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What does "Ugly American" mean to you?

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  • What does "Ugly American" mean to you?

    For some reason the question of what is an "ugly American" fascinates me. This is a truly global forum so I think this is a great place to ask the question. I have a thick skin so fire away. What is an "ugly American?" What can we as Americans do to change people's perception of us? I have travlled around the world and for me the term "ugly American" means self absorbed and unwilling to accept the culture of others. I think this is a pit fall that many Americans fall into for the simple fact that many of us do not get outside of our own country. My experience is that every place that I have been has been accepting of me if I try to do a couple of basic things.

    1. Speak the language. People seem to be a lot more accepting if I at least attempt to communicate with them in their own language. What I find is that they may deny knowing english until I start to mangle their mother tongue. Once that happens they smile at me like I am simple minded then actually start to converse with me in English.

    2. Eat the food with gusto! I have made many friends simply by ordering what the locals are eating. No burger and fries for me. I will eat innards and smile as long as I can talk to someone!

    Those two things have made me more friends in foreign countries than I can count on two hands worth of fingers. What are your opinions?
    And last but not least here is a link to my favorite nUb tut: http://www.torrent-invites.com/showthread.php?t=237584

  • #2
    What drives anti-american sentiment around the world more than anything is American foreign policy. Seriously, there isn't a thing you can personally do about it. This may not be the answer you want to hear, but more than a half a century of attacking countries, propping up suppressive regimes, sponsoring and training death squads, over throwing democratically elected governments, etc will have a profound affect on your reputation.

    Of course, what I'm describing are power plays by only the most powerful in the US (which are very few). For the most part, Americans are fine people, who are almost indistinguishable from people in my own country.

    The only solution, if that's what you crave, is to push your government away from being what amounts to a global bully. This is easier said than done of course. And the effects wouldn't be noticed for decades.
    "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection."
    - Charles Darwin

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    • #3
      i think its a tv show

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      • #4
        " I have travlled around the world and for me the term "ugly American" means self absorbed and unwilling to accept the culture of others."

        So shouldn't they do the same and not look down on me because i'm speaking my language?

        I only eat food I know! I wouldn't even eat things my mom cooked when I was a kid.
        I will on occasion try new food, but never in a crowded restaurant.
        Don't think people want to see me chucking the food back on the plate.

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        • #5
          There are cultured and non-cultured Americans. Sure you have your bigoted types but there are plenty of open minded Americans here. Just look at Obama's presidential election and what it means in light of the country's perspective on race and equality. The US population is becoming more progressive. Yeah I would have to say that US foreign policy and bogus anti-American propaganda feeds every anti-American sentiment.

          The US was the backbone that helped Europe win both WWI and WWII. Not to mention that it was the US who financially rebuilt western Europe and Japan from the ruins and kept it out of communist hands after WWII, created the NATO alliance and promoted free trade to help them create a global economy, and kept Russia and its communist ambitions of world dominance contained. If the US hadn't prevailed during the cold war, the world would looked very differently under Russian dominance.

          The US is the only reason why Japan and South Korea haven't been attacked and invaded by China or North Korea. "Ugly American?" Non-sense.
          Last edited by Proleteriat; April 10, 2013, 02:30 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Proleteriat View Post
            The US was the backbone that helped Europe win both WWI and WWII. Not to mention that it was the US who financially rebuilt western Europe and Japan from the ruins and kept it out of communist hands after WWII, created the NATO alliance and promoted free trade to help them create a global economy, and kept Russia and its communist ambitions of world dominance contained. If the US hadn't prevailed during the cold war, the world would looked very differently under Russian dominance.

            The US is the only reason why Japan and South Korea haven't been attacked and invaded by China or North Korea. "Ugly American?" Non-sense.
            That's a nice little bit of history revisionism. I can't decide if you're trolling or not.
            "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection."
            - Charles Darwin

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            • #7
              Originally posted by s2cuts View Post
              That's a nice little bit of history revisionism. I can't decide if you're trolling or not.
              I do not think he is trolling. This is something that is taught to many Americans in schools across the country. Taught actually is too strong a word, this is world view that is encouraged. In American schools we are taught about the Marshall plan following World War II, the rebuilding of European infrastructure and the American role in that rebuilding. As you can imagine we are also taught about America's wars against communism. History is subjective and what we learn depends on where we live and what system we live under. I myself am a History major so I understand where Proletariat is coming from. I also understand that this is only one aspect of the real history. For instance I know that without the involvement of Russia in world war two things would have turned out far differently than they did. It is because of the efforts of the Soviet Union that the allies were able to secure victory in WWII. However that being said Americans are understandably proud of their role in WWII. The same can be said about the involvement of the United States in WWII without the U.S. the allies would have certainly lost the war. There are two sides to every coin.
              And last but not least here is a link to my favorite nUb tut: http://www.torrent-invites.com/showthread.php?t=237584

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tooms View Post
                I do not think he is trolling. This is something that is taught to many Americans in schools across the country. Taught actually is too strong a word, this is world view that is encouraged. In American schools we are taught about the Marshall plan following World War II, the rebuilding of European infrastructure and the American role in that rebuilding. As you can imagine we are also taught about America's wars against communism. History is subjective and what we learn depends on where we live and what system we live under. I myself am a History major so I understand where Proletariat is coming from. I also understand that this is only one aspect of the real history. For instance I know that without the involvement of Russia in world war two things would have turned out far differently than they did. It is because of the efforts of the Soviet Union that the allies were able to secure victory in WWII. However that being said Americans are understandably proud of their role in WWII. The same can be said about the involvement of the United States in WWII without the U.S. the allies would have certainly lost the war. There are two sides to every coin.
                Thank you Tooms. You've got my respect.
                Last edited by Proleteriat; April 10, 2013, 05:19 PM.

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                • #9
                  Guys, there's a reason for the "Ugly American" sentiment. And it's not for the 'version' of history that [MENTION=180793]Proleteriat[/MENTION] posted.

                  If you want to truly understand why the anti-american sentiment exists, you're going to have to drop any nationalistic sentiment and move outside of your comfort zone. There is a very dark side to American foreign policy. Start with some of Noam Chomsky's work.
                  "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection."
                  - Charles Darwin

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                  • #10
                    Ok fine Ill take one for the team. I AM THE UGLY AMERICAN!!!! and I am unapologetic about it. Everyone happy now. There isnt one country out there who doesnt have a "dark side" and if you think there is one then you are just fooling yourself.

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                    • #11
                      I think there's an irony to saying an entire country is racist/useless to be honest.
                      A lot of people (including myself) need to take a big long look at themselves before they make statements about an entire country. I have met plenty of Americans who are great people :)
                      I think the issue is American politics affects everyone, so everyone has something to say.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RedHeadLover View Post
                        Ok fine Ill take one for the team. I AM THE UGLY AMERICAN!!!! and I am unapologetic about it. Everyone happy now. There isnt one country out there who doesnt have a "dark side" and if you think there is one then you are just fooling yourself.
                        I think you're missing the point of what the OP was asking. He's trying to understand why the anti-american sentiment exists, and how to alleviate it. Mind you, the same type of hatred around the globe doesn't exist for other countries the way it does for America.

                        If you want to sincerely understand the problem, you're going to have to drop your patriotic biases, and seek out answers to hard questions (see my last post). If you can't do that, you can't possibly affect any real change in your country.
                        "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection."
                        - Charles Darwin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by s2cuts View Post
                          the same type of hatred around the globe doesn't exist for other countries the way it does for America.


                          Originally posted by s2cuts View Post
                          you're going to have to drop your patriotic biases, and seek out answers to hard questions (see my last post). If you can't do that, you can't possibly affect any real change in your country.
                          "You sir are a bigot." - Richard Dawkins
                          Last edited by Proleteriat; April 11, 2013, 04:03 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I think most people are "ugly citizens" of what ever country, mainly because of the believes handed down (Or the lack thereof) by popular opinions of family and political propaganda of said country and person. I am from U.S.A. and most of the people I know here are ugly stupid drones doing what they have been trained to do, I.E. work at A "Legal" job no matter what and trust the government with out question. I am vastly different and their are many like me in that regard. And labeling A whole country in As specific type of people is ludicrous. All people are different. and where the masses of the world are under educated simple thought followers, Their will always be those who are not the same as the rest, regardless of where their from or how they think. I am many things and "Ugly American" only fits when I am pissed off or way to drunk( Witch happens once in A wail).


                            #5
                            Last edited by SteviLGenius; April 13, 2013, 10:44 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Proleteriat View Post
                              "You sir are a bigot." - Richard Dawkins
                              Dude, I'm not sure you're clear on the meaning of the word bigot.

                              BTW, nice bit of cowardice there where you're trying to call me a bigot with an out of context quote. Instead of searching for quotes to try an sanitize your post, you should have just called me a bigot, and spent the time you spent searching for the quote explaining why it is you think I'm a bigot.
                              "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection."
                              - Charles Darwin

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