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BS: Do Americans know II

12 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM (#210699)
Subject: Do Americans know II
From: Bert

I know you're all enjoying this thread so much.... link to old thread


12 Apr 00 - 03:58 PM (#210762)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Amos

I had just gotten set too ignore it, Bert! :>)


12 Apr 00 - 04:09 PM (#210771)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: bbc

I think this thread title is unnecessarily inflamatory (& downright incorrect!)! Please consider posting instead to Rick's thread on tourists, which is the same topic. Please let this one DIE!!!

bbc


12 Apr 00 - 04:18 PM (#210779)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,grey wolf

bbc,

sorry if you found my original post inflammatory (it has 2 m's)

I really can't understand how the title annoys you - it's a completely open ended phrase - and by itself says nothing unless you choose to attach a particular meaning to it.

Regards

Wolf


12 Apr 00 - 05:37 PM (#210824)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Bert

Well being an American who used to be English, I've been quite enjoying it.


12 Apr 00 - 06:54 PM (#210853)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Jimmy

This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing. 'America: The Good Neighbor. Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record: "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. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans. I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas 10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -- not once, but several times -- and safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here. When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those." '


12 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM (#210898)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: bbc

Thank you, jimmy. I appreciate you sharing good news.

bbc


12 Apr 00 - 10:12 PM (#210951)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

This from a young American, who likes to think realistically:

America is one of the better countries, though only (very) arguably the best country in the world, but like any other country, America has its own good and bad points. As a high school student, though, I'm still in the thick of where all the worst problems in America are. Here is an excerpt from an essay I am writing for a project I'm working on with some friends of mine:

"When I was your age. . ." I, for one, am sick of hearing that tired old phrase when it's the beginning of another patronising story about the "good old days." It seems that many, if not most, of our parents' generation(s) don't seem to realise that while they were our age once, we are our age--and times have changed. I suppose in some ways we have the same problems as earlier generations, but at the same time there is something fundamentally different about us. Something in our society has changed, making us almost completely separate from earlier generations. Now, as in no other time period in history, a generation of young people has become painfully self-aware. Yes, Virginia, we are people, too--and now we know it. Our parents had the Summer of Love and the pacifist and feminist movements, but we have a greater fight. This time the fight isn't for any single selective group of people, but for an entire generation of people who have just awakened in a century when the world is supposedly better than ever before, but holds nothing but disillusionment for more then a few people. And who exactly is the world better for? Not for us, certainly, and not for the next generation of youths that are coming quickly in our footsteps. The only people who benefit from American prosperity are the wealthy few who can afford the luxury of personal freedom and the many poor whose freedom is paid for by the government. 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. 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. "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.. Freedom of religion exists--if you're a Christian. We still have freedom of speech--as long as we're alone in a soundproof room. Freedom of expression, our most cherished privilege as Americans, is practically non-existent, as something new is censored every day. Our rights are being pissed away by people who simply don't want the responsibility that comes with freedom. Everything we have been taught shows us in explicit detail that the Bill of Rights is a farce and that "democracy" is only an elaborate facade for American fascism. We are taught from birth that Americans have a moral obligation to spread our lifestyle, culture, government, and economy throughout the world; we are taught that economic imperialism, covert fascism, blatant bigotry, and obvious hypocrisy are OKAY. Much of the world despises Americans as fat, greedy and lazy, or as Americans say: "well-fed," "wealthy", and "leisurely." Euphemisms are what keep America running, and are what keep Americans believing in the illusion of social progress. . . (I'm not finished yet, but this is it for now)

Now don't think I'm being un-American or anything--I love America. On the other hand, though, I see a lot of problems that should never exist. I think though, that the only way for me to help in the fight against many of those problems now is to make sure that other people know about them. Spread the word, so to speak. Maybe I'm not a very good American, but at least I have solutions to problems that don't involve losing the Constitutional rights that I hold very dear, as they represent my entire livelihood as an artist and a writer.

Peace--Keli


12 Apr 00 - 10:12 PM (#210952)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Art

I'm feeling better too. Thanks.

Art Thieme


12 Apr 00 - 11:09 PM (#210967)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Lonesome EJ

Boom goes London, and boom Par-ee
More room for you, more room for me
Every city the whole world round
Will just be another all-American town
Oh how peaceful it'll be, we'll set everybody free
You wear a Japanese kimono, be Italian shoes for me
They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the Big One now
Let's drop the big one now

-Randy Newman


12 Apr 00 - 11:55 PM (#210980)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Liam's Brother

Do Americans realise (or care) about how much most people hate them?
People of many nations have a love-hate relationship with the United States. On one hand, they love certain aspects of American culture (e.g. rock'n'roll, Disney, etc.); on the other hand, they either envy American properity and/or fear American power. I don't think the average American is aware of this love-hate situation and, what they don't know about, they don't care about. The British think that most Americans are stupid...
I don't think the British have a "lock" on intelligence. Traditionally, the educational systems in each country emphasize different things; while both countries "track" students so that they are more likely to stay in the socio-economic strata of their parents, the British do this more effectively. In defense of Americans, at least they do not subject themselves to an heredity monarch who does not even have to pass the "11+ Exam" to be kept in luxury by the State.

Europeans think that Americans are greedy and that they eat far too much.
I would reject any notion that Americans individually or collectively are greedy. Quite to the contrary, Americans, individually, are very generous and, as a nation, have shed blood and given foreign aid money in great quantities. I think that the World's expectations of America are very high. It is clear that the average American eats too much.

Many areas of the world see Americans as being politically agressive.
I think the World would do well to reflect on post World War II Europe and the domination sought by the Soviet Union vs. the restraint shown by the United States.

Most other bits of the world see America as being politically naive.
Is that agressively naive? The United States, blessed with oceans to the East and West, has not had to concentrate on foreign policy quite as hard as some other nations. Does the average American know the difference between Switzerland and Sweden? No.

The feeling 'globally' is that Americans only really care about America.
Dear 'Mr. Global,' People of all nations care most about their own nation... nothing new there!

What's really different about the United States is a) it's made up of people from all over the world and b) most of the American people - or their forebearers - were either chased out of or starved out of the countries that complain about Americans today.

I was not born in the USA. By the time I was 16, I had lived in 4 different countries; by the time I was 32, I had been around the world twice. The last time I was out of the United States was last Friday. These are my thoughts.

All the best (and I mean it),
Dan


13 Apr 00 - 12:11 AM (#210986)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: katlaughing

Glad to hear it, Art.

Well said, Dan, thank you.

Keli, as an op/ed columnist, may I make a suggestion? Give specific examples of why you make such claims. I am not saying I disagree, just show your readers why you and your fellow students think it is this way. You have some really strong thoughts articulated well, just add to them a bit, eh?*smile*

All the best (I mean it, too!)

kat


13 Apr 00 - 12:11 AM (#210987)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST

teenagers...get a grip...right now things are really good for very many people...and hopeful for many many more....who are lacking information more than anything else and that is free and more and more available. If you are a teenager, learn a trade. now. in high school. get your friends to learn to weld or learn bookkeeping or carpentry. You won' t starve and your families won't. Speaking of which, don't get pregnant or get someone pregnant too soon. Marry wisely, take continuing education, buy good real estate and you will be fine. Take a percentage of your income and donate it to the Red Cross. Take in foster children. Cut back on the angst. It never did anyone too much good. mg ps stay away from drugs...think happier thoughts...wear more pink and less black.


13 Apr 00 - 12:17 AM (#210992)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo

Tell 'em GUEST! Right on!

--Mbo


13 Apr 00 - 01:11 AM (#211016)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Sorcha

Wish I knew which Guest that was, it is Right On!Would like to welcome THAT Guest to the MudCat. Welcome, A Nonny Guest!


13 Apr 00 - 02:21 AM (#211033)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: The Beanster

Keli, you write very well and it's obvious that your views are heartfelt. I know your opinions are based on what you have experienced, of course, and rightly so. In one way, however, I'm disappointed by what you write and in an another, encouraged.

I know that from your viewpoint, things may seem bleak but when I think back to the time I was in high school (oh, here it comes...lol) all the way up until now, I see that real change has taken place. I'm sorry you feel disillusioned because I don't believe you need to feel that way. When I was in high school, we were at war. Older brothers of my friends were dying, one after the other. Adding to that, there was blatant, in-your-face sexism, racism, drug abuse, pollution, crime (Nixon! for Pete's sake!)--plus there was always the threat of nuclear war hanging over our heads. We as young adults felt isolated, powerless and misunderstood, as you evidently, do now. All those things I just mentioned, except for Viet Nam and the Cold War threat still exist, but improvements have been made in a lot of these areas. Those changes don't come easily or quickly, however, and they are hard to discern over a short period of time.

I think perhaps, since you have nothing to compare your current life to (e.g., the past) you lack the perspective that seeing events on a continuum affords--by the way, just as WE did, just as every generation does. Each generation IS isolated and doesn't have the advantage of hindsight--except from second hand sources like me--and I know how tiresome that is! lol

On the brighter side (!), I think it's healthy for younger people to be not satisfied with the status quo. People who don't think things are good enough (like you) are usually the ones who get up off their patooties and find ways to change things for the better. Slow, laborious work, but worth every bit of sacrifice. (Said my piece. Won't preach anymore. Promise.)

I didn't mean to ramble this way, I just


13 Apr 00 - 02:24 AM (#211034)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: The Beanster

I just what??? lolol


13 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM (#211237)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Kelida

I know I don't have a lot to compare my life now to, and I know (god, do I know) that things have definitely been worse before than they are now. I think, however that the thing that bothers me the most is that, although things may be better than ever before, they are still not good. There is a lot of hypocrisy, and there are a lot of people who think that everything is "good enough" and that there is nothing left to strive for. That, more than anything is what I hate, not just everything that is bad in the world, but the fact that people don't really want to bother changing it.


13 Apr 00 - 01:42 PM (#211250)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: catspaw49

Hey Kelida.........pssst...Ignore the crap. It isnn't your right to want to improve things,it is your DUTY. Every generation feels much as you do and my only problem with your generation is that there aren't more like you. Kick ass and take names while the energy of youth is upon you. There's time to focus on smaller issues as you age and grow weary......Just do not give up the fight. Sure some things may have improved, but we have to be sure of what we see.......ie, I can make a good argument that racism is far more scary today than it was 35 years ago, glossed over and beautifully covered, but below the surface it feasts and festers.

Change the world .... It is your duty.

Spaw


13 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM (#211275)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar

Kelida- Don't give up hope yet, for heaven's sake! What makes you think we won't get our chance to change the world? I think we already are.. and I don't plan to stop! Spaw's right, it is our duty, the world is good but it's not enough. Maybe it's getting harder to be a teenager, god alone knows my parents were horrifed by the stuff I faced in high school, but that only means we should fight harder to make it an even better place. All of it- not just our country. The world's getting smaller... and maybe easier to change?

I've learned... cynicism becomes no one.

-J


13 Apr 00 - 03:11 PM (#211283)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

I'm not trying to be cynical, and I don't think that the fight is hopeless. I just think that there aren't enough people who want to make things better and still allow people to have rights. I see a lot of people trying to change things in the world--really, I do--but they are trying to do it by taking away rights like free speech and press and the right to bear arms, all in the name of increasing safety. I think that if we can convince people that taking away rights is not the way to go about bettering ourselves, then we will be able to REALLY start changing things. Enforce the old laws instead of creating new laws, etc.

Peace--Keli


13 Apr 00 - 03:37 PM (#211294)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Amos

'Spaw,

I echo your very words, man. Well done.

Kelida:

You are putting your finger on the biggest "unseen" issue out there, my friend: the loss of the vision of really generating freedoms. The world has many places where a fire-breathing, honest, articulate, energized Jeffersonian tornado fighting for more liberties could win hearts and influence people. It would not be an easy road, but it sure would move civilization forward a notch. To rekindle the REAL American dream -- which has nothing to do with SUVs and everything to do with the responsible freedoms of humans -- would be as great a service in this century as anyone did fighting for Civil Rights in the Sixties.

Just a thought for your contemplation of a lifetime's business...

Affectionately,

Amos


13 Apr 00 - 04:04 PM (#211303)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Caitrin

I'm with ya, Kelida! There need to be more of us who are willing to speak up and speak out and change things.
Guest, you've got some good points. However, things being good for me, or even for a lot of people, isn't enough. There are other people out there who need help and opportunities. And I don't like pink. : )


13 Apr 00 - 04:15 PM (#211307)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin

Kelida, it's also known as "I'm all right Jack"

Spaw, your words typify all that I find wonderful and heartening about American culture. Amen. (see cultural differences)


13 Apr 00 - 04:15 PM (#211308)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar

I'm with you, too, Caitrin... I HATE pink. I do wear black... but it's so... functional? And I don't wear ONLY black!


13 Apr 00 - 05:41 PM (#211346)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: M. Ted (inactive)

Kelida,

Consider yourself lucky indeed to have so many people willing to listen to what you have to say, and are trying to respond to you----these people are not just the run of the mill internet surfers, but have been around for a while, and done quite a bit--If you don't like what they say sometimes, keep in mind that they said it because they take what you have to say seriously--

For my part, I will just point out a few things(like I ever only have a few things to say....!)

The Declaration of Independence lays out a set of ideals, not guarantees--and The Bill of Rights, like most legal documents, are rather vague and subject to interpretation, so don't assume that, because some of the rights seem to be in conflict, that the document is worthless--if it was worthless, there would be no conflict about rights at all--

The world, and particularly America, changes so much, so fast, that no two generations have grown up in the same world for a really long time---don't think that your generation is the first to notice that the older folks are clueless about your world--

Be careful about the assumptions you make about the past--You may know what is happening today, because it is the world you live in--but your understanding of the past really just based on what you read and hear, which is not always 100% accurate--

Pick your fights--everybodies got a hardluck story, everybodies got a worthy cause, and everybodies got a plan--the only thing is that you have to do the math yourself, and figure out if it really adds up to what they say it does--then you've got to figure out if it really makes a difference to you--

And when you toss around words like hypocricy, fascist, elistist--just remember that everybody thinks that they are on right side, even when it is not the same side as you--and they feel the same justification for doing and saying what they do as you do--


13 Apr 00 - 06:08 PM (#211361)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo

"It is time we decide who we are
Do we have to fight for the right to a night at the opera now? Have you asked of yourself, what's the price you might pay
Is it simply a game for rich young boys to play?
The colors of the world are changing day by day
Red...the blood of angry men
Black...the dark of ages past
Red...the world about to dawn
Black...the night that ends at last!"

Lord knows I can't change the world...I am only one person, but I'm using all the power I have to make a difference. Yes, I'm a supporter of "the old values"...but there are some ones we must change as well. Not wanting to turn this into a huge argument, but some of the things you say Kelida, I'm gonna have to disagree with.

The world is not hopeless. I am not an Albigensian, who believed the world is hopeless and evil--if you think so, why don't you just kill yourself if it' so hopeless? THINGS ARE NOT HOPELESS. I know I belong here, and I'm gonna do what I can, make at least my small part of the world a happier place. I'm no radical...no tattoos, no piercings, no black clothes, no angst and anger at the world. Because of these things, I call myself normal, but in this day and age, I'm probably considered a weirdo.

I am an artist, but I DO NOT have this bizarre attitude that most of the other artists have here at my school...I have no "deep internal struggles," I don't make strange art, like some of the slop I see on the walls here. I just make my happy little pieces. Is this weird? Probably. I want to please ME and be creative...I don't want to show the world what a horrible troubled person I am (which I ain't) or what terrile social injustices are happening. I can't do anything about some stuff, and changing my style to show killings in Uganda is NOT going to please me, even if it will give me a better "image" among other artists.

And then there's freedom. Freedom of religion "only if you're Christian" you say. Read the statistics. Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. Now even a respectable mention of Christianity is considered taboo, witness "Season's Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas", people on the news aren't supposed to mention "God", but yet we all are supposed to hoot and holler and learn all we can about Buddhism or Islam (not that I'm against any of them) and how wonderful it is, while we put down our own religion, cast IT aside to make other not feel offended, instead of putting all religions on equal standing.

Freedom of speech. Well, I could go on all day about this one. If you're saying that I can't stand on a soapbox on my college campus and rattle off the injustices to learn, then that's not freedom. But if you're one of these disgusting shock "artists" (an I use the term artist as loosley as possible) who ridicule other's beliefs with elephant dung, or do anything just to get attention is repulsive to me and invalidates the whole concept of art. I wrote 2 papers on this, and I do believe that people should have a right to express themselves as they wish, but using it as a loophole to insult, offend, or hurt others is a travesty. Websites for making bombs on the net is another loophole used in the name of freedom of speech. So is the reviling language that people use today, sure, just be a sporcaccone and spout whatever obscenities you want. Get the little ones hooked too while your at it. So in the future we can all have a common language all made up of profanity while the remnats of real intelligent speech are only a cloud on the edge of memory.

NOTE these are only my opinions. If you stop trying to be an Angry Young Man/Woman and be realistic. No one cares about your angst--everyone else does it so they pass you by. Do the duty you feel with commitment, passion, understanding, and happiness---not with anger and cynicism. All day long I hear people at school--they complain about EVERYTHING! They are SO stuck on the negative it's annoying. You just want to give them all a dopeslap and say JUST BLOODY SHUT UP AND STOP COMPLAINING!! Don't you have a POSITIVE thing to say about anything?! They don't seem to understand that by IMPROVING (acc-entu-ate) the positive, they can reduce the negative.

Man I'm rambling. I just need to get these things out. I am so tired of seeing this hopeless wasteland of depressed youth, who spend more time screaming about the bad and hopeless than actually getting off their can and doing something about it.

FAG AN BEALACH!!!!!

--Mbo (an try wearing something that shows your personality. All black clothes shows me a closeted, gloomy mind--advice--wear plaid!)


13 Apr 00 - 07:11 PM (#211400)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

Today is Thomas Jeffersons birthday. When he wanted to make a statement he wrote the Declaration of Independence.. When Abraham Lincoln wanted to make a statement he wrote the Gettysburg Address. When Martin Luther wanted to make a statement, he demamded change in the church.. what do kids today do to make a statement?They walk around with the ass of their pants dragging on the ground with a face full of schrapnel pissing and moaning about how life sucks.


13 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM (#211403)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

As far as I'm concerned, Guest Jimmys post should be the last word in this thread. Thank you .


13 Apr 00 - 07:25 PM (#211410)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Hoser

Guest-Jimmy,
Gordon Sinclair has been dead for about 15 years.

Next time, perhaps a more current editorial?


13 Apr 00 - 07:36 PM (#211417)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: M. Ted (inactive)

And how long ago did he write (and record) that charming little nugget? 30 years ago, at least!!!


13 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM (#211425)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar

Does this make it any less true?

And actually, Kendall, some of us don't. We make statements that don't completely embarass us for the rest of our born days. Well, I make those too, but in COMPLETELY different ways.


13 Apr 00 - 08:27 PM (#211440)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin

Your right M. Ted, Gordon Sinclair, the curmodgeon I loved to hate in my youth, hasn't been with us for awhile.

Seems to me I heard Gordon quoting kendall on today's youth and culture, thirty years ago (they were called dirty fithy hippies then). Sorry kendall, but as a mother and observer of two very socially aware and politically astute daughters and their friends, I have a lot more faith and affection for the youth of today than you seem to have, baggy pants, black clothes and all. Your loss.

Gordon just refused to look at things in a balanced manner, but then again he was somewhat right of Atilla the Hun.


13 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM (#211453)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: fox4zero

I think that a major reason for American inaction at home is that AMERICANS DON'T GET ANGRY anymore. They just don't give a sh--! The last time I saw the population of this country really get angry was when the NFL went on strike and families had to actually WALK and TALK together! I think that we are soooo comfortable with our posessions that we are afraid to rock the boat. I remember that when Parisians got pissed-off at the government they would tear up the cobble-stone streets and build barricades with the stones and heave a few through the windows of the local police station. I suspect that was the motivation for the French goverment paving those streets. I don't know the solution. Larry Parish


13 Apr 00 - 09:25 PM (#211457)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Pei T

I know I came upon this thread late, and I'm usually a lurker on the DT (though I've been one for about three years now, off and on).. But I HAVE to say something on this one..

I understand COMPLETELY where Kelida is coming from, but I also kind of agree with Mbo (nice use of gaelic _&_ Les Mis there! :)) My step-mother (a wonderful woman who has put as much emotionally into my upbringing as my biological mother) just turned 60, and often mitches about today's society (mostly those of us under 25) and how "useless" it (they) is (are).

Just a reminder for some of you adults out there. In high school today sex is considered passee (sp?!) pot is an expected at a party, unless the host/ess specifically invites only people s/he knows will not be so interested. What was considered "fringe" when todays college/high school students parents were their age is now considered normal.

We have to open our eyes and loose that wonderful innocence that you expect to see in a 16 year olds face really early. You can't NOT know what's out there anymore (unless you happen to live in THE smallest most innocent town in the world). You have to learn to say NO and say it loud and clear, you have to learn that no matter how much you love him, and how many times he says, "if you love me baby" sex is precious, but can be horrible (mentally/physically/emotionally), even when consenting, if you're not ready. You have to learn all of this, and do it mostly with the help of people who are learning it too, because a lot of parents today (and from what I've read here, this doesn't count for the DT) come home and are too tired and wrapped up in their own lives to listen to their children for 10 minutes. You get burnt out facing those realities when you're in high school. You have enough to deal with!!!

But Kalida, Mbo is right, don't give up hope, and don't be angry just to be angry.. There is so much good that can still be done, and so much wonder still in the world.. "An it harm none.." it's a wonderful phrase, but keep in mind what is often joined with it, the law of three.. If you send out only anger, you get it back, and then some. So be angry that there is hurt, but help. So be angry that there is pain, but heal.

Just my two bits RR


13 Apr 00 - 10:28 PM (#211478)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

when I was a teen ager, many of my "peers" were boozers. They combed their hair in the shape of a ducks ass, they wore leather jackets with studs, and, a bike chain, they all smoked and generally followed the crowd like a bunch of lemmings. I smoked, but, that was all I did. Things havn't changed that much have they? By the way, I have a 13 year old grand daughter, and, a 15 year old grand son. They both have this annoying habit of saying "like" every 3 or 4 words. Otherwise, they are both gifted. one near genius class.(Also, they dont look like they dressed in the dark inside a Salvation Army collection box either)


13 Apr 00 - 11:02 PM (#211493)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Petr

The scene: a little coffe shop in the Connemara countryside. The time: last August.

Here we are enjoying a pot of tea and nice break from the long drive when a couple of tourists enter. Do you have any real coffee here? I mean coffee from real beans. ... Do you have a hard time understanding me? he goes on to order a coffee for his friend in the bathroom. Do you have any decaiffenated coffee. I mean decaf. coffee from real beans! the conversation continues for about 5min. and I have to say the girl working in the coffeshop handles it very well. The two Italians beside us are killing themselves laughing at the ugly american who is totally oblivious. My companion, (american as well, although currently residing in Canada) instantly places him in California which is confirmed later by his conversation. Not that we were eavesdropping but it was so LOUD we couldnt help but overhear. Once again he gets up and says to the girl, Ok I know that was difficult but heres another one for you. (pulls out a map) Where the hell are we? (I was hoping shed tell him some place else).

THe scene: a session in Miltown Malbay, after an enjoyable session I chat with a local fiddle player and find out he was originally from Tennesse. A really nice guy. Came over years ago because he was really into the music. A beautiful obsession he calls it and I know exactly what he means.

You get all kinds.

He who likes to generalize, generally lies.

BUT then again, when I lived in a gaijin house in TOkyo I could immediately spot the americans they all talked so loud, all the canadians were quiet and polite. the aussies and kiwis hated each other and drank like fish. in short we all lived up to our stereotypes. Although the assholes and decent people were evenly distributed through all the nationalities.

Oh and that business about America saving everyones ass in wwII. From the point of view of casualties suffered the war was primarily between Russia and Germany. the USSR suffered about 100 times the losses of the US and the germans were in full retreat on the eastern front when the US entered. Not to belittle any lives lost but lets put history in perspective.

I think there is a certain global resentment of MCculture at the expense of everyone else. here in Canada we are inundated with American TV and Magazines but we have our own identity and when people asked me in SCotland which part of the states I was from. I replied from canada actually and I really do like this part of England by the way. Peace Petr.


13 Apr 00 - 11:02 PM (#211494)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin

kendall, when my daughter entered Junior High, after a couple of weeks, she started frequenting the Sally Ann for the overlarge, gender neutral, clothes and took up the skateboard and bass guitar with a passion.

I got a little concerned with the dress until she said to me one day, "Mom, I don't want to grow up yet, I still want to be a kid".

The clothes eventually changed towards the last year of highschool, she eventually gave up the skateboard, won a rarely awarded gold medal for her bass playing in the Coastal Jazz Festival, (and still plays bass in an alternative/punk band by the way), found her way to the Honour Roll and eventually found her way to the opposite sex, but in her own time.

What you might have missed kendall, by being a couple of years older than me, (I straddled both youth cultures, the Greaser and Hippy) was that the Hippie generation's clothes culture, really brought home to us that what you see is not necessarily what you get.

Youth has been doing this since the time of the Romans and Greeks. It is a necessary part of human development.


13 Apr 00 - 11:11 PM (#211497)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin

oh yeah, and while I'm still in proud Mom mode, she eventually went on to win second place in British Columbia, for her animated short film, depicting man's hubris with regard to rampant technology.


14 Apr 00 - 12:02 AM (#211519)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: ceitagh

Whoa.....when I wasn't looking this turned into a thread about angst and the fate of the world! One of my favorite topics, actually, or at least it used to be.
I don't want to side with anybody, since I did my own "look how the world sucks, the youth are being screwed, etc." not that long ago...I went on a two week exposure tour to Mexico and came back a radical- since I'd been there, I felt I knew something about what was going on...then i realised everybody (from both sides) was feeding me a line and got angsty about that....then I got paranoid about the press and the absolute impossibility of anyone anywhere being impartial....then I woke up and realised I really can't know what is best for the world or do anything to save the world on a global level. I will never have enough trustworthy information. On the local level tho, there are a million things to do, starting with becoming the best person I can be, and doing what I can to be a positive influence on whoever I meet. This doesn't mean I wouldn't picket for a good cause, but it means it takes a lot more to convince me a cause is good.
Meebs wrote a good post above...he is obviously a little tired of the stuff he hears from his fellow students, and I can understand totally where he's coming from. And you're right about a lot of stuff, Mbo(IMHO). But give the angsty art students a chance...'cause some of them will have something really worth saying, however they choose to say it, and some of the slop on the walls will have come from a lot of thot and life experiences....but you can't tell 'til you ask. Personally I think pants hanging off someone's ass is unattractive and kinda dumb...but the statement made by a persons clothes doesn't always reflect accurately the human being within. I wore black from grade 8 to grade 11.

Pax,
Ceitagh
(btw...gotta love those americans...if it weren't for american tv, where would I see all those great canadian actors?)


14 Apr 00 - 12:36 AM (#211527)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,mary g not really a guest just a new acct.

well here are some more thoughts if you want to save the world. which you should, and if the military conflicts can be stopped, the rest is comparatively a cakewalk....

first of all, make sure that you are not going to be a burden to the world through any irresponsible acts, such as o.d. ing on drugs, having babies that you personally cannot take care of (both mother and father) etc. Have ways of supporting youselves and your offspring and hopefully your aging parents. You can do this by going to your community college and financial aid is available.

Now, to save the world...in America we have too much stuff in some places, too little in others...in developing countries there is often too little period...we grind ours up and put it in landfills. not smart....what you, I will call you Generation T for Transportation, should do is figure out how to get stuff from point A to point B following a flood, hurricane, war, etc. There should be regular routes..maybe by train..going up and down the coast from Canada to Mexico, filling up with clothes and refrigerators and especially old computers...there should be ways to quickly mobilize stuff and personnel to places facing crises....think about refrigerated transport while you are at it..especialy for medicines and vaccines..

well Generation T there is your challenge....

mg


14 Apr 00 - 12:46 AM (#211529)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo

Ceit, that is why the angsty "typical" troubled artist stuff will sell, and my stuff will be ignored. That is why I'm majoring in Graphic Design...I am not a fine artist. I don't have the mindset to be a fine artist--I'm much more at home just creating for fun. You can bet yer sweet bippy that Picasso wasn't having fun when he painted Guernica (which I don't particularly like)--that's what makes me different...weird...take your pick of words. BTW my pants are falling off, only because I've lost 15lbs in the last 2 months, and now they're all too big...and when you can't find yer belt...spells big trouble! Actually I DO own 2 articles of black clothing, my POW/MIA shirt & my prized Hootie & The Blowfish shirt. Black, but positive!

--Mbo


14 Apr 00 - 01:40 AM (#211545)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: katlaughing

I have worn black for years AND baggy, cotton clothes, for comfort; learned a long time ago not to care what others thought of how I dressed.

When my son was an angst-ridden teen, we lived in Northampton, Massachusetts, home of Smith College and a lot of radical happenings. It was a ripe environment for activism of all kinds, mostly liberal. We all loved it. He rebelled enough to die his hair black, wear all black, never wash his clothes (by then I wans't doing anybody's laundry but my own), create some really dark art, and did a bunch of other stuff I will never know about. He looked like a juvenile delinquent and I didn't feel I even knew who he was. Dropped out of high school, stomped into the house in the middle of the night, made it through suicidal depression when his first real love, an older "Smithie", dumped him, got put on probation for a fight with a guy who jumped him at a punk concert. Oh, and wore a T-shirt for the "Cramps"!

When we moved to Connecticut, he'd just turned 17 and as we drove off with the moving truck, he stood in the middle of our street, with a small bundle of belongings and nowehere to live, with no job. He didn't want to abide by our household rules, so he was on his own.

In a couple of weeks, he will turn 30 (I can hardly believe it!) He got his GED, rode it out and survived. Worked up from being a dishwasher, crashing at friends' apartments to building manager of a wonderful old historic building in Noho where Calvin Coolidge used to have a law office. Went on to love a Smithie grad, who moved to Kentucky with him five years ago. He now is a manager for a company which owns hundreds of property units in Louisville; owns two homes; and is supporting his mate while she gets a doctorate, then will probably go back to school himself.

he has not given up on the dreams of his teen years, the desire to make a difference. I believe he's found more effective ways and know him to be a kind and gentle soul who is making a difference, in his community, among his friends and family. Heck, he's even gotten *wise* enough to counsel ole' Mom a time or two.

So, what I am trying to say is, don't lose hope, don't judge a book by its cover, and know that it never has to be an "either or" situation; there is always a third or fourth, or fifth way to see things, do things, effect things. Above all keep talking and writing; singing and painting.

katlaughing


14 Apr 00 - 08:27 AM (#211594)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

I dont object to being different. I have always been different. What I object to, is they all wear the same clothes to "fit in". well, so do sheep and lemmings.

This culture thing..10 years ago, I had a friend from New York, (New Rochelle) who toured Scotland with me. She irritated me often by drinking too much, being loud (not belligerent, just loud) and the last straw was when she wanted to buy something in a little shop, and, in a voice that the proprietor could hear, asked me "How much is that in "real" money?" I love Scotland, and the Scots, so, this really pissed me off. By the time I got her home, I was glad to see her back.


14 Apr 00 - 08:53 AM (#211601)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Little Neophyte

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


14 Apr 00 - 10:17 AM (#211650)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo

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

--Mbo


14 Apr 00 - 10:19 AM (#211651)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: MMario

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....


14 Apr 00 - 10:21 AM (#211652)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Hyperabid

Sympathies and Condolences MM...

Hyp


14 Apr 00 - 11:31 AM (#211686)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin

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.


14 Apr 00 - 12:40 PM (#211718)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: M. Ted (inactive)

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...


14 Apr 00 - 02:08 PM (#211772)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Steve Latimer

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


14 Apr 00 - 03:43 PM (#211830)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

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


14 Apr 00 - 11:58 PM (#212076)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Jimmy

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.


15 Apr 00 - 12:20 AM (#212081)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Amos

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


15 Apr 00 - 12:39 AM (#212088)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: The Beanster

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...


15 Apr 00 - 01:12 AM (#212103)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Metchosin

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.


15 Apr 00 - 01:24 AM (#212107)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: catspaw49

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


15 Apr 00 - 12:52 PM (#212253)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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


15 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM (#212259)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: JedMarum

Liam Brother - I like your comments.


15 Apr 00 - 01:52 PM (#212276)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: ceitagh

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


15 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM (#212316)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Bill D

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...


15 Apr 00 - 04:24 PM (#212337)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Hollowfox

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.


15 Apr 00 - 07:08 PM (#212419)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

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


15 Apr 00 - 07:20 PM (#212427)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: M. Ted (inactive)

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!!!


15 Apr 00 - 09:57 PM (#212474)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar

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


15 Apr 00 - 10:15 PM (#212482)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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


15 Apr 00 - 10:23 PM (#212483)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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


15 Apr 00 - 10:40 PM (#212487)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar

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


15 Apr 00 - 10:47 PM (#212490)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo

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


15 Apr 00 - 11:17 PM (#212497)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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


16 Apr 00 - 12:59 AM (#212522)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Gary T

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.


16 Apr 00 - 01:08 AM (#212523)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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


16 Apr 00 - 05:45 AM (#212558)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Craig

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


16 Apr 00 - 06:36 AM (#212565)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar

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


16 Apr 00 - 09:02 AM (#212603)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

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.


16 Apr 00 - 01:38 PM (#212694)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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.")


16 Apr 00 - 02:00 PM (#212705)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo

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


16 Apr 00 - 03:41 PM (#212741)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Wavestar

That's lovely, Mbo. Thank you.

Does it have a tune? -J


17 Apr 00 - 08:46 AM (#213030)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

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


17 Apr 00 - 10:03 AM (#213068)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU

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


17 Apr 00 - 07:11 PM (#213360)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: McGrath of Harlow

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

Countries like Ireland for example?


17 Apr 00 - 08:35 PM (#213383)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

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


17 Apr 00 - 11:51 PM (#213464)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: DougR

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


18 Apr 00 - 12:56 AM (#213484)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Hotspur

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.


18 Apr 00 - 01:20 AM (#213490)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: DougR

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


18 Apr 00 - 01:23 AM (#213492)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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


18 Apr 00 - 01:27 AM (#213495)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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

Peace--Keli


18 Apr 00 - 08:09 AM (#213558)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: kendall

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


18 Apr 00 - 08:28 AM (#213564)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Mbo

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

--Mbo


18 Apr 00 - 09:12 AM (#213582)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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

Peace--Keli


18 Apr 00 - 09:54 AM (#213617)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Caitrin

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


18 Apr 00 - 10:25 AM (#213644)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Jim the Bart

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.


18 Apr 00 - 10:40 AM (#213655)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: Kelida

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


20 Apr 00 - 01:42 AM (#214884)
Subject: RE: BS: Do Americans know II
From: The Beanster

kendall,

hahahaaaa I want that shirt.