A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Reports from Germany

Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (doctorno) » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:52 pm

johnnysain wrote:I like to restrain myself in judging the ways of people while in their country.

I am not "judging" anything or anyone, I am just uttering an opinion. I think everybody should be able to accept, that different people have different opinions. This only makes the world richer and more interesting, does it not?
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (collin) » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:25 pm

doctorno wrote:
You see, if a friend visits my house and observes things that I have not recognized myself, I am thankful for his advice rather than offended by him "criticizing" me, even if in the end I find out that I do not agree.


You should share this wise method with the people of Iraq , eh? :lol: :lol:
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (johnnysain) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:06 am

"I am not "judging" anything or anyone, I am just uttering an opinion. I think everybody should be able to accept, that different people have different opinions. This only makes the world richer and more interesting, does it not?"

"Brian, do you think that this is not an appropriate topic for this chapter of the forum? If so, I am really sorry." - doctorno

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Why the need to ask Brian this question?

Why not state that, "I am just uttering an opinion. I think everybody should be able to accept, that different people have different opinions. This only makes the world (or this forum) richer and more interesting".....as you said later?
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (winston) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:42 am

Markus, I have no problem with this thread and its purpose of exploring cultural differences so long as it everyone keeps the rules of the forum in mind as they type their next comment. So many threads of this sort start off light hearted and non-aggressive but inevitably they succumb to finger pointing, polarised views and unfortunately they too often become a vehicle for making political statements.

Naturally, I will continue to monitor this thread to ensure no rules are being broken.
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (winston) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:45 am

Johnny if you are wondering what my role is on this forum just send me a PM. All will become clear. :)
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (johnnysain) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:10 am

I'm assuming you're the moderator here.

The point I was trying to make is,...we can make an effort to be our own 'moderator'.

If one feels doubt as to whether a line 'was crossed' or not in regard to some inexact rule, it probably was.

I'm left wondering if this thread would've 'closed' immediately following the initial posting had it been aimed at Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Pakistan, North Korea, etc......instead of the USA.
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:42 am

As long as culture is not confused or conflated with politics, we're gonna be OK. And the two are separate enough from each other to give us plenty to marvel at, just focusing on culture alone.

I don't want to discuss any politics, anywhere, on this Forum. There are political forums for this, and I've not yet seen any political forum or blog, left or right, that didn't sit at bottom-feeder level.
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (robbo63) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:38 pm

doctorno wrote:The people are more friendly, more tolerant, they do not tell you what you should do or how you should live all the time. This is great.


This is interesting to me. I have only visited Germany, never lived there, although I have American friends living there now and they really like it. I've heard about the Northern European aloofness and social distance versus the American stereotype of openness and acceptance, but not this issue of telling others how they should live. Is this attitude an aspect of everyday life? Who engages in this nosy or disapproving behavior? Neighbors? Co-workers?

Have you been in other countries long enough to make similar comparisons?

As to discussing differences without being disagreeable or judgmental, I remember being in Munich just at the time the US was talking about taking military action against Yugoslavia in 1999. There had been anti-US demonstrations when I was in Vienna, and there in Munich I was seated with young German men, drinking at the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl. They made their views known on the issue, and they knew I was American, but it was a good conversation, with reasoned arguments. They weren't attacking me as a stupid American or anything like that. They were unhappy about the situation, and they explained. It was good to hear their point of view.
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (collin) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:38 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:
I don't want to discuss any politics, anywhere, on this Forum. There are political forums for this, and I've not yet seen any political forum or blog, left or right, that didn't sit at bottom-feeder level.


Amen.

I hate talking politics, it's just not productive discussion, IMO......
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (xpitt) » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:42 pm

collin wrote:
Amen.

I hate talking politics, it's just not productive discussion, IMO......


Collin, I agree with you....let's talk about a foreigners view - like me - about great fellows here - like you - who give a helping support in all things Rickenbacker... :!:
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (doctorno) » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:19 pm

robbo63 wrote:
doctorno wrote:The people are more friendly, more tolerant, they do not tell you what you should do or how you should live all the time. This is great.


This is interesting to me. I have only visited Germany, never lived there, although I have American friends living there now and they really like it. I've heard about the Northern European aloofness and social distance versus the American stereotype of openness and acceptance, but not this issue of telling others how they should live. Is this attitude an aspect of everyday life? Who engages in this nosy or disapproving behavior? Neighbors? Co-workers?

Have you been in other countries long enough to make similar comparisons?

I personally have never lived outside of the Rhineland region of Germany. But my parents are living in the USA for about 14 years now and I often visit them. Their neighbourhood in a small town near Boston is quite similar to our neighbourhood in a small town near Cologne/Düsseldorf/Aachen here. Mostly working class and middle class people with their own homes, a good job, a small family etc.

In the neighbourhood of my parents in the USA, the kids are making a lot of noise on the streets, one of the neighbour kids practises his drumset at night and nobody seems to bother. This is quite different where I live in Germany. There are other things: social pressure about which clothes you should wear, which beer you should drink or where you should go to for your holidays. Really small aspects of everyday life, but they make a difference.

I agree that if I would live in the USA, I would maybe find out that living there is not that different at all. And it also might be that living in a small town near Boston is quite different from living in a small town in South Dakota.


@ Alex, Collin & Paul:
Concerning the discussion about politics, I would like to remark, that I find it difficult to talk about culture without mentioning politics, as I think politics are a part of culture. But I accept that the general consensus in this forum is not to mention politics at all.
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (jps) » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:41 pm

doctorno wrote:Concerning the discussion about politics, I would like to remark, that I find it difficult to talk about culture without mentioning politics, as I think politics are a part of culture. But I accept that the general consensus in this forum is not to mention politics at all.

That's four times you mentioned it in one sentence! :mrgreen:
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (doctorwho) » Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:28 am

Markus, I think that your post was very well written and totally appropriate.

I don't think that anything said has been overly political. That said, I have a couple of comments. :roll:

doctorno wrote:... On the other hand people are quite down to earth there, which is something I really love...

There are areas of the USA that are primarily agrarian (e.g. the Midwest, where I grew up [Illinois]) and are still down to earth, especially the small towns and rural areas. IMO in the bigger cities of the USA, everyone is too busy with their own lives (not necessarily self-centered, just busy).

doctorno wrote:... they do not tell you what you should do or how you should live all the time ...

Well, remember that American 'aggressiveness' with the rest of the world (for lack of a better term) is a carry-over from the same behavior by Western Europe during the empire-building era. Among other things better left undiscussed, the Europeans pretty much "Europeanized" the flora and fauna of the New World; that is why most of the USA is covered by European grasses and not the native ones, why vast areas of native wetlands were drained and forever lost to the ecosystem, ... :roll:

doctorno wrote:... On the other hand most of the people do not know anything about the world outside of the USA and they constantly allow their politicians to do stupid things...

No argument there, my friend! We Americans tend to be world-ignorant, and we never seem to elect the right billionaire into office ... :roll: :lol:

Just my two cents. :D
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Re: A foreigner´s view on the USA ...

Postby (rickenbrother) » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:47 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:As long as culture is not confused or conflated with politics, we're gonna be OK.

+1
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