The World knows FA

We always hear about how Americans are ignorant about the rest of the world…well, here’s a great exposition on what the world doesn’t know about America.

[b]The rest at:[/b]
varifrank.com/archives/2004/10/t … t_weap.php

Your narrow parochialism is galling. You manage to take a fair criticism of Americans, that they are startlingly ignorant about the rest of the world, and turn it around to mock the rest of the world’s ignorance on an arcane point of American culture.

Sheesh, it’s hard being a centrist. I’m with you on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but damn…how can you possibly wonder why so many Americans are perceived as complete assholes by so many people around the world?

Furthermore, while the USA is certainly perceived by many to be a beacon of hope and democracy, the writer has an exalted sense of your country’s position in the world vis-a-vis “people in trouble,” and is about 100 years out of date as well. Immigration to the USA is but a drop in the bucket of worldwide immigration patterns. The vast majority of “people in trouble” move to the next country over, or to the closest one after that, or maybe, say, France or Germany, where there are already large immigrant populations.

The writer is an ignorant, partisan hack. Americans love to talk about Ellis Island as a symbol of the heyday of early 20th century immigration to the USA. Reality check: what they neglect to mention is that over one-quarter of those immigrants went back home because they didn’t like America.

The writer claims that Americans would have nowhere to go, but the thousands of Americans emigrating to other countries around the world every year give the lie to that notion. And if Bush gets re-elected those numbers will go up even higher.

I like American unilateral power in the modern world. I like your democratic legacy, and some aspects of the culture (hate most – monster trucks? What the hell is that about? Though, pace Voltaire, I defend to the cyber death your right to wish to drive monster trucks, blah, blah, blah…).

But this exalted estimation of yourselves is tired, groundless, and so transparently false to those of us “on the outside” that we can hardly believe you really mean this tripe.

As an American, it seems to me that most of my compatriots don’t actually give much thought to the prospect of “anything happening” to the U.S… To my mother, for instance, it would be inconceivable. But then, she takes it for granted that whatever happens, the U.S. is still the greatest country in the world. “All the foreign students want to live here,” she tells me. “I just don’t understand why you want to live in Taiwan.”

I do predict that things will get worse there, rather quickly. Even if terrorism goes away tomorrow we will still have to pay for the war, as well as for our aging population, and social services for immigrants. On top of that are all the economic and political uncertainties. If more Americans knew the first thing about other countries, more of us would leave.

[quote=“porcelainprincess”]
Your narrow parochialism is galling. You manage to take a fair criticism of Americans, that they are startlingly ignorant about the rest of the world…[/quote]

More galling than your ridiculous generalizations? I don’t see that Americans are ignorant about the rest of the world. I’m living in a small country town here in South Carolina. I recently had to take a test for a new drivers license. The examiner’s sister and brother in-law live in Beijing where he manages a company. The guy up the road from me travels to 3rd world countries every year with a men’s group from his church. They build schools and medical clinics. Two of the group are doctors. He’s just a retired farmer…the group does all this at their own expense. My next door neighbor (She’s about 78 years old) has been all over Europe and the Middle East…she just came back from a month trip to Russia.

Perhaps you should expand your circle of American acquaintances?

Perhaps you don’t see that because you’re American. Yes, we are speaking in generalizations, but, proportionally, far more Europeans, say, travel to other countries than do Americans. For every church member from South Carolina who has gone to Nicaragua I’ll give you one thousand Londoners who have been to Paris or Berlin. There’s just no contest on this point.

I know nothing about America. I’m not exactly proud of it, but we never did American history at school and I’ve never been there and have no relatives there. I do comment on US foreign policy from time to time as it affects me, but that doesn’t require any knowledge of America itself.

how is that a fair criticism? having travelled here and there, it’s been my experience that most people in the world are startlingly ignorant about the rest of the world. ever talk to a taiwanese person about events in south america? how much does the average pole really know about events in japan? no personal experience for this one, but i wonder how much someone in nigeria really knows about what goes on in australia.

that everyone around the world obsesses about america does not change the fact that people are still ignorant about everywhere else. people have a vague idea of american current events because of its superpower status, but that alone doesn’t make them cosmopolitan.

the average american knows little about sudan. you know what, the average korean knows about as much. so why single out americans for being “startlingly ignorant” of the rest of the world?

Perhaps you don’t see that because you’re American. Yes, we are speaking in generalizations, but, proportionally, far more Europeans, say, travel to other countries than do Americans. For every church member from South Carolina who has gone to Nicaragua I’ll give you one thousand Londoners who have been to Paris or Berlin. There’s just no contest on this point.[/quote]

for every 1000 londoners who go to paris or berlin, there are thousands of americans who cross the border into canada every year.

It’s not so much that many Americans don’t know about the outside world, or haven’t visited.

It’s more that they don’t give a rat’s ass, or think it’s the American way or the hiway.

Hell, many Americans don’t know much about their own country, and don’t really care to learn.

Somebody self-important wrote:

[quote]for every 1000 londoners who go to paris or berlin, there are thousands of Americans who cross the border into canada every year.[/quote]What percentage of Americans have been to another country? What percentage of UK subjects have been to another country? I don’t have the figures at hand, but they’re not even close.

You have identified that we’re speaking in generalizations. Well done. But you obfuscate the point. Yes, there are ignorant Nigerians, but your average American’s level of knowledge about any other country outside his or her own is very low compared to that of citizens of other first-world countries. When you say you’re from Canada in a cab in Manchester, the cabbie doesn’t ask you if you might know his friend Stephen who moved to Vancouver. But every (and I mean every) Canadian will tell you a story of how at a gas station in Indiana or Tennessee the nice gentlemen filling up the pump asked if he or she might know his friend Larry up in Edmonton.

Which is astounding, and would never, ever happen in Bumknuckle Manitoba, or Paris. Americans showing up at the border in July with skis tied to the roof? These are not urban myths, nor are they such isolated occurrences.

“Wow, that’s pretty money…is it French?” “You mean you don’t celebrate the 4th of July up in Canada?” “Please, please stop the seal hunt in Saskatchewan!” “What’s your zip code?” “Erm, I’m in Canada.” “Yeah, so what’s your zip code? Don’t you have a zip code?” “In truth, I don’t.” “Well then how the hell does the U.S. postal service know where to send your mail?! Are you trying to be smart with me, mister?”

No. I don’t need to try.

… sigh, a bit of dull self-centric nationalism in this text, which gives foreigners often the impression of many Americans being dumb nationalists. But I think it is simply a different style. Americans seem to love to draw this picture of a waving flag above them, sunset behind them, a band of Angels singing “God bless America” in the sky …

Okay, a great country nevertheless, even if their peoples mouth is as big as Texas sometimes :smiley:

Some facts are not correct. Like “US-citizen cannot become british, but British citizen can become US-citizen”. Most countries immigration laws are quite the same. If a foreigner wanted to become German for instance, it is quite the same procedure than in USA or even Taiwan. Go there on work or family visa, stay several years, speak the language and then apply for unlimited stay permit, later for citizenship. Difference: you do not need to sing the national anthem.

I know, many Germans want to become US-citizens, usually no US-citizens want to become Germans :wink:
USA is an attractive offer, being the only superpower left AND a democracy AND almost as big as one continent.

… and you have Milwaukee’s Best …

okay: now bring in the flag and the band of Angels :America:

[quote=“porcelainprincess”]What percentage of Americans have been to another country? What percentage of UK subjects have been to another country? I don’t have the figures at hand, but they’re not even close.
[/quote]

a far better comparison would be to see how many brits have traveled outside of europe and then contrast how many new yorkers have traveled outside the us. i’m sure the brits would win that one as well, but i doubt it’s that huge a difference.

oh, so now we’re only talking about first world countries. i then ask you to change your previous comment to “You manage to take a fair criticism of Americans, that they are startlingly ignorant about the rest of the world when compared to other rich western countries…”

so a visiting south african tourist will never get asked inane questions at a gas station in manitoba?

[quote]
“Wow, that’s pretty money…is it French?” “You mean you don’t celebrate the 4th of July up in Canada?” “Please, please stop the seal hunt in Saskatchewan!” “What’s your zip code?” “Erm, I’m in Canada.” “Yeah, so what’s your zip code? Don’t you have a zip code?” “In truth, I don’t.” “Well then how the hell does the U.S. postal service know where to send your mail?! Are you trying to be smart with me, mister?”

No. I don’t need to try.[/quote]

look, it’s not our fault canadians obsess about the us. you watch our tv and endlessly debate our domestic issues. i know canadians who get extremely excited by some college sports which are played amongst american schools exclusively. you know a lot more about the us than the average american knows about canada. that’s great. that doesn’t make canadians any less ignorant when it comes to the rest of the world. the canadian tourist in costa rica is every bit as laughable as the american tourist. and let’s throw in boorish german and chinese tourists while we’re at it.

people everywhere are ignorant of things outside their borders. if you disregard the small quirk of canadian culture being completely subsumed by american culture, canadians are every bit as guilty of this shocking ignorance as americans.

[quote] When you say you’re from Canada in a cab in Manchester, the cabbie doesn’t ask you if you might know his friend Stephen who moved to Vancouver. But every (and I mean every) Canadian will tell you a story of how at a gas station in Indiana or Tennessee the nice gentlemen filling up the pump asked if he or she might know his friend Larry up in Edmonton.

Which is astounding, and would never, ever happen in Bumknuckle Manitoba, or Paris. Americans showing up at the border in July with skis tied to the roof? These are not urban myths, nor are they such isolated occurrences. [/quote]

You mean like, “My friend Jim’s cousin Dan went to Africa. Do you know him?” No, it would never happen. That particular type of question is patently American.

This thread has nothing to do with obsessing over anything. How exactly am I obsessing over the USA by pointing out how stupid it is for you to expect me to have a “zip code?”

Your average person in your average country is fairly ignorant, generally speaking, it’s true. Chances are a Canadian or German tourist in Costa Rica might be every bit as ignorant as the American one. The point here, in response to the garbage posted at the top of this thread, is that American ignorance, in general, plumbs depths not seen in other first-world countries. It’s not very polite of we non-Americans to point that out, but then what exactly was Mr. Stalin expecting when he put forth and linked to such knee-slappingly silly opinions?

[quote=“bob_honest”]

Some facts are not correct. Like “US-citizen cannot become British, but British citizen can become US-citizen”. [/quote]

“British citizen”? “British subject”? :s

Them damn ignurnt ass Amuricuns…why don’t they jess stay home and keep their wimmen folk bare foot 'n pregnunt?

:America: :America:

(hmm…shouldn’t that be ‘SFA’…as in Sweet Fanny Adams…a rather interesting story about that)

National Geographic’s site is down right now, but every year they do a survey to show Americans how stupid we are (so we should subscribe to National Geographic). Here’s a summary of one survey:

[quote]Survey Reveals Geographic Illiteracy

Only 17 percent of young adults in the United States could find Afghanistan on a map.

About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn

Excellent photo porcelainprincess. Where did you get that?

I guess it just goes to show that you have to keep a close eye on the Swiss. Sure, they put on a big show about being “neutral”, but the minute you turn your back they go and annex the Czech Republic!

Look up “International Geographic Olympiad”…find out what it is, who wins and who loses.

:bravo: :laughing: :bravo: :laughing:

Wow…what a screen cap!

Germany is UNITED !

Thanks Pres Regan! :America: