Jump to content

European Views on America


Recommended Posts

gunner:

The way you describe it, your place seems very inwardly oriented, keeping to the Singapore business and daily stuff.

Well, there are a handful of people around to know some stuff about the world outside Singapore, but pretty much the majority of them are rather inwardly oriented, as you'd pretty much appropriately described it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Wolf, you add a width to this, like with "British mercantilism, German technical skills ..". Regarding "gung-ho", I think that it's one same thing coming with its good and bad usages.

gunner, do you have your idea on the reasons for this, deeply rooted and circumstantial ones?

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a very sheltered environment here. We barely feel the effects of the outside world. Apart from things like the economy, we don't really feel much of a difference. That pretty much eliminates the motivation for bothering with the outside world.

If anything, social issues are kept to Singapore, like the ageing population problem which received a fair deal of attention a couple of years ago. Otherwise, where the outside world is concerned, the word "Economy" is written all over it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

How my fellow-countrymen view americans ?

So i am supposed to answer honestly ?

Want to read the truth ?

There are 3 americas: the East-coast, the middle-America and the West-coast.

If you ask the average guy then America is middle-America.

The bad news is middle-America is popularized as Homer Simpson.

If you ask the intellectual-class then America is East-coast.

The bad news is East-coast is popularized as arrogant people living in skyscraper, maintaining their high standard living by corruption.

If you ask the worker-class then America is West-coast.

The bad news is West-coast is popularized as gangster vilains and mindless blonds living in a colored and dangerous world.

As a whole America is fantasized as a country of risk and opportunities.

We (european and especially french people) like to think to be at the center of the world, so we need two "extreme" bad models to define ourselves as the good one. These two models are really America and Russia, the former is to much risk, the latter is too little opportunity and we like to think ourselves as the correct balance.

That's the 3 different views of the population and i really think it's class-dependant.

Of course people can identify specific spots such as Miami, Vegas, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Denver, Orlando, but it's like Bordeaux, you can identify it as a product but it doesn't really add to the equation.

The political people tell a different story: according to them China is a raising third power and France should rebalance it's values and that is the new motive for reforming. Anyway there is always a motive for reforming, France is ill and reform is the cure so here we enter national politics.

Spiceguid to serve you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there still riots by immigrants in France? Havn't seen it in the news, but from what I remember things were getting bad there. Especially the lower class in/near Paris. I'm not exactly sure how thousands of vehicles were getting torched every night, were there no police to catch these vandals? Or was it so rampant they could do nothing?

Canada's view on Europe:

Indifferent. Nothing wrong with them. Great place to take vacation and see the world. Good place for education and work (lots of university level work/education there). Hiking around Europe is fun. Not that I have done any if this but I know several people that have. If I go on long distance trip (outside of Canada), it will be to Europe. Many places to visit there. Most Canadians because of the USD becoming worthless are going to Mexico, Dominican Republic, etc for beach vacations to get drunk (boring!).

I would say Canada was afraid of the middle east (Muslim terrorists etc), but most of that attention has turned against the USA for massively screwing up in Iraq and pretty much abandoning Afghanistan where Canadian troops are at. Also the US sending Canadians abroad to be tortured is bad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Riots have been somewhat exagerated by foreign medias. Cars being torched count between 200000 and 300000 per year, so several thousands per night is a peak and that peak you call riot, such a peak of civil violence usually occurs when an ethnically Algerian/Moroccan is killed by a police agent. Mainly this population feels ethnically discrimated by police, lodgers and recruiters.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Per a year? you make it sound like this has been going on long enough to provide a useful average. Surely that couldn't be the case though right? Since, at 250000 cars per year, thats about 700 per day, and at that rate there wouldn't be that many cars left after a few years right. (I don't know about Frances population, the typical number of cars per a person, the vehicle production rate,e.t.c but 700 cars a day (which is about 30 cars per hour) is surely a significant hit)

Therefore I'm assuming that this kind of thing has actually only being going on for a year or two right?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

We elected Bush twice...this qualifies us, collectively, as a bunch of idiots. 

No...I didn't vote for him either time. No...I don't agree with his policies (like a great many of us).  But I still paddle in the same gene pool as those that did.  Sometimes I really wonder if Bush really did win either of those elections but I don't want to get into that here.

On France.  I always feel a tinge of sorrow when thinking about France.  Our countries owe one another so much you'd think we'd be the best of friends.  But instead we think some rather horrible things about each other...or such is my impression.  By rights (and when I say "by rights" I'm talking about historical conflicts between countries) our relationship with the French should be better than the one we have with the UK. 

Maybe its a language thing.  Now that I think about it I kinda view the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Australia more favorably than other European (or Euro-colonized) nations.  This is a silly way to feel really and now that I've thought of it I might feel differently after more consideration and introspection but when I lifted up the rock just now this was what was crawling underneath. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Is it common in USA to see people with a different political opinion as idiots?

Do you mean if you disagree with someones political view, they must be idiots for not believing what you believe?

In the USA they don't really have different political parties, the conservatives are not really conservative and the liberals aren't harcore liberals. Republicans and Democrats are the same. Although in Canada, much like Europe our conservatives are conservative and liberals are liberal etc.

With only 2 political parties in USA, I think there are some rabid fans. You're either with one party or the other. I'm not sure how USA votes state government vs federal government, but in Canada sometimes a province will vote in conservative provincial government while at the same time vote in a liberal federal government and vice versa. Kinda weird.

In Canada some people can see others who vote for a certain party to be idiots (how can they vote for them! they did x y z or they will do a b c!), based upon their own political views, and the history of the government. In my province people (mostly public sector government workers) are still angry over a pay cut (rollback) in wages back in 1992 when there was a recession and the government was losing money. A tough decision and it cost the political party it's government. The opposition then got a majority government for 10 years. But after 10 years and lots of mistakes (deficit every year!) the previous government went back to power.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The US has several political parties but the Democratic and Republican parties are, by far, the largest.  They are so large that other parties have very little sway in American government.  Not sure where Andrew is coming from on saying that both liberals and conservatives in this country  are the same.  They aren't...not by a long shot.  Like everyone we do have varying degrees of liberal and conservative folks that do blur the lines and do I think I understand where such an opinion might stem from. 

As far as Americans thinking that anyone who disagrees with them is an idiot, no.  Thats a personality trait not a national characteristic.  If you're referring to my comment about us being idiots for electing Bush twice, that was not a commentary on the intelligence of the members of a political party.  This is about the re-election of one man in particular who happens to be a Republican, Bush. I believe that its brazenly obvious that this guy and his cadre are a bunch of crooks and I have trouble understanding how his supporters are missing this.  This doesn't have anything to do with political parties. It has everything to do with one man and his circle of associates whose actions I consider to be very bad for my country and the world as a whole. 

For my part, I do not believe that Republicans (or members of any other political party) are idiots just by virtue of them disagreeing with my political beliefs.  I have friends that are Republicans and some of them are undeniably intelligent.  One of them I consider to be even moreso than I. (I still think their wrong but being wrong doesn't mean you're stupid...misguided, misinformed, or in denial maybe...but not stupid)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say liberals and conservatives are in a bright contrast to each other in Europe. At least in Slovakia you have parties defined more by their leaders than by abstract ideologies - and we still are a part of Europe. Italy has a similar situation, I think.

But really, I was referring to the comment about reelecting president Bush. Why should it be wrong to support him? Same, why should it be wrong to support Democrats? As long as they follow the law...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bush keeps changing the law so he doesn't break it.

I posted some examples in the hate bush thread over the years of him changing laws so he has free reign to do whatever he wants. But I'm not going to go offtopic here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

  What are our views on the American people? Well... you're dumb.

It is interesting you posted that on a forum on the internet (Internet invented by Americans) using your PC (invented by Americans) we're so dumb lets look at a list of the the stupid things we've done.

Out of the 779 Nobel prizes that have been awarded, 305 went to Americans, the most of any other country and more than Britain, Germany, France, and Spain put together.

We invented the internet, bifocals, the sewing machine, the revolver, the co fee pot, the spray gun, power tools, the burglar alarm, the atom bomb, the mechanical refrigerator, the artificial heart, the cervical cancer vaccine, the space shuttle, the calculator, the traffic light, the laser, the escalator, the elevator, the airplane, the machine gun, the telephone, the light bulb, the hearing aid, the air conditioner, barbed wire, the repeating rifle, roller skates, the hearing aid, the popcorn bag, the pacemaker, the escalator, the comic book, the hot dog, the water tower, the electric fan, the safety razor, frozen food,  the nuclear submarine, the Polio Vaccine, the microwave, the defibrillator, nylon, the Hubble Space telescope, peanut butter, and the phonograph.

It would seem to me that your judgments are all based off of the fact that Americans are loud, which as far as I am aware is unrelated to intelligence, it is a cultural trend.  What I derived from tis of is that Europeans are rude more than Americans being stupid, which makes sense given my personal experiences in Europe, although Britain stood out to me in how polite the people were.  I can't tell you how many times I heard people in France muttering in French about Americans and how ignorant we are, ironic considering I speak French and could understand what he was saying.  I think most of you are basing your assumptions on your national stereotypes rather than the actual truth, so try to be openminded when you go to America.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are, and have always been, generally few people who invent things. These are individuals, and their legacy belongs to mankind, not a single nation. The answer to the question, why many inventions, most Nobel prize winners etc. etc. come from the US is because the political and social conditions there were (and are) beneficial to the inventors, researches and scientists. Also don't forget that many of these people were immigrants from other countries.

Human talents belong to mankind, regardless of nationality. However, they will only blossom in a suitable environment, and with proper incentives.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I think most of you are basing your assumptions on your national stereotypes rather than the actual truth, so try to be openminded when you go to America."

You might want to read the rest of the post you quoted, in which the author points out that he is not himself making the generalisation, he's merely reporting what the stereotype is.

However, you *are* making generalisation about Europeans. Would you like to reconsider?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooookay, I was expecting to have to deal with this some time ago, and was rather pleased when I didn't. I suppose good things never last. Lets see if we can't do something about that.

I really can't be bothered researching the exact origins of every example given, but off the top of my head; the earliest computers were not American (and mine in particular happens to be a British design), and nobel prizes are not awarded post mortum and so many important discoveries made by several important people are not credited with one (Newton, Darwin, Galileo). Not only that, but some of those resident in the USA were not educated there (Albert Einstein), or in one particular case borrowed heavily from someone else's work (Rosalind Franklin's, in fact). As for the atom bomb, the Manhattan Project may have been carried out in America but it was an international team, especially scientists displaced from Germany. The Wright brothers invented powered flight, but gliding craft had been tested successfully long before (in England), while the first people to create a "flying machine" to use the term loosely, were French. The telephone: Alexander Graham Bell was Scottish by birth. The light bulb: Edison invented a good light bulb, but the first patent for an incandescent light belongs to an Englishman.

The point is not that Americans don't invent anything of use, far from it. I don't know what I'd do without my nuclear submarine. The point is that discoveries and inventions are all based on the knowledge that comes before, and while one person may be credited with the discovery/creation of the final product, their work will inevitably rest on the discoveries and creations of others before them. In other words: America has produced some good stuff (and bad stuff), but certainly not all on its own. And it would be erroneous to claim so.

As for being open minded, I think my previous post demonstrates quite nicely that I am. I pointed out the stereotype, and then emphasised that it is just that, and that there are many exceptions. One of the american forumites here visited me recently, and I hope they can vouch for that. Europeans aren't rude so much as we are pretentious. And we have difficulty accepting those americans who are intelligent because, well...

We see your president, that 90% of you or something don't even have a passport, that sizable chunks of your population want to abolish the teaching of evolution in schools. Flat Earth Society, the KKK, people who can't point to Korea on a map, lawsuits against microwave makers who fail to point out that you shouldn't dry gerbils in their product, Bush being RE-elected, those who can't differentiate between English and Australian accents, the popularity of fundamentalist churches... only in America. Of course there are a lot of clever people as well, but they are vastly outnumbered by the really, really stupid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's frivolous comparing countries with a millennium or two of history to a country of two centuries of history. Odds are, you're going to have a lot of discoveries and inventions made in countries where civilization has flourished for thousands of years. And you know that you're getting really nit-picky when you cast aside an American inventor as a "pro" for America because he was born in Scotland.

Link to post
Share on other sites

let's say that there would be no sense of invention, if the term was not so defined by an Englishman named Bacon; who also promoted the idea of a national support for science in the way we do so until today...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...


Per a year? you make it sound like this has been going on long enough to provide a useful average. Surely that couldn't be the case though right? Since, at 250000 cars per year, thats about 700 per day, and at that rate there wouldn't be that many cars left after a few years right. (I don't know about Frances population, the typical number of cars per a person, the vehicle production rate,e.t.c but 700 cars a day (which is about 30 cars per hour) is surely a significant hit)
Sorry, i have mistakenly added a decimal, the figures are 20000 to 30000 volontary car torchings per year. The figures include cars torched by fire propagation.
Therefore I'm assuming that this kind of thing has actually only being going on for a year or two right?
This civil violence is recurrent enough so that official statistics exists for many years now, i don't know how many however.
What has been called "riots" by world medias is a peak, more precisely:
  • more tan 10000 cars torched november 2005 (the "riots")
  • 683 cars torched the 31 Dec 2005 night
  • the total for year 2005 is 45588 (still the record year)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...