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Posted by Feral Automaton on 01-13-2001 04:24 AM:

Post God bless americaÖ

This is for everybody:

To the americans in the forum: In your own words, what is it that you love about america? Its culture, society, religion, politics, history, strength, military, art, infrastructure, etc. Tell us all about what defines ďamericaĒ to you, and why youíre either proud or disenchanted with the place.

To everyone else: In your own words, what do you feel america does to either stimulate global growth or to destroy global alliance? Is the americanization of the world a good thing? Are your views typical within your country? Or is your perception something that youíve gleaned from personal experience with americans here or abroad?

I want people to express themselves, once a number of opinions have been generated, perhaps we can either start a new thread, or continue here with debates over our perceptions.

Again, this is for everybody and I think that the results could be fascinating SO PARTICIPATE.


Posted by Tefl on 01-13-2001 04:30 AM:

Post

I don't know if this is a good idea. These threads always turn nasty. Especially when I speak up on it.

------------------------
"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity." -Robert Heinlein


Posted by RogueWarrior on 01-13-2001 04:34 AM:

Angry

I have one thing to say:

America: nine tons of crack a day.

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FUELED BY HATE


Posted by DevilMoon on 01-13-2001 04:36 AM:

Post

quote:
Originally posted by RogueWarrior:
I have one thing to say:

America: nine tons of crack a day.




It's up my butt, the USA.



------------------------
choosy mothers choose evil


Posted by Rav on 01-13-2001 04:38 AM:

Post

I like America, I like the country, the exports - be it culture, music, movies, clothes etc.
The one thing I don't like about America is the attitude (I'm basing this on one particular person I know in real life, but have seen it here as well) that you are something so special. That you have some special right that the rest of the *free* world does not have.
The American in particular that I am refering to is living over here on England at the moment - she feels that she should be able to carry a hand gun over here, because it is her right as an American citizen, despite the fact that it is illegal here. This strikes me as (what I am beginning to see) as typical American arrogance.
I'm not trying to start a fight or anything here, but how do the you Americans see it? How do the non-Americans see it? Anyone have any experience of what I'm trying to say here?

------------------------
I don't have to sell my soul,
He's already in me.
*
Stellar ownz me!!!

[This message has been edited by Rav (edited 01-12-2001).]


Posted by Emerald on 01-13-2001 04:38 AM:

Post

I am very happy to be an American citizen. I've lived in another country and was very happy to come home. Better plumbing, roads, and all the other 'conveniences' that most Americans take for granted BUT,

I agree with TEFL. This could be a war in the Forum. No thanks.


Edit for RAV: I think that person should either go home or get rid of the gun. When in Rome.....

------------------------
Here????? Now??????

[This message has been edited by Emerald (edited 01-12-2001).]


Posted by Rav on 01-13-2001 04:44 AM:

Post

quote:
Originally posted by Emerald:


Edit for RAV: I think that person should either go home or get rid of the gun. When in Rome.....




She doesn't have a gun here - its just the attitude she has, that she is an American, its in the Constitution or some such shit therefore she has more rights than the rest of us!



------------------------
I don't have to sell my soul,
He's already in me.
*
Stellar ownz me!!!


Posted by Paint CHiPs on 01-13-2001 04:52 AM:

Post

One of the problems with a question like this is it is really hard to remain objective.

Perhaps that is a bad way to put it.

I suppose, rather, that for example, when it gets right down to it, what I like most about America is I was born here and I have lived here ever since. Thus, a lot of my feelings about America are, I am sure, bullshit nationalistic rhetoric. Or at least it could be and I wouldn't know, which is really about the same thing. If I chosoe to be rationalistic about it, I like America because the standard of living is very high and we are a very powerful country. Thus, relative to other nations, there is very little immediate fear from poverty or outside threats (though there is crime to be sure, and those threats do exist, just not to the same degree that they do elsewhere). Also, if I wanted to be idealistic, I could say it is the freedom, and I suspect that would be the pat answer from most people. I know people will say that it is an illussion of freedom, but compare it to 75% of other nations, from 3rd to 1st world, and tell me what exactly is the illussion. Because my votes mean hardly anything compared to corporate influences? That seems hardly a criticism when compared to nations ruled by Islamic Code or by power hungry dictators who forcibly restrain mass amounts of people from speaking their minds. A lot of those people who tell us that we are not truly free I find to be as simplisticly naive as the people who tell us we truly and totally are.

Also, I appreciate the melting pot aspect of it all. And again, perhaps this is subjective. But us being a nation with such a RECENT diverse background, it really is a tossed salad. And because it is so young, we have a living history of our development and creation and evolution that many nations lack.

Also, don't get me wrong, I am sure I would be just as happy living in Britain or whatever, but all those elements, combined with the idea that I am comfortable here, is what I like about it.

Also, as far as the Americanization of other cultures go, there are two ways to look at it.

The first is that it is a sort of cultural darwinism in a way. I mean, as we were essentially founded on that melting pot aspect (we are not a race of people that have lived here for thousands and thousands of years and thus have been subject to cultural inbreeding, but rather a mix of people who have lived elsewhere for thousands and thousands of years), we have taken so many different cultural influences and over the few hundred years we have been around have began to meld them together in a way that many other nations still around today have not. I mean, China is China, England is England, Russia is Russia, but we are an odd mix of all of these (though obviously heavily European). There is something to be said for that. And the fact that we have been adding together all these different elements, and not in a vacuum, means that the ones that don't work fall by the wayside and the ones that do are furthered and developed. And thus, what we get is a sum greater then its parts. I am not trying to invoke cultural elitism here; quite the opposite. In a world that in increasingly global in every sense of the word, it is natural that the culture most derivative of other cultures would be the one that would permeate the most. If that makes any sense.

The other way to look at it is that it is all cyclic, but I am far too drunk to expound on that aspect of it right now.


Posted by Feral Automaton on 01-13-2001 04:56 AM:

Post

Look, I recognize that this could become an issue. I know that people are uptight as shit regarding their national pride, however, this thread is just about tossing out the ideas, if we choose to respond to them, than we will do it later.

The internet.

This is the first time in history that so many nations can be represented evenly, in a textual format, where NO ONE has any sort of military superiority to destroy the honesty and the integrity of the situation. The only impediment is our friendship, and if we cannot see past our nationalism and pride to maintain these friendships than fuck this idea, but fuck being personal as well. If people here can share themselves humbly, without presupposing the typical jingoistic bullshit, than we can create a rather remarkable verbal variety of ideas.

Many cultures represented, many views and perceptions shared.


Posted by Rav on 01-13-2001 04:57 AM:

Post

You are a mix of many different cultures - that is not necessarily a good thing though!
I'm tired, I'm going to bed. I think this topic could be very interesting though - see y'all tomorrow!

(y'all???? damn Americanization )

------------------------
I don't have to sell my soul,
He's already in me.
*
Stellar ownz me!!!


Posted by Paint CHiPs on 01-13-2001 05:07 AM:

Post

Being American means having the freedom to be un-American.

And speaking of the internet, perhaps another aspect to it all.

America was founded and settled not very long ago, in the grand scheme of cultures.

Since then, the globalization of the planet has grown faster then it ever has in human history.

Thus, it would seem to make sense that the culture founded on as many different influences as possible and was so recent would be the culture to begin to dominate. I mean, there would be no logic behind China's culture dominating. It is isolationist and has been around for so long that it's evolution has been virtually stagnant.

America, however, began to evolve only VERY shortly before globalization began to grow by leaps and bounds. And thus all of that was taken into account in it's culture.

I think I have a valid thought on these pints brewing, but again, I am far too drunk to elaborate. Perhaps that is for the best.

And no, I think this does not have to be a flame war. I think this is a great topic. And Feral is right, no reason for it to get snotty so long as people remain open-minded and don't get caught in the bullshit nationalistic propoganda they accuse others of.

oh well.

goood thread.

I will try to stop mucking it up until I sober up.


Posted by Dead_Inside on 01-13-2001 05:14 AM:

Post

America is young and dynamic. It has an urge to be more than it is.

America is an upstart.


Posted by Feral Automaton on 01-13-2001 05:15 AM:

Post

Thank you Paint, drunk or sober you kick ass.

You made a beautiful point that I would like to extend as the definition for this endeavor:

"Thus, it would seem to make sense that the culture founded on as many different influences as possible and was so recent would be the culture to begin to dominate. I mean, there would be no logic behind China's culture dominating. It is isolationist and has been around for so long that it's evolution has been virtually stagnant." - Paint.

Think of each of us individuals as country's than extend paints premise that isolationistic nationalism, as found in china, causes the stunting of growth. It is the rigidity of a culture, or an individual person, that causes change and growth to stop.

Ergo, while reading these posts, take in what you see, don't immediately white wash it with our typical isolationism. This is a chance to learn, not to fight.


Posted by DevilMoon on 01-13-2001 05:18 AM:

Post

I like it because it's home. I like my area of the US specifically. I have driven all over the country and I am always glad to be back here. It's dirty and grimy and the people aren't the friendliest but it's what I know. I love to visit other places and I like to meet people of different cultures. I like that fact that one of my best friends has Iraqi parents and another is Jewish. My Great Grandparents on my mother's side and my Grandparents on my father's side came here to live. Why? I really don't know, but I am glad they did. My dad was drafted into the army and served in the First Infantry in Vietnam. When he came back they wouldn't let him into the VFW because the WWII guys didn't want Vietnam vets. Now as their numbers die off they beg them to join. He still loves the US and I guess some of it rubbed off on me. I don't like a lot of things about it and I would never expect to be able to drive around England on the right side of the road firing a .45 in the air. I don't like the fact that there is such a prejudice against me as a US citizen, but I understand a lot of it. A lot of people here don't bother to contemplate their role in a global society and are naive when they venture into it. I guess I like it because I am a product of it, and I probably contain some of the good and some of the bad.

DM

------------------------
choosy mothers choose evil


Posted by RogueWarrior on 01-13-2001 05:54 AM:

Post

Ok, I was flippant earlier. This isn't exactly what you were looking for, but it is my feeling on the matter. Go and look, or don't. But if you do, prepare to be offended.
http://www.thehypertribe.net/ubb/Fo...TML/000173.html

I miss redguard.

------------------------
FUELED BY HATE


Posted by Feral Automaton on 01-13-2001 06:06 AM:

Post

I specified "your own words" RW.

You yourself have claimed to be a Rand objectivist, if you have so much passion and belief, than where is your action wherein it is manifest? Write us your opinion of this nation, not the rules and regulations of some dead mans domain. This is a new america, built by your perceptions of it. It is a fantastical opinion that will exist for you, as a representation of how you feel.

Build your own buildings, Peter Keating.


Posted by Feral Automaton on 01-13-2001 06:08 AM:

Post

Shit, missed the post script. Sorry


Posted by RogueWarrior on 01-13-2001 06:15 AM:

Post

quote:
Originally posted by Feral Automaton:
I specified "your own words" RW.

You yourself have claimed to be a Rand objectivist, if you have so much passion and belief, than where is your action wherein it is manifest? Write us your opinion of this nation, not the rules and regulations of some dead mans domain. This is a new america, built by your perceptions of it. It is a fantastical opinion that will exist for you, as a representation of how you feel.

Build your own buildings, Peter Keating.



Those ARE my words, Dagny Taggart. I wrote them earlier this evening. Nut I'll give you what you want. I'll play John Galt, so that I may be crucified for your perfection.

Give me time, I have much to do, including the running of my own UBB. It may take a day or so, but I son't think this topic is going anywhere anytime soon.

Rock on, FA. I like your topic. The ostriches don't, but as for me and MstrG, I think we'll keep it.



------------------------
FUELED BY HATE


Posted by Emerald on 01-13-2001 07:26 AM:

Post

quote:
Originally posted by RogueWarrior:
Those ARE my words, Dagny Taggart. I wrote them earlier this evening. Nut I'll give you what you want. I'll play John Galt, so that I may be crucified for your perfection.

Give me time, I have much to do, including the running of my own UBB. It may take a day or so, but I son't think this topic is going anywhere anytime soon.

Rock on, FA. I like your topic. The ostriches don't, but as for me and MstrG, I think we'll keep it.



I read your post on that other UBB. It's interesting. You have made some very valid points indeed, RW. I have a few questions for ya though and this is serious, no sarcasm or anything else intended:

1. What is it in particular that enrages you enough to post like that, slapping ALL U.S. Citizens in that manner?

2. Have you had some terrible 'episode' in your life that filled you with rage?

3. You say in your post that citizens should get up off their asses and do something about it all. What is it 'in particular' that you want each individual to do? Rage? JUST speaking out about well known problems does not fix things.

4. What are YOU doing about the problems in our country? Perhaps, if you posted this, it might help others.

Thanx,
Em


------------------------
Here????? Now??????


Posted by IBeFree on 01-13-2001 07:57 AM:

Post

RW Ö your posted link was very compelling with the exception of: It is senseless to offer problems without presenting solutions.

My questions to you would be:

1. Have you ever served in the armed forces, done any type of community service, ie: fire dept, red cross, etc.? (just curious)

2. Have you ever taken any complaints to a Congressman or Senator, or Governor, or The President even? (If so, what did you say?)

3. Have you ever taken this even one step beyond just complaining about the problems that abound in our societies? (How?)

This Country was founded by people who were malcontent and idealistic. They were willing to sacrifice in the face of adversity to found that Constitution that you re-published in your post. Your post is full of malcontent, but without idealism. What are you willing to sacrifice to uphold that which you so dearly love?

Tell us what you DO love about our Country, RW. Weíd like to hear that too.
Thanks.






------------------------
"Each of us is an Unlimited Idea of Freedom"
(From: Jonathan Livingston Seagull)
- Richard Bach -


Posted by J E B Stuart on 01-13-2001 08:11 AM:

Post

Feral, thank you for this opportunity to contribute to this very worthwhile thread. Though there is a high likelihood of some rambling to follow, I promise to do my best to keep it manageable.

I do not understand some of the expressed fears of a nationalistic flame war. Yes, I saw some of that crap months ago at SPF. As is the case with any shouting match, it got old and tired in a hurry.

What about America? Americans? Generally speaking, over the years our nation has done many bad things; there is an abundance of shame to bear. Countless acts of cruelty, dishonesty, etc., have been committed by countless Americans against countless victims. In sum, America has been, is, and will continue to be, an imperfect and flawed nation comprised of millions of imperfect and flawed citizens.

Yet, I love America. I love being an American. For me to imagine being anything else is as inconceivable to me as being the child of different parents.

Perhaps my feelings evidence naivety; complacency. After all, it is irrelevant to me whether or not there is on this planet a better country with better citizens. Figuratively speaking, my belly is never empty for too long.

In sum, America is my home. I will not deny there is much in my home that needs fixing, but I like it all the same. Amen.

p.s. Rav, that gal with the pistol is simply a fool, asshole, shithead . . . take your pick. There's likely plenty more where she came from. I suspect, however, being an American is not what turned her into a shithead. I, too, am an American, but I've never owned a firearm and I doubt I ever will. That people are people, regardless of nationality, becomes even more apparent on the internet.


Posted by bowmore on 01-13-2001 08:23 AM:

Post

quote:
Originally posted by J E B Stuart:
In sum, America is my home. I will not deny there is much in my home that needs fixing, but I like it all the same. Amen.




This is at it's soul the finest kind of nationalism. Of Patriotism.

The love of home. The desire of a man to fight, fix and abide in his home.

I am not American I am Canadian. But this too is how I feel about my home.

I was born here. I have made a life and a home, a career and difference here. She is my soil. I am her native son.

And I will honor her.


selah.

------------------------
Happiness is a moveable feast.

[This message has been edited by bowmore (edited 01-13-2001).]


Posted by J E B Stuart on 01-13-2001 08:50 AM:

Post

quote:
Originally posted by bowmore:
This is at it's soul the finest kind of nationalism. Of Patriotism.

The love of home. The desire of a man to fight, fix and abide in his home.

I am not American I am Canadian. But this too is how I feel about my home.

I was born here. I have made a life and a home, a career and difference here. She is my soil. I am her native son.

And I will honor her.


selah.



Well said. Amen.


Posted by absolut on 01-13-2001 09:49 AM:

Post

I agree with Paint Ė itís a difficult subject to be objective about, simply because the American influence is so ubiquitous, everyone has an opinion. In Australia we watch American television, listen to American music, read American novelists and magazines, and wear American clothes. But we are also a multicultural country whose closest geographical ties are with Asia. So we also see Vietnamese films, listen to Arabic music, read Chinese novels and wear Indian jewellery. And eat Vegemite! Americana does not define us.
American tourists (in both Australia and everywhere else Iíve been) suffer a double edged sword. They know they are perceived as arrogant and egocentric, so they tend to adopt a defensive position, being more American than they are at home and continually reminding everyone about the way things are done there, what we owe them as a nation, who invented what etc., which in turn, makes them appear arrogant and egocentric.
I am truly amazed by the patent lack of knowledge most Americans have about the rest of the world. The ones Iíve seen donít seem to know or respect much about the culture or country they visit, and donít choose to. They always seem slightly shocked to discover not everyone eats Kraft Dinner, or that others have different belief systems that are just as valid as their own. It sometimes looks as though Americans only travel to convince themselves that yes, they do live in the best country on Earth, and donít see anything of value anyone else has to offer.
Some of the people Iíve talked to on the internet had no idea that it wasnít the same time everywhere else as it was at home. There was a site set up pre Olympics where people could send in questions about Sydney. One I can remember offhand was ďCan you buy milk there?Ē. Yet the same people are shocked if foreigners donít know the capital city of Iowa or what the weatherís like in Kansas.
Itís very true to say home is home. I could live in Kathmandu, Chiang Mai, Milan or New York - I love them all. But Sydney beats any other place I have ever visited. I understand the loyalty Americans have for their country. I just wish they would stop wanting ME to feel about it in the same way.

I believe that was a rant. Oh well, Iíve been quiet for a bit.


Posted by RogueWarrior on 01-13-2001 09:53 AM:

Post

I see that I have your attention; I truly, deeply appreciate that.

My problem is one of time, and the fact that I have already said all of this to death on a mailing list called "realTate". I ranted, I raged, and I offered solutions.

In my mind, getting people's attention is paramount, for I could stand on the streetcorner shouting solutions all day and if no one were listening, what good would it do?

I am preparing my statements for all of you. You may not agree with what I am going to say, but I can respect that. "We, the People" was based on the concept that everyone may not think alike but that everyone would be heard. I am one man in a sea of them, but I am not the same as the others. I am a Patriot: I have a vision, and the wherewithal to fulfill that dream or die without giving in. I will no longer compromise and take the middle ground of "moderation", because that will accomplish nothing except the slowing of the inevitable downward spiral.

My statement will follow; tomorrow, next week...as quickly as I can compile and assimilate it.

And yes, I am angry. I am enraged at what I see happening to this country that my family has fought, bled, and died for since we came here from Scotland in the late 1700's. It is MINE and if the rest of you will not tend to it, then I shall.

As to the rest of you: I respect and admire your feelings whether I agree with them or not. It takes courage to speak your mind, even when the doing of it is without cost, as it is here in this Forum. I shall attempt to keep my rage in check and my words and images palatable. But my passion burns within me, making moderation difficult.

Thank you for your attention.

------------------------
FUELED BY HATE

[This message has been edited by RogueWarrior (edited 01-13-2001).]


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