toady
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 2:36 am

What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 7:19 am

The "Love America" & "Hate America" threads on this forum are the least conclusive discussions to be found anywhere and among the most pointless.

It seems to me that everyone is talking at crossed-purposes.
For a start, "love" & "hate" are immensely emotive words and mean different things to different people. They are also, in my opinion, 2 of the most over-used words in the English language. Maybe they're used so frequently and freely spoken/written because they're an easy choice.
I digress; the semantics of those 2 words is not what I want to hear about. Maybe on another dedicated thread?

What I am curious to know is how people define "America".
I'll hazard a guess that the 'haters' and the 'lovers' are talking about entirely different concepts of 'Americanism' when they express their feelings. If I'm correct in this assumption, all the "Love America" & "Hate America" postings will never result in conclusion (let alone a satisfactory one!) because we're having 2 entirely different arguments.

So, what is "America"?
Is it merely a geographic region? Is it foreign policy? Is it culture? Is it the population? Is it rampant globalism? Is it worldwide altruism? Is it the President? Is it the flag? Is it the economy? etc etc.

Before anyone answers "Yes Jon, it's all of those", I'll offer a pre-emptive "But how can you either love or hate all things connected with America?"

"America" does not provoke a particularly strong reaction or emotion in me; I'm as ambivalent to "America" as I am to "Tibet" or "New Zealand" or "Greece" or "Britain" or.........

"America" means to me:
Some of my most valued friends & some of the biggest jerks I've ever met.
Waffle House & McDonalds.
Nirvana & Britney Spears.
Awe-inspiring scenery & (some) dirty cities.
Frasier & Judge Judy

Good and bad in equal measure. Well, not quite true; I'd have to say the good outweighs the bad but that kind of measurement or judgement is not the point of this topic!

So, people of all nationalities, tell me what's your definition of "America".

Cheers,
Jon.

 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 7:21 am

Like, Dislike

Sorry, doesn't have the same dramatic effect  Smokin cool
 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 7:23 am

ok, let me clarify that.. Big grin

I think most foreigners to the USA have a love hate relationship with the USA, they love some of it, they hate some of it, love, hate, see?

I guess, love and hate might not be the most appropriate words to describe it, but 'love/hate' is such a huge phrase that its just common, 'love' can mean alot of things, 'hate' can mean alot of things, 'love/hate' is sorta different.

Ok, now I probably confused everyone Big grin
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 5:42 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:07 am

Toady,

I think that you probably hit the nail on the head here. However, to define America, or any other country for that matter, is like trying to define what God is. (not comparing America to God). America has probably one of the most intricate and confusing social systems in the entire world. But, America is unique in its own because even though this system is extremely complex and widely practiced, it all works quite well on the whole. Honestly, I can look at this country and be marvelled by the fact that people, not with one common belief, but many beliefs, many religions, many races, many cultures, many classes, educated, non-educated, gay, straight, man, and woman, can make themselves the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.

My point here is this: You can't define America, it is too complex. Of course people aren't going to agree with everything we do, but on the whole, it is one of the most dynamic and spirited nations that exist today. And let me correct myself. There is one common bond we all have, and that is that we are Americans, and we have ALL made America what she is today. And we were the first ones to do it this way. Not a King, or a ruler, but her people. It's like doing a project in college:When the professor or another person does all the work, you could care less about being proud of it, because you didn't put any work in it, but if an entire group helps with this project, when you finish, you are ALL proud of what you have accomplished.

We call our project: America

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
SSTjumbo
Posts: 2579
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 3:29 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:20 am

I don't think America necessarily has good foreign policies (actually no where near), but domestically speaking this is among the best countries on God's green planet.
I don't know, so this is my signature.
 
N400QX
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sun May 06, 2001 9:51 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:24 am

America. Hmm... America is freedom. It is opportunity. It is strong and God-fearing.

But, of course, you cannot limit a definition of America to four simple terms. It is much more, and, as the President said this morning, this IS the greatest nation on God's green earth.

N400QX
 
Hepkat
Posts: 2134
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2000 8:22 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:28 am

N400QX, I think it's these statements that piss a lot of people off, and makes them feel isolated, as if their country doesn't count. I'm sure Canadians feel their country's also the greatest (they have the highest standard of living, so surely that counts for something). Europeans also feel their countries are the greatest, and I'm sure they'll have many arguments to back up their claims as well.

What I'm trying to say is, if you want to understand why people openly hate the U.S., you only have to stand back, put yourselves in their shoes, and listen to some of the comments Americans make. They sometimes smack of arrogance, ignorance and hubris.
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 5:42 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:32 am

Hepkat, how about this:

Instead of whining about how much we brag about our country, have some pride and brag about yours. I see you are from Austria. It's a beautiful country, with many fine things to brag about. Don't blame us for thinking the U.S. is the greatest, because to us, it is the greatest thing on God's green earth. It gives us life, liberty, and the persuit of all our happiness.

Americans are proud, and you should be too. Maybe its just a cultural difference that find annoying with us, but hey, it's what makes us different from the rest of the world.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
N400QX
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sun May 06, 2001 9:51 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:33 am

>N400QX, I think it's these statements that piss a lot of people off, and makes them feel isolated, as if their country doesn't count

Umm... I don't care nor should we. I believe a huge number of Americans believe this to be the greatest nation on earth (certainly all of our grateful immigrants), and I agree with the President's statement this morning...

Sorry, I don't censor myself because my statement might make someone feel "isolated".

>What I'm trying to say is, if you want to understand why people openly hate the U.S., you only have to..... blah blah blah

They (most) don't hate us because of what we say. It is because we are who we are. Have you read that excellent London Sunday Times article thats been circulating the forums recently?

I'm proud of our country. I'm proud of the spirit of America. I am proud to be the President of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.
-- US President George Bush, Jan. 31, 2002
 
Nik
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:58 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:41 am

"They (most) don't hate us because of what we say. It is because we are who we are.."

When talking to people from the Middle East about international politics, and the US is mentioned, the word I hear most often is "arrogance".
 
tbar220
Posts: 6706
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 12:08 pm

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:47 am

What "people" of the Middle East are you talking about?
NO URLS in signature
 
Hepkat
Posts: 2134
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2000 8:22 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:49 am

UAL747, I'm an American living in Vienna. It's when you actually step outside of your country that you actually begin to see things you wouldn't have seen were you still living there.

I'd recommend getting out more often, living abroad for a while, then you'll see what I'm talking about.

And yes, I'm proud of Austria for what it has accomplished for such a small country after almost being obbliterated after the war.
 
Nik
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:58 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:54 am

"What "people" of the Middle East are you talking about?"

If you really must know: People from several countries who are all at my university in Copenhagen. That good enough?
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 5:42 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 9:00 am

Hepkat, I have been to England, France, Italy, Mexico, Canada, China, and Japan all several times, and many times I stayed with families from these countries. I lived in Beijing this summer. I may not have been to every country in the world, but consider myself well traveled and educated, especially for a 21 year old. I am a Chinese/Asian studies minor, I have taken numerous international politics classes, I am currently in a class called "India Today". I speak 3 languages.

In other words, I'm not your stereotypical white American, Christian, fraternity guy. (Even though I am all of those things). I do look at the world on a global perspective. But I have a huge sense of national pride. While I wouldn't mind living in France or the U.K., I would never want to live anywhere else but the U.S. Yes, we may have our problems, just as any nation does, but that doesn't mean I have to give up my national pride.

I guess I just get frustrated because people always focus on the negative of my country, and never say anything good about the positive things we have done in the world.

UAL747

"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
Notar520AC
Posts: 1517
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2001 6:53 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 9:07 am

I'm a Pilot- that's all that matters. I'd rather be flying

 Smokin cool -Notar520AC
BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine
 
Schoenorama
Posts: 2305
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 5:15 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 9:10 am

N400QX

"I think it's these statements that piss a lot of people off, and makes them feel isolated, as if their country doesn't count"

You're completely right there, It does piss ME off that many americans are completely unaware of what happens outside their own country, and, and this is more serious, are not at all interested in what happens outside their country. This, along with a very high level of confidence in their own system and government, has made it possible that the US, under different administrations, has developed a 'foreign policy' with the only objective to protect its own nation and its economical interests. Look at what happened in Vietnam or, not too long ago, in Chile.

Statements like "America is Freedom" or alike really sound hilarious if you take in mind that, for example, after Sept. 11, critizising the governments anti-terrorism policy by tv reporters or other journalists is a taboo because they are affraid they'll lose their viewers.

I don 't think that in the world there is another country where the habitants have got such an amount of trust in their government as the US. Now that says something about that country, but also about its people!
Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
 
Staffan
Posts: 3879
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:21 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 9:12 am

"I guess I just get frustrated because people always focus on the negative of my country, and never say anything good about the positive things we have done in the world."

That's perhaps because you guys have allready pointed out the good things about America yourself....several times...

 
vafi88
Posts: 2981
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 10:32 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 10:45 am

When I grow up, I want to move to England because it has Heathrow and people drive on the other side of the road.
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 11:21 am

>N400QX wrote

Umm... I don't care nor should we. I believe a huge number of Americans believe this to be the greatest nation on earth (certainly all of our grateful immigrants), and I agree with the President's statement this morning...

Grateful inmigrants! <---------

And you just posted about deporting all of em!

hmm confusing

MIAspotter
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
User avatar
Goodbye
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 1:41 pm

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:13 pm

They (most) don't hate us because of what we say. It is because we are who we are

We hate you because of who you are (arrogant) and of what you say (ignorance).

It is good to feel that your nation is the greatest on earth, but you don't have to slam everyone that doesnt think the same as you.
 
764ER
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 4:45 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:33 pm

Goodbye, speak for yourself buddy. You give those with legitimate and civilized criticism of the US a bad name with this "we..." BS. Get over it...
 
User avatar
Goodbye
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 1:41 pm

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:37 pm

764er:

Why don't you and all your patriotic little friends get over yourselves. WE KNOW YOU ALL LOVE AMERICA. Good for you! But you don't have to repeat it over and over and over again. No wonder some people don't have much respect for any of you.
 
764ER
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 4:45 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:47 pm

And we know you (personally) hate us. But you seem to keep repeating THAT. Then you chime in talking about something completely irrelevant to my post, just to say something negative about the US. It would be nice if you could say something somewhat civilized in a post like this... Sorry for you, old friend.  Sad

To not have any respect for any of us is naive. I can see that some people disagree with our policies, etc. but then extending that to all the citizens is, well, dumb?

We don't think everyone in Australia is a complete US-hating fool because of one loudmouth member of this forum. But if that special someone says something like:

We hate you because of who you are (arrogant) and of what you say (ignorance).

Who loses respect?
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:48 pm

agreed!

God Bless America <-------- such a selfish quote

yeah well god bless only america and the rest of the world what fuck it!

MIAspotter
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:48 pm

It is good to feel that your nation is the greatest on earth, but you don't have to slam everyone that doesnt think the same as you.

Conversly, son, you don't have to slam us because you hate our guts. Yet you are always the one starting the threads to pick fights with Americans. And conversly, you slam Americans because they don't agree with you. A little hypocritic, aren't we, kid?


Why don't you and all your patriotic little friends get over yourselves. WE KNOW YOU ALL LOVE AMERICA. Good for you! But you don't have to repeat it over and over and over again. No wonder some people don't have much respect for any of you.


Why shouldn't we repeat it over and over again, when over and over again, you spread your lies and falshoods about America every chance you get? Do you think we should just let you go on, running your little teenie yap on here without response?

No wonder most people on here don't have much respect for you.
 
User avatar
Goodbye
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 1:41 pm

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:49 pm

Umm... I don't care nor should we

It is this kind of arrogance we are talking about.
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:51 pm

It is this kind of arrogance we are talking about.

If you mean, do we not give a rats ass of what you think, Goodbye, then yeah, I guess that's arrogance. And I don't think any American should apologize to you or anyone for that.

It's not much different that your arrogance always displaying your hate for America on here every chance you get.
 
764ER
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 4:45 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:57 pm

lmao @ Goodbye!! So many people hate us because we don't care what you (personally) think!

If someone comes in with a legitimate statement, I'll listen. When you come in with your crap, it's comical.

 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:59 pm

Dear God, Goodbye, is that the best you can do, kid? You hate me for one simple reason, son-I live in America, I support America, I love America. That's enough for you and your little, insignificant world, isn't it?
 
USAirways737
Posts: 986
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:20 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 1:13 pm

Schoenorama Wrote:

It does piss ME off that many americans are completely unaware of what happens outside their own country, and, and this is more serious, are not at all interested in what happens outside their country.

I have to disagree. It is true that some people don't give a fuck about the rest of the world. But to say Americans are "completely unaware of what happens outside their own country...[and] are not at all interested in what happens outside their country" is completely absurd. Give one example of how we could care less about the rest of the world, while I come up with some facts to prove your speaking out of your stuckup ass:
-WWll
-Vietnam
-Kuwait and the Gulf War
-Somalia
-Kosovo
-Afghanistan
Now unless all these places are now part of America, I think I proved to you that not only do we care about the world, it shows we are involved greatly in world affairs.

I'm not saying that we should be praised for doing these things, because this is what major countries should do, help others that can't sufficiently do it themselves, but I hope you think a little harder before you go and post something that is completely unfounded, arrogant, and offensive to me and the rest of my country.

Erik
 
bombstar
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 9:37 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 1:31 pm

Just what is it that makes america so "great"? REally....I can't figure it out! You cant do anything there that i cant do here in Canada. Some would even say you have more freedom in other countries such as mine, Australia, New Zealand...etc... I am not bashing the US... I simply dont see any reason its different than any other country.
 
N400QX
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sun May 06, 2001 9:51 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 2:00 pm

>And you just posted about deporting all of em!
>hmm confusing

Incorrect. I talked about getting rid of the ILLEGALS. Read it over again. Maybe twice. You'll understand.

>But you don't have to repeat it over and over and over again.

I find that hypocritical, Goodbye. You tell Americans to not express their love of the Republic "over and over and over again" yet you go off expressing your hate of the Republic as often as you possibly can.  Insane

Maybe YOU should get over yourself.

>We don't think everyone in Australia is a complete US-hating fool because of one loudmouth member of this forum.

Hmm... more like four or five. But the point still stands.

>God Bless America <-------- such a selfish quote

Selfish? What the bloody hell have you been smoking tonight...?

>It is this kind of arrogance we are talking about

How is that arrogance? No, you're wrong. We don't care what you think because we don't dictate what we do on what others THINK we should do. You can equate it to a normal high school kid that deviates from the "norm"-- usually they don't care what others think of them. Well, same goes for the United States and the world. We don't care what you think. We're not so insecure to find out what the rest of the world thinks we should do. We do what WE think we should do; what WE think is right.

N400QX
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 2:09 pm

Hey, Zach, you got mail. Read it and let me know what you think. Alpha 1
 
Guest

RE: What Is "America"?

Fri Feb 01, 2002 2:15 pm

Alpha1 says:


""If you mean, do we not give a rats ass of what you think, Goodbye, then yeah, I guess that's arrogance. And I don't think any American should apologize to you or anyone for that.""

Your constant slamming of Goodbye's post prove that you do give a rats ass about what others think.

Whilst I do not agree with much of what Goodbye has to say, he is correct in some ways about the ridiculous arrogance and ignorance that comes out of some Americans mouths.

A perfect example was a comparison I did on a post on the Sydney 2000 olympics and a per capita medal tally put us (Australia) as the greatest sporting nation on Earth. Naturally the ONLY people that disputed this and consistently were guess? Americans.

Sometimes that arrogance really pisses people off. Luckily I know enough of you to know the 'real' you which is a far cry from what some of you represent on this board.

Cheers,

USA AOK!

mb

 
Guest

RE: What Is "America"?

Sat Feb 02, 2002 5:50 am

I'm proud to be an American. That may make me "arrogrant" in the eyes of Goodbye and some other a.net members, but guess what, I don't care!



And, yes, I am also proud to be Slovenian! Being a dual citizen makes me twice as "arrogant," right Goodbye? (I never realized arrogance can be so much fun!)



Flag source: FOTW, http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags
Used here in accordance with FOTW's copyright policy.
 
Guest

RE: What Is "America"?

Sat Feb 02, 2002 6:07 am

P.S. One last though: Goodbye's confused rantings irritated me at first, but I am now wondering: Shouldn't we be HAPPY and even PROUD that Goodbye and his kind hate us? I certainly wouldn't want people like that to represent my side of the issue.
 
764ER
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 4:45 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Sat Feb 02, 2002 6:45 am

It's funny... Goodbye hates people who are "ignorant and arrogant," but by looking at his posts... well, he is EXACTLY that. Goodbye, how did you so quickly become what you despise?



BTW, I see "unbiased" opinions like his quite comical.

And for the rest of you: Loving America and loving the world are NOT mutually exclusive. "God Bless America" does not equal "Fuck the rest of the world" and to think so shows some degree of ignorance.
 
Guest

RE: What Is "America"?

Sat Feb 02, 2002 6:52 am

I agree 100% with everything you just wrote, 764er.

>>"Loving America and loving the world are NOT mutually exclusive."

Exactly! People on both sides of this debate should keep this in mind.
 
heavymetal
Posts: 4443
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Sat Feb 02, 2002 8:01 am

What is America, huh?

This question to me is kind of a nostalgic throwback to seventh grade sociology. But if I were to suggest to someone how to really understand America, I would forward the notion that they needed to check off as many things on this list as they could. The rest will take care of itself:

-smell the popcorn at a high school (American)football game on a chilly Midwestern Friday night in the fall.

-hear a jammin blues band perched on a stage at the ass end of some smoky bar in Deep Ellum, Dallas late into the night as last call rolls around.

-drive the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys at sunset with all your favorite CDs loaded in the player.

-jump into a frosty Lake Michigan when you've been in 88 degrees of summer heat all day.

-sit in the Club Seats at an after work game at Jacobs Field in Cleveland watching the Tribe play the hated Yankees. Beer and hot pretzels are brought to you.

-See the Texas prairie 20 minutes before sunrise.

-go bike riding, with absolutely no time limit or destination, in the fresh air of Cape Cod in June.


Just a few of the experiences I've been blessed with since I left the small town I grew up in, looking perhaps for the answer to the original post's question.
Who we are is where we are. Maybe some of you call us arrogant. No. Spoiled? Yes. Spoiled by the day around us.
 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Sat Feb 02, 2002 8:22 am

Staffan, MIAspotter, LOL  Big thumbs up

Listening to these arguments are funny, I have to admit, even the most serious posts in here, are, well, funny.

Heavymetal, you can do all of that in other countries to, ya know!

Maybe the scenery looks different...
 
heavymetal
Posts: 4443
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

RE: What Is "America"?

Sat Feb 02, 2002 8:41 am

Heavymetal, you can do all of that in other countries to, ya know!

No you can't, Sherlock. Read it again.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cledaybuck, desertjets, Hillis and 22 guests