U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Canada
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-02-2010, 06:30 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
5,886 posts, read 5,708,572 times
Reputation: 10146

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
.....It seems like every trip I make, I have one encounter like this. And, aside from a friendly jest about hockey, I wouldn't dream of saying similar things about your country. Can a Canadian please explain this phenomenon to an American who otherwise enjoys his visits to your beautiful country?
It happens .... just like stepping in dog poop sometimes happens.

I've had a few similar encounters with Americans on my trips to the States, also many times on political discussion forums. Somebody here mentioned something about inferiority complexes and I think the opposite is also true, that some people have superiority complexes about whichever country they live in. It works both ways. I think it all boils down to cultural ignorance and lack of education on the part of whichever person is doing the criticizing and complaining against either country (or even their own country).

Canada and America have a lot of similarities that tie them together but there are also a lot of big differences that some people from both countries just can't relate to and don't understand. When people don't understand something they fear it and therefore they criticize it (or even try to conquer or destroy it).

.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-02-2010, 06:50 PM
 
3,060 posts, read 6,913,752 times
Reputation: 3251
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
I'll weigh in an as a respectful American who has been to Canada many times on business, and has always enjoyed the professional and personal relationships he has forged.

The one thing that impresses me is how, on every trip up there, somebody feels to need to run down the States. I mean, I certainly don't brag about my country, yet there is a small minority of Canadians who just have this weird, kneejerk reaction whenever they encounter an American. It's like some kind of spasm.

Here is, word for word, a conversation I had three months ago in a bar. Now, mind you, I'm having a beer at a hotel bar in Calgary after a long flight and working a crossword puzzle.

Bartender: What part of the States are you from?
Me: Alabama.
Bartender: Oh. Never been there. What part?
Me: Birmingham.

Okay, at this point in the conversation, it's been pleasant. Kind of a cordial How Do You Do kind of conversation.

Bartender: I've never been to Alabama.
Me: Oh, well, come visit. It's beautiful there.
Bartender: Unless you're black, of course.
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Bartender: Well, how you treat black people. It's really shameful.

Okay...never mind that that was almost 50 years ago, and that great strides have been made since then. Nope, this guy then went on to talk about how all American cities look the same, blah blah blah blah. I was pretty insulted, but didn't lose my cool. However, I didn't tip the guy, so I'm sure he'll add "Americans are bad tippers" to his set of grievances.

Another trip, this time to Vancouver. I was riding the shuttle bus to the airport. Another seemingly innocuous conversation with my seat mate, this time a twentyish woman, who felt the need to gratuitously discuss how all American radio stations are the same, which is just like everything else in homogenous American culture. Now, mind you, this is in response to a simple, "Oh, hi. Where are you flying to today?"

It seems like every trip I make, I have one encounter like this. And, aside from a friendly jest about hockey, I wouldn't dream of saying similar things about your country. Can a Canadian please explain this phenomenon to an American who otherwise enjoys his visits to your beautiful country?
What's to explain? It isn't a phenomenon - you've just met a few jerks! You've been to Canada many times and "always enjoyed the professional and personal relationships [you have] forged." Enjoy those and don't take as "normal" the few mis-informed twits you meet. I don't take as normal the "loud rude American" that I invariably meet on my travels. There are always a few bad apples in the bushel - in any country.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: bradford on
4 posts, read 5,256 times
Reputation: 12
trying too over populate and follow the ideals of pure captilism, the big box outlets and suburbia.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-05-2010, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,454 posts, read 25,438,736 times
Reputation: 8047
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh1954 View Post
I wish I could explain it. I think it comes from the need to validate Canada as a good country.

I'd be hard pressed to estimate the actual % who behave this way, but I believe it is relatively small. It is usually people who have never spent any real time in the US, or even outside their own small piece of the world. Yet they feel it necessary to expound on everything they believe is wrong with Americans.

I have had to travel extensively on business. I suspect I've seen more of the US than the average American. I've always found people to be just like at home in Canada. That is, each one is completely different from one person to the next.

I do believe there is less prejudice in Canada for blacks, but we seem to find plenty of fodder in other races. Some of the racial epithets I have heard used by folk I otherwise like and respect are completely indefensible.

I've found around the same % of Americans who feel the need to belittle my home country to me. I remember one conversation with somone who completely refused to believe Canada was in either World War. When I informed him we were in both long before the US, he flatly refused to believe me and saw no need to look it up. As I have said on more than one occasion, "It says more about you than what you are criticizing."

I have no good explanation for either side of the border. I think it just boils down the fact that a certain number of people in any group are jerks.
I would tend to believe that what cpg35223 described is much more common on the Canadian side of the border than on the U.S. side. If only because most people in the U.S. (even in northern states) don't care or know too much about Canada. So they don't have anything to base a strong opinion about Canada on. If anything, I have found the attitude of the vast majority of Americans towards Canada to be what I might describe as "ignorantly positive". They don't have much to say, so they end up saying something nice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2011, 08:34 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,007,746 times
Reputation: 45783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I would tend to believe that what cpg35223 described is much more common on the Canadian side of the border than on the U.S. side. If only because most people in the U.S. (even in northern states) don't care or know too much about Canada. So they don't have anything to base a strong opinion about Canada on. If anything, I have found the attitude of the vast majority of Americans towards Canada to be what I might describe as "ignorantly positive". They don't have much to say, so they end up saying something nice.
Kind of a backhanded compliment on your part.

By the way, it happened to me again, this time in Las Vegas.

On a lark, my wife and I flew out to Las Vegas to celebrate our 20th anniversary last week. We got there about noon, checked into our hotel, and struck out to find a place to eat.

As it happened, we struck up a very nice conversation with a couple from Ontario at the next table who were celebrating their 25th anniversary. We had a large number of common interests and, what's more, I had taken my family to Ontario last year for our summer vacation. We compared plans in Las Vegas, etc. etc., and had a good hour of genuinely fun conversation.

Until, that is, the husband felt the need to start harshing on the States. He started the topic with, "Everything in Las Vegas is over the top, just like everything else in the States. Your foreign policy, your military adventurism, your politics...what is it with you Americans? Blah blah blah blah..." His wife looked embarrassed and asked him a couple of times to cool it. He finally did, but not before he cast a pall over what heretofore had been a great conversation. Shortly thereafter, my wife and I paid our check and left.

Mind you, I'm not wholly ignorant of Canada or Canadians. I've travelled there a good bit on pleasure and business, and am familiar to a degree with your politics. I suppose I could find things to nitpick (In fact, I am sure of it), but I would find that to be incredibly rude, non-productive, and insecure of me. What's more, I'm not some flag-waving American. There are things I wholly disagree with in our foreign policy, etc. etc., and I certainly don't compare our country with yours.

At the same time, It's my country, thanks. I mean, let's take your family for an example. In your own family, you probably bicker and fuss and criticize each other a good deal. But if somebody outside your family criticized your mother or sister or brother to your face....well, I bet you wouldn't like it one bit.

I'm certainly not saying all Canadians are like the gentleman in question, or even a majority. But there seems to be a pronounced tendency among more than a few to make gratuitous swipes at the States, just because they feel entitled to do so. Given how I encounter it in almost every trip up there, I have to wonder.

Last edited by cpg35223; 06-20-2011 at 08:44 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2011, 08:51 AM
 
1,723 posts, read 4,971,419 times
Reputation: 1349
I think the problem is with you, cpg35223, for not being able to take any criticism about your beloved nation. So far the two people you described (the bartender and the tourist in Las Vegas) seem to have been right on the mark. Yes, Alabama treats black people poorly, even today (check out the stats on percentage of blacks vs. whites in prison if you don't believe me). And yes, Las Vegas is over the top just like our foreign policy, jails, etc.. I think you are just used to being around typical ignorant Americans who lack the knowledge to discuss politics and social issues. When you get around an educated Canadian you get offended. Go hang out in one of the educated areas of the U.S. like the affluent parts of California or the Northeast and let's see if you also get offended there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2011, 09:36 AM
 
16,593 posts, read 9,372,424 times
Reputation: 12053
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
I'll weigh in an as a respectful American who has been to Canada many times on business, and has always enjoyed the professional and personal relationships he has forged.

The one thing that impresses me is how, on every trip up there, somebody feels to need to run down the States. I mean, I certainly don't brag about my country, yet there is a small minority of Canadians who just have this weird, kneejerk reaction whenever they encounter an American. It's like some kind of spasm.

Here is, word for word, a conversation I had three months ago in a bar. Now, mind you, I'm having a beer at a hotel bar in Calgary after a long flight and working a crossword puzzle.

Bartender: What part of the States are you from?
Me: Alabama.
Bartender: Oh. Never been there. What part?
Me: Birmingham.

Okay, at this point in the conversation, it's been pleasant. Kind of a cordial How Do You Do kind of conversation.

Bartender: I've never been to Alabama.
Me: Oh, well, come visit. It's beautiful there.
Bartender: Unless you're black, of course.
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Bartender: Well, how you treat black people. It's really shameful.

Okay...never mind that that was almost 50 years ago, and that great strides have been made since then. Nope, this guy then went on to talk about how all American cities look the same, blah blah blah blah. I was pretty insulted, but didn't lose my cool. However, I didn't tip the guy, so I'm sure he'll add "Americans are bad tippers" to his set of grievances.

Another trip, this time to Vancouver. I was riding the shuttle bus to the airport. Another seemingly innocuous conversation with my seat mate, this time a twentyish woman, who felt the need to gratuitously discuss how all American radio stations are the same, which is just like everything else in homogenous American culture. Now, mind you, this is in response to a simple, "Oh, hi. Where are you flying to today?"

It seems like every trip I make, I have one encounter like this. And, aside from a friendly jest about hockey, I wouldn't dream of saying similar things about your country. Can a Canadian please explain this phenomenon to an American who otherwise enjoys his visits to your beautiful country?

Try an experiment sometime. You are versed well enough with Canada's geography to "pass" as a Canadian so; the next time you find yourself in an American locale that would give you a good reading of the results; pretend to be a Canadian. You will undoubtedly observe the very same types of things we experience being categorized as a "socilaist" country with no freedoms and willing to bend over for anyone and everybody, no spine to field a viable military etc., etc.. I have experienced this in nearly every American gathering I've been to.

These observations by either location are engendered more from a hereditary standpoint than by "actual" experience and are rapidly dispelled after spending any time at all with reasonable but educated discourse.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2011, 09:40 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,007,746 times
Reputation: 45783
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post
I think the problem is with you, cpg35223, for not being able to take any criticism about your beloved nation. So far the two people you described (the bartender and the tourist in Las Vegas) seem to have been right on the mark. Yes, Alabama treats black people poorly, even today (check out the stats on percentage of blacks vs. whites in prison if you don't believe me). And yes, Las Vegas is over the top just like our foreign policy, jails, etc.. I think you are just used to being around typical ignorant Americans who lack the knowledge to discuss politics and social issues. When you get around an educated Canadian you get offended. Go hang out in one of the educated areas of the U.S. like the affluent parts of California or the Northeast and let's see if you also get offended there.
Who said I didn't have concerns about issues in the United States? In fact, if you were actually a careful reader of my previous post, as opposed to indulging in kneejerk stereotyping (As well as some obsequious fawning towards our friends to the North), you would know the opposite. I'm no apologist. And, given the quality of your writing, I'm guessing that I'm more educated than you.

Back to the issue at hand. In my various encounters with Germans, I've never seen fit to take them to task about the Holocaust. I've never ripped Chinese about their totalitarian state. In my travels in Russia, I didn't broach the Gulag once. I don't feel the need to comment on the Quebec Separatist movement, either. Yet when some Canadians learn you're from the States, they feel as if it were open season.

Last edited by cpg35223; 06-20-2011 at 09:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2011, 09:41 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,007,746 times
Reputation: 45783
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruSan View Post
Try an experiment sometime. You are versed well enough with Canada's geography to "pass" as a Canadian so; the next time you find yourself in an American locale that would give you a good reading of the results; pretend to be a Canadian. You will undoubtedly observe the very same types of things we experience being categorized as a "socilaist" country with no freedoms and willing to bend over for anyone and everybody, no spine to field a viable military etc., etc.. I have experienced this in nearly every American gathering I've been to.

These observations by either location are engendered more from a hereditary standpoint than by "actual" experience and are rapidly dispelled after spending any time at all with reasonable but educated discourse.
I think that's a fair critique. I'd try it, but my Southern accent would likely give me away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2011, 10:41 AM
 
16,593 posts, read 9,372,424 times
Reputation: 12053
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Kind of a backhanded compliment on your part.

By the way, it happened to me again, this time in Las Vegas.

On a lark, my wife and I flew out to Las Vegas to celebrate our 20th anniversary last week. We got there about noon, checked into our hotel, and struck out to find a place to eat.

As it happened, we struck up a very nice conversation with a couple from Ontario at the next table who were celebrating their 25th anniversary. We had a large number of common interests and, what's more, I had taken my family to Ontario last year for our summer vacation. We compared plans in Las Vegas, etc. etc., and had a good hour of genuinely fun conversation.

Until, that is, the husband felt the need to start harshing on the States. He started the topic with, "Everything in Las Vegas is over the top, just like everything else in the States. Your foreign policy, your military adventurism, your politics...what is it with you Americans? Blah blah blah blah..." His wife looked embarrassed and asked him a couple of times to cool it. He finally did, but not before he cast a pall over what heretofore had been a great conversation. Shortly thereafter, my wife and I paid our check and left.

Mind you, I'm not wholly ignorant of Canada or Canadians. I've travelled there a good bit on pleasure and business, and am familiar to a degree with your politics. I suppose I could find things to nitpick (In fact, I am sure of it), but I would find that to be incredibly rude, non-productive, and insecure of me. What's more, I'm not some flag-waving American. There are things I wholly disagree with in our foreign policy, etc. etc., and I certainly don't compare our country with yours.

At the same time, It's my country, thanks. I mean, let's take your family for an example. In your own family, you probably bicker and fuss and criticize each other a good deal. But if somebody outside your family criticized your mother or sister or brother to your face....well, I bet you wouldn't like it one bit.

I'm certainly not saying all Canadians are like the gentleman in question, or even a majority. But there seems to be a pronounced tendency among more than a few to make gratuitous swipes at the States, just because they feel entitled to do so. Given how I encounter it in almost every trip up there, I have to wonder.
Sometime, as an experiment while in solely American company whom you've never met before: pretend to be Canadian then come on here and tell us the result of your experience. My bet is; from many, many years of experience with your country, it will duplicate to a "tee" the exact response you're getting up here.

The old admonishment of our forefathers still holds true to this day; if you wish to have a friendly conversation with any foreigner, keep politics and religion off the table.

Ooops! on edit I was retyping a previous answer that 'crashed' before I had thoughtn it had gotten through but lo and behold it was saved to go through on re-boot! NOT an attempt to belabour a point to death. Re-reading your post leads me to conclude one other facet of the current times: rudeness knows no borders! People who indulge in attempting to lecture or villify your nation are simply being rude and we have a lot of that going around these days. Your southern roots and probably your up-bringing would be completely at odds with this behaviour so of course you find it distrubing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Canada
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top