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Rachel
06-01-2006, 03:54
This thread was split from another thread which had gone off-topic.

And what's so over the top and American about that? :confused:No comment. You'd have top be non-American to understand what I mean. And yeah, I know you're not originally from America.

cirrus
06-01-2006, 19:10
No comment. You'd have top be non-American to understand what I mean. And yeah, I know you're not originally from America.

:mad: you know, you make it sound like i'm not capable of understanding something because i'm American like it's some sort of limitation of handicap, but it's really not even worth discussing with someone like you. Maybe if you actually knew me, and if you could've explained yourself better, than we'd be on the same page about understanding. But since you've got this arrogant attitude, i really don't give a fuck.

Rachel
06-01-2006, 19:13
Welcome to the club.

Lux
07-01-2006, 00:33
yeah seriously. as though being american is a handicap. it's not. you ppl are narrow minded. :rolleyes:

Ooh ohh. there IS a song. Barbie girl. yeah that's the one. revoLUTIONIZED my life.

Rachel
07-01-2006, 00:41
you ppl are narrow minded. :rolleyes:Indeed I am. But don't worry you're not American originally ;)

Yeah, I'll shut up now :p

freddie
07-01-2006, 01:31
Indeed I am. But don't worry you're not American originally ;)

Yeah, I'll shut up now :p

Who IS? :p

Lux
07-01-2006, 01:38
oh how you guys contradict. so what do you refer to when you say "american"?

Rachel
07-01-2006, 01:42
Who IS? :pAnyone who was born & grew up there :p


oh how you guys contradict. so what do you refer to when you say "american"?See above ;)

freddie
07-01-2006, 01:56
oh how you guys contradict. so what do you refer to when you say "american"?

I never made any definitions myself. I guess the most true Americans today would be descendants of people that came directly from the British Isles. They're quickly becoming a minority though.

cirrus
08-01-2006, 21:50
Lux, :D

Lux
09-01-2006, 09:35
well i grew up from age 5 in america. does that make me american? i am certainly not chinese in culture.

EDIT: freddie - you don't have to make up the definitions yourself, it's just that you're agreeing to ones that contradict each other. you say ppl who are american are..well, american. and then you say who really IS american. yeah. contradicting.

freddie
09-01-2006, 11:56
EDIT: freddie - you don't have to make up the definitions yourself, it's just that you're agreeing to ones that contradict each other. you say ppl who are american are..well, american. and then you say who really IS american. yeah. contradicting.

Naah. That's just you not reading what I REALLY wrote. :p

Lux
09-01-2006, 18:09
how can you decide what i read and didn't read? it's my interpretation. MINE. you have no control whatsoever over it, regardless of what you think. we've been over this, many times. enough with it.

Please post in normal size and color.

then why have options? just so we can post in exclamation of something the mods think is a positive response? please.

haku
09-01-2006, 18:37
I never made any definitions myself. I guess the most true Americans today would be descendants of people that came directly from the British Isles. They're quickly becoming a minority though. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter which origin US citizens are from because even recent immigrants seem to absorb the American 'culture' pretty fast and exhibit the typical American traits: gun obsession, ultra patriotism, religious extremism, ultra capitalism, and will to rule the world and bomb everyone who disagrees.

Rachel
09-01-2006, 18:40
Amber: :done: :done: :done:

cirrus
09-01-2006, 21:44
typical American traits: gun obsession, ultra patriotism, religious extremism, ultra capitalism, and will to rule the world and bomb everyone who disagrees.

haku I know you're more intelligent than this! :) If you're talking about the US government and a portion of its citizens, I'd agree. But every nation and place on Earth, even Europe, has its wackos and fuck-ups. And every place has its caring and intelligent people too, so if you're trying to sum up all Americans, you've really got it wrong. come on! ;)

haku
09-01-2006, 23:30
If you're talking about the US government and a portion of its citizens, I'd agree. But every nation and place on Earth, even Europe, has its wackos and fuck-ups. And every place has its caring and intelligent people too, so if you're trying to sum up all Americans, you've really got it wrong. come on! ;)
Well, maybe not all Americans, but a majority are what i said, otherwise the US would be a very different place.

Let's take gun obsession for example, the US is the only modern country where you can find gun stores in every town and city, there are even gun departments in supermarkets, and any dumbass can legally buy an automatic weapon in his neighborhood store. This is just insane. Regular citizens should not be allowed to own firearms, and this crazy situation only exist in the US where people are obsessed with guns.

This is what Rachel meant by 'over the top', the US always go too far in everything.

Allowing guns for hunting would be understandable (even though i am opposed to hunting), but when you walk in an American gun store, it's obvious that most guns are designed to kill humans, not game, do hunters (or regular citizens for that matter) really need shotguns or assault rifles? No. Only the police should be allowed to have firearms, that's how it works in Europe and we're doing fine with a thousand times less homicides than in the US.

And you can apply that 'over the top' thing to every domain, even something as banal as cars for examples, everybody need cars in modern countries, but American cars are different from any others, they are gigantic. Do Americans really need oversized SUVs that burn 10 more times petrol (and pollute) than an average European or Japanese car? Nope, it's over the top.

cirrus
09-01-2006, 23:34
Yeah well this thread is too "over the top" for me. I can't believe it became such an issue. I'm not here to insult anyone's country or cultural background, but it's a shame that i'm kinda alone on that.

From a great African-American author, Zora Neale Hurston, you've "gotta go there to know there." Don't tell me what my country is or isn't when you're not even in it.

I'm out. :none:

Kappa
09-01-2006, 23:53
I agree with Cirrus. I don't even like the US myself (for the mere reasons that my country provides them with cheap oil, sold them half it's own territory two centuries ago, and has had to assimilate their culture in order to actually go anywhere) but unlike some people with power in these forums, I'd rather not judge them without experiencing them myself.

thegurgi
10-01-2006, 01:12
gun obsession, ultra patriotism, religious extremism, ultra capitalism, and will to rule the world and bomb everyone who disagrees.
well i know that describes this particular american born to an absolute 't' - oh yeah, gun rack in my closet, bible in my dresser drawer next to my bed, wasting away my money on abercrombie and hollister (haha) and waiting for our preemptive strike on Sea Land.... damn straight. :: PISSSH ::

i'm sorry, but we're not all from west virginia....

Lux
10-01-2006, 01:22
america is ONE country. there is quite a bit of bashing for just one country. negative or positive that it has quite the influence. that is, people are bashing or loving it for one reason or another. and of all the other countries in the world, US is the biggest target here. i don't see anyone bashing china, or japan, or blaming the japanese for the rape of nanking, or germany or hitler for the holocaust, or france for not speaking up in the whole terrorist campaign because they didn't want to jeopardize their business of selling weapons to countries such as iraq, or many countries in south america for their fucked up systems of developed democracies....


over the top? just because america is more diverse than many countries doesn't make it bad. so what if diversity of races, beliefs, and cultures is conducive to many practices, businesses, etc.. that some consider over the top? it doesn't make america anything, in fact, it shows that america can provide for all kinds of HUMANS, not americans. plus, germany shows porn at 4 in the afternoon. isn't that excessive? no one mentioned that yet.

and about american cars. not all american cars are gigantic. there are certain lines that are big, such as trucks and suvs, but most people in the US drive and many used to need cars to ship and transport things for individual needs. that's how the whole truck thing started anyway. that is, nowadays you can't really survive outside of a major city without a car. people prefer something big and comfy. what can you say? it's not over the top. it's human preference. we're all human. and to label certain things as over the top is useless. the need for porn is over the top. the need for endless technological conveniences is over the top. it is an eternal game to measure things as excessive because human beings are indulgent, selfish, and many of their desires is over the top. it's a waste of space and energy to try to see which desires are and which aren't.

Khartoun2004
10-01-2006, 01:40
Ok there is a little thing called the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution that states all Citizens have the right to BARE ARMS... call me dumb but it stems from a need to have a militia because certain countries *cough*England*cough* couldn't leave us alone after the Revolutionary War... Does the War of 1812 ring any bells for you Europeans? And the right to bare arms has stuck because that is the precedent in our country.

A person is an American if they are a citizen of this country and or call themselves an American. Period end of story. The US has a very different idea about citizenship and ethnicity. Example, Lux is Chinese, I am Irish and German, but we are both Americans. Ethnicity has nothing to do with it. It's a secondary trait that means nothing unless you are applying to school.

So here's a question for all of you non-americans... what makes you English, French, Slovenian, German, Italian or Turkish? Is it your citizenship or where your parents and grandparents were born?

Lux
10-01-2006, 01:42
Ok there is a little thing called the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution that states all Citizens have the right to BARE ARMS... call me dumb but it stems from a need to have a militia because certain countries *cough*England*cough* couldn't leave us alone after the Revolutionary War... Does the War of 1812 ring any bells for you Europeans? And the right to bare arms has stuck because that is the precedent in our country.

A person is an American if they are a citizen of this country and or call themselves an American. Period end of story. The US has a very different idea about citizenship and ethnicity. Example, Lux is Chinese, I am Irish and German, but we are both Americans. Ethnicity has nothing to do with it. It's a secondary trait that means nothing unless you are applying to school.

So here's a question for all of you non-americans... what makes you English, French, Slovenian, German, Italian or Turkish? Is it your citizenship or where your parents and grandparents were born?

bravo. yeah, thanks for that.

i'm so sick of people here bashing america as though they've lived here, grew up here, and understand the culture and society here, even when the most they've ever done is visited for short times. :rolleyes:

madeldoe
10-01-2006, 02:36
just like everything in life nothing is absolute. america isn't all bad and it isnt all good. coming from a 3rd world country where i had to heat up my hot water for my morning shower..yet i was considered rich because my father was a successful engineer and people across the street still lived in a hut made of trees and branches.. im very grateful to live in this country. i definately critisize it at times..but i do my own share of defending.

although i dont consider myself an american, just a willing participant ;) (aberboobie and fitch is hot :D ), i very much appreciate what this country has given to me. so there is no point in trying to defend america to people who havent lived here, im just trying to stress the fact that america isnt all bad.

haku
10-01-2006, 03:16
france for not speaking up in the whole terrorist campaign because they didn't want to jeopardize their business of selling weapons to countries such as iraqThat's what American media and the Bush administration have been feeding the American public with, and it's a total distortion of the truth, France is just as committed to fighting terrorism as any other western country. In 1985/86 there were about 15 terrorist bombings in Paris perpetrated by muslim extremists, we know perfectly well that terrorism is a threat and our secret services are fighting it with other western countries, but that doesn't mean that we agree with bombing and invading countries that have nothing to do with terrorism, killing an Arab and his family simply because you've been attacked by another Arab makes absolutely no sense.

France is fighting terrorism, but yes, we were opposed to the invasion of Iraq because Iraq had no relation whatsoever with muslim terrorism (Iraq was a laic communist-like country, the exact opposite of an islamic state, it had no connection with muslim extremists), Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, Iraq had no military nuclear program, Iraq had no terrorist training camps, Iraq was not a threat, that's what France and Germany said at the UN security council before the invasion of Iraq and we were right since the US has been unable to find anything of what it said it would find in Iraq, and yet this country has been bombed, invaded, annihilated… for nothing.

I actually used to be relatively in line with American policy, i grew up during the cold war, a time when you knew that the red army could be at your door the next morning (if they had not vitrified your city first), i supported the Atlantic alliance and was generally close to US views, at least in terms of international policy.
But after the fall of communist regimes, US foreign policy started to get out of hand and i found myself increasingly in disagreement with the US.

At the time of the 9/11 attacks, France was still very close to the US though, and French people mourned and were just as shocked by the attacks as American people were… But then Bush (and many American people with him) became totally insane… "I am the leader of a new crusade against the forces of evil"… I mean, wtf?!? And the US decided that they had to invade a bunch of countries for no good reasons.
And when France opposed to it at the UN, the French bashing started on every level of the American nation, the government, the media, TV stations, newspapers, web sites, even movies and TV shows, everywhere, not to mention the infamous renaming of things with 'French' in it to 'Liberty'… We were treated like trash just because we dared to disagree with the almighty US and refused to participate to the invasion of a country that had nothing to do with the terrorism the US was supposedly fighting, because we didn't want to bomb a country to destroy weapons of mass destruction that never existed.
So yeah, i have kept some resentment from that period and the loads of insults targeting French people that i've read, seen, and heard everyday for months in American media, especially since we were actually right and the Bush administration was bullshitting 24/7.

And yes, invading a random Arab country (well, not totally random of course, it has yummy oil to feed SUVs) just because you've been attacked by a dozen Arabs from another Arab country is definitely over the top.

Kappa
10-01-2006, 04:06
So why call the american members of the forums "over the top" when it's only their president that's the fucktard?

Lux
10-01-2006, 06:15
predictable, good. and no, that's not what the bush administration fed to the general public. you think the american public knows anything about france other than how they have freedom fries and great fashion? PLEASE. even if the bush administration did say that to the media, WHICH THEY DIDN'T, the general public wouldn't know it anyway.
Christ. this thread is a waste of space. it's not even funny. the president isn't the only asshole. his administration is. and quite a few members of the republican party that are in cohorts with him.

thegurgi
10-01-2006, 07:41
haku (interesting, i still call you haku) ... i think it's funny cause to me you sound sooo american at times. but what does that ever mean? i've never known.

That's what American media and the Bush administration have been feeding the American public with, and it's a total distortion of the truth
i bet you could say that about most medias... i wonder what the French media has to say about us and how truthful it is.... :: ponders ::

Lux
10-01-2006, 07:51
amber - you sound very american. what you say is what an american would say about america. so. yeah. american media is especially messed up but if you want to compare with other countries, theirs isn't great either.

i have no idea why people here bash the US so much. what is with this preconceived aversion? at least americans are open minded enough to be over the top. :rolleyes: at least there are all kinds of crazy people here and not just the narrow minded ones.

coolasfcuk
10-01-2006, 07:55
just like everything in life nothing is absolute. america isn't all bad and it isnt all good. coming from a 3rd world country where i had to heat up my hot water for my morning shower..yet i was considered rich because my father was a successful engineer and people across the street still lived in a hut made of trees and branches.. im very grateful to live in this country. i definately critisize it at times..but i do my own share of defending.

although i dont consider myself an american, just a willing participant ;) (aberboobie and fitch is hot :D ), i very much appreciate what this country has given to me. so there is no point in trying to defend america to people who havent lived here, im just trying to stress the fact that america isnt all bad.
:D, yeah, sounds good to me, except my mother is the engineer, my dad is a scientist... oh, and i dont agree about A&F :gigi:

Lux
10-01-2006, 08:10
if only others can see this. this country is tolerant and accepting of many cultures and races and that is one of its greatest attributes. instead, people bash it like it is the shit of the earth when so many have taken much from what this country has offered, and what it has been conducive to. building and developing character, learning and assimilating and coming across many different races and backgrounds. i appreciate growing up here. in china during winters there wouldn't be any hot water sometimes so people went to communal showers. i am humbled my parents raised me in the US over any other country, particularly china. i love this country because it is great and that doesn't mean i think all other countries are shit, i just like this one. i can still objectively compare countries which is what i hoped this thread would do but no, alas it is all about bashing the US when most of the people don't know much about this country other than what they see through movies, the media, and hearsay.

freddie
10-01-2006, 09:22
I agree with madeldoe. Nothing is really absolute. I think America's problems lies in layers - there's a majority (I'd probably say around 250 million) people who're good (relatively), yet the country and it's economical interests are being run by an oligarchy of ruthless rich old men (so the exact term would be a plutocracy). The whole thing with agressive foreign policies, ridiculous federal legislature, corporate scandals going all the way to the top of the executive chain of goverment, inadequate funds provided for education... everything is a direct or indirect result of that. A few rich old men running a system of turbo capitalism in which nothing else but capital gain matters. Slowly a system develops where only a handful of people are privileged to enter that sacred society of rich - which is only emphasized by huge tuition fees (I think education should be free for all, but that's a different topic altogether).

As far as guns are concerened.... my standpoint is that most common people using guns do indeed use them for self-protection and even if they restricted uses of fire-arms most criminals would find a way to get their hands on them anyway. I don't really know what the big deal is anyway - it's not such a huge bother getting a weapon in Europen countries neither. And come to think of it: a crowbar is just as leathal in the arms of a stupid European or American who's out to destroy the world, right?

SUVs... yeah admittedly that is a problem but from what I know GM almost went bankrupt after the sales of SUVs plummeted during the oil crisis. But lets not fool ourselve that Europeans don't buy their fare share of BMW X5s, MB M Classes or Range Rovers and other useless gass guzzers, which spend their existance driving on motorways rather then off-road. It's a global trend of stupidity which is a direct result of people having too much money to spend and too much time on their hands.

Sure I can't say how the country is as a whole since I've only visited 2 states (and from what I saw in my limited experience Americans are the kindest bunch I've ever come across - Europeans are total rude idiots in comparison), but imo it's completely impossible to generalize. All we see is that mockery of a leadership they have with a corrupt goverment and a puppet for a president. But from what I gather there are ennormous differences between different federal states and (imo) Conneticut and Utah have as much in common as Portugal and Germany (except for the langauge of course). So to make big general statements about a country of 300 million people just based on their foreign policies and from basic stereotypes is ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as people thinking how all the "Soviets" in the former USSR were evil and out to destroy the world.

EDIT:
Just a thought:
"Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one. The tragedy of human history lies in the enormous potential for destruction in rare acts of evil, not in the high frequency of evil people."

--Stephen Boyd, Evolutionary Biologist Harvard University

haku
10-01-2006, 20:09
it's not such a huge bother getting a weapon in Europen countries neither.It's almost impossible for a regular citizen to get a firearm in western European countries, not to mention totally illegal under any circumstances. All kinds of automatic weapons are banned, even revolvers that use real bullets are illegal, only 'alarm' revolvers can be bought (and you can't kill anyone with that), and even alarm revolvers need a permit (not easy to get, you need a valid reason) and a registration to the police. Even hunting rifles can't be bought by just anyone, you need a hunting license which is not easy to get, and you'll have to register to the local police (they'll take your picture, finger prints, gun serial number, etc.). The reality is that almost nobody has a gun in western Europe, not even all police officers have a gun, certain categories are unarmed, and the situations where a police officer is allowed to shoot are extremely limited and regulated.

a crowbar is just as leathalA crowbar can be lethal, but it takes much more determination to kill with a crowbar than with a gun, and you can't kill 20 people in a few minutes efficiently and from a distance with a crowbar, whereas it's totally possible with a nice automatic rifle that you can buy freely in any American gun store.
The number of people killed by firearms is of a few hundreds each year in Europe whereas it's 10th of thousands in the US, so banning guns does make a huge difference in the number of homicides.

But lets not fool ourselve that Europeans don't buy their fare share of BMW X5s, MB M Classes or Range Rovers and other useless gass guzzersYeah, but you know that even when the same car is available in Europe and the US (which happens rarely, who in the US knows what a Renault Scenic is and who in Europe knows what a Ford F-150 is), it's not equipped with the same engines, the American versions have much bigger engines whereas the European ones have smaller (often diesel) ones. Most cars in Europe have 4-cylinder engines and anything bigger than that is a small percentage whereas in the US most cars have 6 or 8-cylinder engines, not to mention that a good half of cars sold in Europe have diesel engines that consume much less petrol.

Khartoun2004
10-01-2006, 20:25
Amber you just shot yourself in the foot. Automatic Weapons of any kind are illegal under any circumstance in the United States. Even certain semi-automatic pistols are illegal. To legally own a gun in the US, you must complete weapons safety courses and a minmum 500 hours at a shooting range, get a permit, have not been convicted of a crime and the guns must be registered with State Police. To buy a pistol, you have to wait 21 days while they run a background check on you. To own a pistol you must also be at least 21 years old. So it's not as easy to get a gun as you might think.

Also, Canada has more guns than the US.

QueenBee
10-01-2006, 20:41
Didn't get a chance to read the whole thread yet, but I saw this:

[About who is American] Anyone who was born & grew up there
and I must say I disagree. I was born and raised in Sweden (even though I lived 4-5 years in Poland aswell) and I am definitely not Swedish. So yeah.

PS. I thought America was a continent.

Khartoun2004
10-01-2006, 21:33
Didn't get a chance to read the whole thread yet, but I saw this:


and I must say I disagree. I was born and raised in Sweden (even though I lived 4-5 years in Poland aswell) and I am definitely not Swedish. So yeah.

PS. I thought America was a continent.

Queenbee that is the difference between European culture and American Culture. I stated before ethnicity is not a factor in determining your nationality in the US, it's a person's birthplace and where they grow up.

In Europe it's all about ethnicity and birthplace is meaningless.

spyretto
11-01-2006, 00:26
So why call the american members of the forums "over the top" when it's only their president that's the fucktard?

Because nations have the presidents they deserve ;)
And the U.S.A deserves Bush ( no confusion, America is not just the US of A. )
For me they represent the modern empire trying to rule over the world in any way it can be feasible these days; similar to the way historical long lasting empires like the Roman Empire, and England used to do. They cannot go out and force their will by brutality, not even the former empires did so, so they use methods to subvert other nations that they deem weak. Their very own longivity as an empire depends upon that. When their interests are directly threatened - like vs Saddam in the first Gulf War - they use sheer force; but only in such cases...it usually trains and arms the people that turn against it, so its enemies are usually its own creation.

Of course that doesn't mean that the US is not the best place to live in and that it's not the most democratic place in the world right now etc etc. It could be fantastic for its people; but it doesn't concern us who are not its people. So we have to see things from the right perspective.
As far as I'm concerned my last hope for America was lost with the unprovoked and unjustifiable war against Iraq.

In Europe it's all about ethnicity and birthplace is meaningless.

That is totally not true , where did you get that? Birthplace determines your nationality everywhere. So it seems that Americans don't know Europe as much as we don't know America.

PowerPuff Grrl
11-01-2006, 05:59
That is totally not true , where did you get that? Birthplace determines your nationality everywhere. So it seems that Americans don't know Europe as much as we don't know America.

I disagree, your citizenship determines your nationality at least in North America it does. I was born in the UAE, and even if I stayed there for the rest of my life I would never become a citizen. The same policy applies to most oil rich countries in the Middle East.


And yes, invading a random Arab country (well, not totally random of course, it has yummy oil to feed SUVs) just because you've been attacked by a dozen Arabs from another Arab country is definitely over the top.

Oh that's rich, would you propose that they adopt the French approach by which instead, 17% of the population vote for a fascist in the round (Chirac got 20%; a three point differential)!!!
Say what you will about Americans, but never would the American racist fucktard Pat Buchanan ever get that many votes, I don't think he even got over 1% during '94, (or was it '98?).
In fact I distinctly remember the reaction many Americans had right after 9/11; almost instinctively trying to establish bridges with the Muslim community, attempting to educate other Americans about how the attacks were not reflective of Islam and how Islam is a religion of peace*. Never would they make enemies out of their own people, and if they do they don't need a riot to make them change their ways.

I see people arguing this from two different standpoints, either from a country's domestic or foreign policy. I personally think the true value of a nation comes from its domestic policy, foreign comes second. The US's foriegn policy is shitty, but so is every other country. I'm sure if you examine France's, the UK's, Russia's and even Canada's foreign policy with the same scrutiny as you do the States you'd find some pretty reprehensible things.


*And even I thought that was bullshit.

Lux
11-01-2006, 10:03
can't we all just agree to disagree. there is no point in arguing over nothing. this thread is nothing but a bash-all-things-american thread and it's useless. there is no real debate, just people trying to defend this country against arguments that are scattered all over the place. it is endless. people will just pick and choose from each other's posts what they want to argue.

spyretto
11-01-2006, 12:19
I disagree, your citizenship determines your nationality at least in North America it does. I was born in the UAE, and even if I stayed there for the rest of my life I would never become a citizen. The same policy applies to most oil rich countries in the Middle East.

Well, your example is of an Arab ( muslim ) country. We were talking about Europe, maybe I used a generalisation but it is the same all over Europe and in every civilised society it's the same. Ok, I presume UAE are a civilised society too but their mentality is different, and so are their laws. Queenbee was saying that she doesn't feel Swedish, although she does have the Swedish nationality. I'm sure it's the same for millions of other people who are torn between different cultures.

The place of birth detemines your nationality, haven't you heard of people abusing that system before (ie. moving to a different country just to give birth so that their children can bear the nationality of the place they briefly reside in, lol )

And about Lux's last comment: I don't think this is a bashing of all things American, at least not in my point of view. As a matter of fact I might be visiting in 2007 if that makes any difference.. We're discussing the way the U.S. has presented itself to the world since the end of WWII and that does not draw a very rosy picture. Lately it has gone even worse under the George Bush's leadership.
I think that the US of A will have to re-evaluate the way it deals with the rest of the planet; after all, we're all in this together.
We'll have to try and see things from the standpoint of those who don't necessarily aspire to exercise ther influence upon others, but wish to coexist in peace.

zelda05
11-01-2006, 12:46
America is over the top?.... No! :rolleyes:

FYI: Cafeteria menus in the three House office buildings had changed the name of french fries to freedom fries after France refused to support U.S. :lalala: [Now this was overreacting!.]

EDIT: Bravo Lux!! You have defended US very well! :)

nath
11-01-2006, 13:37
So Amber.....did I read wrong or you dislike so much ...to not say hate so much America ..just because it dared to "insult" your beautiful France?

Americans are may be "primitive", speaking with your vision, but may be they are able to read.....cause I think we have insulted them more than they did in all our national press.

I won't open a thread about it but I wonder why , in this forum, we've never made a "pseudo-moral-political" analyse of USSR or even Russia which became , of course, a worse country just by the fault of America....:rolleyes:

zelda05
11-01-2006, 15:00
I was born and raised in Sweden (even though I lived 4-5 years in Poland aswell) and I am definitely not Swedish.
Really? I wasn't born and raised in US. But can I be any more American :no: I have adapted everything that is American (including the citizenship) except for the damn accent. :laugh:

nath
11-01-2006, 15:29
I think it's the way you "think" which determines your "real" nationality,mentality.....more than the fact of the number of your ancestors in the same country.

haku
11-01-2006, 15:49
Oh that's rich, would you propose that they adopt the French approach by which instead, 17% of the population vote for a fascist in the round (Chirac got 20%; a three point differential)!!!
Say what you will about Americans, but never would the American racist fucktard Pat Buchanan ever get that many votes, I don't think he even got over 1% during '94, (or was it '98?).I don't see the connection between the last French presidential election and the illegal invasion of another country by the US.

Anyway, what you may not realize is that if Bush was a French politician (or British, German, Dutch…), he would be considered just as extreme right as Le Pen, Bush's positions on ultra capitalism, social security (or lack of), guns, religion, etc are way too extreme for any conservative party in Europe. From a European point of view, Bush is extreme right, so yeah, an extreme right candidate got 17% in France, but the US actually elected one president.

Never would they make enemies out of their own people, and if they do they don't need a riot to make them change their ways.You mean that US citizens of Japanese origin were never sent to camps during WWII and that there has never been any racial riots in the US so black people could obtain equal rights?


So Amber.....did I read wrong or you dislike so much ...to not say hate so much America ..just because it dared to "insult" your beautiful France?I disagree with the current US foreign policy which is clearly aimed at the creation of a new world empire where the US would be ruling everything and everyone.
I agreed with the US as long as the goal was to stop the expansion of the Soviet empire, this was a valid fight, but after the collapse of communist regimes, the US should have stood down, but they haven't. It is clear that a certain American elite has realized that after the collapse of communist regimes and before the future rise of China, the US was offered a unique historical 'window' of several decades where they would be the sole superpower and would have the chance to create a US empire ruling a good part of the planet, the invasion of Iraq is only a step in many more to come.

cause I think we have insulted them more than they did in all our national press.That's not true. Yes, there has always been harsh criticism of the US in the French left wing press because the US represent ultra capitalism, and there has always been harsh criticism of France in the American right wing press because France is seen as a 'socialist' country and they think socialism should be destroyed. So it was more a classic right/left capitalism/socialism opposition.

But things have changed in early 2003 when France officially opposed to the invasion of Iraq at the UN security council, from that point the French bashing in all US media became totally insane and reached a level that i had never seen before, you could not read a single newspaper or website, not watch a single news channel or TV show without seeing some French bashing, it was incredible.
And all that simply because we didn't want to invade a country to look for weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. :rolleyes:

coolasfcuk
11-01-2006, 16:18
lemme join as say this is all :blabla:

nath
11-01-2006, 16:56
In 2003, not Just the American Government but All The Americans were absolutely ridiculed, treated as stupid by the all the Press and French Media....and even by French Political Personalities.
And as French are easily influenced by media , they were ridiculed by a lot of French people too.
If you wanted to be "in the wind" in this time, you had to joke about the stupidity of Americans and you looked immediately very intelligent and very intellectual.

It was an absolute stoning Campaign which had lasted during several months. Don't tell me it hasn't existed Amber..or it's really because we don't read the same newspapers, we don't listen the same kind of radios and we don't watch the same national TV.

spyretto
11-01-2006, 17:17
Really? I wasn't born and raised in US. But can I be any more American :no: I have adapted everything that is American (including the citizenship) except for the damn accent. :laugh:

And what exactly is your "American mentality" you have adapted to? :lol: Anglosaxon? Hispanic? ( Mexican? Cuban? ) Latino? Scandinavian? Polish? Jewish? Greek? African American? Irish? Chinese? :p

Or you just pledge allegiance to the flag and the consitution? Excuse my ignorance but at least European peoples ( as well as others ) have a distinct national identity and ethnicity and we consider ourselves historically European because this was our home from the very beginning. The USA is what exactly? a gathering of different peoples from the 5 corners of the world under the hospice of one flag and one constitution? when the empire they fought to gain independence from was, is and will be their biggest ally EVER? :p

Oh, I forgot it's the accent as well :rolleyes: Unless you were more curious about Cocal Cola, Mcdonalds restaurants, Microsoft or Walmart...or Hollywood. This is the very fabric that makes up America , innit?

edit: nath do you consider yourself French or U.S. of A-an? Coz if the French ridiculed the USA's trust me, the USA's did EXACTLY the same to the French. Maybe you don't have U.S. of American good ol' cable tv at home then ;)
oh about France, you may bash them as hell, they're still one of your biggest allies. You're just a bit pissed off at the moment cause they didn't follow the stupid war Bush was leading.
Trust me, it's gonna be ok soon.

lemme join as say this is all

Nah, it's just not the L word, that's all.

nath
11-01-2006, 17:41
Spy...those guys were immigrants who have worked hard to success.
Do we have to consider themas 'inferior" because they don't have a "several centuries" common culture and history?

Is it because a population has a long history and was "dominant" during some times that it is better until the end of times (as Greece for exemple:heh:)?

Immigrants who have found America had nothing when they arrived there.
I think they have the merit to have built something from almost nothing and they have to be respected for that even if they don't have a prestigious History.
They were "nothing" and they have build the most powerful country.

America isn't just Mac Donald's and Coca cola or Microsoft....and even if it was the case.....personnaly, I appreciate those 3 things....
To reduce America to that is a little easy and simplistic.

Freddie, you who criticize so easily America....do you remember Tito?
I've known your country during the Tito 's period....so ...I just can say......it's so easy to criticize.....:heh:

So you guys ....you who destroy America just by pleasure...give me just ONE name.....just One name of a country which is perfect, where all is fair....just One name...please....

spyretto
11-01-2006, 17:41
Ok, and before the mods start warning me about whatever, my point is this:

Stop looking at things from your own microcosm, made out of your own personal beliefs and interests and try to see the bigger picture; because some of the posts here are nothing more than an array of facts to conceal thinly disguised prejudices. You ostracised Mossopp but she did have a point. Do we really want the forum to degenerate into something like that?
Some people are doing it already but others are missing the point completely.
And no hard feelings about America; when you decide to climb off your high horses we'll still be right here. Peace.

nath, I have nothing against what you said. America was built on the notion of freedom, and the ideas of the French Revolution and humanism, on the notion of democracy. Today's America is not what its fathers envisioned. Freedom exists when you exercise it without violatating the freedom of your fellow person, freedom is not waving a gun around and playing cops and robers.

And freedom is definitely not equated with the idea of extreme consumerism. Those are ills that today's America ( the US) continue to thrive upon.

Just to comment a little bit further without an inkling of retracting from my earlier postion, there was a sense of cultural identity that all those people like the immigrants and the convicts and the pilgrims shared and makes the fabrics of what America is today. The idea of the promised land was common to all those people who started off God knows where looking for a better place.. So was the reality of hardship and violence. Such ideas were carried through to the modern America and can serve as a lesson to understand how America was shaped into what it is today; not forgetting that as one nation, America is still in the developing stages.

Lux
11-01-2006, 19:02
Nah, it's just not the L word, that's all.

but shall we resort to petty and snide remarks?

and please SOMEONE delete this godforsaken thread. people aren't arguing about anything. just arguing each other, and not each other's points. it's USELESS. *scroll up 10 posts*

spyretto
11-01-2006, 21:03
but shall we resort to petty and snide remarks?

and please SOMEONE delete this godforsaken thread. people aren't arguing about anything. just arguing each other, and not each other's points. it's USELESS. *scroll up 10 posts*

Why not? but if you want this thread to be deleted why don't you do it yourself so we can have some more "interesting" topics about gay life and boots and tatoos and all the rest of the "oh so important things" with a total of FIVE people participating - ok maybe 6, the sixth person just wanted to keep in touch.
Seriously I prefer to read an endless bashing of America and Europe anytime than the aforementioned "hot topics". I'm past the age of 15, you know. :rolleyes:
Speaking of the age of 15, are we getting close to tatu.us topics or not yet?

So anybody in "aggreeance" with me? :p
Oh wait I'm the only one here!!!

QueenBee
11-01-2006, 21:22
I suggest we keep this thread open FOREVA!

Spy, don't talk crap about boots. :nunu:

cirrus
11-01-2006, 21:47
I'm past the age of 15, you know. :rolleyes: So anybody in "aggreeance" with me?

I don't agree. Insulting coolasfcuk for no reason at all is pretty immature. :rolleyes:

Atleast threads about "boots" don't end up making people mad and irritated. This thread is fucking lame.

spyretto
11-01-2006, 21:50
I'll be the new Mossopp whether you like it or not. I went back from Greece to this shithole, I'm sick and this forum is getting more and more lame, it's not just this thread.

so how can i entertain myself, can you tell me? But even so, looking back at it I didn't say anything wrong at all;
and I didn't open that thread, if you can find one thread I opened that bashes America, go ahead and say it's immature. and the topic is about America, not about Americans, capito?

And last but not least: don't act like you're a guardian to other users, let them speak themselves if they want. That goes to cirrus who I can't remember I ever called him any name. I didn't insult cool , I just said what I think about the current state of the forum. If you think you're insulted by what I said then maybe there's more to it then?

And that, as they say, is that.

cirrus
11-01-2006, 21:57
whatever. i'm just having someone's back. i didn't know that was so bad of me :rolleyes:

spyretto
11-01-2006, 22:04
whatever. i'm just having someone's back. i didn't know that was so bad of me :rolleyes:

I updated my previous posting.

No, it wasn't that bad but then again it was a bit irrelevant as I didn't direct my criticism towards her person, I was just commenting on the quality of topics currently in the forum.
And don't tell me to go away if I don't like it, I've been a member since 2001 and I don't think I'll be going; but we've seen better days than this.

Yeah i know , I should make some interesting topics myself...etc.

cirrus
11-01-2006, 22:16
spyretto, it's cool. i'm sorry too. :)

spyretto
11-01-2006, 22:22
spyretto, it's cool. i'm sorry too. :)

No worries. :)

forre
11-01-2006, 22:49
Why US again? This country takes as much as it gives. If it wasn't for US, many world funds would never exsist. Maybe US is over the top but many well developed countries are as well. We never look around our own corner, don't we?

spyretto
11-01-2006, 23:10
Why US again? This country takes as much as it gives. If it wasn't for US, many world funds would never exsist. Maybe US is over the top but many well developed countries are as well. We never look around our own corner, don't we?

aw forre I thought you came back to close the thread.

Well, I guess you're right, there are lot of philathropists there as there's lots in here too; but their politics are so wrong . They hardly ever used their might to stop the famine, the civil wars and their genocides in Africa where most of the suffering lies. Maybe because those people don't have petroleum or communists.

Lux
12-01-2006, 00:49
it sounds alot like a monologue.

zelda05
12-01-2006, 10:42
And what exactly is your "American mentality" you have adapted to?
I spent the last semester discussing and writing papers on American culture, gays, etc for my diversity class. So I am not going to bother myself discussing this topic. But I will give you an example of what I meant by "adapting" American culture. There was this foreign female student in my college, she spent a decade in US. However, she was very reluctant to adapt the American ways. She disliked American music (any english music for that matter), she had no interest in watching American shows. Well, i think you get the picture. Basically, she was very grounded to her country of origin. I, on the other hand, am the opposite of her. End of story!

Anglosaxon? Hispanic? ( Mexican? Cuban? ) Latino? Scandinavian? Polish? Jewish? Greek? African American? Irish? Chinese?
Illustrates that US is a diverse nation. :rolleyes:

spyretto
12-01-2006, 14:05
I spent the last semester discussing and writing papers on American culture, gays, etc for my diversity class. So I am not going to bother myself discussing this topic. But I will give you an example of what I meant by "adapting" American culture. There was this foreign female student in my college, she spent a decade in US. However, she was very reluctant to adapt the American ways. She disliked American music (any english music for that matter), she had no interest in watching American shows. Well, i think you get the picture. Basically, she was very grounded to her country of origin. I, on the other hand, am the opposite of her. End of story!


Illustrates that US is a diverse nation. :rolleyes:


So American culture has to do with American music and shows? :D
If you think about it, there's no real American music, unless you're referring to banjo songs etc. There's music sung in English by Americans and music is something universal. The fact that she was reluctant to start liking what you call American music does not mean that she disliked the culture in general. American tv shows? well, my childhood was full of them and I loved them but nowadays I watch none ;does this mean that I despise American culture or that they might not be that good anymore - or in any case I don't like them because I have found different interests?
Since you're at the university why don't you make a reference to American philosophy and literature? It's not in the same level as the European one but it is at least a very interesting starting pont.
Don't know if that's the end of story, or if you don't want to discuss about it. The fact that you worked one semester in those subjects does not bear much weight to the discussion. I have studied American culture and feminist culture before in modules at the University; we have touched upon gay culture as well; I have a masters degree in joint contemporary Political philosophy and literature, maybe you're not aware that I've been there done that before, because I never talk about it. Yes, I did it and I like it but don't consider myself particularly clever or interested to carry on doing it.
My thesis was on American culture and literature and I chose to do it. ( cause the other options had to do with feminism ;) )

I still can't find that solidarity and identity in American society that other societies have enjoyed. That doesn't mean there's no such identity but it's fabric is more weakened than other societies. Violence was a good starting point, I think.

zelda05
12-01-2006, 15:02
So American culture has to do with American music and shows?
Of course not.

does not mean that she disliked the culture in general.
She ONLY liked indian music, movies, food, and wore traditional clothes that indians wear. Keeping in mind, she has spent a life time (figure of speech) in US. It iclearly indicates she is/has been hesitant to adapt the American ways. Do I care? of course not.

Anyway, enough with it, I am not going to sit here and talk about some girl that I knew for couple of days. :)

Don't know if that's the end of story, or if you don't want to discuss about it.
I had already discussed and wrote papers on these very topics in my class. I spend countless of hours watching boring movies on it. Basically, I am a bit tired of it. :coctail:

And, I have only taken American literature class not American philosophy :p

coolasfcuk
12-01-2006, 16:30
:laugh:
sorry, but I missed your discussion about me, spy.
Hope you have your undies on proper now though, because I still dont get it WHY the hell do you continue to count ME responsible about the 'intelligence' level of this forum's posts. I am going to :blabla: as much as I want, when I think it's appropriate. Go ahead, be the new mossopp, the new Jesus if you'd like, do you think I CARE? My ignorance level has risen high ... and YES, my main goal here is to indulge in the L Word :gigi: and few other entertaining/mindless and or personal topics with friends. How do you want me to respond to:
Ultimately, it doesn't really matter which origin US citizens are from because even recent immigrants seem to absorb the American 'culture' pretty fast and exhibit the typical American traits: gun obsession, ultra patriotism, religious extremism, ultra capitalism, and will to rule the world and bomb everyone who disagrees.??? (no offence, Amber, but just our of curriosity, have you ever been to USA? Where do you get all your info from? ALL the American TV series you watch?)

I dont need to say anything here to 'defend' the place I live in currentlly, we have nath the frenchie putting everyone in the right spot, whether they like it or not :D why should i interfere with that, when I can 'waste' my time more properly watching the L Word :lol: :bye:

spyretto
12-01-2006, 17:46
:laugh:
My ignorance level has risen high ...

You said it :p
So are you out of the university now, enjoying the glamorous queer life? It can't last forever you know; unless you have an endless amount of resources. It's soon gonna be the heads in, cause we gotta bring food to the table.

I dont need to say anything here to 'defend' the place I live in currentlly, we have nath the frenchie putting everyone in the right spot, whether they like it or not :D why should i interfere with that, when I can 'waste' my time more properly watching the L Word :lol: :bye:

Nothing that nath has said referred to the present state of affairs in the US.. Yes, we do know that French politics are corrupted - what a surprise! - Chirac is a crook ( oh sorry nath if I spilled the beans )
But then again, nath is pro American; I'm trying to remain neutral. I might be a bit ignorant about politics but I didn't buy into all the bullshit ( there's no other way to describe it ) America is lately feeding the world.
And you might consider me ignorant about the American life but that doesn't mean I can't criticise the way Americans present themselves to the world. And about my praise of America you better go back and read my previous posts, cause I don't like to repeat myself.

Lastly, I don't think I'll be the new Mossopp cause I've learned how to hold it together. Call it aging. But I'll be right here challenging you until you get to the straight way. You can choose to ignore me if you want.

So what else? :coctail:

haku
12-01-2006, 18:15
no offence, Amber, but just our of curriosity, have you ever been to USA?No, but i'm talking about the attitude that the US project to the outside world (and i am in the outside word so i can perceive that attitiude), i'm talking about the image and the actions (military and otherwise), i'm talking about the famous 'you're either with us or against us' attitude that the US impose on all other countries, meaning that if you do not fully agree 100% with US policy, you are considered an enemy, there is no middle ground, it's 'you're with us or against us', and if you dare to resist a little bit more like Iraq, you get military destroyed.
Of course if you are American, that's great because you are on the right side of the bully, but it's not so nice when you are among those being bullied.

we have nath the frenchie putting everyone in the right spot, whether they like it or notI have no problem with nath "putting me in my place", in all countries you'll find people who support US policy and people who oppose it, thankfully it is still allowed to say that you do not agree with the US.

spyretto
12-01-2006, 18:25
I have no problem with nath "putting me in my place", in all countries you'll find people who support US policy and people who oppose it, thankfully it is still allowed to say that you do not agree with the US.

Nath supports right-wing politics and the most successful model of that is the USA.
( hope you take no offense at what I said, like cool did )

That's why I said I try to remain neutral.

coolasfcuk
12-01-2006, 22:24
You said it
haha, well yeah, I like to WIN (lol) so why let you have the privilege ... ignorance is BLISS! LoL
So are you out of the university now, enjoying the glamorous queer life? It can't last forever you know; unless you have an endless amount of resources. It's soon gonna be the heads in, cause we gotta bring food to the table.
:lol: is this trying to get me 'angry' or am i not getting it correctly? Are you trying to say that queer people cannot have a glamorous life and go to the university at the same time? Or are you saying that queers cannot bring food to the table? :lol:

Nothing that nath has said referred to the present state of affairs in the US.. Yes, we do know that French politics are corrupted - what a surprise! - Chirac is a crook ( oh sorry nath if I spilled the beans )
But then again, nath is pro American; I'm trying to remain neutral. I might be a bit ignorant about politics but I didn't buy into all the bullshit ( there's no other way to describe it ) America is lately feeding the world.
Ok, about my comment and nath - I never refered to her politica believes, all i was trying to say is that nath always tries to show the complexity of the subject and tries to make people look at the subject from a different angle as well ... not a simple extremist view, 'cause any extremism is bad!

And you might consider me ignorant about the American life but that doesn't mean I can't criticise the way Americans present themselves to the world. And about my praise of America you better go back and read my previous posts, cause I don't like to repeat myself.
sorry, spy, I've been skipping lots of posts in this thread (hence i missed your comment about me before), as i decide not to waste my time when i dont see the point, so I will not go back and read, sorry.

Lastly, I don't think I'll be the new Mossopp cause I've learned how to hold it together. Call it aging. But I'll be right here challenging you until you get to the straight way. You can choose to ignore me if you want.
Once again, I'm not sure if you are telling me I SHOULD go to the straight way? 'Cause I get the straight way every day of my life, honey, whether you are here or not :heh:

So what else? :coctail:
nothing. :coctail:

I have no problem with nath "putting me in my place", in all countries you'll find people who support US policy and people who oppose it, thankfully it is still allowed to say that you do not agree with the US.
amber, i wasnt talking about nath putting you in place specifically, I already explained what I meant when I mentioned nath. I dont even want to get to the political discussion really, but your view is extreme ...

Nath supports right-wing politics and the most successful model of that is the USA.
( hope you take no offense at what I said, like cool did )
What makes you think I took offense??? I told ya, ignorance is bliss, honey. I took absolutely NO offense, did you want me to? 'Cause if you did, just say so ... and i will work on it! LoL

nath
12-01-2006, 22:45
Nath supports right-wing politics and the most successful model of that is the USA.
( hope you take no offense at what I said, like cool did )
I just react agaisnt the systematical demolition of The States with no balance and no limit which drove to the conclusion that The States were worse than some pure dictatures established in some countries.

If I was speaking to Archi Pro Americans , extremist in a such same proportion as some can be in the destruction of The States on this forum , I would certainly be speaking in a different way.

About your question Spy, just know that I make a huge difference between the private conversations and the public conversations as in this forum.

I would never bring into a forum something said by another person in a private conversation about its private life. So conclude what you want as answer to your question.

And don't make a confusion between right-wing and extrem-right....:D

dare2dream28
19-01-2006, 06:54
I just finished reading through this thread, and frankly, I was rather pissed and disappointed after going through it.

First though:
So why call the american members of the forums "over the top" when it's only their president that's the fucktard?
THANK YOU!!!!!!! I did not vote for Bush and neither did the rest of the majority of my fellow Americans in the 2000 election (well technically I wasn't old enough to vote in the 2000 election, but I did vote in the 2004 election and it sure as hell wasn't for that dumbass!)

I don't see how it's fair to pass judgment on ALL Americans like people have been doing in this thread. How is that *any* different from us, the Americans, saying we hate all muslims because a handful of them bombed our country? It's the same type of idea.

A lot of you have pointed out why America is so bad. Well, if America is so awful, then why do so many damn people do or try to immigrate here every year?! America is the land of opportunity, religoius freedom, etc blah blah. NO, we're by all means NOT perfect, but we're not that freaking bad! How lucky am I to be a FREE woman that is allowed to have graduated college & can now make a career for myself? I could've had the fate of being betrothed to some guy I never knew, only to be beaten & have it so that a camel is worth more to the husband than myself. Gee, yeah, America is *soooooo* bad for allowing me to have *such* an opportunity! Again, I know we're not perfect and I do NOT think that we're better than everyone else, but at the same time, don't pass judgment on ALL of us Americans just because SOME Americans are stupid backwards religious psycho homophobic rednecks! And I'm not even going to list the amount of good we do!

Thank you Lux & everyone else who's defended the US.

So please, just because SOME Americans are idiots, don't classify ALL of us as egotistical wasters, because yeah, there are Americans who are fighting to defend the environment, writing letter after letter to their senators to influence how the government votes, & is NOT against every nation that's not the U.S. *cough* me *cough*.

All I'm asking is to show some respect to fellow forum members...this is a place where people from all over the world were united because of one interest and now that we've known each other for awhile, we've gone beyond that one interest, but guess what, we're still from around the world, have different backgrounds, & come from different cultures...it's still no reason to show any less respect to anyone here.

ypsidan04
23-01-2006, 01:00
I just finished reading through this thread, and frankly, I was rather pissed and disappointed after going through it.

First though:

THANK YOU!!!!!!! I did not vote for Bush and neither did the rest of the majority of my fellow Americans in the 2000 election (well technically I wasn't old enough to vote in the 2000 election, but I did vote in the 2004 election and it sure as hell wasn't for that dumbass!)

I don't see how it's fair to pass judgment on ALL Americans like people have been doing in this thread. How is that *any* different from us, the Americans, saying we hate all muslims because a handful of them bombed our country? It's the same type of idea.

A lot of you have pointed out why America is so bad. Well, if America is so awful, then why do so many damn people do or try to immigrate here every year?! America is the land of opportunity, religoius freedom, etc blah blah. NO, we're by all means NOT perfect, but we're not that freaking bad! Again, I know we're not perfect and I do NOT think that we're better than everyone else, but at the same time, don't pass judgment on ALL of us Americans just because SOME Americans are stupid backwards religious psycho homophobic rednecks! And I'm not even going to list the amount of good we do!


That all goes for me as well. :)

A Letter to Laura Bush

Here is an open letter from the poet Sharon Olds to Laura Bush declining the invitation to read and speak at the National Book Critics Circle Award in Washington, DC. Feel free to forward it along if you feel more people may want to read it. Sharon Olds is one of most widely read and critically acclaimed poets living in America today. Read to the end of the letter to experience her restrained, chilling eloquence.

Dear Mrs. Bush,

I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation at the National Book Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House.

In one way, it's a very appealing invitation. The idea of speaking at a festival attended by 85,000 people is inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents--all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers.

And the concept of a community of readers and writers has long been dear to my heart. As a professor of creative writing in the graduate school of a major university, I have had the chance to be a part of some magnificent outreach writing workshops in which our students have become teachers. Over the years, they have taught in a variety of settings: a women's prison, several New York City public high schools, an oncology ward for children.

Our initial program, at a 900-bed state hospital for the severely physically challenged, has been running now for twenty years, creating along the way lasting friendships between young MFA candidates and their students--long-term residents at the hospital who, in their humor, courage and wisdom, become our teachers.

When you have witnessed someone nonspeaking and almost nonmoving spell out, with a toe, on a big plastic alphabet chart, letter by letter, his new poem, you have experienced, close up, the passion and essentialness of writing.

When you have held up a small cardboard alphabet card for a writer who is completely nonspeaking and nonmoving (except for the eyes), and pointed first to the A, then the B, then C, then D, until you get to the first letter of the first word of the first line of the poem she has been composing in her head all week, and she lifts her eyes when that letter is touched to say yes, you feel with a fresh immediacy the human drive for creation, self-_expression, accuracy, honesty and wit--and the importance of writing, which celebrates the value of each person's unique story and song.

So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of Washington, DC. I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country--with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain--did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made "at the top" and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism--the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to.

I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness--as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing--against this undeclared and devastating war.

But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning

What I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration. What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us.

So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.

Sincerely,
SHARON OLDS

catmincenz
24-01-2006, 06:38
*applauds* good letter.