While there was much stewing and outrage towards Obama for gifting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his family with such lousy gifts, (even I’ll admit that the Browns way outdid the Obamas with the presents… the Brown kids both got toy helicopters that just happen to sell in the White House gift shop) this most recent bit just puts the icing on the cake.
While Brown gave Obama a penholder made from wood taken from the HMS Gannet, a vessel famous for it’s anti-slavery missions to Africa, commissioning papers for some ship in the Royal Navy that I guess has some special significance in U.S./British relationships throughout the years, and a seven volume biography of Winston Churchill. (First edition, no less!) Obama, who apparently was the only one at the party who believed the “$20 or less” written on the front of his invite, gave Brown a set of 25 classic American movie DVDs.
Now honestly, I don’t mind this. Times is tough all over, and I don’t really want Obama to be spending thousands of dollars on gifts that Brown and his kids are just gonna throw in a closet somewhere and pretend to use whenever our President drops for a visit. But that wasn’t even the real problem. See, the U.S. is what they call “Region 1” in DVD-speak, and Britain is “Region 2.” So when Gordon and his family snuggled up on the sofa to watch some good ol’ classic Amurican movies, all they got were the words “WRONG REGION, PLEASE INSERT ANOTHER DISK” on their TV.
Now that’s classic American.