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American's misnamed

Abbysal

Crypt Horror
#26
I'm gonna download me some more COPS, Yee Haw, good'old Rednecks!

I gotta say though, I don't understand the prob Grish. Americans are Americans, Brazillians are Brazillians, Chinese are Chinese and English are English. To call some one from China, Japan, Korea, India or Bangladesh just an Asian is pretty un-PC (not that I care) and you'd be asking for a slap. If I was born anywhere in the US of A I'd call my self American and if I was from South America I'd call myself South American or by the country I'm actually from say Brazillian. I'm willing to bet good money that NO one from Rio would want to be labelled as an American!

Also I totally agree that there are *(&^%&* Morons everywhere, I left England partly because I was surrounded by them and now I'm surrounded by Morons of the Asia......I mean Chinese variety.:)

I for one love that people from Canada or South America are not labelled as American as I might automatically walk away from some good potential friends........................................JOKE.
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
#27
I can understand the frustration, even as an (United States of) American myself. It'd be nice if we had a term that could imply some amount of kinship and solidarity with our neighbors to the North and (especially) the South, but using 'American' as a term of nationality rather prevents that, even if there isn't really a better name.
 

Swissdictator

Vampire Count
True Blood
#28
Honestly, I don't think Americans are any dumber than any other nationality. The difference is we put them on the TV as a form of entertainment. Look at the media, we watch sitcoms about characters who are dumber than the bagel I am eating... so long as the bagel were sentient.

I'm an American myself, screen name aside. I understand the whole "there are other Americans" idea. When my brother told his wife's uncle (she's Italian) I was from America, he asked if I was from Brazil. I was 14 at the time (1999), and it did not phase me in the slightest. My home state (Wisconsin) is middle range in size and population in the USA.

I do get offended and perturbed by the generalization "Americans are stupid" nonsense. My brother has lived in Europe for nearly twenty years now (he is 15 years older than me) working as a scientist, and he laughs at the concept. He has the same opinion I do, that Americans are no more and no less stupid than Europeans certainly. It's harder to gauge compared to other regions of the world as most of the people he knows from Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia all have doctorates or at least a masters in a scientific field... but I suspect the same trend would be found.

One also has to remember the USA has over 300 million people, compared to other nation-states that is rather large. Only India and China have larger populations. So it stands to reason we'd have more idiots simply by having more people. Wisconsin (again mid range in population) has more people than Finland.

You have to understand how dumb some Europeans seem, despite their actually being intelligent, when they refer to me as a Yankee. I'm from the midwestern United States. I'm not a "Yankee". A Yankee is from New England. Now, I'm not offended, more amused. Now if you call a southerner a Yankee it'd be like calling a Scotsman an Englishman or a Slovakian a Czech (or vice versa).

I've been asked by Europeans who were going to visit New York City how much time they would need to set aside to go see the Grand Canyon and I asked "Are you flying or driving?" They looked at me oddly and said, "Well driving of course". I told them "Set aside over a week", and they were astonished. They didn't realize how truly large this country is. When I go from Wisconsin to North Carolina to see my sister, my family makes a trip equal in length as a drive from Paris to Warsaw. Wisconsin is even larger than England (not the UK mind you). When we went to see my (late) Grandfather, we made a drive equivalent to driving from Paris to Moscow!

Due to our size there is slight differences in culture. The Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the South, New England, and the West Coast are noticeably different in culture. Not as profound as going from France to Germany I grant you, but still you notice it when you grew up here. To understand the people of the USA, you need to understand how truly large our country is and how spread out we are. Also you have to go to the midsize cities. Not the metropolises of New York or Chicago, nor the small towns either.

Granted, I have a degree in history and political science so I probably have a better understanding of the world and its cultures compared to the average human on this planet (as does anyone who studies these subjects heavily and I suspect some of you fit this bill too), and I have gone overseas several times. Still, I wouldn't say America as a whole is any more ignorant than any other culture. I've spent time in foreign metropolises and in the rural areas as well. The main things that change are the smell of the food, and the languages. I've met strikingly ignorant Frenchmen, incredibly rude Italians, shockingly bigoted Brazilians, etc that are worse than any stereotype of Americans.

Overall I think we, like most cultures, worry about our own ignorance so we focus so much of our media on the morons in our society as a form of entertainment. Their stupidity is truly hilarious, but it also reassures us that we are not as dumb as people would like to believe.

Edit: On the original topic, we don't have a better name. We really don't. As said "Yankee" certainly doesn't work, as it is a region of our country, really.
 

Sanai

Stylish Deviant
True Blood
#29
TV programs become popular because people watch them. Dumb programming is a result of an audience which prefers dumb programs, which are usually an audience that shares that trait.
 

Swissdictator

Vampire Count
True Blood
#30
I disagree...

Intelligent programming, even if it isn't the highest order of intelligence, does sell well. When I lived in the dorms, back in the day when the history channel actually had history, the three most common channels that people watched were History, Discovery, and ESPN. The first two, especially at that time before all the reality crap hit, offered intelligent programming. The all male dorm I lived in voted "Modern Marvels" the most popular television program.

Dumb programming is common due to how easy it is to write, it is very hard for writers to create something very intelligent and original.

I enjoy Beavis and Butthead, so does that make me dumb? At the same time I love programming that discusses physics specifically particle physics, astrophysics, and quantum mechanics. So what does that say about me Sanai? I'm not saying you're calling me dumb, I strongly doubt that, but my point is intelligent people can still enjoy dumb programming.

Some of British comedy makes fun of dumb people for example. Look at "Keeping up Appearances", Mrs. Bucket in my eyes is an absolute moron and her husband is equally stupid for staying with her despite what she puts him through. Yet, it is still entertaining to see how ordinary people react to them, and specifically her. It is also interesting to see what her ego will do. "Red Dwarf" also have some very dumb characters, but they're still entertaining and interesting. "Black Adder" is no different either. Yes, there is some very intelligent programming coming from the British... but the same can be said about America too. We just have more programming due to the wealth and power of Hollywood, but I suspect the ratio is relatively equal.

Some classic films which are regarded as intelligent have some dumb characters. In "Gone With the Wind", a movie I personally detest (the uniforms are all wrong), the main character is a horrible human being and I have no sympathy for her when Gable's character says "Franky, I don't give a damn".

I'm not a Bollywood expert, so I can't really pass judgement on their media. I still suspect they're not overly different.

Intelligent people can still enjoy seeing stupidity. Stupidity is popular not because people identify with it, though it does highlight the imperfections of all humanity. Intelligent people laugh *at* the morons in that forms of entertainment, dumb people may laugh at it thinking "I can't believe I did that, man was it stupid", and a mix of the two for the people in-between. It's almost an interest at a psychological level, wondering "how dumb are they", or what their motives or supposed logic might be. It is also fun to watch how more intelligent people might react to them too.

What was the point of fairy tales, legends, et all? To teach a lesson. The main character in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is stupid, but it is still told to countless children. They may seem somewhat stupid to as adults, but they have merit. Why should our media be different? The writer may feel that have something to say, so they tell that story. It might be not be significant, but it might be something that person hasn't experienced. I remember watching an episode of "Home Improvement" where the parents have to deal with finding drugs (pot). I was a teen at the time and none of my friends or family, that I knew of, ever did drugs... so it was something I was not familiar with, yet others might find that relatively uninformative and predictable.
 

Abbysal

Crypt Horror
#32
I agree with everything you have said SD, except the bit about Dumb Programming. Dumb Programming is made for the masses who you will find in most Cultures to be absolute %$#^&*# Morons! The magority of Chinese people are as thick as shit same as the UK and America. Yes some inteligent people don't mind vegging out for half an hour to watch a car chase or some woman reveal she's actually a man on Springer but TV shows need ratings and need to appeal to the masses.Cops is made for the masses, Springer is made for the masses. The average American won't tune in to a programme unless it's got the promise of violence, sex or dumb antics (I must be American). They might tune in to a wildlife documentary if there is an advert with a Lion eating a Gazelle off the East coast of Africa while being eaten by a Great White shark and even then it has to have a deep throughted narator telling them exacetely whats going on.;)

" WATCH AS A SHARK (probably a Great White) CHEWS THE ASS OFF A LION AS HE (actually a she) RIPS THE FACE OFF OF ONE OF THE FASTEST ANIMALS ON THE SERENGETTI (what the f%^& it's doing here, noone knows) BUT WHO GIVES A SHIIIIIIIIIIIT. MAKE SURE YOU TURN IN TO SEE THE HHHHUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNTTTTT".

Sorry about any spelling mistakes. Can we get a spell check back on here please?!
 

Tim

Grave Guard
#33
SD you make good point and I totally agree that what we Europeans(or the rest of the world for that matter) see from American media is not a true reflection of total populace of USA. If I would believe all these American programs we are getting in Holland, I should believe the USA would be close to mentally retarded. Which I know is not true but just this is how strong the signal is these shows are giving to us.

Entertainment is something that brings people together of all backgrounds, some things are universal, good example is MR. Bean. He just mumbling and is understandable all around the world. I don't think that there is a big correlation between Intelligence and what is perceived as valued or intelligent entertainment. I like to watch Discovery Channel and Nation Geographic Channel and such, but I don't believe I'm necessarily more intelligent then some one who likes to watch MTV (reality tv :( where is the music?), to me that is something totally unrelated.

@abbysal, you could use firefox as a browser, it has an option for spell checking/correcting.
 

Sanai

Stylish Deviant
True Blood
#35
I still believe that television programming is a reflection of the audiences values and intelligence. Im not saying that everyone who watches jerry springer is a bad person or a dumb person, I am just saying that the market research was done and it was determined that the widest and most profitable audience would enjoy a really dumb, base show over a more intelligent reasonable one.
(Personally I feel that Jerry Springer is an incredibly contemptable show, they get people who obviously need proper counselling and then inflame their situation and shame them publicly for everyones entertainment, all under the guise of trying to help them work things out.)
Even the discovery and history channel have been dumbed down, and most of these channels are made to cater to american audiences these days. I for one do not need the narrator to remind me after every add break that the battle of the guadacanal took place in the pacific.
 

Swissdictator

Vampire Count
True Blood
#36
@Sanai: Totally agree the history channel is dumbed down, it is no longer a channel about history. It is about rednecks doing stuff, be it a pawnshop, cutting down trees, or hearing a bump in the night.

@Abyssal, my view of humanity as a whole is rather cynical, which is partly my point. I'm just sick of people scapegoating the people of my country as especially stupid. It is simple bigotry.

I think it has less to do with market research than it does how easy it is to make.

Take SyFy, they make 100 horrible movies at the drop of a hat. They're dumb, stupid, and very low budget. Due to not having to hire quality writers, put thought into effects, etc the costs are incredibly low... but the money they get from advertising over the handful of times they air it greatly outweighs it even if they fail, due to advertising bought in bulk. They also know the main reason people watch it is more like why people look at a car or train wreck... you don't want to see it, but you can't help but stare in horrified awe. Which is why some people watch shows like Springer, etc.

Now creating something intelligent, be it a historical documentary or a gripping drama, requires more money for better writers, actors, set pieces, etc. If it proves highly popular, they will get high profits, but if it fails they have a lot of sunk costs they can not recover (some set pieces can be reused at least, which is why police/court/hospital/government set pieces are more common).

Being able to reuse stuff is why they make countless sequels of their horrible movies (megashark or whatever it is called comes to mind).




Though you did remind me of an Onion article where the Jerry Springer audience changes its chant to "Kill! Kill! Kill!"

I seriously believe, in every culture on the planet, we could bring back Roman style gladiatorial arenas and they would sell out and be very profitable (form of execution anyone?). The audience would consist of everyone from under educated 'peasantry' to people with more degrees than cars. Even with another 2,000 years of progress, education, etc... I would still make the same assumption.

The reason why a movie with lots of violence can be popular is, for most people, it is a cathartic release. Our species has an instinctive nature to hunt, regardless of how intelligent we may be. This may manifest in our hunting each other, granted, but violence in movies gives us a thrill of the hunt essentially. At least that's my theory. I honestly think it will exist until we evolve past our current biological form for that instinct to become much less significant.



As for proposed name changes, could we call the citizens of my fair country Sylvanians perhaps? LOL
 

Abbysal

Crypt Horror
#37
I agree with everything you've said SD, and as I have said every culture has it's idiots.

Now creating something intelligent, be it a historical documentary or a gripping drama, requires more money for better writers, actors, set pieces, etc. If it proves highly popular, they will get high profits, but if it fails they have a lot of sunk costs they can not recover (some set pieces can be reused at least, which is why police/court/hospital/government set pieces are more common)
The BBC does well and it's all extremely well made, and for people to watch it in the UK you just have to tell them it's on. I hate it, absolutely HATE it when I see a BBC doc advertised in America and David Attenboroughs voice is replaced with the voice I mentioned before, like a Monster Truck advertisement.

Again There are idiots everywhere and it's a sad fact of life that they are the majority of any civilization, and it's a fact that the US being so big that you have a huge population of moronic individuals. Here in China I have met quite a few Americans, some have become good friends. But the majority of Americans I have met feel it's their need to correct my English, talk about themselves constantly or just act like a Marine

"I'm 'Merican, yeah 'Merica, best goddam country in the world, we can beat anyone in a war, we'd cick the shit outa China if we wanted, woo yeah 'Merica"

I just seem to find that Americans don't really go out of their way to shrug this negative persona off. The World Cup, England Vs America I heard an American guy call a young English couple a pair of in-bred c%#@# and then proclaim that "Merica rules yeah". Maybe that was because he's a loadmouth American dick or maybe it's another fact of life that most Ex-pats are w#$@%$# that would be nobodys back home, Me included!:zombie:

Oh and I agree and really hope that we bring back some voluntary (general population) and involuntary (convicts, peadophiles etc..) Gladiatory games!
 

Tim

Grave Guard
#39
Abbysal said:
@abbysal, you could use firefox as a browser, it has an option for spell checking/correcting.
Where would that option be exacetely Tim? Cheers for the help.:zombie:
For me it's is available in the text frame, when I use the right mouse button in the menu there is an option "check spelling" when it is on it should be marked with a V.
Beneath there also the option languages that lets you import different languages, so I have Dutch and English installed.
Otherwise you could also enable it in options, advanced, tab general, where it is listed in one of the check boxes.
 

Sanai

Stylish Deviant
True Blood
#40
My point is that america seems to have one of the largest concentrations of rednecks/racists/sheep/morons. All countries have these kind of people, but america seems to take it to extremes.
I don't think lowly of all americans (though sometimes they can come off as quite loud and/or crude, but that I can tolerate), just that unfortunate part of its demographic.
(I also think a few parts of american society are pretty wtf, like their insane healthcare system and the very un-democratic political system)
But again, I don't automatically have a problem with someone just because they are american.
Its like...... I have a problem with sexists. Some guys are sexists. I dont have a problem with the entire gender because of the portion that is sexist, just that portion.
 
#41
If you were trying to make a point about how there is a large amount of uneducated Americans , there is no other name, you could bring up the point that 40% of them are young earthers.
 

Count Darvaleth

I <3 marmite
True Blood
#42
I feel that this thread may have to make its way towards The Beast Within sooner or later... what has started as an honest concept seems to have mutated somewhat.

I feel that every nation has its stereotype, unfortunately, but also the reason some people may see America as "dumber" than other nations is simply because there are more "dumb" people because there are more people in total. What you have to look at is the proportion of "dumb" people to "not-dumb" people, rather than raw figures.

I mean, you could say England has fewer "dumb" people than USA, but then we also have fewer "not-dumb" people as well! It's because America has more people in it, and therefore the chances of somebody getting onto the internet and doing something that frankly makes you facepalm is significantly higher, therefore the stereotypical American is warped also. If you don't actually live in America, or have not ever lived there, you can't really make these judgements. The same is true of every country in the world, I feel.
 

Bravo_10

Dark Lord of Eternal Sorrow
True Blood
#43
I agree completely. And yeah, I really think this ought to move to The Beast Within. Anyone want to do the honors?

@Pietr

Religious and stupid are not one and the same. If you are raised from birth to believe that God created the Earth exactly as the bible says, wouldn't you have a hard time accepting another alternative? That's just human nature. You can be a perfectly intelligent person and still believe in creationism.
 
#44
There are plenty of religious people who accept that evolution is true Joe Ratzinger claims to be one of them . And raising your child to believe that the earth is less than 10000 years old when there is overwhelming evidence contrary to that fact is stupid.
 

Bravo_10

Dark Lord of Eternal Sorrow
True Blood
#45
True, you can both be religious and a believer in evolution (like me!), but I just don't think that your belief system and your intelligence are in any way related. I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one, as I don't believe there is any way we can sway one another.
 

Abbysal

Crypt Horror
#46
It is strange though that people seem to believe that all Chinese people are super smart but that is to do with the fact that only the smart ones go to the US the UK or somewhere else to live/study/work and that is how other countries come to believe all Chinese are geniuses. the 99% left over are beautiful people but devoid of any intelligence or common sense. America on the other hand seem to be the opposite.:innocent:

Oh and I strongly believe that discussions about Religion should not take place on any forum as people are VERY sensitive about the subject. If someone has been brainwashed into believing in an all powerful being from a young age, nothing but a miracle will change your mind! For me it was the realisation that I would have to get married if I wanted to have sex and I wasn't prepared to get married after a week at the age of 16. I think we should leave Religion in the Dark Ages where it belongs and the fact we where trying animals for crimes like murder and such at the same time as we were having Religious Crusades says it all.
 

Sanai

Stylish Deviant
True Blood
#47
When discussing religious beliefs, it pays to keep in mind that the atheists are not in fact, supported by science as they claim (atheists by definition being people who believe that there absolutelly is NO GOD whatsoever) they are simply believing that on faith just like everyone elses beliefs.
Any group that claims to be able to scientifically prove the existence or lack thereof of a higher power is simply full of shit. We can't even fully prove alot of our theories about biology and physics, so trying to scientifically prove whether there is some being beyond our comprehension and understanding is just simply beyond our current capabilities- its just too big and mysterious a thing for our limited technology to be able to detect.
The only viewpoint fully supported by scientific fact is agnosticism (agnosticism by definition being the simple understanding that you do not have enough information to make a decision, and hence accept that you do not know whether there is a god or not) as there is no way to prove that there is or isn't a god without being omnipotent yourself.

Consigning religion to the dark ages means consigning atheism to the dark ages as well.

Yes, this thread does belong in the beast within section, probably did from early on.
 

Count Darvaleth

I <3 marmite
True Blood
#48
It's slowly warping into something very, very mutated... (reminds me of Fallout 3.) I'm gonna move it now...


:siren: Thread moved to the Beast Within. :siren:


EDIT: Whilst you're on the subject of higher beings, what about aliens...? There's quite a lot to suggest we have been visited in the past. There was a cave in South Africa with wall-drawings found on it showing a particular star-constellation and weird-looking humanoids. Or the cave found deep underground (which, thousands of years ago, would've been at ground-level) which had a very strange nut and screw inside it; similar to ours, but of a really different design.

And then there's the funny "sounds from hell" that those poor Russians heard when they put a microphone down the deep hole they made, which scared them shitless. xD
 

Abbysal

Crypt Horror
#49
And then there's the funny "sounds from hell" that those poor Russians heard when they put a microphone down the deep hole they made, which scared them shitless. cheesygrin
:rofl2: Aaaaah, reminded me of being a kid and scaring yourself shitless when you were just trying to scare the shit out of your sisters!!
 

Count Darvaleth

I <3 marmite
True Blood
#50
So you've seen it, have you? Or rather, heard it? I thought I'd be terrified but it turned out to just sound a little odd, to me. ;)

EDIT: Here's the link... user-discretion advised.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q7d_yJlz3w

EDIT 2: It was Siberia where they recorded it.
 
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