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(jcwren) Re: (2): Best part of Thanksgiving

by jcwren (Prior)
on Nov 25, 2000 at 20:14 UTC ( #43315=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Best part of Thanksgiving
in thread Best part of Thanksgiving

Excuse me?

Nations don't have viewpoints, people have viewpoints. While a large group of people may tend to exhibit a certain characteristic as a class, to say that "America's egocentric vision as a nation" is a load of crap.

If I live in Australia and put up a poll saying "What's your favorite part of the Outback?" am I suddenly suddenly part of an egocentric Australian nation? I don't think so.

And if vroom wants a poll about how people feel about a particular American holiday, that his business. Maybe next week he'll ask what you favorite part of Passover is. If he fails to put an option "I'm not Jewish", does that suddenly make him part of an egocentric religion? I don't think so.

Polls and writings reflect the viewpoint of the writer. To make an idiotic statement that one poll is suddenly representative of an entire nation sounds to me like the person who made that statement has a problem, not the poll writer, or the nation of the poll writer.

Most people have little time or reason to think outside of their region. They're busy living *their* day to day lives, trying to make ends meet, feed the kids, pay for school, the house, the car. While we may live in a global economy, it rarely effects the average citizen at a day to day level. If Canada goes out of business, I still have to make my monthly car payment. So, naturally, I'm more concerned about what occurs near me, than anything happening 3600 miles away (unless you're planning a nuclear war).

A poll I saw not that long ago asked Russians how often they thought about American during the cold war. The answer was (not so surprisingly) infrequently. They were too busy trying to find food, heating oil, spying on each other, and the like. In fact, a number of them mentioned that the only time they thought about it was when they heard news on the radio.

I'm all for cultural awareness, global participation, blah blah blah, but until my house payment is made, I'm not going to worry about changing the way you perceive America. If you have enough time and money on your hands to worry about such things, more power to you. Wish I had your job.

By the way, all these sites that end in .NL and don't have English text on them really annoy me. How dare you publish web pages that cater only to Dutch speaking people. I think that just goes to show what an egocentric nation you Netherlanders are.


--Chris

e-mail jcwren


Comment on (jcwren) Re: (2): Best part of Thanksgiving
Re: (jcwren) Re: (2): Best part of Thanksgiving
by MF (Scribe) on Nov 25, 2000 at 23:04 UTC
    You missed my point.
    I said I liked the poll because of the last option.
    I know there are plenty of sites in the Netherlands that are Dutch only, and I'm not quite fond of them. Compared to France, however, it is a haven for the English speaking world.

    Let me inform you of the way the language problem of a
    united Europe is dealt with in the Netherlands.

    Every student learns Dutch, English and a bit of German here in the four forced years of education after elementary school.
    Most also learn a bit of French, and some schools have the option of specializing in French/German.
    English and Dutch are always compulsory, to the full effect.
    Germans only learn German at school, only the higher forms of post elementary-school education teach English. In the UK, it's pretty much the same as in Germany AFAIK, but this is fine because English is the language 'everyone' knows anyway.
    France is the worst of them.. I've seen educational documentaries of French people in an English exam class, and their English was sub-par to be mild. It shows, for when in France you can forget about asking for something in English at a gas-station. (Mind you that I'm not ignorant about these countries, the distances are small in relation to the distances in, say, Australia.)

    I'm not trying to make daft generalizations here, nor was I talking about America's citizens. I was referring to America as a nation. A nation may not have viewpoints, but the history and cultural context of a nation certainly influences people's viewpoints.

    I suddenly realize I used a bad example, though. Language should be English-only worldwide. It's much easier that way :).

    About you being concerned about yourself,...
    Good :)..I am too, but I'm also curious about the structure of the world. I'm not single-minded enough to think only about myself. You are, in fact, a reflection of what you are to others. Since you're obviously depending on other people (Your employer, for example?), it's better to zoom out occasionally.

    I hope you're not angry anymore :(

    "Let's not include text here.."
      > Language should be English-only worldwide. It's much easier that way

      So much culture is embedded in language. You would lose that for the sake of convenience?

      I'll break my fast of not posting to say I can attest to the Netherlands being a great place for English, especially compared to the other European countries.

      I'd like to say in an ideal situation everyone should both be looking out for themselves and for others. This rarely happens in a perfect balance, but it's only the extremes one needs to really worry about. And generally speaking you will find that those that are doing well will have more time to look about themselves than those that are not.

      As an example, consider the Netherlands which does excedingly well. They have (as a nation, sorry jcwren -- you can generalize :) ) the time to learn English and Dutch and another language (as mentioned in ML's post it's generally German or French). For Americans, I suppose you could say we show our "well to do" by being very, er, "proactive" in worldwide affairs (I don't exactly support all of this proaction :) ).

      However, as mentioned, during economic crisis's Russia was not worried about everyone else -- similarly during the depression American acted similarly.

      So anyway, to conclude: It would be nice if we could attain a balance between minding our business as well as our neighbor's. But just try not to be destructive, rather constructive when doing so.

      Ciao,
      Gryn

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