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PrometheusDiamond In The Rough
459 posts
Location: Richmond, Virginia


Posted:
I'm conducting an informal poll of non-US citizens, concerning how other countries view the United States as a whole.

First some background. I was having a discussion with a friend who seems to think that everyone wants to to either come to the US or make their country just like ours. He thinks America's the best place on the planet and that if other countries don't like us, it's because they're jealous of our standard of living and immense freedoms.

Despite this highly impartial and level-headed viewpoint, rolleyes I wanted to get a second opinion.

My question is this: If you dislike America, why? Is it our foreign policy? Our attitude? Envy? Is it stereotypical, or is there a cogent, definable reason?

Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
 Written by: NYC


*buzzes in*

What are "Things Pele Says About Me Behind My Back?"



Oh lovey, I could *never* hate you and I say them to your face! wink

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Dr_MollyPooh-Bah
2,354 posts
Location: Away from home


Posted:
well, if he's covered himself in vegemite then you're welcome to have a bite of him because I'm certainly not going to tongue

SpannerBRONZE Member
remembers when it was all fields round here
2,790 posts
Location: in the works... somewhere..., United Kingdom


Posted:
 Written by: Pele


Based on my travels I am going to agree that many non-US-ers have little idea about what is actually going on here, much the same way that many US-ers are not fully informed as to world affairs. (and I say "US-ers" because technically, "American" can be used to describe anyone on North and South America, and I have heard it used as such, so I want to narrow it down).




You've already written the main 2 things I was going to post about this subject for me in almost exactly the way I would've written them myself cool Thank you biggrin

The only other contribution I have to make is that I've never been to the USA, I've never had a strong urge to do so and I doubt I will in the future.

I suppose I have one long held aversion to visiting the USA and that is what the result of being in the wrong time at the wrong time could be.
I know the UK has been legally sanctioning the violation of certain vital human rights recently (and anyone who thinks it doesn't should probably be keeping up with current affairs in more detail) but my feeling isn't exclusive to the USA: it's for the same reason that I wouldn't fancy holidaying in Turkey, for example.

I also think there's many other countries I'd find far more interesting to visit or to live in.

No offence smile

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"


_Poiboy_PLATINUM Member
bastard child of satan
1,113 posts
Location: Raanana, Israel


Posted:
i hate the american government, but the americans i know are nice people. in every place there are good and bad people, its not just america.

I dont think i'll leave israel, as much as i hate it here, i grew up here. but if i will ill probably go to either the UK or the US.

NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
 Written by: Pele


BTW, NYC, if it helps, Prometheus is now located in Virginia...however, I know a couple of his friends up here still in WNY and they would have that kind of attitude for sure. It's not always as localised as we would like it to be. wink



I've always put WNY far south of the Mason Dixon line with reguards to politics. wink

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
 Written by: FireTom


Just don't get into so much trouble, when cleaning up your own garbage, US'sies and the world is at peas with you

US blames everybody else for own screwup - again



Sorry, I'll try not to personally blame Syria and Iran for the violence in Iraq like I always do.

rolleyes

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


bigginsSILVER Member
member
165 posts
Location: In Bed, New Zealand


Posted:
 Written by: NYC



If you knew me, you'd know that this is something I've discussed well before you posted.

smile



:dito: same here. "what do you think of america/ans" is a popular thread topic in many internet forums.

its sad that many of the responses are negative when you have a country that has natural wonders like the deserts in nevada, produces vistas like the autumn forests in new england and has national parks like yellowstone.

all i'm saying is that, sadly, in this day and age, you can't have someone ask a question like that and expect the thread to be clear of anti-american sentiment. i also find it interesting that many other people have voiced similar sentiments yet other ppl did not get the same BS statement about inter-uterine application forms, i mean WTF is that all about??!! poor (i want to use the word "immature") retort mate).

anyways, enuff of this, in summary in the US, there are nice ppl, there are morons. same sh*t different country. we'll wait and see how it goes with the UK. there was once a time when having a UK passport was great for travelling, now i'm not so sure. Sadly what the UK and the UK are doing (foreign policy-wise) will be a template for many other countries over the next few years

Wielding a Wooden Spoon


UCOFSILVER Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
15,414 posts
Location: United Kingdom


Posted:
(am I the only one who has met both Biggins and NYC? Surely not! eek)

I dont like seeing my friends being hostile to one another frown
It makes me feel all wierd.....

NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
SHUT UP MOMMY AND DADDY ARE FIGHTING GO TO YOUR ROOM!



tongue





 Written by: biggins





its sad that many of the responses are negative when you have a country that has natural wonders like the deserts in nevada, produces vistas like the autumn forests in new england and has national parks like yellowstone.



all i'm saying is that, sadly, in this day and age, you can't have someone ask a question like that and expect the thread to be clear of anti-american sentiment. i also find it interesting that many other people have voiced similar sentiments yet other ppl did not get the same BS statement about inter-uterine application forms, i mean WTF is that all about??!! poor (i want to use the word "immature") retort mate).



anyways, enuff of this, in summary in the US, there are nice ppl, there are morons. same sh*t different country. we'll wait and see how it goes with the UK. there was once a time when having a UK passport was great for travelling, now i'm not so sure. Sadly what the UK and the UK are doing (foreign policy-wise) will be a template for many other countries over the next few years





In my own sarcastic was I was actually being serious about my inter-uterine comments. People BLAME me for being American. People also take great pride in their birth nationality. Frankly, I see no more reason for blaming me for being American than praising anyone else for not.



Judging someone on a birth condition (like nationality) is bigoted. And that's ALL being "American" means.



There are plenty of reasons to critizise me aside from the nationality of the uterus I emerged from.



I think it's hypocritical to claim to be open minded when you're going to judge someone solely on the country they were born in. A very near and dear friend of mine said "They're not going to see it no matter how many times you tell them... let it go."



She's always right.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


UCOFSILVER Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
15,414 posts
Location: United Kingdom


Posted:

Non-Https Image Link




YOU ARE NOT MY PARENTS! tongue



ubbcrying



*runs off*

bigginsSILVER Member
member
165 posts
Location: In Bed, New Zealand


Posted:
hehehehe.........nice

aaaah.....its all good fun and are we actually being hostile?....well maybe a little.....if i come across as rude then i apologise i'm merely trying to engage in some form of discussion and it can be frustrating if its not forthcoming.........anyways, the sun is shining, i'm off on a road trip (like now, when i finish this post) its the internet, discussion is healthy...

*hugs* all round.......and look at my shiney new thread.....(ok its a bit of a whinge......but hey ho)



actually i'm gonna start a new non whinging thread.....

Wielding a Wooden Spoon


newgabeSILVER Member
what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
4,030 posts
Location: Bali, Australia


Posted:
I've met them both.

smile

And YOU UCOF are a bloody genius you funny man!



And I have serious misgivings about this thread. I would prefer to narrow it down to *is it true that 'others' actually think the US has more freedom and a better lifestyle* than *what emotions do you have based on generalisations you make about a vast number of diverse people*



Meanwhile I just read Bill Bryson's wonderful book "Made in America" which is obstensibly about language but is also about the development of culture and the formation of myth (also known as rampant inaccuracy of lots of 'history')

A great read. When I grow up and have a crack team of reaearchers I will write a similar one about my own country.



I do think that a lot of the world is not happy with the US though, but it is not jealousy. It is resentment.

I read heaps of non fiction and history and one thing that has been made clear to me again and again is the capacity of people to maintain an image of themselves as benefactors of the world and bearers of the 'highest culture' whilst simultaneously being aggressive, self serving and destructive. (ref to the New American Century)



This is NOT only what a sort of abstract 'government' does. It is what soldiers, businessmen, civil servants, bankers, missionaries, cultural producers and colonisers of all sorts do. In my opinion this is what USAians are doing a lot of these days. As do the Brits and other European nations. Who used to do it a lot more. Lots of smaller tribes have done it to their neighbours (Aussies do it given half a chance)and the ancient Egyptians were probably right b*stards too. It's called imperialism and is usually associated with making a profit out of others and meddling in their forms of government at the same time.



One classic feature of imperialism is that the 'oppressed' or colonised do usually know a lot more about the dominant culture that vice versa. I think that although many outsiders might not be accurate about details of US life, many of us know a lot about it. I mean, I live in Australia. Without ever choosing to watch her show, I know who Oprah Winfrey and it was her face on the telly when went to get lunch in the canteen a few minutes ago. How many Americans could name an Australian female journalist?

I say this without 'feeling' anything about her or other USAians. It's just a how it is.



So whether or not people think that the US is in fact free-er or better off than anyone else, I think that the military/economic/cultural imperialistic tendencies that are playing out at the moment are more the cause of the fear and loathing that some/many people feel.

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
See NYC, that's one thing people do not understand...

Personal experience: I happened to be in Paris, at a New Years Eve party with some (German) friends - spoke English with US-accent... evrything cool with evrybody, til they heard me talking German to my friends - We were all outcasts for the entire night from that point on.

Nobody really chooses the womb that brings him to this world, you're more than right on that one - but certainly you have a choice when you grow up and leave home - to leave home or not. As you choose not to, it seems as if you like the place and it suits you well - or you would leave.

It's a mind thing - not to descern and figure that your country needs you (to improve conditions), therefore put a judgement out. If you want to say that's stupid, you're right - but it happens every day to everybody unless we make this experience ourselves often enough to become aware.

How often was I treated klike a Nazi, because I'm tall, blonde with light eyes and features? In Oz one said: "Oh, you're from Germany - so you know about genocide." (in the context of the history in white immigrants vs. the Aboriginals). I don't really know about genocide, but we happen to be lucky enough to have the remains of the concentration camps still being there, so I can get a deep impression whenever I need it. "The" US'sies and Aussies - as well as "the" Pommies and French do not have the same luck. Their history is well covered up. That's one reason why I'm happy to be German.

We always get judged by our governments, because it's a general misconception that we would change the government (by election or revolution), if we wouldn't like it - or leave the country.

Another reason why I'm happy to be a German is that "we" couldn't fall any lower in terms of reputation, made good efforts to rebuild it and are today welcomed to almost every country on the planet (visa on arrival).

If you engage yourself in a "general discussion (about the US)" you'll have to accept that ppl will talk in general terms, paint the stereotypical picture shrug But you seem to get all defensive, instead of telling your mates: jeez, THAT's what the world (i.e. a small small sect of it) thinks about us - we should really start trying to do something about it... GO VOTE, might be the first step.

PS: Would you agree that the less roots ppl have in the country they live in (and love for whatever reason) the more idealistic they become for being it's citizen? (Dunno whether I come across here...)

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


newgabeSILVER Member
what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
4,030 posts
Location: Bali, Australia


Posted:
Tom, I was really shocked when I hosted a sensitive and charming young German earlier in the year, to hear of the amount of appalling things people said to him about the war, nazis, genocide etc.

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
I even have received the "Hitler-greeting" (raised right arm) in my hometown from migrants... It's not stunning me anymore and there is little that shocks me - when it comes to generalisations, or predjudice. shrug



But I seemed to miss the initial question I reckon, it was "how do you feel about Americans?" It a general question, that can only provoke a general answer: Mixed, I honestly have to say...



Personally I even start(ed) disliking the "american way of life" a little bit. the way to deal with each other, the way to set up (business), the sometimes phoney friendlyness, the phrasemilling (for example "how are you?" - when in fact nobody really cares - but that's generally "anglo" I suppose)... Sometimes it just gives me the creeps...



*bows out before own mood changes* bye
EDITED_BY: FireTom (1161765315)

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


sketchGOLD Member
Empirically random...
431 posts
Location: Lincoln, United Kingdom


Posted:
 Written by: chump

its sad that many of the responses are negative when you have a country that has natural wonders like the deserts in nevada, produces vistas like the autumn forests in new england and has national parks like yellowstone



This is my viewpoint exactly. Fantastic counrty, Awful government. IMHO i think it is no different from britains government, the only difference is the british government have less people to hide it from umm

And what is all this about bush?? people ramble on that everythings bush's fault, and hes a bad president... blah blah blah.
Bush is a puppet. No more. The descisions are made for him, his clothes are chosen for him, food is put infront of him..... Bush does not control the USA, he is merely a single voice to communicate with the population through. The fact that he also happens to be hugely egotistic, and pretty dim doesnt help...

Anyway! American people are great, i believe that the negative aspects of US life are no different to whats going on in britain. That doesnt make americans bad people.

"This dark place planet Earth, orbits one star,
Come from afar, far away state of mind,
open up your third eye, black helicopters in the sky"


sagetreeGOLD Member
organic creation
246 posts
Location: earth, Wales (UK)


Posted:
"if you engage yourself in a "general discussion (about the US)" you'll have to accept that ppl will talk in general terms, paint the stereotypical picture "

just because people do it doesn't mean you have to accept or agree with it

"It a general question, that can only provoke a general answer"

i fully disagree. it might be a general question but you don't have to give a general answer. what you can do to avoid this is "seperate people as individuals and look at them accordingly vs. as a unit of state" or talk about "what emotions do you have based on generalisations you make about a vast number of diverse people?"

while i agree that "Judging someone on a birth condition (like nationality) is bigoted." i have a personal belief that we DID choose our parents before we were born. so i would disagree with the statement "Nobody really chooses the womb that brings him/her into this world"

just my 2 cents, call me crazy

sketchGOLD Member
Empirically random...
431 posts
Location: Lincoln, United Kingdom


Posted:
your crazy wink

"This dark place planet Earth, orbits one star,
Come from afar, far away state of mind,
open up your third eye, black helicopters in the sky"


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
 Written by: sagetree


just because people do it doesn't mean you have to accept or agree with it



so don't... biggrin

 Written by: sagetree

"It a general question, that can only provoke a general answer"

i fully disagree. it might be a general question but you don't have to give a general answer. what you can do to avoid this is "seperate people as individuals and look at them accordingly vs. as a unit of state" or talk about "what emotions do you have based on generalisations you make about a vast number of diverse people?"

while i agree that "Judging someone on a birth condition (like nationality) is bigoted." i have a personal belief that we DID choose our parents before we were born. so i would disagree with the statement "Nobody really chooses the womb that brings him/her into this world"

just my 2 cents, call me crazy



You're crazy - happy now? umm wink

"bigoted" as in "preaching" or "fanatic"? NYC uses this word quite often, too and I find two meanings in the dictionary that are valid translations.

So you expect ppl to answer a general question in the most descerning way possible, or use all this nonsense-political-lawyer-phrasemilling?... go ahead.

First we choose the womb, along with the country and then we stay in that said country... so we ARE responsible and to be held accountable for the country we live in - therefore we got to be jusdged upon our nationality/ country of residence? Is that what you're trying to say? wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
 Written by: sagetree


i have a personal belief that we DID choose our parents before we were born. call me crazy



umm

*Perfect time to quietly tip toe out of this thread for a break.*

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
Newgabe, Oprah Winfrey is *NOT* a journalist in any sense. She is a business woman and a talk show host. Not unlike any other 50 people on the tv these days in idea, she did hers first and best. What you were able to name is a US celebrity, and anyone can do that.
Which means you, like every one else, has fallen prey to media hype.

I've literally met people who spoke to me as if I was on an Episode of Buffy, or some other dumbass US show. None of that, including Oprah, is representative of our culture. (And yes, the US does have it's own culture. It's motley but there.)

So, how about you don't judge us on Oprah, My Name is Earl and Grey's Anatomy and we won't judge you on David Tench, Tripping Over and The It Crowd...'kay?

FireTom, I did vote. I have since I was 22. That's 11 years of voting. The last election had one of the highest turn outs, and I still have yet to meet anyone who voted for Bush. It's easy to say "Vote to start a change." But with a corrupt political system, such as that in the US, it is not so easy.

Sketch, actually, alot of it is Bush's fault. Yes, in many ways he is a puppet, but he put himself in that place. In many ways he is not. He has the power of veto and to change policies, he has the power to present our nation in an intelligent and positive light internationally but continues to fail to do so, making some of the dumbest public statements in history. He does that all on his own.
Perhaps if his oil company, and those of his cronies, were not benefitting so disgustingly from this "war" then perhaps I'd feel a bit more like you. But they do, breaking the backs of those of us here, so I simply can't.
Did you know that about 90% of the US makes $50,000 or less per year? Did you know that the gap between the middle/lower classes here and the upper class has has nearly doubled in it's financial standpoint since Bush came into office? (source: Forbes magazine) No one can tell me he has nothing to do with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and that he is just a puppet when he is one of the ones getting richer and not sharing.

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


newgabeSILVER Member
what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
4,030 posts
Location: Bali, Australia


Posted:
 Written by: Pele



What you were able to name is a US celebrity, and anyone can do that.

Which means you, like every one else, has fallen prey to media hype.



d



Exactly my point Pele. US Media. Dominant. On the other side of the world. Thanks for restating it so well. Oprah is of course far too obvious an example. The most recognisable woman on earth I believe, the Queen Victoria of our age. I ought have used one of the other plethora of internationalised cultural facts from US politics, sport, tv, religion etc.



And um, I did not *judge* anything. I am talking about distribution and cognition, not quality. So far as you know from my post, I may well think Oprah is simply magnificent.



However I have not the faintest idea who or what any of the other cultural products you have mentioned are. Apart from Grey's Anatomy but that is an old book published in UK about, um, anatomy. But I don't think that's the one you meant. They are probably tv shows but I dont actually watch telly/read magazines etc.



Anyway I am out of this thread now cos like I said, I think its dodgy.

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
The way I put it? Not sure tho, whether you'll get what I maen (would be easier for me in German)

When you see a picture from the distance, it's all blurry and confusing - much like a ultra-fractal or a ant-hill covered with such - one has to get closer to descern the workers, the guards, the queen.

Guess I'm not making sense *goes back to ponder*

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


ado-pGOLD Member
Pirate Ninja
3,882 posts
Location: Galway/Ireland


Posted:
my two sense,

are we talking bout americans or american culture or american politics? It would seem foolish to me to get them mixed up.

I've been to new york and loved it. there is a niavte and enthusiasm that americans have that I find very endearing, i found it more outside of new york mind wink

As for culture. Which one? The place is f*cking huge! Mediawise, there is alot of cross over into poltics and politics wise there is alot of crossover into business.

But I cant honestly that those last few things are reason enough to go all badass on america. MOST western countries are doing exactly the same thing on the quiet. So I think its the media machine that gets the most of the bad brownie points. Compared to other cultures, tv in the states sucks ass, it sucks ass here too but it seems to be more educational at times. Though most of our 'prime time viewing comes direct from the us'. I gave up tv two years ago. and i feel better for it.

I've also noticed that young americans dont travel abroad alot. And i live in a country where people from the states love to come. I find the older retirees to be like old retirees and I have found by and large that the folks from my age group represent their country very well. Which is truly more than i can say for some other countries of which we are host to alot more of.

In the end, I think if you are going to try to judge a 'culture' on what you see on tv and read in the papers your on a loser straight away. Media is by its very own nature distorted. Try the irish news papers some day. Our lovely goverment GAVE AWAY our oil fields to shell. And waited until eight years later to tell us....

To answer the original question. I like a fair few of americans i've met. it had nothing to do with nationality.

I would like to dismantle the government and political system of that country and also for every other country that has the same model. Does anyone actually believe that if states collapsed that the world would be a better place? History, common sense and human nature seem to say no, to me.

What some folks are defining as american culture is actually the culture of the western world. It wasnt invented by americans. It was invented before americans even existed.

We see it, we hear it, we eat it, we buy it. But we dont seem to believe it.

"Turn on, tune in, drop out"

a

Love is the law.


jeff(fake)Scientist of Fortune
1,189 posts
Location: Edinburgh


Posted:
I hate freedom.mad

wink

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
That was very well put ado-p.
Thank you.

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
 Written by: ado-p


What some folks are defining as american culture is actually the culture of the western world. It wasnt invented by americans. It was invented before americans even existed.



I blame the Native Americans.

wink wink wink

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


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