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-   -   AMERICANS...yikes! #2 (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/americans-yikes-2-a-49042/)

elvira Jul 26th, 1999 06:37 AM

Why does everybody assume that national traits are negative? Two examples from personal experience: <BR>The British are known to fly into great calm (quote from Alexander Woollcott). On a train to Hampton Court, the doors did not open at one of the stops. A woman stood at the door, calmly pushing the button. The train moved forward a bit, door still didn't open, she continued to push the button. Finally, the doors opened, and she stepped out. An American would have been kicking the door, screaming for the conductor, swearing about the &*^%#@* trains. The English woman, though terribly reserved and stiff, did not cause a scene, instead depending on things to go well. <BR> <BR>In Brussels, my niece and I were in the Beer Museum (honest, we just went in to get out of the rain, yeah, that's it) and proceeded to the computers for an interactive beer experience. Hmmm...one of the terminals was off-line and frozen. Well, my niece (the computer whiz) got down on her hands and knees and crawled under the table, found the keyboard, and rebooted the system. That bold forthrightness of Americans got something accomplished that apparently had been un-done for quite a while. <BR> <BR>Now, if I could just find a story demonstrating how the traits of the French are positive...

Bonnie Jul 26th, 1999 08:26 AM

Elvira, What a great tonic you always are, really! You make us laugh at how serious we get about all this........ <BR> <BR>I believe the Almighty created the French to show the rest of us how NOT to behave!

Carol Jul 26th, 1999 01:19 PM

Bonnie, stop giving Americans a bad name. Readers, we are not all as cocky as Bonnie would have you believe. To love your country at the expense of putting others down is ignorant, arrogant and distasteful. No wonder the French don't like you.

Bonnie Jul 26th, 1999 01:39 PM

I AM NOT putting other countries down. Because I say one person is beautiful doesn't mean that I think everyone else is ugly! You are reading what you want to believe into my words - As far as the joke about the French (and that's what it was), well, everybody jokes about the French, or don't you know how to joke, Carol? I think you need to untwist your knickers, and go find your sense of humor! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

emperor nero Jul 26th, 1999 01:52 PM

Bonnie, <BR> <BR>It's so good to hear from someone so proud of America. You have so much to be proud of: a major world power that hasn't achieved any of its military objectives in over 50 years (not in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq or Yugoslavia [the invasion of Grenada and the kidnapping of Panama's Noriega hardly count]). You have a priapic, prevaricating, unethical and immoral president. You have: self-serving politicians more interested in appeasing the special interest groups that bought them than the people that elected them. You are a nation of disinterested voters, less than half of whom take the time to vote; those that do willingly re-elect incompetents at all levels of government. You have an uninformed citizenry dependent upon television sound bites for its knowledge of the world and its own society; a nation with a reverence for "personalities" ranging from JFK jr through Ricky Martin and O. J. Simpson to Britney Spears that surpasses any Englishman's attitude towards his monarchy. Your nation has an infant mortality rate on a par with some of the third world countries; a literacy rate lower than Luxembourg's; the world's highest teenage pregnancy rate; the world's largest prison population; excellent universities on a par with Oxford, Cambridge and the Sorbonne and a huge population of prospective students too undereducated to gain admittance; a large segment of the population still dependent upon ineffective, costly and unconstitutional affirmative action programs to gain employment rather than self affirming action on that population's efforts at bettering themselves through employment and education; a huge population of under paid, under schooled under appreciated immigrants filling those employment needs. You have 40 million citizens without health care assurance. You have media that thrives on prurience, inanity and violence and are geared to a twelve year old's mentality. <BR> <BR>Brace yourself for the 21st century and the emerging power of the United States of Europe and a corresponding decline and fall of the United States that will parallel Imperial Rome and its similar history of failure. <BR>

sandi Jul 26th, 1999 01:56 PM

Does "whoooooo, boy!" sound the same in every language? :)

elvira Jul 26th, 1999 02:17 PM

Yeah, but we gave the world Baywatch and Coca-Cola. Can't beat that with a stick.

Mark Jul 26th, 1999 02:32 PM

As a healthcare business executive, I have to disagree with Bonnie. Statistics consistently show that our healthcare system is NOT the best -- that is a big myth. We only spend the most but generally receive less care for our care with poorer outcomes.

Bonnie Jul 26th, 1999 03:05 PM

To the Emperor: Believe it or not, you aren't saying anything about many of the people in this country that I don't say myself. But those people are not the majority. Of course, we can improve in many areas - but I'll still keep my citizenship, thanks, and consider myself extremely lucky! <BR> <BR>And to the healthcare executive, we can pull statistics from all kinds of places. I probably wouldn't accept yours - I live near one of the world's top medical facilities, and people from all over the world come here for our help. I disagree with you obviously - but am happy that you're on the forum with your opinion. Otherwise, the debates would not exist, and we'd all have to watch re-runs, wouldn't we? <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

Frodo Jul 26th, 1999 03:39 PM

Emperor Nero you are fabulous !

my2cents Jul 26th, 1999 04:44 PM

Bonnie -- we may have alot of top talent in our hospitals and some great facilities, but a large number of us don't have access to them. Many employers are switching to HMO's which means you have to go to the places and people they say you can go to. And then half the time they override your doctor's advice and won't let you have the treatment prescribed (believe me, I've had it up to here with my HMO, but the others I have to choose from are no better than the one I already have). My mother, who is on disability and Medical, has a heck of a time getting treatment and has to go to the one hospital in our area that will accept Medical as payment -- more and more hospitals in our area are being bought by for-profit organizations and are dropping Medical patients. In my opinion, having top-notch doctors and facilities that are unavailable to a large segment of the population does NOT equal a great healthcare system.

Kittie Jul 26th, 1999 05:55 PM

Hello again... <BR>Hattie, <BR>How right you are. I had the opportunity to spend some time in Mexico City 15 years ago. The poverty was astounding to a girl from the Detroit suburbs. I never forgot it, and I appreciated what I had and where I lived from then on. I have met people from Palastinian refugee camps, Guatamala, Cuba, Lithuania, the former East Germany, and Poland. I listen to their stories, but I will never know the real terror and misery they lived in under the governments they were under. I hope that someday you will be able to say that you are proud to be a Zimbabwean. <BR>Sheila, <BR>I hope that I didn't offend you with my posting on the 24th. That was not my intention. I was just concerned with the thought that American's think they are #1 in the world. <BR>Btw, how is the new Parliament doing in Scotland? I am excited to be visiting Scotland later this year. <BR>Valerie, <BR>I agree with you and Bonnie...one should be proud of where you come from and/or the people you come from. I am proud to be of Irish, German, and Polish heritage. I am also proud to be an American. This does not relate to conceit. <BR>Bonnie, <BR>I have read many times that many welthy people from the UK are leaving due to the high taxation. <BR>Julia, <BR>What wisdom you have! When you stated the Americans are "voluably critical" of ourselves/our country and that we are somewhat taken back when "outsiders join us" you spoke volumes of wisdom! I just then realized that that is the exact truth! <BR>I think you answered my question. We complain or gripe...others join in...then we are shocked or offended when they do-or join the bandwagon at a later date when it comes to posting on forums. <BR>Dare I say:I am proud of my country and the people in it. They are not all good or courteous or nice, but that can be said of any country. <BR>Kittie <BR> <BR>

Sheila Jul 26th, 1999 11:49 PM

<BR>Kittie <BR> <BR>Of course you did not give offence. In my inarticulate fashion I was trying to indicate that I agreed with you. <BR> <BR>I'm an oldfashioned "free speech" Liberal, and the only person who has given me offence is Bonnie- and I think she doesn't mean it , so I forgive her. <BR> <BR>(And if you think that sounds patronising, go and re-read some of her stuff:-)) <BR> <BR>By the way, you couldn't pay me to have a major operation in the US. But how did we get onto this anyway

Catherine Jul 27th, 1999 07:36 AM

I have a theory and if people don't agree they can blast me for it.I am a strong plant who really enjoys a good difference of opinion. <BR>I think that bad behavior comes from a lack of intelligence.The median IQ is 100.That means that half of a given population has an IQ less than that.It's a scary thought. <BR>Americans in general have a lot of money compared to other nations.It could be that there are more stupid people travelling from America than any other place on earth. <BR>British people who are thick tend to congregate in certain places like the Costa Brava and Blackpool. <BR>This is not to say that all people with a low IQ are stupid and boorish.The tendency to be stupid and boorish though would be more likely in that population. <BR>Conversly People who have a high IQ can also be a bit off the wall. <BR>I don't mean to be elitist and sobbish.it's the last thing I am.My dog has an IQ of about 5,yet I love her insanely.

Bonnie Jul 27th, 1999 09:43 AM

Dear Catherine: Please don't under-estimate your dog! Dogs probably have IQs higher than all of us, but their paws just weren't cut out for keyboarding! <BR> <BR>Secondly, Catherine, maybe you'd like to just try a little experiment. You could list the names of each poster to this thread, then after that name, specify either "S & B" (Stupid & Boorish) or "OTW" (Off the Wall)or "AGM" (Agrees With Me) depending on your judgment. Then we could all respond with our IQs, and you would know how smart you are! Wouldn't that be a barrel of monkeys? <BR> <BR>And where on earth is Sarah Spriggs who started this mess? That's a great name, Sarah, and you really should show your face again so we know how you really feel about all this! <BR> <BR>And Sheila, I'm sure that you're probably a really nice lady (and I AM NOT being patronizing!) but I do thing you're maybe a little "thin-skinned." Isn't that just a little bit true? After all, I've never said anything more than that the U.S. is the best country in the world, in my opinion; now I didn't say, i.e., that the U.S. is a "10", and that any other country is a ".5". For example, if I compared the U.S. to England, I would give England probably a "9". What on earth is wrong with a person proclaiming his country, IHO, to be the best? If that offends you, I think you are a little bit touchy! My accountant tells me that Scotland is the most beautiful place in the world, so I wouldn't be surprised to hear you proclaim the same thing about it. But I believe you've said that you don't believe in such proclamations, and that's fine, too. <BR> <BR>But let's live and let live! <BR> <BR>Okay, everybody, ready, set, go! I'm on my feet! <BR> <BR> <BR>

Sarah Spriggs Jul 27th, 1999 11:24 AM

Geez...I was afraid to actually post another message here since I started this topic. I didnt mean for it to get hostile - and I apologize. However, it is interesting reading everyone's theories and opinions....that's the beauty of all of these cultures.

cant wait Jul 27th, 1999 11:49 AM

I just can't wait to see the takeover of the world by the United States of Europe. That'll be a hoot.

Bonnie Jul 27th, 1999 12:46 PM

Hello, hello, hello Sarah, <BR> <BR>So nice to hear from you, and I really do LOVE your name. You really should be writing books, with a name like that! And DO NOT apologize! You just asked questions - not a thing wrong with that! If we all start kicking and screaming, it's not your fault! <BR> <BR>Kittie, you sound like such a diplomat. Maybe you could get a job at the U.N. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say - stay with us! <BR> <BR>And Catherine, are you ready to do your experiment yet? And if I remember correctly, Catherine also has opinions of the best countries in the world (same Catherine, right?) but escaped a pummeling. Go figure! <BR> <BR>And where is Elvira today?

Tony Hughes Jul 27th, 1999 01:26 PM

Being the richest and most influencial country on this planet you tend to get more coverage in the media than,say, Scotland (ok so we are oppressed by England but that's another story). Thus the section of American people who are idiots will get more publicity than the Scots idiots but believe me, we have more than out fair share. <BR> <BR>I detest the monarchy and all it stands for, and the sooner Scotland becomes an independant nation, the better. America did the right thing back in the 1770's and kicked Britain's [England's] backside out of there. <BR> <BR>One has to determine what you mean by 'the best'. Scotland is not the 'best' but then again many people may disagree with me. <BR> <BR>I happen to like and admire most Americans and ALL the ones that I have met. I will let you off calling Britain 'England' because American culture has been stamped on the 20th century. I love America, it's my favourite place, but that doesnt mean it's the 'best'. <BR> <BR>I have travelled a fair bit in my short life and found that there are idiots all over this planet. <BR> <BR>I still get that buzz if I meet an American ~ I can't help it, I love you all. <BR> <BR>anyway, my *budweisers* have done enough talking, it's time for bed. <BR> <BR>regards

Kittie Jul 27th, 1999 03:57 PM

Hello all! <BR> <BR>Sheila, <BR>Thanks for assuring me. So, you are an old fashioned free-speech liberal...maybe that is why I like you so much &lt;g&gt;. <BR> <BR>Bonnie, <BR>Thank you so much for the compliment. You made my day. It made me feel almost as good as when I got carded for beer the day before my 35th birthday last week. I was in hog-heaven when that happened! I guess I am diplomatic. I just have always tried to see things from both sides. <BR> <BR>Catherine, <BR>You definitely have a point when you say that maybe more Americans with lower IQ's are travelling to foreign countries. When so many people from a country travel internationally, you are bound to get some with otherwise "limited life exposure" (politically correct phrasing) making the trip. <BR> <BR>Tony, <BR>You sound like a true Scottish patriot. <BR>Thanks for the nice words about we Americans. <BR> <BR>A question: Could some of the loud and boorish behavior be due to alcohol? Some people can't take their liquor, but drink alot when on vacation. <BR> <BR>


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