America At The Crossroad

Aug 31st, 2007, 02:46 AM
  #21  
 
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Maybe it bothers some of us because some of the stereotypes have some truth to them? Many of us don't like our government or "cultural gifts" like McDonald's that we've given to the world. We also think our country is getting fat and that our education system is in the dumps. And we're mortified not just by Miss Teen South Carolina's answer to a simple question, but by the positive response she's received from America's youth and CNN.

It wears a person down to be constantly apologetic for a country of which you feel somewhat ashamed, yet still love and consider home.
slangevar is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:24 AM
  #22  
 
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>>>And we're mortified not just by Miss Teen South Carolina's answer to a simple question, but by the positive response she's received from America's youth and CNN. <<<

Sorry, but now I got curious. What kind of positive response?

>>> It painted a picture of a Europe that dislikes, even hates, America and Americans. Not just the administration, but the people, their appearance, their attitude, their culture, their morals, their intelligence, just about everything American. Very Disturbing!<<<

Solaplex, it was an American-made program, and they meant to it to be like that. Neutral or positive comments would not even have made to the program. If they had, the program would not have been what the people who made it wanted it to be.




elina is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:30 AM
  #23  
 
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Don't apologise, slangevar, what you or anyone else disapproves of about your country isn't your fault, any more than your average drunken Spurs fan or stag-party hooligan is mine.

No country is God's own country (not even Yorkshire). No country is perfect.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:32 AM
  #24  
ira
 
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Hi S,

There are 253 posts at "As Europeans see us" on this topic http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=35056117
ira is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:41 AM
  #25  
 
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There are some posters who don't frequent the lounge, and this thread is much more focused thus far.
Alloro_beata is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:51 AM
  #26  
 
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Patrick: - the yanks think a spurs fan follows some netball team from San Antonio.

It's best not to confuse them.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:54 AM
  #27  
 
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I tend to think of America in these very personal terms: Its like an annoying brother, whom you love to bits but hate occasionally; but always forgive!
EnglishOne is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:11 AM
  #28  
 
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We are as annoying as residents of any other countries, however, due to our business and enterntainment culture invading the world, the average non-American has much more exposure to the American way. Therefore, it is easy to blame America, when one sees things in their country going down a route they don't like. For example, I am sure smokers hate America for the whole anti-smoking thing happening in Europe now.
sansman is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:12 AM
  #29  
 
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hopefully my bad grammar and spelling in the above post is does not reflect badly on my country.
sansman is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:20 AM
  #30  
 
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>For example, I am sure smokers hate America for the whole anti-smoking thing happening in Europe now.<

Heavens no. Most of us are quite grateful for that. It should have happened a long time ago.

But remember, it was every country's choice to become a non-smoking nation (in public places anyway). We did not feel any pressure from the USA to do this. It's just a sensible thing to do.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:25 AM
  #31  
 
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>>> I am sure smokers hate America for the whole anti-smoking thing happening in Europe now.
<<<

Sorry, what does America have to do with smoking bans in Europe? In how many states there is a smoking ban? California and New York, how many others?

For example where I live smoking was banned already 1993 everywhere else except reastaurantsīsmoking rooms. This year they finally removed the smoking rooms, too. Nothing to do with America. And I smoke, and I donīt hate the Ministry of Health.
elina is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:28 AM
  #32  
 
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don't know but I live in Europe and smokers always give me a hard time about stupid Americans banning everything. Perception and reality are often very different.

sansman is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:30 AM
  #33  
 
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okay bad example then, but then again, you probably aren't one of the people that are pre-disposed to blame America for everything you don't like. Not everyone is like you.
sansman is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:35 AM
  #34  
 
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zippo--Actually landlords and bankers are often "in hock" to others. They like to use other people's money to finance their lifestyles.
Jake1 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:35 AM
  #35  
 
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Sansman, where do you live in Europe? Being an American in Europe, I only feel the pressure (and it's huge) about Bush, Iraq, etc...
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:39 AM
  #36  
 
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I don't really feel pressure, just general verbal jousting in a jocular way. However, I do have colleagues and the like who will make Anti American comments, not about Bush, usually about things they read in the media which often actually misrepresent the truth about America (similar to how our good press usually misrepresents Europe to fullfill the cliches).
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Aug 31st, 2007, 04:47 AM
  #37  
ira
 
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>In how many states there is a smoking ban?

Georgia, Maryland, Washington, Florida, Ohio, New York, Minnesota (first in 1975), Illinois,.... to name a few
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Aug 31st, 2007, 04:58 AM
  #38  
 
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>>>(similar to how our good press usually misrepresents Europe to fullfill the cliches).<<<

Well, that is exactly what was that programīs purpose.
elina is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 05:13 AM
  #39  
 
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I will gladly confess to loathing Bush and American foreign policy. I think you got it wrong big time, and it's seriously good to see there has been less talk recently about the "axis of evil". I also loathed the witch MT (Margaret Thatcher for our younger readers!!).

I hope that doesn't spill over into antipathy towards Americans in general, but I get so mad sometimes, I suspect it does. After all, you elected him twice.

I'd like to share with you this snippet from an interview with Edward Norton:

"A friend of mine had a film testing out in Burbank at a multiplex, and I was driving around looking for a place to park, and it was staggering, staggering - there was nothing but franchises. Starbucks, Radioshack, McDonalds. That is the entire reality. And it went on forever.

There were kids walking around, and I was thinking, 'Where do you get your identity from when it all becomes the same, when the textures are completely the same everywhere? How do you have any sense of yourself?'

That stuck a chord. He is right (and he's American). It's the control exerted by big finance; the corruption; the greed; the inanity of the mainstream media; the insularity of the mindset.

Look - wonderful literature, music and dance come out of America too. But ..

And we had better not mention global warming, eh?

So dear Americans, from the outside the US looks like a country that has lost its way. Where people who think have ceded control to people who obviously don't. Is it because the former are all too busy buying the latest gadgets?

Sad.

Back in the 60s the US was a country to watch and be inspired by.

What happened?
chimani is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #40  
 
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Thanks to Chimani for that thoughtful post.

I am in my early 60s, and grew up in post-war Britain amongst bombed-out streets, a severe housing shortage, and a country coming to terms with the demands for independence from its colonies.

The United States had finished the war with its industries and infrastructure intact. War was followed by a consumer boom. In Europe, we had a big rebuilding programme, and a manpower shortage. In those circumstances, the United States became the world leader, especially in technology. You had refrigerators, colour televisions and big cars. When we wanted to know what the future would be like, we looked to the United States.

As time passed, the technology gap closed. New inventions are round the world in a flash. We also realised that you had made mistakes. Suburban sprawl was not the best way of accommodating everyone, and the motor car should not be the only means of transport. You had social and crime problems that we wanted to avoid.

It has now reached the position where the United States is rarely seen as having the solutions we want to adopt. Our comparisons are now with other European countries, or those with similar cultures like Canada or New Zealand.

America has peaked. It was the country of the twentieth century, but will now decline relatively in the face of younger, more energetic superpowers like India and China. I suspect that the United States will find it as difficult to cope with relative decline as Britain has. It may be more difficult for you. The British have always had a self-deprecating streak, thinking their country less capable than others. Americans have been brought up to believe in their country's virtues, manifest destiny and the shining city on the hill. It will be hard to realise you are clay like the rest of us.
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