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Australia, we don’t know you, but we love you, say our American friends

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 07:09 am
@engineer,
My response to Contrex was conditioned by my complete contempt for him. He hates Americans and all things American. I try to get his goat as often as possible. One thing which really sets him off is when i make a reference to the American language.

But it's hilarious that you spent the time to search for that. Once again, you usually seem such a sensible person, but you've gone off the deep end here. I don't care what anyone chooses to call me. And if you can get a rise out of them, so much the better.
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 07:12 am
@msolga,
You've been dropping turds all over the thread ever since you started your hysterical rant which attempted to make my comment a subject of politics. As for pathetic, think what you will, you still indulged straw man fallacies by attempting to accuse me of something i hadn't said.

When you get on your soap box, it ceases to be a discussion. You rant, and others are vilified if they fail to agree. As for the last word contest, you're the sad, strange one--i see you're still playing at it.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 07:25 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Shall we shake hands & leave it here & just agree that we see things differently?


I'm sure that if you were to use such a term, you would mean no harm and the strongest evidence of that is that you've stopped using it. I'm happy to shake and disagree.

That said, the person who brought up the term on this thread has done so on many others despite knowing the response it will get and my impression is that there is no affection in it. I'd rather have folks like JTT who will catalog US failings ad nauseam than those who "argue" via passive-aggressive name calling. This is the Internet and name calling is a part of the game that passes for spirited debate. If you can't ignore the trivial you don't last long and I've been called much worse for the silliest of reasons (although I find A2K much better than many sites). Still, I can call it for what it is or at least how I see it. Those who persist in using usian after repeatedly seeing the response it generates are not doing so from affection.
msolga
 
  5  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 07:26 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
My response to Contrex was conditioned by my complete contempt for him.

You have so much contempt, Setanta, for so many people (including me), for so many points of view different to your own ...
Where is all this contempt, this lack of tolerance, coming from?
It's very sad.

People are entitled to express views different from your own without being labeled as "contemptible" on this forum, surely?
That's what discussions on internet forums are about ... the exchange of different ideas.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 07:36 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

But it's hilarious that you spent the time to search for that. Once again, you usually seem such a sensible person, but you've gone off the deep end here. I don't care what anyone chooses to call me. And if you can get a rise out of them, so much the better.

Glad you liked it! Very Happy I actually was researching the history of the usian debate on A2K and ran across your post almost immediately. There are some other interesting comments in that thread, especially Walter's comment that the term is "sometimes pejorative". If as an uninterested bystander, our German friends recognize that I would think those who use it out of ignorance could be brought around as well.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 08:58 am
@engineer,
One swallow does not a summer make, so i wonder at your use of "German friends. In any event, it's not a big deal. I usually only comment to get a rise out of someone. It's a silly locution, certainly, but nothing to bust a sweat over. Research the history of the "usian debate?" You have too much time on your hands. Relax, kick back, jerk a few chains.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 09:03 am
@msolga,
There is no good reason to link contempt with intolerance. I am contemptuous usually of the views people express, only rarely of the people themselves. I am not contemptuous of you, but rather of your propensity to rant about political issues which often (usually) are not in fact the subject being discussed. Nevertheless, that is not evidence of intolerance. I can tolerate idiotic points of view very well.

Once again, it's not necessarily the people who are being "labeled" contemptible, but what they write. What makes you think you get a free pass? What makes you think your points of view should not be subject to criticism. That's certainly not what internet forums are about, and this place is relatively mild compared to many others you might visit.

As for Contrex, yes, i am contemptuous of him as a person. He is snotty and hateful, and has an irrational hatred of Americans. He hates them simply because they are Americans. But i guess you're OK with that, huh?
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 09:04 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Research the history of the "usian debate?" You have too much time on your hands. Relax, kick back, jerk a few chains.

I enjoy the doing the research so no problem there. I'll leave the chain jerking to those that enjoy it. Smile
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 09:07 am
@engineer,
As you know, i get a kick out of it. But i'm motivated by those who have already been rattling their own cages.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:29 pm
@hingehead,
hingehead wrote:
To me this is a puff piece at best but I did like some of the comments - especially the guy who says the majority of Australians would think of Italy as pizza and pasta. To suggest that the US has an 'unrequited love' for Australia (or the idea of it) is ludicrous when we're the ones getting upset they don't know us and that we can name their state capitals and local traditions. I think the love goes the other way more.


Semi-powerful nations like the BRIC and Australia often smart at what they feel is undue recognition, respect or as you put it just not feeling the "love". This can lead to a bit of a national delusion, in which they convince themselves that the paucity of said respect they get owes in large part to dispositional characteristics about other peoples, namely their whole ignorant, myopic world-view, without which their nation would surely get a fairer shake of the stick.

That's silly. Australians know more about America than Americans know about Australia simply because America is more "famous". It's not any particular respect, love, or even a passion for knowing more about other countries that generates this discrepancy but simply a difference in the size of each country's respective cultural megaphones. Australians know more about America than Americans know about Australia largely because America's cultural output in film, TV and music dwarfs that of Australia. If you look at a country like Brazil, of comparable cultural and economic importance to Australia and you'll find about the same level of ignorance as you will from the average American. And by the way, Brazilians make the same Rodney Dangerfield lament about getting no respect that Australians do. They have the same little-country syndrome and prefer to describe their global status as a function of global disrespect/ignorance too. And I'd tell them the same thing too, that Americans (and Australians and anyone) would know as much about them if they made as many popular movies. It's really that simple. You guys don't go take courses on American culture, or gain your knowledge of America due to intellectual curiosity, you just turn on the idiot box and absorb or consume another American film.

The comment about Italy and pizza is very apt indeed, Australians know just as little as Americans do about other nations that are not as "famous." Americans have an admittedly patronizing (if unintended) affection for Australians because Australians are generally good-natured, fun people and that shines through in the cultural contacts they have had with Australia (which Australians should note is a lot more than they get from the BRIC nations, as an example). It should not be seen as a slight to Australians that Americans don't know that much about Australia. In pretty much every country in the world that is how it is, America has a cultural megaphone the likes of which has never been seen before and that everyone knows a lot about America isn't because of any cultural inquisitiveness on the part of the world but due to the volume at which that megaphone operates.

That entire article can be explained in one sentence with very little reductionism: Australians watch more American movies than do Americans Australian movies.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:32 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
I learned all about Australia from the movies, too. It seems like a beautiful country. All the rivers and the mountains and the palatial estates and the singing children. Not too keen on all those Australian Nazis, but Sound of Music was still a great film.


See? If Australia would just make more movies like that we'd all know more about your lovely manner of dealing with problematic nuns and other facets of your culture.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:37 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
It's an anti-American slur that you see here and there on the Internet. Like calling the Chinese chinks or a Korean a gook.


Nonsense, it's more along the lines of linguistic feminism like "womyn". It is absolutely not at all on the level of the racial slurs you compare it to.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:43 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Of course I am serious. When you want to be polite, you call people what they call themselves.


That doesn't make all such names of the same ilk. Sometimes people call me "Bob", that's not the same as a racial slur.

Quote:
As for usian, I'm not blowing a head gasket over it, but if I heard someone use it while traveling abroad, I would have absolutely no doubt that I was in a place I was not wanted.


Then you are overreacting in my opinion. In nearly all of Latin America they make a this same linguistic point about the Americas and it's never once become unfriendly for me, it's just a dumb bit of nationalism or resentment at American cultural hegemony.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:47 pm
@engineer,
You are free to persist happily in your delusion as it clearly one that gives you pleasure.
engineer
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:48 pm
@Robert Gentel,
The only reason it isn't is that it hasn't been around long enough and used aggressively enough and that will come in time. In the 30's and 40's, nigger was not considered all that bad a comment. Only as it got used with increasing vitriol during the civil rights movement did it acquire its current reputation as he king of US racial slurs. Usian is just starting its journey. I've never seen its use where I didn't think it was meant in a derogatory manner. If I decided to start calling women "womyn" against their expressed preference, I'm making a statement and it's not a good one. To me that is common sense. You don't brand people with names of your choosing.
engineer
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:50 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

engineer wrote:
Of course I am serious. When you want to be polite, you call people what they call themselves.

That doesn't make all such names of the same ilk. Sometimes people call me "Bob", that's not the same as a racial slur.

And if you told them you preferred not to be called Bob and they persist? What would you infer from that? I know several Roberts who do not like to be called Bob. Should I call them Bob and tell them the they "are overreacting" since Bob is a very common shorthand for Robert?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:54 pm
@Robert Gentel,
What's BRIC?

I agree with you, as I stated earlier, about general mutual ignorance....but I'd be surprised if the particular Italian example given was generally true because the waves of post WWII Italian immigration have meant Italian culture has had enormous influence in Oz.....I think generally our ignorance of central and south america, Africa and many other regions would quite match that of the US though.
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:58 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Robert Gentel wrote:

engineer wrote:
Of course I am serious. When you want to be polite, you call people what they call themselves.

That doesn't make all such names of the same ilk. Sometimes people call me "Bob", that's not the same as a racial slur.

And if you told them you preferred not to be called Bob and they persist? What would you infer from that?


And what would you infer from the numerous people from Latin America who have told me how much they resent the US subsuming for itself the name of two continents with many countries?

Yet you persist in wanting to do so, and whine and assume it is meant as a slur when it is pointed out that this is taken as offensive by many who share your continent.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 01:59 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
What's BRIC?


Brazil, Russia, India and China. It's an acronym for the emerging economic powerhouses.

Quote:
I agree with you, as I stated earlier, about general mutual ignorance....but I'd be surprised if the particular Italian example given were generally true because the waves of post WWII Italian immigration have meant Italian culture has had enormous influence in Oz.....I think generally our ignorance of central and south america, Africa and many other regions would quite match that of the US though.


I really have no idea about the depth of Australian knowledge on Italy, but do want to say that immigration is a good point, and should have been on my "reasons people know about other peoples" shortlist.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 02:06 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Usian is just starting its journey. I've never seen its use where I didn't think it was meant in a derogatory manner.


Now that people have told you that they didn't know it was possible that it had a negative connotation and did not use it in a derogatory way, will you be willing to consider that some people might not mean it to be derogatory in future exchanges, or will you continue to assume it's always meant to be derogatory?


(weird sentence I've created there there <shrug>)
 

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