
    We had always thought you were all humorless Satans like Bush and that CIA wackjob, Bruce. Gotta go now, Ehud just got here, we invited him over to see your outtakes – keep up the great work.

  6. Mark

    Although Matt’s video and blog carries a certain amount of “Americanism”, I don’t take it in a negative way. It’s fun and doesn’t belittle those participating. Not being American and having travelled a fair bit, it’s easy to see why many countries have a distaste for American travellers and it largely has nothing to do with foreign affairs. It has more to do with the ethnocentric attitude that pours from many Americans who travel. Many travel with this “holier than thou” approach, and feel as if all wish to some day to live an American life because it must be the ideal way to live. This couldn’t be farther from the truth for most. The thing is most Americans are great travellers, but sadly there are enough crappy ones out there to make the reputation span across globe.

    That being said, the videos are put together well and with a sense of class. I am looking forward to the new video.

  7. PLENTIOUS

    An interesting book on this issue is The Ugly American.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Personally, I think ugly american behavior increases or decreases in relation to a person’s level of excitement/interest about the place they are in as well as their level of homesickness.

    Sometimes it has nothing to do with the country and everything to do with the negative aspects of traveling. I’ve had itineraries that seemed good on paper be horrible in the moment.

    One last thing to keep in mind is that it definitely goes both ways. Being crowded into a bus with a bunch of French tourists is not an olefactory delight.

    Several times I have passed a group of Asian tourists with my son in a stroller and some lady will just reach out and touch his blonde curls like they’re going to give her superpowers or something.

    Americans have not cornered the market on obnoxious behavior.

  8. Mark

    ^ Hmm, yes all nations have obnoxious people; there’s no doubt about that. That wasn’t the point I was trying to make. I know I’m walking on egg shells here, but it’s the sense that some (not all) Americans give off the perception that they think they’re better just because they are from the U S of A. I mean, god, the English can be as blatantly obnoxious as anyone, but I don’t get the sense that they feel sorry for people for living the way they do. Whereas sometimes (tippy toe) Americans speak to people like they are supreme beings from a superior planet. That is why people universally loathe American travellers. Whether it’s warranted or not, that is a non-American view as to why.

  9. I support Matt and love what he is doing, he’s inspired me on to do my own travelling and all… But i do understand that guys point of view. There are several examples of why there is that hatred towards americans in the world

    For example, the fact that you consider yourself to be the only “americans” there are, when actually from canada to chile we are all americans. Thats at least one of the things people in latin america cant stand about people from the USA.

    But well, lets keep on talking about goofy dancing haha no need to get into this subjects here.

  10. Neil Z

    Uh, I am a Canadian. What the hell is wrong with you people. Matt travels and reports what he sees. for YOUR enjoyment. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t read it. No one has a gun to your head. Besides, Matt has a pretty balanced view of what it is REALLY like in all the places he visits, he is not tourist board for the counties he visits. now cool it and hope Matt keeps on posting his incredibly amusing blog so the rest of us can keep smiling at his wit and wisdom.

  11. PLENTIOUS

    Crispor,

    No nos consideramos los unicos americanos (por lo menos no lo hacemos los que pensamos)

    Es el apodo que el mundo y nosotros hemos encontrado. Ya sabes que no hay una buena equivalente de estadounidense en ingles (United Statesian?). Es que en ingles es mas facil llamar a los de los estados unidos de america “americanos” Nadie ha dicho que es un apodo perfecto. Tu eres de los estados unidos de mexico y que te llaman? Mexicano.

    Aprendi espanol en Chile y alli nos llaman norteamericanos. Tampoco es apodo perfecto. Una vez dije a alguien que soy de Toronto y me corregio que no soy norteamericano soy canadiense.

    Ahora trato de evitar todo esto al decir que soy de San Francisco. De todos modos espero que tenga un buen viaje por Europa.

  12. PLENTIOUS

    Mark,

    I see your point I guess, but I’m surprised the majority of Americans (sorry Crispor) come off this way. Maybe it is because to travel they need to be relatively well off, and these people look down their noses at everyone. Maybe it is because most traveling Americans are old and crochety. Can’t say why.

    If it is any consolation even within the US certain people exhibit this attitude.

    We call them Texans.

  13. Matt and his dancing videos are great fun to watch because of the sense of humor he brings with him every where he goes. If life can’t be enjoyed with a laugh then your not really enjoying it to its fullest are you….

  14. Ian

    Mark,
    I am a Canadian living in the United States and I think that you didn’t break any egg shells with that. Well put. There are many people here, when talking about other countries citizens, who do seem to feel that they themselves are superior. These people most often have not traveled however. The people that I have met that have traveled, or have interacted closely with people from other parts of the world seem quite down to earth.

  15. Rich

    It’s funny, foreigners seem to like you MUCH more than the average American traveller Matt. I just got back from 3 weeks in Barcelona and it’s kind of a tough crowd. I know they think your great so you must be doing something right. Thanks for winning a few people over so at least they can view us as individuals. :)

  16. Natasha (from England)

    Bruce, people don’t hate America, they hate people like you that happen to live there :)
    If you don’t like what Matt does, then don’t watch the videos he makes. Then you’ll have more time to ‘fight’ the images ‘idiots like you leave with people in other countries’.
    In your own words… Bruce, ‘You’re a dumb ass on the highest order!!’

  17. Alex

    Oh, a lot of Americans are total dillweeds. No doubt about that. I’m sure plenty of us have experienced the cringing horror you feel when you’re elsewhere and there’s an American right next to you screaming about ATMs and McDonald’s and making us all look bad. There are douches in every country, but I do think Americans come with a little extra douche sauce.

    I just don’t have the impression that Matt is one of those people.

  18. Fernanda

    Simple as that, Bruce wishes he was Matt.
    He wishes he could have the opportunity that Matt had, and he is probably home frustrated right now. I personally don’t see Matt as an idol or anything. I am from Brazil and I see him as a lucky guy who got to do what a bunch of us want to do: Travel around the world.
    Enjoy your time, Matt.

  19. Chris

    Matt,

    As a keen traveler myself I think your videos are amazing and gives those who are not so fortunate, to see some of the true marvels of the world; plus with a bit of humour on the side. How many boring holiday videos have you seen with the person just standing there not quiet sure what to do whilst the camera is running. The number of tourists I have seen do silly posses is endless, it makes their adventures more worth while to laugh at the things they have done and seen. As for me and my mates, a rubber duck is the star of our photos and the locals always seem to smile when I show them the camera with picture I have just took. Nevertheless I am posting this to give you a big thumbs up, from over here form your English fans.

  20. Matt you videos are great. Really shows there is still some beauty left in the world.

    Bruce not that I think you’ll read this but bug off. You dope.

  21. Janna

    I think people all around the world can appreciate a sincerity and honesty of the heart in enjoying life and being happy.

    It’s the bullies, the brash and inconsiderate that make us look terrible as Americans. The ones that think they are more important than anyone else… who walk around without truly seeing what is right in front of them. What is right in front of them? A big beautiful world filled with wonderful people and a wonder of nature.

  22. marwan

    you are a world citizen we should all try to visit other contries and other cultures, thx matt for opening our eyes to the rest of the world

  23. Claude

    Bruce, you’re the idiot other Americans have to apologize for. People like you and those who call Mexico: “overseas” are the worst kind because the know only one thing: denigrate the other. I congratulate Matt for getting out of the house and traveling the world and not just Cancun on a drunken March visit. The world hates condescending pricks like you who force their ideologies onto others and not people who can openly bring out the child in themselves and enjoy simple pleasures of life such as dancing.

  24. Claude

    …and in case you haven’t figured it out yet Bruce, there’s a deeper purpose in those dancing videos than just “The Dancing American”. How about discovery, intrigue, education, etc…I Can’t believe your oh so sensitive brain hasn’t computed that. Ok, I think I’m done now.

  25. robert

    Careful, Matt. that guy’s last name wouldn’t happen to be Banner now would it? You don’t wanna make that guy angry.

  26. robert

    Careful, Matt. that guy’s last name wouldn’t happen to be Banner now would it? You don’t wanna make that guy angry.

  27. David

    Matt, you are actually one of the most UN-American Americans in the best sense. So few of us actually go out and see the world and look at things from a different perspective, which is why we act like such dumbasses when we finally go somewhere.

    That being said, I have travelled A LOT, and everywhere I go I am always amazed at how much people actually like Americans and want to talk. The impression that the rest of the world hates Americans is much more imagined than real I think, because the hate is more often than not directed at our political leaders, not at individual tourists. Anyway, great site!!

  28. J.T. McKee

    Aside from a reactive and pretentious retort, what have you accomplished? You certainly haven’t addressed his concerns. The blatant peak of ill-easement in your response belies the fact that you are as arrogant as he alleges.

  29. Cliff

    Bruce, be careful you don’t fall from your high horse and hurt yourself. Lighten up, dance badly, enjoy life. I’m English and it is YOUR attitude that gives Americans a bad name not the guys having fun. You are welcome in the UK anytime Matt and I have many friends who would love to meet you. Rock on! PS I dance worse!

  30. Krystal

    Arrogant Americans, eh? You know nothing of the sort. Sure. Some Americans are, how we say, obnoxiously idiotic. But, most of us are sane, and any sane person would see that these videos are pure awesomeness…So, shut up, and go back down into your hole in the ground. Keep up the great work! Your dance is amazing and don’t you ever stop!

  31. Kirsten

    Wow —
    Bruce does not represent Americans – shame on him for speaking for us as a whole. (Ironically, he sounded kind of like a “hole”.)
    I thought the video was beautifully done and showed parts of the world that left me speechless. All of my daughters were so moved by it, and all they could say was “I want to do that someday! I want to see that!”
    I hope my daughters can travel the world in such a manner – and while there are Bruces out there, I smile in thinking there are far more Matts who make us smile.

  32. Bruce gives all others named Bruce a bad name.

    Matt, I can’t even imagine why someone would think your videos are stupid. They’re just FUN. You can’t fake all those children all over the world having a good time!

  33. Luvit

    Two points:
    1) I’ve traveled quite a bit and I don’t find that people around the world hate Americans. On the contrary I find they generally see Americans as very polite and gracious. People in other countries, on the other hand, tend to view US government’s international policies with a great amount of distain. …It’s a mistake to confuse the two.

    2) I also keep seeing people saying that you have to have a lot of money to travel. Probably half the people I know who have traveled extensively have done so on very very small budgets that are well within the reach of most any American. If you want to spend all your time in NY, Paris and London, yeah, your money is not going to last very long. Save that trip for when you and your spouse retire. When you are young and go to see the rest of the world you’ll be very surprised at how far an American dollar goes.

  34. matt

    J.T.

    A “reactive” “retort”? Really? Should I have gone for a passive retort?

    Also, “belies”? And I’m the pretentious one?

    I didn’t feel like Bruce’s concerns were worth addressing. I just wanted to make fun of his lush prose.

  35. Luvit

    I’m still trying to make out this line: “Not a fan not stupidity”

    [scratches head.] :-/

  36. Luvit

    If you don’t mind a bit of pop psychology… I think Bruce actually suffers from a very common form of American self-loathing. It’s not entirely unjustified. We have a weight/dietary problem, we consume way too much energy and goods, and (again) our foreign policies are not so popular in the rest of the world.

    But that’s an issue Bruce is dealing with and choosing to foist upon Matt. In the greater scheme of things Americans, as individuals, are not so bad. On the whole we are very honest, naturally curious, hard working and very giving. Matt has presented us with an excellent portrait of the best in all of us, Americans and the rest of the world, that is utterly beautiful.

    I’m confident that Bruce will eventually work through his issues, as will the rest of us.

  37. Rebs

    Since discovering your site a few days ago and watching the video for the first time, I have struggled to peel myself away. I spent the last decade of my career working with “high-risk” kids in Portland, Oregon and also overseas in Namibia. Now I spend my days working for an international humanitarian relief organization, tending especially to those consumed by disaster, war and poverty. The work is weighty; my brain is rarely calm.

    Our roles as Americans on the international playing field is complicated and always open to heated discussion and interpretation. Our roles as humans is not so complicated. Life is a personal and very subjective experience, but in the mucky muck of hate, violence, and extreme poverty, I am thankful for those who breathe life into the decay and who bring happiness to dilute the sadness.

    Matt, I read your Namibia post and I remember that drive from the coast to Uis. I learned to speak in clicks there (I am sad to report that even my best efforts drew roars of laughter, especially from small children) before moving to Khorixas, just north, where I lived for a year. I remember the wide open spaces and the tremendous feeling of being truly alone in the world. I hated that desert, and I loved it. I watched my own video footage last night for the first time since returning almost four years ago. There was dancing. There was gum chewing. We blew bubbles together. Those were the simple moments when we really smiled and we really laughed, and it was undisputably good, if not ridiculously perfect.

    There’s not a simple recipe for being a good American or for being a good human, so I’ll pass on making judgments about your path. What I do know is that this is your life and you should do your thing. I appreciate you sharing along the way.

    To Bruce, I offer some Vonnegut: “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel [or dance routine] is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”

    Cheers,
    Rebecca

  38. Luvit

    I’ll spice that soup with a little Carl Jung:

    “Fanaticism is always a sign of repressed doubt.”

  39. ipso

    Funny how noone comments on one valid point Bruce makes: showing a brothel (or rather a girlie club, is it Soi Cowboy or Patpong?) as an important sight from Bangkok. Wat Arun would work better, and Thais wouldn’t have a reason to feel offended.

  40. jdhoskinson

    Fair question, ipso, but I don’t think Matt intended to only show “important sights” in each country he visited in the first video. Look again, lots of street scenes, which to those who live there are perfectly benign and unintersting places. When the first video was created, Matt’s intended audience was NOT the entire world! Now the junked cars in Guam in Matt #2, that might be another story.

  41. Luvit

    Ah man! The Thai brothel scene is one of my faves!!

    I don’t know about anyone else but when I travel abroad I’m just as fascinated with “real” life as much as I am all the official tourist stops.

    I go to China frequently because my wife is Chinese. My fondest memories are always things like, eating hot pot in an old hollowed out remnants of a construction project where the food is 1RMB per skewer. Or fishing with bamboo poles on a very non-descript lake with my father-in-law. Or visiting other family in the countryside for an uncle’s wedding. Nothing picturesque. Not “important sites.” Just wonderfully real!

    Hell, I’ve been to China almost 20 times now and I still haven’t seen the Three Gorges or the Great Wall. I’ve been too busy enjoying real life there.

  42. ipso

    Patpong is as far from being “real” as it gets. There is a red light district in most world capitals, yet Matt decided to show one in Bangkok, playing on a common myth that Thailand is a paid-sex-paradise.
    Thais may not like it.

  43. dragon

    Ironically, it is people like “Bruce” who give the rest of the world a reason to hate Americans.

  44. Wimberd

    What’s wrong with dancing at Angkor Wat and how on earth is that presenting Bangkok as a brothel? You must be messed up in your head to think of that.

  45. Jill

    I cringe to imagine how many crazy-negative comments and e-mails you receive. It’s the price of fame I suppose. I’m so very tired of the arrogant American stereo-type, though. No matter what you post, if you’re successful, someone will call you an insensitive American.

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