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mew

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Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
« Reply #120 on: January 10, 2014, 00:41 »
it may be the 'young country' thing…it's really the only thing we know how to do to show that we are united and tough…
during /after wars flags symbolize our freedom and how it was won by fighting for it…
yeah it has degraded into a weird sticker and cheap souvenir type logo in my opinion..but it really is the only thing we have to show that no matter what we are 'all' Americans and flying the flag is a knee jerk and ingrained response that has no other comparable…

feck I don't know  :S
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  • mew

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #121 on: January 10, 2014, 00:43 »
    …and I for one would never stand in a crowd and yell USA USA…just like I wouldn't shove my face into a tv camera and wave and yell idiotic profanities

     :bah :=B
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #122 on: January 10, 2014, 01:00 »
    For me, holding flags in such a high regard in countries such as the USA is almost childish in some way. "Look at me waving my flag, I'm AMERICAN!" But then again, I find all nationalism incomprehensible to be honest. I can't help I'm Dutch, so why would it be something to be proud of? It's a fine nationality, I like it when we're doing well in football, but to be proud of it? I'm not proud of being white or brown-eyed or atheist either, so why would I be of my nationality?

    I think the only justified usage of a flag is what used to happen in Denmark 5 - 10 years ago where people would put small flags in dog poo to warn people that somebody didn't bother to pickup. I really want that tradition to return.


    What's wrong with ABBA eh? Mock them and you'll pee off a couple of brits and aussies too  :D

    Main thing I dislike about ABBA is that everyone seem to love them, when they were only average at best. They are a while from cracking my top 3 of stuff from Sweden I dislike list though. # All the neo-nazi's, what is up with that? #2 Swedish clerks in Copenhagen, when I switched to English upon realizing the clerk was Swedish it should be a hint that I'd rather speak English than "Scandinavian" #3 The fact that I couldn't come up with anything for number 3.

    Taking about racists, what is up with Denmark having a stereo type of Swedish people being drunk. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. It is all the same, Swedes are only drunk when ever they in Denmark. Danish people are drunk most of the time being in Denmark too.

     
    See this is where i disagree, i find nationalistic flag waving, especially from Americans, as really annoying. But again, perhaps its from the negative images in british culture of flag waving, bnp, skinheads, football fans, who have taken the cross of st george and made it their own. The cross of st george in britain is very often viewed as a symbol of fasism.

    Union Flag, fine, cross of st George, not so.

    England might be the place most in need of some PR advise of all the places I have ever seen. The type of press they receive around the world makes it seem like Team Sky hired the best team in all of England to do their PR. A woman in Greece won an award for beating up an English tourist I remember hearing sometime.

     
    And just to offer yet another perspective:
    You will also find the American flag prominently displayed in the wake of disasters. It's basically a way of people saying, "We are strong, we are determined, we are going to do everything we can to restore/rebuild our lives."

    Seems a bit silly to be honest. My house collapsed now putting up the flag should be main focus. Also why do they build outer walls out of plaster in America and then simply cover the outside up, it must cost a fortune to heat up those houses. And you can break a wall by opening the door too hard, which means that while your door might be locked anybody could break right through your wall. Sort of like if Japanese banks had rice paper walls.
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  • mew

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #123 on: January 10, 2014, 01:15 »
    no one said we did things 'right' or 'correctly'  :P
    it's just the American way

    and I wish we could stop the wood frame house thingie and build with concrete, brick or stone
    horrible waste and again it's not the smartest way
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #124 on: January 10, 2014, 01:36 »
    Seems a bit silly to be honest. My house collapsed now putting up the flag should be main focus.
    Well, no. It's more like: Our entire town was just completely decimated beyond recognition by a massive tornado. And in case you're wondering, we're not all dead.


    Also why do they build outer walls out of plaster in America and then simply cover the outside up, it must cost a fortune to heat up those houses. And you can break a wall by opening the door too hard, which means that while your door might be locked anybody could break right through your wall.
    Wut?  Now, I hardly live in fortress, but I can assure you that breaking in by way of a window would be considerable more effecient than trying to break in through...one of my walls.  :D


    Sort of like if Japanese banks had rice paper walls.
    Well in that case, there would be a ninja waiting on the other side. I'd keep my money in there.

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  • mew

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #125 on: January 10, 2014, 02:18 »
    Every now and then you do read of a car or truck out of control that crashes through someones' bedroom or living room wall and kills them while they're sleeping…..

    once when I was a kid in the city next to our town a truck flew out of control on a curve and crashed into a donut shop..the driver got burned by the grease... :o

    so American...
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  • mew

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #126 on: January 10, 2014, 02:20 »
    Swedish identity= Ikea, herrings, ABBA, Volvo and eugenics.

    ;)

    I drive a little volvo  ;)
    ..but I never did like ABBA...
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #127 on: January 10, 2014, 02:36 »
    Every now and then you do read of a car or truck out of control that crashes through someones' bedroom or living room wall and kills them while they're sleeping…
    It happened just a few days ago.  :o

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/12/man-asleep-in-bed-killed-in-suspected-dui-accident/
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  • mew

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #129 on: January 10, 2014, 03:16 »
    Its interesting

    I get the 'being proud' thing though.   I feel as though I have contributed a great deal to my country, and I am proud to have contributed when we do something good or that I see as worthwhile (giving aid, helping others etc - not that we have done much of that lately).   I get that military personal feel proud that they have defended a way of life, a freedom, ideals that they believe in ... proud that they have tried to protect others from a regime that is cruel or corrupt.   Its not always the case - I am not that naive - but the basic concept is what I am talking about.

    It gets WAY out of hand, and way overdone though. 

    Australia is a fairly racist country, which I dont really understand given that Australia has grown and developed purely on immigration from other countries.  Flag waving here is very bogan ... stupid drunk idiots waving the flag and doing stupid things on Australia Day ...
    So very true, remember the "Cronulla Riots?" Bogan POS's going around belting the crap out of anyone who looked remotely Middle Eastern - Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Macedonians etc. A very dark day in our history :(  :angry

    The attitudes from a disturbingly large percentage of this country is totally frightening. Here are a few charming T-shirts you see from time to time, mostly on Australia Day but they are around at other times:







    Usually the easiest way to spot these types of people is if one (or more) of their tattoo's are the Southern Cross (the collection of stars next to the Union Jack on our flag). Thankfully most people see this behaviour for what it is, but there are more like this than you first expect  :TT :cry

    As an ex-serviceman who has actually served overseas, I find this behaviour more offensive than most.
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  • Joachim

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #130 on: January 10, 2014, 06:05 »
    England might be the place most in need of some PR advise of all the places I have ever seen. The type of press they receive around the world makes it seem like Team Sky hired the best team in all of England to do their PR. A woman in Greece won an award for beating up an English tourist I remember hearing sometime.

    England or UK?

    Have you seen how British youth who are out in town on weekend evenings behave?

    Well they do the same in other people's countries too. Its no wonder people get peeed off. Its embarrassing for the rest of us. Unfortunately there is now a very ingrained culture here that for teenagers and people in their twenties having fun means drinking yourself into a stupor, vandalising, fighting, and just behaving like a pr1ck.

    But because you were drunk, its all OK. The girls are as bad as the men.

    Its degenerate.
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    Gotland

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #131 on: January 10, 2014, 10:22 »

    Main thing I dislike about ABBA is that everyone seem to love them, when they were only average at best.

    Well it's all about taste. Americans tend to have a omnivorous taste as opposite to a taste that is socially stratified in a Bourdieu sense. I guess that anything goes in America.

    Quote
    # All the neo-nazi's, what is up with that?

    It's a question of geography ( or locality really) and socioeconomic status (SES) in regions of Skåne and Blekinge (The most souther and South Eastern part of SE) and its closeness to Denmark.

    There are areas in those regions were people for many generations barely have completed high school as highest level of education. In the same areas you'll find the highest ratings for Sweden Democrates (Right wing populist party with an anti immigrant agenda) and of course a high level of people voting for Nazi parties.

    These are the people who say that immigrants come to Sweden and *steal* their jobs. When infact they are lowly educated and have fewer *choices* on the labour market. The blue collar labour market is being replaced by more skilled jobs. The competion for jobs between migrants and native born Swedes with low education are quite high.

    Not in America though, because the labour market is hour glass shaped with high end tech jobs at the top and blue collar menial jobs at the bottom. America tend to have a middle-class problem AND increasing conflicts between upper-class and the proletariate.

    Coming back to Skåne and Blekinge in Sweden, people in such areas have a tendency to a greater extent to sick and unemployed. Due to diferences in SES. The government in 2006 cut back on social insurances and unemployment insurance in order to finance tax cuts for those who had a steady job ie. the highest paid got most tax incentives. Those on the outside the labour market were affected  the most. As a consequence, frustration grew even higher and Sweden Democrates gained more votes in the election in 2010.

    There is other historical reasons too. The nobility in Skåne seems to have a weakness for lifting their right arm in the air and shout two german words. Why I don't know. For all I care they can do it in and rot away in their castles together with the  feeling of catharsis. As long as they don't bother me with their Nazi crap.

     Sorry, long off topic answer maybe it could be intertwined with the oppression of the working class in American or something  ;)
     
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  • « Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 12:06 by Gotland »
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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #132 on: January 10, 2014, 10:32 »
    They are a while from cracking my top 3 of stuff from Sweden I dislike list though. #3 The fact that I couldn't come up with anything for number 3.
    Admit it, you love the Swedes and couldn't be without them.
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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #133 on: January 10, 2014, 16:16 »
    Admit it, you love the Swedes and couldn't be without them.

    I watched Susanne Bier's Hævnen (2010) when I was off sick with my foot which, among many other things, features a nugget of Danish bad attitude toward the Swedish family at the centre of the story. Never knew such sentiments between the countries existed. :(
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    Joachim

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #134 on: January 10, 2014, 17:14 »
    It exists everywhere.

     You should know that. You live in Belgium.
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #135 on: January 10, 2014, 18:11 »
    Admit it, you love the Swedes and couldn't be without them.

    I would probably have a very unfurnished place to live if all Swedish things disappeared.

    I watched Susanne Bier's Hævnen (2010) when I was off sick with my foot which, among many other things, features a nugget of Danish bad attitude toward the Swedish family at the centre of the story. Never knew such sentiments between the countries existed. :(

    More a love-hate relationship than anything. Revolving about Denmark being bad at war. Denmark being smaller than Sweden, mostly because of point one again. And that Swedish is impossible to understand. In reality most Danes wants to work closer together with the other Scandinavian countries. I remember reading about 90% of Danes being positive about leaving the EU and form a union with Norway and Sweden instead.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #136 on: January 11, 2014, 15:30 »
    If you are trying to tell me that racism is not strong in France you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. The National Front got 18% of the vote in the 2012 Presidential election.

    Doesn't prove anything. Yes unfortunately I know the Taubira.

    Quote from: AG
    I get the 'being proud' thing though.   I feel as though I have contributed a great deal to my country, and I am proud to have contributed when we do something good or that I see as worthwhile (giving aid, helping others etc - not that we have done much of that lately).   I get that military personal feel proud that they have defended a way of life, a freedom, ideals that they believe in ... proud that they have tried to protect others from a regime that is cruel or corrupt.   Its not always the case - I am not that naive - but the basic concept is what I am talking about.

    Best post I've seen on this thread so far. I gave it a like, I could've given it 10 of them if I were entitled to. Lovely to read. Bravo !   :cool :)
    I've always thought that citizenship was a choice and not a gift. I mean surely if you are opening a bank account in the Cayman Island or if you own a company whose production you relocate overseas, are you still a citizen of your country? On paper perhaps, on heart, no.

    I've always thought that the sense of social duty is extrically linked with the sense of patriotism - which is why left-wingers hate me here -. If I am to serve people, that would first be my relatives, friends, neighbours and fellow countrymen. Quite obvious to me but for this I'm sometimes labelled neo-nazi or something. I can't help quoting Rousseau (who cannot decently be judged a racist or anything of the sort): "Distrust these cosmopolitans who pride themselves on loving the Tartars in order to be exempted from loving their neighbours." It's feeling you belong to a group of people and you are not a selfish, greedy individual. Feeling you are ready to do without some individualistic entertainment in order to serve common good (on a voluntary basis). I'd always sing my national anthem more fondly than the Internationale.

    The flag is also something I'd never insult. If people say it's childish, my reaction would be to try and get one and wave it, out of sheer provocation.  :D I don't have one because it should be in the hearts of people more than in their hands. Chavez would say "the fatherland you have to feel it in your ovaries and in your balls", lol.

    My grandpa fought for that flag like many others and I'm not ready to forget about it. I'd even humbly add that I'm proud of what he did.

    Quote from: Gotland
    and recently we have ABBA and other musical exports, or companys like Ikea, Volvo, Ericsson, H&M etc.

    Representative of Swedish culture while singing in English?  :D
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    Gotland

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #137 on: January 11, 2014, 15:48 »
    Representative of Swedish culture while singing in English?  :D

    Yes, ABBA paved the way, and is a part of Swedish cultural export?
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  • « Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 15:51 by Fus87, Reason: fixed quote »

    Joachim

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #138 on: January 11, 2014, 15:51 »

    Quote from: Joachim
    The National Front got 18% of the vote in the 2012 Presidential election.

    Quote from: Echoes
    Doesn't prove anything.

    It proves that nearly one in five of French voters voted for a racist party.

    Look, I can give you the facts, and I can interpret them for you, but I can't do your thinking for you. Saying 'Doesn't prove anything' doesn't prove anything.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #139 on: January 11, 2014, 16:46 »
    Yes, ABBA paved the way, and is a part of Swedish cultural export?

    Probably. Call me idealistic but I've always regretted it when non-Anglophone bands sing their songs in English rather than in their mother tongue.  I've always liked Golden Earring, for their musical skills but I think as a Dutch band, they should have sung in Dutch, though they would have enjoyed less international success. The language is the voice of a people and I think it's sad to see many artist willing to disown their language for the English one. Just like I regret the fact that all our pop radio are filled with crap American pop music, all our cinema hall filled with crap American films and our TV channels as well (+ American series).

    Quote from: Joachim
    It proves that nearly one in five of French voters voted for a racist party.


    Look, first the Presidential election are not a matter of parties but of personalities and second if you think UKIP is racist, I guess we are not on the same planet. So it'll be hard for me to have a healthy discussion with you. I can interpret facts in an accurate way on my own, thank you. I'm a well-capable adult. There are many explanations for the vote Le Pen. Saying they are racist is a BH Levy stance. Someone who judges ! But who would never care to understand. I'll never have such elitist stance. I ain't no Fortunate Son. It ain't me.  :-x
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  • Joachim

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #140 on: January 11, 2014, 16:59 »
     You are right.

    There is no point you and I discussing this. You are on another planet.

    Le Pen has been tried and convicted of racism or inciting racial hatred at least six times.
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  • « Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 17:46 by Joachim »

    Gotland

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #141 on: January 11, 2014, 17:39 »
    Probably. Call me idealistic but I've always regretted it when non-Anglophone bands sing their songs in English rather than in their mother tongue.  I've always liked Golden Earring, for their musical skills but I think as a Dutch band, they should have sung in Dutch, though they would have enjoyed less international success. The language is the voice of a people and I think it's sad to see many artist willing to disown their language for the English one. Just like I regret the fact that all our pop radio are filled with crap American pop music, all our cinema hall filled with crap American films and our TV channels as well (+ American series).
    Well it's a bit ironic to criticise ABBA from the standpoint that they should keep their cultural identity by singing in Swedish. When infact the whole purpose for ABBA was commercial success from the very beginning. That included singing in english and participating in the Eurovision song contest.

    To put this in an American context, the land of market econonomy and free capitalism. On the free market the underlying assumption is to maximize ones own utility by making choices on the market. Therefore it is a little bit funny that you complain about pop radio are filled with crap American pop music, all our cinema hall filled with crap American films and our TV channels as well (+ American series).. My question to you is why are you making crappy choices on the market then?  ;)
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  • Icebreaker

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    It has been some time since I stopped by, and when I do, I find this.

    It is hard to imagine what the original motivation for this thread may have been but it is pretty clear, and somewhat disturbing, where the thread has gone.

    Seems to have become a "let's make fun of American stereotypes" thread.  I wonder how many of the contributors actually spend any significant time in the US?
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  • « Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 15:54 by Icebreaker »

    Joachim

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #143 on: January 12, 2014, 16:05 »
    Eh?

    It's all about Abba and Echoes parallel universe
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  • Drummer Boy

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    It is hard to imagine what the original motivation for this thread may have been...
    :slow

    Well, I suppose I could rearrange some different letters to form some different words...

    The "original motivation" was nothing other than being curious about how others (non-Americans) view Americans (OK, OK, "citizens of the United States"), what they associate with "Americans," an how those views came to be shaped.

    Not much more to it, really.

    It would seem that the cartoonish filter of the media has played a heavy hand in much of it. Some very interesting discussions though.

    And the reason you "found this" is because, well, it is here.

    Join the fun!  :party
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  • Icebreaker

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #145 on: January 12, 2014, 19:30 »
    Look,

    I am a primary resident of a country other than the US, however, I own a home in the US and spend a lot of time there.

    My time in the US is not just flying into an airport and then flying back out.  I drive back an forth from my home in Canada to my home in the US, an hour or so drive from the Mexican border.  I have a lot of contact with the US, and its people.

    It is easy to stereotype any nation and its people, the US probably more than most as a result of the intrusion of US popular culture into virtually every corner of the globe.

    To be brutally honest, the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo are not great advertisements for any people.  And sometimes Americans abroad don’t help the cause - cue the family I encountered in a McDonald’s in Banff, Alberta who were  demanding to see the manager of the store to find out why they could not get their change in US funds.  The fact that they were in a foreign, sovereign nation seemed to have eluded them.

    I find the people I encounter in my daily activities in the US (I actually hate the term “America” or “American” as it really applies to the peoples from Tierra del Fuego to Baffin Island) to be not much different than the people I encounter anywhere, with the exception that I find a greater sense of “inward isolation” then in other places.

    The population of this board is quite international so that may be hard to understand, but I am often surprised at not only the total lack of curiosity about places outside the US, but frequently the outright suspicion.  My personal favourite remains the young lady manning a gas pump outside Portland, Oregon who looked at my Visa card, then looked at my licence plate, then handed me back my Visa card and informed me that “we only take American money”.

    My neighbours in the US are lovely people who are worldly, experienced and caring.  They keep in touch with us all year and are eager to offer any assistance they can if we ever need it.  They are, in my view, the best the nation has to offer.

    What I have found over the last few years is a notable change in “official” America.  Almost a militarization of approach and mentality from the earliest interaction at border crossings, all the way through.  It is a suspicion and only mildly disguised hostility.  This is troubling, and it is sad because this is the first face of the nation that visitors encounter, and I think, is the prevailing take away.   Along with it has come the increased jingoism, I see more US flags on the backs of motorcycles, hanging out car windows, stitched on workers' overalls, etc than I remember in the past.

    In World War II there was a character called Killroy - and Killroy was used to pass the message that people were watching.  My overwhelming view of “official” America these days is Killroy, peering over the wall.   Building walls and barriers and making it ever harder to actually enter the US, and then peering over the wall to see what is going on “out” there.

    This is not the people I interact with on a daily basis going to the grocery store or riding my bike.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #146 on: January 12, 2014, 20:58 »
    It seems we are in perfect agreement then.

    Your thoughtful and article post demonstrates exactly what I was hoping for in this thread, in addition to the perspective of those who have never been here.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #147 on: January 13, 2014, 19:40 »
    Well it's a bit ironic to criticise ABBA from the standpoint that they should keep their cultural identity by singing in Swedish. When infact the whole purpose for ABBA was commercial success from the very beginning. That included singing in english and participating in the Eurovision song contest.

    Ironic? I'd rather say consistent. Where's the contradiction, lol? Actually I haven't followed the whole sub-topic about Swedish/Scandinavian identity, so perhaps I misunderstood you.  :D By the way,two of my cousins and my uncle are Swedish, uncle & aunt currently living in Skåne (Bastad/Ängelholm). Nice area.  :cool

    To put this in an American context, the land of market econonomy and free capitalism. On the free market the underlying assumption is to maximize ones own utility by making choices on the market. Therefore it is a little bit funny that you complain about pop radio are filled with crap American pop music, all our cinema hall filled with crap American films and our TV channels as well (+ American series).. My question to you is why are you making crappy choices on the market then?  ;)

    What makes you think I'm making them?  :P
    I'm never listening to the radio, going to a cinema and I hardly ever Watch TV anymore. It's just about my political/economic idealism. I think  public broadcaster should at first promote local culture, then be universal. But universalism does not mean Americanism. There's a whole African cinema, with a yearly festival in Ouagadougou (don't know the English spelling) but we know nothing of it in Europe because they are never played in our cinémas or on our tv-channels, why? Or else the Indian cinema/Bollywood? South American cinema? Why should we strictly play US films? It does not mean we shouldn't play US films at all, of course, but everybody should get a chance... Hollywood studios are rubbing their hands, thanks to our generosity/submissiveness. Actually, this has roots a long way back. In 1946 the French negotiated the Blum Byrnes Agreement whereby they agreed to open up their cinema to about 121 US films a year, as a counterpart for the Marshall Plan. The whole hedonistic US way of life the ensued was also godsend for Hollywood and US record label. Also the jeans epitomized this kind of "soft power" imperialism, as was observed by Michel Clouscard. To some extend I feel guilty because I am also a product of this culture (I'm a rock fan, after all), but how can you escape such an oppressive culture? (argued Clouscard again)
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #148 on: January 13, 2014, 19:51 »
    Ironic? I'd rather say consistent. Where's the contradiction, lol?
    ABBA never were about any Swedish cultural identity. They were, as Gotland says, about commercial success. That they were Swedish doesn't mean anything, they could just as well have been Spanish, Welsh or Minnesotan.
    Had they called themselves "Göran Andersson och hans muntra träskor" the case would be a bit different. ;)
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  • Echoes

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    Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
    « Reply #149 on: January 13, 2014, 20:06 »
    Well we agreed from the beginning then, I guess.


    Quote from: Icebreaker
    I wonder how many of the contributors actually spend any significant time in the US?


    I wanted to quote this, by the way, because it sounds like the good ole "you have no right to comment on cycling because you don't cycle yourself."  :D
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