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Do Americans know?

joeler 11 Apr 00 - 10:59 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 10:45 PM
sophocleese 11 Apr 00 - 10:03 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 11 Apr 00 - 09:09 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM
Hotspur 11 Apr 00 - 08:46 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Apr 00 - 07:38 PM
Terry Allan Hall 11 Apr 00 - 07:07 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 06:57 PM
Linda Kelly 11 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Apr 00 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Mrrzy-at-work 11 Apr 00 - 05:16 PM
kendall 11 Apr 00 - 05:01 PM
Jeri 11 Apr 00 - 04:46 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 04:27 PM
bill\sables 11 Apr 00 - 04:25 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 11 Apr 00 - 04:16 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM
Wavestar 11 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 11 Apr 00 - 03:29 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 03:17 PM
kendall 11 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
Little Neophyte 11 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,James 11 Apr 00 - 02:40 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 02:35 PM
Eric the Viking 11 Apr 00 - 02:06 PM
Bill D 11 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM
Mbo 11 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM
sophocleese 11 Apr 00 - 01:20 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 01:10 PM
Ringer 11 Apr 00 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Mary 11 Apr 00 - 12:55 PM
Ebbie 11 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 12:36 PM
Scotsbard 11 Apr 00 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,aldus 11 Apr 00 - 11:54 AM
Lady McMoo 11 Apr 00 - 11:50 AM
Bert 11 Apr 00 - 11:47 AM
katlaughing 11 Apr 00 - 11:42 AM
Lady McMoo 11 Apr 00 - 11:37 AM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 11:34 AM
Little Neophyte 11 Apr 00 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,aldus 11 Apr 00 - 11:17 AM
Big Mick 11 Apr 00 - 12:39 AM
Felisi 52' 10 Apr 00 - 11:44 PM
sophocleese 10 Apr 00 - 11:08 PM
diesel 10 Apr 00 - 10:59 PM
JamesJim 10 Apr 00 - 10:59 PM
Art Thieme 10 Apr 00 - 10:58 PM
Bill D 10 Apr 00 - 10:53 PM
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Ebbie
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM

Once a Swiss tourist asked me, with disdain just barely concealed, Why do Americans move so much? At home, I live on the same land that my ancestors from many generations lived on.

One of the reasons suddenly occurred to me and I replied, Because we are the offspring of people who didn't stay home in the old country.

I get the feeling that many people from other nations want to come here but they feel that if they lived here, they wouldn't mess it up as bad as we have done.

One of the things I really like about us Americans is that we readily accept criticism of ourselves as a nation and try to improve. How many other countries have the line:God mend our every flaw,in one of their favorite anthems? Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:36 PM

I have travelled a bit around the world, including places where US relations are not good. I have worked in Central and South America, Canada, England, China - and in all of these places I found just the opposite of Grey Wolf's original claim to be true. I have found that people are intensely interested in America, and Americans. I have heard the comments like the ones Grey Wolf makes, and I have done my homework regarding the national issues within the World community, and I found in my travels that I was always treated with respect, affection in many cases, and great curiousity about my personal American experience. People were happy to talk about their opinions of America, its politics and its influence - I have never experienced the hate Grey Wolf claims broadly exists.

Ignorance, prejudice and bigotry are human traits, not just qualities exibited by one race, one 'class' or one economic group. There are certainly individuals among the nations of the world who harbor hate for Americans, including some within our borders, but bigotry rarely afflicts whole nations. I am very greatful for the good will I experienced in my travels. I am greatful for the freindships I developed around the world.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Scotsbard
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:56 AM

In answer to GreyWolf's question:

At the risk of making overly broad generalizations, Americans both at home and abroad seem less aware of their own paradigms than many of the older cultures.

There are enough thoughtful and considerate Americans around to offset the sophmoric arrogance typical of some tourists, military and businessmen, and that sort of rudeness is probably not what prompts riots and burning effigies. However, we've spend several decades exporting our social constructs and leveraging our economic powers at the expense of local people and governments, and that aspect of America gives every charismatic demagogue enough evidence to get a significant fraction of their populace motivated. If other contries spent billions of dollars corrupting our politicians, or supporting cultish religions, or constructing corporate fiefdoms here in the United States, then many Americans would be quite justifiably angry. We often seem to have such a huge blind spot regarding the other country's perspective.

On a more personal level, I've usually had interesting conversations everywhere abroad, because most people seem very prepared to deal with us as individuals instead of the generic "ugly American."

On the other hand, I'm very Texan when overseas, and maybe that helps break the barriers somewhat. (But I've been asked about J.R. in the boonies of Timbuckthree ... geez!)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,aldus
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:54 AM

Amos, I think you missed my point. I do not dislike americans...but there an attitude in America that makes me uncomfortable......an isolationism that tends to regard the rest of the world and its accomplishments as unimportant. America needs to learn about the rest of the world and appreciate it........not control it. That is all I meant....


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:50 AM

Actually I find 7 rather attractive Kat...hostile yes...but that clingy Katsuit....!!!

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Bert
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:47 AM

Ah! Grey Wolf, but Americans are improving. They invented Mudcat just so that YOU can sample real freedom of speech.

GOTCHA! Tee Hee.

But let's talk about something really serious. They also say that American beer is no good; and that's not true either. We've a few good brew-pubs in our area which can hold their own against anyone.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:42 AM

Yeah, mcmoo, and what about those hostile Borg! Eeewwwww! Up shields!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:37 AM

As an expat working away from my own country with persons from about 30 or 40 countries for nine years now, I have learnt to abandone stereotypical ideas and to identify per individual person and not by nationality, or what one or other country did in the war or during the last century or other now meaningless criteria. Some of the nicest people I know are Americans but that doesn't necessarily mean I like all US business or governmental practices. Same where I live now (Belgium) or elsewhere.

Aren't those Alpha Centaurians a bunch of jerks!

mcmoo (earthling)


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:34 AM

Aldus,

I fear you and Kendall are bristling on the same flypaper which Big Mick so accurately described. I think in truth there is no "the" dislike of (_____) [fill in the blank]. There are individuals, generating feelings based on accurate or inaccurate perceptions and calculations.

It is certainly a fine thing to be proud of what the people of England have accomplished through the centuries; there is no question our civilization would be much less without those accomplishments.

But there really is no "they" there. Agreements -- cultural, judgemental, strategies, tactics, religions and economies -- are built of individual viewpoints, single folks communicating and taking action. That is the only rational basis for assessing the goodness and badness of people in the final analysis.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:20 AM

All I can say is, some of you Americans have the prettiest accents, especially as you drive down south.
Why I just melt when I hear a Mississippi drawl.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,aldus
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:17 AM

I think there is much in this thread that reinforces the dislike of Americans. Yes, America was vital in the second war...but the fact that Britain stood alone for four years has to be recognized.The American tendancy to see itself as a world saviour is anoying. So, please spare us the "we saved your ass" smugness. I have been to America many times and I find the people incredibly kind and generous but collectively I find it all frightening. America is a very politically unsohisticated place and for that much power to wielded by that country is frightening. But, in the next fifty years it will be someone elses turn...and most people won"t like whoever that is either.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:39 AM

What I learned, being an ugly american, is that when anyone dehumanizes or depersonalizes any other group, then we have fallen for the load of shite that the Generals or the Prime Ministers or Exalted leaders or Presidents or whatever would have us fall for. I watched and participated in the attempt to destroy a country because they were gooks. I watched police dogs and fire hoses try to destroy a people because they were niggers. I watched a preacher be assassinated because he had a dream. I learned how my people were allowed to starve because they were paddys. My little girl is witnessing the destruction of people because they aren't Christians, or because they aren't Muslim, or because they aren't Israeli's.

Anytime we buy into the premise being laid out for us by someone with an agenda, we allow them to turn someone into an enemy. Question the premise................always. The children deserve it.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Felisi 52'
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 11:44 PM

LOL Disel!
I wouldn't mind that so much either. (even being an american and knowing how much work that would take) It would save me converting things for friends abroad all the time.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: sophocleese
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 11:08 PM

As long as nations set their foreign policies based on behaviour they would never, in a million years, condone at a personal level you're gonna run into that old specific verses general problem with nationality. Most Americans that I've met have been regular people who I may or may not like, same as the Canadians, Italians, Russians, French, British etc. But American foreign policy is largely awful and self centered just as Canadian foreign policy is mostly awful self-centered, frequently at the expense of real peace and security in the world. Americans are visibly at the top of the heap and arbitrary in their national favours so they get dumped on a lot. If they were less visible the same behaviour would get less notice. Certainly Americans that I have met while travelling have noticed that they are sometimes stereotyped and they each react differently to that knowledge. I used to think travel broadened the mind but I have since come to realize that it can just as easily narrow it for people of any nationality who want only to see the stereotypes. There are many people who want to get into America for the riches they think it will offer but there are just as many who daren't because the movies America exports about itself are scarily violent. All countries portray one version of themselves to their citizens and another to outsiders. This blathering Canadian will now go quietly and sit in a corner.


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

$0.02 worth for a bit of light relief !

"I just wish America could wake up to the Metric system "

Diesel


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

$.02 - There should have been a BS in front of this thread. Peace and love to all (no matter your nationality). Jim


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:58 PM

It's people who are stupid, greedy, gluttunous, paranoid and psychotic --- as well as being saintly, altruistic etc., etc. It's just what people are. Personally, I'm just quite sad if we in the U.S. are hated. But I suspect that for people to hate because others exhibit aspects of our common humanity is more proof that we are human---with all the shortcomings that entails. Keep in mind, a third of the people are against everything all the time. Therefore, in a perfect world, differences of opinion are not a reason we ought to hate the other guy. Sadly, if history tells us anything, it says we'll do what we will from one end of the love/hate spectrum to the other. Still, it's very saddening to me personally to hear you to say that, in your opinion, Gray Wolf, it's actually a fact that we are "hated"--all of us. I do hope that you never get the power to translate that hatred into a knock at my door in the middle of the night.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:53 PM

what gets judged is the most 'visible' aspects of ANY country...Government and tourists and famous personages.
...and very few countries come off terribly well in those matters. The USA, though, being so large and such a force in the world gets a lot of exposure of its more embarassing elements. (Being subjected to American TV programs and Govt programs would set anyone's teeth on edge)!

Also, there is, in many parts of the world, a general POLICY of running down America for political and social and religious purposes. I do imagine, though, that there are always those who try to judge people on their own merits, and not assume that all Americans exemplify the worst aspects of the culture.


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