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Thread: Thoughts on America's International Impression and Vice Versa

  1. #111
    Senior Member Array wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metaphours View Post
    *SIGH*
    This might be controversial, but ne'ertheless...

    You know, being an American who's been raised with an international background (I moved to Kuwait 2 months after I was born and never moved back to the states until 7 years later, not to mention living in Thailand, Ethiopia, China and UAE) I have to put up with people constantly putting down the States. Saying things like "Americans want to rule the world," and such. And it hurt me when I heard things like this, but what hurt me even more was, almost 50% of the things they said, I almost have to agree with them sometimes (not the "Americans want to rule the world part," that's just complete nationalistic nonsense). Like it's saddening that I have to talk of my own country this way, you know? I remember when it truly hit me, it was during 6th grade, I was living in Hong Kong at the time, and I was on AIM with some of my friends back in the States. When one of them made the following statement:

    "Yeah so do they speak Japanese in Korea?"

    And that's when I truly realized the barrier around the United States, where nothing truly international ever comes in. We don't see the barrier, and a lot of people don't ever notice it because they've been living in the States their whole life. The only reason I notice it is because I'm always traveling to and from the States and I have to have the same discussions as above all the time with people. It's annoying. I just wish that my fellow American citizens would just for once consider the international viewpoint instead of what's just good for them/what's going on in America.

    And it's very true, not all Americans are this way. Whenever I'm outside the country (which is all the time, actually) I always make sure I'm a good representation of what I believe Americans are supposed to be. I let people know that Americans aren't the bigoted, ignorant nationalists that many people believe we are based on what has been heavily exemplified during the Bush administration (sorry I tried to make this non-political but I couldn't help it). But whenever I have to return to the States for summer holiday or something like that, I'm just flabbergasted. I literally walk out of the gate at the airport and go: "FUCK, nothing's changed since I left!"

    This fact just sort of depresses me, and I hadn't thought about really expressing the way I felt about it until this past summer when I went to Key West to visit my sister, and I just felt like almost everyone I saw was a total incompetent slacker/moron, and I truly wanted to believe (and still want to believe) that that's not America. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Not the land of the morons and the home of the whopper.
    America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    The difficulties the Americans have encountered exist because of this fact.
    Not in spite of this fact.

    It is hard for the brave. For the coward it is all right.

  2. #112
    Don't Judge Me! Array Haphazard's Avatar
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    Comparing the way and reason Americans learn languages and the way Europeans do is not only unfair but WRONG.

    The way Europe developed left it with a lot of languages from a lot of different families because they were allowed to be relatively isolated by bad transportation for long enough for it to happen, and the languages remain there because of nationalistic/cultural/whatever pride.

    This did NOT happen in the US. English was introduced by Britain and spread because of American expansionism, nearly quashing out all native languages in its path. This means that, unlike most of the Old World, there are not a whole lot of different languages living close together that one might run into while going across a country but really only one (or two, in the South). And it will remain this way into the unforseeable future unless national television stations and the whole of the internet suddenly shuts down.

    Learning other languages in the United States can yes, actually be considered a luxury because it's so difficult to find people fluent in other languages that are willing to take the time to work with you. Sure, there are teachers, but if you actually want to practice speaking, you're going to have a tough time because most everyone else only speaks English and immigrants and well-traveled people are going to get so frustrated with you if you're not fluent that they're going to switch back to speaking English anyway!

    ...

    Okay, I think I'm done.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Comparing the way and reason Americans learn languages and the way Europeans do is not only unfair but WRONG.

    The way Europe developed left it with a lot of languages from a lot of different families because they were allowed to be relatively isolated by bad transportation for long enough for it to happen, and the languages remain there because of nationalistic/cultural/whatever pride.

    This did NOT happen in the US. English was introduced by Britain and spread because of American expansionism, nearly quashing out all native languages in its path. This means that, unlike most of the Old World, there are not a whole lot of different languages living close together that one might run into while going across a country but really only one (or two, in the South). And it will remain this way into the unforseeable future unless national television stations and the whole of the internet suddenly shuts down.

    Learning other languages in the United States can yes, actually be considered a luxury because it's so difficult to find people fluent in other languages that are willing to take the time to work with you. Sure, there are teachers, but if you actually want to practice speaking, you're going to have a tough time because most everyone else only speaks English and immigrants and well-traveled people are going to get so frustrated with you if you're not fluent that they're going to switch back to speaking English anyway!
    QFT.

  4. #114
    Order Now! Array pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanlittlechimp View Post
    The reason many hate us is not simply because of our arrogance and frat boy tourists. It has more to do with our covert, and not so covert, actions against legitimate governments around the globe. We have overthrown countless democracies and have NEVER installed one (since WWII).
    Let's be fair: American tourists are pretty good. We're loud and don't dress particularly well, but we tip big time and generally are happy and interested in the places we visit. And Iraq has had democratic elections, but we'll see what happens there. Democracy is not the end, though. Freedom is the end. It's better not to be to vote and to be able to live free than it is to be able to vote for whichever strongmen make the ballot.


    Bombing millions in Indochina, overthrow of the constitutional democracy in Iran (which led to the theocracy they have today). Carpet bombing of Cambodia, which led to Pol Pot's rise. Installation of Suharto in Indonesia, so we could invade East Timor when they discovered oil there. Countless assassinations, coups or outright invasions in Central and South America, Africa and SE Asia.

    Americans are ignorant of most of these activities or willfully forget them, and then wonder what they're upset about. How many here are even aware we staged a coup against democraticaly elected Papandreous/Greece (1965)?

    If a foreign power did that to us, they would be reviled as evil incarnate.
    I don't think every motive was as nefarious as you seem to do, but I agree about trying to be the world's policeman. It's not good for us, and often not good for them.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #115
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    America at least had the excuse of the Cold War for much of that shit, what's the excuse now?

  6. #116
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Comparing the way and reason Americans learn languages and the way Europeans do is not only unfair but WRONG.

    The way Europe developed left it with a lot of languages from a lot of different families because they were allowed to be relatively isolated by bad transportation for long enough for it to happen, and the languages remain there because of nationalistic/cultural/whatever pride.

    This did NOT happen in the US. English was introduced by Britain and spread because of American expansionism, nearly quashing out all native languages in its path. This means that, unlike most of the Old World, there are not a whole lot of different languages living close together that one might run into while going across a country but really only one (or two, in the South). And it will remain this way into the unforseeable future unless national television stations and the whole of the internet suddenly shuts down.

    Learning other languages in the United States can yes, actually be considered a luxury because it's so difficult to find people fluent in other languages that are willing to take the time to work with you. Sure, there are teachers, but if you actually want to practice speaking, you're going to have a tough time because most everyone else only speaks English and immigrants and well-traveled people are going to get so frustrated with you if you're not fluent that they're going to switch back to speaking English anyway!

    ...

    Okay, I think I'm done.
    This may all be true for now, but I think Americans are actually going to want to start learning Spanish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    America at least had the excuse of the Cold War for much of that shit, what's the excuse now?
    Well, actually, the USA still hasn't figured out that the cold war is over.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    This may all be true for now, but I think Americans are actually going to want to start learning Spanish.
    A lot of American schools are making an attempt to start teaching Spanish to kids early but it's still a while away, especially when to some people this is very much a political issue. *sigh*
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    The difficulties the Americans have encountered exist because of this fact.
    Not in spite of this fact.

    It is hard for the brave. For the coward it is all right.
    Have anymore jingoistic cliches for us? Our difficulties are caused by our freedom and bravery? This is exactly why many foreigners think we're thick headed jerkoffs. This is why Europeans ranked us as the largest threat to world peace under the Bush administration.

  9. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I don't think every motive was as nefarious as you seem to do, but I agree about trying to be the world's policeman. It's not good for us, and often not good for them.
    How is overthrowing democracies and replacing them with monarchies and dictatorships police work? It has nothing to do with policing. It has to do with exploitation of resources; the same reason any empire builds up their military to unleash on weaker powers.

  10. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanlittlechimp View Post
    How is overthrowing democracies and replacing them with monarchies and dictatorships police work? It has nothing to do with policing. It has to do with exploitation of resources; the same reason any empire builds up their military to unleash on weaker powers.

    Somalia was police work. Most of our trade sanctions are police work. Some of our interventions were very ideologically-based, too. Your purely materialist reasoning is incomplete.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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