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Old 06-02-2013, 08:23 PM
 
194 posts, read 226,682 times
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I have noticed that compared to other nations Americans are the most obsessive/bipolar/passionate people around (this is not nesasarily bad). For example when American children are choosing a university to attend they frequently visit different states and narrow their choice down using a wide range of criteria. As opposed to this in Australia students rarely travel out of their own state, most choose to commute as opposed to dorming and a majority do not even think about where they will attend until it is time to apply (which is determined by the aggergate score of the applicants best 3.5 subjects taken in the last two years of secondary schooling).

I get the feeling that Americans feel thing more passionately than other nations, why is this and is it good or bad ?
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,697,509 times
Reputation: 2977
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacktothefuture View Post
I get the feeling that Americans feel thing more passionately than other nations, why is this and is it good or bad ?
I agree that Americans are more obsessive than many other nationalities. People tend to try very hard to conform to stereotypes or typical behaviors that are "expected" of their particular social group. For example: Men have to either be chauvinist, anti-PC, macho, conservative sports-watchers, or effeminate, self-aware, liberal metrosexuals. There is no middle ground allowed. I can't paint my face for the game, swill Budweiser, char some burgers AND be environmentally aware. Or if I am, I have to find some macho excuse for composting or sorting my recyclables, otherwise it confuses people and each side will insist that I'm the opposite of them thanks to a single non-shared trait or belief.

Even "nonconformist" people seem to have a template they feel they MUST follow; wearing certain clothes, going to certain types of events, and always bringing up how different they are, at every opportunity, in any conversation.

There may be a significant number of people who are "accidental nonconformists", but they exist, they are a mostly silent presence.

I think this is a major drawback of American society. People are so busy chasing stereotypes and maintaining an image that they switch off their critical thinking skills (if they had any in the first place) and simply go along with the most nonsensical B.S. because their favorite talk show host, comedian, political figure, sports hero, etc. set out a stereotype for them to conform to, and told them how to think.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,604,613 times
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I am obsessively occupied with not being obsessive. Some men act macho because they are not and have never been. Some of the most macho men around don't advertize it because they don't doubt it.

Some women dress like sluts but never sleep with anyone but themselves. Some dress like prudes but are willing to sleep with strangers. Figuring out which people are the posers and which are real is one of the fun parts of living in this culture.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,189 posts, read 14,096,440 times
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I think the obsessed are more those with money to be that way. I think a lot of people see the US as it really isn't because they see people of the bigger cities being what the US is composed of. A lot of kids feel lucky to be able to afford a local community college in the central part of the US. We still have kids graduating and getting a job in local manufacturing because manufacturing isn't dead and they are almost always hiring but not at the wages that the east coast demanded prior to their jobs being outsourced. The US is very diverse so you really can't call us a nation of anything other than of "diversity".
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:57 PM
 
6,837 posts, read 4,426,984 times
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I think that Americans have a dogged belief that it's in their personal power to achieve whatever they happen to desire. This is very naive and almost infantile, but can also be a self-fulfilling prophesy of success. In short, Americans are anti-fatalistic. The result is a tremendous pressure to actually try, to "follow one's dream". There's pressure to NOT passively expect things to just arrive, or to stoically shrug off tragedies as inevitable.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:04 AM
 
10,343 posts, read 7,607,138 times
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I think America does make too much of a big deal about things. In America, applying to college is a huge process, involving letters, listing your extra-curricular activities, getting recommendations.

In Canada, you fill out a centralized computerized form, list the 3 universities you are applying for, ranked in order of preference, and the government takes care of sending your transcripts to the universities. That's it. Occasionally, for some programs, you might be asked to come for an interview, but not for most under-graduate programs.

Same with national security---the U.S. has gone overboard and become paranoid and crazed.

Or the strange government over-reach into areas like women's health care, or debates over the teaching of religion based versions of evolution---you don't see that in most developed civilized countries.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:08 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
2,834 posts, read 1,906,645 times
Reputation: 3647
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
I agree that Americans are more obsessive than many other nationalities. People tend to try very hard to conform to stereotypes or typical behaviors that are "expected" of their particular social group. For example: Men have to either be chauvinist, anti-PC, macho, conservative sports-watchers, or effeminate, self-aware, liberal metrosexuals. There is no middle ground allowed. I can't paint my face for the game, swill Budweiser, char some burgers AND be environmentally aware. Or if I am, I have to find some macho excuse for composting or sorting my recyclables, otherwise it confuses people and each side will insist that I'm the opposite of them thanks to a single non-shared trait or belief.

Even "nonconformist" people seem to have a template they feel they MUST follow; wearing certain clothes, going to certain types of events, and always bringing up how different they are, at every opportunity, in any conversation.

There may be a significant number of people who are "accidental nonconformists", but they exist, they are a mostly silent presence.

I think this is a major drawback of American society. People are so busy chasing stereotypes and maintaining an image that they switch off their critical thinking skills (if they had any in the first place) and simply go along with the most nonsensical B.S. because their favorite talk show host, comedian, political figure, sports hero, etc. set out a stereotype for them to conform to, and told them how to think.
[Not-so]-accidental nonconformist speaking. All-too-silent on a daily basis, probably, but I think my subconscious has its reasons to remain mostly silent. Like the underlying drive to survive....

I like this post and will rep it. Now I am starting to see your motivation for building the home you alluded to (in a post I was not so fond of) outside the borders of the US (not that I couldn't understand that motivation for anyone, but I mean to say that you have herein hinted at the forces which may have motivated your "escape")
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,697,509 times
Reputation: 2977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
I like this post and will rep it. Now I am starting to see your motivation for building the home you alluded to (in a post I was not so fond of) outside the borders of the US (not that I couldn't understand that motivation for anyone, but I mean to say that you have herein hinted at the forces which may have motivated your "escape")
Well, you're off the mark there. I'm not looking to leave the USA because I don't like the culture. It has it's positives and negatives, and I'm not under the illusion that the other country has the perfect culture. The society is more social and cohesive, but there are annoying things about that as well.

My motivations for a potential future move are more for reasons of economics and enjoyment, rather than escaping some societal problem. I'm fine with US culture, even if there are things I don't like about it.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:02 AM
 
Location: SGV, CA
818 posts, read 1,483,381 times
Reputation: 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacktothefuture View Post
I have noticed that compared to other nations Americans are the most obsessive/bipolar/passionate people around (this is not nesasarily bad). For example when American children are choosing a university to attend they frequently visit different states and narrow their choice down using a wide range of criteria. As opposed to this in Australia students rarely travel out of their own state, most choose to commute as opposed to dorming and a majority do not even think about where they will attend until it is time to apply (which is determined by the aggergate score of the applicants best 3.5 subjects taken in the last two years of secondary schooling).

I get the feeling that Americans feel thing more passionately than other nations, why is this and is it good or bad ?
Generally speaking, I disagree. While I would say Americans are much more obsessive about university admissions (which is what happens when you have a plurality of the top universities in the world), in most respects I'd say we're actually less passionate about most things.

Sports - European/Latin American/African soccer fans chant their team's anthems the entire game. Americans need the cheerleaders and a PA announcer to shout 'everybody clap your hands!' just to make some noise.

Politics - America has among the lowest voter turnout rates of any wealthy democratic nation. Occupy and the Tea Party stuff look like a soccer mom playdate compared to the protests in other countries

Pop and mainstream culture in general seems to have been permeated by the grunge ethos of apathy and not trying too hard. People are supposed to act like they don't care even if they do.
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