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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Owlkat BS: American bashing (152* d) RE: BS: American bashing 15 May 01


Hi,
YeeeeeeHa! Heat up the skillet, Everitt! We got us a live one!
But seriously, folks, speaking Canadianly, and for myself, I do confess to some south of the border envy. Americans do identify more clearly in terms of a sense of recognizable nationalism, and a cultural homogeneousness, which we still haven't quite caught onto, yet. (Hey, look at me, Ma, I'm making up new words) That is, you are less confused about who you are, where you live, and why you think it's a better place to live than other places in the world.
This is not, however, unique. Citizens of many other nations share these same notions. Unfortunately, the resulting arrogance, imperialism, and xenophobia can lead to world-views that cause tension, persecution, and bloodshed.
Yes, it's a wonderful flag, full of all kinds of history and symbols that mean all kinds of important things to you. That's why you should wave it in your own yard. Don't beat the crap out of your neighbour if he doesn't want to hang it in his yard.This notion applies to many countries in the world and not just the U.S.
Here's another idea. There's a difference between The people and A people. As a collective, Americans are not seen the same way as individuals. As an example, most of the Germans I've met, so far, have been fairly likeable people. The sound of German, however, raises the hair on my neck, and conjures images of far too many, and too recent, very evil things. I've met nice Americans and nasty ones. Some of both are my relatives. But, I believe that the existence of stereotype is based on both reality and rumour. Nice Canadians? Tell that to the Jewish refugees turned back from Canada in Halifax harbour at bayonet-point in 1939. Or, to the west coast Nisei stripped of property, rights, citizenship, and imprisoned in Canadian concentration camps, because of ignorant and racist backlashes against their Japanese cultural heritage.
Don't like Yankee-bashing? Well, the assumptions of superiority and higher morality that go with strong nationalism are lightning rods for criticism. That's just the way it is. Every nation-state in existence has had to take it. (Who do those damned Phoenicians think they are, anyway?) The stronger the national sentiments have been, so has the flak been thicker and smellier. So, if you're tired of the cheap shots, than maybe less time should be spent on foreign policy that tries to wallpaper the globe with stars and stripes. Tend your own apple trees, and maybe you'll learn to notice and appreciate your neighbours rose bushes.
Your serve,
Owl




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