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Do Americans know?

GUEST,Mary 11 Apr 00 - 12:55 PM
Ringer 11 Apr 00 - 12:58 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 01:10 PM
sophocleese 11 Apr 00 - 01:20 PM
Mbo 11 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM
Bill D 11 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM
Eric the Viking 11 Apr 00 - 02:06 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,James 11 Apr 00 - 02:40 PM
Little Neophyte 11 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
kendall 11 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 03:17 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 11 Apr 00 - 03:29 PM
Wavestar 11 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 11 Apr 00 - 04:16 PM
bill\sables 11 Apr 00 - 04:25 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 04:27 PM
Jeri 11 Apr 00 - 04:46 PM
kendall 11 Apr 00 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Mrrzy-at-work 11 Apr 00 - 05:16 PM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Apr 00 - 05:45 PM
Linda Kelly 11 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 06:57 PM
Terry Allan Hall 11 Apr 00 - 07:07 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Apr 00 - 07:38 PM
Hotspur 11 Apr 00 - 08:46 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 11 Apr 00 - 09:09 PM
sophocleese 11 Apr 00 - 10:03 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 10:45 PM
joeler 11 Apr 00 - 10:59 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Apr 00 - 11:29 PM
ceitagh 11 Apr 00 - 11:41 PM
Cap't Bob 11 Apr 00 - 11:52 PM
Escamillo 12 Apr 00 - 12:17 AM
Wavestar 12 Apr 00 - 12:22 AM
Gary T 12 Apr 00 - 12:30 AM
The Beanster 12 Apr 00 - 12:49 AM
Linda Kelly 12 Apr 00 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 12 Apr 00 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,James 12 Apr 00 - 07:52 AM
Little Neophyte 12 Apr 00 - 08:14 AM
kendall 12 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM
Amos 12 Apr 00 - 08:52 AM
bbelle 12 Apr 00 - 09:05 AM
sophocleese 12 Apr 00 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,james 12 Apr 00 - 09:16 AM
wysiwyg 12 Apr 00 - 09:20 AM
Big Mick 12 Apr 00 - 09:20 AM
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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,Mary
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:55 PM

I have travelled all over the world - Europe, Russia, China, Tibet, Egypt, etc. I have never encountered outright dislike of Americans. Of course, I am a native New Yorker - maybe I just didn't notice. Come to think of it, I have encountered outright hostility against NYC in the Midwest.

Seriously, generalizations about all English, all Germans, etc. are by definition misleading, unless of course you have honestly polled all living Germans and English. Read the U.S. Press and you will assume all Middle Easterners are terrorists, all NY police officers are potential mass murderers, etc.

Anyone who cares will investigate further. Those who don't - who cares?


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Ringer
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:58 PM

McGrath: "Nasty little people who like the idea of being able to push people around. You don't find them admiring Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and Garrison Keeler and Leadbelly... And they don't like Morris Dancers much either. They liked Maggie Thatcher. "

Good job you put the bit about Morris Dancers in, or I might have thought you were talking about me!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 01:10 PM

Aldus,

I could not agree more. If I have one criticism about Americans at large it is that too many of them are not citizens of the world. Many of our people raise their young to dramatize ignorance and sometimes treat it as though it were a virtue. Our educational machinery is woefully politicized and inhumane, and our young savage each other liberally in the most nasty ways (this may be true of children in many places, but I haven't raised children elsewhere). There are plenty of flaws in our social machinery.

There are also many of us, however, who do celebrate the places and people elsewhere in the world and their unique accomplishments. They just have to be found :>) And we're farflung, sprinkled through a large area. On the other hand we have, in the US, an extraordinary collection of parochial pockets and regional cliques, with more kinds of groups big and small to jump into than a dog has fleas. This makes it interesting in some respects, I guess, and pathetic in others.

Actually I think it would be interesting as a social experiment to make a legal citizenship status for "Earth" and see how many folks changed from their nationalities to adopt the new status. Would be a really interesting challenge in social engineering, to manage the national and local policies for dealing with people who identified themselves only as citizens of the planet. Would they be considered aliens? :>)).

A


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: sophocleese
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 01:20 PM

Amos, there are already some people who have torn up or thrown away their passports to show that they are world citizens. There is a movement, albeit small at the moment, towards World Government and World Citizenship.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Mbo
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM

Tell 'em Amos! It's scary around here sometimes...students boasting about flunking a test, while their classmate doesn't want to reveal what she got on the test...she's too embarrassed to say. She got an A. What's the matter with folks nowadays? When you're proud to flunk and ashamed to achieve?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM

aldus....America, being big and relatively rich & powerful is really in a "damned if you do & damned if you don't" situation...when there are problems in the world, there are always cries for help. Should we or should we NOT send troops, aid, advisors, etc. to country "X" to 'help' with the situation? No matter what you decide, there will alwyas be those who scream that you should have done it the other way...or not at all. I am totally aware that we have often blundered: both in policy & execution, but there literally IS no policy that would satisfy everyone....and if, as in WW2, we DO manage to do the generally accepted proper thing and help protect against agression, then we get 50 years of complaints about our 'attitude'. ....goes with the job, I guess.

I like to think of myself as kind, thoughtful, altrustic, generous and tolerant...but I'm also smart enough that I'd NEVER take the job of administering US govt policy....it's a no-win situation.

(oh...also, I am also aware that in politics, it is always dangerous to allow public office to be granted to those who *SEEK* it...*Big Grin*)...perhaps the Athenian way of requiring every citizen to take his turn in congress, eh?


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 02:06 PM

I always say to my kids and those I teach that there are two kinds of people. Ones who try to be good, honest and care about others and the world around them and the others who don't give a shit. It don't seem to make any difference what colour creed, race or origin you are. I have plenty of friends all over the world and met many people who come into these two catagories, people are mostly good with a little bit of bad in them or bad with a little bit of good. I never wanted to go to Spain because of the drunken antics of the boozy brits and often feel ashamed of being British when I am abroad and see how some of them behave, but truthfully, I have seen bad behaviour from all sorts and groups of people. I don't think Americans are stupid at all, just look at the technology that has advanced in conjunction with America and other parts of the world. I don't think all Germans are still Nazi's and I don't think they were all then in the 30's etc, not all Russians were commies. Politicians, corrupt people with power and money-they are the enemies of mankind.You can take your choice. The best way I have ever heard of looking at people is an old story which while I'm on line on the "Internet" (Thought of by a Brit, so the American computers could still manage to Bomb the Ruskies using computers made in Japan etc etc) A greek philosopher was sitting under a tree in the shade from the hot sun on the cross roads between Athens and Corinth when a man asked him if it was the way to Athens as he was on his way there from Corinth. It is answered the philosopher. What are the people like in Athens?The man asked. What are they like in Corinth? Was the reply. They're awful, always fighting and quarreling answered the man. Then you'll find the people in Athens much the same came back the answer. A short while later a man going in the opposite direction asked if this was the way to Corinth. It is came the reply. Again a similar question was asked of the philosopher. What are the people like in Corinth? What are they like in Athens? Was the reply. "Oh, the people of Athens are courteous and considerate, with feelings for each other" came the reply. Then you'll find the same in Corinth said the philosopher. I genuinely do admire America and it's peoples, but then I also admire so many other cultures and peoples as well.Interestingly, I never allow myself to get drawn into the "War debate" but after reading on quite a few threads about how America saved us,(The rest of Europe) I should like to add my own perspective. In both World wars America entered late, due mainly to the politics of the time, NOT the reluctance of it's peoples to get involved. It must also be remembered that at the time of WW2 America nearly allowed facism a large part in it's internal politics. My father (English)fought with the Americans all the way up from Scicily, Monte casino etc-they were as brave, stupid and cowardly as any other army involved.(Of course as individuals, led by clever and stupid leaders). America might have sent armaments etc, but Britain paid for them and continues to have a "War debt". You will never serve a purpose by using a sweeping statment about how John Wayne and America saved the world and you'll serve no purpose by trying to alienate the British by comments about it. I don't see many comments directed towards the Germans or the Russians or the Japanese etc. But also remember that the Americans after having saved us all, got the best German rocket scientists and did not try them for war crimes, but used their technology to put men on the moon etc, sent (along with the British) thousands of Russian POW's to certain death by enforced repatriation and took stronghold in europe and the UK via it's bases here and there. It also continues to use it's spying activities in Britain eg Menwith Hill(North yorks).I will never be drawn into the WW debate again.Too many people have died in the name of supposed patriotic values. We either fight for good or bad, but mostly people whether conscripts or not fight to survive. WE are a global world and if the truth about evolution is really accepted WE all have common ancestors. History is written mostly by the victor. Make a decision-are you are good person with a bit of bad, like most of us or a bad person with a bit of goodlike a minority? Peace. Eric


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 02:35 PM

good stuff, Eric. I too cringe when I hear the useless comments about the US 'saving' anyone in WWII. We were blessed with being on the winning side of a near World conflict our allies benefited from our involvement, and we relied upon theirs. Does Gary Lineacre take sole credit for championship? Does Troy Ackman?


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 02:40 PM

They say that no one knows you as well as your neighbours.....As a Canadian one of the things That infuriates me about the neighbours is how little they choose to know about the rest of us. When they arrive here they want American Beer, American Prices and American Laws.......thye growl about metric, they laugh at our money, and are often ungracious and insensitive guests. I don"t think these are personal traits....I think it is a national attitude. Those of you who are familiar with 22 minutes will see example all the time. I just wish Yanks didn't treat the rest of the world with such contempt.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM

That is really intersting James, because as a Canadian, I have experienced the complete opposite.
I think there is much to be said about Eric's greek philosopher story.

Little Noe


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: kendall
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM

The people of my state, Maine, are not generally pushy or arrogant, and, when I travel, it bugs the hell out of me to see Americans acting like overbearing assholes. I like Canadians because they act more like I was taught to act. That is, it is not right to call attention to yourself. Remember, you are unique, just like everyone else. I could say a lot more about "Lend Lease", the convoys of food and supplies and the Marshall Plan, but, I really dont want to get into a row with my British relatives. Remember, many of us are descended from Brits.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 03:17 PM

right on Neo. It wasn't my point (what you see is who you are), but I agree with the logic!

Kendall - I didn't mean to downplay the US contribution to the WWII victory. I am proud of the sacrifice and effort we expended mostly for humane purposes. I just don't like to hear us saying that we were the only reason for success ... and as far as the ugly American syndrome? I find those individuals extremely irritating, as well ... I have seen their other national equivalents, as some have mentioned here, but that doesn't absolve us. I know too many of ignorant escape the borders and appear as tourists in other places ... I wish we could shoot 'em at the border, but I s'pose that wouldn't be appropriate either!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 03:29 PM

Joining late, I will just point that it is part of our peculiar American character that, when confronted with questions that are nothing more than thinly veiled insults, we try to provide earnest and instructive answers--

As to the comments about Americans being isolated and self absorbed--well, we are on a whole other continent than Europe, the country is much larger and much more diverse than even most americans are able to deal with--and, particularly these days,it takes full concentration just to survive here--

It is true that you can go from being an unemployed couch potato in February, to being a multi-millionare in December (as several close friends have done) but it is much easier to go the other way--you can climb to the top, but a when you lose your grip, it's pretty much a free-fall--

That said, I gotta get back to work on my dotcom start-up--


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Wavestar
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM

So much has been said here... but as this is a subject somewhat near to my heart, I'll say a bit more, and knowing my propensity for talking too much, I'm sure you'll all get bored.

I'm an American abroad, I live abroad, specifically in Scotland. I love living here, have many dear friends, and we frequently joke about America, etc... I've found the culture warm, understanding, and accpeting... but I've also encountered the 'ugly American' phenomenon far more often than I ever thought I would, and I've been disappointed. Not so much by my own country and culture, which I used to disappointing me, but by others. This is not to say I'm disappointed by British, Scottish, or any other PEOPLE.. but in some cases, I found a lot more hate, resentment, unfair steroeotypes, cruel, stupid and repetetive jokes, and uninformed opinions and judgements than I expected. I've frankly gotten tired of them, and when I encounter them now, I tell the person exactly where they can put it. So many people I've met have these preconceived notions.. and then think they are being so kind to tell me "You don't ACT like an American!"

My responses on the subject: America has problems, and we are often criticised for the awful things that happen in our country, and that our culture spawns. This is true of ALL cultures. No exceptions. America is simply bigger, more influential, and more widely and closely observed than most countries. When is comes to accusations like, "American soldiers do more stupid things in UN peacekeeping operations than any other country", I simply respond, "That's because there are more of our men dying there than anyone else's." The ratio is bound to be higher, and the same applies in other similar accusations. As for being loud, opinionated, rude, etc... I've been accused of this, occasionally, but I've also been told very forcefully that I am not.. by people other than Americans. I'm proud of that, though. We are raised to think, although I know that many of us don't, which I'm sorry for, and we are raised to make our voices heard. I will never be ashamed of my own thoughts, if they are well reasoned and well based. I want to be a leader- no one can just tell me what to do and expect me to follow orders, and I'm proud of that.

Yes, we eat too much. Maybe not me, but most people. So do many many other cultures. Self centered, proud of our country. Nationalism, with all its good and bad points, found everywhere. We have a right to be proud of some things. WWII? Yes, it could be said that we "saved" some asses. But we got ours saved at the same time. That's why it was called a WORLD war. Stupid? Many people, maybe. But we hardly have a monopoly there... the same goes for greedy.

Many Catter's have mentioned that America is a bit damned if you do and damned if you don't... which is true. I think we get a bit of a bad rap, but we also deserve much of it. I can certainly only defend my country so far. But what I would say is, look to your own- its easy to blame the US, and assume that you could do better, etc... but people are people everywhere, and make the same mistakes. I think the simple answer, Grey Wolf, is yes... I, at least, am aware of it. And I'm tired of it.

I've been told, straight out by an Englishman, that he knew more about America, american culture, history, politics, society, and everything else than I did... Even if I were very naive, ignorant, and many other things, which I'd like to think I'm not, I live there - it's MY culture, my home, and my people... I don't claim to know this about British culture... and never would, even if it were in the news as often! I've been told in a surprised voice that "of course Brits know all about American culture... its all on their television sets!" It's never that easy. If you think that's what we're all about, by all means, think of us as nasty, selfish, guntoting, fat greasy capitalist pigs. I'll feel reasonably justified in dismissing you as a narrow minded person, who probably never bothered to learn anything about me past my accent.

Well. That was vitriolic. My Apologies. I think many of those things have been waiting to come out since the time I heard, "But you're just a stupid American, so...." for the umpteenth time. I'll stick with my friends, thanks. The nice people.. and fortunately, the majority.

-Jessica


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM

M. Ted - great comments, and I agree we were sucked into responding to a thinly veiled insult. As has already been hinted at in this thread; I believe it is true that you see others much the way you perceive yourself.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 04:16 PM

I am surprised that so many "sophisticated" Europeans actually believe what they see on television--


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: bill\sables
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 04:25 PM

I have traveled quite a lot in America and have met many Americans and none of them ,so far, have come down to the standards of Jerry Springers guests. They can build giant companies,and send men to the moon but they can't make a good cup of tea. I blame it all on Boston. Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 04:27 PM

LOL Bill. Maybe that's why we switched to coffee!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 04:46 PM

It's funny how people can believe a stereotype without question. It's also funny that some people think they're above it. We're all susceptible. There are those who believe the one about all Americans being stupid. There are others who fall for the one about all (or even most) Europeans hating us.

It's human nature to stereotype, and the only big problem is when people refuse to see when they're doing it, or that they do it at all. And the dumbest thing people can do is to not get to know individuals because of prejudice.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: kendall
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 05:01 PM

Our tea is as good as your coffee!!!LOL


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,Mrrzy-at-work
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 05:16 PM

I grew up an American overseas, and I will share two anecdotes, both from the same French school in West Africa:

(1)History/Geography class, roughly 10th grade. We were studying WWII, and the teacher, French of course, kept haranguing me, individually, as if I were responsible for the US' isolationist position early in that war. She positively spat at me. I didn't even know we HAD been isolationist, this was my first history class on the subject. I swear I flunked the class because I was American and this was how she felt.

(2)History/Gorgraphy class, roughly 7th grade. We were studying the political structure of the major powers, being (according to the French in Africa in the mid-70's) the USSR, the US, and France. The teacher is complimenting me, individually, as if it were thanks to me that In America, Even The President Has To Obey The Law - talking about the Nixon resignation. I swear I passed that class just because I was an American and this was how he felt.

In other words, everybody has their likes and dislikes. Even me - I really disliked History/Geography class...


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 05:45 PM

I think Americans know. Just ask John Rocker. All the best
Seamus


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM

I like everyone! Only individuals and goverments disappoint me. I only dislike americans during the Ryder Cup. Life is far too short to form opinions about millions of people we've never met- and by the way, we all eat too much.

P.S(I've never heard a bad word said against a Belgian- small country great chocolate)


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 06:57 PM

Who's John, Seamus?

Good stories, Mrrzy-at-work.

How do you feel during World Cup, Ickle?? 'Course we haven't met in the World Cup for some years, now ...


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 07:07 PM

Unfortunately, many people of the world have good reason to feel like they do!

We Americans have always been way too eager to inflict our views on the world at large...but in the last century and much of the previous, the villain was Great Britain...where the sun once never set!

I feel, as an American, that my fellow Americans need to make a point of showing respect for other cultures, and then perhaps we'll be better thought of.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 07:38 PM

Yuchhhhh! As someone who has travelled extensively, reads voraciously, and tends to be interested, rather than terrified of foreign customs, habits and vocal minorities, my experience has been that people truly ARE the same around the world. Trouble is that some put too much faith in their local leaders and foreign policies. I try to be perceptive enough to spot the nasties and xenophobes from a distance and then run like hell.

Don't find a lot of 'em in folk music. That's why I like the environment.

I find Americans to be exceedingly generous and kind,....I think the lack of a lot of hard and fast rules in the States, is what sometimes gets under folk's skins. 'Course in Canada, we have even FEWER rules! Suits me.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Hotspur
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 08:46 PM

Shucks, if you think being an American overseas is hard, you should try being a New Yorker! I've gotten more looks of pity than i can count...nobody believes me when I say that, first of all, I live 150 miles north of NYC, and second, I like it here. *grin*

No, really, I have had far more comments made to me about my native New Yorker status than about my American status. Even in Nicaragua, which is one place where you could hardly blame the locals if they hated Americans, the people told us, "We have always made a distinction between the American government and its actions, and the American people."


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

Americans "move so much" because they're screwing while standing up and figure they'll take their furniture so Baptists won't think they're dancing. Wouldn't want to offend anyone, would we?.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 09:09 PM

I don't even understand that one, GUEST--


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: sophocleese
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 10:03 PM

LOL Guest. Why don't Baptists approve of sex?

It might lead to dancing.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 10:45 PM

I have looked over all these answers to Grey Wolf's question. I think the short answer is, "No!", but only because the questions is a little off--no offense intended -- but it is a little like, "have you Americans stopped beating your wives?" in the respect that the premise of the question defeats answering it. Ends up being 'semantically null'.

I think the right answer is "we" don't know how much "everyone" hates "us", because they don't. No real "us" to aim a hate at, nor any "everyone" to aim it anyway.

A


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: joeler
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 10:59 PM

Lets sum up this whole thread. If America is such a horrible place, why does everybody else in the rest of the world want to move here?


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:29 PM

Spot on Amos. Not sure why I came back to this rather silly excercise, but perhaps I just have an accute annoyance level for those (specifically) who use "us" and "them" etc. in silly generalizations.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: ceitagh
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:41 PM

joeler- who says we do?


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:52 PM

bill\sables ~ do I have to go to England to get a good cup of tea? I have had tea at several places in Canada and I was not overly impressed. The tea I had in Nova Scotia was probably among the better tasting, however, most of the folks drank the tea with cream and sugar. Apparently in an effort to cover up the taste, pasteries were generally consumed along with the tea. So what's with this tea thing?

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Escamillo
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:17 AM

My 0.02 contribution, in the musical direction. You Americans (in fact USA citizens, because I'm American too, but from the South) are seen by many people in the world - not all - as the singers of a large, symphonic choral group, i.e: "You bunch of pretentious vociferating fat oldies making always those boring masterpieces that we don't care about, because we, .. er.. well, because we.. damn, we .. WE CAAAAAAN'TT DOOO THEEE SAAAMEEE !! SNIF ! "
To compensate, this one is about Argentinians: Do you know what an Argentinian is doing alone on the top of the Tour Eiffel ? - He's looking how Paris looks without him.
Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Wavestar
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:22 AM

Rofl Joeler... They don't, actually... but it is highly amusing to me how often my friend Cameron in particular shamefacedly admits that he prefers something American to something Scottish! That said, however, there are so many things that Americans just can't seem to get right that the Scottish are natural at... One of the many reasons I love it here. And now that I'm not being bitter, I'll say that almost all people are the same the world over- friendly, welcoming, and unpredjudiced, when they can be... and eager to learn about other cultures and new things when they may not be! I'd like to think I am the same way... I certainly try. Not even that can induce me to try Irn Bru, though. Vile Stuff.

-J


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Gary T
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:30 AM

A little perspective, comparing the U.S. to Europe, geographically. If you're in the center of Europe, and travel throughout a circle with a radius of 500-1000 miles (800-1600 km), how many different countries (with their various languages and cultures) will you see? Waggish but likely accurate answer--all of them. If you're in the center of the continental U.S., you can go 1000 miles east or west and 500 miles north or south and still be in the same country.

We're abutted on the north with Canada, sharing the longest unguarded national border in the world, with much commonality of language and culture. East and west are oceans. Only to the south do we have a neighbor, Mexico, which really seems to be a foreign country. One can do extensive traveling, seeing great diversity of landscapes, and never leave the country. And it would be necessary to leave the continent, or actually the hemisphere, to experience a wide variety of significantly different cultures and languages.

I would submit that compared to Europeans, Americans have less incentive and much less opportunity to interact with much of the variety in the world. Seen in this context, I would find a certain degree of isolationism rather understandable. I seek neither to defend nor castigate that tendency, but to perhaps offer some insight into it.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: The Beanster
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:49 AM

Hotspur,

I absolutely agree with you! I have gotten more flak (from other Americans, mostly) about living in NYC than being an American in a foreign country has gotten me. I say I'm from New York and people look at me like I have three heads. But just like the ignorant people who "hate Americans," whether they know it or not, I know it's a baseless criticism so it amuses me more than anything else. I just can't take them seriously. I'm perfectly happy to live in America and just as happy to live here in NYC. And we have the best bagels.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 06:40 AM

message to Jed -I think you will find that the World Cup was a small competition that was disbanded after 1966, and that we have not bothered to participate in since. (a bit like wimbledon)


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 07:50 AM

There has been a couple of references to the metric system in this thread and it would appear that what the Americans don't know - is their system of length measurement. In 1866 the U.S., by act of Congress, passed a law making legal the metre, the only measure of length that has been legalised by the U.S. gov't. From this a yard was "derived" and fixed at 39.37 inches. The U.S. prototype metres No's 21 & 27 were received from the International Bureau of Weights & Measures in 1889. Metre No. 27 is sealed in a metal case, in a fireproof vault, at the U.S Bureau of Standards. So how come you blokes use feet & inches ?

Seriously though, I first encountered Americans in Subic Bay, 1964,and have met numerous since. Haven't met one I wouldn't go to a BBQ with - even if your beer is lousy. This is caused by brewing it in gallons, and not litres.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 07:52 AM

Dear Gart T... Canada is a forgein country,,the fact that some Americans don"t realize tht is of concern to some of us. Yes, we are alike in many ways...but we differ culturally in many ways. One of the observations oft repeated here is that Americans are often unaware of the cultures of other nations...your comments seems to reinforce that view.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 08:14 AM

James, I thought Gary T's posting made a lot of sense.
Whenever I have traveled across Canada, each Province I drove through felt like I was in a different country. By the time I got to the Yukon, I thought I was on another planet.
It is not that easy to be aware of other cultures even in the Country where you live unless you go visit them. And I must admit, Canada has a lot of land to cover for all that visiting.
I suggest, if you ever do have a chance to travel around your own country that you get yourself invited into the local folks homes for a cup of tea or a bottle of that lousy beer.
It has always been the best way for me to understand the people and their culture. You will have a great deal of fun doing it too.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: kendall
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM

At last, a comment that I can agree with..American beer IS like sex in a canoe...


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 08:52 AM

Ummm...to be indulged in carefully, but full of delicate delights once you get used to it?


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: bbelle
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:05 AM

A thread on why non-americans hate americans has nothing to do with music and belongs in a chat room.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: sophocleese
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:11 AM

No, Amos, too close to water.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,james
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:16 AM

Dear little Neo...I have travelled extensively in my own country. it seems you are saying exactly what I said. My point was that American often don"t realize how culturally different Canada is from America. O Niel, this is not a thread about hating Americans.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:20 AM

Grey Wolf,

There are a large number of people active in the following community who do understand these feelings, many of whom are Americans.

http://www.rc.org/

And if you look there under Theory/A Modern Philosophy, the following topics will provide the general perspective from which they view the issue you raised.

Human nature
Intelligence
Distress
Irrationality
Recovery
Reality
Feelings
Freedom
Communication
Learning
Relationships
Leadership
Theory/Policy
Organization
Societies
Oppression
Liberation
Change

BTW I do see how this is music related-- first Mudcat is itself a cross-cultural community and I make the assumption even to be here that people here share a commonality of music that allows many other topics to be discussed which then feed back into the muusical commonality.

Second, as a cross-cultural community, it makes sense that performers of cross-cultural music for cross-cultural audiences would be interested in cultural issues that would affect how music is written, chosen, performed, received, and managed.

~Susan~


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:20 AM

So, does the term "gratuitous assertion" mean anything to all the great intellects that make broad and sweeping generalizations about us Yanks?? I agree completely with Rick on this one. In fact that is the point I was making in my earlier post. When you speak in these types of generalities, the effect is to create divisions that serve no good purpose. I think that when someone makes gratuitous assertions about the residents of the U.S.A., they only demonstrate their own ignorance. This country is broad and diverse, made up of many states and cultures. You can experience the whole range of human experience within its borders. Its people respond time and again to human suffering and natural disaster in a very warm, caring and generous way. Our way of life has spawned a nation that continues to draw those that yearn for a better life from around the world. Have we blown it, made some very big mistakes. Sure have. But forgive us our trespasses, folks. As we forgive those that have trespassed against us. And please don't demonstrate ignorance by making gratuitous assertions about all of us.


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