Rick Steves: pot-smoking moron

Apparently, one requirement for getting one's shows on PBS is to act like a moron - and it doesn't hurt to smoke some marijuana, too.

According to the Seattle PI article "Outspoken travel guru rooted in Edmonds", the owner of the eponymous (always wanted to use that word) travel company famous for "Europe Through the Back Door" guidebooks smokes marijuana "unabashedly" and has a nasty habit of looking down at his fellow Americans: he flies a European flag and, well, did this:

Steves once defied the local Lions Club and personally removed 50 American flags from the business district, put up by the club a few weeks earlier in a show of support when the war in Iraq began.

That caused a stir, and a number of businesses protested. But Steves is unrepentant.

Now listen to his defense:

"It's patriotic of me to defend my (American) flag that way. There's a third of the people in this community that disagreed with the war, and they were too afraid to say anything because they'd lose business," he said.

Uh, what American flag? You fly "the blue and gold European Union flag, not the Stars and Stripes."

He goes on:

What he does worry about is that failing to speak out against what he calls "the tyranny of the majority" -- as he did with the Lions Club's flag display -- can gradually lead to repression, even if it's self-imposed.

He tells of talking with Germans who recall the ascendancy of Hitler and how insidiously that changed their lives, even in the way they greeted one another.

Traditionally, "they would say 'Grüss Gott' or 'Guten Tag.' Then slowly they had to say, 'Sieg Heil!' I don't want that around here."

So taking down the flags, he said, was "just my little way of challenging Edmonds to do better."

So because some people near you decide to fly their own country's flag, you are worried they will start goose-stepping past your storefront? Mr. Steves, either smoke better marijuana or buy less marijuana.

I will end with his quote about possibly entering politics:

"...You could give 10 years of your life to something, and then somebody else could come in and, based on some perversion of patriotism or abuse of fear, they could wipe out everything you accomplished."

Walking around removing someone else's flags because they offend you is definitely a perversion of patriotism.

More toking, less voting, that's my walk-about recipe for you, Mr. Steves.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Tue 18 October 2005. Tags: business, commentary