It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Travelling musicians have finally had enough of the Gestapo-like treatment the Americans mete out to anyone who wants to visit their country. Be you never so grand - the finest pianist in the world or the most venerable conductor - to apply for a visa you still have to turn up at dawn, queue in the street for several hours and then shuffle through barbed wire and security booths manned by gun-waving goons, only to find yourself queuing again in a large hall where other goons bark instructions and reduce people to tears because their papers aren't in the right order or have been stapled in the wrong place or their chin is 2 millimetres too close to the bottom of the photo.
Designed to intimidate and cause problems for people who spend their lives on the road, it can't be done by post or through intermediaries. Defiantly, the Halle Orchestra has now cancelled what would have been a major US tour on the grounds that the visa application process is now absurd. It would have meant bringing every player down from Manchester to London for the dawn queue, incurring overnight stays, travel costs and fees totalling £15,000 - just for the privilege of being processed....
Concert promoters in Europe are beginning to think the same way... and their stand is being backed by the London-based International Artists Management Association, which has issued a statement that "the US authorities need to wake up to reality".
And the reality is that America now faces the possibility of cultural boycott... Dismayed... and alarmed by stories of the Americans arresting innocent travellers for trifling irregularities in their documentation and sending them home (it happened a few years ago to David James, the countertenor from the Hilliard Ensemble, who was frogmarched onto a jumbo jet in handcuffs), musicians are deciding that the US isn't worth the trouble. And they're right.
Research studies show that, for a number of reasons, "favorability" ratings for America have declined around the world.
Check the atlas. You may not believe anyone could confuse Austria with Australia, but it happens
Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Why didn't they just fly to mexico instead, then walk across the border...?
so much easier than dealing with that whole visa thing...
Originally posted by Pyros
As far as standing in line at an embassy waiting to get a visa goes, I highly doubt that the embassy staff and marine detachment would act in such a fashion, especially in a country considered to be a trusted friend. I don't place much creedence in a single source, nor the remarks of the original poster. Especially after I consider the flavor of the throw-away remarks in the last 2-3 sentances of the post......
Because security is my profession, and I must continually deal with those with dislike the fact that they must occasionally submit to security, it gives me great plasure to refer them to a large poster hanging in my office, over my desk. It is a quote from the Unix System Administrator's Handbook......"Convenience is inversely proportional to security".
to apply for a visa you still have to turn up at dawn, queue in the street for several hours and then shuffle through barbed wire and security booths manned by gun-waving goons
Originally posted by SportyMB
FYI, The gun waiving goons at the booth that you shuffle through are locals...not Americans.
I can understand non-Ameircan frustration directed towards the US's visa requirements. But the stiff requirements are a must, imo. And like Pyros said, I also highly doubt that the embassy staff would treat anyone in a disrespectful manner...unless you brought upon yourself.
Originally posted by skippytjc
Im going to re-name this post to convey the true nature of this thread:
"Hey, if you hate America Post Here!"
Most Americans are smart enough to have their own opinions, just like the rest of the world. We are no more (or less) susceptible to the media than any other. For you to think that you're not influenced by your news sources means you are a dummy.
We WANT it to be hard to get here. Not impossible mind you, just not easy. Well as mentioned, unless you come from Mexico, then its easy!
Originally posted by HimWhoHathAnEar
I just love it when people try and convince you how much you need them and their money, who really need's who in this scenario?
If China decides to call in their US debt you may want to reconsider that statement.