Random Drivel from your Average Tosser

...with your host, Binty McShae - whether you like it or not!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

IgnoramUS

Across the globe certain nationalities are the focus of derision and scorn, the butt of jokes, regularly accused of all manner of ills. Any one from the UK will know that us Brits like to characterise the Germans as a bunch of anal-retentive fatties who get up early in the morning to put their towels over the sun loungers, which as anyone really knows is a horrendous generalisation. But then again, as everyone also knows, generalisations are often rooted somewhat in the truth (and I've holidayed with enough Germans to know it!).

Despite all that, however, none of us can really claim any kind of 'victory'. You see, despite many nations having an 'idiot-neighbour-country', or an 'irritating-country-we-once-had-a-war-with', there has always been a special reserve in the disgust of the global population for one particular breed. The native English speaker. Aussies? Bad enough in their own country, but abroad? A degenerate bunch of racist piss-heads with barely a braincell between them. South Africans? Arrogant elitist pricks who think they own the place - wherever they are. And the Brits? Violent drunks who just want to shag any young local bird / stud they can lay their hands on. The Irish usually get away with it, simply because they're not British, as do the Kiwis ("at least they're not Aussies") and Canadians, who are often at pains to point out that they are NOT from the US.

Ah yes. Americans. The final and most reviled of the English speaking peoples. I make no apology for that statement, based as it is on complete truth. America is largely hated across the world and not just in those countries labelled as 'evil' by the current administration. Okay, international policy plays a part in the country's perception, but that's not all. Americans travelling abroad are generating a negative image of their country with insensitive and over-bearing attitudes and mannerisms and by failing to respect local cultures. But at least the US State Department has begun to realise that...

A new guide has been comissioned to be issued with every US passport which will give Americans advice on how to behave abroad. This has been put together by non-profit organisation Business for Diplomatic Action (which is spearheading the State Dept. campaign) and contains 16 tips on etiquette which include: don't just talk - listen; discuss, but don't be didactic; don't dress too casually, and; do not foist US world view on others. BDA's head, Keith Reinhard, points out that "Surveys consistently show that Americans are viewed as arrogant, insensitive, over-materialistic and ignorant about local values". But then as I noted earlier these generalisations usually exist because, well, they are largely true... or to put that another way, if the cap fits - wear it!

So the question is, will these handy hint books actually change American attitudes, and even if they do will that change everyone else's perception? As for me I just wish someone had given one to the ignorant cunt I was arguing with on Sunday night... fucking yanks! (mutter, mutter)

Cheers m'dears!

Labels: , ,

44 Comments:

At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:26:00 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said...

there are so many decent americans as well though. i once knew a lovely woman who used to wear a t-shirt saying "don't hate me, hate my government"

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:45:00 am, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

I disagree 100%

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:09:00 am, Blogger Sarah said...

will the guide help..?

no.

and i'll tell you why.

generally, americans ARE ignorant tosspots that don't give a fuck what other people think. they think they are perfect, just the way they are and don't feel the need to accomodate others. (even while in their country)

again.. i said generally and I AM an american.

i don't care what people think. i don't feel the need to accomodate others. HOWEVER, while in ROME do as the ROMANS. i don't want to get bludgened to death in the street. so i do harbor the belief that my crap doesn't stink, but i'm not fucking stupid about it.

i also think it's hilarious that you go on about how their is truth in all of these, but with Americans it is the ABSOLUTE truth.

you tosser. that's why i like you.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:10:00 am, Blogger Sarah said...

*there*

fuck.. my crap does stink!
so does my grammar..

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:19:00 am, Blogger Sarah said...

haha, my BBFC raiting is R18.

it said:

You are filthy. Congratulations!

where the hell do you find these polls??

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 10:31:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Tubbie - I too know a load of nice Americans, especially here. And speaking of t-shirts my favourite was worn by an American girl and bore the legend "America: Your Bush Stinks"

Doc - which bit do you disagree with? Please elaborate!

Sarah - as both Tubbie and I noted not all Americans are arseholes abroad, and I'm sure that all our friends in this region of blog fall into that category, especially your lovely self!

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:42:00 am, Blogger Jagd Kunst said...

I hate everyone equally, but I think they should be allowed to behave how they normally behave whereever they are. Sure, yanks are annoying pricks and you can spot them a mile away, but that's their lot. Cultures have got to start being a bit more assimilatory now anyway due to this www. We all know the stereotypes, embrace them! I used to live near a football park. When the lions toured NZ I simply moved haus.

and kiwis don't count b'cos we're Ireland and Canada put together.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:48:00 pm, Blogger Billy said...

I used to live in Twickenham, so when I went to visit my parents in Bristol I'd be on trains that went through Windsor and Bath and therefore the trains often had lots of American tourists on them. God, they were annoying.

Every American I've ever met in a social context has been really nice though, even the one who was a Bush supporter. *shudder*

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 4:14:00 pm, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

With YOU. I disagree 100% with YOU.
This is very reminiscent of where I came in all those months ago.


"...not all Americans are arseholes abroad..."

I'm so fucking pleased!
Well, Scots abroad ARE total fucking dicks. Not you Binty, just all the others. I know. Total fucking wankers, all of them. They think they know it all. They've had a look about and seen how the world works (2 weeks in Spain) they don't know who's in charge or why in Scotland, but they can spot an arsehole at a hundred yards.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 4:25:00 pm, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Oh and happy Easter.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5:03:00 pm, Blogger Monstee said...

will these handy hint books actually change American attitudes, and even if they do will that change everyone else's perception?

No and No! In fact, me will predict that most US travelers will be offended by them little book and fact that somebody somewhere thinks they might NEED something like that. Look, 'normal' Americans have been given really bad rap by rest of world only because rest of world mainly see only US TOURISTS. That am completely different breed than average American. For one thing, average American can no afford to travel abroad. That's what Disneyland, Hawaii and Mexico am for. No, when encountered overseas, THAT American tend to be little more well off than most and at a place in they head where they am use to lording it over others. So when they go overseas they take that attitude with them and the ones that stay behind am glad to see them go! Them people you see and hate am hated in they own homeland too, for pretty much the same reasons you guys hate them.

Now IF little books actually change American attitudes, then everyone else's perceptions will stay the same because them asshats have already ruined it for the others. Hence forth any "nice" American encountered abroad will be considered an exception to the rule, even if 90% of them are exceptions, the rule has been set and will stand. And nothing am going to change as long as America am the greatest land on earth and the rest of the world am just jealous.

(Yes, that am sarcasm.)

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 6:33:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Doc, that's why I pointed out that ALL English-speaking people (not just Americans) generate these perceptions, which are just a valid and just as based on truth. I at no point claimed that Scots are fun loving cheeky chappies that everyone loves abroad because that just ain't true, no matter how many neds try to perpetuate that myth. That's also why I made a definite point of pulling down Brits in general, not just the English.

Not all Scots abroad are dicks either - I know plenty of nice ones, and nice English, Welsh, whatever. I admit that I tend to avoid people with British accents in general (and Scots in particular) until I have sussed out whether I really want to be associated with them.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:12:00 am, Blogger Ivar said...

monstee beats me to the punch. again. my first trip to europe made it terribly clear that american tourists are a a lot of the problem. they pissed me off!

as for saying sorry about our government, the last two executive branch elections have been photo finishes. that means the country is split down the middle about choosing a political party. we should be having a civil war. we are too busy looking for someone else to piss off, though.

thank the gods i hate everyone. and i do mean everyone.

:)

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:38:00 am, Blogger Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

I hate no one, and I have met many people in my time who would rub many of you up the wrong way. One man's arrogant loud talking, piss taking, sarcastic know it all native english speaker is another man's economic saviour, especially if he carries cash and wants to buy little wooden carvings of mating elephants.

Let's not discourage Americans (or anyone else) from travelling abroad for it may broaden their minds. If, however, this is interpreted as a promotion for the package holiday then think again. This form of tourist ghettoisation counteracts the above hypothesis as it simply takes bigots and unsavouries and transplants them into a foreign bit of sunshine without concurrently promoting acceptance/interest of said place or its peoples.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 6:24:00 am, Blogger SafeTinspector said...

This won't work because the American tourist really doesn't know what "didactic" means, so he'll disregard the whole thing.

Monstee am right, yes. The sorts of Americans abroad are either in the military, are business people, or rich. None of these are known to be the best our nation has to offer. The good ones stay at home and work their asses off. In ignorance, mind you, but assless nonetheless.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 8:41:00 am, Blogger Sarah said...

thank you Dr. McCrumble. that was very well said.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 8:51:00 am, Blogger LindyK said...

Binty, one little book probably won't make anyone less ignorant, especially because you can't force them to read it nor can you force someone to learn from it. And ignorance is one of those stubborn failings that is difficult to overcome, especially because most ignorant folk don't think they're ignorant and/or have no desire to change...

I didn't have any trouble traveling internationally (in spite of traveling right after the invasion of Iraq, when everyone was (rightly) irate with us)... Then again, I don't see why any traveler would want to sabotage themselves by being a dick whilst traveling in someone else's homeland... just seems dumb, and traveling is enough of a pain in the arse without pissing off your hosts. But that's just me...

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:04:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

I was in India when the invasion of Iraq started and was spat at in the street. Yet at the same time hotel staff were bounding up to me with huge grins saying how pleased I must me. It was strange...

SafeT, I disagree to an extent. Despite my posts I often find that US citizens who make it out over here are a relatively nice bunch... but it's the same with every nationality. You either embrace the diversity of the culture you're visiting or you shun it and hang around in packs of your own kind. And that's where the problem really lies - it's the pack that is visible, not the individual who blends in!

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:22:00 pm, Anonymous sarah said...

crowds are stupid.

it invites the mob mentality.. which is a completely different subject.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 7:59:00 pm, Blogger SafeTinspector said...

Mob mentality is one of those things that fascinates me.
Outside of television and movies,

I've never seen a mob.

I would like to think that my ego would preclude my participation in any such thing, but I've never been challenged on this point.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 12:09:00 am, Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Being English, and living for a large part of my childhood in Wales and most of my adulthood in Scotland I am pissed off to the back teeth with people thinking that because I'm English I'm some Maggie Thatcher worshipper who sold his council house for 2 million pounds in the SE of England and boughht up half of Bloody Scotland with it, thereby denying locals the chance of getting on the property ladder.

These stereotypes drive me insane especially when I'm on the recieving end of them. I can no more change the fact that I was born in England than anyone can change the fact that they were born anywhere.

There are arseholes and wankers of every nation. In English speaking countries they tend to be particularly good at getting themselves elected. Thus the world assumes that all Americans are as Xenophobic and idiotic as George Bush and that all the English are as arrogant and superior as Tony Blair or the Queen.

Shortly after I moved to Scotland I met a guy, Dave, who constantly went on about how much he hated the bloody English. I pointed out that I, and another of his friends, were English and he was quick to reassure us that he didn't really mean us, 'cos we were OK. Then we pointed out several other English people that he knew and liked. And in the end he had to concede that every English person he'd ever sat down and talked with, he'd got on well with and liked them. BUT HE STILL HATED THE BLOODY ENGLISH!

People are people. There are nice people and there are cunts - there you are I'm so riled that I've sworn on a blog - and fine, don't like someone because they're a bastard, but don't call them an English Bastard, or an American bastard any more than you would call them a black bastard or a paki bastard. Racism is racism is racism. As soon as you judge someone not by who they are but by the place they were born or the colour of their skin, or the sound of their accent, then it is racism.

There you go Binty, you have a real knack for making me rant - and that's a compliment by the way.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 12:22:00 am, Blogger Sarah said...

Kim, YES!!

i can never get it all down like that without being a total jackass about it.

this kid i went to school with was constantly telling everyone that: "they didn't like him because he was black."

i got so sick of it that i finally told him: "no one likes you because you're a fucking asshole. it's nothing to do with the color of your skin!"

my (english) ex used to go on and on about how he "hated" australians. HE'D NEVER EVEN FUCKING MET SOMEONE FROM AUSTRALIA!!!

ignoramous he was..

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 3:36:00 am, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Sarah's right! I can't get it down succinctly either. I had a good couple of pages. I was meant to be writing stuff about standing charges, maintenance based on service hours etc and all I could think about was this couple we know dead well. He's English and the wife's a Fifer. She's always saying "bloody English" and so on, so I pulled her up and said what about X Y Z? "Oh they're all right", (just like Kim said), so we eventually narrowed it down to suv driving middle class aga women in Surbiton. At which point the husband chimed in reminding the wife that when they stayed in Surrey she got on dead well with her neighbours who were all suv driving aga burning Stepford wives.

"Oh but they were lovely. It's not THEM i'm talking about" she said.

You see with women, and Fifers, you cannot possibly win.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 3:50:00 am, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

SafeT I will take you to a football match (Old Firm) and there you will witness the Mob in all its hoi polloi magnificence.


Doctor Joe implies that the American abroad needs his mind broadened. I disagree.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 9:11:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Guys, I agree with you to a person... Doc M, I was perturbed by your original 100% disagreement with me since there was little that was by me in the post. I commented on stereotypes of English speaking nations, which are not my personal opinion. I then talked about genuine measures that the US state department has drawn up - again, not an opinion but fact. The only bit that could possibly be taken as 'off' was my final remark, which was off the cuff and intended to be vaguely humourous, knowing how many Americans visit here. I was neither attacking Americans nor bigging up Brits or Scots.

Admission time - I was born in England. My parents are both Scots, I lived for some time in Scotland, and have always considered myself Scots. Yet when I was a kid and moved there for the first time with an English accent I was subjected to racism. By the same token when we moved back to England I had a Scots accent. Again, I was a target. As a result I now have an accent which fluctuates depending on whom I am speaking to, how much I've drunk, etc...

Although I may have problems with the odd individual I have never had a problem with a nationality, as such. lease feel free to disagree with the stereotypes mentioned in my post but please do not assume that those are my own views...

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 2:37:00 pm, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Binty you worry too much. I've told you this before.
I disagree 100% with all my friends. What worries me much more is that I agree 100% with my enemies.
Life as they say, is stranger than shit.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 4:35:00 pm, Blogger Foot Eater said...

Kim said 'cunt'!

Much as I dislike many of the tenets of sociobiology, the collection of theories that emphasises the role of evolution in contemporary human behaviour, I do think there's a deeply inbred tendency in human beings to identify a group to hate. Time and again I've got into heated discussions with liberal and socialist friends who are rightly appalled by the racism of the apartheid regime but in the same breath condemn all white South Africans as racists.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 10:08:00 pm, Blogger fatmammycat said...

My social grup comprises of a few Italians, a couple Spaniards, two French, five English, a whole rake of Irish, two Swedes, one Norweign and one American-who is forever being slagged off for his accent, even by one of the Ialians who actually 'a sound-ez lika dis when hea speak-ed.' And they're a good bunch of fuckers, so I learned long ago not to label people as dickheads purely on country of origin.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 10:19:00 pm, Blogger Sarah said...

Kim did say cunt.. i laughed.

McShae, i still think you're sexy.. with your english/scots accent.

GURRRRRR!

 
At Saturday, April 22, 2006 2:39:00 am, Blogger happykat said...

I was going to respond to your initial post, but so much has already been said and (like any good American) I'm too fracking lazy to read it all.

 
At Sunday, April 23, 2006 12:45:00 am, Blogger SafeTinspector said...

Happy, if you were a real American you'd just IGNORE everything that's already been said and start spouting opinions like so much linguistic diarrhea.

 
At Sunday, April 23, 2006 5:29:00 am, Blogger justin barker said...

Oh no, those handy hint books will not change our attitudes becaues we are too agogant to read what's in them supposting, as we do, that we already know everything they could possibly tell us. Americans really are scum and should be avoided at all costs.

Caught this in the comments:
For one thing, average American can no afford to travel abroad. That's what ... Mexico am for. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT!ILOVEIT!

And, wouldn't it be fun to go around collecting towels and throwing them in the pool? Also when a German approaches you one should ask if they have ever been to gb/usa and if they say yes, reply, "Can't beat it, can you?" HARHARHAR!

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 7:47:00 pm, Blogger SheBah said...

Binty - I disagree that its just English speakers who are the objects of derision and scorn. We take the piss out of the Japanese with their cameras and inability to pronounce "L", the Russians, the Chinese, the Swedes, the Norwegians, the Greeks (bubbles), the Spanish (Manuel), the Indians, the Italians etc. etc. If you get down to the essence of it, we love all the cultures in their own countries, but take the piss out of them when they are tourists.

 
At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:50:00 am, Blogger The Blind-Winger Jones said...

There is no nation as up as itself as the "ooh look at us and our sheep and a couple of hundred square miles of rock north of Norway" Faroese. I speak from experience. Sootfield Strollers once signed a Faroese player, Cumbyvjar Milord Cumbyvjar , who our Chairman promised would provide "much needed width". As a wing-men par-excellence I wasn't too keen on this suggestion, as my width had served the lads more than satisfactorily over the course of several seasons. Needless to say he never took to English game and soon got booted back to chilly-bongo land on the herring boat with his wooly hat stuffed firmly between his legs.

 
At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 8:00:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Doc M, can't help it - I'm in full paranoia mode at the moment... you do love me really, don't you?

Foot - absolutely... and I'm not tight either, so you can lay that cliche to rest too.

FMC - the best groups are usually the most diverse ones... just look at us!

Sarah - gurrrr to you too!

Happykat - what SafeT said!

Justin, I always thought you were a Brit... it appears I was mistaken.

Sexy - I didn't say there was no derision for others (I even used Germans as an example) just that an especially large amount of it is reserved around the globe for us English speakers!

Jones - welcome! But as I have a Faroese friend (an absolutely lovely girl) I would have to disagree. Methinks you may just be sore about this one individual!

 
At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 5:19:00 pm, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

By the time you post again (at this rate) we will have been taken over by america or china or whoever, rendering this discussion acafuckingdemic.

 
At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 9:50:00 pm, Blogger El Barbudo said...

OK Binty you fucker, you were right you smug cunt.

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 5:38:00 am, Blogger Sarah said...

he's only slightly smug, but a complete cunt.

ok.. not really.

:o)

(gurrr)

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 5:47:00 am, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

"OK Binty you fucker, you were right you smug cunt."

Who the fuck asked you you cunty cunty fuck splash bastard jerk cunt dick?

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 7:50:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

To Doc M.

Dear Pot,

Thank you for your reprimand regarding my recent lack of posting. It is humbling to be reminded of my duties by one such as yourself who selflessly never tires of his own devotion to keeping us entertained.

Yours Faithfully,
Kettle.

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 7:59:00 am, Blogger Sarah said...

(giggle)

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 10:21:00 am, Blogger SafeTinspector said...

Ah, but how else to accumulate fourty-two comments! I'm jealous!

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 11:04:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Check down a few posts to my 3 word one... There's around 70-odd comments there...

 
At Sunday, April 30, 2006 4:43:00 am, Blogger SafeTinspector said...

L>T has one up to eighty now, mainly because people love to talk talk talk talk.

I think my highest might have been around 20.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home