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BS: Do Americans know II

The Beanster 20 Apr 00 - 01:42 AM
Kelida 18 Apr 00 - 10:40 AM
Jim the Bart 18 Apr 00 - 10:25 AM
Caitrin 18 Apr 00 - 09:54 AM
Kelida 18 Apr 00 - 09:12 AM
Mbo 18 Apr 00 - 08:28 AM
kendall 18 Apr 00 - 08:09 AM
Kelida 18 Apr 00 - 01:27 AM
Kelida 18 Apr 00 - 01:23 AM
DougR 18 Apr 00 - 01:20 AM
Hotspur 18 Apr 00 - 12:56 AM
DougR 17 Apr 00 - 11:51 PM
kendall 17 Apr 00 - 08:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Apr 00 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU 17 Apr 00 - 10:03 AM
kendall 17 Apr 00 - 08:46 AM
Wavestar 16 Apr 00 - 03:41 PM
Mbo 16 Apr 00 - 02:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Apr 00 - 01:38 PM
kendall 16 Apr 00 - 09:02 AM
Wavestar 16 Apr 00 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Craig 16 Apr 00 - 05:45 AM
Kelida 16 Apr 00 - 01:08 AM
Gary T 16 Apr 00 - 12:59 AM
Kelida 15 Apr 00 - 11:17 PM
Mbo 15 Apr 00 - 10:47 PM
Wavestar 15 Apr 00 - 10:40 PM
Kelida 15 Apr 00 - 10:23 PM
Kelida 15 Apr 00 - 10:15 PM
Wavestar 15 Apr 00 - 09:57 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 15 Apr 00 - 07:20 PM
kendall 15 Apr 00 - 07:08 PM
Hollowfox 15 Apr 00 - 04:24 PM
Bill D 15 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM
ceitagh 15 Apr 00 - 01:52 PM
JedMarum 15 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM
Kelida 15 Apr 00 - 12:52 PM
catspaw49 15 Apr 00 - 01:24 AM
Metchosin 15 Apr 00 - 01:12 AM
The Beanster 15 Apr 00 - 12:39 AM
Amos 15 Apr 00 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,Jimmy 14 Apr 00 - 11:58 PM
kendall 14 Apr 00 - 03:43 PM
Steve Latimer 14 Apr 00 - 02:08 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 14 Apr 00 - 12:40 PM
Metchosin 14 Apr 00 - 11:31 AM
Hyperabid 14 Apr 00 - 10:21 AM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 10:19 AM
Mbo 14 Apr 00 - 10:17 AM
Little Neophyte 14 Apr 00 - 08:53 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: The Beanster
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:42 AM

kendall,

hahahaaaa I want that shirt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 10:40 AM

I write well because I'm well-read, I have a huge vocabulary, and I try to be concise. However, I'm not nearly so articulate in person, as I think I've said before. Then again, maybe I wasn't as concise as I intended to be in my essay. Usually I am, though. . .

In any case, right on, Bartholomew!

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 10:25 AM

Lot's of good stuff in this thread. . .

Kelida - One problem with writing down what you feel is that no two people will read it quite the same way. And in a forum like this, there is much room to parse every verb, so to speak. I thought your disclaimer up front about loving America (as do I) indicated that your criticisms were meant in a constructive sense. The attempt to improve, implies the hope that improvement is possible. That's why I didn't think you were being cynical or pessimistic. And I think you write darn good, too.

"Rights of passage" can apply to people and countries. America is a very young polity, as compared to the other hemisphere. Yes we're perceived to be rude, and self-indulgent, and self-involved and yada-yada by our "elders and better". And, yes, we don't seem to listen and we don't always seem to care. We flex our muscles quite a bit, don't we. And, by God we feel pretty good about ourselves (when we're not bemoaning how, clumsy ans stupid we are, and how unappreciative the rest of the world is toward us). Sounds like a lot of adults talking about a lot of younguns', doesn't it.

In closing - All you old folks and old countries - Don't ever under estimate the young. Don't ever forget what it's like to be young. Be patient and offer your guidance but don't be surprised if it's not appreciated until later. One last thing, the traits you hate most in the young are usually the ones they learned from you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Caitrin
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 09:54 AM

Of course, one must wonder what non-art people would think intaglio meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 09:12 AM

LOL, Mbo. My art teacher, a very conservative, anti-creativity-type would DIE if she saw something like that. Hmmmmm. . .*evil cackle*

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 08:28 AM

Ha ha, my Printmaking teacher wanted to make a t-shirt that said "Co-ed Naked Intaglio" HA HA HA!!!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 08:09 AM

Maybe that tee shirt should read..We could mate, but, then I'd have to eat you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 01:27 AM

Doug--I was not trying to "bash" America--only to draw attention to its problems.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 01:23 AM

Someone called my scary once--oh yes, my last ex-boyfriend, because I own a t-shirt with a spider on it that reads: "We could mate, but then I'd have to kill you." LOL! It's my favorite shirt, by the way. Haven't had a boyfriend since, though. . .was it something I said?

Anyway, in REAL (serious) response to the last few posts:

Mbo--I like the song--lovely! :^)

DougR--I prefer "realistic" to "cynical," and I never said I wasn't. I did say however, that I am not angry or hopeless, and I maintain that statement. I do think though that there are a lot of problems in America, for all that it IS one of the best countries in the world. I admit freely that young people form many other countries, such as Mozambique, Russia, Singapore, and China (where 1/3 of the world's population resides) would love to come to America. But those countries have way more problems than America. However, before Americans can go around criticizing and trying to change the rest of the world, they should try and solve the problems at home first.

Hotspur--I think that a lot of adults DON'T listen to people that are my age, but I will never stop believing that their unintentionally overbearing attitudes are motivated by true caring. Also, at the same time, there are a lot of teenagers who just don't speak loud enough to be heard or that don't approach their elders with the respect they deserve. Maybe, too, the problem is that adult activists seem to travel in very large packs, while young activists seem to be very nearly solitary and lost in the crowd.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: DougR
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 01:20 AM

Oh, Hotspur. Do you really believe that? Every generation has gone through what Kelida is going through. The focal point of the outrage may have been different, but it's not a new thing. Don't you ever tire of America bashing? And encouraging those that do? I sure do. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Hotspur
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 12:56 AM

Kelida-- I know exactly where you are coming from...I could have written your original article myself a few years ago. But I think your anger is a GOOD thing--if you use it to agitate for change. Anger that motivates people to ACT is worthwhile; anger that is an end in itself is pointless, and can also destroy you. Don't give up on older folks, though. For one thing,as several people on this thread have pointed out, sometimes adults ARE acting out of good intentions, even if they are ignorant of the true situation. Many adults truly want to help, but we can be dense, so speak up loud and clear about what you believe! There are some of us out there who value what you have to say.

Attention, all who have complained that today's teens are lazy, whiny, angst-ridden, without hope, etc., etc. Have you really been paying attention to them, or are you just going by the sensational stories that get splashed all over the news: the shootings at Columbine High School, the girls who kill their newborns, the kids who are in jail for drug dealing? Yes, there are some seriously messed up, scary kids out there. There are plenty of seriously messed-up, scary adults out there too. Some of them are heads of state. There are plenty of good, honest, upstanding teenagers out there too. They study, they work, they belong to clubs, they watch TV, they play violent video games, they go to church/synagogue/mosque/other places of worship, they dress in black and wear lots of silver jewelry, they dress in skin tight clothes and say f**k and s**t, they preach abstinence, they volunteer, they write angry letters and go to school board meetings, they make music and art, they fix old cars, they plan to go to college, they don't plan to go to college, they worry about the environment, they babysit, they dress in grungy clothes and listen to music many people call noise. There are as many different ways of being a good kid as there are being a good adult. Don't condemn before you know. Some of the scariest looking teenagers I know also have the biggest hearts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: DougR
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 11:51 PM

Kelida: Don't know who or what caused you to be so cynical about our country. Difficult to read your piece without coming to that conclusion despite later protestations, but I'll bet there are a lot of teenagers in a lot of other countries that would be delighted to exchange places with you. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 08:35 PM

I refuse to single out any one country. They know who they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 07:11 PM

"If all those countries would pay their war debts, we would have more money to give away.."

Countries like Ireland for example?


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 10:03 AM

Yes, it does have a tune, Jess, and a very goose-bump-producing one at that..it's by Stpehen Schwartz from the musical "Pippin."

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 08:46 AM

If all those countries would pay their war debts, we would have more money to give away..


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 03:41 PM

That's lovely, Mbo. Thank you.

Does it have a tune? -J


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 02:00 PM

Hope for the young, for all you musical buffs....

MORNING GLOW, MORNING GLOW
STARTS TO GLIMMER WHEN YOU KNOW
WINDS OF CHANGE ARE SET TO BLOW
AND SWEEP THIS WHOLE LAND THROUGH
MORNING GLOW IS LONG PAST DUE

MORNING GLOW FILL THE EARTH
COME AND SHINE FOR ALL YOUR WORTH
WE'LL BE PRESENT AT THE BIRTH
OF OLD FAITH LOOKING NEW
MORNING GLOW IS LONG PAST DUE

OH, MORNING GLOW, I'D LIKE TO HELP YOU GROW
WE SHOULD HAVE STARTED LONG AGO

SO, MORNING GLOW ALL DAY LONG
WHILE WE SING TOMORROW'S SONG
NEVER KNEW WE COULD BE SO STRONG
BUT NOW IT'S VERY CLEAR

MORNING GLOW IS ALMOST HERE
MORNING GLOW BY YOUR LIGHT
WE CAN MAKE A NEW DAY BRIGHT
AND THE PHANTOMS OF THE NIGHT
WILL FADE INTO THE PAST
MORNING GLOW IS HERE
AT LAST




--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 01:38 PM

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth." Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator.

On the other hand here is Peter Novick, a Chicago history professor in a recent book "The Holocaust and Collective Memory: The United States is, by a wide margin, the wealthiest country in the world. In the humanitarian assistance it offers to the poorest nations, as a percentage of GNP, it ranks, also by a wide margin, last among the industrialised countries.

"Every American President in recent years has had moving words to say about how shameful it weas that the United States stood by as millions died (in the Holocaust). If one President has been moved by or has noticed, America's standing on the list just mentioned, if he has expressed shame and mortification at that standing, it's escaped my research."

Two sides of the same coin. (And there are other rich countries of which the same is true, in lesser degree. "It's the poor as helps the poor.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 09:02 AM

We havn't lost our right to keep and bear arms..the NRA is spreading a bunch of lies to scare the hell out of ignorant americans just so they can get more members. And, as stated by many others, the right to keep and bear arms is a myth anyway.. A WELL REGULATED MILITIA...etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 06:36 AM

Keli-

Just for the record, as long as we are recording: It doesn't affect me personally either. I didn't assume it affected you personally. I don't really care on that account... I care if the bill is passed. If affects my friends, and my fellow citizens - It's a matter or liberty and civil equality. Write anyway, if you think it's unfair.

-J


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Craig
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 05:45 AM

I really hope it wasn't an englishman that started this thread.

Whoever started this thread is right on all accounts. Everything that needs to be changed in this country has to be done on a local level. Most people in this country don't know this, we are therefore politically naive.

If we are stupid, then we need to go to the local PTA meetings. If that doesn't work, then we need to go to the town hall meetings. The next step is the state governments and the federal government.

We Americans only worry about the presidential elections. Almost all of our presidents have come from our local governments. If we can clean up our local governments, the federal government will follow (as illustrated in the progressive movement at the beginning of the century.)

Most Americans (and everyone I know) believe that they have no power over the government. That is politically naive. The government was created for the people, by the people. Most people are just to lazy to regularly attend town meetings and vote for local politicians. Americans are more concerned with who's dealing with congress ( the president) than who's actually in congress (the senators and the representatives).

We, as a country, are arrogant. We have enough food production to feed the entire world; we have enough petroleum products to power the entire world; our cultural and ethnic diversity has given us the technology to do just about anything. We have bailed out many countries, most notably Japan and Germany right after they started the second world war (the above mentioned Truman Policies.) I think we have cause to be a little arrogant.

Where does the rest of the world get their defense technology from? Who's men are standing in the front lines when a global catastrophe is about to take place?

--CS


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 01:08 AM

LOL. If you ever met and talked to me in person you would never suspect that I could write well. I'm not exactly the most verbally organized person. Writing helps me organize my ideas much more concisely, unlike when I speak and I'm somewhat. . .well, suffice it to say that my speech is for the most part less coherent than my writing, which is, of course, why I tend to write rather than speak whenever I can. I do sing quite a bit, though.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Gary T
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 12:59 AM

Kelida, I see in your posts someone who can think reasonably, and express it well in writing. I hope you keep writing in some way throughout your life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 11:17 PM

Wavestar--another thing for the record: although I use that freedom as an example, it isn't one that actually affects me personally--I just feel that if I have the freedom to marry whoever I want, everyone else should have that freedom, too. If it isn't too obvious, I'm semi-libertarian--personal freedom for everyone and all that stuff.

Peace--Bridget


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 10:47 PM

Sorry K if I came off as offending too...I guess as the minority, I should just press on with my work and keep my mouth shut! **BG**

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 10:40 PM

Keli / Bridget -

You have indeed clarified things... and I'm glad you're not offended. You have several good points... and I'll try and tell you some thigns that I hope will encourage you. When I was your age, not so many years ago, I also felt like adults didn't listen, because teachers, administrators, etc, often DIDN'T- not only did they believe they knew best, but as I mentioned before, they were afraid and felt quite threatened by self confident, thoughtful and opinionated young people. So they blocked us out and tried to shut us up. Don't worry... It may take time, but eventually they'll listen... they'll have to... and they may even like it. Respect, as frustrating and unfair as that is, comes with time.

Religious opression, pressures, and prostelytising, I feel and have always felt, is wrong and very poor conduct besides. Don't let them tell you what to believe - stand up for your beliefs and your rights. It gets easier and easier to ignore it, or tell people to stop. Sometimes they even listen. Fortunately again, I think there are fewer people like that than tolerant people... not everywhere, but certainly where I live. It's everywhere... but you don't have to put up with it. Tell them to get out of your face. (Politely, of course :) And several times, I'm sure.)

As for that particular personal freedom you refer to... Move to Vermont. (or don't!) Write the Senate, from anywhere. Support the bill moving there right now. Every voice helps.

And you're right... apathy is awful. Sometimes it gets you when you're not looking... it;s a battle I fight all the time in Uni, and I hate it. But it's easier to fight if you know you don't want it! Good luck - the future is bright, you can only make it brighter. Sounds like you've got good plans for it.

-Jessica


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 10:23 PM

Wavestar--I tend not to be offended by what people say about me/to me/etc. so don't worry about underestimating me. I also understand that my essay may have seemed a bit confrontational, but please understand that I am not like that in real life. I think that I get a lot of my anger out through writing and through art, so a lot of what I felt while writing that has already dissipated. My only fear is that if I don't express my opinions I will bottle everything up until I become apathetic, which (IMHO) is the worst thing anyone could ever be. In any case, hopefully my above post clarified some things.

Peace--Bridget


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 10:15 PM

I was merely referring to Mbo's comments about black-wearing, pseudo-angst-ridden "artistes" and making "happy" art, etc. I only wanted to distinguish myself from the stereotype of many so-called "activist artistes" that mostly whine a lot and make predominantly gray/black paintings that are about as creative and meaningful as my 4-year-old cousin's fingerpaintings. I have nothing against happy art or, for that matter, ANY art that has constructive meaning. If art that portrays/speaks out against the bad of society is UNhappy art, then so be it, but that doesn't in and of itself make it useless or futile.

I think perhaps that a few people misconstrued what I've said, so here I will clarify:

1. Society is not bad, per se. It could use a lot of improvement in some areas, but as a whole, society is better now than ever before.

2. I do believe that the opinions of youth everywhere, not only in America, are disregarded by a lot of adults who think they know what's best for us. However, I also believe that most of the adults who are like that have only the best of intentions.

3. I have never, and will never, believed that anyone is beyond redemption or that society is hopelessly unchangeable(sp?). However, there is only a limited time in which to act before things DO become unchangeable.

4. I will always maintain that personal freedom in America is quickly disappearing. The right to bear arms is eroding, surely. Free speech has become severely limited also, especially in the wake of recent school violence--I know that I have to be very careful at my school of what I say and who I say it to, because any (even joking or hypothetical) comment could be misconstrued if it reaches the wrong ears. Freedom of religion exists, but where I come from my agnosticism (note: not ATHEISM) is definitely frowned upon and I always have people pushing their views on me. I will say, that in large part this loss of freedom is not due to any government interference so is perfectly constitutional and that by the same token bigots have the same rights that they deny others; however, I do wish that people would simply allow everyone the same rights and freedoms that some take to extremes. NO ONE has the right to badger others about their ideals. To each their own is what I say--An ye harm none, do as ye will.

In short, I think that there are too many restrictions on people in general. I mean, there is even a fairly large group of people who don't even have the right to become legally espoused to who they want to. (hopefully that will not start an entirely different argument--that is only an example of a major personal freedom that has been denied to some people).

I would appreciate it, though, if everyone could keep this conversation as civil as possible. I never meant to start an argument--only a discussion.

Peace--Bridget


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 09:57 PM

I think there is room here for a word in defense of Goths, but I'll make it brief... don't judge the black clothing, or presume on the angst and attitude. Most of it's just for fun, like so much else.

As for saying like... We called it the like disease in high school, and I was afflicted myself... drove me crazy, but it's a hard speech pattern to break. It's human nature to pick up the speech patterns of those around you, even if you're disdainful of them. Take pity on your children... remind them that the like disease brands them like lepers! I've got even crazier British speech patterns building now... everyone at home looks at me real funny when I say cheers instead of thanks...

Kelida, I think I told you not to lose hope, and objected to some of your message, not because you didn't have any (if you hadn't, you wouldn't have bothered to write that), but because I think perhaps you've seen a bad example of American society... or maybe just not what you're looking for.

"Our parents remain secret middle-class elitists, hidebound to the bone, for all that their generation was one that affected much change and growth in American society."

Do they? Mine certainly aren't. Don't resent your parents too much, easy as it is at the moment. How are they hide bound? Is perhaps what you think of hidebound in fact them attempting to secure your future? Talk to your parents... they may have lost their ideals, but then again, they may not have. And I'm sure beyond a doubt that they want you to make a difference in this world, make a change, that they'd be proud of you for moving things towards being right. Its just more than likely that what they see as neccesary change and what you see are a little difference. How often do you really ASK them?

"We, our whole generation, may never have such an opportunity to change things. Now, before most of us reach our majority, the older generations seem bent on signing away our rights before we even have the chance to exercise them. "

What rights of yours have been signed away recently? I'm not doubting you... But I want to know. If the Bill of Rights were really the farce you seem to think it is, do you honestly think we'd still have the right to bear arms? This has been fought for so long because if it were taken away, the rest of the Bill would be subject to follow... and it's not. Sometimes I think people are right, and the freedom of speech is being used to cover inexcusable acts. But it's still defended... we're still some of the most free people on earth in so many respects - don't knock it.

" "An ye harm none, do as ye will." This is a good motto to live by, but in an age when personal freedom is quickly evaporating, we don't have the right to do as we will.."

We never have. But we've got more of it now than most people down the ages. Personal freedom is evaporating and expanding at the same time... the internet is a tremendously good example of that. Everything we do may be monitored, but something like the internet can never be policed. It can't be... it's bigger than any one country, or police force, and can't be shot down, or blown up... because it doesn't "physically" exist. Everything can be here... and no one can touch what you say, or get you for it.

But do continue to live by that rule... it's always a good one. Just please, give us more examples to back your opinions. What freedoms have you lost? I remember feeling as if I'd lost dozens... and then later I realised I hadn't lost them at all. They were waiting for me.

I may be underestimating you, and if I am, please forgive me. I just wonder if you're not feeling repressed by society and your parents, the way we all do and did... remember, you have such potential, people are often scared that you'll start changing the world before they are ready to give up their control of it.

-J


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 07:20 PM

Jimmy,

Read what I said--Personally, I always thought the Sinclair Record was a self-serving bit of backside kissing-- and, Jimmy, have you been asleep so long that you didn't know that it was record, played to death on many radio stations, particularly CKLW(Hmmmm!)--the choice of background music alone conveyed his political message!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 07:08 PM

I'd like to thank you, Beanster, you pointed out something which I was not fully aware of. The part about kids needing to serarate from parents etc...that was easy for me, as, my father was never around, and my mother worked all the time with little or no time for me. My separation was automatic so, I had no need to "rebel". So, you usually enjoy my posts? good. Its so hard to start a row without resorting to insulting someone!!! LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Hollowfox
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 04:24 PM

Some few years ago, Jim Strickland (a Scot transplanted to Toronto) and I were amusing ourselves by invading a snooty sorority tea at my university (ask me about it sometime, he'll probably admit to it as well). He remarked that these fluffchicks were what the rest of the world saw as typical Americans, thanks to television, mostly. I replied "No wonder they hate us." Years later, he told me that this happened on his first visit to the United States. I still get a small, proud smile when I think of my part in dispelling the stereotype, just a bit. Two years ago I travelled out of North America for the first time (To Turkey. Dad paid for the ticket). I was dismayed to find that the only English-language tv stations available were CNN and MS-NBC, both of which made the USA look like a pack of nitwits. These stations are probably used to teach the English language throughout the world. Oh, goody. Our fellow members of the tour, by and large, didn't help this impression. Out of two dozen people on that tour bus, I was the only one with a phrase book. When I ordered lunch from an outdoor vendor (something like two sandwiches, one Coke, one water, please") the vendors actually broke out in applause. A few days later, one of my travelling companions tried to get a straw for her can of cola by tapping on the top of the lid and saying "straw" in a loud voice to the bewildered cashier. My phrase book cleared up the mystery, at least the girl knew what the crazy American woman was bellowing, at least. And then there was the special diet crowd who tried to get that message across in a restaurant during the lunch rush, while the tour guide was taking care of something else, in English. //If I have to use an adverb fro my nationality, I sometimes use United States-ian. Awkward, but it makes'em think. //Kelida, you've pretty much got the picture right, but here's my extra bit. No one generation is ever going to make everything right and just. People get tired, distracted to other projects, co-opted, etc. Any generation's/movement's activists are the minority out of the whole population. And that's just as well; when something is accepted by too many, it it becomes merely fashionable (this applies to most of the things discussed on the 'Cat; folk music, justice both large and small, you name it). When the fashion changes, the work remains undone, and the movement gets relegated to embarressed little moments of nostalgia. ("When we were young and foolish, and marched against the Vietnam War") The value of whatever the project was/is gets weakened. //Make sure you'er doing something for the right reason, because if you're successful, you won't likely get thanked by grateful future generations. For example, while I was in college, after years of work by the students, the administration finally changed its rules - boys no longer were limited to a waiting room on the first floor of a girls' dormitory, and vice versa. The next year, the incoming students took this as a given, since it was in place before they arrived. Some of the activists felt a bit miffed.//Oh, yes, I think the USA is the best place -for me. Most other 'Catters would probably say the same about their respective Western Democracies. It doesn't mean that it's perfect, though, and I see it as the job of any citizen in any country to fix the parts that are wrong in their country, whether it be injust laws, hurtful traditions, or bad environmental practices. When somebody starts ranting about the faults of the USA, ask them which country has no faults. When I went to Turkey, I didn't fault my guide for her country's practices dealing with Kurds or Armenians, and she didn't lecture me about Native American rights, African-American civil rights, or German tourists getting shot in Miami.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM

oh, the baseball cap worn backwards still happens..my 17 yr old son has a friend that affects that 'style'. My kid has his own ways...last summer he appeared with his head shaved..totally!..It was some rite of passage in the Kung-Fu group he was attending..(he is getting pretty good!)...but when he didn't get much reaction to the shaved head bit, (and when it began to itch), he began experimenting with his beard and wearing *LOUD* tee-shirts with wild animals and celtic knots on them. He's even doing some of his own designs on shirts now, and learning sea shanties..*grin*. And clothes? well, he got a summer job working in a Tuxedo rental shop, and wore one to school all day on Thurs. as a promo...you never know!

Yes, Kendall, even HE says 'like' in almost every sentence, and it almost drives me crazy, but I (mostly) bite my tongue...at LEAST he doesn't say..."yuhnohwadimean" after every sentence. I guess he'll be ok...different form ME...but ok...


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: ceitagh
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 01:52 PM

Kelida- Whether you are a goth or not really makes no difference....the really relevant comments on your post were made before the stuff about how youth dress. I could still use some concrete examples to back up your post....i have a feeling your ideas of what personal freedoms are disapearing and which are necessary might clash a bit with mine...and a clarification would make it easier for me to get beyond the 'flavor' of your post, and into the meat of your complaints. I've heard a lot of rabble-rousing, demagoguery, rhetoric and outright propaganda from many sources in my short life, and that makes it easy to tune out or dismiss emotional but fact-light posts and opinions. If you want you can PM me, 'cause I really am interested.

Kate


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM

Liam Brother - I like your comments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 12:52 PM

Okay, since this has turned into a BIG discussion while I was gone, let me just clarify a few things about myself.

I am not a hopeless person, and I do not think that there is no hope for modern society to improve. People fight every day to help things improve, and the are making a few small strides in favour of the cause.

And for the record, I am not a "goth," aka black-wearing, angst-ridden, trying to be a "freak" etc. I wear earth tones, blue, and even pink sometimes, although black is my favorite color (due to the fact that I'm lazy and it's easier to color coordinate).

I will continue this later when I have more time. . .

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 01:24 AM

Very well put Beano!!! I once did a paper regarding rites of passage and the American culture. We no longer have the classic "rites" of our ancestors, but new ones are there and as strongly used and felt as ever. And if you look deeply enough, you almost see them as formally applied as ever!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 01:12 AM

Thanks Beanster, I'm not particularly noted for tact and diplomacy and you did a far better job with that explanation than I was managing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: The Beanster
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 12:39 AM

kendall,

I usually enjoy your postings because whether I agree with your views or not, you always state them strongly. No mincing words--I like that. I know what you mean about the humorous fashion choices that a lot of kids make but remember, just like we did, a kid's job from adolescence to young adulthood is to separate from Mom & Dad so they can grow up, become independent and eventually form their own families. So they try to find music, clothing, ideas, words, etc., that they consider their own--that their parents (hopefully) dislike and their peers do like. So yes, they become herd-like but at the same time, they're desperately trying to cut the apron strings from their parents and like Metchosin said, it is a necessary part of human development. It's a built-in mechanism for survival of the species, really. I know you know all this but it helps if you keep it in mind when you see such a funny sight as a kid with his drawers down around his knees looking "cool." lol

And what happened to the baseball hats worn backwards? Haven't seen that in a while...


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Amos
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 12:20 AM

I buy your anger of herd instinct, kendall -- it shows up in so many places and ways, and is the basest aspect of our culture in many ways; I think it has poisoned more lives than can be counted. I also believe that there is a cure, which is very scarce and terribly expensive for this degenerative disease. It is called genuine education, but we are unfortunately a little short in supply just now. In fact, I believe the black market is flooded with a highly adulterated inferior product being passed off as the real stuff, but it has the unfortunate effect of worsening the condition instead of curing it. I have heard they have a good supply of the real article over at the University of Hard Knox, but the admission requirements are stiff there.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Jimmy
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 11:58 PM

Hoser (what an apt pseudonym) and M.TED - you attack the Sinclair article solely on the character of the man who said it. So he is dead, does truth die with him? Despite his political allegiance and leanings, please state what is untrue or in any way right wing about the Gordon Sinclair quote. Or why the source or the age of the statement makes it any less true? Truth is timeless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 03:43 PM

Sorry, but, I simply detest the "herd instinct"


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 02:08 PM

M. Ted,

I just got an e-mail from my cousin whose mother has been ill for a number of months now. Apparently the time is near. A good friend of mine's mother passed away Wednesday. You're right, life is too short. Great advice to the younger members.

At times like this I always think of something that my Uncle said at my Grandmothers wake. He is usually the happiest person I know, but he literally hadn't said a word all day, he was extremely upset and introspective. He finally lifted his head and said in his Brooklyn accent to nobody in particular, "You know, life is beautiful, until something bad happens. But you get over it, and life is beautiful again."

I can't think of the number of times this has helped me though tough times.

Sorry to bring things down.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 12:40 PM

MMario--

Life is too short--and these wonderful people in our families, that we loved as children and grew away from--one day. they are just not there anymore--Leaving us just a few pictures, and a few memories--

Everything that everyone says here suddenly seems trite, and unimportant--

For all of you young ones, out to change the world, don't forget to stay in touch with Uncle John, and Gramma Cora, and Pop-pop Emil, and Cousin Laura, because one day, they'll be gone, and the memories will be all that you have...


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 11:31 AM

kendall, we all wear clothes for purposes other than protecting ourselves from the elements, primarily as subtle or not so subtle "tribal" signals. Uniforms that conform with our occupation, clothes to attract or repel the opposite sex, clothes that say I fit in with this group or conversely, I am trying not to fit in with any group. My point is this: our "fashion statements" whether they are concious or not, are endemic and not just the perrogative of youth.

Mbo, careful with the kilt laddie, one of my daughters friends did that, a few years back. Well perhaps he went to extremes, he also wore a plain skirt to school with his "army" boots, for a couple of days as well, for a hoot. It resulted in a severe beating by a "jock". You're probably a little safer from exteme reactions to extreme clothing in an institute of higher learning though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Hyperabid
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:21 AM

Sympathies and Condolences MM...

Hyp


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: MMario
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:19 AM

This thread hit home to me today, as last night I learned that an older relative passed away in the hospital. Cousin Laura wasn't particularly close, but she was a favorite relative - when I was young, and as I grew older, because she was different. Among the staid new england family members she stood out like a flamboyant "Auntie Mame".

It was not that anything she did was totaly off the wall - but more that she allowed herself to enjoy life, without caring about what society thought about her. Yet at the same time, a most loving, giving and compassionate women. She has left a legacy behind, of stories and laughter that will continue for at least a few more generations....


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:17 AM

All I need is a kilt to wear to school...then I'd be REALLY cool!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 08:53 AM

Kendall, maybe your friend was just being herself and the Scots in that little Scottish shop appreciated some spice thrown into their work day.
There can be an appreciation of people from different cultures with different characters, especially colorful characters that may offer a contrast to the predictable routine of our daily existance.

Little Neo


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