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Other nations think US is literally the "land of the free?"

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posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 11:18 AM
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Lol ok so lets see, the USA is lazy, greedy and ignorant but in terms of national wealth we are the most powerful country in the world, so of course were arrogant.
How can a country of misfits and idiots, like us, scale to such heights?
No, I dont have a passport, nor do I want or need one. I am perfectly content here in America, being lazy, greedy and arrogant.
Its really funny how the "free worlds" perception of America started changing, right about the time the Cold War ended and they no longer needed us to fight their battles and prevent THOUSANDS of Russian Tanks from pouring into Western Europe.
I only wish that everyone really hated us as much as they claim to, then everyone and their dog wouldnt try to get in.




posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 11:40 AM
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I have traveled abroad via the military ect.. And IMO it's very easy to see why other cultures view the United States the way they do. Most of the perception of America IMO is based upon hollywood and America's pop culture phenomenon ie Mc Donalds, rap music, movies. All which depict a fantasy type of life style with hot girls(guys),cars, money, and excess living. Fantasy and excess IMO are America's leading exports.
It's been my experience that most view American's as loud, inconsiderate,uneducated cowboys . That's the nice version. Then there's the majority that hold the actions of our Administration over us , with the opinion that we are a warmongering people. Thirsty for blood. .

You know what? All the above are correct. America is trully a melting pot of all the nations, religions, and lifestyles. America has it's super rich, and it's super poor. The truth of the matter is this . What we consider to be the poor and lower class are still alot better off than ones couterpart in another part of the world. We have fresh water everywhere. Running water in homes for that matter. Everywhere you look you can see power lines and roads. Even people who consider poor own vehicles, have a tv, small microwaves ect... It is true that many of the things we Americans have taken for granted are commodities to others throughout the globe.
Now with the internet America is starting to be exposed for what it is,good or bad. I know one thing for shure though. Our current occupation in Iraq and other parts of the world haven't help ...



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 11:41 AM
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America is the land of the free if you're talking about freedoms.

And many Americans don't have passports...so what?



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 12:42 PM
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I would LOVE to travel to other countries, but guess what?! I can't AFFORD it! Yeah, guess we're all just a bunch of ignorant, rich people who choose not to travel to other countries. Sheesh...talk about ignorant...



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 01:50 PM
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What I don't like about the U.S is the in your face culture, braging how your the greatest nation on earth and the land of the free. Who cares? most countries nowadays have just as much freedom, its nothing to brag about anymore, most European countries are more liberal and free than the U.S if you want nit pick. No one likes a bragger, the harder then come the harder they fall. But you guys brag about what many other countries already have.

I like the U.S but you don't have to tell the world that you love your country and your the greatest it rubs people up the wrong way, phrases like "God Bless America" ewww. People outside the U.S tend to think the U.S are hypocrites, spreading democracy when you have had two familes running the U.S for decades.

The U.S has a problem with the rich being powerful and the poor not, a rich man in the U.S could get away with a crime but a poor man wouldn't. The "sue" everyone culture that the U.S put America in bad light and the way medical corporations shaft people. Im not saying the U.S isn't perfect and Europe is, we have problems aswell as the U.S.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by Chorlton
The problem of holidaying in ones own country is that one doesnt get too many differing opinions about things.

International travel is the big mind expander.

Oh yes. I've done quite a bit of going walkabout myself.

Rather than being a tourist, I try to find a working assignment that enables me to live in the country of my choice for a few months. I'm fortunate that my line of work is such that this is relatively easy to do in poorer parts of the world and new-rich mammons like SE Asia and the Middle East. Less easy in the West, but then I'm one of those who believes that life in rich countries is relatively safer, more structured and ultimately duller than it is in less -- advanced, developed, what have you -- parts of the world.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by loam

Originally posted by Chorlton

This report from Hansard states the UK level is 77%


So when looking at raw numbers, its clear more Americans have passports.

Yes, but who -- except you -- is looking at raw numbers? They don't mean anything in terms of this discussion. If you're talking about being cosmopolitan, raw numbers mean nothing; what you're looking for is the extent to which a salting of internationally travelled and experienced citizens flavour a nation's general outlook.

Britain is by far the world's most cosmpolitan and internationally aware nation. Running the world's largest-ever empire (and then losing it) will do that to you. France comes second, for similar reasons. The rest of the world, I'm very sorry to say, comes a very distant third. And leading that field are not rich Western countries but places that, being small and ambitious, have to know more about the world -- especially the rich world, and especially America -- than the big boys do.

American foreign policy, American overseas business practise and a host of other indicators make it very clear to an intelligent observer just how internationally aware and cosmopolitan your country is. Not very, I'm sorry to say.

The size thirteen boots don't help either.

[edit on 13-7-2007 by Astyanax]

[edit on 13-7-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:11 PM
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Sorry, I forgot the other member of the Big Cosmopolitan Three:

China.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:20 PM
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I don't know the exact passport numbers, but you have to remember that until recently Americans did not need a passport to travel almost anywhere in the western hemisphere. Also, it is fairly costly to fly across the Atlantic or Pacific, but since European countries are small and the continent has lots of them, it's nothing to rack up quite a list of "visited lands." I'm in my mid 20's and only know a single person who has not been to at least one European country (she, in fact, has not even been outside the state of Florida, though, so she's definitely an outlier.) This is even more true with Shengan-land (sp, I'm sure) of the EU these days.

For middle class+ Americans it's kind of a tradition to tour Europe after high school. I did, ended up loving it, and have racked up dozens of countries on five continents. There is, however, only one country I care to return to time, and time again
. I even ran into some friends I had just graduated with at the most random of times and places.

And as far as education goes, the dollar cost of university is no longer a valid concern. State universities are very inexpensive, and many states pay for a huge part, or the entire shebang - provided the kid is not a moron/doesn't care and tanks his GPA. This is rare in many, many places. The average kid in the US will at least "try" university/college. It may not be at Harvard, but this is more than most places can claim. This is rare in most places (the opportunity, not the money.)

The "land of the free" is also relevant because the US is devoid of classes. Some will disagree and especially bring up celebrity cases, but if they do they don't quite grasp what I'm getting at. The upward social mobility potential here is vast, and not seen most other places. I can think of maybe two large commonwealth countries where it may be similar, but even still... those folks will never be on the level of their "queen."

I guess I write this because I find it puzzling that folks refer to Americans as so insulated in our own little worlds. I mean, the ubiquitous American tourist in the hula shirt "with the expensive camera he doesn't know how to use" stereotype had to come from somewhere. Come on now, we get around!



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 05:19 PM
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Personally I think Americans are just like people all over the world.

Yes, there are advantages, but this is only because the people and successive governments have worked hard to make sure those advantages are in place for those who are able to take advantage of them.

I've never been there, but have several friends who have - and the singular observation is that Americans are more insular than other countries they visited.
I'm sure there's at least an element of truth in this, but I'm also sure that it's not the total truth.
Given the vast scope of the north american continent and pacific territories, I would imagine that it's pretty hard for a lot of people to keep up with home news, let alone the rest of the planet.

I think it's like many western countries which have power and want to appear to be helping others - it's no worse, and no better, It's a country and it's people (in general) are proud citizens



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 06:02 PM
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I`ve never heard the free education bit regarding America, but I have heard a lot of similarly strange comments and questions, often from people who I thought should know better. I tend to get the questions phrased as "Is this the same as in Canada?" - being a canuck and all...

For example, I`ve got a close friend here who has come up with the following over the last few years:

- In america, why do all black men either own prostitutes or want to acquire them?
- There are no more racial problems in America. Everyone gets along perfectly well these days.
- Why do italian americans always keep their accent?
- Why do white teenagers choose to hang out only in restaraunts and coffee shops, instead of playing sports or going to the arcade or going camping or...?
- If you visit your friends in America, it`s normal to just pound on the door and walk in.

And my all time favourite: Why are all the women in America thin and beautiful EXCEPT the ones that come to Hokkaido?

I can usually tell by the question that he`s recently picked up a season of one US tv show or another on DVD, or he`s trying to translate hip-hop lyrics or some damn thing. The thing is, he`s a smart guy. Fairly well travelled as far as SE Asia is concerned, speaks a handful of languages passably.

The problem IMO is clearly the difference between the US media and the Japanese media. Japanese TV dramas, if you can sit through them, tend to reflect japanese society a little more closely than in the US. The same goes for movies, for the most part. Showing normal people living normal lives is pretty common, and you get used to it. Fantasy is clearly marked as fantasy (the flying robots tend to give it away), but things that relate to reality tend to match reality a little closer, if you follow me. Homes can be a little messy and cramped. The lead can be driving an old microcar. There`s always a grandmother up at dawn cleaning something, and a grandfather out of his brain on sake. That kind of thing.

When you then sit down and watch a season of 90210 (I don`t know why. People do. Let it go.) you start to think that it`s a closer reflection of reality than it really is.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 07:57 PM
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I love your post, vox4224, it reminds me so much of the general "wtf" feeling I got whence in foreign lands. Although, I was kind of disappointed you mentioned "90210" instead of "Friends"



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 05:45 AM
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Thanks to everyone who has replied and offered their thoughts so far.

Vox,

Thank you for your response. As you and a few others say, I've always believed that the misunderstanding of various cultures in the world is predominantly influenced by media.

Its VERY interesting that you bring up a perfect example here. You've mentioned that Japanese media will usually portray life as life, instead of exaggerating reality and eventually giving the wrong impression and idea to everyone it touches.

When I was a child in school, we used to have to read stories about how life should be as we got older. You know the stories; Two children awake to mom cooking breakfast. Dad rushes to affectionately kiss mom goodbye before heading off to his day job. Children are taken to school after breakfast, as mom tends to errands and goes to the salon to get her hair "done." Then on Sundays, the entire family warmly flows into church and afterwards go to the park to play for the entire evening. And the same routine is repeated every single week.

This is how American life was supposed to be for all of us. We were fed this idea day in and day out, not only at school, but when we returned home to watch our favorite shows on TV.

I could never buy into it, even though my family (on the outside) appeared to be the *perfect* family. In fact, mostly everyone that I was even allowed to befriend all appeared to be perfect families - exactly as portrayed in the media.

My point is: Not only is the media feeding false ideas to other countries, but it is force fed to us as soon as we are old enough to attend pre-school classes. The majority of us are so consumed with wearing masks and pretending to be everything we were told that we SHOULD be, that we forget to take into account what reality truly IS.

Its more than refreshing to read that Japanese media is not like this - that a clear distinction is made between reality and fantasy.

The majority of U.S. citizens are not exactly mentally and emotionally healthy individuals. Being that I am an American by birth, I have seen first hand how erratic people can be here. Not only are most of us completely unaware of who we are, but also caught up in a fantasy of everything we were taught. And the worse thing is.. rarely is this questioned. Instead, we have more people locked away in mental institutions, more people committing suicide, more people abusing drugs and alcohol, more people raping and killing others - ignorant as to what made them 'that' way.

The media blocks us from our true selves - our individual selves - and creates a strict system to follow to a T. If we chose not to accept, we are locked away or shunned by the rest and this causes intense anger, resentment and repression in everyone. For instance, it is "polite" to smile and greet others you see regardless if one of your loved ones died hours ago, and regardless if you even feel happy or want to extend your energy to someone at that time. If you do NOT follow societal 'rules' here, you are immediately labeled arrogant, selfish and a 'snob' -- and become unaccepted. As I said above, this causes more chaos and confusion than anything else. We can no longer be ourselves, but we must be what we are told to be.

A lady I know once said to me, "If you ever want to be loved or accepted while on earth, you best learn quickly to become just like everyone else." Needless to say, I disagreed and became quite angry at the concept. But this is the typical thought pattern here.

Freedom is taken in every way possible. Not wearing name brand clothes and not drinking Coke every day -- is a far cry in comparison to -- not being able to BE YOURSELF.

Freedom is different to everyone I suppose, but to me it is the ability to think what you like, smile only if you are happy, and ultimately be who you are without prejudice or ridicule. This is clearly not the case in the U.S.

-Mea



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 06:50 AM
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Hi Soraia, thank you for sharing your perspective.


Originally posted by Soraia
In the U.S. people are less conservative than elsewhere, you can do anything without too much hassle. No one is really surprised or shocked at anything.


Its true that we are less conservative as a nation, in general, opposed to other countries - but no, we cannot do "anything we like without much hassle." Of course, not many people gets their fingers chopped off from stealing a loaf of bread in this country. But there are more subtle issues present. Trust in this: There is a price to pay for everything, be it a material price or otherwise.


America loves individualism, other places don't. For people that want to break free...very attractive.


Not quite. America loves to portray itself as loving individualism, not much more. If you were to move here, or even come for an extended stay, you would realize that no matter where you go in this country -- people are the same. They have the same beliefs, the same general likes/dislikes, the same mannerisms, the same thought patterns, the same desire to reach the top in society - to live the 'American dream', the same laziness and expectancy that someone 'owes' them this without having to work for any of their accomplishments. The absolute greatest percentage of Americans mimic each other as a way of life.

How many true individuals do you see walking up and down the sidewalks here? (I'm not talking about the guys in jump suits who dye their hair bright orange for attention.)

I guarantee you, *true* individuals are scarce. Simply because someone chooses to appear different for attention, does not make them individuals. That comes from within, and people don't like to waste time introspecting enough to create themselves. Honestly, they'd rather be at the club partying it up and ridicule anyone who cares not to join them.



You only look at the negatives when you have to wake up to it every day.


Ever heard the saying, "The grass isn't always greener on the other side"? -- It applies. Because something looks better than what one may already have, does not mean that it is better.

-Mea

[edit on 14-7-2007 by Veritas Lux Mea]



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 09:03 AM
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Just my opinion, but from what i can see American capitalism endorses the ideals of consumerism by instilling in its citizens the idea that personal success only comes through financial success. This is in tune with the main theory of consumerism is that it is economically beneficial to have a progressively greater consumption of goods. This combined with the need to display one’s wealth though items purchased creates a never-ending cycle where citizens believe that it is economically correct to purchase goods and display one’s self-image through those goods. To me, and just my opinion, America is the land of excess.

Another thing, in my travels in America i noticed the food servings were HUGE compared to what i am used to in Australia, and i suspect this explains why i noticed such a huge number of overweight people in the country. It is a comment i hear from many Australians who go to America - "you see the gorgeous hollywood stars on tv, but my god, ive never seen a country with so many fat people."



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 09:36 AM
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LoL, yea there are a bunch of fat-arses here and to me it is sickening. Personally, I weigh 145 lbs which is pretty light weight in almost every countries i suppose.
But seeing the people here that just rolling around, eating everything in sight is disgusting, to say the least.
However, I dont think that it is a problem that is exclusive to the US. If i remember a news story correctly, about 3 months ago there was a British woman who was threatened by the government, to put her son on a strict diet or risk him being taken from her.
The kid was huge, 7 years old and somewhere in the area of 200 pounds
FatBoy

Yes I understand that this probably isnt very common and I happen to agree with whats in the article. Any parent that lets there child get like that, should face some kind of disciplinary action, even if its a program, to me it is nothing short of neglect.
Anyway, the "fat-american" stereotype is stupid and I think that its just another way to take shots at US Citizens.
No matter what we do or say, its never the right thing. we face more scrutiny than any other Nation in the world, so people that dont like us will always find something wrong. Its one of those "damned if you do, damned if you dont" type scenarios and I think the reason we are put under the microscope is because we are the lone super power..
But what do i know, im just a "stupid american" that hasnt had his coffee yet



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by Equinox99
Ask yourself this then why are the foreigners
from Iraq, Africa, India, Pakistan, and other poorer
countries coming to America??
Because they get more of a chance then other
places. You can come to America at 40 and still make
something of yourself.
Can you do this is Europe? Try it and find out
how hard it is. Personally I have been to Europe
on the way to North America, and it was
very very expensive to live.

The rules in America are less strict then back home.
If your caught stealing first time you don't get your hand
cut off.
Your not worried that your children might be abducted or killed.
If this is not freedom then why don't we all just join Al Qaeda for
tea and biscuits?


Myth upon myth: try the studyavailable fromthis link to get an idea of how hard it actually is to fulfil the American dream, and how much easier it is in some other countries.

And if you're not worried that your children might be abducted or killed, you're not living in the projects or watching the news.



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by estar
What I don't like about the U.S is the in your face culture, braging how your the greatest nation on earth and the land of the free. Who cares? most countries nowadays have just as much freedom, its nothing to brag about anymore, most European countries are more liberal and free than the U.S if you want nit pick. No one likes a bragger, the harder then come the harder they fall. But you guys brag about what many other countries already have.

I like the U.S but you don't have to tell the world that you love your country and your the greatest it rubs people up the wrong way, phrases like "God Bless America" ewww. People outside the U.S tend to think the U.S are hypocrites, spreading democracy when you have had two familes running the U.S for decades.


I'm American, and I totally agree with this. There is too much noisemaking about how we're the best, when in fact, in many respects, we're not. And that's ok. I never really understood why so many Americans need to feel that they are the greatest people on Earth, living in the greatest country on Earth, it seems to me a recipe for disaster. When you think you are king of the hill, and shouting it from the mountain tops, you can't see the guy coming up from behind you ready to knock you off the top. That's what is happening to America right now.

It's like in sports, the guys who always talk a big game are hardly ever the best players. The truly great show their greatness by example, not by words.

Unfortunately, I feel that my countrymen and our leaders have forgotten that greatness comes from great acts, not from great words.

I will say, however, that the idea that Americans are lazy and get everything they want is a load of bull too. My family came here from Poland years ago with nothing, and now I have two aunts that are millionaires several times over. Because they worked 80 hour weeks for 20 years, took advantage of every opportunity, and are now living the good life because of it.

Free education, free health care?? Tell that to my employer who pay an additional 25% over my yearly salary to provide me with health insurance. And next time I get my $5000.00 property tax bill, which pretty much all goes to support the local schools, tell me I get free education.

Ignorance of other cultures and other parts of the world is not just an American phenomena, it's a human one.



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 01:50 PM
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The one thing I noticed on this thread and on ATS in general is an attack on the media. My daughter is a journalist who has worked for a several local station in there news departments well as several news papers. She was the one writing what the people on camera say, or the one going over the articles to see if they were news worth. See news worthy as sell able. The media isn't out to keep us in the dark. we are keeping our selves in the dark. We will not buy things that do not say what we want to hear. They are in the business of making money therefore they supply us with what we want. Its so easy to blame them. them being (insert origination here). The fact of the ,matter is it is us as a people that poison the worlds perception of us, because we don't want to hear (insert bad news hear). there fore the media isn't going to say it because they want to sell there news.



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by theindependentjournal What ever happened to civics classes in this country to teach the Truth...



Uh I know, the ACLU and the teachers unions made them stop!



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