How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 The Alley
 Americans   [ Page: 1  2  3  ]
 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Americans

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
BrightStar
Member
since 04-08-2001
Posts 228


25 posted 08-12-2001 01:18 PM       View Profile for BrightStar   Email BrightStar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BrightStar

OK, Severn, since you like cheap shots ...
Today, instead of having some Japanese living in NZ, you would be a Japanese territory and you would be speaking Japanese were it not for the United States of America and all her gallant men and women who gave their lives to protect your country.

Now, you can call me an "Ugly American" and be absolutely correct.  Just as can the peoples of other countries whose "bacon" we pulled out of the fire in various armed conflicts worldwide.  Oh, and who have yet to repay the USA their war "debts" ... some for over 80 years.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


26 posted 08-12-2001 03:48 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm confused.

I fail to see where this type of jingoism actually helps us understand each other better.

By the way, I've had this conversation before as well. Usually with the English and usually over drinks and usually never taken very seriously.

Severn never mentioned war, she simply pointed out some things I already knew and, happily, some things I didn't.

I found her piece interesting.

But as I said, I'm confused. As LR pointed out, most of the points have been made (except mine about Americans who are reactive anti-America -- nobody seems to hold that opinion here.  Too bad. I wanted to show that their points revolve around the same tri-partite scheme as pro-Americans.).

And they have been shown to have some validity.

So, what are you looking for?

Gratitude?

Money tribute?

Complete subservience to your "natural rightness"?

Brad

PS Because we can criticize, we can now safely ignore criticism?
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


27 posted 08-12-2001 05:21 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well I don't think Severn took any cheap shots at anyone -- and I'm not sure what 'debt' is owed to America for our participation in WWII.

As a student of that war, and war in general, it was fought by Americans to protect American interests just as it was fought by participants from all over the world to protect themselves -- I believe that's why it was called 'World' war?

America was scared as [edit] that Japan was going to invade the west coast.  It's questionable what involvement we'd ever had if there hadn't been an attack on Pearl Harbor.

It's always in our economic interest to protect our trading partners around the globe -- and in our human interest to stand up for human rights.  

However, democracy; imposed from without -- is the severest form of tyranny.  So when we do go on 'policing' actions around the globe it's very important for us as the world's last remaining superpower -- to use that power with the utmost wisdom and respect for the native cultures of the people involved.

Building the economic strength of developing nations is of paramount (selfish) economic interest of the United States as well as being a nice neighborly thing to do.

And we, as Americans 'owed' our 'freedom' in the first place to the French and Prussians who helped us outlast the English in the Revolutionary War.

What about Viet Nam -- we didn't 'liberate' that nation -- do WE OWE them a REFUND?  
rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


28 posted 08-12-2001 05:25 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Yes, to your P.S. It's boring to criticize, especially since I am enjoying others points of views here.  I am confused Brad by this statement.
quote:

Americans who are reactive anti-America -- nobody seems to hold that opinion here.  Too bad. I wanted to show that their points revolve around the same tri-partite scheme as pro-Americans.


Would you please, explain this quote in simpler terms, for it sounds laced with criticism. So I don't think I understand it properly. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Regina
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


29 posted 08-12-2001 08:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Regina,

"Yes, to your P.S. It's boring to criticize, especially since I am enjoying others points of views here."

Sorry, I was speaking in reference to America. Didn't you say we had the right to criticize? I think there are times when we should exercise that right.

As far as the other statement, that was probably my fault as well. I love statements that weave repetition in ways that look initially contradictory. Not always the best way to go.

When faced with an American action, one type says, "This is right."

and the other says, "This is wrong."

Some Americans, certainly not all, react one way or the other but I think they argue the same thing:

One thinks America IS the greatest country ever to grace the planet.

One thinks America SHOULD be the greatest country ever to grace the planet.

I believe America is a country, not unlike many other countries. It sometimes makes good decisions and sometimes bad decisions.

Now, if you read the above statement, doesn't it seem common sensical? The problem occurs when national pride enters the picture.

People on both the left and the right work from a reactive point of view.

Brad

rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


30 posted 08-12-2001 09:47 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Brad,

I was agreeing with your statement which I took out of context. I felt you were stating that it is safe to ignore criticism in this discussion, and get to more important matters of thought. I apologize.

Of course exercising a right doesn't necessarily make it right. Constructive criticism is the only type that allows growth and learning. I feel the other is very destructive for both parties.

Thank you for clarifying the statement. I'm just trying to understand other's point of view.

I think you are right to say that (reaction
and pride) can terribly divide a people. I believe in action not reaction. And pride is a funny thing. As I'm sure you are proud of your belonging. As I am the same. It's the personal attacks no one fairs well under. That's why I say constructive, and not destructive. For when asked in this way:

Are you proud to be an American? Yes I am.

Are you proud of yourself just because you are an American and you think you are the greatest country to grace the earth? No, I'm not, because I am a human before I am an American, and what I think is that all countries have a great people. And all countries have bad seeds.

We could dig up controversy and adversity in a jungle inside a Pygmy hut. But why? I think some people thrive on fueling the fire and dig for a reaction. I feel being positive is the only reaction we should allow ourselves, but we make mistakes and we screw up and get mouthy and pride takes over and the action inadvertently turns into reaction. At least for my sake. But a person shouldn't judge a whole country for one persons mistakes. But I would have to comment on provocation. Which is what I feel Elizabeth was expressing in her initial question. Why? Was she seemingly attacked for being an American? What? was the purpose? I can't find anything positive in the purpose, so therefore it's a mute point. It's distressing. It's like being attacked for having red hair. So I must be Irish, and I'm from Tennessee, so I must be illiterate.  We assume too much. Being judgmental is never an answer to anything. I think we have a great planet, full of suffering, full of controversy, and tabloid headlines, that really put the tail on the donkey. But we are alive. One would never judge a child for the sins of his father, would he? The same should go for a people.

I thank you again for reiterating on the statement.

Sincerely,
Regina

[This message has been edited by rwood (edited 08-13-2001).]

Jamie
Member Elite
since 06-26-2000
Posts 3219
Blue Heaven


31 posted 08-12-2001 10:11 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

I don't think accusing anyone of taking cheap shots, or of taking undo credit for deeds of others will go very far in vindicating one's position. And for the record, though Severn is indeed a proud patriot of New Zealand, you will not find a more open and fair minded person when it comes to world affairs. I am sure if you get to know her you will agree. I feel an apology is in order. Thank you.  

There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
byron

Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


32 posted 08-12-2001 11:59 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Hi there Bright star.

One question - did you actually read what I wrote correctly? I doubt it. Not entirely sure what got you so agitated - an elaboration would be great...oh and as for these:

OK, Severn, since you like cheap shots ...

- yes...in jest...


Today, instead of having some Japanese living in NZ, you would be a Japanese territory and you would be speaking Japanese were it not for the United States of America and all her gallant men and women who gave their lives to protect your country.

- Your point? History is history...and anyway...'gallant' NZers had quite a lot of input in protecting their own country as well...not to mention being dragged into a war solely because they were part of the commonwealth and whatnot...but still...what was your point?

Now, you can call me an "Ugly American" and be absolutely correct.  

- Hmmm. Seems like you think I called Americans ugly. Please quote me on that?

Just as can the peoples of other countries whose "bacon" we pulled out of the fire in various armed conflicts worldwide.  Oh, and who have yet to repay the USA their war "debts" ... some for over 80 years.

- I assume you have that information from the perspective of the American govt? Certainly not from the perspective of the countries themselves...and aren't we getting a tad political here. If you do decide to read what I wrote properly you'll find that I recited a series of motivating factors for why the 'rest' of the world views America as it does...and mentioned that it's inevitable people tend to understand the commoners in terms of its leaders - and not always for the better. I find it ironic you are now helping to prove my point...

K
BrightStar
Member
since 04-08-2001
Posts 228


33 posted 08-13-2001 06:39 PM       View Profile for BrightStar   Email BrightStar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BrightStar

Severn, please forgive what was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek comment.  I expected the accusations of jingoism but I did not expect that it would be taken personally or as a "slam" to the fine country of New Zealand.

If I have offended you, please accept my apology.

Now, Brad, your liberal, psuedo-intellectual comments certainly have their rightful place.  Please allow that my conservative lack of intellect also has its place with the same rights afforded your views.

You ask, Brad, and the Rebel also, what "debts" are due the USA.  It might help to read up on your history to determine just what I meant.

Now, Brad, you say "I believe America is a country, not unlike many other countries. It sometimes makes good decisions and sometimes bad decisions.

Now, if you read the above statement, doesn't it seem common sensical? The problem occurs when national pride enters the picture."

Your comment is too general to determine if it has any common sense.  It is a perfect example of "double-speak" that says nothing and then asks others to draw conclusions therefrom.

Why is it a problem when anyone in any country displays national pride?

Local Rebel, if you are a student of WWII, you should know very well what "debts" are owed.  Of course, they are monetary.  How could any country, including the USA, ever repay the debt of freedom?  Could we Repay the French for their help in obtaining freedom in any other way than monetarily?  That was/is the measurement of "debt" and probably always will be.  Thank God we had the chance to "repay" an unrepayable debt to France in both WWI and WWII.

Furthermore, you say "However, democracy; imposed from without -- is the severest form of tyranny."  You wouldn't care to rephrase that, would you?  I mean, do you really believe that democracy (Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives), what most of the known world desires, would be "the severest form of tyranny?"   And, how could we, or anyone, impose democracy from without?  Democracy either thrives or fails, as the people choose.

You question about Vietnam is improper and uneducated.  Why would we owe a country a "rebate," even for failure, when we were asked to uphold our promise under SEATO?

Severn - Yes isn't it ironic; And isn't it just exactly what I intended when I wrote the words?

Too bad we get so involved with the thread that we forget the rights we all have to say what we wish, within certain boundaries.  Even the stupid, uninformed, psuedo-intellectual, or downright ornery comments that may or may not be found within this thread.

Again, if my comments offend/offended anyone on a personal basis, I give my apology.

[This message has been edited by BrightStar (edited 08-14-2001).]

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


34 posted 08-13-2001 09:08 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

It always amazes me how some people are able to walk into a room -- tell everyone exactly what they think... then say -- oops just kidding.. didn't mean to offend.. and expect that anyone cares.
Nicole
Senior Member
since 06-23-99
Posts 1896
Florida


35 posted 08-14-2001 02:24 PM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

"Even the stupid, uninformed, psuedo-intellectual, or downright ornery comments that may or may not be found within this thread."

What a childish retort.  By making it, you lower yourself to the very level you condemn.  Congratulations.
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


36 posted 08-14-2001 03:30 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Oh.. by the way..

No I don't care to rephrase anything I've said --

Democracy imposed from without is not government by the people -- it's government by big brother -- in order to be 'democracy' it must be homegrown and the desire of the people.
BrightStar
Member
since 04-08-2001
Posts 228


37 posted 08-14-2001 05:54 PM       View Profile for BrightStar   Email BrightStar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BrightStar

Local Rebel - I do not care whether you care or not.  "The Alley" is a place to comment as we please.  You have certainly made good use of that privilege, have you not?

Isn't it iteresting you choose not ro repond to the area where you claim to be most informed ... WWII and the debts incurred by the Allied powers?

With regard to "imposing democracy" upon others, the very definition of democracy precludes the existence of "big brother."  How can you have (Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives) "imposed" by "big brother?"

Nicole - Just where did I aim my comment to others and not include myself?  Too bad you choose to condemn without understanding the nuances of the written word.  It is I who should congratulate you.

Gee, some folks just take a discussion, begun to elicit opinions, and move it to a personal level.  Opinions are like navels, almost everyone has one.  Either we can defend them or we cannot ... it is not the end of the world either way.  

[This message has been edited by BrightStar (edited 08-14-2001).]

rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


38 posted 08-14-2001 06:41 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
People on both the left and the right work from a reactive point of view.


I believe I now see your point. I think we can do better than this people. Please think about it. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Regina

JBaker515
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Senior Member
since 02-28-2001
Posts 1262
Dartmouth College


39 posted 08-14-2001 07:57 PM       View Profile for JBaker515   Email JBaker515   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JBaker515

OK..

Lets not all get mad at each other.

This is a forum, where we chat, disagree, show different sides of opinions.

There is no need to make shots at people, I think some people just have different opinions, its just human nature.  Right??

So everyone, be gentle...its fun to argue, but lets try and be respectful.

Thanks,
Jeff

~Jeff~

Hi Javi, Acire, Carly, Jen, Marge, Nan, Ron, Kit, Allan, Marie, Alby, and everyone else in PIP!!

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


40 posted 08-14-2001 10:28 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Regina,

Thanks, you've made my day.  

Regarding personal national pride:

Recently, we picked up my daughter's American passport and I felt very proud (that warm, fuzzy feeling where your eyes tear up kind of thing) to be giving my daughter American citizenship. I don't think this feeling can or should be changed. What I'm not going to do however is argue that her blue passport is always better than her green passport.

It's not in Korea.

But it is in America.

-------------------
BrightStar:

--Well, I don't know if I should be flattered or annoyed that so much is directed at me.  Just curious but are you saying that you don't mean the things you said in your 'jingoist' rant?

--Great!

--The following are specific responses:

Now, Brad, your liberal,

--How is anything I've said here liberal (in the American sense)? If you mean Liberal (in the philosophical sense), you're probably one too.

psuedo-intellectual comments

--What would be an intellectual comment? Something you agree with? Comments without 'ism' words? I really have said nothing here particularly controversial (I didn't make anything up.)

certainly have their rightful place.

--What exactly do you think my views are?

Please allow that my conservative lack of intellect

--Why do you think conservatives lack intellect? I've read many conservatives that I find persuasive. I actually prefer discussion with conservatives because we actually agree on 80 or 90 percent of the facts. Liberals, the ones I've met personally, argue from the "You've got to be kidding," point of view.

also has its place with the same rights afforded your views.

--Why would I disagree with this? When did I ever say you couldn't say your point of view? I didn't see any value in what you said in your 'jingoist' rant given the context of this thread.  Apparently you don't either.

You ask, Brad, and the Rebel also, what "debts" are due the USA.

--No, I didn't. I've avoided historical arguments in this whole thread. They have nothing to do with what I want to say. You've misinterpreted me in your haste to disagree.

It might help to read up on your history to determine just what I meant.

--It might help if you read what I wrote. If you're unsure what I mean, ask.  I'm not always as clear as I'd like to be because what I consider obvious, you don't, and vice versa.

Now, Brad, you say "I believe America is a country, not unlike many other countries. It sometimes makes good decisions and sometimes bad decisions.

Now, if you read the above statement, doesn't it seem common sensical? The problem occurs when national pride enters the picture."

Your comment is too general to determine if it has any common sense.

--It's general because in my first comment, I stated, more or less, the empirical strengths of America. What more are you looking for?

--My point here is that we should discuss specific issues and events and stop worrying about the 'manifest destiny' of America.

--My general point is that Americans often use a kind of rhetoric that can anger other nationalities.  I tried to give reasons why this is so.

It is a perfect example of "double-speak" that says nothing and then asks others to draw conclusions therefrom.

--No, it doesn't. It makes the question "Is America Good? Are Americans Good?" irrelevant. It means yes if you want or no if you want.

--I want to talk about what people say sometimes and whether that is good or bad and if it indeed causes a reaction in non-Americans. Through your example, you are making my case.  Even as a joke or as a "tongue in cheek" spoof, nobody else seemed to get it so please explain to me how a non-American or a non-English speaker will?

That's all I have time for now but I'll be back.

Brad
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


41 posted 08-14-2001 10:52 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The United States of America is a fabulous nation composed of fine, decent, well-meaning people -- and some not so fine, not so decent, and not so well meaning people.

Many of those in the fine column disagree with each other on issues and some of them choose to believe that if someone does disagree with them they must be from the not so fine, not so decent, and not so well meaning camp of people.

Somehow or another we manage to arrive at majority rule in our representative republic without civil wars breaking out every fifty years or so.

This is accomplished because the framers of the Constitution knew that there was an inherent danger in majority rule.  Mel Gibson voiced it best in 'The Patriot' when his character asked the question, "Why should I trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants a mile away?"

The danger is this: just because a majority of people think it is so -- doesn't make it so.

Knowing this the framers set out to be very careful with checks and balances to ensure that minority rights were not trampled by majority rule.  One of the mechanisms for this is the bill of rights that outlines our most basic civic liberties and a carefully phrased clause that ensures that something they may have overlooked as being a right of the people was not necessarially fair game by either the Federal or Local legislatures.

(This doesn't prevent lawmakers from trying though -- which is why we have the Supreme Court)

Another device deemed paramount -- since the President of the U.S. is the only commonly elected position -- that is -- the only one wherein every registered voter regardless of jurisdiction has the opportunity to vote for a presidential candidate -- was the Electoral College -- a device conservatives were happy to reap the benefits of in the last election.

We are very fortunate to have had a set of founding fathers like ours because they drafted a very well written document.  It gave rise to a spectacularly successful nation that engendered pride in almost every man woman and child that claims citizenship.

I doubt they could have imagined what their fledgling nation would become -- especially the military state that was born as a result of WWII and the Cold War -- but during the Cold War our nation became so bent on making the world safe for 'democracy' that we violated our own principals in order to do that.

It was ends justifies means thinking.

The way to impose democracy from without is to go into a nation and provide support(aka money, arms, training, subtrefuge) for a minority group to undermine the power of that nation's government -- whatever form it may be -- which is what we've done countless times.

That's why now, since we're more enlightened than we used to be -- we just do things to countries we don't agree with like imposing economic sanctions and embargoes to starve the innocent into uprising against their unfavorable governments -- and -- policies like those have worked so well against Castro and Saddam Hussein that we should be sure to do it the next time too.

Now if anyone wants to discuss debt -- lets be sure to include our trillion dollar national debt that we piled up fighting that cold war --

The loans, grants, and aid given to nations during WWII were foreign policy devices that were effective in meeting our ends -- namely -- keeping our own um.. things.. out of the wickett.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (edited 08-15-2001).]

Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


42 posted 08-14-2001 11:06 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Brightstar, just a few things to say about this  - well it sure didn't read tongue in cheek       It sounded like you were mightily annoyed..but hey - what you say is what you say right? Further - it's ok to be annoyed. I get annoyed all the time heh - it's how we express it that matters I think, in the context of a public forum at any rate.

A question: Did you intend to be ironic, or were you merely being convenient when you agreed?...I interpret that in itself as your own example of 'doublespeak' in a sense.      

One final thing - and I say this very gently. 'Gee, some folks just take a discussion, begun to elicit opinions, and move it to a personal level.' Honestly, Bright - what you addressed to me initially, no matter the 'tongue in cheek' slant you purport it had, seemed very personal indeed. Can you not see how you might bear responsibility for starting something 'personal'?

Finally - I agree with Jeff - let's chill out here eh? Let's not ruin a great discussion by slanging it out...

Local Rebel - something you said earlier struck a chord with me and I've been thinking about it ever since - the internet as the ultimate melting pot. And, funnily enough, as these things seem to happen, my university magazine had a short piece in the 'Webshyte' column this week about just that - so I'll quote some of it here:

From WEB with Thomas Scovell
In Craccum, Auckland University Magazine, Issue 16, 13 August.

Sections from 'One World.' (I've chosen to leave out the links that riddle his text - considering it is the Web column lol).

quote:
(In reference to the author's internet experiences): 'the world really was at my fingertips...nearly a decade later and I find myself spelling like an American. I find I can drop references to American household products that I'm not even able to purchase in NZ. This makes conversing with the millions of Americans that dominate the Internet simpler, sure. Even in written conversation a 'New Zealand accent' is a barrier to conversation in some ways, but isn't this a little disturbing? It's not until I find myself speaking just as comfortably in Americanese (*like I do now after two years at passions*) to an individual not located in the USA but (for instance) France for whom English is a second language, but one he uses every day in a social setting (online), that I realise the world at my finger tips is becoming frighteningly homogenised.


quote:
...It's when one culture takes on too much importance, becomes too attractive by virtue of (numbers, money..) whatever, such as the American culture has online that connectedness can have negative consequences. The internet is far from homogenous in itself, the variety of subcultures that prosper on it is immense, but today a youth in NZ can occupy a shared sub-culture as similar to his American counterparts as a net connected youth in Lithuania. When they met online they do not share the rich differences between their unique cultures but instead rely on their similarities to draw them closer.


That is the essential thing for me - we have to rely on similarities in order to effectively communicate.

Thomas goes on to say:

quote:
The problems this raises are many, from simple ones like the loss of local variations of English to the dominant language of the net, "American English", to a devaluation of local culture. Whether it be NZ European, Maori or Lithuanian, when the commercial web is forever selling you on 'Mom and apple pie' it is not hard to see how the aspirations to Uscentric capitalist success fly in the face of cherishing your own neighbourhood and culture.
quote:


His last couple of paragraphs state:

quote:
...What can be done? Plenty, but it will be a hard slog up the cultural creek before any real sign of progress is made the way the web is at the moment. The web needs to include more of 'other' cultures than e-commerce sites that sell their artefacts or trinkets - sites that entertain and inform about cultures, that encourage non-English discussions, that revel in diversity and all the confusion it causes, rather than homogenising us down to outposts on the American Frontier.


He finishes with this piece of advice for kiwi (NZer) web enthusiasts:

quote:
...So drop the z' when you catergori(z)e your new website and make it kiwi flavoured. Revel in it, or you might find yourself living next door to the Americans for real.


Which is definitely tongue in cheek heh.

Some of his piece seems incredibly biased and glossed over and I think this could be due to word-length constraints...yet its food for thought isn't it? - not only does this highlight the issue of culture on the net, but illustrates one other way NZers might view Americans and America...
K





[This message has been edited by Severn (edited 08-14-2001).]

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


43 posted 08-15-2001 02:40 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Thanks for passing that along Severn.. I always enjoy reading what you have to say... and if I were a NZer I'd probably have some of the same concerns.

The USA is a nation that was once rich in regional cultures and we've seen our dialects, customs, and landscape blurred by two things -- television and franchises...we've become very homoginized and the strange thing is -- it seems we get along with each other less and less all the time -- as you pointed out -- we are a violent country with road rage and such.

To Nan's point though, the reason things like road rage incedents and school shootings are in the news to begin with is because they don't happen every day.

Most Americans (like most people in the world) don't commit crimes and aren't doing anything particularly spectacular on any given day.

So viewing through the camera lens, even though true enough problems and events, presents a skewed look at our fruited plain here.

I don't want to get into a full blown civics lesson either -- but there was one question you asked about the 'cohesion' of the USA with power vested in the States..

First:
It is the Federal Constitution that provides the framework for all law in the USA.  That Constitution is the final word and the cohesion of our country.

Second:
It is the division of power between branches of the Federal Government -- and then the rights of States to execute for themselves their own affairs within the framework of the Constitution that does give us our greatest strength.

The US is a Federal Republic -- not a Confederation like the EU -- it is a stratified government.

rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


44 posted 08-15-2001 07:11 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Brad,

quote:
What I'm not going to do however is argue that her blue passport is always better than her green passport.


Point taken and well understood. I would feel the same way, if my children traveled abroad. I for one would not argue that fact as an American and would be very happy to see them venture the world. I think this helps greatly, for I don't understand why even my neighbors act the way they do socially sometimes, but it helps to well round a person to meet and greet every kind.  

Thank you all for the latter discussions ending the foul note. I appreciate all of your input and opinions.

Severn: Just to add a note here, My father spent several years in NZ as a naval man. He honestly said he loved it there. He felt in many ways it was untouched by much of the Americanized ways. That it was "Somewhere back in time" of a great reverie. Not in an  intellect sense but a commercial one of course.

So from an American point of personal opinion, it is odd that even he would tire of our ways, but he has. And no one could be a more proud American than he, but respectfully he is simply human first. Which leads me to LR's post, which he speaks of our constitution. Which I believe is the wonderful foundation of our country. Brought about by great humans. Without all the hoopla and media circus that we have now.

I think that is what we miss here in American, the simplicity of the handshake and honor. Now it's mud slinging contests from everything to Jerry Springer to Missing Persons and Murder accusations, to A house divided by Who slept with who and what is the definition of "Slept" on National TV.

I for one and I know My father would agree, would love to hear everyone's accent spoken loudly in everything done. My accent is Southern in drawl and I'm proud of that. For it's the voice of my little world, which always wants and needs to hear others in theirs. For in keeping up with the times, We always seem to end up in the TIMES, or Newsweek, USA Today what have you. And I prefer the smaller voices, as you all have expressed here in this forum. It seems that in our advancement of a nation, we become "Too big for our britches" sometimes, but there are still some of us here that proudly hold on to the "Hand Me Downs". From our great forefathers.


The USA is a nation that was once rich in regional cultures and we've seen our dialects, customs, and landscape blurred by two things -- television and franchises...we've become very homoginized and the strange thing is -- it seems we get along with each other less and less all the time --

So very true!

"Yall Come Back Now, Ya Hear!"  
Thank you!

Sincerely,
Regina
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


45 posted 08-15-2001 08:42 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Some replies have been removed. This is a very good topic, and has shown us many different opinions and thoughts concerning worldviews and philosophies, as well as a good dose of history. Let's try to keep the more social replies to the Lounge, okay?


Alicat
Alley/Lounge Mod
citizenx
Member
since 07-31-2001
Posts 206
motorcade


46 posted 08-16-2001 03:27 PM       View Profile for citizenx   Email citizenx   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for citizenx

nothing, when they stay in their own country... JOKING.

I don't know, I think it is because America is this huge country that has effected very other culture in some way. Everyone's heard of the term Americanisation. Other cultures do get assimilated by the american influence, it is a natural target.. the centre point of the West. Personally I have no problems with Americans, I don't think I would like to live there though.  


shadows flicker sweet end tame
dancing like crazy mourners" magazine

furlong
Member
since 04-08-2001
Posts 128


47 posted 08-17-2001 06:42 AM       View Profile for furlong   Email furlong   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for furlong

quote:
Of course, it is the sheer dominance of America itself. No country has ever had the military, the economic, and the cultural strength America does indeed have.


Surely not Brad.  Taken in geographical and social context the Roman Empire (and possibly the British) was certainly more "powerful" and influential.  Sure, the geographical sphere of influence might have been smaller in each case but then so was the geographical sphere of "civilisation" and the size of the global economy.

All "empires" are strong and all strength is generally envied by most and hated by some.

quote:
By the way, I've had this conversation before as well. Usually with the English


what a surprise!!  

But the net is helping us Brits to see that all Americans are not epitomised by the loudmouth in the multi coloured short sleeved shirt, piqued when they won't take his dollars at a Cornish iced cream booth ... lol    
  
I've learned that if you focus on people as individuals rather than some supposed national characteristic suddenly we are all the same.

F

PS Rule Britannia Land of Hope and Glory ... multiple    's


[This message has been edited by furlong (edited 08-17-2001).]

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


48 posted 08-18-2001 08:19 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

"civilization"?

Getting just a wee bit euro-centric there, aren't you?

However, I'll concede that both the Roman and the British (and a whole bunch of others) have left a stronger legacy than America has so far. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

Will that placate that English pride of yours?  

Should people be treated as individuals?

Yes, on an individual level.

But if we see tendencies, shouldn't we talk about them?

Or simply pretend they don't exist?

Talking about them can make people aware of things they may not realize they're doing (and then they can decide whether to continue or not) and/or can show that the tendencies we supposedly see are rubbish.

Either way, I see something valuable resulting.

Brad

furlong
Member
since 04-08-2001
Posts 128


49 posted 08-19-2001 06:10 AM       View Profile for furlong   Email furlong   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for furlong

"civilization"?

Getting just a wee bit euro-centric there, aren't you?

>>> er.... is it too late to say I meant just the Romans?..      

However, I'll concede that both the Roman and the British (and a whole bunch of others) have left a stronger legacy than America has so far. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

>>> I wasn’t so much pointing out the legacy as much as, inter alia, underlining the point that’s already been made several times in this thread that powerful nations or empires engender powerful negative reactions from other weaker nations (and in passing that this is also just as true at an individual level), and that imho this explains 99.9% of any anti-US feeling that there is in the world.  Take the tetchiness arising out of Bush’s decision not to sign up to most of the recently agreed measures to (perhaps) combat global warming.  You could say that the outrage is a result of disappointment that the largest and most polluting nation isn’t on board, but if you’ve seen the European press you’ll know that this has been taken very “personally”:  Yet one more example of the USA’s cavalier: "we’ll do what the hell we like and wotcha goin’ to do about it?” attitude.  

>>> As for the future: Don’t you think that America’s influence will fade quickly from now on?  No cataclysmic military or political events, as has been the case historically, but simply the increasing pace of boundary disintegration on every social, political and economic level everywhere hastened, I might say, by the waning of the ability of those supposedly “in power” to control the spread of knowledge and information.  (Oh, English as the global language helps as well      ).  I suppose I’m suggesting that America will shortly (50 years) have no equivalent of the military might of Rome or Britain (principally it’s economic status), and losing that, it loses it’s influence even before it really established that influence.


Will that placate that English pride of yours?

>>> Like I have often said, beneath that stern and serious visage of yours there is a permanently beatific smile..      


Should people be treated as individuals?

Yes, on an individual level.

But if we see tendencies, shouldn't we talk about them?

Or simply pretend they don't exist?

Talking about them can make people aware of things they may not realize they're doing (and then they can decide whether to continue or not) and/or can show that the tendencies we supposedly see are rubbish.

>>> I thought thats what I was saying.  I guess I see no reason why you shouldn’t discuss these things in a more formal way.  No harm at all in that.  I was just pointing out that the very act of being able to interact with people of different nations in an informal “day to day” way removes the need for such formal acknowledgement of the non-existence of differences at an individual level because it happens automatically.  So surely if you then extrapolate that into the multiple interactions of millions the problem of perceiving an undesirable national characteristic disappears.  That is, unless I am wrong.....lol...and the equivalent of “crowd-behaviour” cuts in somewhere, and makes groups behave irrationally even when they know better as individuals?

F


[This message has been edited by furlong (edited 08-19-2001).]

 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> The Alley >> Americans   [ Page: 1  2  3  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors