Saturday, August 19, 2006

oh dear

At my paying job the other day, I heard a story about "ugly Americans" that made me cringe. While I was in university, I made some very great friendships among the American contingent and feel they would be insulted by the behavior of some of their compatriots. Unfortunately, it is a larger story than the misbehavior of a few individuals. The parallels of these boorish individuals and the behavior of Bush et al these days was just too easy a leap for my mind to make.

Basically, the U.A.'s in this incident wanted something done, done their way, and done right now, regardless of the serious legal and ethical reasons my peers at my paying job could not give the U.A's what they wanted; and the U.A's would not take the time to listen to any reason. (And I know that asking for the same thing in a similar institution in the U.S. would probably have given them the same reasons to be frustrated.) Then followed a series of insults about Canada and Canadians in general, that made my blood boil.

It really had nothing to do with national differences between the U.S. and Canada. It was a bullying personality encountering a block to their desires, trying to yell and bluster their way to getting what they want, damn everybody else: like a kid yelling at his mother "I HATE you!!" I could easily picture these U.A's lying down on the floor and having a kicking-screaming temper tantrum. (naked too--that would have been funny)

It's too bad that such a personality is in charge of a great nation like the U.S., making people in most other parts of the world shake their heads at the stupidity of it. The anger of many in the Middle East and many, many other parts of the world, towards the U.S., is understandable.


Anonymous Pearl said...

Durst I point out taht you outed yourself? ;)

3:38 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

oooh, I did? And here I thought that Ontario Hydro had caught me in the act!!

4:45 p.m.  
Anonymous Hanna in Cleveland said...

I am sorry to hear that. I hate to say it, but we Americans do tend to be rude when dealing with other contries and even each other.

I had to play the "old maid" yesterday and repremand a couple of teenagers at the mall who were yelling "F*** this and F*** that" while I was walking by with my 5 year old son. You get the bristling "But it's my right" attitude back when you say anything. These were kids, but I have seen adults do it too.

I think part of it has to do with the fact that we are so isolated and we do so little traveling outside the US. I think only like 3-5% of Americans own a passport.

On top of that, we are raised with a sense of entitlement. This infuriating "The biggest and toughest wins", which would be the yelling because of course yelling shows how tough you are. *roll eyes*

No, we all aren't like that, but more of us than should be are that way.

7:32 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

Hanna, I really to think that the ugly Americans I heard about are the 0.1% of the population that give the majority a bad name. Bad apples can be found in every national/ethnic group or age group or whatever. Plenty of people never have the opportunity to travel and yet have a wonderful open hearted attitude to the world. One can forgive simple ignorance in a person who is innately kind and polite -- they quickly learn and adjust. I deal with the public a lot in my paying job. Generally because I respect a person's dignity and unique being-ness, most people respond politely, even when I ask that person to comply with rules, etc., and even when that person is part of a group one might expect to be full of attitude (teenagers, Hell's Angels...)The people who have the most of that attitude of 'entitlement' might surprise you --they are often the upstanding citizens, the important people in the community who really do feel they are special and should receive all sorts of favours as a result (teachers, doctors, ministers, hockey coaches come to mind). But even that is generalizing, because immediately all sorts of wonderful, generous, humble "important" people I have encountered pop into my mind...
OK. The only thing I stand by is my disgust at Bush et al and the current U.S. foreign policy :)

12:44 a.m.  

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