Sunday, 31 January 2010
03:49:10 AM (GMT)
I wrote this from stuff I remember you saying, and from what you guys answered
directly. Thanks for the help so much, and enjoy reading one four of an essay!
Part I- America’s Reputation
In America, we are distinctly aware that other places view us as a slobbering hoard,
recklessly consuming endless resources and spitting out war, a blundering force of
destruction that will reduce their culture to nothing more than so much chaos to be
trodden under America’s clumsy foot as we seek to make the rest of the world as we
While it is an observable fact that since our violent start as a nation, America has
been involved with near constant war, the situation of Americas’ reputation may not
yet be so dire that it is irreversible. To talk about how we are viewed, maybe it’s
best to start close to home.
I asked several Canadian girls that I’ve been writing to via internet for several
years point blank: What do you think about America and Americans? The answer,
resoundingly, was that I should take no offence to this because I’m okay,
but America is completely self interested, caught up in an idiotic assumption
that the rest of the world is either like us, or wants to be.
It’s interesting to note that Canadians view our country almost exactly as we view
“They’re like us, only a bit stupider, with annoying accents and weird beacon.”
The two also wished to make clear that no one in their country appreciates us
referring to ourselves as simply “America”. Apparently we would be much more
tolerable if our very title did not imply an intention to gobble up our fellow
residents of North America. A simple adjustment, calling ourselves “The U.S”
rather than America, but one that would make a continent of difference to an upcoming
generation of Canadians.
It was mentioned that the U.S share many of our television channels with Canada, as
if this were something United States citizens would find interesting enough to read
this paper, and with such a detail we wouldn’t bother. I appreciate her attempts to
cater to those who will be reading this, but the fact that she felt she had to
mention such a thing may say more about her views than the comment itself.
I asked a Brazilian friend how they view the United States. Shockingly, she was very
positive. English is her third language but she knows the language well enough to
convey positivity. Her message was this:
“Well, for the majority in Brazil we think U.S. is a wonderful thing.
Lots of people here think that the United States are wonderful because a lot of
things we like are from the USA.
The american culture is very strong here and in a lot of countries. Obviously we
don't have ALL the american habits, but we're strongly influenced by the american
The United States are very powerful.
Hope that helps ”
In other messages she has said that she likes our educational system, our
economy, and our educational system. But most of all, she wishes Brazil had our
security. The language of Brazil is not Brazilian, but Portuguese is apparently
viewed as less than a full language. She wishes that Brazil was respected as much as
America, because the written Portuguese language is being remade to seem more
official, and some of her favorite symbols are being removed. If Brazil had an army
like Americas’, she says, maybe we wouldn’t need to change so much.
The British people I talk to regularly are distinctly aware that we used to be
their colony. They said that the British think that we start wars at the drop of a
hat, and that we aren’t satisfied until we’ve completely destroyed our opponents.
When the United States goes to war, we do the equivalent of twisting our enemies arm
behind their back until they consent to saying “I am a stupid backwards country and
would like to be a democracy.”
Yet other than their views about our barbaric war policy, and some shock
about our limited education of global history in public schools or comments about our
weather, none of the British really seem to hold a strong opinion. Even when I
brought up their views about the United States directly rather than letting it come
up naturally in conversation, I didn’t get more than a couple of sentences. Far
from the lengthy and heated responses from our northern neighbors, British teens
don’t seem to particularly care about the United States- at least it isn’t
something they think about on any sort of regular basis.
I only have one penpal from India, but her opinion is the most neutral. She is aware
of our reputable ignorance, our violence, our waste and obesity, but also respects a
country that doesn’t spit on girls who wear pants if they live outside of a major
city. She is the only person I’ve mentioned who has actually been in this country.
She said everyone was very polite, and while many more people than she was used to
were overweight, there were also fewer people starving. When I asked, she said that
the adults in India wish to withhold their culture from the onslaught of
Westernization, but that the young people in India like America. The idea of not
being killed for refusing an arranged marriage is just too tempting for teens to
Unfortunately, all the opinions given have come from teenage girls. And though they
come from different regions in their respective countries, I still only have the
insights from six people, and though asking English speakers around the world to
speak openly about the United States has been enlightening, it doesn’t fulfill the
terms of this assignment. For that I was forced to leave the safety and familiarity
of my penpals and do some sociology research.
According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, most of the people in most of the
countries polled think Americans are hardworking and inventive, but the citizens of
the U.S, Britain, India, France and Germany who view American as honest are the
global minority. The negative results are far worse. All the unfavorable qualities
used to describe the United States were met with approval. According to sixteen
countries, with the U.S topping the list, Americans are greedy. Middle Easterners are
also likely to say that we’re violent, rude, and- as if it wasn’t obvious from
the other characteristics- immoral. We may not seem lazy, but apparently we can’t
Part II- Americans view of America
Uh, do you guys want to see part 2? I don't know if you'd find it as interesting
beyond the first two paragraphs. (Honestly, only the first three prargraphs of my
essays aare ever any good.)
I think I'll add the beginning
Part II- Americans view of America
When Americans are asked how they view their country, the question is met with
outstanding sarcasm, laughter, and mockery.
“America! Mother****ing America! America is the mother-****ing
hero!” “Oh yeah, America rocks so hard. Just gedder dun!”
“Americans are just so great, don’t you think?” “Oh yeah, we’re just
so smart and awesome.” Movies and literature lead us to believe that most Americans
suffer from an unrealistic over patriotism, so teens seem to tend to move towards the
opposite pole. We don’t wanna be American idiots- we don’t want to be chumps of
the media. American Idiot is a song that reflects an idea we’ve grown up with.
Anti- Americanism is a new trend, the automatic mental position for
highschoolers who don’t know enough about politics. It doesn’t help that the more
we learn about politics, the more our views are justified. When I asked about our war
in the middle east, I got one of two responses- “we shouldn’t be there, it
stupid.”, or “we shouldn’t be there, it’s stupid because…”.
I was never very good at essays. Are you guys okay with it?