General discussion


Quintessential qualities of an American...

By onbliss ·
Well that was a question posed to me by an non-American friend. Definitely, he was alluding to the fact that USA is a land of European Immigrants, mainly, hence takes qualities/properties/characterisitcs pertaining to Europeans. There is an element of truth. But, I think Americans did develop some special attributes in 300-400 years.

Without getting into the merrit of my friend's question, I invite your to say what you think is that uniquely portrays an American. If you are a not an American, say what you perceive that is unique about America.

Canadians and Australians are welcome to say about their country and countrymen..Oops countryperson too :-))))

No wars here please, this post is not to slight anybody. So try to bring out the points positively. :-)))

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Ok I'll go

by TomSal In reply to Quintessential qualities ...

To preface what I say here, realize I am an american myself, I was born in the States, as were my parents and I have never lived outside of the States....

Americans are mostly selfish people...especially between the 18-30 age group, I call this the "ME Generation" because its all about "ME" not "YOU". How do "I" feel, how does it affect "ME"...oh how does it make YOU feel or how does it affect YOU -- I don't care about that, the world revolves around ME...that's what I mean. (As chance would have it I am in the 18-30 age group myself - just barely lol, and no I do not fall into what most would call a selfish person).

The other thing about Americans, on the negative, is we are largely not very fit (as in physically). We are still the country with the largest population of fat people in the world.

Now on the positive end...

Americans , mostly, are VERY proud of their country and I believe would fight for it with deadly intensity, even more so than some other nation's citizens would of their own country.

Also Americans, largely, have -- get ready to gag, but I swear I think its true --- a spirit of caring for those who are down. But the catcher is this.. its only if the person that is down is in the national spot light. So if you need help and have a sad story that's great just make sure its covered by the nationality media and then you'll get tons of sympathy and help.


There's lots more I can say, but hey..I'm bored I'm done.


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OKay, you want it you got it.

by Oz_Media In reply to Quintessential qualities ...

Just kidding :-) LOL, I won't go there, YET.

I will say that I have left my home in England and dearly miss the people, the history, the open and wecoming nature of the British. People in Canada are said to be the warmest and friendly people around, which in many cities they are, but not even close to the closeness I feel to the British when at home. They absolutely LOVE canadians in England, you are a walking hero when you visit and for this I am very greatful.

As for being in Canada, I live in what has been chosen year after year as one of the top places to live in the world. It is a postcard here, I love by neighbours and small community yet can go to Vancouver in 45 minutes (Helijet) and be in the heart of the downtown bustle.

Today, I could kayak to a marine park in about 20 minutes to watch bald eagles and bears (Whales and sealions soon), I could then go skiing for the afternoon and be sitting in a Vancouver club before watching the Canucks hockey game by dinner time. Sounds like a little bit of an actiuve day but it is quite normal and not a stretch at all. I live in a playground, literally.

Why would I leave? I miss home, England, but money wouldn't do it for me. You'll have to pry my cold dead hands off the trees to get me going.

Now, without taking a SHOT at America, this is exactly why I am so ipssed when people say I am jealous that I am not Americanand don't live there. I find this the most absurd analogy, what do you POSSIBLY have that I don't? I don't like the flag waving, we are the best attitude so why would I join it? It isn't in my upbringing to feel that way toward others, I am not the best and you sure as **** aren't.

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Missed opportunity

by Oldefar In reply to OKay, you want it you got ...

You always have to add that last paragraph. I wonder why?

Nice explanation of why you love your adopted land.

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Last paragraph

by Oz_Media In reply to Missed opportunity

I add that because it's true, I think we are being asked to be honest without predjudice.

I have no personal perdjudices against America or ANY of it's citizens. I have said before that I think Americans are seen worldwide as arrogant and obnoxious (observation and experience, most people just roll thier eyes when you mention the US here and say some really nasty things that I have never voiced here). To this i have been told more than once that I am jealous of America, that EVERYONE wishes they lived in America and those that said it have been very serious in thier comments. This makes me fall over with laughter as it couldn't be farther from the truth, yet those who said it were VERY serious in saying it.
This kind of thought process is why people see your citizens as arrogant and obnoxious. I have met a few Americans who are quite humble, until you discuss, war, government or ANY poilitically related topic, then the WE ARE THE BEST attitude comes into play. America is great in many ways, but do you REALLY honestly think that your country and government are a paradigm to be followed? It works for you and that is cool, it doesn't work for me though and MANY others I know would run screaming at the thought.

Don't go assuming that everyone wants to be American, If I couldn't live in Canada or the UK, I would choose Germany, Australia or several other Euro countries with the US being somewhere above IRAN and IRAQ but not too far. Most would put you at the bottom of the pile.

Now if this upsets you, I apologize, I am not out to downplay anyone here, I am just speaking my mind and how I feel MANY others I've met also feel. When in England, if you walk into a bar and you are Canadian, they accept you like family. If they know you're from the US, you are almost sure to get into a fight before the night is out. WHY?

I have also said, it is fine and completely expected for you to be proud of your country, if you weren't I wouldn't expect you to live there.

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Well this may be good for a laugh

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Last paragraph

Once upon a Time Long Ago in a Galaxy Far away I was the Queensland Service Manager of a company and we had a brand new product being launched so an "Expert" was sent out from the factory in Switzerland to be their Representative here in Australia.

Now the product launch was scheduled all around Australia but Queensland was the first place it was held and there where some problems so this poor guy was rushed up from Sydney to help out, at this time he had been in Australia all of 30 hours and spoke next to no english or maybe it is better to say he had not a perfect comprehension of the language.

When he arrived in Brisbane the Queensland Sales Manager approached him and asked him did he think that a 90% failure rate was acceptable to which this guy replied quite quickly "Yes this is a good record" the sales manager then went on to ask him some more questions about the product and on every fault that we had found he keep t saying that it was OK but it was obvious to me that he wasn't comprehending the questions and only aggravating the sales manager who by this stage had blood vessels straining to burst in his head so I suggested I take this guy aside and show him the problem that we where experiencing as he obviously didn't understand what he was being asked "not a normal procedure for me to be the peace keeper."

Anyway the person in question wasn't all that experienced in the product and to make it even worse he was an "Electronics Guru" and we where experiencing mechanical problems so he was next to useless to help in our problems.

Now for the fun part after I had fully explained to him the problems that we had been experiencing and he proved to be of no use I suggested that I take him to the Hotel/motel where he was booked in so he could get some sleep as he was obviously jet-lagged and more of a hindrance around the place. Well he thought this was a good idea and I needed him out of the place before the sales manager murdered him so I took him to the hotel and got him a "counter lunch" and a few drinks before I sent him off to sleep it off.

When the meal arrived he started an all out brawl with the waitress as what he was offered was not what he ordered seems that he had ordered a T-Bone Steak and he expected something a lot smaller that the 4 pound bit of meat that he received, that meant another role as peace keeper and eventually he began to realize that what was served as food over here was different to what he was used to in Switzerland.

Anyway after 5 years here he was promoted and moved to the USA which came as another "culture shock" to the poor guy who by that stage had become quite used to our laid back style of doing things and wasn't prepared for the way Americans did things.

The last time I ever heard from him was about 3 years after he moved to America and he while likening the place still wanted to come back here as we had more fun in our work than he was experiencing there.

I guess you all could say I was a bad influence on him as I was the first person who showed him that when you where called for something that you didn't have to jump and run to whatever but you could sit back and have a few drinks before you had to go wherever and eventually he began to get the idea of what was important and what could be put off for a few minutes while you enjoyed you're self as you didn't need to kill you're self every time you where called out on a job.


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The Truth Is a Bitter Pill

by TomSal In reply to OKay, you want it you got ...

...yet I must admit I see your points Oz.

Like I said before I'm an American citizen, born and raised in the States and never called another country home.

Selfishness is the most abundant quality I see in my day to day life, even more so than arrogance (which I guess is easier to see if you aren't a citizen of the US).

I basically think, speaking gloabally, that people are people. Which means to say we are all different and not all our peeves, irks, weaknesses, etc. are the cause of some nice and neat heading like "you are American, you are black, you are a blonde, you are Indian, etc etc." - I don't think its that simple really. Bastards live everywhere, so do polite and decent folks.

The problem I see is the former greatly outnumber the latter.

I merely think that its a shame so many of the younger people (again of which I am one) in this country have this attitude of selfishness and another thing I see as an increasing trend in the states at least...everyone has to be a tough guy. I swear everyone I talk to is the toughest guy (in some cases a few women are included) in the world.

That more cracks me up laughing to be honest. I mostly just hide my smirk and go "oh cool".

Finally, in closing this thing... I actually take it as uplifting to know so many countries have a poor regard for the US..because I know I don't fit into that mold and I am an exception to that mentality.


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Well done sir!

by Oz_Media In reply to The Truth Is a Bitter Pil ...

In stead of taking a defensive and offended stand, you saw the situation with weyes open and agreed, YES there are many people that degrade the reputation of others and these people are making the most noise and being observed more than others.

You then accepted that you are American and have been al yourlife, but you are a DIFFERENT American than most. Well done.

Most people, when confronted with such statements get instantly defensive as if I had spoken thier name and not generalized a population. You separate yourself as independant yet supportive of your country. Others seem to feel that they ARE the country and take instant offense to ANY negativity toward anything you say about America.

When I said I don't give a damn what you think of Canada, people called me unpatriotic etc. Why the **** should I care what you think of Canada, Canadians or myself??? I'm not CANADA I live in Canada?

Anyhow, this will get dragged out by somebody so I'll let it die while I can. Well said sir, be a proud american by all meas and if you notice that society is ****, be different but louder than they are.
Up the Irons!

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I wouldn't say you're the exception

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to The Truth Is a Bitter Pil ...

But more like the majority who never get noticed as it is always the loud mouthed arrogant bastards who are remembered and not the nice helpful guy.

The media doesn't help here either as they tend to point out the loud mouthed bigots and tend to make people think that they are the "Norm" instead of the exception. I know a lot of American's and I can honestly say that the majority of them are nice people who I could quite willingly spend a few night at a bar with.

However it is always the few who ruin it for the rest of us as they are always shown and are "BAD AMBASSADORS" for their country. I remember the Bazza McKennize that was supposed to be the "typical Australian" of a few years ago and other than a few people who where well and truly drunk and attempting to show off I've never seen an Aussie act like that like shaking up a beer can and then spraying most of its contents all over the place most Aussies would never consider doing this as it would be a waste of precious beer.

Enjoy being a member of the majority as we are never remembered and about the age thing that you mentioned this is just a phase that a lot of people in the Western world are going through after all "Peer Pressure" doesn't end when you leave school it is just a bit more refined.


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Okay guys maybe some clarification...

by onbliss In reply to Quintessential qualities ... in for call. I am more looking at a set of shared attributes, charactersitics and values that would characterize an American.

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You won't get any to fit all

by maxwell edison In reply to Okay guys maybe some clar ...

America is the most diverse nation on the face of the earth. I suppose Canada might also fit that description, but there are just too many different cultures and cultural differences within our borders to come up with a set of common characteristics.

It used to be that we were considered a "melting pot", and it might have been, at one time, easier to define. But now, a "tossed salad" might be a better description.

If there are any commonalties that unite us all, I suppose it would be the love of freedom and liberty. But even that, I fear, has given way to the entitlement mentality.

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