Mitt Romney had a troublesome time during his recent trip abroad, pissing off politicians and citizens in England, Palestine, and Poland (although to be fair, that last one was simply a guy who worked for Romney, not Romney himself).
Besides providing a potential future Ted Nugent album name -- "Kiss My Ass, This Is Holy Ground" -- Romney and his entourage have reminded us of just how difficult it can be to adjust to foreign cultures and their customs. Although some gaffes seem obvious in retrospect, such as immediately shitting on a country's ability to handle the Olympics, maybe Romney, his advisers, and yes, the rest of us could learn something from the mistakes of those who have gone before: The rock stars.
Few people travel more than they, and few people get into embarrassing situations more often. Let's have a look at some rock stars' faux pas abroad.
5. Dixie Chicks Diss Dubya In England
During a London concert held ten days before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines said "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."
Londoners didn't seem to mind, but folks back home went a little crazy, with many country radio stations banning the band, supporters of President George W. Bush organizing album burnings, and a few nutjobs even sending the Chicks death threats.
You may have seen the Dixie Chicks in the news recently when many of the people who went out to stand up for "free speech" on "Support Chik-Fil-A Day" also made it a point to re-purchase the Dixie Chicks albums they had thrown away and burned so many years ago, having learned that true free speech transcends political party lines. Except that didn't happen because of course it didn't.
4. Madonna Rubs Puerto Rico the Wrong Way
During her stop into Puerto Rico during her 1993 Girlie Show World Tour, Madonna rubbed a Puerto Rican flag on her boobs, then on her crotch, while onstage. Puerto Ricans became incensed and protested outside her mansion in Florida, angry with the perceived lack of respect for their national flag. Wait a second, Madonna has a house in Florida? Weird.
The controversy wasn't terribly long-lived; Madonna has successfully returned to Puerto Rico many times since the incident. We can't find any record of an apology, so evidently Puerto Ricans just up and got over it. Brazil, however, threatened to arrest her if she tried to pull a similar stunt with their flag.
Recently, Madonna had further trouble in Paris when people who paid upwards of $344 for tickets to one of her concerts failed to understand that the show "wasn't meant to be a full set." Tip to Parisians: You can't call Madonna a slut and expect to get a rise out of her. Instead, just hold up a big graph of her last few albums' sales.
3. Ozzy Pees On (Well... Near) the Alamo
This was one of those stories we always thought was an urban legend, but it turns out it's true: Ozzy Osbourne -- a native Englishman -- really did get arrested in San Antonio for peeing... not exactly on the Alamo itself, but onto a 60-foot monument to those killed in the Battle of the Alamo across the street from the building itself. He did this while wearing one of wife Sharon's dresses because she had hidden his clothes. Ozzy was then arrested for public intoxication.
Far from an act of defiance, Ozzy later expressed regret for what happened, and it's been heavily implied that he had no idea at the time that the thing he was peeing on had historical significance. Ozzy was banned from performing in San Antonio for ten years, until the singer donated $10,000 to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas -- the Alamo's caretakers -- and publicly apologized for the incident.
2. Shakira Dances In a Spanish Fountain
As you can see, the video is basically just Shakira screwing around, dancing and generally being hot as fuck all over Barcelona. The fountain dancing was an act of spontaneity which saw a slew of fans joining in on the hijinks, but she got into trouble anyway.
If you think being a police officer is easy, try issuing a citation to a dancing, wet Shakira while several dozen of her fans glare angrily at you for being Officer Fun Killer. We hope he at least had the courtesy to say "Here's a fine for being so damn fine" or something equally smooth.
1. Miley Cyrus Shocks England Ever So Much
Also in 2010, many lacey handkerchiefs were swished about in shocked surprise when Miley Cyrus, 17 years old at the time, debuted her raunchy stage show on family-friendly talent show Britain's Got Talent.
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She wore skimpy clothes, pretended to get groped by a male dancer, and pretended to kiss a female dancer. Gobsmacked to see the Land of Pretend defiled in such a manner, England's collective monocle dropped into its tea. The incident was soon forgotten about, however, as people got used to Miley's new grown-up image, and nowadays she's more likely to make headlines for tweeting pictures of herself naked than anything having to do with music.
Which incidents of rock stars embarrassing themselves in foreign lands did we miss? Tell us in the comments.