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  1. #1
    78% Hikikomori shaggyjebus's Avatar
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    Does Everyone Have the Right to Complain?

    Everybody disses on America nowadays, and it is understandable, but does anyone who doesn't like in the States really have a right to do so?

    I can say that England or Russia are awful countries with backwards ways, but I've never been to either country, so how can I justify my statements? "I heard this about the country . . . " That really doesn't do it, does it? I've heard that Japan is fantastic, but I've never been there: Can I really say that it's a better country than America? After all, there are a lot of hikikomoris there (people who withdraw into their rooms and don't interact with society), and the suicide rate is through the roof. If I lived there, I might hate it and wish I lived somewhere else. Or I might love it to death. I wouldn't know unless I went there.

    Do people not see that it really is not possible to judge a place without seeing what it is like firsthand? Just seeing a place on the news isn't good enough because the news only cares about ratings; they may show the bad places in order to get viewers.

    A brilliant example lies in the Middle East. We heard all about the horrible way women are treated there, and we thought the Middle East was savage for having such a civilization. Then, the law saying that women had to wear the thing over their hair was repealed. (Or something like that; I don't know the names of all the stuff.) People thought, "That's wonderful. Now the women aren't so oppressed." However, even after the law was repealed, a lot of women kept wearing the things. In short, the women there don't hate their lives, and their civilization certainly isn't savage to them.

    So, does anyone really have a right to judge and bad mouth the United States unless they've been here and lived here? Taking it a step further, however, can I as a citizen criticize the States as a whole when I've only lived in one state? I can certainly criticize my state, but what about the other fifty? The answer to this is simple - the country makes laws that affect me, as a citizen, that don't affect people who don't live here. Thus, my criticisms can be justified (as long as I don't go overboard and say that Nevada sucks, though I've never been there).

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Shaggyjebus:
    I agree with some of what you are saying and have been echoing a lot of what you say to others in both the States and abroad. It's funny, we have a nice collaboration going with a research group in the Netherlands in which we get to go there to lecture and they send students here for extended periods of times to do research. What is funny, is when you are in the lab and talk to them about their preconceived opinions of the US and how it is different or similar to what they thought. Hands down, the US was MUCH different than what they thought...They were surprised at how divided we are about politics and how progressive a state like California could be. Long story short, every time we get a noob from the Netherlands it is great to discuss politics and environmental issues with them both at the begining of the stay and at the end. Recently, (yesterday) one of them went home and although it was sad to see him go, it was good knowing that his view of the States had changed. For those of you in the States, Europe just sees us a bunch of George Bush lovers, gun toting, burger eating, meat heads. If you agree with them or have that same opinion, then you are sorely mistaken and are generalizing too many people and most likely ignorant and watch too much t.v. (I guess I am generalizing too...).

    To that end, I have made it to travel as much as possible both in the US and abroad (and not just to Europe). One goal in life for me is to set foot on every Continent in the world (I only have 3 left!) and I think it is critical in todays fast moving global economy to make an effort to travel often and to different countries. I have often thought, that children in the US would greatly value traveling and working in a foreign country between high school and college. I think it would be a very educational experience and could help break stereotypes both in their minds and in the minds of the inhabitants of the country. I love seeing Australians in our country and talk with them frequently; I think on a whole they travel more than any other society and are enriched for it.

    I realize that not everybody can travel for lesiure, but you can for education. Most of the users/members of MangaShare are between the ages of 17-21...for gods sake take advantage of your educational system and TRAVEL ABROAD!

    Anyhow, my 2 cents. Thoughts? Suggestions?
    Last edited by Franky; 08-16-2007 at 12:09 AM. Reason: grammatics and views


  3. #3
    Global Moderator Jinoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    Everybody disses on America nowadays, and it is understandable, but does anyone who doesn't like in the States really have a right to do so?

    I can say that England or Russia are awful countries with backwards ways, but I've never been to either country, so how can I justify my statements? "I heard this about the country . . . " That really doesn't do it, does it? I've heard that Japan is fantastic, but I've never been there: Can I really say that it's a better country than America? After all, there are a lot of hikikomoris there (people who withdraw into their rooms and don't interact with society), and the suicide rate is through the roof. If I lived there, I might hate it and wish I lived somewhere else. Or I might love it to death. I wouldn't know unless I went there.

    Do people not see that it really is not possible to judge a place without seeing what it is like firsthand? Just seeing a place on the news isn't good enough because the news only cares about ratings; they may show the bad places in order to get viewers.

    A brilliant example lies in the Middle East. We heard all about the horrible way women are treated there, and we thought the Middle East was savage for having such a civilization. Then, the law saying that women had to wear the thing over their hair was repealed. (Or something like that; I don't know the names of all the stuff.) People thought, "That's wonderful. Now the women aren't so oppressed." However, even after the law was repealed, a lot of women kept wearing the things. In short, the women there don't hate their lives, and their civilization certainly isn't savage to them.

    So, does anyone really have a right to judge and bad mouth the United States unless they've been here and lived here? Taking it a step further, however, can I as a citizen criticize the States as a whole when I've only lived in one state? I can certainly criticize my state, but what about the other fifty? The answer to this is simple - the country makes laws that affect me, as a citizen, that don't affect people who don't live here. Thus, my criticisms can be justified (as long as I don't go overboard and say that Nevada sucks, though I've never been there).

    Thoughts?
    every country has it's own awfull laws and other shit, but only the best stories reach worldwide news, which mostly gets editted to make it fetchy for the viewers..

    imo, yes we may complain, but if you do, you should take in consideration not to try offending and/or provoking others, which causes alot of arguments..

    all shit happens because of people their opinions, people don't take in mind to place theirselves in other people their positions and look at the problems in their aspect of view..

    most people can't think clearly anymore (not about people being retarded or anything like that) because its all about, fear of others, which causes them to be the followers.. this causes people to gain stereotypical opinion.. and hate towards others.

    they should make up their minds and choose what they really believe in without the influence of fear of other people..

    (well, this is my look opun it... i myself am pretty sure alot of people agree with this.. my view on this is because i despise people following others because theyre afraid.. i've experienced enough of this since i was bullied when i was little for over 5 years..[there is one bully, who thinks it's fun, and encourages others to do the same, mostly because of fear that they wont be accepted by the rest] i know it's a bit rash to compare that with my opinion, but all those problems their origins is fear, which leads to hate..)
    ------------------------------------------
    i just wanted to note

    i got bullied because i have an eye handicap, the muscles of my eyes cant seem to co'orporate with eachother, which makes one eye stay in "lazy eye" position, which also causes me to watch with one eye at a time, my left eye is active with viewing everything at a distance, my right eye is active when looking at anything nearby, this causes "the lazy eye position" to switch depending where i look at... i've already had 2 surgerys, for a few weeks my eyes were positioned like normal person their eyes, but eventually the handicap slowly came back..
    Last edited by Jinoh; 08-15-2007 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  4. #4
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    I have been to the states - And have seen the stereotypes.

    A country controlled by a right wing gun toting bible belt with a high crime rate, weak economy and high obesity rate.

    Anyone care to correct me?

    Also - Shaggyjebus - What stereotypes have you heard of England being a backwards nation?


  5. #5
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    Yeah, chiming in on the been the USA and no it isn't the "Land of the Free" or the "American Dream" or any of that. It's the home to lack of rights, and too much religion.

    Feel free to correct me.
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  6. #6
    The Irish Cougar MountainLionLink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woofcat View Post
    Yeah, chiming in on the been the USA and no it isn't the "Land of the Free" or the "American Dream" or any of that. It's the home to lack of rights, and too much religion.
    religion corrupts everything, plain and simple.

    Why people must have faith in a false media instead of their own hearts makes no sense to me.
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  7. #7
    78% Hikikomori shaggyjebus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noodleplugerine View Post
    I have been to the states - And have seen the stereotypes.

    A country controlled by a right wing gun toting bible belt with a high crime rate, weak economy and high obesity rate.

    Anyone care to correct me?

    Also - Shaggyjebus - What stereotypes have you heard of England being a backwards nation?
    I haven't heard anything about it being a backwards country; I just needed something to say, and that's all I could think of, though I believe many in the States do tend to see England as weird and old because of the Queen issue. Not many people understand why the Queen is there, or why people respect her when she seems to do nothing.

    Besides that, I do wish to correct you: The United States is far from being entirely right-wing and gun-toting and Bible thumping. Did you only go to the South? It seems that's where that stuff is mostly located, though even down here, not everyone is like that. There is much dissent within America, with a lot of people against right-wing politics, for gun control, and wanting a less religious hold on everything.

    In all my years, I've met more left-wing than right-wing people, more people for gun control, and more flexible Christians/non-Christians than the opposite here in America. It is true that we have a lot of crime, and our economy has its share of problems, but one seems to go hand in hand with the other, with crime being high in poor areas, and poor areas existing because there aren't any good jobs because of the crime, and so on.

    I'm rambling now, but to make it short, it's like Franky said (a very good job he did, too). We're very diverse, and it's like every state is different from every other one. Some have a lot of crime, some have next to none, some love guns, some abhor them, and within those states, there are different groups for each side. With a country the size of America, with every part of it as industrialized as the entire country, it's impossible for one thing to be "America." You might as well say that Scotland and Ireland are the same.
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  8. #8
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    To accurately approach this question, you need to know a lot about the world: history, laws, current events, infrastructure, culture, economics, sociology...
    However, I think political and cultural obstacles are what corrupt most of the world. For instance, communism (an economic structure technically) promises power to the people and economic prosperity as well as equality, yet in the end communist countries sacrifice their citizens for the better welfare of few at the top of the political structure and continuously struggle economically. Now, some communist countries have adapted to postmodern times and do possess stability, but they still restrict basic freedoms like the right to own your own business.

    [I use this as a general example not a one size fits all type of thing]
    ------------------------------------------
    Meh, just do a LOT of research before u say anything about anything. If you feel the least bit skeptical about a criticism of another country, person, or work of some kind, DO NOT ACCEPT what everybody says because their is likely to be bias or some agenda behind it. Now, I suppose not trusting anybody is too irrational.. I suppose someone you know investigates things well would suffice.

    Most news organizations and government document won't tell the whole story or perhaps may even skew data.
    ------------------------------------------
    I don't like many things about many countries, but I think that extreme poverty and really bad political leaders are the worst.

    I am confident both of those things exist in all countries.

    BTW, extreme poverty is basically working to survive on less than one dollar a day.
    ------------------------------------------
    However, it's also important to acknowledge the good side of countries... but thats not this thread.
    Last edited by g7_gomitat7; 08-16-2007 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    Everybody disses on America nowadays, and it is understandable, but does anyone who doesn't like in the States really have a right to do so?
    Can someone who's never tasted strawberry icecream say they don't like the taste of strawberry icecream? This is pretty much kicking in an opened door. Freedom of speech dictates one can say what they want, Logic dictates it's best if it actually has some form of validation or if it makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    A brilliant example lies in the Middle East. We heard all about the horrible way women are treated there, and we thought the Middle East was savage for having such a civilization. Then, the law saying that women had to wear the thing over their hair was repealed. (Or something like that; I don't know the names of all the stuff.) People thought, "That's wonderful. Now the women aren't so oppressed." However, even after the law was repealed, a lot of women kept wearing the things. In short, the women there don't hate their lives, and their civilization certainly isn't savage to them.
    A few things I'd like to comment on:


    1) It seems you have a fault many Americans have, and that is to refer to general areas in the world as one and the same. Now, I can understand that might have something to do with living in a conglomerate of states yourself, however, when discussing it's not smart to refer to an area simply as "The Middle East" or Europe, be somewhat more specific, because a few miles can make a huge difference between the people who live there. Let's take as an example 2 countries in the so called "Middle East", let's say Egypt and Iran. Now, although they're both countries with a large amount of Muslim inhabitants, I'd take a wild guess (Please note i've never been to any of those 2 countries myself) that It's generally safer for a western person to walk around in a village in Egypt than it'd be in Iran.

    Also, the "the thing over their hair", aka either a Niqaab or a veil, is basically part of their religion, and saying "Gratz people, You don't have to wear it anymore!" would be somewhat the same like telling a christian "Hey man, you don't have to wear a necklace with a cross on it, you're free to take it off!" In other words, madness (although I suppose that was somewhat of your point, though it's fun to see people in america thought it'd cause masses of sandpeople taking off their veils etc.)
    Anyway, I'm drifting off, back to my main point.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    Do people not see that it really is not possible to judge a place without seeing what it is like firsthand? Just seeing a place on the news isn't good enough because the news only cares about ratings; they may show the bad places in order to get viewers.
    Does someone have to be shot themselves to know it's painful to be shot? I admit, it's a rather odd example, but it was one of the first things I could think of, don't burn me plx.
    I realize that not all of america are Gunslinging yankees with ranches and a great deal of patriotism, but seeing how your president is one, it is rather safe to assume a majority of your population is in fact the same. After all, why else would they have voted on him?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    So, does anyone really have a right to judge and bad mouth the United States unless they've been here and lived here? Taking it a step further, however, can I as a citizen criticize the States as a whole when I've only lived in one state? I can certainly criticize my state, but what about the other fifty? The answer to this is simple - the country makes laws that affect me, as a citizen, that don't affect people who don't live here. Thus, my criticisms can be justified (as long as I don't go overboard and say that Nevada sucks, though I've never been there).
    In general, one can comment on what they hear/see and be fairly accurate, I don't believe the media are actively trying to cloud my judgement of things here in the Netherlands.
    In fact, why not take it one step further: How can one say your own state sucks while not being an active participant in the political process? After all, they make the decisions and I suppose much of what's discussed in regards to decisions never leaves the places where it's discussed.

    Also, you fall into your own logic, take a close look at the following statements made by you:

    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    I can say that England or Russia are awful countries with backwards ways, but I've never been to either country, so how can I justify my statements? "I heard this about the country . . . " That really doesn't do it, does it?
    and
    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    A brilliant example lies in the Middle East. We heard all about the horrible way women are treated there, and we thought the Middle East was savage for having such a civilization.
    I'd call something like this somewhat odd :p



    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post
    I haven't heard anything about it being a backwards country; I just needed something to say, and that's all I could think of, though I believe many in the States do tend to see England as weird and old because of the Queen issue. Not many people understand why the Queen is there, or why people respect her when she seems to do nothing.
    As someone from a country with a queen myself, I can say most people just see a queen just as a sort of figurehead of the country, abit of a family of, for the lack of a better comparison, celebrities.
    Having a queen/king is a tradition that goes way back in europe, hell, let's see, I only know of about 3 countries in Europe without a king or queen, and I don't think any country who has one actually allows them to become (too) politically involved. Basically, your queen is your country.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post

    Besides that, I do wish to correct you: The United States is far from being entirely right-wing and gun-toting and Bible thumping. Did you only go to the South? It seems that's where that stuff is mostly located, though even down here, not everyone is like that. There is much dissent within America, with a lot of people against right-wing politics, for gun control, and wanting a less religious hold on everything.
    The ruling class decides the policies, and I can't really say I've seen any of those things you listed there being currently one of the major political issues in the Bush Government.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post

    In all my years, I've met more left-wing than right-wing people, more people for gun control, and more flexible Christians/non-Christians than the opposite here in America. It is true that we have a lot of crime, and our economy has its share of problems, but one seems to go hand in hand with the other, with crime being high in poor areas, and poor areas existing because there aren't any good jobs because of the crime, and so on.
    So if the problem is there and generally aknowledged by the population, why the lack of change/progress on those issues? ^^ I know Rome wasn't built in a day, however, I haven't heard they made an active start in getting rid of poverty and crime.


    Quote Originally Posted by shaggyjebus View Post

    [...]With a country the size of America, with every part of it as industrialized as the entire country, it's impossible for one thing to be "America." You might as well say that Scotland and Ireland are the same.
    Scotland and Ireland as Northern Ireland, both being part of the UK, or as Scotland the part of the UK and the Republic of Ireland? :p
    I'll asume you meant the first, and in that case I'd like to say they're, as far as I know (and I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance, so says Socrates) they're politically one and the same, although they definately have a different mindset.

    In conclusion I'd like to say that Americans, in general, are not used to too much differences in alot of areas (Be it religion, be it in government, etc) while the rest of the world is pretty much used to them. Let's take the Netherlands as an example, we are rather small (miniscule when you compare it to the USA), while we, on this small strip of land, have: Lots of muslims in the cities (lots of whining about that too, but meh) Catholics in the south, protestants in the north, Catholics in Belgium, Anglican Christians in England across the channel, Belgian Fries in belgium, Bratwurst in Germany, high tea in england and hutspot in the netherlands (I'll continue with this list because of Umberto Eco, who has shown to me that large lists of objects are annoying to read through, Long live Umberto Eco imho)
    We have people who speak Frysian (A generally incomprihensible dialect that's spoken in one of our northern provinces), people who speak dutch, we're thought to study about 3-5 different languages from ages 12 and onward (english about 2 years earlier, and I guess you'll learn frysian to if you happen to live in the part of the netherlands where they speak it), while people all around us speak French, English, German, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Italian, etc etc etc etc.
    We have our own little feuds with neighbouring countries, the Belgians are stupid, the germans are mainly interrested in beer and saucages, the french are chauvinistic pigs as are the Americans, etc etc.
    So, with such a huge disparity in culture, religion, languages, cuisine and politics, I guess most europeans are actually quite capable of looking at other countries while being able to remain somewhat biased.

    Anyway, my closing statement was way too long, shame on me.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain_Lion_Link View Post
    religion corrupts everything, plain and simple.

    Why people must have faith in a false media instead of their own hearts makes no sense to me.
    I disagree religion doesn't corrupts everything. Every religions the has the same basic idea, not to kill and do good things. Just that some people chooses to kill and blaming in on god.

    You could choose rather you want to believe in that false media or not. Some people choose to believe in it. Rather it's because they lost their family and have no where to turn to or because they got a job after praying. Sadly, there are some people who take religions to the extreme.

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