America: A Degenerate Society?

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Re: America: A Degenerate Society?

Postby Arigatomina » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:54 pm

aesling wrote:No culture is perfect, because people aren't perfect, so to pick out specific cultural differences that you like and say that somehow makes those countries "better" is ridiculous, because you are failing to look at the whole and acknowledge their flaws.

I think part of the problem is we started too high. You look around at all these nations that have existed twice as long as us, and you start comparing.

Obesity is up and intelligence is down. That's okay when you remember that we started at the top of the healthy/intelligent scales. Some of our competitors had nowhere to go but up, while we had a long way to fall.

Apathy and dissatisfaction in the government is at an all time high. That's okay when you keep in mind that the US has a history of sticking its nose in other countries' affairs - how many times did we replace Cuba's ruler before we boycotted them? It's part of our national culture to get involved and then spend decades wishing we hadn't. We'll get over it and in a few decades our children won't even remember we did it.

One of our only "true American" holidays is based on getting food from Natives who we later kicked off their land and practiced genocide against. That's okay when you remember that our Irish immigrants were due largely to England's nastiness, and our Jewish population grew after Germany went nuts.

Our country was built largely on the blood of slaves. Yeah, that one's kinda bad, but, hey, you don't see Egypt guilt tripping all over the place. We still count their pyramids as wonders of the world no matter how they were built.

Every country has flaws. Unfortunately most American's aren't aware of both their own flaws *and* the flaws of the countries they're comparing themselves to. They either focus on the positive - wealth, personal freedom, a hand in the government, religious tolerance - or they focus on the negative - nasty history, dropping stats, apathy, and an every man for himself mindset.

When we look at other countries we do the same thing. Negative - Mexico can't even keep its people from fleeing to us for food money to send home, China's killed too many girl babies to count in an effort to counter the absurd population, Iraq can't blow its nose without America to supply the tissue, and who even knows what's going on in Russia and Germany because we stopped paying attention after we kicked their asses in the last world war. For the positive, well, this thread has brought those out nicely. Other countries are friendlier, more united, more loyal to their culture and history, and - in the case of China in particular - on a fast track to becoming a stronger world power than the US could ever be (their ground troops alone make them intimidating).

One thing you can't argue with - as our education levels drop, our young people know less about other countries. So really, we can only blame ourselves if they can't compare those countries fully. They won't know the flaws and benefits unless we teach them. And, according to the stats, we teach them less every year.

/disclaimer: The criticisms of other countries were intended in a sarcastic tone - I'm not trying to insult Mexico, China, Iraq, Russia, Germany, England, or Egypt. I personally have no issue whatsoever with those countries. I think they're no better or worse than the US.
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Postby guy07 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:06 am

Kionon wrote:Dear America
Stuff.


Wow, i can see that being spoken at a ceremony 10 years from now. Did you copy/paste that?cuz if not, serious points there. :up:
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Postby Athena » Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:08 am

guy07 wrote:
Kionon wrote:Dear America
Stuff.


Wow, i can see that being spoken at a ceremony 10 years from now. Did you copy/paste that?cuz if not, serious points there. :up:


No, it's my own work.
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Postby godix » Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:00 am

Several random thoughts

A) If you are an American odds are you are very familiar with jazz, rock & roll, and rap; all of which were started by Americans. Your view of a 'normal' family is most likely the 50's idealized Norman Rockwell nuclear family even if the vast majority of people you know IRL come from single parent homes. You find it odd if someone is older than mid 20's and still living with their parents. If you're familiar with extended families at all it's because you know an immigrant family or are part of one. Most of your entertainment is indoors and electronic like TV/game systems/computers. The last book you read is probably the last book that was assigned to you in school (or Harry Potter, and if you're an adult and a fucking kids book is the last thing you read then you're just as bad as the moron that never read anything). You just don't understand what starvation is, not at a gut level, because even the worse off in America are well fed. Odds are there are probably several cars in your household and public transportation generally doesn't even enter your thoughts. Working 60 hours a week isn't an unusual idea to you but having child labor/unsafe working conditions/or forced labor is. You believe there should not be discrimination based on race, sex, age, or religion and generally actively fight discrimination when you see it. Chances are you believe in a christian god but don't go to church. Modern medicine is so ingrained into us that we automatically assume any disease has a cure, it's just a matter of finding it. The idea of eating insects, dogs, or cats disgust you. You see nothing odd about the phone system, water, electricity, etc being privately owned. Compared to most the rest of the world you're very VERY creative. You consider the individual more important than the group in almost all cases. You consider european 'cradle to grave' government a bad thing, even if you're a lefty, however odds are you don't have a clue about european governments. You take it as a matter of faith that businesses and government are out to fuck you over but you also take it as a matter of faith that the court system is fair (case in point, a tied election in Mexico lead to riots while a tied election in the US lead to a court decision most people accepted even if they didn't agree with it). You're all for America in a war, provided the war is won decisively and quickly. If a war takes more than a few years you become opposed to it and Americans can't even imagine a war measured in decades. It's assumed real dictatorship will never happen in the US; so much so that a person who was elected to office, has nothing near like control of the government, and will make no attempt to stay in office after his term is done is routinely called a dictator because we just aren't familiar with a real dictator to compare him with.

In other words, there is a distinct American culture. Some of it is good and some of it is not but it does exist. I'd be willing to bet any American reading this instantly knows someone that exhibits what I listed while most non-americans only get it if they've seen US movies/tv.

B) We don't care much about politics because we have it good. Even in bad times we're well feed and well entertained. There are issues that we say we care about but reality is the circuses the politicians throw around just aren't that important. Sure we'd like expanded health care but it isn't that important if we don't get it, the health care we got is good enough. Sure we'd like our troops home but honestly out of a nation of 300 million a few thousand military deaths just isn't that much. The environment is something we claim to care about but our actions have shown that we don't really, at least not to the level environmental groups want us to. What most people want from politicians is 'don't fuck up what I got already' and that just isn't a great motivator to get involved. When things do get to the major fuckup level we'll start caring and following politics again. Until then, screw it.

C) We're a christian society which means we're uncomfortable with open displays of possible sexuality to begin with. We're easily lead sheep whenever the latest scare comes along and several of our recent scares have been about children being molested. Those two things combined explain why we're so leery on touchy feely stuff. A friend of mine has a picture of his 2 year old daughter in the bath as the background of his cellphone. Now almost any parent has pictures like that of their kid, it's common enough there's a cliche of parents embarrassing their children by showing their dates those pictures. My friend got investigated for possessing child porn because of this picture. Doesn't take too many things like that to make someone go 'I ain't doing anything that could even remotely be seen as sexual ever again'.
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Postby JaddziaDax » Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:00 pm

you also forget that once labeled a "sexual predator" innocent or guilty that reputation sticks with you where ever you go :/
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Postby guy07 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:23 pm

Kionon wrote:
guy07 wrote:
Kionon wrote:Dear America
Stuff.


Wow, i can see that being spoken at a ceremony 10 years from now. Did you copy/paste that?cuz if not, serious points there. :up:


No, it's my own work.


That's right, your a freelance writer aren't you? I though it sounded like a pro job, lol
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Postby Athena » Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:53 pm

JaddziaDax wrote:you also forget that once labeled a "sexual predator" innocent or guilty that reputation sticks with you where ever you go :/


And in Amerikkka, those criminally considered "sex offenders" are made of, in large part, convicted statutory rapists where the age difference was ridiculous. Like varying combinations of 16, 17, 18, and 19, depending on the state laws on consent. These people, while usually no more than two years older, and in many cases less, than the person they slept with, will forever be lumped in with child molesters, rapists, etc. They will have to stay away from public places, schools, churches, etc. Even though their only crime was sleeping with their significant other.
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:43 pm

Canada's even more nuts about that kinda stuff though... lolicon is child porn there and their border guards have been known to search your shit if they know you're coming from an anime con.
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Postby Fall_Child42 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:54 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:Canada's even more nuts about that kinda stuff though... lolicon is child porn there and their border guards have been known to search your shit if they know you're coming from an anime con.


Actually no. Well yes it's true Drawn Childporn is considered Childporn.

however we are much more lax when it comes to what kionon was talking about. you are allowed a two year difference from 14 until 18. (assuming we are talking hetero couples) and from 18 on the age differance ceases to matter.

For soe reason (i'm guessing from our victorian beginnings, Female only couples have to be 16 and males 18.

P.S. I was bored in law class on day so i started looking things up in the Criminal Code :O

It's also illegal to dual.
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Postby guy07 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:15 pm

Fall_Child42 wrote:It's also illegal to dual.


Are we talking gun or swords?
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:17 pm

Since it's a state to state thing here you get weird laws though... You can marry (and hence have consensual sex with) your 14 year old cousin in New Hampshire regardless of your age, for instance, but i think gay sex is still against the law in some states or counties in the south. That kinda reinforces the point i made back on the first page - there are so many factions in America that each can be used to represent it as something bad to some other nation or culture. Most modern European nations hate the ultra conservative bible-belt faction because they're too repressed and in many cases extremely bigoted while the ultra conservative theocracies like Iran hate the liberal minded portion of America that's diametrically opposed to the conservatives. You'd figure that some nation would be able to see the half-full side of things and realize that they have allies - i think this says something... not sure what... probably something about simple minds...
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Postby JaddziaDax » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:30 pm

in Louisiana you have to be 21+ in order to give or receive oral O.o and that includes hetro
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Postby Ileia » Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:08 pm

JaddziaDax wrote:in Louisiana you have to be 21+ in order to give or receive oral O.o and that includes hetro


Oral sex is illegal in MN.

So is sleeping naked.
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Postby Fall_Child42 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:09 pm

Ileia wrote:
JaddziaDax wrote:in Louisiana you have to be 21+ in order to give or receive oral O.o and that includes hetro


Oral sex is illegal in MN.

So is sleeping naked.


Minnesota sucks...or doesn't suck.


;_;
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Postby Otohiko » Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:21 pm

Ileia wrote:
So is sleeping naked.


Wait what.

Explain this as I'm known for this particular behaviour :o
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