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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
Bill D 10 Apr 00 - 10:53 PM
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
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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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