Friday, 29 February 2008

An Anti-American American?

I often have a look at World Hum as they have some interesting articles, half of which I tend towards disagreeing with. The more I travel and live abroad, the more I think most travellers have their heads up their asses. Ok, so I'm being harsh, but what I mean is that the myth of the enlightened traveller gets dispelled the more you travel and see;) I don't think this person is Anti-American, but I think it is interesting how you can get a dissertation topic to turn out anyway you want it to. She says all of her interview subjects have been to America, but for how long? And of the people I speak to while abroad, those who have a negative attitude about us quite often have not ever visited or if they did, were there on holiday and for a short period of time. To this comment:

"Anti-Americanism is an issue that is not going away any time soon, but if a few of us make an effort when traveling abroad to break the stereotype, we might be better ambassadors for our country."

...all I have to say is, if you have a bad opinion of my country, based on biased media reports, a short trip there, or discussions and/or interaction with a tiny minority of the 300 million Americans that exist, get over it.


steveg said...

Suzer said

...all I have to say is, if you have a bad opinion of my country, based on biased media reports, a short trip there, or discussions and/or interaction with a tiny minority of the 300 million Americans that exist, get over it.


Why Susan? (Playing Devils advocate here) You yourself have been on occasion most vociferous of things which you do not agree with or found were done in a different way to what you would have expected, mostly on this blog, so it's there to check over.

Americans too have their prejudices - "All British people have bad teeth" for instance - it's just the way of things, people critisize because it makes them feel more comfortable with how they themselves are. Why America? Simple, becuase you're the big boy in the playground and the one everyone has to take note of. I have no doubt that when the British Empire was at it's height, we too we commented on in similar ways.

Naaaah It's not worth getting hung up about honest, most people neither love nor hate Americans and more than we do Madagascans - it's just because we have more exposure to you guys that causes more opinions.

Best Wishes


Suzer said...

My objection is due to the fact that most people I meet while travelling who have an opinion on American, don't base it on enough substantial evidence or experience, and trust me, I hear plenty of opinions around here. To have someone go on about how Americans should be better ambassadors for their country always gets my feathers in a ruffle, because while I agree that everyone should be polite etc out of common decency, I don't think we should change our behaviour simply so that the rest of the world will like us.

SouthOzBloke said...

As a member of a University surf club I've met, surfed and drank with a lot of American exchange students over the last four years. I've only met one that I didn't like.
I've also been to America twice and never met anyone I didn't like. I have however come across some interesting opinions of the rest of the world from the American point of view.
I don't think enough Aussies (and I'm sure people from other countries) can separate the American Government and it's policies from individual Americans and I think that it's ignorance on our part. In the US I was constantly asked if I knew Steve Irwin and Crocodile Dundee. It's amusing the first two or three hundred times but then it starts to wear a bit thin.
God bless America and it's citizens (but they sure do need a change of government).

Suzer said...

Thanks for a very refreshing and well worded response to my less eloquent rant. Regarding Steve Irwin/Croc Dundee comments, I think those are probably most Americans only exposure to anything Australian. Until I met my husband, I had no idea almost all Australian cities were coastal. I knew nothing about Australia at all, to be honest, until I read Bill Bryson's book! And I had a good education--we just are limited in what we are taught unless we seek it out for ourselves. Perhaps now that we have more of an exchange program going with working holiday visas, things will change. And yes, we do need a serious change of government...Obama to the rescue.