Good Lord, it's hard being the Smurf... even when you're kicking it Old School.
My neice got that information to me, and I wasted no time at all in sliding down the Batpole. After sex, I got a shower and am heading off to Belgium in the Schmoo Jet tomorrow morning.
UNICEF has had a pretty easy ride here in America, and people will pump quarters into those little boxes without a second thought. It was not unusual at all to see a kid claiming to have been robbed his UNI-box at school the next day... although the robbers seemed to have bypassed his Tony Montana pile 'o yayo-sized candy stash that he had working on the desk.
Ever wonder where all that money goes after you give it to the Uniboxers? UNICEF is one of those do-gooder groups that does a lot of African-feeding, and they turn up at tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, etc...
They also make the occasional commercial. They use different methods for different cultures. America and their fat wallets are shown a mountain of starving children, while countries that might be driven out of NATO usually are fed a steadier diet of Fear.
Europeans get the wuss rap from Americans, but they sure do a lot of fighting for sissies with bad techno music. From what my father tells me, I've calculated that I lost- given a 3 kid per family average that is actually quite conservative in a Catholic nation- 15 or 20 wedding presents due to marching Germans.... and not only are they 15 or so gifts, but they are gifts from Europe- which tend to be tres bien....
If you think that American staples like n***** jokes and drunken Irishmen mascots are bad racism, you should have heard some of the white/on/white hatred that was kicked around in my kitchen growing up. It was odd going out into the world and finding outthat most Americans didn't really hate Germans that much. Blacks sort of top the list of racism for most white Americans, while they were 25th or so in my house.
Imagine if America had a lot more Civil Wars, and that they were much more isolated and brutal. Picture a nice North Carolina/Virginia war, or maybe a free-wheeling Oregon/Washington throwdown. Imagine the hatred that would exist... rocking a nice Espo throwback might get you a beating in Chicago- even though his brother played there for like 50 years.
Belgium became important in a geopolitical sense when a godless Prussian named Von Schlieffen (or something close to that) devised the plan for an invasion of France. Rather than slugging it out through the near-impassable Ardennes forest, the Boche would violate Belgian neutrality and attack France from the north. This stomps a lot of innocent Belgians, but you have to break a few eggs, no?
Germany's invasions were generally pretty nasty affairs, and this relates to the article in that Belgians- whatever their yummy waffle making faults may be- don't scare easily. Like the French, every Belgian child has heard a grandmother describe a Nazi invasion, and a lot of people don't have uncles because of it.
Anyone who has lost someone to war won't really respond to a smooth Navy commercial with a Godsmack score. So, you have to work harder to get contributions there.
This is how it came down to a decision to bomb a bunch of cute blue Smurfs. War touches everyone,the message says... even cartoon icons.
Americans are spared from this. We have college football. Nebraska and Oklahoma can work out all their differences on a football field, and no one's farm gets pillaged. It's why America kicks so much more butt than those Smurf-killing Huns over on the Wrong Side of the pond.