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Stereotypes
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LallapalalableUser avatarPosts: 1205Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:35 pmLocation: That place between childhood and adulthood Gender: Male

Post Stereotypes

You guys who's ancestors never bought a boat ticket, how do you view us in America, in general? I'm just curious, and figured this would be as good as any place to ask due to the decent variety in nationalities. Don't focus on the idiots (I believe we are famous for them), although if you have some good "How many Americans does it take..." kind of jokes I'd love to hear them 8-) .

Other Americans here, how do you perceive the foreigners?

I wont share, not yet anyway, just to avoid any sort of flames (I tend to be flammable on these topics, so Ill let you guys set the tone), and I request any posts to be in good nature.
"I'm not stupid, I just have a command of thoroughly useless information." Watterson
Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:53 am
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nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: Stereotypes

when i think of the stereotypical american... in no particular order
overly religious, war fanatical, mentally unstable, ignorant, arrogant, wannabee hero, violent, adventurous, loud

this comming from the mind of a dutch person.
Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:33 am
televatorUser avatarPosts: 1252Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:02 amLocation: In hell, rocking out with Satan! Gender: Cake

Post Re: Stereotypes

I'd really like to know what is meant by the word "Yanks" to our overseas comrades. Is it just any person from the US or does it imply something else? I'd love to see the face of some conservative southerner visiting some place in Europe as he/she gets called a "Yankee"... :lol:
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There are no additional, claims, laws, commandments, rules, doctrines, presuppositions, stand alone ideologies, dogmas, and/or faith based beliefs required by or inevitably derived from atheism.
Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:20 am
Your Funny UncleUser avatarPosts: 556Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 11:38 amLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Stereotypes

If you take as a starting point the fact that you took the name of two continents and used it as the common name for your country, which occupies about two fifths of the land mass of one of them, you might see why the views expressed by nemesis are quite common... ;)

As to Yanks, yes in UK slang that refers to US citizens in general although the more educated among us know not to say it to those flying a confederate flag...
“I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” - Isaac Asimov
Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:41 am
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nasher168League LegendUser avatarPosts: 2518Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:34 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Stereotypes

Your Funny Uncle wrote:As to Yanks, yes in UK slang that refers to US citizens in general although the more educated among us know not to say it to those flying a confederate flag...


Heh, speak for yourself :P If they actually flew a Confederate flag I would do it out of spite :)


The general stereotype I think of for "Americans" would be a loud, obnoxious douchebag. Probably wearing a suit.

Your popular culture practically embodies this. There must be a significant population who actually enjoy watching awful Hollywood action films or they wouldn't keep getting made, and the adverts (or "commercials") on your TVs are unbearably cheesy.


That's the sort of "normal person's" stereotype I think of. As someone who follows politics and stuff, I also get a stereotype that Americans have some kind of unhealthy phobia of socialism.
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Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:51 pm
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ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Stereotypes

- You're either this or you're that.

This pisses me off more than most traits. The utterly ridiculous urge a lot of Americans have to reduce almost anything to two positions; you're with us or you're against us; if you're not a liberal you're a conservative, and so on. Even in places like this you lot seem to have difficulty with nuance.

That and the we're the greatest country in the world bollocks. Yes, your constitution and your technological prowess are to be admired and even emulated, but glossing over the massive, and I mean massive, flaws in your society (usually) with the cloak of patriotism (and allowing it to be co-opted by the unscrupulous for almost any reason and hold the line because, well, America, yeah!) does you great injustice.

I think the problem a lot of people have is that you're so great yet so utterly shit at the same time. People say you're the younger sibling of Europe who has reached puberty and seem to think your growth spurt makes you a grown up. I'd say you're an almost perfect microcosm of humanity; more than capable of greatness, but are quickly trumped by your inability to recognise the benefits of teamwork. Or something.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

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Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:58 pm
Your Funny UncleUser avatarPosts: 556Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 11:38 amLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Stereotypes

Prolescum wrote:- You're either this or you're that.

Yes that's quite an annoying mode of thought which I'd put alongside the idea that changing your mind is necessarily a bad thing as one of the banes of modern politics.
“I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” - Isaac Asimov
Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:43 pm
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nasher168League LegendUser avatarPosts: 2518Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:34 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Stereotypes

Prolescum wrote:That and the we're the greatest country in the world bollocks. Yes, your constitution and your technological prowess are to be admired and even emulated, but glossing over the massive, and I mean massive, flaws in your society


Yes, that's something.

Whatever America once was, it is no longer some kind of beacon of freedom and democracy to the rest of the world. Some of us have caught up, and caught up more than a century ago. Sweden and Norway are two nations that particularly set far better examples than America.
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Apologies for my absence of late.
Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:51 pm
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ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Stereotypes

The United States of America is way too big, so we come off as being kind of small. Our political landscape has been created by a tiny, incestuous collection of ultra-rich, ultra-connected assholes in DC and New York, not very affectionately referred to as "The Village" by left-wing activists. Everything on the national level is dumbed down because it has to resonate with people all over the country whose life experience renders them almost alien to one another. Imagine trying to sell the same product in the UK, France, Germany, and Turkey with one set of advertising. How complicated could you get, and still sell it to everyone without alienating everyone? "Buy Coke, tastes GOOD!"

Our entertainment is the same way, only worse. Our cable shows are pretty good, because people understand that you're selling to a small niche audience and no one is trying to draw 100 million viewers every night. The movies though? You run into this weird situation where you want a guaranteed success, so you hire guaranteed box office draws which raises the budget, which means you now NEED it to be a guaranteed success, so you spend even more money on a famous director and huge special effects. Now you're in the $200 million range and you absolutely need to not have a dud on your hands because the whole studio could be bankrupted so you hire a bunch of script doctors and reshoot a bunch of scenes and now you're at $250 million for a Lone Ranger movie, a fucking Western. Did you build a time machine to shoot the film in the actual wild west? Are you planning to buy Arizona? Whatever, it has to be dumb and conventional and safe, because otherwise it won't make back its money, and it has to be able to be sold to you suckers overseas to really make a profit. And that's 90% of the entertainment in America.
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Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:52 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Stereotypes

I was actually considering a similar line of thought, Joe; hundreds of cultures sit within your borders, your diversity is pretty astounding really.

On the other side of the coin, I wish you'd stop with the hyphenating, though. I mean, it probably came from a good place, but referring to Chiwetel Ejiofor as an African-American (he's black and British) but not Charlize Theron (she's white and South African) shows it's probably time to give up that habit.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:24 pm
ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Stereotypes

Prolescum wrote:I was actually considering a similar line of thought, Joe; hundreds of cultures sit within your borders, your diversity is pretty astounding really.

On the other side of the coin, I wish you'd stop with the hyphenating, though. I mean, it probably came from a good place, but referring to Chiwetel Ejiofor as an African-American (he's black and British) but not Charlize Theron (she's white and South African) shows it's probably time to give up that habit.


What, like I'm doing it personally? That's one step away from the old "You're from X... do you know Jim?" sort of thing, isn't it? Plus, well... you don't get to tell the oppressed people how to identify themselves.
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Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:32 pm
WelshidiotPosts: 569Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:57 pm

Post Re: Stereotypes

ImprobableJoe wrote:Plus, well... you don't get to tell the oppressed people how to identify themselves.
Chiwetel Ejiofor may identify himself as black, he may identify himself as African, but he definitely doesn't identify himself as American, because he was born and raised in Forest Gate, London E7.

My view of the USA is that it is a country of great diversity, but many Americans seem to be unaware of this. I have heard many Americans decrying "Europeans" for certain habits and fashions, when in actual fact they're quite common (if not more common) in the US.

And I have to agree that the adversarialist, "us Vs them" mentality that is often espoused by US citizens of all types is truly sickening. The world is replete with different viewpoints, trying to reduce everything to a two sided battle is asinine in the extreme.

I understand Joe's point about pandering to the lowest common denominator, but I don't think it really explains the problem. Let me explain that point by saying that it seems that in Joe's view the emphasis falls on the word "common", but in my view it falls on the word "lowest". I think there's been a cynical campaign of "dumbing down" in order to create an uneducated, gullible public, who are incapable of critical thinking,.....because that's the sort of people who make the "best" consumers.

But I don't view these as "American" traits per se, as I can see them in many other societies. IMO these are traits indicative of a certain type of corporate business mentality, a mentality which may be more prevalent in the US, or it might just be that it appears that way.

To sum up my view in a colloquial way.....
The stereotypical view of Americans is "they're all fat and stupid", but I've known far too many skinny, clever Yanks to buy that.
The closest I could come to agreement with that is "on average, Americans are infinitesimally fatter and stupider than Brits."
Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:14 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Stereotypes

ImprobableJoe wrote:
Prolescum wrote:I was actually considering a similar line of thought, Joe; hundreds of cultures sit within your borders, your diversity is pretty astounding really.

On the other side of the coin, I wish you'd stop with the hyphenating, though. I mean, it probably came from a good place, but referring to Chiwetel Ejiofor as an African-American (he's black and British) but not Charlize Theron (she's white and South African) shows it's probably time to give up that habit.


What, like I'm doing it personally?


No. I meant the royal you.

That's one step away from the old "You're from X... do you know Jim?" sort of thing, isn't it? Plus, well... you don't get to tell the oppressed people how to identify themselves.


Neither of those people identified themselves as African-American, and neither of them are oppressed. One was called African-American because he is black (and despite being from the UK with accent to match), the other wasn't, despite having African origins and being settled in the US. Using a euphemism for black because of the distinctly painful national memories is one thing, but it isn't just that any more, it's become a tailor-made pigeon-hole for vast swathes of people to whom the compartmenting doesn't really apply. You all (the royal you) hyphenate each other and as a result, are the least unified you've ever been. It does you (the royal you) no favours.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:14 pm
ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Stereotypes

Prolescum wrote:Neither of those people identified themselves as African-American, and neither of them are oppressed. One was called African-American because he is black (and despite being from the UK with accent to match), the other wasn't, despite having African origins and being settled in the US. Using a euphemism for black because of the distinctly painful national memories is one thing, but it isn't just that any more, it's become a tailor-made pigeon-hole for vast swathes of people to whom the compartmenting doesn't really apply. You all (the royal you) hyphenate each other and as a result, are the least unified you've ever been. It does you (the royal you) no favours.

I don't know who's doing the ID-ing of either of them. We usually just say "black" for black people. You're mistaking The Village for Americans in general.
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Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:34 pm
derkvanlUser avatarPosts: 164Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:32 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Stereotypes

Dutch here:

I allways wonder if I speak with Americans, if they know where their roots are. They seem to think of them as the best, the biggest, the ones who conquered the world, but in fact America has only been a country for a few centuries and lost the biggest part of the original population that lived on that continent before the big migrations from Europe (dutch, english, spanish in south amerika, french in canada's region).

I don't want to be an ass, but I think americans don't have much historical knowledge and I hope that'll change.
Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:27 pm
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televatorUser avatarPosts: 1252Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:02 amLocation: In hell, rocking out with Satan! Gender: Cake

Post Re: Stereotypes

derkvanl wrote:I don't want to be an ass, but I think americans don't have much historical knowledge and I hope that'll change.


Unfortunately with the education system under siege by private and religious interest.... It'll be a while.

Edit: Actually, you know what I just remembered? Guess who's thinking of getting his hands into the public education money pie? Rupert Fucking Murdoch. It's over. Don't hold your breath.
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There are no additional, claims, laws, commandments, rules, doctrines, presuppositions, stand alone ideologies, dogmas, and/or faith based beliefs required by or inevitably derived from atheism.
Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:12 pm
LallapalalableUser avatarPosts: 1205Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:35 pmLocation: That place between childhood and adulthood Gender: Male

Post Re: Stereotypes

Holy shit that was way more than I expected from this :o

Nice points, and I am (sadly) not surprised by the "Loud, stupid, obnoxious" thing being carried over. Unfortunately, that is an actual demographic (as in every stereotype is completely true in at least one case), and I see those people every day. Sometimes I have to talk to them, and feel like I need a shower afterwords. And Joe, your movie rant was spot on. Haven't been to the theaters in about 4 years 'cause everything is just bland and/or terrible.

Then there's the fat thing. I didn't see it brought up (skimmed just a bit), but holy shit some people are seriously so fat they need those Rascal scooters just to move around. People so large they legally qualify to get a handicapped placard. Does this exist elsewhere? I know in economically developed countries issues of overweight citizens is always a concern, but this morbid obesity seems only commonplace in the US.

As for my view of Europeans, I have a slight bias towards the following, as they are in my family and genetics; Scottish, English, German and Polish. Hardcore self-loathing, eh? I have met some German people, as in born and live in Germany, and they are pretty cool, if however they come across as quite effeminate and awkward (at least when speaking English). The one Polish guy I actually met was just awesome as tits. Then the rest I have had few isolated experiences with to make an honest decision about as generally as possible, and my mind goes for whatever publicly accepted stereotype is familiar to me (Irish= drunk and crude, Russians = drunk and angry, French = uptight and proud, Italians = loud, etc.).

I could also go into the regional stereotypes of people within the US, but perhaps I will leave that to somebody more (or less) traveled than I (also Im tired of typing and could go ON with that).

televator wrote:Unfortunately with the education system under siege by private and religious interest.... It'll be a while.

Edit: Actually, you know what I just remembered? Guess who's thinking of getting his hands into the public education money pie? Rupert Fucking Murdoch. It's over. Don't hold your breath.


Luckily some of us spent their free time in the library growing up ;)
"I'm not stupid, I just have a command of thoroughly useless information." Watterson
Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:33 pm
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WelshidiotPosts: 569Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:57 pm

Post Re: Stereotypes

Lallapalalable wrote:Nice points, and I am (sadly) not surprised by the "Loud, stupid, obnoxious" thing being carried over. Unfortunately, that is an actual demographic (as in every stereotype is completely true in at least one case), and I see those people every day. Sometimes I have to talk to them, and feel like I need a shower afterwords.
There's never been a shortage of that type in Britain, maybe we have more now than we used to, but even that's arguable.


Lallapalalable wrote:Then there's the fat thing. I didn't see it brought up (skimmed just a bit), but holy shit some people are seriously so fat they need those Rascal scooters just to move around. People so large they legally qualify to get a handicapped placard. Does this exist elsewhere? I know in economically developed countries issues of overweight citizens is always a concern, but this morbid obesity seems only commonplace in the US.
I seem to remember hearing that statistically the most obese nation on Earth is Scotland.
I think that may have changed in the meantime, but it's undeniable that there are a great many obese people in Britain.
Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:40 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Stereotypes

ImprobableJoe wrote:You're mistaking The Village for Americans in general.


Possibly, but the impression I've had is that its usage extends beyond that; it's certainly prevalent enough for a foreigner to be actively irritated by it.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:13 am
ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Stereotypes

Prolescum wrote:
ImprobableJoe wrote:You're mistaking The Village for Americans in general.


Possibly, but the impression I've had is that its usage extends beyond that; it's certainly prevalent enough for a foreigner to be actively irritated by it.

How much time do you spend here in the States? 8-)
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Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:15 am
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