or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Do you think about the United States often???
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do you think about the United States often??? - Page 2

post #31 of 42

I appreciated reading your post. I don't pretend that America does not have it's fault. Like I said, I believe every country has it's faults, including the United States.

As for the media. It is the U.S. media stations and so they are mostly airing to the U.S. I watch the CBC frequently (I live near the border of Canada/USA). There is a lot of Canadian pride being broadcast over that channel. I don't fault the CBC, it's broadcast base is Canada.

As for teaching African-American week and whatnot, that does not happen in all schools over the United States. Each state decides on what they will teach and how it will be presented. I think the main reason why these certain items are taught, is because of the people that advocate them. Especially in large metro areas. They put pressure on the government and school boards to teach these isolated classes.

Again, I appreciated your post.
post #32 of 42
Regarding African-American month, etc., The reason we have these recognition months is because the rest of the time, most of what we are taught and what we see on TV is based on rich white men. If you look at most history books, they cover only what the wealthy white folks were doing (or what rich white guys want us to know). For example, in the USA, we don't learn in our history classes about the people who were here before the white man came, in fact history books, TV shows, and even national park rangers say that Daniel Boone was the first person to see Kentucky! Hello! What about all of the native americans who lived in Kentucky for hundreds and hundreds of years before he showed up!?

By having African American month, we are forced to recognize the contributions of blacks to our country and Women's history month forces us to recognize the role women play in the development of the nation, etc, etc So, until we routinely include the history and contributions of blacks, women, asians, native americans, the irish hispanics, etc into our education, these recognition months and weeks are the only way we will learn about these groups.


Regarding what Mags wrote....this is exactly how I see we are portrayed in our movies, TV, and news broadcasts. I think you did a good job of summarizing how the American media protrays the country. I think there is a hint of truth behind this portrayal, but just a hint. What the media does is to pick up tiny pieces of reality and then blows it all out of proportion. Are there gun-toting wacko's out there...yes! But most gun owners are just as sane as the rest of us. Are there ethno-centric religious and political zealots here? You bet. But most of us are quite mellow and even moderate in our beliefs. The list goes on and on.

If I was to believe how the media portrays African countries, I would believe all Africans are murderers and theifs. But since my husband lived a year in Nigeria, I know that is not the truth. If I was to believe the media, I would believe Germans are rigid, nazi-like conformists, but since I lived there several years myself, I know that Germans can be some of the most laid-back people. Heck, the Germans I knew were some of the wildest partiers I've ever seen.

Anyway. I am glad that Mags wrote what she wrote. It forces us to look at the movies and TV shows we are sending to other countries, and hopefully it forces us to look at what our politicians and representatives are saying and doing, because this is what the rest of the world sees. They don't get to see the real Americans just like we don't get to see the real Australians, Germans, Nigerians, etc.....
post #33 of 42
Oh I found it! (just a joke)

post #34 of 42
Oh that is classic! Although it forgot to mention that in that southern place where "There Be Dragons" the only thing they do is make drugs to destroy America.
post #35 of 42
Well let's see...how do I fix what I said....and this time I'll forgo the summarising, kinda why people got offended. I'm sorry.

Now about guns. I'm not anti-gun. The point was I was trying to make was that what has been shown that is required to get a gun is that you walk in a shop, fill out a questionnaire and wait the cooling off period and viola, you have a gun. I have no clear idea of how it is done in Australia since yet more changes were made in the last year. I do know it is more complicated, and that there is no guarantee that you will be granted a license even though you've applied for it.

I don't believe all I see on television about America. Well I try my best not to. If I did I wouldn't be wanting to visit one day. I'm sorry that I made everyone out to be a gun toting psychopath waiting for a lawsuit to fall into their laps. I thought I made it clear that this wasn't what I thought of most of the population of America. I do realise that it is a minority. Heck, even in Australia we have our fair share. (Got any ideas where we can put these people? I think they would all get along nicely and give the rest of us some peace.)

And about the American news I see. It isn't a five second feature on the regular Aussie news show. It's a half hour to full hour coverage from the USA aired on a channel called SBS which has news shows from around the world. Though admittedly I do tend to watch it sporadically and only remember the stories with subject matter that stands out, unfortunately the really overdone ones such as Columbine, Oklahoma bombing, cat that returned home after 7 years of being missing, the sniper shootings, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving stories designed to melt even the coldest of hearts and Groundhog days, (I love the little guy, Punxsutawney Phil and was nice to see the governor attend finally).

Ok....I'll stop here. Hopefully I cleared some of my mess up. If not, I'll try yet again. I am sorry to everyone that I did offend.
post #36 of 42
Lynx, That was way too funny! Thanks for giving the link.
post #37 of 42
Mags, you just happened to touch on a couple of touchy subjects for me. Honestly, what you see on the news is probably about the same thing we see - it's either the horror stories or the melt-your-heart stories.

With the guns, it is fairly easy to acquire a gun, but we do have regulations. You have to be over 18, cannot have a felony on your record EVER, no restraining orders. That's what the paperwork is for - a background check. You cannot just go buy fully automatic weapons, those require a special license and those are really hard to get (and very expensive!). You cannot carry a concealed weapon (handgun) without a special permit, and even those have limitations determined by the county you live in (i.e. even with a permit, you can't take a gun into any government building, any school, parks, places like that).

I'm sorry it came across that you would believe everything you see about the US. I know that's not the case, or you probably wouldn't be talking to us! LOL What I was trying to say, is that if an image is shown to a person every day and they have no other point of reference (i.e. you know a lot of Americans on this Board, which I'm sure tempers some of the "typical American" sentiments shown on TV and in the movies), they will beleive what is shown. I was also trying to say that what the US exports as showing what we are isn't a very good image. The news shows the worst of society, TV shows over-simplified unrealistic characters, and the movies - OI!
post #38 of 42
If you think about it, Americans are at fault for how Americans are viewed around the world. We make the movies and TV shows that get sent all over the world. And if you take a look at some of these shows you'd run for cover.

I remember visiting my family in Sweden and I sat there and watched Twin Peaks with my cousins. When it ended they turned to me and said, "What was that supposed to mean?" I was at a loss. I didn't understand the darned show myself!

As for the freedom to express your culture, etc., I believe it's a good thing, but occasionally I run into a situation where I wish people weren't quite so open about their appreciation of a certain individual because he killed a relative of mine. I, though, keep my mouth shut because I realize that they don't know everything that person did, just like I don't know all the good stuff they did.
post #39 of 42
When I was in my teens, I did a bus tour of Europe. The majority of people on my tour were Americans. I was wearing a Canadian flag on my lapel and for the most part everyone I encountered was thrilled to meet the Canadaian, but the Americans on my trip were not so lucky. Now some were you stereotypical American Tourist with the madras shorts, loud shirts and even loader mouth, but most were great normal "American" people. The Americans were not treated as nicely as the Canadians in the group, for the reason of having horrid portrayal in movies about the American Tourist. Half way thru the trip, I had Americans offering to buy my lapel pin. It was a very interesting trip!
post #40 of 42
what i have to say as a New Zealander with a chinese background who lives in australia, and has studied in a british education system , and an american education system taught by canadians in hong kong is that i love all things american. i have a best friend in california, ( i also have a best friend in canada and england) and i love american men! (LOL i think its the accent, it makes them sound really confident!).

i don't know why, i think its just the lifestyle(?) or the culteral diversity, i would love to live in new york, or california, or even toronto in canada. or then again maybe i've been watching too much TV! i just like the idea of living in a busy city, after my degree i plan to move to at least sydney, perth is just too quiet for me...

but i can understand why people don't like the states either, especailly over here when they show shows like the Jerry Springer show, that give us the impression that americans are all redneck country bumkins!
post #41 of 42
The Issue:
Worldwide poll finds distrust of America.
Newspaper's Comment:
America's arrogance is costing us our friends.

Global poll critical of U.S.
Findings say foreign policy dangerous to world peace

People in most of the rest of the world like and admire Americans. But they wouldn't care to live here, believe our foreign policy is dangerous to world peace, don't like our president, and are dead-set against their home country adopting American economic practices.

Those are the main findings in a worldwide poll of 11,000 people, including Americans. The poll was coordinated by the BBC, and conducted by major polling firms in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Even the inclusion of Americans in the poll failed to tilt the results toward more favorable views of the United States. The Americans in the survey often held completely opposite views of their country than did those polled elsewhere in the world.

For instance, when asked if America is a force for good in the world, 79 percent of Americans agreed, but less than half of the respondents worldwide felt the same way. When asked if America's superior military power makes the world a safer place, 68 percent of Americans said yes, but only 29 percent of those questioned elsewhere agreed.

The poll surveyed opinions of everything from American products and culture to our quality of life. It found that even those respondents living in countries closest to the United States geographically, culturally or politically, view America with some contempt.

Asked, for instance, if America is a better place to live than their own country, only 6 percent of Canadians, who see us up close, agreed. Only 14 percent of Canadians said their country should copy America's brand of capitalism. Among respondents in the United Kingdom, another close relative of the United States, only 11 percent felt their country should copy U.S. economic policy.

The survey also found that 60 percent of the respondents outside the United States hold unfavorable views of President George W. Bush, and 59 percent believe the U.S.-led war against Iraq was wrong.

Meanwhile, in matchup after matchup, respondents viewed the United States as a greater threat to world peace than Iran, Syria, Russia or China. The United States and North Korea are viewed as equal threats to world peace. Only the al-Qaida terrorist organization is seen around the world as a greater threat than the United States to peace.

It would be easy to dismiss these poll results as based on envy for the world's only super-power. The respondents consistently affirmed their regard for American products and ideals, and their support for our war on terrorism.

What they appear to object to is the bullying nature of America's current foreign and economic policy - the implication by our government that those who aren't with us are against us and can expect to pay the price. That might explain why 65 percent in the poll described America as arrogant.

For now, self-righteous Americans will likely shrug off such worldwide disdain. Who, after all, is going to challenge us?

But that's exactly the attitude costing us esteem among even our closest friends. At some point, we'll need to ask for help, and few around the world - as was foreshadowed in the case of the war in Iraq - will be willing to answer the call.
post #42 of 42
I think about my country all the time (USA). It amazes me too how some of my fellow American's don't know the difference between a City and a State yet alone know the names of all the States! And I'm appaulled at how many people don't inform themselves and vote here.

Many of you know my husband is Iraqi and we have many Iraqi friends. I have always heard how much Iraqi's love America even though they felt let down when Bush #1 didn't let Swartzkopf finish the job the first time. Hubby says people in the Middle East learn a lot about other countries and especially about the U.S. In fact they probably know more about our country then many of our fellow citizens! Sad but true.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Do you think about the United States often???