Here's my last attempt at explaining my position, folks. If you haven't understood it or didn't agree w/ it before, you probably won't now, either, but what the heck. After this, I'll just quietly go away & let people play. I will not respond to individuals this time around; my intent is not to offend & I apologize if I have. Actually, a personal message from someone not from my country helped me to clarify my thinking. The "fat American" thread was the straw that broke my proverbial camel's back, but not the main point. Why is it ok, though, to slam Americans? Is it that obvious that we, as a group, *deserve* abuse? If I were to make derogatory blanket statements about blacks or gays, I bet some of you would be furious. Well, guess what--I try to live right & I am offended at being attacked by someone who doesn't even know me. The person who wrote to me has seen American tourists in his/her city &, evidentally, hasn't been to the U.S. to see us in our native habitat. The judgement from seeing obvious American tourists was that we are, indeed, loud, fat, & ugly. I've travelled, too, & I've been offended by some Americans I've seen. Emphasis on *some*. Guess what--if I was visiting your country, you'd never see me, because I would be quiet, polite, unassuming, & trying to fit in w/ local custom. In other words, you'd never identify me w/ your stereotype of an American. What gets my goat is that the originator of the now-infamous thread supposedly *is* an American. I'd like to know where he lives, 'cause the folks around me are certainly not all or even mostly obese. Enough--more than enough of that.
Here's the main point--I have been on the Internet for about 3 years now & I love it. I've also been on Mudcat most of that time. I think one of the greatest values of the Internet is as a vehicle for international communication & relationship. I have formed friendships w/ folks I never would have had the opportunity to meet in person. I have come to understand things about other folks & other cultures without ever leaving my home. Good grief, folks, most of us didn't even know that Mother's Day is celebrated in different months till we came to Mudcat. Some of us didn't know that the seasons are opposite in the U.S. & Australia, or at least we didn't think about it as we do now that we have friends over there! My desire for us all is that we use this resource that we have in a positive way, to educate ourselves & to build others up. Otherwise, it seems to me that it's a waste. I have tried to have a positive part in the Mudcat family; I hope I've succeeded. I wish you all well. I will not be posting to this thread again. Continue it if you like or let it die. If anyone wants to communicate personally w/ me, I can be reached at my email address. I've had my say. Thanks.
bbc over & out