Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 27th Jan 2008 23:13 UTC
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RE: Offensive comic
by theraven1982 on Wed 30th Jan 2008 18:08 UTC in reply to "Offensive comic"
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I hope you're joking...
This kind of attitude is exactly what makes people (or at least me) despise Americans (not only Americans, others as well, but in this case it's America). It's a joke ... Self centered Americans with this attitude is what makes the general public hate America.
`If you offend me, I'll punish you'

Lighten up,

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Offensive comic
by Quag7 on Thu 31st Jan 2008 21:27 in reply to "RE: Offensive comic"
Quag7 Member since:

On the other side of it, as an American, as one who identifies as such, as one who will always be one no matter where I live because of how I speak, and how I think about certain things, it's getting to a point now where - and this is unfortunate - I'm losing respect for many of our critics.

See, I know our media and government has not only failed the world, but us. But at the same time, I'm supposed to, on one hand, take a constant barrage of criticism for all of these American excesses: simplistic thinking, racism, lumping, oh, Muslims together, and elitism...from people who embody *precisely* the same excesses when speaking about 300 million people collectively as if we are one homogeneous authoritarian mass. The way we are stereotyped - ridiculously - by people who think they know way more about the US than they actually do - would be sad and hurtful if it wasn't so *funny*.

The underlying assumption about the United States is that we are somehow in control of our government - that our government represents our values, and that this is a government of the people, so that by extension, when it fails, you can blame the people. That's not how it is.

At this point, there are three groups of Americans:

(*) the ones who never listen to what anyone abroad says, who (I think) many overseas take to be the bulk of us, even though I don't know a single person like that.

(*) the second are self-hating Americans who rush to agree with any slag on the United States either out of genuine self-loathing or in some kind of effort to ingratiate themselves with (mostly Europeans) whose countries and cultures they fetishize (I'm a bit of an Anglophile myself so like, criticism of my country especially from the UK hurts the most - this is weird, I am not sure why it is, but when the British slag us, it gets under my skin - so I recognize this impulse. Many of us wish the United States was more culturally "European" in some ways, anyway - not in rejection of our own values and identity but to supplement some of its deficiencies).

(*)The last crowd are the people who at first appreciated the insight and seemingly objective assessment of the United States's considerable failings, but have realized the profound nationalistic hatred that many of the US's critics really harbor, though they'll deny this when confronted about the fact that they've done nothing but rant about the US (as a single bestial entity) for years. What's funny about so many of the US's critics is you still insist on buying our goods, importing our culture, and allowing, in some countries anyway, big yellow Ms to destroy your beautiful landscapes. Many of you can't even prevent a stupid McDonalds from moving into your town centers and somehow we're supposed to take you seriously when you insist we're apathetic cowards who won't take on our own quasi-fascist government with its missiles, tanks, and fighter jets right here at home (oh wait, they're all over in the middle east, nevermind ;) - this isn't a matter of mettle, this is one of tactics. This is a matter of not knowing how to confront our government in a way which will make a difference. DEMONSTRATIONS AND MARCHES DO NOT WORK. They are worthless. They are ignored by the media - a media controlled by, I would add, Rupert Murdoch - an Australian.

Many of the assessments of the US's decline are spot on, but the way the criticisms sound to me, sometimes, it's like you want people like my family, friends, and I, to suffer for it. That's your right, but don't expect me to respect you for it.

All of the people I love are Americans, because I live here, and my family and friends and people who made a difference to me are here. Do you seriously expect people in the US to just take the mean-spirited stuff in stride? Most of us don't hate ourselves like that. Our government, sure, but I know that I don't think of the United States as just, or mainly, our government (mostly I picture the open road, and my grandfather's house, but that's just the way I envision it). Anyway, I am burned out on self-loathing, because I *do* feel responsibility for how things have gone. It is dissonance - both things at once. It sucks. I can't stand watching this happen to my country.

I'm open for suggestions. I'm open to listen to solutions to our problems because we obviously do not have the answers ourselves.

But the elitism makes it hard. The condescending tone of people who obviously get most of their ideas about the US from their own television sets and hysterical media and then blame Americans for doing the same thing, doesn't help matters. You know what? Most people I live next to are nice people. Mostly everyone I knows is a civil libertarian, believes in Darwinian evolution, science, and considers themselves a citizen of the world - a world, which, incidentally, *doesn't particularly want them* because they were born on a piece of land which today is unpopular.

These same people would help you out if you were stranded. These same people would give you a warm meal and welcome you into their homes. That's the average American I know from 35 years of living here. People get rightfully irritated when Americans make stupid, ignorant statements about their own countries. I hear more than my share about the one I live in from people who have a wildly distorted image of what the USA is.

This isn't a martyr thing. The USA will continue on with or without the support or esteem from the rest of the world. But I don't want it to be that way. I want to travel the world without ignorantly being judged because of where I'm from, without regard to my education or my philosophy. But right now, I don't even want to go to anywhere because, if the internet is any indication, I'm just going to be hated...because of where I was born. It's not boo hoo, woe is me, it's more like, it'll just ruin it for me. Why bother? It's sad too, because I would like to *live* in Europe, for the differences. To grow. Since I was a child, Britain, Ireland, and France, have captivated me (in different ways). I respect these places, but I seriously wonder what will happen if I try to visit. I feel unwelcome. I think many other USians do. And then we get blamed for being insular at the same time. It's sort of a Catch-22.

Some people will take the time to draw a distinction between the actions of the US military-industrial complex and those who support and enable it, and the rest of us who resist it as best as we can given the complete breakdown of democratic principles, but most don't bother. It's "stupid fat Americans. I hope you all die." (I actually read something like this today on reddit.)

I'm not going to sob about it (maybe a bit), but if some of us no longer take our critics seriously, it's because of this. You're *not helping*. Yeah, Bush is the antichrist and our foreign policy is beyond immoral. We get that. I agree. Everyone who is ever going to agree *already agrees*. Now if you have some ideas about what to do short of revolution, I am absolutely open to considering it.

We cannot simply snap our fingers and change our government any more than most of you can. We vote, we write editorials to propagandize our dissent to win other voters. What is it you expect Americans to do?

And oh, by the way, what further diminishes the credibility of some of our critics is that their own governments have imported some of our bad habits. I see the UK with its Orwellian spycam network, and worse yet I see many *apologizing for it* like it's a good thing, and then these same people turn around and bash the US for its invasions of privacy? All over the world these ideas are being adopted. Take care of your own backyard and *work with us, not against us* to help clean up ours.

This has been a comment on the discussion and anti-Americanism in general, not the cartoon, which was about US internet governance.

Reply Parent Score: 1