Welcome to the 2014 Olympic sports coverage, which apparently includes America bashing… in America… by Americans.
Yup. National pride abounds here as we compete in Sochi against the rest of the world. But that national pride is directed at anyone who can put America in its proper place, not the other way around. At least when it comes to our internationally-minded press.
I’m looking at Yahoo News right now, particularly at a headline that says “Readers wonder: Why don’t Russians smile?”
The little snippet below reads: “Perhaps the question on Yahoo Search should be turned around: Why do Americans smile so much?”
The strong insinuation is that there can’t possibly be anything wrong with the Russians. It has to be Americans who are weird. Duh.
Click into the article itself, and that insinuation becomes even more blatant:
“Readers weighed in on the question posed earlier, Why don’t Russians smile? Historians note that not smiling was definitely a cultural trait reinforced during the early Soviet era. Unlike the bourgeois Americans, a Russian smile – when finally delivered – would be sincere and honest.”
So Americans are fake, Russians are sincere, and the socialist Soviet Union taught Russians the value of honesty? Are you for real, Yahoo writer?
Maybe Russians don’t smile very often because they’re not happy. Or maybe they don’t smile because they’re cold. Or maybe they don’t smile because they live in a socialist-leaning country that breaks their spirits and crushes their dreams.
And sure, maybe some Americans are fake – *cough* *cough* Obama – but I’d still rather take fake American pleasantries over “honest” Russians crowing happily over American failures in the Olympics.
Apparently, sportsmanship and emotional maturity are about as uncommon as smiles over there.
But hey, at least they're honest! Clearly, we could learn a thing or two from their example.