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Do Americans know?

Grey Wolf 10 Apr 00 - 06:57 PM
Banjer 10 Apr 00 - 07:03 PM
Joe Offer 10 Apr 00 - 07:08 PM
Irish sergeant 10 Apr 00 - 07:23 PM
ddw 10 Apr 00 - 07:26 PM
catspaw49 10 Apr 00 - 07:28 PM
Felisi 52' 10 Apr 00 - 07:38 PM
Midchuck 10 Apr 00 - 07:39 PM
The Beanster 10 Apr 00 - 07:46 PM
Áine 10 Apr 00 - 07:49 PM
SeanM 10 Apr 00 - 07:54 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,LDB 10 Apr 00 - 07:57 PM
MK 10 Apr 00 - 07:57 PM
catspaw49 10 Apr 00 - 08:04 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 00 - 08:15 PM
MK 10 Apr 00 - 08:20 PM
Little Neophyte 10 Apr 00 - 08:33 PM
fulurum 10 Apr 00 - 08:42 PM
Clinton Hammond2 10 Apr 00 - 08:54 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 00 - 08:54 PM
The Beanster 10 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Apr 00 - 09:08 PM
Amos 10 Apr 00 - 09:13 PM
ceitagh 10 Apr 00 - 09:28 PM
kendall 10 Apr 00 - 09:42 PM
Mooh 10 Apr 00 - 10:02 PM
Sorcha 10 Apr 00 - 10:14 PM
Rob-IL 10 Apr 00 - 10:32 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 10 Apr 00 - 10:41 PM
Mbo 10 Apr 00 - 10:46 PM
Margo 10 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM
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Art Thieme 10 Apr 00 - 10:58 PM
JamesJim 10 Apr 00 - 10:59 PM
diesel 10 Apr 00 - 10:59 PM
sophocleese 10 Apr 00 - 11:08 PM
Felisi 52' 10 Apr 00 - 11:44 PM
Big Mick 11 Apr 00 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,aldus 11 Apr 00 - 11:17 AM
Little Neophyte 11 Apr 00 - 11:20 AM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 11:34 AM
Lady McMoo 11 Apr 00 - 11:37 AM
katlaughing 11 Apr 00 - 11:42 AM
Bert 11 Apr 00 - 11:47 AM
Lady McMoo 11 Apr 00 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,aldus 11 Apr 00 - 11:54 AM
Scotsbard 11 Apr 00 - 11:56 AM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 12:36 PM
Ebbie 11 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM
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
JedMarum 12 Apr 00 - 09:27 AM
catspaw49 12 Apr 00 - 09:35 AM
Gary T 12 Apr 00 - 10:02 AM
Rick Fielding 12 Apr 00 - 10:11 AM
AndyG 12 Apr 00 - 10:16 AM
Hyperabid 12 Apr 00 - 10:17 AM
Mooh 12 Apr 00 - 10:22 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 12 Apr 00 - 11:12 AM
catspaw49 12 Apr 00 - 11:20 AM
AndyG 12 Apr 00 - 11:20 AM
katlaughing 12 Apr 00 - 11:33 AM
Hyperabid 12 Apr 00 - 11:36 AM
Steve Latimer 12 Apr 00 - 11:38 AM
Peter T. 12 Apr 00 - 11:49 AM
catspaw49 12 Apr 00 - 11:51 AM
Hyperabid 12 Apr 00 - 11:55 AM
Gary T 12 Apr 00 - 11:55 AM
catspaw49 12 Apr 00 - 12:02 PM
Peter T. 12 Apr 00 - 12:12 PM
Hyperabid 12 Apr 00 - 12:17 PM
kendall 12 Apr 00 - 12:26 PM
sophocleese 12 Apr 00 - 12:32 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 12 Apr 00 - 01:08 PM
catspaw49 12 Apr 00 - 01:25 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 12 Apr 00 - 02:14 PM
katlaughing 12 Apr 00 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,james 12 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM
Bill D 12 Apr 00 - 03:03 PM
bbc 12 Apr 00 - 04:15 PM
MMario 12 Apr 00 - 04:26 PM
Hyperabid 13 Apr 00 - 05:18 AM
Jim the Bart 17 Apr 00 - 06:52 PM
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Subject: Do Americans know?
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 06:57 PM

Whilst this may be seen by many as being a confrontational thread - that isn't the intention.

I'm simply asking the question:

Do Americans realise (or care) about how much most people hate them?

The British think that most Americans are stupid, Europeans think that Americans are greedy and that they eat far too much. Many areas of the world see Americans as being politically agressive. Most other bits of the world see America as being politically naive.

The feeling 'globally' is that Americans only really care about America

Would be grateful for any thoughts

Wolf


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Banjer
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:03 PM

While all the above may be true, I'm sure that a lot of Americans have similar opinions of other countries as well. But I have found that in many cases, and I suspect the same is true visa versa, that those opinions are based primarily on the propaganda we are fed by our individual governments. I keep an open mind myself and try to judge a person not on his nationality but as an individual! I know some folk that are 'outlanders' that are more pleasing to be around than many of my own nationality.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:08 PM

Hi, Wolf - well, you bring up a good question. Yeah, I've heard stories of how people in just about every country a country hate Americans. Invariably, when I visit another country and take the time to talk with people, I find that the people are friendly and welcoming. Wherever I go, I get into fascinating discussions with people, and I always have a great time. I don't think people are prejudiced against Americans as individuals. They may not like Americans as group, and they may not like American political or business leaders - but I don't believe they are as prejudiced against American people as you might think.
The world over, most people are nice people. They just have to stop and take the time to get to know each other.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:23 PM

I guess it all boils down to the Ugly American syndrome, Wolf. And Joe You make a valid point. Havomg dragged a seabag around the block a few times for Uncle Sam, I must admit that thee is merit in what both of you say. We(Americans) tend to seem pushy, arrogant and self centered to others but, as Joe so elegently put it, most people don't indulge in such sweeping generalities. Hey, we're trying but what else I can say is moot. Great discussion thread though. Have a wonderful night, Neil


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: ddw
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:26 PM

Maybe it's just America's time to be the hated country. Over the past few centuries it has shifted around with how active the various countries were in activities outside their own borders. God knows a BIG portion of the world hated the British during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And that has rotated through the Spanish, the Germans, the French (remember post-WWII Vietnam?), the Dutch, etc., etc., etc.

I'm not saying it's good, but it certainly is natural for people to distrust and dislike people from outside their own group — that's not only the basis of all national and cultural boundaries, it's the basis for the only universal taboo anthropologists have ever been able to identify; "You may not kill a member of the in-group, however that's defined."

All that said, I tend to agree with Joe's post above — I think Americans are disliked as a group, but I've had very little trouble talking to people anywhere I've been in the world. Mostly I just find people are people are people. We're all looking for the basics, whatever creature comforts we need to satisfy us and to feel safe in our world. Yes, Americans are used to more creature comforts than a lot of people in the world and we carry those wants with us. So has every colonizing, prosthelatizing trading nation of the past. Seems inevitable.

david


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:28 PM

Before this one goes too far along, let me point out that the easiest way to shoot down a generality in a debate. is with a specific; the easiest way to shoot down a specific is with a generality.

That said, I have no idea whether or not the majority of people in the United States know how the rest of the world views them or not. I don't know if the majority of the world views the U.S. in one particular fashion or not. I'm sure we are detested for many things such as our gross consumption of resources and equally loved by others for our involvement in assorted disaster situations.

The U.S. is what it is and what it has become as a country through circumstances that are much different than those that shaped most other countries. We have a short history on the world stage, but are undoubtedly the largest mishmash of heritages and cultures on the planet. The growth and aggressiveness of this country has served it both well and badly.

How important is any of this? I have friends here at Mudcat from all over the world. Am I judged to be who I am because I live here? Do I judge them because they are Irish or Australian? Gawd knows we make plenty of jokes both ways, back and forth, but is this a major factor?

To me, it is only a factor if it relates to the person's upbringing and can help us understand each other. If it gives a better picture and results in better communication and a closer bond, then it is a very positive thing. If it creates tension, its obviously not too great. Only as a talking point is it important to know how someone is viewed and that's on an individual basis.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Felisi 52'
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:38 PM

Speaking as an American (but not for them) I do believe that most of what you said is true. For the most part, I believe that Americans are politically naive, and that we do in fact eat too much.
And as far as how other countries perceive us... well... I have traveled a great deal and have found that in places that have received very few American tourists, they seem far more hospitable, friendlier, far more eager to talk with us and get to know us, and less annoyed at our presence. I believe the reason for this is, for the most part, other countries have become jaded towards us as a whole. I have seen the reasons for this time and time again... if you take three groups of Americans in a foreign land in a restaurant for example, two of the three will be rude, loud, disrespectful, pushy, and lousy tippers. And that's just in the restaurants. I have seen things of the like happen several places I've been regardless of the circumstances, so I can understand why, over time, the one group out of the three would get overlooked. It really is a shame because I do care about how I am perceived as an American and sadly enough I think that far too few people feel the way I do. It's not so much that they don't care what people think about them, it's that they don't care what other people think.
In reading my letter over again, I find it a bit harsh... Perhaps I myself have become a bit jaded. Know that I do not think that ALL Americans are like this, or even the majority of them, only the majority of the ones that are seen the most.
Feel free to disagree - I welcome opposition, and would like to hear a different perspective.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Midchuck
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:39 PM

"The British think that most Americans are stupid.

Gee, they didn't think so during WWII.

"Europeans think that Americans are greedy and that they eat far too much"

Unfortunately, they're right, to a great extent.

"The feeling 'globally' is that Americans only really care about America."

And that makes us different from the people in other countries in what way?

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: The Beanster
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:46 PM

I agree with Joe that most individuals in foreign countries seem to be very friendly and hospitable, although I have been referred to as a "gringa" in Puerto Rico (is that derogatory??) LOL But I do think most Americans know that other countries have their stereotypes about us--probably based in reality--but I and many other Americans I know find our reputation sort of ...amusing. I never met an American who was very bothered by it. I think my view is that yes, maybe we are all those things--and your point is? lol

Obviously, I would not dare to attempt to speak for the 260 million or so of us but I think we generally are arrogant, ethnocentric and proud. We can't help but notice how many people from other lands want to come here--no matter what your stand on immigration policies, I think we're secretly (or not so secretly) flattered by this. This in turn, I think, contributes to our high opinion of ourselves (not to mention the brainwashing we all get as children to believe that we are the strongest, the richest, the bravest, the free-est, the fairest, etc.)

I think the idea that Americans only care about America is ironic, however, because no one supplies more foreign aid than we do. Starvation in Africa? Earthquakes in Turkey? Mudslides in South America? Who comes? Americans. Are we appreciated for this? No. But we don't stop helping out because it's the right thing to do.

It does always crack me up though when an American is arrested on foreign soil and then thinks he/she is still protected by the Constitution. The attitude is, "Hey! You can't do this to me--I'm an AMERICAN! Call the Embassy! Call the State Department!" Unbelievable.

I can see how others would perceive us as a big bunch of loud, entitled, spoiled, snot-nosed kids. But I'm not sorry to be one!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Áine
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:49 PM

Mmmm. Let me take a look down my block -- there's probably about 12 different skin colors that can be seen and 9 different languages being spoken here. Oh yes, I can see that 'global' hate reflected right here on my block. Nobody wants anything to do with us. Nobody wants to come here to live. We're all the same, aren't we? Yep, that 'one face reflects us all' attitude really applies here.

The idea that the 'all' hates the 'one' is flawed on its face (no pun intended, or maybe there is).

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: SeanM
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:54 PM

Felisi, I'd have to say that you can substitute any nationality for "american" in your restaurant analogy, and not be far off.

After putting in a year at a Southern California amusement park (not Disney), and then supplementing it with a trip around the world courtesy of the US Navy, I've come to the conclusion that jerks are jerks. Doesn't matter what color, sex or nationality, the human race seems to be pretty evenly sprinkled with 'em, and since they're so vocal, they tend to be remembered more than the nice ones.

The good news is that nice people seem to be heavier in the mix. It just takes the time to know them.

M


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM

I was certainly guilty of assuming that all Americans were the same and unfortunately, a combination of TV and meeting some very loud mouthed tourists led me to take a very dim view of them. It is only since participating in forums such as Mudcat that I realised how ridiculous my thoughts were, have revised my ideas and have in fact made some good American friends and would very much like to visit the US one day.

The biggest mystery to me is how I managed to accept my previous generalisation as I have always been the sort of person who takes people for what they are...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,LDB
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:57 PM

Well, as an American, I am pretty sure that all the things you say other countries say about Americans, Americans also say about other Americans! Listen to our political debates on almost any issue and half the nation thinks the other half would have to double their IQ in order to make it up to stupid. Maybe it's the freedom of speech we prize so much that allows any hateful group to be heard that causes others to see us that way.

I agree with Joe that when I travel I get the distinct impression that when common people talk to common people whatever their nationality, they see very little difference "twixt them 'n us" (music portion - is there a song there?)

LDB


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: MK
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 07:57 PM

This is a discussion that can only feed and perpetuate stereo-typing.

I agree with Catspaw's comments in his first paragraph.

There is ignorance, and there is enlightenment.


So what's the followup to this thread? Why does everyone hate Jews?


Michael K.
(who is Jewish)


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:04 PM

Well Michael, I hate you Jews becau............oh, sorry, should be a new thread!(:<))

If you want another thread on this subject, enter Xenaphobia in the search box and refresh for two years.

Spaw.....lazy American who didn't do a blue clicky


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:15 PM

I was reading this thread, wondering how long it would be before the Xenophobia thread was mentioned. Good stuff on there. Well worth the read.

Like my daughter says, "We are all the Human Race."

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, AND, the Lazy, eh, Spaw?!**BG**

anudder Mudder, kat


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: MK
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:20 PM

I appreciate the humor 'Spaw. *BG*....but in spite of Guy's disclaimer, this is just one of those threads that should be allowed to die. It has zippo to do with the Forum, with no real redeeming qualities.

I fear the ''consciences'' could have a field day with it.

There's good and bad with everything if you're willing to dig deep enough. A bad experience or a few bad experiences with any Nationality does not typify the entire populace..........unless your an............(no, I'm not going there.) *BG*


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:33 PM

Michael, are you trying to tell us we are being watched by Big Brother.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: fulurum
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:42 PM

say what you want about us. feel how you want about us. call us when you need us.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:54 PM

LOL!!!
What an hillarious thread...

I AM...!

{~`


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:54 PM

Just to clarify: it is Grey Wolf who started this thread. There is also an American Mudcatter by the name of Guy Wolff.

No offense to either, just wanted to correct the reference to "Guy" earlier.

kat


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: The Beanster
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

Michael K,

I have to disagree. I'm finding this thread really interesting and I love hearing other people's views on this. IMO, anytime sincere opinions are expressed they carry with them redeeming qualities by their very nature. And what do the bullies have to do with anything? They come, we ignore.

(I didn't mean for this to sound like I have an Attitude, Michael. Maybe I'm in a nit-picky mood. Please forgive if it has too sharp an edge. I just like the thread.)


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:08 PM

As has been said, it's not just the Americans - you could definitely ask the same question of the English. And the answer in that case probably would be, no, most English people are astonished to find out that lots and lots of people genuinely feel dislike what what they see as Englishness. And I suspect Americans feel the same sort of surprise when they come up against it.

This is a completely different question from whether there's any rationale for the dislike. It's about the way bigger/richer countries tend to be more parochial about things than little country. The news world tends to stop at the borders. "Birmingham man killed in Earthquake", that kind of thing.

People in little countries (I mean the ones which are linked into the big world by modern communications) can't be so isolated from what goes on, including how people feel about them. And of course the sense that rich powerful people don't know anything about the things that matter to you is another factor in annoying people.

But the real thing to watch out for isn't the people who dislike the way they think you are (whether you're American or Irish), but the people who admire you for things that you aren't too proud of yourself. You used to find people admiring the English for building an Empire, and you still find people admiring the Americans for the same kind of reason. 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.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:13 PM

Grey,
I am an American and I have known hundreds of Europeans, and none of them have those attitudes about me. We have sung, walked, driven and dined and in some cases slept together and I think I would have known it. So...does this make me a white crow?

If it is unintelligent to resort to crass categorizations about human beings, and especially negative categorizations, than I am sure this particular mental weakness is shared as much by Americans en masseas by Europeans.

Many people living here in the United States eat too much. I seem to have the impression that the same is true of those who take their vacations on the Black Sea. We have parochial thinkers in our country. I think I have met as many (or at least as parochial) in Morocco and England and Denmark.

I think intelligence is a highly individual variable. What do you think?


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: ceitagh
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:28 PM

I can't really speak for a majority of my fellow countrypeople, but a chunk of my aquiantances make 'american jokes' the way the rest of canada makes 'newfie' jokes. This doesn't mean we won't treat any americans we may meet with courtesy, but it shows itself in odd ways sometimes. Friends who wouldn't dare make a comment about interracial relationships are mystified by the friend who is dating an american. When I've mentioned that I may be going to school in michigan next year, people stare at me blankly and ask, "you mean....in the 'States?" Of course, my friends are all Canadian patriots and insanely insecure about living next to you yanks...we make jokes about the american tourists who crossed the border to go skiing in july, and repeat incessently unsubstatiated rumors about how american tourists sew canadian flags on their bags so that people will treat them well out of the country....but we say those things 'cause canadian identity is defined primarily by not being american, so i think you can disregard all that.....

pax,
Ceit


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:42 PM

So, we eat too much..so what? we grow what we eat, and we ship millions of tons of foodstuffs all over the world.On a bus in jamaica I saw a group of drunken Englishmen being really boorish, calling the natives "spooks" to their faces etc. And, this is only one example taken from my travels. The English think we are stupid? we were smart enough to whip their asses in two wars, then save those same asses in two other wars. Those Europeans who think we are greedy? did they ever hear of the Marshall Plan? On a trip to St. Martin I met a guy from Canada, and I asked him why he wore a Canadian flag lapel pin. He did not want to answer, but, finally he admitted, "I dont want to be mistaken for an American!" I bought him a drink, and we had a hellava good time!! It's been my experience that the real shit heads from America are the ones with money. They seem to think it makes them special. When I travel abroad, I go out of my way to be a decent human, and an honorable ambassador at large. Let's face it..no country has a franchise on boorishness.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Mooh
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:02 PM

This Canadian's (red wine induced) Perspective...

Well, I can't get my head around the gun stuff, rampant capitalism, two party system and so on, but you know, I once fell in love with an American girl, and I've played music with displaced Americans and it hasn't hurt me a bit. (Btw, I wish I knew where that girl was now just to tell her she was right, and to apologize...)

Sure Americans (generally) are more in your face than some other nationalities, but so many Americans (like Canadians I suppose) ARE other nationalities, or were recently, so it's not likely fair to generalize.

Having said this however, I do sense that "ugly American" thing so often that it makes me wince. I wonder if the rampant violence in film and TV contributes to this...

If I may offer my $0.02 though, last few presidents have been complete Bozos while in office and maybe that makes the "ugly American" so easy to accept. Don't play follow the leader with these guys and you won't look like them. (Yeah, yeah I know, I should talk, my provincial premier's heroes are Bozos, so so is he, but I never voted for him, and I resist him at every turn.)

I do wish we all could concentrate on peace, love, and understanding...

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:14 PM

Interesting thread, and interesting opinions, and The C's be damned!!Here is my $0.02 worth.
I do not/will not base my personal opinion of anyone on race/nationality,etc. but only on behavior. I have been "Out Country" and am aware of the General Attitude towards Americans, (the fat white pigs being loud and rude), but everywhere I have ever been, response has been based on Personal Attitude, not Nationality.
Here is another thought: So much of what ANY of us learn is cultural, not racist---Latina girls grow up learning how to handle Macho, British grow up learning reserve, etc. and how many people of any nationality care about learning enough of another culture not to make glaring mistakes?

We ALL have to make an effort, not just Americans in the (Not) Melting Pot. Stew is "stew", but there are still chunks of potato, etc. Seems to me than Folkies in general DO tend to make more of an effort that most. (Off soap box)

sorry if this is a multiple post, keep getting Cannot display.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Rob-IL
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:32 PM

Many people, I think, dislike America because it has power. You are instinctively brought up to question power. Right now America is the largest richest nation in the world, and most likely, the most powerful(I know that Japan is also highly regarded as powerful due to it's technological superiority also). I know, as an American, that we may come across as jerks, but it is the way we are brought up. We have to fight from the day that we are born to get our own place in society. Here it is a constant competition for social status. I don't agree or condone it, but that is how it is. So, our attitude is part of our survival. Remember Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection? Well, if we are wimps, we will die out.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:41 PM

Railroad tracks run the same the whole world over. Just different gauges thats all. You will find fine people amongst all races and nationalities. Arseholes too! Yours, (Love You Yanks) Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Mbo
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:46 PM

"When they ask me 'What are the people like here?' I always reply 'That same as everywhere else!"
--Goethe


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Margo
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM

Americans caring about America. Sounds like nationalism. Isn't that something that can be found in every country? Margo


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: JedMarum
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:27 AM

well, Ickle, perhaps England will feel better about participating in 2002!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:35 AM

Interesting.......About 100 posts back, I made the same point as Mick and Amos and Rick. These threads always lead to about the same thing don't they? And again, there are generalities and specifics in this one and all can be agreed upon or refuted as is your wont.

This is a very diverse country, probably a little more than most, but all countries have some diversity...And in the final analysis, folks is folks.......good, bad, or indifferent, they come from everywhere.

Spaw (Thanks Andres, for pointing out the Argentinian angle**BG**)


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Gary T
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 10:02 AM

Dear James--I don't disagree with your comments, though I will clarify a bit. I fully realize Canada is a foreign country, but it doesn't so much seem like one. When you compare the U.S. to Mexico, or Germany to France, these neighboring countries have much more obvious differences than you see in comparing the U.S. to Canada. The somewhat large degree of similarity, spanning the great majority of a continent, I believe is a factor in many Americans' different perspective on the world community. The magnitude of cultural difference from state to state, or province to province, or U.S. to Canada seems to pale in comparison with that offered from country to country on the European continent.

Sadly, I think it's true that most Americans don't even know what Canada's capital city is. It's rather embarassing.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 10:11 AM

Thanks Mick and Spaw. Sheesh, people are exactly what YOU make 'em.

Years ago when I first started to explore the parts of this fascinating world that I could get to with a guitar and limited budget, folks told me to "put a maple leaf on your guitar case, so you won't be mistaken for an "American"...That's idiotic, (and no..I didn't tell them that.) I just refuse to knowingly buy into ignorance and racism. I'll say it again....learn to identify the haters from a distance (They ALWAYS give themselves away quickly) and go in a different direction. Believe me the Americans don't have a monopoly on silly or pushy tourists. Dimbulbs HAVE no nationality!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: AndyG
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 10:16 AM

Which Americans ?

Canada is in continental america, The USA is in continental america, Mexico is in continental america, Panama, Honduras, Belize, Venezuala, Columbia, Argentina Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Nicaragua, Guyana, Guatemala, French Guiana, and probably more...
are in continental america.
All the people who live in these countries are Americans.

First let me state that in my personal experience Citizens of the USA (CoUSA) are no worse, or better than folk of any other nationality. I like most, I dislike a few. There are however definate cultural differences which can easily lead to misunderstandings between individuals.
The best example I can think of, from my English perspective is;
When making a joke in the presence of a CoUSA you need to laugh so they know. There is a very distinct difference between our senses of humour and the form our humour takes. This can lead to someone taking offence where none was offered.
I think these cultural differences are particularly profound between Britons and CoUSA due to their "separation by a common language".

As to why The USA, as opposed to individual citizens, might be disliked, a dislike which would colour personal interactions should they occur, allow me to quote the following piece of net humour. It is I believe of USA origin.

This test contains only one question, so you should find it very easy. Here is a list of countries the US has bombed since the end of WW2.
China 1945-1946
Korea 1950-1953
China 1950-1953
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-1960
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-1973
Vietnam 1961-1973
Cambodia 1969-1970
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980's
Nicaragua 1980's
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991-1999
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999

In how many instance did a democratic goverment, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result?
Choose one of the following:

a) zero
b) 0
c)zip
d)zilch
e)a whole number between -1 and +1

;-)
This sort of flies in the face of We hold these truths to be self-evident ...

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Hyperabid
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 10:17 AM

Rick's got it right...

Whether it's:-

German's putting their towels on sunloungers on holiday Less than bright Irishmen Overweight American's Snooty Englismen Miserly Scotsmen Garliccy French Greasy - skinned Spanish / French etcetera etcetera etcete - bl**dy - ra

No matter how true one may feel these stereotypes can be - using them is xenophobic...

Hyp


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Mooh
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 10:22 AM

Joeler, What in the world makes you think that everyone else in the rest of the world wants to move to the States? Are you taking your government's propaganda too seriously? Jeez! I live in Canada and I love living here, but other folks prefer other places, by introduction or by ancestry, and their reasons are as valid as yours. Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:12 AM

AndyG,

No wonder you have to laugh at your own jokes, you are the only one who thinks they are funny!!!

Seriously, your comment is so typical of the "I understand America and Americans" situation as described above--

In fact, yes, we do get your jokes--We think it is very funny to pretend that we misunderstand jokes, particularly jokes made by "Britons"--

If you knew more about what goes on here(something that you can do by just picking up the TV Guide) you would know that we are very fond of sophisticated, dry, British humor--particularly Benny Hill--

I must admit, some Americans confuse him for Anthony Wedgewood Benn--but, cut us a little slack, many Britons confuse Bill Clinton with Benny Hill--


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:20 AM

Okay Ted.....I know Benny Hill. Who the hell is Bill Clinton?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: AndyG
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:20 AM

Erm...

My point is made ?

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:33 AM

No, Catspaw is having you on, without the laugh you claim Americans need to have to get it.

Might also mention Dave Allen and the fact that BBC has been very successful in launching a new cable channel, BBC-America, as they've found a ready made and avid audience for the *dry* humour you note, here, in the States. Believe it or not, some of us in America grew up with that exact same sense of humour. Generalisations should be avoided like the plague.

People are people are people are people....but some of us wish to be cats.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Hyperabid
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:36 AM

Andy and Ted

America is a huge force in world politics in the 20th century just as the UK was a huge force in world politics 100 - 200 years ago. That generates resentment from other nations who feel pushed around as often as not because directly or indirectly they are being pushed around.

UK politicians won't enter into a debate about the legalisation / decriminalisation of soft drugs - a major reason is political pressure from our ally the US who adopt a zero tolerance policy towards recreational substances despite the experience of prohibition. This despite the recommendation of the UKs own police-sponsored charities that criminalising soft drug users is socially pointless.

200 or os years ago the British were busy imposing their will on US consumption habits regarding something known as tea. I gather afternoon beverages and cucumber sandwiches were served in Boston with revolution for desert.

Neither of us are in a position to throw stones at each other here!

Hyp


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:38 AM

Due to some rather odd circumstances my father who was the oldest of 10 children moved to Toronto, Canada from Dublin as a young man. His parents moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. and the rest of our rather large family stayed in N.Y. State. I love them and visit them often.

Perhaps as Canadians we are overly senistive to the general lack of knowledge about us and our ways displayed by people living only a few hours away from us. Sure I'm generalizing, but to be told by an upstate New Yorker that he wouldn't visit Canada because 'they only speak french there' was disturbing, but not surprising. This conversation was held in English, after I had mentioned that I was Canadian. Trying to convince this person that the vast majority of Canadians speak English was futile.

Most of my relatives know a fair amount about Canada as they have visited us and found we don't live in Igloos and drive dog sleds. However we do meet friends of theirs who are often not only surprised to find out that our climate and there's is virtually identical, many don't believe it. As the crow flies we're only a few hundred miles away.

Then there was the guy in the bar in Pa. who asked my buddies and I where we were from, we replied Toronto. He went on about 'you Ohio Guys' We tried several times to tell him that we were from Toronto, Canada, it turned out that his confusion was that there's a Toronto, Ohio, a small town when compared to our city. This guy didn't realize that there was 'another' Toronto. He thought the World Champion Blue Jays were from smalltown Ohio. I love visting the U.S. (would like it more if you could get a real beer or cup of coffee there). But I would never want to live there.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:49 AM

Oh well, why not get in on this. I have travelled extensively around the world, and the one generalization that I can make is that people travelling in groups tend to behave appallingly and like the worst of their national stereotypes. Why this is is mysterious to me, but it seems to be true. I once spent a very amusing week in the Netherlands going to the tulip fields 7 times on the same tour bus (I was having an affair with the lady running the tour, but I also loved the tulip fields in April, May, right now, why am I not there????). Every day there was a different national group, and each one was more appalling than the previous one -- Japanese, French, Germans, Americans, English (twice). Thank God there weren't any Canadian tours that week, or I would be a man without a country. The Japanese paid no attention to anything that wasn't within their camera frames; the French were only concerned about lunch and where to buy accessories; the Germans were bossy and unbelievably rude; the Americans were loud, pushy, and complained at lunch because there weren't any hamburgers; and the English were completely vicious derogatory about everything that wasn't English, which, since we were in the Netherlands, was everything. It was totally hilarious. All it lacked was them dressing up in their official national costumes. I am sure that individually they might have been O.K., but maybe there are national pheromenes that odorise groups -- or is it people who take bus tours? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:51 AM

Having been to both Torontos Tony, I can verify that the only thing in common is the name. Like many small East Ohio towns, they do have an active Little League though. Sorrowfully, many towns are heavily involved in Soccer now.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Hyperabid
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:55 AM

Peter

What do you mean that the English are derogatory about anything not English.

Anyway that's a Canadian opinion so it can't be right *VBG*!!!

Anyway I'm off to Venice next month to celibrate my anniversary and there'd better be a fish and chip shop there!

Cheers

Hyp.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Gary T
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 11:55 AM

A little note on terminology:

Andy G said:
"Canada is in continental america, The USA is in continental america, Mexico is in continental america, Panama, Honduras, Belize, Venezuala, Columbia, Argentina Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Nicaragua, Guyana, Guatemala, French Guiana, and probably more... are in continental america. All the people who live in these countries are Americans."
which is true, but not helpful in a practical sense.

For all countries on the American continents other than the U.S., there is a clearly recognized term to describe their people, e.g. Mexicans, Panamanians, Hondurans, etc. One can further talk about North Americans, Central Americans, South Americans, and Latin Americans. But from centuries of usage, and with the lack of any other clear and unwieldy term to describe them, "Americans" is understood rather universally to mean people in the U.S.

I'm afraid I don't see much point in trying to make an issue out of what "American" could technically mean. It only raises confusion, and the common usage is quite unlikely to change.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:02 PM

Sorry Steve...that was meant for you and I had just replied to Tony Burns on another thread.....sorry 'bout that. Aw but what the hell, you're both Canadjuns. What's the difference...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:12 PM

A more interesting topic might be who are the finest people in the world: what is the best your country has to offer. Has there ever been a finer human being than Abraham Lincoln? If America never did anything else.... yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Hyperabid
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:17 PM

One slight thing that has always bothered me - - -

No anger or prejudice involved just puzzlement.

In 70s hollywood and TV movies we would often be treated to a stock shot of the houses of parliament with the subtitle "London, England".

I fully understand that there are other places called London around the world and that the fact it is our nation's capital doesn't necessarily give it standing over the people of these other townships in their eyes.

However, I've always thought that Big Ben, the Thames and a smatterring of Red double decker buses might just be a bit of a giveaway as to which one it is...

Hyp


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: kendall
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:26 PM

Being from the state of Maine, wherever I go in this country, I encounter the same ignorance that Canadians encounter when they come here. I've been asked if Maine is part of Canada (a guy in Ohio)..and other idiotic questions such as, "Do moose really live on the streets of Portland?" I had a shipmate from Ohio, his dad was a well known pro golfer, and, when he learned that his son was being sent to Maine, he raised hell with his congressman. "I dont want my boy among those ignorant hicks!" It's probably true that most "Americans" dont know diddly about Canada..why? maybe because Canada minds its own business. What sells newspapers here, (violence, civil unrest war, etc. is not common in Canada. Hey, you wanna get noticed? start a war somewhere. I guarantee we will know more about you before its finished. I also believe we would back your play if you do!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: sophocleese
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 12:32 PM

Yeah kendall, I had a friend you wondered if the world series would be televised if it was fought out between the Montreal Expos and the Toronto Blue Jays. We appear to be spreading the sports around hockey goes south and basketball moves north. I do like the spread of soccer though, a lovely game at times..


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 01:08 PM

That was me, Kat, being all funny-not 'Spaw--

But, can it be that AndyG is so thick that he missed the fact that it was all a rather simpeminded joke? I am literally dancing and cackling with glee-- Tell me AndyG, are there anymore at home like you? If so,I've got the Brooklyn Bridge for sale--cheap!!

No--AndyG is having a bit of a laugh on us! Well played, old sport!!--that boyish naivete had me going!! In fact, I am still fooled!!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 01:25 PM

Well maybe you are Ted, but I still wanna' know who that Clinton feller is! From the last few posts, its obvious that Ohio produces more hilljacks per square foot than any other state in the US and I'd hate not to support the efforts of my home state.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 02:14 PM

Clinton, at least as near as I can figure, is the fellow that donated the herbareum the Buffalo Musueum of Science--or maybe he was the fellow from New York that was so funny they called him De wit Clinton.

Of course, all these EEU types know everything, and I don't know much, but I'm not lost--

Would have liked to be there to see the poor fellow trying to explain to the bartender that the Blue Jays were not from a small town in Ohio--

And as for poor old Kendall, every one knows where Maine is, some of us, only too well--I can personally guarantee that there is no one that can give you a run around like a Down-Easter--you probably get a lot of undeserved paybacks-

"Can you help me? I'm headed up North"--'You re in the wrong place--hereabouts is all Down East'--

"Bangor?" she said, "Bang 'er" I did-- I'll never go there anymore!


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 02:15 PM

Maybe so, M. Ted, but I still maintain Spaw was and IS still pulling some legs!**BG**


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: GUEST,james
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM

Peter you had a great idea , let us all celebrate the things we love about the culture of others.... Great things about America.....Baseball, Thomas Jefferson, Blues Music, a beautiful Flag, generosity, and Charles Shultz. Britain....Cornish Pasties, Churchill, Great literature....Absolutely Fabulous, Humour ,the beer.

Canada, Natalie MacMaster, Loreena MacKennit,Pierre Trudeau, Blueberry Grunt{in the east}, This hour Has 22 Minutes...CBC Two.......Tim Hortons and oh yea, we have great neighbours....


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 03:03 PM

...a few notes..

1)..18 years ago I made a trip into Canada JUST to buy some beer with flavor..and still appreciate some very nice brews from Canada, now, fortunately, you can get good beer in most places here. (though, in many small towns, you are still limited to the methelated swill that passes for lager..i.e.Budweiser)..Micro & mini breweries in the USA are competing very well...

2)..I can make a FINE cup of tea...ceramic pot, boiling water, LOOSE tea, proper steeping etc...but I do NOT pollute it with milk until there is no tea flavor left!

3) The USA is too large for any stereotypes to be relevant. As Kendall can tell you, living in Maine is TOTALLY different than living in Texas, or Kansas, or Alabama, or New Jersey....and NOTHING is like living in California!....there are states that I simply could NOT live in, whereas I could easily live in (most) of Canada, Scotland, Australia, Belgium..(oh, the BEER!..and chocolate too).

4) Peter T's experience with tour groups echos and enlarges on my WAY earlier post back up ^ there. Organized tour groups often are made up of affluent idiots who have NO idea how to behave. I once saw a cartoon of an American tourist in Mexico, standing in front of a poor wide-eyed vendor in an open-air market, screaming...."Cheeze Doodles, Cheeze Doodles!! Don't you people understand anything?" Unfortunately, THAT's what gets remembered.

(My wife relates a story of being in England, at a restaurant, and asking for a glass of water, and being ostentatiously misunderstood for long minutes until the waitress finally asked disdainfully, "Oh..do you mean 'wawtuh'?")....*grin*


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: bbc
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 04:15 PM

Grey Wolf--There is no need for Americans to "know" that most people hate them, since I don't, for a minute, believe this is true. I have no idea why you felt the need to start such a negative thread. If folks want to continue more positive discussion on this topic, Rick Fielding has started a "Tourist" thread. Please post to it & let this inflamatorily-named thread DIE!!!!!!!!!!!

bbc


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: MMario
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 04:26 PM

NOI - hyp, you said"However, I've always thought that Big Ben, the Thames and a smatterring of Red double decker buses might just be a bit of a giveaway as to which one it is... "

Most people wouldn't know what Big Ben looked like without being told, a river is a river is a river and believe it or not, there are actually red double decker busses in other cities then London.....


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Hyperabid
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 05:18 AM

MMario... Thanks for your point on my thread reply... It is well made... these things are of course familiar to me because I am English.

I really don't mean to sound smug but if you showed me a picture of the Whitehouse or the Capitol I think I'd know I was in Washington District of Columbia not Washington State or Washington, Tyne and Wear, UK.

If I showed you a picture of the Eiffel Tower or the Champs Elysee I think you'd know you were in Paris, France not Paris, Texas.

My point was is that I don't believe the stereotypes about US citizens. With a population of around 250,000,000 they are far to diverse a culture for such things to have any meaning.

However, if the US movie industry goes about explaining the obvious in films - it's not a great leap of imagination to see why some lesser souls outside of the US get the impression that the makers of these movies make assumptions about the intelligence of their own population.

The argument - "Well look at them - they even have to be told where they are and whether it's day or night" - has been fired at me by many a closet racist at the time...

I assure you - comments like this p*ss me off as much as they annoy the people who they are aimed at.

Hyp


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Subject: RE: Do Americans know?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 06:52 PM

Oh, hi! What were you all talking about?

Darn, I always seem to get to the party a little late and I never seem to know what's going on. Did I miss anything?

I guess I could read the thread, but that takes so long. . . Couldn't someone just sum it up for me? I really have so much to do. . .food to overeat, countries to bomb, lousy beer to drink, money to count, cultures to ignore.

Sorry, gotta go! That "Who wants to be a millionaire" show is coming on.

I just want you to know that whatever you think about me I love you all, nationalities be damned.


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