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Old 03-22-2007, 08:34 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
They are, that's true, and have been for some time. The good news is that stereotype, a couple of years ago, via it's dominance of American politics and ideas (publicly, to the outside world) had stretched out to be the stereotype of America or Americans, and it is now subsiding rapidly as it's becoming apparent that opposition for Bush, Iraq etc is now the mainstream in the US. The conservative with a gun in one hand, bible in the other, spewing rubbish about Freedom Fries, is, thankfuly, a rapidly diminishing image. Travel around the world a few years ago and everyone thought the US had gone flat out crazy simply because the noise of a few was shouting down the many. Switch on Fox News a few years ago and you were honestly left sitting there thinking "We're all fucked" because you felt that millions upon millions upon millions believed the hype, now you just have to laugh at those still hanging on. The head-up-the-arse attitude towards foreign affairs was scary, but it's all but gone. The head-in-the-sand towards global warming, among other things (particularly 'social' issues), just shows the stupidity of certain beliefs.
Well at least you're honest that the stereotype exists, it can sometimes be very difficult to get people to admit that it does and that it shapes their perceptions. I don't expect people who aren't from here to have a realistic sense of what everyday political discourse in the US is actually like, but it can be hard to address any off-base ideas someone might have when they're unwilling to spell out what those ideas in fact are. It's funny, I help advise students who are preparing to study abroad sometimes, and whereas back when I did that as an undergrad this often entailed correcting delusions some students might have that everyone everywhere thinks America and Americans are just the most fabulous thing ever, nowadays it's more the reverse, you have to counsel them against paranoid suspicions that everyone's just waiting to spit in their face or something.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:39 PM   #32
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No, never, people are still crazy about Americans and very delighted to meet some
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:56 PM   #33
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Originally posted by yolland

Well at least you're honest that the stereotype exists, it can sometimes be very difficult to get people to admit that it does and that it shapes their perceptions.
It certainly wasn't a stereotype I believed in. Could not be further from the truth. During 2002-2005 I took 3 trips to various points around the US (and Europe), and I was just surprised that somehow one voice managed to be so incredibly loud while the other was left so muted. It was that loud voice that dominated overseas as "The American View of the World" and it's that which fuelled the stereotype. We could see these people shouting their shit, and then the slap to the face received by anyone who dared suggest otherwise. It could, from the outside, seem at points as if 95% of America was in line with Bush, even if that was as ridiculously far off as in reality it was.

The stereotype was exploited as well. You'd get Daily Show type comedy-news programs here in Australia who had a segment every single week based around "the stupid conservative American" where they'd take to the streets in little backwater midwest US towns, act like a serious news service, stopping people in the street and asking ridiculous questions about whether or not the US should invade France, or asking them to find Iraq on a map (the map of course being wrong anyway, having 'Iraq' written across where Australia is to guarantee another round of ridiculous results from the stupid conservative American) and then no doubt editing down the 100 correct, rational, sane responses to the 15 or so stupid ones and only showing those. They'd bait people into giving the exact kind of ultra-Conservative, war freak, ultra-patriotic, homophobic, rasist answer that fit and fuelled the stereotype. Someone in a ten gallon hat, "God Bless America" t-shirt who has just stepped out of a ridiculously huge SUV and then spits out something like "We should nuke Mecca" - perfect!

Thankfully, it's all but completely passed now, and if anything the stereotypical American is one just salivating at the chance of ending this in 2008 once and for all, and those who still stand for those conservative beliefs are obviously still mocked, just in a different way - one that doesn't tarnish everyone else.
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:35 PM   #34
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
if anything the stereotypical American is one just salivating at the chance of ending this in 2008 once and for all, and those who still stand for those conservative beliefs are obviously still mocked, just in a different way - one that doesn't tarnish everyone else.
Well, I guess that's a good thing so far as what it bodes for our international standing, which I'll grant has taken a beating from years of the 'with us or against us, there's no in-between' type of rhetoric--which the Bush Administration itself seems to be reconsidering the wisdom of at this point, if only because they've overextended us too much in Iraq to do otherwise. But it's closer to the reality, I think, that most Americans are too suspicious, anxious, and uncertain to feel sure which of the (2 through to 200, depending on how you want to break it down) political establishments to believe in. And the stupid rhetorical one-upmanship, two-talking-heads-jockeying for who can market their wares most snazzily approach to 'debate' which too often characterizes the 'public' face of discourse here sure doesn't help with that, and bears very little resemblance to how *most* Americans actually debate and discuss amongst ourselves most of the time. Plus, there's a vicious-circle effect to the polarization which all that breeds that makes it that much harder to retrieve any kind of constructive discussion from all the hot air--as with what LyricalDrug was saying in the other thread about Gore himself seeming annoyed with members of both parties when addressing Congress. It makes for lively 'entertainment', both here and abroad, but there's not much else to be said for it.
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Old 03-23-2007, 01:50 AM   #35
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Hey by the way, I forgot to tell everyone. I'm gonna see Al Gore at a conference I'm going to next week. What do you want me to ask him?
Do you think you should cut down on meat since it is the number 1 cause of greenhouse gases?
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Old 03-23-2007, 02:28 AM   #36
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Do you think you should cut down on meat since it is the number 1 cause of greenhouse gases?
If there was a viable alternative whereby you could get steak from a source other than straight off a cow, then absolutely, definitely, 110%. There isn't for now, so Daisy's arse it is. Driving that truck around the suburbs though....
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Old 03-23-2007, 02:46 AM   #37
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How exactly is meat the number 1 cause of greenhouse gasses?
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:08 AM   #38
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Livestock give off methane and carbon dioxide and the land use change to pasture removes trees and changes an areas reflectance.
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:43 AM   #39
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Quote:
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Do you think you should cut down on meat since it is the number 1 cause of greenhouse gases?

Ah yes, a similar suggestion was made by noted scientist and ecology activist Rush Limbaugh the other day.
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:55 AM   #40
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UN figures peg the livestock industry as contributing the equivalent of 18% of CO2 in greenhouse gasses, not a small contribution.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:40 AM   #41
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Ah yes, a similar suggestion was made by noted scientist and ecology activist Rush Limbaugh the other day.
PETA also said so, then again it suits their aganda too
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:43 AM   #42
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And none of those agenda's stops sheep, cows or pigs from farting or changes however many billion livestock are respiring.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:12 AM   #43
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Have no argument with the facts of the animal flatulation having effect. Just with the way the facts are presented to totally discredit and ridicule opposing viewpoint and to absolve any accountability at all.

From the information I've seen and I'm sure Wanderer will correct me if I'm wrong, the manmade effects are significant. Non- manmade effects are more significant in totality (and perhaps greatly more significant) Appears there is not much we can do at this time to alter the non-manmade effects, but there is something we can do to lessen the manmade effects. I'm never too trusting of true believers on either side because they have a tendency to disregard facts in conflict with their position, but in this case, I'd err on the side of caution and do what is reasonably in our capability.

If nothing else, I'm for conservation of nonrenewable resources.
But to be honest, I can't work up an interest in it. If carbon footprints have any credibility, I leave a small footprint.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:13 AM   #44
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Quote:
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Hey by the way, I forgot to tell everyone. I'm gonna see Al Gore at a conference I'm going to next week. What do you want me to ask him?


Tell him "Klaatu, Barada, Nikto."
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:46 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
UN figures peg the livestock industry as contributing the equivalent of 18% of CO2 in greenhouse gasses, not a small contribution.
Here is a link from the UN.org site:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.as...r1=environment

It does not give an author so I am not going to take it as conclusive but it raises interesting ideas nonetheless. Animal welfare aside this is something that the majority of the population could do, there is nothing wrong with a vegetarian diet no matter what you have been brainwashed into believing...
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