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What is wrong with us Americans these days???

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posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by Athenion
If you want to get extremely depressed about things in America, read "The Twilight of American Culture" by Morris Berman.

A recent study showed that more americans could name more than two members of the Simpson family, than could name two of the freedoms gauranteed by the first amendment of the U.S. constitution.

One out of five americans polled thought the "Right to own a pet" was one of the five.

The right to own a pet.

National Geographic did a poll of americans between the ages of 18 and 24. Of those polled, 11% were unable to locate the United States on an unmarked globe. 29% Could not find the pacific ocean. 58% couldn’t find Japan, while 65% could not locate France. And an unbelievable 69% could not locate the United Kingdom.

So yes, I agree that american culture has cultivated a lifestyle that breeds ignorance of the world at large. The largest problem, is the government likes it this way. They intentionally foster an environment of laziness and inactivity, because it makes their job just that much easier. They can be lazy, solipsistic, and asanine, and most of us will never even notice.

For example, the situation in Darfur. I think if most americans really grapsed the concept of what is occuring, that genocide is happening right now, as we speak in that country, we wouldn't be satisfied with the rhetorical garbage thrown at us by both sides of our government, and we would demand some sort of action be done to stop the genocide. But because we're lazy and ignorant, and unimaginative, we just pretend these problems don't matter, or that theirs nothing we can do about them.


REPLY: You are correct in all you said except one. It's the Left that wants people here to dependent on government. As to Darfur, supposedly the UN is "handling" that. but of course they always fail. Otherwise, we have to be asked to help in any area.




posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by Battlefresh
Nothing wrong with us you SOB. There is sure something wrong with all the American bashers though. It's just the hip thing to do these days now isn't it kids!?!


REPLY: Ad hominum attacks, and yet you do not refer to what you are talking about? Did you mean America in general, or did someone "bash" you individually.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:24 PM
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most americans arent incredibly ignorant about everything, its only the USA'rs that are.


Okay that was good.

But let me ask you this. How many native americans CARE about the rest of the world? I have talked to many people in the Navaho nation close to us here in Las Vegas.

They are not ignorant [that really is a bad way to describe anyone, no matter how correct the term]

They are not apathatic

They just don't care



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:31 PM
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***Political Correctness Warning: There are generalizations in this opinion piece. I'm sorry that I cannot describe 300+ million American's neurosis individually.



Part 1

What is wrong with Americans these days? I think what is wrong with Americans these days began 40+ years ago. There are defining moments that happen in the world every now and then, and for America one of those defining moments was the assassination of JFK. I think America was stripped of its innocence and slapped in the face by the cold hard future that would become our cynical reality of today. I think Americans lost a lot of trust that day, not just in their government, but in each other. The events that unfolded over the last 40 years have lead to the development of an environment that has enabled a social reprogramming effort, allowed for the development of an information delivery system which encourages the citizens participation, and the built up to the eventual dumbing down of the average American.

When JFK was gunned down it was the end of the age of innocence for America. The election that put Kennedy in power was the closest in American history (to that moment anyways) and the country was somewhat divided in its views. I think when Kennedy was assassinated that Americans felt a shock which struck them at their foundations and challenged their beliefs. I don’t think Americans viewed things the same way after that. There became open questioning without satisfactory answers. I think Americans became less trusting of their government and less trusting of each other. The focus that was on making the community great shifted to that of making the individual great. This was the beginning of the “Me Generation”.

Throughout the 60’s and 70’s people began to fight against “the man”. That era was all about the individual and the glorification of all things individualistic, even if many of them were collective in nature (another thread unto itself). The actions and attitudes that would develop during this time would alter the way our country viewed things. During this time it became very evident that people would quickly take sides and were easily polarized by issues. This was noted by those in certain government circles and became a strategy for political gain. It was at this time that a group of ex-Trotzyites began to have influence in halls of Washington. An atmosphere of “political correctness” was manufactured to make open conversation on given topics unnecessary. The divisive issues were leveraged and the “political correctness movement” muted the majority of conversation that could challenge accepted thinking. Discourse on the issues that mattered became an underground activity.

The 80’s and 90’s became even worse for the nation, as the children from those who were a part of the “me generation” were entering into the education system. These children received little guidance from their self-absorbed parents, but got everything they wanted. These kids grew up in front of the television, watching an endless stream of mindless garbage that desensitized them to the ills that faced society. To make matters worse, these children were told that they were special from the minute they were born. They were told they were entitled to the good life. They had little social framework to use as a basis and became anti-social and increasingly violent. These kids ended up getting pushed through school as teachers struggled to care and became afraid of their students. There was a societal detachment that took place with these kids and their views of civic duty never formed to the extent of previous generations.

End Part 1



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:31 PM
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Part 2

The loss of the Fairness Doctrine in 1986 marked the end of objectivity in the media. Media outlets were allowed to spin a story any way they wished. This brought about the birth of CNN and then later Fox News. It also gave many publications that had an ideological spin a strong new voice in the media, as they could make comment without rebuttal, blurring the facts and creating an echo chamber where rumor became fact. News media also became a corporate controlled entity, and shifted from being a source of government oversight and information source for the general population, to being another form of entertainment that broadcasters used to attract sponsor dollars. News media was forced to appeal to the bottom line and do what they could to maintain their market share. Bad news was not a great product to sell, so the idea of telling the audience what they wanted to hear was born.

What happened to America was subtle, but swift. A single event was the first domino in a complex string of events that forever changed the intellectual fabric of the nation. There are other key factors that contributed to where we are today, but I think this is as brief a summary of the key factors that contributed to the dumbing down of America and why the nation is as self-absorbed as it is. Sadly, I do not see a change happening any time soon. People still believe they are special and that their kids are beyond reproach. You can’t fix a problem until someone admits that there is a problem. There are still way too many Americans that feel there is not a problem, and those are the vocal ones, and the ones that will hold the nation back IMO. We are too politically correct for our own good and must learn to engage in discourse on important issues no matter how much pain we must feel while we do so. We must openly debate our foreign policy. We must openly discuss race relations. We must openly challenge those that are considered our leaders and insure they represent our desires as Americans and as world citizens. Once we start doing these things, only then will we see systematic changes that can positively impact how our world view changes. Only then will future generations have a better chance of being in touch with the reality that so many other countries are forced to face because of our government’s actions.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Justin Oldham
Teacher's unions and special interest lobbies wouldn't have nearly so much traction if our career politicians had some spine. Trouble is, the people in power gave up trying to be moral years ago. Now, its just easier to take the money and give the services asked for, even if they aren't good for the country.


REPLY: Sadly, the power of the Left is wholly supported by those people, and the Center (also known as the "Right") would be villified trying to end the hold the special interests have in our society. What party in their right mind would try to end all the Social(ist) programs we now have, and which started with Roosevelt, even though it would be the right thing to do, and the best thing that could happen, for MANY reasons? The "Nanny State" is alive and well, and it would be damn near impossible to end it. For what it's worth, NONE of the social prograns we have are constitutional, even tax dollars paying for public education.


Again, I say that knowing the problem isn't enough. Now, it's time to figure out the solutions. Does mean revolt? Or, does it mean that things need to get a little worse before people decide to vote in reformers?

My own contention is that things will have to get much worse before enough people decide to get off their fat lazy cans and vote for reform. That sentiment may come too late, and I do think our career politicians know that. I think they're counting on it.


REPLY: The only way to reform is to strictly adhere to The Constitution, and get rid of half of the amendments, and those who believe they have been born to rule will never allow it to happen, so we're somewhat stuck. Sadly, none of the other party options will be any better, neither the Libertarians, the Greens, et al.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:46 PM
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When JFK was gunned down it was the end of the age of innocence for America.


REPLY Everything you said is indeed correct, but I would say it goes back to Roosevelt, and even earlier.

In just one area; Civil Rights: Go back even 100 years, and it becomes obvious upon looking as to who voted for what that the Dems consistantly voted down the rights of the Blacks, yet the majority of Blacks vote for the left. Look at what has happened over that 100 years, and at what it has cost us in money and in the area of the inner cities and the Black family. It drives me nuts.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by aaaaa
Ask yourself: Given a choice between trusting two sources, one who looks to further his own interests and fortune and admits it, and one who claiming a selfless, unbiased pursuit of the truth and justice and speaking the truth to power, who would you choose? The former, not the latter in all cases, I would hope.

I read the comments of Leninist lunatics with elaborate conspiracy theories and an unthinking hatred of "corporations" and think: these people are truly retarded.

No thinking person accepts every thing he his told, but few outside the totally discredited socialist elites would deny that you have a better standard of living and "free speech" rights in countries that adhere to "capitalist" principles than socialist.

i


American's are so gullible. Norwegians are better informed on enviromental and political issues than Americans, enjoy free speech and their children can actually afford to leave home. Walmart drives down retail wages by 3 billion dollars every year. That in addition to the financial burden it places on American taxpayers to compenste for the less than living wage it pays its workers. In America, the losers of liberal lassaiz faire economics are expected to curl up and die of shame. Norway has decided not to do business with Walmart.

Sure, I'd trust the former to do everything in his power to increase his wealth and the latter to demand some social accountability from him.

Asking a corporation to respect moral laws is not hating them, unless it interferes with a massive profit margin - I trust the CEO might interpret that as hateful.

Might is right in America.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 03:02 PM
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We are just too damn sexy

[edit on 26-6-2006 by eyeblack42]



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 04:34 PM
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Gee, now I’m really depressed. I did not know I lived in such a horrible place. I had no idea how low our standard of living has become.

This is like going through a time warp. I guess I am becoming an old fart. The things being discussed here are identical to the things being discussed in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The exact same issues. American imperialism, war (Vietnam), the terrible state of education in our schools (sex education, morality, long hair, the way kids were dressing, failing to teach the Three R’s etc.), the “Good Old Days” (standard of living, prices, morality etc.) that never actually existed, the cost of living (cost of gasoline, housing etc.) and many others like the welfare state and government not doing enough for the poor.

The standard of living is higher right now than at any time in US history. Home ownership is at an all time high and our education level is currently much higher than it was in the past. There were no free rides when it came to education. There were no government guaranteed loans and no system of grants. Our parents had to mortgage their homes or we had to work a full time job while carrying a full load in school to survive.

Medical care for the poor was non-existent. If you were uninsured or could not pay they simply would not treat you. The hospitals would turn you away at the door. There were constant, true stories about people dying in hospital parking lots. I myself was turned away from a government funded hospital when badly injured after my father had died and we lost our insurance. My mother then drove me to a private hospital (owned by one of those heartless corporations people talk about) and asked them to help. They took me in, no questions asked and treated me for free and hooked me up with one of only three specialists on earth that could do the surgery I needed, also for free. They then provided me with a year of physical rehab, also for free. Then when I started college they gave me a decent paying job to help with school (heartless corporate b*******s). Nothing was ever asked in return.

Houses were much smaller because it’s all most people could afford. High paying jobs simply did not exist. Most had to do physical labor other than the few whose parents could afford to pay for a university education. The large expensive homes were similar to what we would consider an average house now. Only the upper middle class and wealthy could afford what would now be considered an average middle class house. If you lived in a new house and had a new car you were in the affluent crowd.

The beer was really bad. Not like now that we have all these micro-breweries putting out these world class, award winning beers. (To the person commenting on the beer, why are our micro-breweries winning world competitions if their beer is so bad? You simply were buying the wrong beer.)

Airline travel was way beyond the average person’s means. I just paid the same (actual, not adjusted dollars) for round trip tickets to Hawaii as I paid in 1969 for a similar flight. Most people had never been on an airplane and you could drive, pay for motels and pay for meals much cheaper than you could fly. Try that now. Americans are much better traveled than ever in the past.

Government corruption was rampant. It was probably much worse than today. We were much closer to an Orwellian State than we are today. Governmental control was nearly absolute and few had a voice in government. There was very little scrutiny of their actions. We had three networks and their news for information and that was it. Elections were mainly personality contests due to the lack of information available. Taxes were much worse and the top rates approached 90% making it nearly impossible for businesses to grow and thrive.

I think every generation thinks it is growing up in the worst of times. I think every one as they become older thinks the younger generation is going to destroy the world with their lack of morality and the way they act and dress. With us it was long hair, rock ‘n’ roll and bell bottoms, now it’s piercing and tattoos and Rap music. I recall my mother telling me how her mother said the jitterbug was going to lead to the end of society and morals.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by St Udio
~~

i don't see that most peoples' self absorbsion, and lack of keeping up
on the news events of the day as horrifying

its more the 'norm' than it is the 'exception'



I'm more offended by all the kids running around, ranting and raving about political affairs like they know firsthand how to 'heal the world'. If things went their way, it'd be sunshine, daisies and rainbows for everyone! Those retards give me an idea of what it must have been like during the Vietnam era with all the hippy protesters shunning our boys.

Those people that get labelled 'ignorant' are for the most part anything but. They just don't give a crap about Iraq or Sudan - they are too busy working on having a better life for their own family and their own neighbors.

I live right outside of NYC, have all my life. Pretty much, everyone I associate with is knowledgable on current world affiars and commonly have their own opinions as well. And no matter what sort of lifestyle, most everyone up here seems to have a lot of hate, anger, disgust, etc. built up inside. Even myself, 26 years old and I don't know if i'm ever going to be able to enjoy a clear mind.

When I was travelling to the South a lot, the people did seem a bit 'simpler'. They also seemed to have a much better quality of life than we do up here. They were not at all inferior to anyone from up North - They just had different priorities and it seems to work pretty good.

[edit on 26-6-2006 by vinrock]



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 05:24 PM
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I would like to say that if the population was able to vote as easily as voting for the American Idol, I am sure voting would be alot different...

I had envisioned sometime in the future a "idea" where the TV and internet merge into one unit of entertainment and information. PC makers would have a device installed within its console like a debit card for a voter to slide thru with say a "drivers license" < just a example.... and then you would have a secured screen to vote click and the lesser of the evils get into office..all in the personal comforts of your home.

If they easily accpeted the push touch voting screens now, with its "securities of accurate confidential voting" then this would be simple to do..

If someone capitalizes on this idea and reaps huge fortunes please send me 5 percent of all earnings


Just a idea granted security and all that stuff would be at the highest lvls, but its not like the gov would ever lose personal information of its own citzens.

Firepoker
corrected typo, anothers found spellchecker told me its off the clock.

[edit on 26-6-2006 by Firepoker]



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 05:48 PM
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I think it is funny that the origonal poster mentioned Sudan. I tried to go to sudan for a year. But I was denied for "safety reasons" (that was kinda the point of going to sudan with the Catholic Lay Missionaries...)

But about the subject at hand. I don't know and I feel that that might be the problem. I am not stating it is, as I said I have no idea what teh problem is but I feel that it may be that everyone "knows exactly what is going on and what the problem is"

I think that a history lesson is needed. As many reforms asked for have been tried and failed, many ways of society have been tried and failed. SO I feel that everyone needs to read up on world history.

"Thoes who do not know history are doomed to repeat it."



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 05:51 PM
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Firepoker:

A lot of informed people have suggested that voting needs to be made easier. I'm not really surethat I buy the argument. Even if it was just like you say, the average voter would still find reasons to avoid doing it.

I've used one ofthe new-er electronic voting machines. I was able to cast my votes for people and measures in less than two minutes. As good as that was, I still heard people saying "my vote won't matter."

That's the real nub of it. Alathy. Too many Americans today do not think their vote counts. They are so put off that that they don't even try. More than anything else, we need to rekindle voter interest.

I've heard some radical ideas designed to do that, too. It's been suggest that citizens be given a tax deduction if they actually go to a polling place and vote. I dislike the idea that our votes have to be bought with tax deductions, but I can see how this incentive might work. I don't approve, but I do see the point.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by clearwater

Originally posted by aaaaa
Ask yourself: Given a choice between trusting two sources, one who looks to further his own interests and fortune and admits it, and one who claiming a selfless, unbiased pursuit of the truth and justice and speaking the truth to power, who would you choose? The former, not the latter in all cases, I would hope.

I read the comments of Leninist lunatics with elaborate conspiracy theories and an unthinking hatred of "corporations" and think: these people are truly retarded.

No thinking person accepts every thing he his told, but few outside the totally discredited socialist elites would deny that you have a better standard of living and "free speech" rights in countries that adhere to "capitalist" principles than socialist.

i


American's are so gullible. Norwegians are better informed on enviromental and political issues than Americans, enjoy free speech and their children can actually afford to leave home. Walmart drives down retail wages by 3 billion dollars every year. That in addition to the financial burden it places on American taxpayers to compenste for the less than living wage it pays its workers. In America, the losers of liberal lassaiz faire economics are expected to curl up and die of shame. Norway has decided not to do business with Walmart.

Sure, I'd trust the former to do everything in his power to increase his wealth and the latter to demand some social accountability from him.

Asking a corporation to respect moral laws is not hating them, unless it interferes with a massive profit margin - I trust the CEO might interpret that as hateful.

Might is right in America.


I don't want this to turn into a "which country is the best" debate. Europeans I know dislike America right now, and that is fine. But if there were huge problems in Europe, you know who would be coming to the rescue...no and it isn't China or Russia. Seriously though, America has problems but Europe does as well, including Norway, so lets not criticize. Okay?



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 09:17 PM
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I can only speak from personal experience - but ever since the current administration came into power I have more or less tuned out as the media became more and more insipid and the doublespeak more prevelant.

I'm normally very involved in current events, but there is juts something that has been running through the mass conciousness recently in all forms of media (entertainment and music included) that really makes me want to drop out from the entire affair.

It's simply not something I want to associate with, and trying to debate the issue is a pointless waste of time for me. I have a hard time trying to hold a problem solving session with people who are still obessed with placing blame and diverting the issue at very opportune moment.

(This has nothing to do with the forum, btw.)

Even the so called "debates" and Q@A sessions on the majority of the majors are a pardoy of themselves - the middleman constantly interrupting the guests with off topic comments and "leading" questions that have little to do with the issue.

How anyone can follow this mess is beyond me.

I'll just stick to talking to the troops online and forgo the political clusterfudge.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by Blaine91555
Gee, now I’m really depressed. I did not know I lived in such a horrible place. I had no idea how low our standard of living has become.

This is like going through a time warp. I guess I am becoming an old fart. The things
Houses were much smaller because it’s all most people could afford. High paying jobs simply did not exist. Most had to do physical labor other than the few whose parents could afford to pay for a university education. The large expensive homes were similar to what we would consider an average house now. Only the upper middle class and wealthy could afford what would now be considered an average middle class house. If you lived in a new house and had a new car you were in the affluent crowd.


Airline travel was way beyond the average person’s means. I just paid the same (actual, not adjusted dollars) for round trip tickets to Hawaii as I paid in 1969 for a similar flight. Most people had never been on an airplane and you could drive, pay for motels and pay for meals much cheaper than you could fly. Try that now. Americans are much better traveled than ever in the past.

Government corruption was rampant. It was probably much worse than today. We were much closer to an Orwellian State than we are today. Governmental control was nearly absolute and few had a voice in government...

I think every generation thinks it is growing up in the worst of times. I think every one as they become older thinks the younger generation is going to destroy the world with their lack of morality and the way they act and dress. With us it was long hair, rock ‘n’ roll and bell bottoms, now it’s piercing and tattoos and Rap music. I recall my mother telling me how her mother said the jitterbug was going to lead to the end of society and morals.


Thank you so much for posting this! I wish more people were actually students of history insead of bemoaning mythical bygone days that never existed!

One more point about standard of living: these computers we are all using to communicate did not even exist a few decades ago and the computing power availible to me right here, right now would have cost me in 1980, well I'm really not sure, but I'm guessing $50,000? Talk about your standard of living! And how the heck did we get by without cell phones and ipods?? Beats me.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 10:53 PM
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Well...TV has a lot to do with what people keep up with now days. Decades ago people would have to pick up a book to entertain themselves, these days they can watch junk and be content.
Still....I don't believe this is only Americans that have this problem. I do think there are still a good bunch of them that are more indepth.

Personally, I like to indulge in a lot of things, but politics is not something I like nor that I rely on....politicians these days -to me- are mostly puppets.



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 10:56 PM
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Originally posted by opensecret1150
One more point about standard of living: these computers we are all using to communicate did not even exist a few decades ago and the computing power availible to me right here, right now would have cost me in 1980, well I'm really not sure, but I'm guessing $50,000? Talk about your standard of living! And how the heck did we get by without cell phones and ipods?? Beats me.


In 1981 I paid $1,000 for my first computer with a hard drive. It was a Pacard Bell, had 40 Mg and ran on dos. I got a copy of Windows 3.0 but not many programs were windows compatible back then.

I finally got a cell phone (adult binky) about two weeks ago. Still don't have a need for an ipod.

I grew up in the fifties and sixties and yes, life was much simpler back then. But we still had our problems. My dad's take home pay was less than $50.00 a week. A dollar would buy a loaf of bread and a half gallon of milk (and you got change). My parents bought their first home (small 3 bdr, 1 bath ranch) for $12,000 in 1962.

Technology was supposed to make our lives better. I feel it has made us slaves to our stuff. As technology improves our old stuff becomes obsolete. This used to happen every 5 years or so. Now it's less than a year in some cases. Everyone wants the latest in computers, cell phones, ipods, and whatever other toys are available. And what are we supposed to do with the old stuff when we upgrade?

Who cares about politics, there's a new xbox!



posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 11:02 PM
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I dont know but I personally think that in the US standards are slowly being lowered and there is some dumbing down from the schools to movies, tv, and society in general
It seems that society as a whole is an odd machine.

One thing that really perplexs me is people are somewhat looked down upon by others for being nerdy or geeky when in reality they are just trying to seek knowledge and ultimately better themselves and possibly society as a whole. But then should someone who some might consider a nerd or geek become extremely successful like say a Bill Gates they become idolized
The person doesnt even need to become rich, think someone making a lifesaving medical breakthru that everyone could benefit from and appreciate. Now wouldnt one think that if people who might seem somewhat nerdy, geeky, book worm whatever tend to be the ones advancing the world in good ways that we should do everything possible to foster that process???? But its almost the opposite of that in society to some extent


I have even noticed that some programs on the educational type channels like discovery or history (which is about all I tend to watch) have become more dumbed down in recent years or so it seems to me sometimes. I dont know if this is to compensate for a dumber/ignorant potential audience in an attempt to draw a larger and broader viewer base chasing profits or if its some plot to slowly dumb people down? I also think that the commercials seem to have gotten slightly longer over the years but I dont know as I have no data or real facts on that theory? but think if you were a tv exec and you slowly added just say 10 seconds to the commercials every year over time commercials would become longer and you could earn more as you could have more billable commercial time.


My proposal is to figure out some way that every citizen has to spend say something like 10-25% of their time learning, studying current events and actively participating in the community etc.. as I think it would have an impact even 1 hour per week or 10-15 minutes per day, but I the sad thing is most people just dont care and might not even know that they dont



[edit on 26-6-2006 by warpboost]



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