Forgive my rambling as I just had a bottle of Pinot and I have been thinking about this all day from a comment a friend made at work. So I just want to write what’s on my mind.
I feel quite perplexed sometimes as to why there is so much animosity towards American’s and their culture. I feel as though I have missed something because as far as I can see, and from friendships I have with American’s, I just don’t see anything wrong with them (on an individual level). They are the most positive people I have ever met. Maybe they’re too positive which contrasts with most people from other countries I know of (not to generalize but it’s hard not to). The few things that I can see that contribute towards anti-Americanism is firstly that monkey of a president George Bush which tends to take over what we see on the News and pretty much affects what goes on in the world. Actually on that point, I believe that TV is the main culprit that contributes to the animosity towards America. Firstly the programs that we have on TV do not paint American’s as the most brightest of people. That show Judge Judy, for example, is full of no-hopers trying to sue each other for the most trivial of things. Not to digress too much but I want to talk about this one episode I saw. This daughter tried to sue her mother because she lent her some money and she didn’t pay the 50% interest that she demanded – ended up being about $500 or some trivial amount like that. She lost the case because there is apparently a law against such a thing, but what caught my attention was the comment the daughter made at the end of the hearing. Basically she told the mother that she wants nothing to do with her again! Unbelievable! So the programs we have on the TV tend to be of that nature. Of American’s doing completely unbelievably stupid things. I must say I do find them quite entertaining as there is something in most of us that finds seeing other people humiliating themselves, especially on TV, very gratifying and I’m sure we all know why. But to get back to the point I was trying to make before. We are all influenced by our senses, and what rewards those senses. When what we see on TV is full of a collective of people that are doing humiliating things then we are rewarded by almost feeling empowered that we are not part of that culture. Does that make sense? To me it does. I may seem quite bent against the media at the moment, which I am, and also is a quite contradictory as my family is full of people in the media – like my oscar/bafta winning sister – my internationally known photographer brother – etc etc – but I can really see that a lot of ills in this world are the direct consequence of what is on TV. Is that really a surprise though? We are all but sheep looking here and there for where to go. Even the most head strong of people are to a point easily influenced. We are all born a blank slate. I really did digress.. must focus!So I believe that a lot of what feeds this anti-American sentiment is the direct result on what we see on TV and read on the paper.
I will leave it there and hope that people will comment on this subject as it is really relevant, and as you can all hide behind the Internet I am really interested in what you all think.
PS – I should have spell checked it etc.. but it was a nice bottle of Pinot