Typically spoiled, insensitive, uncivilized Arab behavior, yes?
Okay, now imagine that, instead of 2015, it is 1915. No, that won’t work. 1911. And a bunch of American cowboys in Vienna (not rich tourists, obviously; perhaps traveling with a wild west show) “stole a duck from a pond in an Austrian park and cooked and ate it in front of the horrified locals.”
But that’s not the same thing, you might say. The cowboys don’t know any better. Or maybe they do know better. Either way, the cowboys are acting on, or acting out, the natural rugged and self-subsistent exuberance of the American frontier. The Arabs are acting on, or acting out, an immunity to social norms that comes with fabulous wealth. They are just being crass and greedy.
Okay. It’s true, rugged and self-subsistent exuberance was something Americans admired about themselves in 1911; and Europeans joined in that admiration to some degree (by making Karl May a best-selling author, for example). But in 2015, crass greed is admired in the same way? You don’t think so? Just google “success in life.” You may not be old enough to remember, but success in life was not always defined as the accumulation of wealth and power.
The Gulf States oil barons epitomize crass greed, just as in 1911 the American frontiersmen epitomized rugged and self-subsistent exuberance. Considering how favorably crass greed is regarded by the world at large, Gulf State Arabs have as much reason to admire themselves as reflected in the persons of the 2015 billionaire duck poachers (pun intended) as Americans would have seen themselves admirably reflected in the 1911 cowboy duck poachers.
Ergo, we live – as ever – in the best of all possible worlds.