Maybe there are worse exports from this country than Melissa Bachman, but there are few who better personify the cliché of the "Ugly American": arrogant, invasive, provincial, and endlessly destructive without even a whit of appreciation for the local beauty and culture abroad or respect for requests that she defer to the wishes of the locals themselves. Melissa Bachman is American exceptionalism -- in all its gruesome glory. Jesus, even Sarah Palin keeps her dumb ass here in the states and doesn't have the nerve to take the clown show on the road.
Maybe by now you're aware of the latest controversy surrounding Bachman, who's made a name for herself as a TV host and killer of anything on four legs, but just in case, late last week she posted a tweet that showed her smiling over the corpse of a lion she'd apparently just shot while hunting in South Africa. African lions aren't endangered or anything, but they are considered a vulnerable species, and besides that they're beautiful, majestic creatures that shouldn't by any stretch of the imagination ever be at the mercy of some fucking asshole pretend tough-guy -- or girl -- with a high-powered rifle.
And for some reason that really is the most offensive part of this to me. If you're hunting to feed yourself -- not that that really needs to be done anymore in most civilized parts of the world -- it's one thing. If you're hunting for any other reason it had better damn well be like Liam Neeson at the end of The Grey: one on one and up-close, armed only with a knife and a few shards of glass taped to your hands. You kill a lion that way, you've earned it as a trophy. "Stalking" a creature from 60-yards isn't really all that impressive given that you can still kill the damn thing from a distance while it has to get within a few feet of you to do any damage. Until we begin creating genetically enhanced lions that can fire their claws at you, the guy with the rifle has the upper hand.
Right now there's a big push underway to get Melissa Bachman barred from South Africa. It would certainly be entertaining if the world began a coordinated effort to restrict her only to the states, where, let's face it, we kind of deserve her. Of course if that happens -- if everyone gets together and decides that Bachman's barbaric whims don't deserve to be indulged and she should keep her all-American ass confined to America -- the right will probably lose its mind, boycott Epcot, and push to have her officially deployed overseas as a member of our military, where she'll be pitched as a "liberator" of animals.
By the way, in case you were wondering, Ricky Gervais has the best response to Bachman's online boast so far: