Monday, September 12, 2016

Diplomatic Protocol for Asgardians and Americans

Americans just had an extraordinary example of public rudeness by the People's Republic of China towards President Obama at the G20 conference in Beijing, an incident whose ramifications are not yet completely understood. But there is one thing that we, the public, can know without hacking Hillary's email server: that the offense against the American President was not an accident but a deliberate statement of the Chinese ruling elite indicating their contempt for Obama, and symbolically, for America and the American people.

We know it was not an accident because anyone familiar with diplomatic protocol knows just how far in advance and in what detail such nuances as “red carpet” exit ramps are prepared. “In exquisite detail and with the utmost seriousness” is one way I have heard the process described.

Nothing, repeat nothing, is left to chance.

In this matter we are instructed, as we are in so many things, by the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the MCU).

The student of alien relations must notice that the various races and civilizations of the MCU are generally not very diplomatic. They seem to enthusiastically shoot at one another, invade across dimensional portals, fly around in speeder cars shooting arrows, throwing rocks, and dropping cities on innocent tax payers.

Perhaps things would be more peaceful and loving if some diplomacy was observed.

We do have one example of such diplomacy in Thor: The Dark World (2013) on the occasion of the visit of two Asgardians on a secret mission of great importance, perhaps even more important than the occasion of Obama at the G20 conference.

How do we greet an Asgardian? A hearty handshake? Do we say “Howdy Partner!” and take off our hats? Here are the stages that I have noted in greeting two important Asgardians engaged as they are on a secret mission.

First, your slave girl brings the honored guests into your presence, looking very proper and pleased, if a little stiff, probably thrilled at the occasion.

Second, she gestures first with her right hand, then with her left hand, then makes a half turn, and a half curtsey on one knee, and announce you to the guests, saying “I present to you Taneleer Tivan, The Collector”.

Third, you, the host, pretends to be surprised at the arrival of such honored beings, and recognizing them, exclaim with total sincerity “Asgardians! Its an honor!” while performing the following flourishes:

- bring your hands together in front of you, elbows bent, palms facing the guests
- with your hands in this position do a half bow,
- flip your hands such that palms are facing you
- complete the bow to a full bow and holding the bow, extend your arms outstretched to the sides in greeting

You can be sure that our Asgardians know that they are truly welcome and can proceed with their mission.

Failure to comply with such courtesies is a deliberate insult, as all Asgardians, and now all Americans, know.


The State Department's Protocol for the Modern Diplomat

Thor: The Dark World (2013) on IMDB

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