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10 things most Americans don't know about America
Old 07-27-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
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10 things most Americans don't know about America

This is a nicely-written piece. However, not being an American, I probably can't judge how accurate it is. (I can say that #7 and #9 did not come as too much of a surprise.)
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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Seemed accurate to me in regards to the surface view of a cultural differences POV. Obviously the deeper one goes in a culture the more nuances appear. But it is a reasonable differences 101 article. I'm sure every traveler has their own list.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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I found lots of truth here.

Funniest quote:
Quote:
As John Steinbeck famously said, the problem with poor Americans is that “they don’t believe they’re poor, but rather temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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? Struck me as one person's POV, with their own personal bias, and painting with an extremely broad brush. I really could not relate.

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Old 07-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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Like all good lies, there is an element of truth in what he writes. We can all find certain Americans who think the rest of the world is a dump compared to the USA, who think everybody else wants to be an American, who think little of value comes from anywhere but the USA, etc. But, we can also find people who understand and enjoy other cultures, other points of view and other lifestyles. And can do so without having to measure which is best and which is worst.

I think the author takes the same superficial view of Americans, that he thinks Americans take of others in the world. Not much difference in thinking between him and the people he is critisizing. My 2˘.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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I found lots of truth here.

Funniest quote:
Re Steinbeck quote: "the problem with poor Americans is that they don't believe they're poor, but rather temporarily embarrassed millionaires." I will just have to reread the Grapes of Wrath--this puts the Joads in a whole new light.

I am still proud to live in a country that allows and even encourages dissent and criticism of itself by its citizens. Party in the USA.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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I saw this on Facebook a couple of days ago. Was wondering where it came from (unless he copied it too.)
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Like all good lies, there is an element of truth in what he writes. We can all find certain Americans who think the rest of the world is a dump compared to the USA, who think everybody else wants to be an American, who think little of value comes from anywhere but the USA, etc. But, we can also find people who understand and enjoy other cultures, other points of view and other lifestyles. And can do so without having to measure which is best and which is worst.

I think the author takes the same superficial view of Americans, that he thinks Americans take of others in the world. Not much difference in thinking between him and the people he is critisizing. My 2˘.
Thank you - I was thinking that exactly, but was having trouble finding the words. Especially the section I bolded.

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Old 07-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #9
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However, not being an American, I probably can't judge how accurate it is.
That is very true BigNick.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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(yawn). Another know-it-all kid.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
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However, not being an American, I probably can't judge how accurate it is.
That is very true BigNick.
And it does make me curious as to why he thought it was 'nicely-written'?

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Old 07-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #12
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That was interesting.

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Old 07-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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Good fodder for discussion for sure. When I visited Omaha Beach in Normandy, I was stuck by the level of American commitment to WWII. If the author had visited that site, he would not have included that comment. The US could only be faulted for delaying their entry until after Pearl Harbour. That delay is what made the Normandy invasion necessary.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:21 PM   #14
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(I can say that #7 and #9 did not come as too much of a surprise.)
OK, I read a bit closer, and I will expand on my previous comments. I think the article is ridiculously stupid.

#7 - (We’re Paranoid)I don't think this reflects general paranoia. It is simply the news media trying to sensationalize things. If you want to generalize, how about "Mainstream 'journalism' in the US sucks"? I can buy that one. Is it better in other parts of the world? I would hope so, but here's a sample from the #1 circulation paper in the UK:



Pot calling the kettle black?


#9 - (9. We Are Very Unhealthy) - I'm well aware that we don't score well compared to other industrial nations, and our costs are higher. This was discussed a lot in the run up to the current health care legislation, so many should be aware of it.


Wait a minute - who was calling us paranoid? From the 'article':

Quote:
Our food is killing us. I’m not going to go crazy with the details, but we eat chemically-laced crap because it’s cheaper and tastes better (profit, profit).

Hmmm, so where is this evidence that the chemicals in our food are responsible for our health problems?

The author strikes me as a self-righteous, holier-than-thou, uninformed, arrogant, 'my crap doesn't stink', idiot.

Which is not to say that the US does not have faults. We have plenty of them, I can recognize them and I could discuss them for months on end. But not here, I'd be banned way before then.

I'm surprised he didn't use the UK spelling for words, since he has such a low opinion of us. And in the US, you are free to have your own opinion, and I'm free to think he is an idiot. In that way, it's a great Country!

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Old 07-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #15
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Good fodder for discussion for sure. When I visited Omaha Beach in Normandy, I was stuck by the level of American commitment to WWII. If the author had visited that site, he would not have included that comment. The US could only be faulted for delaying their entry until after Pearl Harbour. That delay is what made the Normandy invasion necessary.
Good point, much of my WWII history came from my parents(both born in 1917). At a tour through the Truman museum, they both recounted their memories of living through those days. Obviously the author did not get an opportunity to have experiences like they did. None of what my parents talked about was included in my formal education.

At a later trip to London, I visited another museum dedicated to WWII( in St. Pauls ?), this article didn't capture the gist of what I learned there.

Of course there's many opinions on what's right. I do agree that traveling overseas broadened my views of the world!

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Old 07-27-2013, 12:36 PM   #16
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Of course there's many opinions on what's right. I do agree that traveling overseas broadened my views of the world!

MRG
I speculate that the writer just had his first episode of that exposure to other cultures over the last 3 years. So I'm fine with his POV. He can figure some of the deeper issues later. I wonder what section of American culture he is from. He might have been too sheltered, or else was never interested in what goes on in the rest of the world.

He also needs to realize that he still is an outsider in other countries, and is treated as such.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:59 PM   #17
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One other thing, notice that he picks and chooses, and mix and matches his comparisons. For example, he talks about great hospitals in Asia, and then vaccination costs in Columbia.


Quote:
Outside of getting ****-housed drunk and screaming “I LOVE YOU, MAN!”, open displays of affection in American culture are tepid and rare.
His choice as to whom he associates with. Like my old grand pappy used to say, "Your friends define you."
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:24 PM   #18
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Of course there's many opinions on what's right. I do agree that traveling overseas broadened my views of the world!
One thing I do believe, is that the world's only remaining super power would make better international decisions if more of our citizens traveled overseas a bit, say just one two week trip to Europe, and another two weeks in Asia in their life. Sorry, Canada and Mexico don't count.

Despite my well justified criticisms of the article, many Americans do have a bent view of the rest of the world. I remember when a good friend of mine refused to take a trip to Ireland with me because "it's a third world country."

OTOH, he thinks Singapore is a class act with no comparison. That's because he has Asian-American neighbors and has developed a friendship with their relatives who live in Singapore. Point made, I think.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:50 PM   #19
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This is what I view as a "hunter shooting fish in a barrel" article. One can probably come up with "10 things most citizens of <name a country> don't know about <name your country>". Entertaining reading but no great insight. The tone really stuck me more as a political rather than a cultural issue the author has. Color me biased as the child of immigrants who is still glad his parents came here.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #20
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A lot of the criticisms here were the kind he received and addressed in the follow up post here if anyone is interested.
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