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Old 10-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #11
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I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that people here through away dead house plants, weeds, and leaves.

(I take them all... naturally.)
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philip View Post
I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that people here through away dead house plants, weeds, and leaves.

(I take them all... naturally.)
philip,

I'm always interested in hearing how people from other parts of the world view us (Americans)...even though it is not always complimentary.

I often think we need reminded of how good we have it, and we need to take a step back and get a better/bigger picture...and learn how people in other parts of the world do things.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:32 PM   #13
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philip,

I'm always interested in hearing how people from other parts of the world view us (Americans)...even though it is not always complimentary.

I often think we need reminded of how good we have it, and we need to take a step back and get a better/bigger picture...and learn how people in other parts of the world do things.
Ahhh, yeah. That's probably a long conversation.

Briefly... well, how can I put this. Say the people I have encountered (old Europe) generally view "North Americans" as the sort of stereotypical gullible redneck clueless types. The down with Islam, Go Sarah Palin, Ah Ayum Most *Ashuredly* not one of them homo Frenchie guys. No idea what happens outside their country, and no intention of finding out.

Quite unlike *their* (whomever they are) far more enlightened view of the world.

Also having more money than sense.

Despite this, there is this curious sort of paradox where these same people generally flock to everything the US produces; music, clothes, films and so on.

At the moment, and for the last while, there is a mixture of fear and bemused curiosity about the US foreign policy, and it's future in general. If you look at the UK papers for instance you will see a huge weighting of coverage of the US towards the extremists of US politics, the Tea Partiers, the guy who wants to burn the Koran, Sarah Palin, that other woman from Delaware, no evolution in the classroom, Drill Baby Drill etc. These media generally try not all that hard to veil their total contempt of these people or policies. These stories generally reassure them that they were correct in their views of North Americans.

Again, this is paradoxical because they also hold the third level institutions in extremely high regard, along with the US intelligentsia in general.

I have heard the sentiment a number of times that everyone else is must be jealous of the US. I suppose an implication of this would be they are eager to come here because of this jealousy? Also the idea that people in the US are phenomenally free. Whatever free means.

I personally found this to be a surprise. But I suppose people are a product of their surroundings to a large extent.

One thing that I notice, a lot, is the fear. I grew up in Ireland, during the 80's, when bomb threats, bombs, soldiers in the streets, mortar proof barracked police stations, crushing unemployment, lawlessness and general mayhem was the rule.
The UK was also under the same sort of harassment from the various Republican and Loyalist guerrillas.

Neither countries had anywhere near the sort of levels of fear or paranoia.

I stayed in houses that had fresh blast marks from car bombs outside their front door, baseball bats inside their doors, where the people I was staying with would not let me out after nightfall because I had the wrong accent. But this was a pragmatic acceptance of reality. I might be shot if I went down the wrong street. I already was on the wrong street.
There was a pressure at times, as if the country was holding it's breath, but not fear.

(Now for what I actually think of the US) I find this wholesale merchandising of fear to be quite unpalatable.
I find the stereotyping of North Americans to be over simplistic and falling into exactly the same sort of xenophobia that causes racism in general. I find the attitude of people here to be both refreshing, as well as being terribly blinkered about certain things.
Pretty much like the people I have met in any country.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:42 PM   #14
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philip,

Thank you for taking so much time to respond. You express yourself very well. I wish I could do the same. (Perhaps I shouldn't have read this five minutes before I go to bed exhausted.) I'm still processing it, but the main thing I notice is that most stereotypes are over simplifications.

~yawn~ (I actually did yard work after work the past two days, and I think it is catching up with me. I hope to sleep soundly tonight!)

Thanks again for your response.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:48 AM   #15
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". . terribly blinkered about certain things."

Philip: what a great expression! I feel this way myself being a university person now living in a rural area with a high illiteracy rate, a Northerner now living in the rural South.

I am watching a Korean tv series now (Lobbyist on Hulu) about Koreans living in America. Cruelty: kids making fun of Korean kids' Asian eye-folds --bullying about such superficial things.

There is always an excuse, but fortunately some people are not so provincial.

A British friend who lived through the Blitz told me, 'You Americans have never lived through War. You have no idea what its like.'

Probably we do have a false sense of feeling safe when things actually are much more unstable than they seem.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:26 AM   #16
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Go ahead.... Tell them all about your escapade Equill!
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:27 AM   #17
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The hazards of having personal friends telling secrets on the playground posting at the same place I post..... here's what happened.... Some friends told me about some plants being tossed in a dumpster at Home Depot on a Thursday night. I went over there and got in the dumpster but couldn't get out since.... I'd forgotten to haul my step stool in with me. It was one of those huge mammoth dumpsters. So I'm trying to push garbage into the corner to sort of build a step ladder out but a police officer comes along before I can finish. I must have looked pretty filthy. I tried to hide and thought I was sort of successful scooping up garbage and piling it around me to try to pull an "ET in the closet" deal but I guess not so when he said you over in the corner.... I just sorta crawled out. When he reached into his wallet I sorta thought I was going to get arrested but he took out a dollar bill and handed it to me. About all I could do was say, "Thank you sir". Not much more you can do but..... take the dollar and keep your mouth SHUT and let him think you're a homeless person scrounging around for a meal. Thank GOD he thought I was a homeless baglady and never asked me for identification. Pillsbury has that dollar bill and he pressed it in a book and put it in a zip lock baggie and he loves to wave it around at me. hazelnut> "The basic no no is never use nails on a chair" I did something right!!! I used screws on my chairs!!! Yay!!! Sage> I kinda like the idea of getting magazines. I've seen them a coupla times with the front page ripped off and I took some 'Natures Garden' magazines. Those magazines were pretty much buy buy buy but.... they had some good ideas that we could modify and do ourselves instead of buying from their advertisers. I haven't seen any lately but.... I'd like to. bridget1964> "John has to pull me away from garbage cans! Seriously..." Ha ha ha ha ha ha.... my husband told me that if I was gonna do it to do it driving AWAY from our house instead of driving home so nobody will peg me as his wife. I tell you Pillsbury is too uptight sometimes!!! I've gotten almost all my winter sowing containers from recycling bins and I just found a house that goes through gallons of country fresh ice cream and those are gallon containers that have lids and handles. I'm getting all my containers to pass out to folk to make bokashi buckets from this one neighbor who uses that Scoop Away cat litter and those are perfect sized for counter top bokashi buckets. I picked up a shelving unit that I'm using to put my canned fruits on in our basement. I got a really cool wicker plant stand once and all it needed was a coat of spray paint.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:47 PM   #18
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You are truly The Queen of Recycling . . .
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:41 PM   #19
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Equil: Maybe the guy gave you a dollar bill because he enjoyed the entertainment--not because he thought you were a bag lady (!).

Im so glad you took it!
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:10 PM   #20
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Lib, you are a bloomin' scream!
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