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RE: [Slovak-World] European image of Americans

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  • Katarina Alexander
    No worries Jack, no argument here! I agree with you, our school system is completely deficient when it comes to world history (and other topics). My cousins
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 9, 2006
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      No worries Jack, no argument here!

      I agree with you, our school system is completely deficient when it
      comes to world history (and other topics). My cousins in Slovakia know
      more about American History than I was ever taught about European
      history.



      That being said, just because an individual cannot travel or that we do
      not border other countries is not an excuse for ignorance.



      My previous post was really to give us all a Slovakian's opinion of the
      movie Hostel & to hopefully put that issue to rest.

      Of course, he does not represent every Slovak citizen - but I thought it
      was interesting to pass along.

      Katarina Alexander

      Assistant to Jack DiMaio
      DiMaio Ahmad Capital
      245 Park Avenue, 44th Floor
      NY, NY 10167
      t: (212) 328-7920
      f: (212) 328-7890
      katarina.alexander@...



      ________________________________

      From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of gergely
      Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 12:32 PM
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Slovak-World] European image of Americans



      Katarina,

      Not to start an argument, but the typical American does not have
      international borders within a few hours drive as do most Europeans. As
      a
      result, they are not exposed to international ideas, thoughts, customs,
      etc., so often appear ignorant and uncaring. The only exposure that
      many
      Americans get to foreign customs is through the clerk at the
      neighborhood
      7-11, or the construction crew building a house next door. And, our
      schools
      do leave something to be desired in international studies. That we
      should
      remedy - and apologize for.

      I know that I have learned an awful lot about other peoples with the
      little
      international travel that I have done. And with every trip I try to
      learn a
      little more, so as not to continue the image of the ugly American.

      On the other hand much of the success of present day Europe is the
      direct
      result of American reconstruction money and American boys dying on
      European
      and Asian battlefields, so a little consideration may also be in order
      from
      the eastern side of the Atlantic.

      Jack Gergely
      Newport News



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Katarina Alexander
      Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 11:34 AM
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [Slovak-World] HOSTEL


      Here is a direct quote from a friend of mine who lives in Bratislava
      about this film:



      "even the director of photography of this movie has admitted, that he is
      nothing more than American ignorant... ( his own words )

      I haven't seen it and I don't intend to, but the American knowledge (
      which is close to zero ) about the rest of the world is widely known as
      well as their ignorance, sick self confidence and arrogance.

      This is what most of Europeans think about Americans.

      I've never spoke to anyone who have seen hostel and did not notice any
      discussion about it (apart from a few shots in TV news) so I think, that
      people do not care. Moreover it was shot in Czechia, not in Slovakia..."



      Enough said about any damage to Slovakia's image...





      Katarina Alexander







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    • Scott T. Mikusko
      Jack, You re mostly on the mark, here Jack, but I think Americans are are too quick to keep bringing up the You ought to be grateful! We saved your asses
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 9, 2006
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        Jack,

        You're mostly on the mark, here Jack, but I think Americans are are too
        quick to keep bringing up the "You ought to be grateful! We saved your
        asses twice last century!" How long do Europeans have to grovel and get
        trumped by the idea that they should shut up and remember 'they owe us a
        couple.'

        Nobody like someone that keeps bringing up past debts. And source of some
        of the frustration because Europe takes a different path doesn't really
        rise to the level in bringing up the tired reminder that we fought a war
        for saving Europe.


        (If anything we all should be thanking the Russians for sacrificing 25+
        million people and inflicting 80% of the Axis casualties. If anything,
        they really fought the European war the hardest.)

        A lot of this anti-European backlash flared up because of their keeping
        out of the Iraq War which, in restrospect, they probably made the wiser
        choice. Europe shouldn't have to get dragged into a morass that the
        Americans caused for themselves.

        There comes a time when arrogant and reckless behaviour is just going to
        sour some people's views about us no matter what we did in the past for
        them. If I were European, I'd says, "Yes, we know your are a great
        country and you have done wonderful things, but don't try using that as a
        means to throw your weight around on matters where we have differences."

        America is not Europe's parent just because we rebuilt them after the war.

        But on your other points, you're quite on point. Pity our geography has
        made many of us so ignorant and narrow-minded. It's a different story on
        the West Coast as we have a mix of people from all income scales. Most are
        just used to seeing cheap Mexican labour.

        -S


        On Thu, 9 Mar 2006, gergely wrote:

        > Katarina,
        >
        > Not to start an argument, but the typical American does not have
        > international borders within a few hours drive as do most Europeans. As a
        > result, they are not exposed to international ideas, thoughts, customs,
        > etc., so often appear ignorant and uncaring. The only exposure that many
        > Americans get to foreign customs is through the clerk at the neighborhood
        > 7-11, or the construction crew building a house next door. And, our schools
        > do leave something to be desired in international studies. That we should
        > remedy - and apologize for.
        >
        > I know that I have learned an awful lot about other peoples with the little
        > international travel that I have done. And with every trip I try to learn a
        > little more, so as not to continue the image of the ugly American.
        >
        > On the other hand much of the success of present day Europe is the direct
        > result of American reconstruction money and American boys dying on European
        > and Asian battlefields, so a little consideration may also be in order from
        > the eastern side of the Atlantic.
        >
        > Jack Gergely
        > Newport News
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Katarina Alexander
        > Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 11:34 AM
        > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [Slovak-World] HOSTEL
        >
        >
        > Here is a direct quote from a friend of mine who lives in Bratislava
        > about this film:
        >
        >
        >
        > "even the director of photography of this movie has admitted, that he is
        > nothing more than American ignorant... ( his own words )
        >
        > I haven't seen it and I don't intend to, but the American knowledge (
        > which is close to zero ) about the rest of the world is widely known as
        > well as their ignorance, sick self confidence and arrogance.
        >
        > This is what most of Europeans think about Americans.
        >
        > I've never spoke to anyone who have seen hostel and did not notice any
        > discussion about it (apart from a few shots in TV news) so I think, that
        > people do not care. Moreover it was shot in Czechia, not in Slovakia..."
        >
        >
        >
        > Enough said about any damage to Slovakia's image...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Katarina Alexander
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Scott T. Mikusko
        ARGH! That was meant to be a personal email to Jack. I try to keep such things off the list as I expect it to rankle the more politically sensitive
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 9, 2006
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          ARGH! That was meant to be a personal email to Jack. I try to keep such
          things off the list as I expect it to rankle the more politically
          sensitive super-patriot folks here.

          Sorry.

          -S
        • gergely
          No sweat, we all had our say. Next subject....... Jack Gergely ... From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Scott
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 9, 2006
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            No sweat, we all had our say. Next subject.......

            Jack Gergely

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Scott T. Mikusko
            Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 1:22 PM
            To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] European image of Americans




            ARGH! That was meant to be a personal email to Jack. I try to keep such
            things off the list as I expect it to rankle the more politically
            sensitive super-patriot folks here.

            Sorry.

            -S




            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • memzommi1@aol.com
            I detect bitterness and self-satisfied smugness. It sounds elitist to me. One cannot generalize about Americans or anyone else. This is too much of a quick
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 9, 2006
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              I detect bitterness and self-satisfied smugness. It sounds elitist to me.
              One cannot generalize about Americans or anyone else. This is too much of a
              quick rush to judgement. It is ridiculous, ignorant, and really rather lazy
              to lump everyone into one group and call Americans idiots. Too many people
              look to all media to define a culture. That is ludicrous. You cannot qualify
              all Americans by a film. I think we should all walk a mile in each other's
              shoes. No one wants to be defined by someone's careless and callous comments.
              Marianne


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Martin Votruba
              ... To add to what you ve said, Jack, there are also ways in which the Americans are more culturally sensitive than the Europeans. While the Europeans have
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 10, 2006
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                > the typical American does not have international borders
                > within a few hours drive as do most Europeans. As a
                > result, they are not exposed to international ideas, thoughts,
                > customs

                To add to what you've said, Jack, there are also ways in which the
                Americans are more culturally sensitive than the Europeans. While the
                Europeans have more direct experience with foreign cultures, it is
                often limited to vacationing and shopping in foreign countries. What
                they know about their neighbors' histories is what they've gathered
                through learning about their own histories at school. But those
                histories are highly parochial, based exclusively on the perspective
                of their own ethnic group or country. For example, what the Slovaks
                and the Hungarians know about their 900-year common history is
                different almost beyond recognition.

                On the other hand, US colleges require students to take a variety of
                foreign-culture courses, and American history is often taught in a
                more critical manner than how the histories of the European countries
                are taught "at home." Consequently, if an American took a few good
                courses about, say, Central Europe in college and did well in them,
                s/he has a much better general picture of the area than someone who
                grew up there. European colleges don't have foreign culture requirements.

                A Slovak college graduate will know merely tiny bits and pieces about
                "important" German, French, English histories, and nothing about
                Finland, Norway, even Poland, Ukraine. A Dutchman will hardly be able
                to say anything about Czech, Bulgarian, Portuguese histories and cultures.

                Let me wrap it up with a specific example. When I discussed a large
                social and ethnic survey with two Slovak _sociologists_ in charge of
                drafting up the questionnaire, it turned out that they had no
                knowledge of any disagreements between the Rusyns and Ukrainians --
                and that is an issue that concerns their own country, and their own
                academic field.


                Martin

                votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
              • David
                How true.
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 10, 2006
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                  How true.


                  At 11:44 PM 3/9/2006, you wrote:
                  >I detect bitterness and self-satisfied smugness. It sounds elitist to me.
                  >One cannot generalize about Americans or anyone else. This is too much of a
                  >quick rush to judgement. It is ridiculous, ignorant, and really rather lazy
                  >to lump everyone into one group and call Americans idiots. Too many people
                  >look to all media to define a culture. That is ludicrous. You
                  >cannot qualify
                  >all Americans by a film. I think we should all walk a mile in each other's
                  >shoes. No one wants to be defined by someone's careless and
                  >callous comments.
                  > Marianne
                  >
                  >
                  >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Vlad Nad
                  and whats wrong with being super patriotic???? Vlad Scott T. Mikusko wrote: ARGH! That was meant to be a personal email to Jack. I try
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 10, 2006
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                    and whats wrong with being super patriotic????

                    Vlad

                    "Scott T. Mikusko" <guerilla@...> wrote:

                    ARGH! That was meant to be a personal email to Jack. I try to keep such
                    things off the list as I expect it to rankle the more politically
                    sensitive super-patriot folks here.

                    Sorry.

                    -S



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