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Forums > Social Discussion > US citizens reduced to caricatures

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:No wonder people think we're such jokes


I've always been annoyed with the concept of Blue Collar, White Collar, etc.

This was supposed to be a "Melting Pot" which has always been more like a chunky stew instead of fondue.

But now we're being reduced by our own politicians, who announce it every chance they get, to being "Main St.", "Soccer/Hockey Mom", "Joe Six Pack", "Joe Lunchbox", "Wall Street", etc...

...all of which are insulting.

We are being reduced to comical pictures of being idiots that are defined more by our paychecks and needing our opinions spood fed to us.

We have a complex political system that most US-ers don't understand, and so the international audience understands less. With media spin, key points left out and now our own "leaders" painting us as mindless caricatures, it's no wonder we are ridiculed as a mindless mass instead of treated as individuals.
It's no wonder so many people don't even realise there are actually good things about this country, about it's people and even about it's governing systems (that last one is rare but still there).

It's exhausting.
It's frustrating.
And it's just getting worse.
And it bothers the hell out of me.
Worse is not knowing what to do to change it.

*sigh*


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

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Mucky
SILVER Member since Apr 2008

Mucky

Rum-Swilling Combustioneer
Location: Macungie, PA, USA

Total posts: 227
Posted:Pele, I completely, totally, utterly (and 100% redundantly) agree. And the worst is that because of my age, 23, when I don't show much interest in the upcoming election, I get the "Apathetic Youth" tag, even though apathy has nothing to do with it. I just refuse to get excited about a system that has such little respect for the people it's supposed to be working for *and* run by.

But it isn't just the policy makers we're voting for - it's us, too! It's the Obama supporters this year, in the worst possible way - we're looking at "The Rock Star" vs. "The Old Guy" - and neither of those caricatures is fair either! But so many of the people I know are die-hard Obama people who seem like they haven't even considered McCain's platform (it's the GOP, and we need less of that, so I'm voting for this attractive young man), and so much of Obama is based on his attractive-young-man demeanor and his "We can do it!" sound bites; I hear very few Obama supporters ever discuss his proposals or policies, whereas McCain people tend to at least give reasons for supporting him.

It isn't everybody who does this, of course - a lot of people really are informed voters who are sincerely picking the best president, but soooo many are basing their vote on image - and that's how it's been for many elections past. Hell, nothing is worse than an unthinking party line voter. But even our "system" of Republican vs. Democrat is ridiculously outdated and so many of the voters hang on to it that almost religiously I don't blame politicians for painting us as caricatures!

There's not much you can do, besides going on room-clearing rants every now and then, and even that only lets you vent... We are so far away from what I think the Founding Fathers wanted for us right now...

Thomas Jefferson has penned many words on the subject, but we should remember these: "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. "

*Sighs*


Bouncing Baby Pipe!

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:what a turnaround - in the good old times it's been the public caricaturing the politicians... now it's the other way round? umm

One of the questions is: what could one eventually do about it?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me once every four years, and you get your own country to run! grin

i love american politics purely for its comical value. i'd hate to actually have it as my system of government!


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Loewan
BRONZE Member since Aug 2005

Loewan

and behold!
Location: Liverpool

Total posts: 464
Posted:Originally Posted By: Pele No wonder people think we're such jokes


I've always been annoyed with the concept of Blue Collar, White Collar, etc.

This was supposed to be a "Melting Pot" which has always been more like a chunky stew instead of fondue.

But now we're being reduced by our own politicians, who announce it every chance they get, to being "Main St.", "Soccer/Hockey Mom", "Joe Six Pack", "Joe Lunchbox", "Wall Street", etc...

...all of which are insulting.

We are being reduced to comical pictures of being idiots that are defined more by our paychecks and needing our opinions spood fed to us.

With media spin, key points left out and now our own "leaders" painting us as mindless caricatures, it's no wonder we are ridiculed as a mindless mass instead of treated as individuals.

That's how statistical modelling works. You use a generalised imitation/simulation of a system or a populance and then you based your calculation on such statistical model to deduce useful data and make your future plans accordingly. It might be a little insulting to be pigeon-holed and lose your sense of individuality but thats how the modern world is built. The width of doors are designed for the average Joe, the height of the ceiling in a bus even the rise of each step in a staircase are designed so that it would benefit the most. Would be great for the tall people if only the leg spacing is slightly more but the cost of having it 5cm more than average would be very very cost ineffective and company do it because the current free market world favours effective systems.


Why let your body be a temple? When it can be a theme park?

Wii Console Number: 3294 0297 7824 7498

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:The scary thing is...there's no doubt a team of highly educated eggheads coming up with these terms and analysing public reaction to their use with pie charts, graphs and clipboards.

Save, Joe Sixpack and Joe Lunchbox, I can't say I find them insulting. ( sez me, who's screen name is modelled after a creamy pint o' what I was enjoying when I signed up for this forum ), Those two imply a rather diminished intelligence.

The terms Mainstreet and hockey/soccer mom have been around for years now and are an accepted cultural meme ad why politicians didn't go with the generic "Joe Average" instead is rather puzzling.

I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet those two terms were tried out in smaller elections, like state elections first and their impact studied there before going national with them.

The problem with the two party American system is that politicians can get away with it seeing as how they really, really have to piss off a voter to get them to switch sides.

We've got elections happening in Canada too, but we have a selection of parties to choose from, so the politicians need to take care not to annoy us too much, lest we we express that annoyance at the polls. I mean really, a few of the parties are pretty close in their ideology, so something like insulting the electorate may just affect the outcome on voting day.


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:And then RSA is basically a one-party country at the moment with the opposition splitting everything. The next elections will be interesting.

And I think it is mostly the "mass of Americans" who get labelled badly. I know a few through various online methods and they are mostly lovely people. smile


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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