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Old 01-28-2008, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,524 posts, read 62,973,050 times
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Oh yes. You have a very good point. Everyone who has ever lived in England is a cold heartless monster. Actually, you would have to extend that to all of the remnants of the British empire. If they still recognize the queen, they must be cruel cretins. Do not leave out Candians, Australians, Falklanders, South Africans, and probably several others. If you saw two people on television acting mean, it certainly makes sense to assume that all of people from any part of the Britain are the same way. After all television is such a close reflection of reality. Hey it may have even been "reality" TV which is completely unrehearsed right?
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:29 PM
 
65 posts, read 241,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Simon Cowell (a famously negative and sour judge on AI from England) said a most telling thing on American Idol. He expressed total shock that anyone could be genuinely happy for someone else's good fortune...he truely did not understand the concept.
I wonder if this is a cultural thing, or just a Cowell thing? There is also the other English guy named Pierce on The Apprentice who is the same way. As Americans, do you agree that most of us DO feel genuine happiness for other's good fortune? I do. Any English people out there who can weigh in?
Simon Cowell gets paid a whole bunch of $$ for making people feel like poop. I'm 100% English and I can't stand Simon Cowell. I don't think you can judge the English by this jerk. We are certainly different than Americans, we are generally more reserved and perhaps more modest, but I like that Americans have a "can do" attitude, where as the English tend to think on the negative side. Hell, I'm married to an American and I live here.. I love America and I think America loves me...so far....
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes + some
2,885 posts, read 1,512,671 times
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60 years on the planet and asking a question like this.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:15 PM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,460,054 times
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GAHHHHH....all of these generalizations going around.

No, not all English people lack empathy. No, not all Americans are gun-toting zealots. No, not all Mexicans are eager to illegally move to the US and mooch off the government.

As people have said, the two mentioned Brits get paid to be like they are. It is, if you will, their "schtick". I can see that you are asking an honest question, but the point remains that it's dangerous to make generalizations from what you see on TV, whether it be AI, The Apprentice, or the evening news.

Just this past weekend, I made the mistake of getting into a discussion about guns with my bf, who is Canadian. Lo and behold, the stereotype of "gun-toting Americans" came up. At that point, I threw up my hands and changed the subject quickly.

To me, that's the same as saying that "the English don't feel happy for the success of others". As an American, I can say that I have met lots of non-English people who grit their teeth while saying "congratulations". But, since that's what's seen on TV, it's the idea that is put into a lot of people's heads. It's a shame really that so many people in this world don't take the time to take off their blinders and actually see things with their own eyes.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Where the real happy cows reside!
4,281 posts, read 9,469,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Simon Cowell (a famously negative and sour judge on AI from England) said a most telling thing on American Idol. He expressed total shock that anyone could be genuinely happy for someone else's good fortune...he truely did not understand the concept.
I wonder if this is a cultural thing, or just a Cowell thing? There is also the other English guy named Pierce on The Apprentice who is the same way. As Americans, do you agree that most of us DO feel genuine happiness for other's good fortune? I do. Any English people out there who can weigh in?
Have you ever met anyone from England?

In answer to your question, it's not cultural, it's a Cowell thing. Millions of people in many different countries and cultures do feel and show genuine happiness for someone else's good fortune. Personally, I wouldn't look at someone like Simon Cowell and judge a nation ... it would be like me looking at Paris Hilton and judging Americans!
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Arizona
667 posts, read 2,130,056 times
Reputation: 533
Whoa everyone!
A bit snappy are we?
I've never met anyone from England & I do get curious about different cultures & sometimes do not fully understand. So, that's where asking a simple question, like this, is appropriate.
The OP was not trying to generalize, but simply ask if it's a cultural thing or if these guys on television are just the way that they are.
And not knowing anything about another country's culture except for the strong stereotypes makes me curious enough to ask for clarification from others possibly better educated on the topic.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Arizona
667 posts, read 2,130,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tet tea View Post
... it would be like me looking at Paris Hilton and judging Americans!
And I'm sure that people from other countries who know nothing about America do so.
And I'm sure that those people are curious & at some point in time ask.
And I would hope that the one giving an educated answer would have the courtesy to answer that question politely.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:31 PM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,460,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collected_eve View Post
So, that's where asking a simple question, like this, is appropriate.
The OP was not trying to generalize, but simply ask if it's a cultural thing or if these guys on television are just the way that they are.
I have a hard time believing that someone with an internet connection would honestly think that a "whole country" is defined by two people on TV.

But, I've been wrong once or twice before.

Even an "honest question" should be couched in such a way so as not to invite responses like this person had.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:24 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,172,097 times
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I have a feeling, OP was simply thinking about such phrases as "stiff upper lip" - wh/ have been used to describe the English. This, combined w/ Simon's very cool way of disengaging himself from most people (on TV, anyway) . . . and she was thinking . . . Hmmmm. . . this "stiff upper lip thing". . . maybe the English are raised that way . . . maybe it is cultural . . . that they are kind of removed and disengaged and stoic.

So I do not think it was a inane questioned. She was just curious if this was something cultural.

I am a Southerner and if you watch Bill Clinton, he loves to talk, loves to tell stories. Now if you had heard "Southerners have a strong oral tradition"- and you asked me if most Southerners were like Bill Clinton - outgoing, talkative and love to tell stories - and is that a cultural thing? - I would not feel that was a stupid question at all.

Seems we are all being awfully hard on the OP who, after all, just asked a question - she wasn't trying to assault anyone!!!
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Where the real happy cows reside!
4,281 posts, read 9,469,400 times
Reputation: 10426
Quote:
Originally Posted by collected_eve View Post
And I'm sure that people from other countries who know nothing about America do so.
And I'm sure that those people are curious & at some point in time ask.
And I would hope that the one giving an educated answer would have the courtesy to answer that question politely.
I thought I did answer your question politely. I also asked you if you had met anyone from England, to see if you had any personal interaction with someone from the country.

That being said if you re-read my answer, I also said that "Personally, I wouldn't look at someone like Simon Cowell and judge a nation ... it would be like me looking at Paris Hilton and judging Americans!"
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