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No longer American

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I had a rather strange conversation with one of my cousins last night. It was great as we hadn't talked in a long time, but he lives in France now and has all but lost his American roots. He hasn't lived in the US now for about twenty years, but we were close as kids, so it seemed very strange to have to explain things that we in the US take for granted; everyday things, major events, political trends, social trends... Often, he would struggle to translate from French to English. And he was always worried about insulting me poltically. His perspective has been skewed to the point where he no longer understands the diversity of the American culture. He had a tendency to lump all Americans together; not the least of which was the assumption that I supported and still support the war in Iraq!!! He really had no concept of the deep and wide void between people who supported Bush, and those who didn't. When I explained that Tsu and I had made a serious effort to leave the country when Bush was relected, he was shocked [He shouldn't have been!]. Interestingly, at that time, he completely revoked his US citizenship. So we still have a lot in common, but the veil of culture has forced our frames of reference to drift apart; shockingly so in some cases.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
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  3. Sep 16, 2010 #2
    I have dealings with the French Embassy and groups in France that organize alot of the ceremonies commemorating the US involvement in World War 2.

    I know what you mean. They avoid directly commenting about American politics and their views, but at the same time they make subtle points. We take their subtle points as backhanded insults and I know they are not meant that way. Most are trying to avoid insulting us.

    It is interesting. But I see it from the side of how appreciative they are of our help. I think they are frustrated by the fact that most Americans don't understand how much France has helped us.
     
  4. Sep 16, 2010 #3

    Hepth

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    I feel that if the world population as a whole was more informed of the diversity of viewpoints and the extreme political struggle within the US we'd be respected a little more and despised a little less.
    I wonder if there have been any serious efforts to do so, or if attempts at advertising the TRUE American multi-faceted culture would me merely ignored or scorned as propaganda.
     
  5. Sep 16, 2010 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    The recent business with Qur’an burning comes to mind - one nutjob defines America in the eyes of at least some of the Muslim world.
     
  6. Sep 16, 2010 #5

    cronxeh

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    I don't think the rest of the world realizes just how reserved a response the Iraq/Afghanistan war was. I do believe after 9/11 we were ready to invade the whole Middle East
     
  7. Sep 16, 2010 #6
    They really don't need an incentive to be anti-american. If it were not the nutjob then it would be the protesting the Mosque in NYC. Or that we support Israel.

    You really can't have it both ways with this stuff. If one person has freedom of speech, then we all do. I am not for alot of the nonsense various groups do. People do because they can, but it does not mean that they should do it.
     
  8. Sep 16, 2010 #7

    russ_watters

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    Agreed, but how naive does one have to be to believe that the politics in the US is homogenous? Politics isn't homogenous anywhere.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2010 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Again, I think this comes back to culture. I'm not sure if those who threatened violence over the Qur'an burning understood that this is not representitive of America, or if they condemn our entire culture for allowing it.
     
  10. Sep 16, 2010 #9
    According to Tony Blair's book Cheney wanted to Remake the entire middle east after 911. That included attacking Syria, Iraq and Iran.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wor...emake_middle_east_after_911_invade_iraq_.html

    Luckily at least some sanity prevailed.
     
  11. Sep 16, 2010 #10
    I wonder why he left for France in the first place.
     
  12. Sep 16, 2010 #11

    cronxeh

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    I think the next legdown would be Iran attacking Israel, and after that we will simply be forced to join in the fray. You can almost see overnight the distillation of all the thoughts and fears of those Middle East nations as they take the position and align themselves with us or against us - if Iran nuked Israel
     
  13. Sep 16, 2010 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    The business culture. He has lived in Holland, Belgium, and France, but likes France the best.

    Currently, he owns a company that employs about fifty people.
     
  14. Sep 16, 2010 #13

    turbo

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    I have friends and older relatives in Canada, and they are pretty blown away by some of the crap that comes out of AM radio and "conservative" news outlets. They are not fooled by the slant, but are somewhat puzzled as to how such viewpoints can be tolerated and are not opposed by the mainstream media.

    I have a couple of friends who each lost spouses to cancer (the couples were friends for years) and married each other. She is Canadian, and he is a US citizen. The US government is putting her through hell as she tries to gain citizenship. Really! She is a retired schoolteacher and her late husband was a career officer in the RCMP. Not much of a security risk there. I tell my male friend that he should sell his properties in Maine and Florida and move to NB. He lives in Machias, and the climate in coastal NB is no less forbidding than NB.
     
  15. Sep 16, 2010 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    By no means is he naive, so I have to assume that his views are a reflection of the information he receives.
     
  16. Sep 16, 2010 #15
    The problem to me may be different : at the scale of the gap between french and US political cultures, what one may perceive as different, another might perceive as very slight nuances. Remember how about half of french people are such socialists ? :rolleyes:

    I am getting used to this "freedom of speech", but I still sometimes think a concept of "crime against democracy" might some day be useful(1).

    (1) I expect some outrage from that opinion
     
  17. Sep 16, 2010 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Can you elaborate?
     
  18. Sep 16, 2010 #17

    turbo

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    When I hear that Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonialist, that he is not a citizen, that he is a socialist AND a Nazi trying to ruin our economy, etc, etc, I wonder how far the neo-con spin-cycle can possibly go. My Canadian friends and relatives are flabbergasted by this kind of crap. I shouldn't be surprised, but when I talk to them, it always brings me back to how far the GOP has strayed from true conservatism, and how far down that path the Democrats have followed them.
     
  19. Sep 16, 2010 #18
    My wife and I are considering moving to Canada or France once we earn our undergraduate degrees. Our main concern is not the political discourse spewed by professional politicians but the target audience of said message. It seems the target audience is willing to lend an ear to that message and a few of them accept that message as fact, despite evidence to the contrary. Wife and I do not expect conditions to improve significantly unless somehow the US economy manages to create 30 million+ jobs in the next decade.

    At the lower socioeconomic level we are, the situation is dire. Recently, our neighborhood has experienced a significant uptick in gang activity and this forced the NYPD to deploy a large force of police officers in our area. Closer to home, there is a nightclub very close to our residence, and about 3 weeks ago. somewhere around 2am, a 16 year old boy was stabbed to death inside the nightclub. Obviously, we will find crime anywhere we go, yet we feel things in the US will get worse before they get better.

    *We are also tired of paying $800/mo for a crap apartment*
     
  20. Sep 16, 2010 #19

    Evo

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    So, you live in a bad area. You don't think that moving to a bad area in another country will be as bad? Are you not aware of the car burnings in Paris? Nothing like that has ever happened in the US, no matter how bad the area. Inner city violence in America is very contained and limited to a very small area in some large cities and mild compared to violence in similar areas other countries.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article607860.ece

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1869392,00.html

     
  21. Sep 16, 2010 #20
    For instance, one of my history teacher described the situation as this : in the US a rich family has two sons, the successful one does business, the failure one goes into politics. Rich traditional families used to do quite the opposite in France's past (now I do not think this applies anymore). This teacher was very provocative, and actually repeated we had a lot to learn from the US about how to make business. He also was a regular member in the mayor offices for decades, elected as a right party member (the closest to what can call republican in France). From his times, the only way to get a serious position in a french government was to go through ENA ([URL [Broken] Nationale d'Administration[/url]). Although elitist and declining, this system still keeps us rather safe from a Palin or a O'Donnell (until Royal comes back).

    edit
    Please do not think of me as misogynist from my mentioning 3 women as counter examples in my last sentence. It is incidental. I have a very high opinion of Merkel for instance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  22. Sep 16, 2010 #21
    Actually, the area where we currently reside is considered one of the relatively "ok" areas in NYC.

    You are correct. Moving to another area in another country will probably be worse; we are still studying this option. What we definitely want to do is leave NYC; we do not mind moving to the less urban areas of upstate NY, PA, NJ, or MA preferably somewhere close to universities (where one may find a good amount of rational people).
     
  23. Sep 16, 2010 #22

    Ivan Seeking

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl: I don't know if his objections are that fundamental or not.
     
  24. Sep 16, 2010 #23

    Office_Shredder

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    They did a South Park episode on people like you
     
  25. Sep 16, 2010 #24

    cronxeh

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    :rofl:

    The fart sniffing one?


    Mathnomalous, dude, no matter where you move you will run into 'that group of people'. You know exactly who I'm talking about.
     
  26. Sep 16, 2010 #25

    russ_watters

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    I certainly believe the information he's getting tells him that, but those two issues are not mutually exclusive. I think that's a common problem though, not seeing-through the bias in the media. Still, whether left or right or left of our left or whatever, homogenaity doesn't exist anywhere, so regardless of what view the media gives, it shouldn't ever be believed to be a unanamous opinion. I mean heck - if Bush enjoyed absolute popularity, how could we possibly have a Democratic President and Congress today?

    ....so I still see naive as being an appropriate description.
     
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