T Nation

America Bashing

Just got back from a fantastic trip to Florence, where I stayed in a backpacker hostel with a lot of different nationalities. The majority was probably USA, Canada and Australian,

Anyway, it got a bit tiresome on how conversations would always turn to American politics, the war, Bush bashing etc. It would tend to be the Americans feeling kind of obliged to apologize for it all and feeling somewhat ashamed, and I guess embarrassed.

I actually feel sorry for a lot of the Americans packing around Europe cos they must get this shit on a daily basis…hearing how bad their country is from just about everyone they ever meet. Usually from the Canadians, of course, and often rather smug Europeans.

Some of the US guys would actually lie and say they were from Canada because it was less hassle. One girl said she hung a Canadian flag from her backpack when she was in Israel due to the shit it would cause as if people knew she was from the US.

Anyway, not sure what my point is. I liked a lot of the US guys and gals i met, and have been guilty of America bashing myself. I guess after seeing and hearing all the bashing for the last week i’m kind of over it.

From what I’ve heard, most foreigners are pretty disgusted with American Foreign policy and American Politics, but they are still generally okay with American Citizens. That being said, I’m having a bit of international traveling coming up, so I will find out first-hand soon enough.

Additionally, I think America often gets the brunt of criticism from all angles over all things simply because we are a very big and powerful country. There is some amount of hating going on simply because we are as dominant as we are. Sports fans can relate to this mentality. How many basketball fans out there hate the Lakers or the Celtics? Quite a few, usually for no good reason other than, those two teams have been the two most dominant franchise in Basketball history, and more often than not, they have beaten every other team viciously at some point in their history.

But then, if you look at both those teams today, they are kind of languishing, Celtics just got some major trades and Lakers got Fisher back, so both teams have a good shot this season, but the past few seasons have been dismal. And here’s the rub, there has been that much less anti-Lakers and anti-Celtic noise when these teams have been down and out. Most of the vocal minority talking trash about them, were really only talking trash about the popular dominant team, because, at the end of the day, it was just cool to talk trash about the popular dominant team. Certainly cooler than picking on a statistically deficient team.

What was I talking about again? and when does the next season start?

people unable to look past your nationality are not wasting time with

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
From what I’ve heard, most foreigners are pretty disgusted with American Foreign policy and American Politics, but they are still generally okay with American Citizens. That being said, I’m having a bit of international traveling coming up, so I will find out first-hand soon enough.

Additionally, I think America often gets the brunt of criticism from all angles over all things simply because we are a very big and powerful country. There is some amount of hating going on simply because we are as dominant as we are. Sports fans can relate to this mentality. How many basketball fans out there hate the Lakers or the Celtics? Quite a few, usually for no good reason other than, those two teams have been the two most dominant franchise in Basketball history, and more often than not, they have beaten every other team viciously at some point in their history. But then, if you look at both those teams today, they are kind of languishing, Celtics just got some major trades and Lakers got Fisher back, so both teams have a good shot this season, but the past few seasons have been dismal. And here’s the rub, there has been that much less anti-Lakers and anti-Celtic noise when these teams have been down and out. Most of the vocal minority talking trash about them, were really only talking trash about the popular dominant team, because, at the end of the day, it was just cool to talk trash about the popular dominant team. Certainly cooler than picking on a statistically deficient team.

What was I talking about again? and when does the next season start?
[/quote]

yeah i get the analogy. It’s the same with Man U and Chelsea in the football over here. It’s like they’re fair game.

Manchester United and Chelsea are not football teams; they’re soccer. That said, I can’t see why Europeans look at us as arrogant or uneducated. Many Bush supporters voted for Bush in 2000 because he promised no nation building (a la Yugoslavia and Somalia) the way Clinton did, but 9/11 came. He got a lot of votes in 2004 because we were (and still are) at war and needed a stable, strong leader instead of someone as indecisive as Kerry. Europeans don’t know what it’s like to have to deal with modern war because America is the world police now and we do a lot of work to protect them. Europe’s armed forces are just a mess now and they don’t respect the amount of help they get from us.

That said, the Euro is an insanely overrated currency compared to the dollar now. Forget France; I’m going on vacation in Michigan or Kansas or something. The people are nicer, stuff isn’t insanely expensive, no security checkpoints, and I’m supporting the homeland. Going to Europe is just pointless these days.

[quote]Higher Game wrote:
Manchester United and Chelsea are not football teams; they’re soccer. That said, I can’t see why Europeans look at us as arrogant or uneducated. Many Bush supporters voted for Bush in 2000 because he promised no nation building (a la Yugoslavia and Somalia) the way Clinton did, but 9/11 came. He got a lot of votes in 2004 because we were (and still are) at war and needed a stable, strong leader instead of someone as indecisive as Kerry. Europeans don’t know what it’s like to have to deal with modern war because America is the world police now and we do a lot of work to protect them. Europe’s armed forces are just a mess now and they don’t respect the amount of help they get from us.[/quote]

yeah well soccer is a dirty word to the English mate so lets leave it at that. And im definitely not getting into ANOTHER political debate.

[quote]
That said, the Euro is an insanely overrated currency compared to the dollar now. Forget France; I’m going on vacation in Michigan or Kansas or something. The people are nicer, stuff isn’t insanely expensive, no security checkpoints, and I’m supporting the homeland. Going to Europe is just pointless these days.[/quote]

Yeah, well it depends what you are looking for. It’s good for the mind and the soul to experience another culture. It’s also really good to sample strange and exotic women. As for the people being nicer? Never been to Kansas or Michigan, but if the girls are anything like the girls i met in Italy, im there. They really dig the accent and the Enlgishness.

When I went to the Uk & France back in '02, Europe was still behind us, but most could see the Iraq war coming and it often came up in conversation. What bothered me was that I was over there to learn about how they live, their politics, I wasn’t at all interested in hearing about what’s wrong with mine.

Anyway, exchange rates are so bad for us, I’ll be staying home for the foreseeable future.

The problem lays when an American misinterprets legitimate critiques and criticisms as “bashing” or “terrorist sympathizing”. Far too many lay-people in America think this way whenever their politicians or society is criticized, especially by those outside the culture. While there are many instances of fallacious attacks and rhetoric against the U.S., there are just as many objections that are appropriate and that should be recognized in order to improve our society and build onto the ideals set forth in the Constitution.

Of course, in my opinion, the problem is primarily in the politicians(from both parties) who have run this great nation into the ground, albeit most likely temporarily. The fish rots from the head, as is evident looking at Washington D.C. today.

As for taking something said against our current president as a personal insult against your national identity, don’t.

[quote]Higher Game wrote:
Manchester United and Chelsea are not football teams; they’re soccer. [/quote]

What are you? The resident stereotype-confirming guy.

Guys, in Holland we still have not forgotten the Americans, Brits and Canadians who’ve liberated us from the Germans sixty-two years ago.
You, the sons and grandsons of these heroes I’d like to tell you : “thank you for my liberty, for which your fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers fought and died for”
I’ll never forget this !

J

[quote]Zwartbroek wrote:
Guys, in Holland we still have not forgotten the Americans, Brits and Canadians who’ve liberated us from the Germans sixty-two years ago.
You, the sons and grandsons of these heroes I’d like to tell you : “thank you for my liberty, for which your fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers fought and died for”
I’ll never forget this !

J [/quote]

that was really cool of you to say… i applaud you…

to the original poster… you should have stood up for your country and told those guys to fuck off…
you should be proud of your country, even if you are not on the same page as the current government…

[quote]Zwartbroek wrote:

You, the sons and grandsons of these heroes I’d like to tell you : “thank you for my liberty, for which your fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers fought and died for”
I’ll never forget this !

J [/quote]

Why thank them? They are merely the offspring of the people you should be thanking. Why, if one generation deserves just as much credit for the actions of their parent’s generation, then it would be completely justified to blame the sons and daughters of parents who lived by the fascist ideologies of the Axis powers. According to your logic, I could just as easily write:

“You, the sons and grandsons of of those who participated in such atrocities as the Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking and the horrific experiments on human populations you subdued through military force, I’d like to tell you: thank you for the misery you caused upon humanity and the memories that you left that continue to haunt the victims to this day.”

No?

I myself have no control over what previous generations did or did not do, therefore it is silly for me to take responsibility or pride in any of their accomplishments or misdeeds.

AdamC,

Bush bashing does not equal America bashing.

Israel would not exist with out the US, why do they hate us?

[quote]blitzkrg wrote:
to the original poster… you should have stood up for your country and told those guys to fuck off…[/quote]

AdamC is British, not American.

This is a logic I could never understand.

Defending something you believe to be wrong makes absolutely no sense. If your country is right, then by all means, defend its actions. If it’s wrong, then you should set it right, not rationalize its policy, rally around a piece of cloth, and call every critic an “anti-American” or “America-hater”.

Pride and common sense aren’t mutually exclusive.

Absurd.
If it’s true, then why the hell do they do this? Perhaps there IS a little something to it? Perhaps people ARE annoyed like hell that you invaded a country from base motives? Wouldn’t that be a damn good reason so that even friends can get pissed?
When I was a little boy in the eighties, America was stellar, unreachable. Everyone kept always saying, it’s “the land of infinite possibilities” (Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten), and when someone flew over the big pond, we were jealous.
Then came that semi-literate SOAB along and stole the show. Did I mention that you reelected him (well, kinda), thereby making clear you’d like him to stay the course.
You could accept a little discussion here and there, it’s just a consequence.

America used to be a fantastic country. The reason why you get so much criticism is because you have decayed so much so quickly, but are too arrogant to admit it.

I’m sure I’d have no issue with most US citizens, but the country you are responsible for is a joke.

If you want something to be proud of:
Don’t attack other countries, killing your own men and civilians, over oil;
Fix your education system;
Fix your industries (all your major ones are failing)
Export something to the world which isn’t trash;
Don’t be fat;
Don’t be arrogant if you are ignorant;
Don’t get into a debt so massive you’ll never repay it.

I’m sure this is going to upset a lot of people, and I realize these points won’t apply to most of the people that read this.

Its pretty hard to deny your country is screwed up.

[quote]abcd1234 wrote:
Zwartbroek wrote:

You, the sons and grandsons of these heroes I’d like to tell you : “thank you for my liberty, for which your fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers fought and died for”
I’ll never forget this !

J

Why thank them? They are merely the offspring of the people you should be thanking. Why, if one generation deserves just as much credit for the actions of their parent’s generation, then it would be completely justified to blame the sons and daughters of parents who lived by the fascist ideologies of the Axis powers. According to your logic, I could just as easily write:

“You, the sons and grandsons of of those who participated in such atrocities as the Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking and the horrific experiments on human populations you subdued through military force, I’d like to tell you: thank you for the misery you caused upon humanity and the memories that you left that continue to haunt the victims to this day.”

No?

I myself have no control over what previous generations did or did not do, therefore it is silly for me to take responsibility or pride in any of their accomplishments or misdeeds. [/quote]

GOOD POST!!!

[quote]ZedLeppelin wrote:
America used to be a fantastic country. The reason why you get so much criticism is because you have decayed so much so quickly, but are too arrogant to admit it.

I’m sure I’d have no issue with most US citizens, but the country you are responsible for is a joke.

If you want something to be proud of:
Don’t attack other countries, killing your own men and civilians, over oil;
Fix your education system;
Fix your industries (all your major ones are failing)
Export something to the world which isn’t trash;
Don’t be fat;
Don’t be arrogant if you are ignorant;
Don’t get into a debt so massive you’ll never repay it.

I’m sure this is going to upset a lot of people, and I realize these points won’t apply to most of the people that read this.

Its pretty hard to deny your country is screwed up.[/quote]

I rate this 6 ouches and one bonus grimace of pain.

Because after all, the truth hurts.

[quote]ZedLeppelin wrote:
America used to be a fantastic country. The reason why you get so much criticism is because you have decayed so much so quickly, but are too arrogant to admit it.

I’m sure I’d have no issue with most US citizens, but the country you are responsible for is a joke.

If you want something to be proud of:
Don’t attack other countries, killing your own men and civilians, over oil;
Fix your education system;
Fix your industries (all your major ones are failing)
Export something to the world which isn’t trash;
Don’t be fat;
Don’t be arrogant if you are ignorant;
Don’t get into a debt so massive you’ll never repay it.

I’m sure this is going to upset a lot of people, and I realize these points won’t apply to most of the people that read this.

Its pretty hard to deny your country is screwed up.[/quote]

And what wonderful country might you be from sir?

Who gives a shit? Americans rule. We run shit, and whoever doesn’t want to be down with us is forced to do what we say. Everybody watches our tv shows, and listens to our music. All those americans that couldn’t take the bashing over there are soul searching anyway.