Just came back from 6 weeks in Europe and one of the first things I want to internet about is the fact that I love America.
And I'm half-European. Raised by a Dutch mother and I'm a dual citizen of the USA and the Netherlands. I love the Dutch people and their ways. Visiting Holland as a kid growing up was an incredibly enriching experience I'm grateful for, and I know it influenced my mentality in important ways - simply to know of a culture that is different from mine, and that things can be done differently in surprising wonderful ways. No doubt Holland is an amazing land, and that each country in the world has something special and unique about its land, culture and people.
However, there's many people in the world and Europe who have some nasty opinions of America and Americans AND many of these people have NEVER even been there! Where do they get their sophisticated opinions from? (Televison)
It's quite common for some foolish Europeans, moreso in France than anywhere else I've visited, to casually ridicule America. Often the sentiment is that it has no culture, and I've heard this sentiment from Europeans for many years, especially those who have never been to America.
Yeah it's outrageous. You're welcome for stopping those pesky Nazis btw, and you look great in your blue jeans while listening to Lady Gaga on your iPods ...
-- Let me take an important moment for closed minded Americans to mention that people like this are not in the majority. Don't hate on Europe because of a few idiots - it's a wonderful place for it's own reasons. -- BUT there are too many idiots in Europe who think they are clever and cool for talking shit about America - and actually think it's acceptable to say disparaging things about the country to your face. You actually have to remind these fools that they are being rude and ignorant. ---
Back to the topic at hand.
I grew up in a beautiful town in suburban New Jersey, and I love my home. I don't want to hear some Versace head euro fool say nonsense about how America sucks, especially when most people who say it have never even been there!
I'm extremely proud of being an American - and I'm a liberal Euro half Jewish college educated feminist living in NYC who works in film.
Some Europeans say "America has no culture"
- yes we are a younger country.
- But we have EVERY culture living under one roof, blending into a modern eclectic mix!
- Some of the world's greatest innovators in technology and art are Americans, and flight, light, movies, and rock and roll music were invented here.
- Have you ever eaten a meal in a restaurant in NYC, San Francisco, Chicago ... or the bbq in the deep south, crawfish in Louisiana?
For those of you who see America as fat stupid gun toting Americans - I'm sorry, but every country has their stupid hicks. Sometimes they make for great entertainment, and I'm sorry that reality TV highlights our country's biggest morons.
But the next time you go to the movie theatre, it's most likely you are drooling over the work of Americans in Hollywood, and it's very likely you are using something Steve Jobs thought of in California.
America is a land full of diversity, life and vibrant characters. Our idiots are as vibrant as our geniuses.
Also, Americans are fantastic in the realm of politeness. Seriously. People try to be respectful in the most amazing ways. And our waiters are prompt and allow you to be specific! Oh and also, we don't care as much about class/exclusion as the rest of the world, and in fact it's a faux pas to put people down who have less money than you! Which is a wonderful thing, our cultural wealth is accessible, and our ladders can be climbed.
Yes, America has its share of corruption, shame, and ignorance - but hey - we try. We really really try. Our political history is quite remarkable.
Back on American soil, and missing American politeness.
For the record - the Dutch are among the warmest, kindest people (I'm partial but it's true! From my experience the Dutch and Thai people are the most famously friendly.) though I have heard this comment in Holland too. AND the comments got worse after the Bush presidency. The last country I visited was France, and I could do without the attitude. Kid, you nice baguettes but that doesn't mean you can be such a bitch.