[time-nuts] Off Topic question...

John Day johnday at wordsnimages.com
Tue Jan 20 11:19:20 EST 2009


At 02:17 AM 1/20/2009, you wrote:
>Chuck,
>
>Well, I've heard the same sort of stereotypical comments about the
>Brits so many times I am fed up with them too. Besides which of those
>comments can you say does not have an air of truth about them for
>someone coming from England, or may other places in the World for that
>matter.
>
>You've turned a simple friendly poke at the US system into an all out
>attack on every US citizen. I read an article the other day about the
>British "hacker" who "broke into" the military systems over there
>looking for UFO data. The comments were that he should be given 70
>years inside, executed, and a whole lot of stuff about how this guy
>was such a terrible criminal. No one talked about how the US military
>had connected a system with secret classified data onto the Net with
>no admin password. But apparently all the blame was on him. If you
>leave your car with the door open and the keys in the ignition
>wouldn't you expect to have it pinched.
>
>And whats this stuff about the land of the free, you guys have more
>legislation on yourselves and on other countries people than many
>other countries. I sat and watched all the discussion about shooting
>guns at New Year and the chances of people getting killed. They get
>killed anyway because it is so easy to get guns over there. Everybody
>gets the chance to be a crim. Our police don't carry guns routinely
>and we don't have a gun problem. Sure some idiots get hold of them,
>and some innocent people get hurt or killed, but it's a major event in
>this country when that happens, not just the way of life it is for you
>guys.
>
>So please don't come back at me all innocent like and hurt.
>
>Regards,
>Steve

Steve,

What you need to remember is that some Americans have a superiority 
complex - there is nothing of worth or value from anywhere else. We 
shouldn't take this to heart, this is the way they are educated. From 
a very early age Americans are taught that the US is the greatest 
country in the world. The American military is invincible, the 
American education system excels and everybody in the world wants to 
live in the US so we need to keep them out.

Parts of this are true, the US is a great country. But no more so 
than Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany or just about any other 
country. Americans are proud of their country, but often 
unjustifiably so because their media and education system is severely 
xenophobic.

The American military isn't bad, but invincible? Hardly.

The US does have some good universities, but it doesn't mean any 
means have a caveat on good education. Illiteracy rates in the US are 
high for a first world nation.

But to understand the attitude you need to know a lot about the US. 
Since 1973 I have lived in the US on several occasions. I have worked 
for US corporations and the US government. I have also had to live in 
a country where the rest of the world barely exists for the media. 
Where major government figures at the Federal and State level are 
almost totally ignorant of even their closest neighbour.

So these days I live in a community of malcontents! Many of my 
friends here in Canada are Americans who have chosen not to live in 
the US for a variety of reasons. As an immigrant to this country I 
have spoken to many people to try and figure out how Canadians define 
themselves. The one core theme I detect is "we are not Americans". 
Having lived in the US I am happy not to live there now. But don't be 
discouraged, the sort of reaction you have seen here is fairly 
typical. On the whole Americans are very sensitive about any 
perceived criticism of their country and just don't seem to have a 
handle on anyone else's sense of humour.

John
(An Australian who has lived in too many places to recall). 





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