USA Rant :) | Page 3 | Ask Benny | Forum

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USA Rant :)
December 29, 2011
02:00
this_just_in
Toronto

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August 9, 2011
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@EVERYONE!!! I am the one who started this post and really you have to look at it as another persons point of view. An atheist is never going to win an argument about God not existing with a Catholic person because they have 2 Different views. At first I thought this is ridiculous how could someone be so harsh on Americans. But think about it if you are not raised in America it would be weird we do many things differently. You don't know how many people I hear complain about Europeans being Rude. Its just 2 Different Cultures and 2 Different ways of living and that is that. Now everyone let's agree to disagree Benny has his opinion you have yours.

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December 29, 2011
02:55
NKellyEmerald
Dublin, Ireland

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Cameron said:

Benny said:

I don't give a shite about what's chic, my motivation for writing the post was given at the start.

I didn't say that you wrote the post because it was chic, I said you were able to write the post without a larger outcry because bashing Americans is chic in general.

 

Yes, I'm quite sure that Benny thought before posting "I'm sure I'll get away with this!"... considering your (in particular) reaction, I don't think that has really worked out.

 

Benny said:

This was not a plea for traffic – I write every post hoping it will be read/watched by as many people as possible.

Aren't you contradicting yourself here? You didn't write the post for more traffic, but you wrote it hoping for it to be read by as many people as possible? Isn't that the same thing?

 

No, it isn't. If you really have to ask, I'll explain all the things wrong with that assumption, but for now I'll assume ou actually understand the nature of blogging.

 

Benny said:

Americans abroad whining more than anyone else annoys the hell out of me and I vented my frustration back to them in a blog post after dealing with their annoyances to "give them a taste of their own medicine".

You didn't give anyone a "taste of their own medicine" because the Americans you are talking about aren't reading your blog! It's like going to an Esperanto conference and condemning all the Americans in the room for being monolingual. Some Americans exhibit some of the qualities you describe in various combinations, but you picked the wrong venue if your goal was to give them a "taste of their own medicine".

Even if some of these "bad" Americans read your post, it's a bit arrogant for you to assume it will change them. Your revenge will not pierce their hearts and make them bleed for what they have done.confused

 

What company do you work with? How do you somehow know the demographic that Benny is writing for, and all exceptions to said demographic (aka, random, over-patriotic Americans who are interested in reading simply because the word America has been mentioned in a [slightly] negative sense)? Or are you just exaggeration your knowledge of the situation for the sake of your argument?

 

Benny said:

If you ignore my decade of many many such experiences, you miss the entire motivation behind why I wrote the post.

Well, I have three decades of being an American, so I think it's fair to say that I've met more of them than you have, both in and outside of the United States. I will admit, as I said above, that some Americans exhibit some of the behaviors you describe, but not all the time, and not in every instance.

 

You have three decades of seeing America from the inside. You have NOT got three decades of seeing America from the outside, which I think was the point of the blog post... and once again I ask; How many Americans do I have to meet before I form an opinion (in a general sense) of them?

 

Benny said:

I don't regret it in the slightest.

I neither want nor expect your regret. I just want to express myself, as you did.

 

Then why are you still here, hoping that someone realises that a mistake has been made and apologises?

 

Benny said:

Since no other culture in the world has been more deservant of what I wrote because of this (in my opinion), I doubt I'll ever write a post like this again, but I will share my frank thoughts when it's relevant.

By this statement you prove my assumption that you believe that American culture is the only culture that doesn't deserve respect. You can't deny that every culture has it's good points and bad point, but my belief is that they all in the very least deserve respect. You won't write another post like this because you believe all cultures deserve respect EXCEPT American culture. This is why you are a hypocrite.

 

No, he is saying that American culture, by virtue of the fact that MOST (and I capitalise 'most' so you don't use generalising as an argument against this point) American tourists seem to believe that theirs is the one that every other culture should be judged... therefore comes the resistance, and the point of his post. Hypocrisy bypassed, methinks. 

 

Benny said:

Frankly if you keep ignoring the REAL reason I wrote the post, and start claiming that I'm just doing it because complaining about America is the hip thing to do, or because it's my only idea to desperately get traffic, then your head is in the clouds and you need to examine what I said about sensitivity and reacting to honesty, and the importance of retrospection and seeing yourself from foreign eyes.

I am married to an Austrian, I live in Europe, I have a large European family, and I work for an international organization. I do not need your help to see America from foreign eyes. Trust me.

 

Apparently, not the case... considering you mention in earlier posts how you regularly find it difficult to live with the European perception of America.

 

Benny said:

I've said it before and I'll said it again; do not hold your breath on an apology from me for writing that post. The last thing you'll get from me is politically correct watered down apologies in case I've offended anyone. You're a big boy America, you can take it.

I do not want an apology. I just want to give my own opinion of your post and you can do whatever you want with it. The first time I met a girl from Pakistan when I was 18, I admit that I had some silly questions for her. She could have gone home and posted on her blog about how stupid Americans are, but instead she suggested that we get lunch some time so that we could have a cultural exchange. She ended up being one of my best friends for three years.

Instead of perpertuating negative perceptions like you did, she took the time to enrich my life. Obviously you can't do that with everyone you meet, but you could have done that with your blog post. Instead of saying "Americans have such big egos", "they DESERVE what I'm saying about them", "I'm getting revenge", etc., you could have neutrally described your observations, and explained how these behaviors are perceived by Europeans (in your humble opinion). But instead you decided to use provocative language and insults to "vent frustrations" and "give them a taste of their own medicine". Medicine is supposed to cure the problem, not exacerbate it.

Instead of trying to give "bad" Americans a "taste of their own medicine", you could have tried to give them an education. You had a chance to be the better man, and you blew it. You could have been an example of how truly open and globally-minded people should behave, but instead you became exactly what you ranted against. I don't expect you to care about what I have to say, but I'm satisfied that I have explained myself as clearly and respectfully as I can.

I find it difficult (from my non-American eyes) to see how this was a direct attack on America in general. It was a post (it says it in the name) about why THIS EUROPEAN DOES NOT WANT TO LIVE IN AMERICA... if you were offended by every European who said he does not want to live in America well... what's the point in listening? There are entire hordes of them. At least THIS particular European gave reasons for them.

 

Just because someone advocates having an open mind about other cultures, and why diversity should be respected and used to enrich our lives does NOT mean we have to blindly ignore everything that we find as irritants, open-minded or not.

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Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
December 29, 2011
06:40
bri thought
Tokyo, Japan

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Cameron said:

I didn't say that you wrote the post because it was chic, I said you were able to write the post without a larger outcry because bashing Americans is chic in general.

 

I agree that bashing Americans is chic (hell, even among Americans themselves, in some circles) and that this would be hypocritical coming from someone like Benny. But I think the reason why there wasn't a larger outcry over this blog is simply because most people recognize it wasn't bashing Americans.


You didn't give anyone a "taste of their own medicine" because the Americans you are talking about aren't reading your blog! It's like going to an Esperanto conference and condemning all the Americans in the room for being monolingual.

No, it's like going to an Esperanto conference and giving a talk about how American monolingualism is viewed by non-Americans, which I think would be appropriate. Benny didn't directly attack his readers and demand their repentance, like it seems you're suggesting.

Benny said:

By this statement you prove my assumption that you believe that American culture is the only culture that doesn't deserve respect. 

 

Benny has a lot of American friends, enjoys visiting often, and has mentioned some things he likes and respects about America (though not as the main topic of this particular post). I think it's safe to say he's not anti-American. And frankly, Benny would have to be an idiot to write a blog "condemning" all his American readers or saying they don't deserve respect when so many of his readers are American (yet, he supposedly wrote it for more traffic… how exactly does that work?) His blog is his livelihood and I think he knows a little better than to shoot himself in the foot like that. If you read what he has said time and time again, it's not that Americans don't deserve respect, but that we don't deserve the politically correct tiptoeing we so often demand because we are well known for not giving it in return (and yes, I know that's not all of us, that's pretty much the definition of "generalization" so you don't need to remind us wink And as an aside, if you're so opposed to being lumped in with "those kind of Americans" and insist you're different and uncategorizable (?), then why get offended on their behalf? If you went to that talk about monolingualism in America at an Esperanto conference, would you stand up and say, "I'm American and I'm not monolingual! It's not everybody, you know! I'm sick of being stereotyped!" Even though it was nowhere implied that it applies to all Americans?) 


Instead of saying "Americans have such big egos", "they DESERVE what I'm saying about them", "I'm getting revenge", etc., you could have neutrally described your observations, and explained how these behaviors are perceived by Europeans (in your humble opinion). But instead you decided to use provocative language and insults to "vent frustrations" and "give them a taste of their own medicine". 

 

I'm also a fan of taking the higher road, turning the other cheek, etc. I like your idea and I see where you're coming from, but I just don't think most of us saw the "provocative language and insults" that you're seeing. If I (and this goes for the other members defending the post here, I'm sure) had felt anyone was directly being attacked or that Benny was being culturally insensitive, we would agree with the above statement regardless of the country. Your suggestion that we would let such attacks slide because we think America-bashing is cool is not giving us very much credit.

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December 29, 2011
09:56
Cameron
Den Haag, NL

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I just want to clarify a few points (from the various respondants) that appear have gotten confused (or intentionally ignored for convenience).

1. I personally never said that Benny wrote the post only for blog hits. I also don't think he fiendishly rubbed his hands together while chuckling about how he'll "get away with it". I personally believe he wrote the post because he is a hypocrite for the reasons I've already mentioned.

2. I was not offended by Benny's post, because I know it's not accurate, and because his opinion (to me) isn't worth the toilet paper I used this morning (I imagine he feels the same way about mine). I am disappointed because when I came to this forum I assumed it would be an open place where all cultures would be equally respected, and I wished to express that disappointment. If any other member of this forum made such a post, I would have ignored it, but this one came from the Admin who purports himself to be worldly and open. I find it difficult to let hypocrisy go unchallenged, even if, as appears to be the case, I'm just being dismissed (probably because I'm American).

3. I am certainly not offended that he doesn't want to live in the United States. If he has such a low opinion of us, he's free to stay as far away as possible.

4. Having friends from or visiting a country does not give one the moral authority to pass judgment on an entire culture. Full stop.

5. The assertion that I cannot evaluate Americans because I am one is absurd.

6. As I explained before, my problem is not with what Benny said, but how he said it. He could have respectfully given his observations, but instead he refers to all Americans as if they were misbehaving teenagers. For example, if at our hypothetical Esperanto conference, Benny gave a speech called "Monolingualism in America", I would listen, but if the speech he actually gave was, "Those Idiotic Americans with their Big Egos Who Need a Taste of their Own Medicine Need to Grow Up and Learn Another Language", I would be disappointed and would lose respect for him. This is basically what he has done.

 

P.S. Jasminetea, thanks very much for your thoughtful response. I disagree, but I greatly appreciate the respectful way in which you expressed yourself.

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December 29, 2011
13:02
Benny
worldwide book tour (Ireland until May 22)

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I actually really like Americans and could have written 20 posts about how much fun I had in America and why I'll definitely be back; it's whiny expat Americans like you that never shut up, who got me started on this whole thing.

Nothing good can come of this thread and everything has been said. Retorts to overstate that I'm a "hypocrite" or that certain people are pissed off have been done to death, and I'm sick of people missing the point and arguments falling on deaf ears. I'm closing this thread. You are welcome to comment on the original post, but dragging this negativity out over several months in the forums is not helping anyone.

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