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Old 04-07-2013, 08:31 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
46,080 posts, read 49,790,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post

The fact that this guy claimed he could not even find a restaurant in Downtown Chicago of all places, makes him lose any credibility he had left.
I thought that was rather strange, too. Might have been in a bad section and needed to try exploring more.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:34 AM
 
10,553 posts, read 9,190,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Like I said earlier, try that "honesty" on some Europeans - list seventeen things you disdain about their country - and see if you get a magnanimous, humble response.

I have a distinct feeling that you'll be told to "stuff it" - or worse - pretty quickly! But of course Europeans can't POSSIBLY be as small minded and intolerant as Americans, right?

Not many people the world over would respond positively to a list of 17 things a foreigner hates about their country.
Actually some countries make a practice of that. Canada in my opinion is characterized by a more reflective self-critical view of itself as a country. I'm generalizing, but you rarely hear a Canadian say "this is the best country in the world" or anything close. The British kind of have a mocking attitude towards many of the pretensions of their country, and especially in younger people, I've never heard a German or Dutch person say "We're #1!" or anything like that. (maybe at a soccer match!)

Last edited by ellemint; 04-07-2013 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:43 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
24,633 posts, read 25,189,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
I thought the blog had many good points, and I'll remark on just a few:

1. Americans are too sensitive. Witness the number of responses on this blog like "well then don't come here." Criticizing something doesn't mean you have contempt or disdain for it. You could actually love someone or something and still criticize it.

2. Americans do smile more than people in a lot of other countries, and I know a lot of them aren't real smiles, but sometimes they are. And it does make the people in other countries seem unfriendly when they don't approach you with a smile.

3. Wasteful consumerism. Well America is defined by its consumerism. I too find it ridiculous how people chase after the latest Apple product, and actually define themselves by what they own.

4. Idiot stereotypes of other countries. That's pretty true.

5. I.D. checks and stupid drinking laws. I agree that these are stupid. Up until just a few years ago I was regularly carded and I'm well into middle age. It's true you can vote or buy a gun and you can't drink---that's just stupid.

6. Religion is in your face. Uh, yes, that is very true. And even worse the most religious Americans, who should theoretically be the most tolerant, well, they're usually not.

7. Corporations win all the time, not small business. He mostly complains about the lack of walking-distance restaurants in neighborhoods, and this is very true. America is a car-centric country.

8. Always in a hurry. I think people in most countries are always in a hurry. I think what he's referring to here, is that America has few public places that are designed simply for milling around, socializing. That's where in Europe you see people not in a hurry. Since the U.S. has far fewer places like that, many city downtowns are virtually deserted at night, it can seem like people never relax. Maybe he didn't visit the malls,.

9. Obsession with money. Uh, yes, America is obsessed with money. Somehow, here rich people are assumed to be good, and poor people are bad. When in reality, the more conniving unethical ruthless unkind people are likely to be the wealthiest amongst us, in my experience.

10. Thinking America is the best. I think the residents of most countries think this, but America is over on the top on it's chest-thumping. And, as he noted, if you dare to criticize the U.S. or its way of life, you're usually told to stuff it, which really doesn't help improve or change anything, and certainly makes Americans small-minded and intolerant.
Based on my travels, most people in the world seem to want to emulate American/western consumerism. The people who don't do this usually lack the money to do so.

If it was a bad thing, then this wouldn't be the case.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:43 AM
 
10,553 posts, read 9,190,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I thought that was rather strange, too. Might have been in a bad section and needed to try exploring more.
One time I was in the middle of Barcelona, and the only convenient cheap place I could find for a bite to eat, as a visitor who didn't know my way around, was a Dunkin' Donuts. And, yes an actual Dunkin' Donuts!
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:44 AM
 
10,553 posts, read 9,190,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Based on my travels, most people in the world seem to want to emulate American consumerism. The people who don't do this usually lack the money to do so.

If it was a bad thing, then this wouldn't be the case.
You think rampant consumerism is a good thing? Why?
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,218 posts, read 53,249,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
You think rampant consumerism is a good thing? Why?
I don't think they're trying to emulate "rampant consumerism" when they adopt American styles, or enjoy American foods, or watch American movies.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:55 AM
 
10,553 posts, read 9,190,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I don't think they're trying to emulate "rampant consumerism" when they adopt American styles, or enjoy American foods, or watch American movies.
The type of rampant consumerism that the author of the blog referred to was the American obsession with getting the latest tech gadget, like lining up for an iphone5 or whatever. Or defining people by their possessions. So you have the latest Mercedes, and that makes you a bigshot, when in reality, it's just a car and it really doesn't mean much of anything.

That kind of thinking is present everywhere, but in my experience it is most pronounced in the U.S. Nowhere else do people have so much in such great quantities.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,218 posts, read 53,249,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
The type of rampant consumerism that the author of the blog referred to was the American obsession with getting the latest tech gadget, like lining up for an iphone5 or whatever. Or defining people by their possessions. So you have the latest Mercedes, and that makes you a bigshot, when in reality, it's just a car and it really doesn't mean much of anything.

That kind of thinking is present everywhere, but in my experience it is most pronounced in the U.S. Nowhere else to people have so much in such great quantities.
I addressed this earlier in my initial response to the 17 rants.

My response was a bit tongue in cheek, but I stated that one reason why Europeans don't have as much "stuff" as Americans, is because they don't have as much personal SPACE. There is some truth to this.

And if you want to see status and a sense of personal importance exemplified by what sort of vehicle you drive, I suggest you take a road trip on the autobahn!

That being said, my response to you was clarifying that I do not believe that Europeans' embrace of some American cultural norms equates embracing rampant consumerism.

Post I was responding to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer
Based on my travels, most people in the world seem to want to emulate American consumerism. The people who don't do this usually lack the money to do so.

If it was a bad thing, then this wouldn't be the case.

You said:
You think rampant consumerism is a good thing? Why?
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:31 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,870 posts, read 20,239,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
The type of rampant consumerism that the author of the blog referred to was the American obsession with getting the latest tech gadget, like lining up for an iphone5 or whatever. Or defining people by their possessions. So you have the latest Mercedes, and that makes you a bigshot, when in reality, it's just a car and it really doesn't mean much of anything.

That kind of thinking is present everywhere, but in my experience it is most pronounced in the U.S. Nowhere else do people have so much in such great quantities.
I'm more of an Android person. and Mercedes are pretty awesome, depends on the model though, a cls 63 amg is far from "it's just a car" it is one sexy lookin car.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,346 posts, read 114,892,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
I thought the blog had many good points, and I'll remark on just a few:

I didn't. My comments to your comments. (Mine in teal)


3. Wasteful consumerism. Well America is defined by its consumerism. I too find it ridiculous how people chase after the latest Apple product, and actually define themselves by what they own.

I find it ridiculous to chase after this stuff, as you put it, as well. However, I'm not convinced that's any different than in Europe. I have read that cell phones and such caught on in Europe before they did in the US. Unfortunately, I can't find any documentation for that.

5. I.D. checks and stupid drinking laws. I agree that these are stupid. Up until just a few years ago I was regularly carded and I'm well into middle age. It's true you can vote or buy a gun and you can't drink---that's just stupid.

I have no problem with US drinking laws, most of them anyway. Take it as a compliment if you get carded. Maybe we should raise the gun-buying age. I do not support lowering the drinking age, and the research shows that countries with lower/laxer drinking laws have more problems with alcohol (in general) than we do.

6. Religion is in your face. Uh, yes, that is very true. And even worse the most religious Americans, who should theoretically be the most tolerant, well, they're usually not.

I don't find religion "in my face". Sure, more Americans attend church, and state a religious affiliation, but we don't have the half of these religious, Christian holidays that they have in Europe such as Easter Monday, Good Friday in some countries, several days at Christmas, Ascension Day, Pentecost Sunday, numerous saint's days, etc.
Public holidays Europe 2013


7. Corporations win all the time, not small business. He mostly complains about the lack of walking-distance restaurants in neighborhoods, and this is very true. America is a car-centric country.

As stated, it is a crock that you can't find a restaurant in Chicago within an hour's walk.

8. Always in a hurry. I think people in most countries are always in a hurry. I think what he's referring to here, is that America has few public places that are designed simply for milling around, socializing. That's where in Europe you see people not in a hurry. Since the U.S. has far fewer places like that, many city downtowns are virtually deserted at night, it can seem like people never relax. Maybe he didn't visit the malls,.

True that. When we were in Belgium people always seemed to be speed-walking on the streets. We do have our parks.

10. Thinking America is the best. I think the residents of most countries think this, but America is over on the top on it's chest-thumping. And, as he noted, if you dare to criticize the U.S. or its way of life, you're usually told to stuff it, which really doesn't help improve or change anything, and certainly makes Americans small-minded and intolerant.
I disagree with this. I've known many Europeans who are quick to tell you how much better they do something in their country, whatever it is, e.g. "In Germany, everything is closed on Sunday. That's a good cultural statement to have a day of rest". (This was said to me, almost word for word) Well, maybe we don't feel like we should force people to take a certain day as a day of rest. German has a, shall we say, history, with people who have a different "day of rest".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
Actually some countries make a practice of that. Canada in my opinion is characterized by a more reflective self-critical view of itself as a country. I'm generalizing, but you rarely hear a Canadian say "this is the best country in the world" or anything close. The British kind of have a mocking attitude towards many of the pretensions of their country, and especially in younger people, I've never heard a German or Dutch person say "We're #1!" or anything like that. (maybe at a soccer match!)
Oh, come on! I've had a lot of experience in Canada, and I didn't find that at all. I was once watching a PBS show about Canadian health care. I was all excited, but I totally lost interest when this Canadian woman said "You Americans just have to learn how to share"! How condescending is that? Apparently, PBS felt it was quite profound.
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