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Explain Me the Americans, please!

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  • Explain Me the Americans, please!

    I just don't get it ...! All the fuss about Janet Jackson's 3 secs bared breast with a silver star on it and her not being invited to the Grammy event and Timberlake having to excuse himself over and over again - on the one side...

    ... On the other - arrogant, lying politicians sending young men to die in a foreign country, or at least based on faulty and probably fabricated information, and you don't get an uproar? Where's the outcry that gets these guy uninvited and more? Those politicians are still thought to have a chance to be reelected?
    I just don't get it, I beg your pardon!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And forgive my using the term "Americans" which is pretty inaccurate. I do exempt all Americans south of the border Mexico/US and north of the border US/Canada. They too, down to Tierra de Fuego are of course "Americans". But one nation has nearly "patented" the word.
    Google ergo sum


  • #2
    Explain the UK first. :lol:

    There is a general apathy here I think. I think so in Europe as well. Blair still holds office right? No marches and mass gatherings by the thousands in front of his home?

    Not here either. I don't know everything about what's happening with our gov't or others in the world. I don't believe that any of them are motivated out of kindness, truth and the well-being of the world. Each gov't I have seen is mostly motivated out of a need to further their own agendas and grab more power and resources. It is hard for me to think of a truly "good" gov't.

    And the people of the world suffer, as always.

    I don't think I feel better off since Bush "took" office. The defecit is back, spending is up, our military is fighting all over the place, there are new laws which violate our rights (no search warrants needed folks - you may commit a crime in the future after all), environmental laws revoked, Halliburton gets freebies, the list goes on and on... You can check some of the other threads and see where a lot of this information has been compiled. All gov't are greedy. All of them. Without exception, I think.

    As far as Janet Jackson is concerned, most people I talk to don't care (I am a parent too). Businesses/The Media in this country seem to be run by conservatives and being such they can't let our poor children see an exposed breast (maybe it is religion, maybe its stupidity or both). Of course my kids can see people get shot and stabbed, that's fine, but breasts, no way. Maybe if they were stabbing the breasts...

    The news media here (and probably over there) always seems to focus on the extreme views of certain groups - it makes for good, exciting news after all. How boring it would be if everyone on the news was indifferent and happy. Just like the middle-east, you just see the extremists, not the real people.

    Not sure if Americans patented the word American for themselves or if the world named us as such. Do you know?

    I thought even back in colonial times the Brits called us Americans. Would a smaller less powerful country be able to exert that influence on the British Empire causing them to call us what we wish, or did GB decide that (as they decided many things about the world). This is not a shot at Britain but a serious question that I don't know the answer to. I always wondered why "we" were called Americans. The Americas is a lot more than the USA.
    When they had advanced together to meet on common
    ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
    and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
    each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
    mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
    killing, and the ground ran with blood.

    Homer, The Illiad

    Comment


    • #3
      Hummmm, I don't know. I am inclined to believe there actually are at least better-meaning governments. I am thinking of Jimmy Carter, of Pierre Trudeau and New Zealand's David Lange, of Willy Brandt in his dialogue with Eastern Europe. President Wilson would fit in this, too, somewhat. And there are other truly disastrous governments, no doubt.

      UK is more complex in direct comparison - they didn't freak out over a bare breast - and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook DID actually resign because of his moral position against a war without firm grounds. There were strong masses out in the streets of London against the war. As you will have seen in many postings here: Blair is a dirty word for many - mispelling him B-Liar. The nigh-on daily Blair-bashing by cartoonist Steve Bell in the "Guardian" (example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/s...922269,00.html) - a major paper after all, not Mad-Magazine or "Counterpunch" is an indication of the disgust that has grown.

      After all, if people get the impression that all govt's turn bad and rule by self-interest then we are sooner or later forsaking the precious ideal of democracy, because it leads, finally, to a "Why vote at all?" notion.


      --------------------
      The "Americans"-complaint part of my initial post was just to pull you guys' legs a little. It does occasionally come up as an issue with South Americans friends of mine who complain that not alone United Fruit took away all their bananas, but that the Gringos have also usurped the name of their entire continent, :lol:
      So for my friends Diego, Nati, Elsa, Grace Ivana, Lotty, Luz-Perla, Luz-Angela, Marbel, Nirza, Vicky, Yanette, Yessica, Tania Libertad, Hernأ،n ("Comandante"), Hugo & Germأ،n, Marco, Marcos, Pedro, Wily, the Araya familiy in C., Marta & Guille and children in B., Erick & Isabel and nameless others (high time they were credited!) I poke fun a citizens of the USA when I bump into them by asking where they're from. If they happen to say "We're Americans", I retort: "Oh, from Peru or Bolivia?"
      That said, I think I must talk to the Australians 'bout a number of things!
      Google ergo sum

      Comment


      • #4
        American is easier to say than United Statesian.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dlackey
          American is easier to say than United Statesian.
          <grin> Right! It is easier for the United Kindomians to say they're Britons, or even English, Welsh and Scots. Irish needn't say so, you hear it
          Google ergo sum

          Comment


          • #6
            I always say I'm from the US or the United States.

            And we love to make fun of Bush

            http://www.whitehouse.org

            I did admire the stand Cook took against the war. There have been many protests here as well, but still, Bush is there, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

            I do think there are some gov'ts that aren't so bad, but usually, they start out nice and then mutate into something else. I don't know the motivations for the people mentioned in your post. Was Carter trying to move the USA foward into a brighter future or was he just furthering his own agenda? He recently visited Cuba and Castro and was all chummy with him. Does he believe Castro a changed man? I am Cuban and have heard first hand of repression (his gov't still holds my family's land - although I do think the embargoes are pointless, the people suffer, that's all). And Brandt, was he interested in a true relationship with Eastern Europe or was he an opportunist looking at its resources? I can't say, I was never with them to discuss it (and even then I wasn't party to their private thoughts, so who can say what really motivates any of them?)

            Any one in power who says they are looking to the "Greater Good" is suspect to me. I just don't trust authority I guess! :D
            When they had advanced together to meet on common
            ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
            and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
            each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
            mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
            killing, and the ground ran with blood.

            Homer, The Illiad

            Comment


            • #7
              You mean Jimmy The Worst President (besides Dubya) In US History Carter? That man was an atrocity- double digit interest rates and inflation.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have one more thing to add to the above post.

                No man or woman, as far as I'm concerned, can reach a high level of in government without some personal ambition or agenda. Selfless people are not elected leaders of countries. They never reach that level of society. Truly selfless people seem to me to be without personal ambitions. They want no power over others. They don't want to be in the spotlight.

                Carter was a nice man perhaps, but how did he come to be President of the United States? Was it because he was just a nice guy? I doubt it. I don't think we will ever see a truly altruistic person in power in our lifetimes. This is just my opinion.

                I transcribed a piece from the Ethica Nicomachea by Aristotle in another thread on the nature of the generous man.

                He gives without stint

                It is also very definitely proper to the generous person to exceed so much in giving that he leaves less for himself, since it is proper to a generous person not to look out for himself. However, the reference to exceeding must not mislead us. For in speaking of generosity we refer to generosity that fits one's property. For what is generous does not depend on the quantity of what is given, but on the state of the giver, and that kind of giving fits one's property. Hence one who gives less (than another) may still be more generous, if he has less to give.

                He is not concerned with wealth

                It is not easy for a generous person to grow rich, since he is ready to spend, not to take or keep, and honours wealth for the sake of giving, not for itself. Indeed fortune is denounced for this reason, that those who most deserve to grow rich actually do so least. In fact, however, this is not an unreasonable result, since someone cannot possess wealth, any more than other things, if he pays no attention to possessing it.

                The generous person is also an easy partner to associate with in dealings that involve money; for he can easily be treated unjustly, since he does not honour money, and is more grieved if he has failed to spend what it was right to spend than if he has spent what it was wrong to spend.
                The thread this came from:
                [broken link]

                How could a person, such as this, reach for a position of power over others? For me, I find it hard to believe. Perhaps, at first, someone could be motivated out of concern for his fellow man, but I think eventually it would evolve into something else, something selfish. How can a person avoid the pitfalls of ambition and pride?
                Last edited by Rothgo; 04-08-2010, 02:19 PM.
                When they had advanced together to meet on common
                ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                Homer, The Illiad

                Comment


                • #9
                  I didn't want to say what a horrible president I thought he was. I thought it might distract people from my point.

                  I totally agree with you dlackey. Totally!
                  When they had advanced together to meet on common
                  ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                  and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                  each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                  mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                  killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                  Homer, The Illiad

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You are right, I don't think a totally altruistic person could make the deals necessary to be elected anything.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, of course, politicians don't become presidents without having ambitions! I never said Carter, Brandt, Lange, Trudeau were Saints! I forgot to include Oscar Arias of Costa Rica and Nelson Mandela, b-t-w.
                      Chretien also comes to mind...

                      Some of you might think Carter was the worst president of the United States, but he wasn't a president serving the big companies. AND he restored some faith in the USA in the eyes of many hitherto humiliated nations. When Somoza of Nicaragua was downed I happened to be in Mexico, and everybody said it was only possible because the CIA no longer protected the villain, and clearly Jimmy Carter was "muy diferente". He was also a president of dialogue and not a gun-toting cowboy. I think he was also the unluckiest if we think of the Iran Crisis and several other moments. Even if his attempts (after his presidency, mind you) to soften up Castro might seem overly idealistic he certainly is viewed as a man of integrity!

                      And the notion that Brandt might have been vying for the resources of Eastern Europe is absurd, of course. He was truly brave to find a way out of a stalemate between two highly armed blocks and risk his position by seeking to reconcile the Poles with the Germans by publicly giving up territorial claims. This was an essential step that led to the fall of the wall through Europe 20 years later.

                      On the whole, however, when we spoke of governments we find they are nearly in all cases identified by the man - or woman - at the top. And with them they are judged, not always correctly.

                      But, for the fun of it, why don't we make a list of the worst politicians of the last century. Let's not include the two most obvious - Hitler and Stalin, too easy, but those that a) blundered most, b) lied most c) harmed the economy most d) corrupted most ideals e) didn't read Moorcock

                      I begin with NIXON and then, when the list is long, let's make a poll. How about it?
                      Google ergo sum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Regarding Somoza, here's an interesting tidbit.

                        In El Salvador, the Carter administration provided key military aid to a brutal regime. In Nicaragua, contrary to myth, Carter backed dictator Anastasio Somoza almost until the end of his reign. In Guatemala -- again contrary to enduring myth -- major U.S. military shipments to bloody tyrants never ended.
                        http://www.fair.org/media-beat/940921.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dlackey
                          Regarding Somoza, here's an interesting tidbit.

                          In El Salvador, the Carter administration provided key military aid to a brutal regime. In Nicaragua, contrary to myth, Carter backed dictator Anastasio Somoza almost until the end of his reign. In Guatemala -- again contrary to enduring myth -- major U.S. military shipments to bloody tyrants never ended.
                          http://www.fair.org/media-beat/940921.html
                          If that information is true, it would shatter many a good man's beliefs.
                          Let's see what else we come up with in time. Thanks in any case.
                          Google ergo sum

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I never mentioned that Brandt was vying for resources. I just suggested that I don't know his motivations. No one but Brandt does. He seems like a great individual, but who can say? (didn't he resign after some espionage controversy with an aide?). He did much for Europe and Germany and I am sure he was trying to help people (it would seem so), but I am just saying, "who knows?".

                            Carter, for many Americans was one of the weakest presidents. Perhaps that is why others outside the US like him. Many (especially in Europe it seems) don't like it when we have a "strong" president. Ronnie Reagan called the Soviets "an evil-empire" and told them to "tear down that wall". When I have talked to my many friends from the Ukraine and Russia, they say it was Reagan that contributed much to the demise of the USSR. I'm not sure I agree (it is too simple), but they say many in the Soviet gov't feared this "cowboy" and thought that he might just push the "button". And his wacky Star Wars defense made an impact as well - Ronnie Raygun! Plus he bumped up defense spending and the Soviets, trying to keep up, were causing havoc in their country.

                            My friend Oleg used to tell me that in the Ukraine, the Soviets had factories for all kinds of stuff. This one produces bicycles, this one televisions, this one cars. But when it came time to produce military equipment, many of these factories had to convert (and were designed for this). Thus the automobile factory was making tanks; the television factory, electronics for missles and communications; the bicycle factory, gears and other parts (this was probably just examples he used to make his point). Now when all these factories start producing military hardware, where do people buy bicycles and cars and televisions? They don't have a private manufacturing base, all manufacturing is state-owned. It was this way with many other things.

                            Oleg said that it was the increased military spending by people like Reagan that helped bring the Soviets to their knees. This is not my conclusion, just that of many I know who are from the former USSR.

                            Is Carter a man of integrity? I think so. Was he a great president? I don't think so. Unfortunately for us all, integrity isn't always important in positions of power.

                            I am just saying that I don't know anyone's motives. Who can say what any of the leaders you have mentioned were thinking? They may have great records, but many wonderful people are motivated by selfish reasons. Some say that even the act of giving is a selfish one. Who knows? I certainly do not, but I have learned quite a bit from your posts. It is always nice to see a new perspective. You may be absolutely right, and I, hopelessly cynical! :lol:

                            I agree on your poll though! We could start with Nixon or Chamberlain, or how about Pol Pot, or Idi Amin Dada...
                            When they had advanced together to meet on common
                            ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                            and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                            each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                            mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                            killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                            Homer, The Illiad

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by VonWeiner

                              Carter, for many Americans was one of the weakest presidents. Perhaps that is why others outside the US like him. Many (especially in Europe it seems) don't like it when we have a "strong" president. Ronnie Reagan called the Soviets "an evil-empire" and told them to "tear down that wall".

                              I agree on your poll though! We could start with Nixon or Chamberlain, or how about Pol Pot, or Idi Amin Dada...
                              I've been thinking about your remark that Europeans, hence us, don't want strong US presidents. I'm not sure. Kennedy was a considered a beacon of light here. My father who was in politics, or rather in diplomacy and political sciences, liked Truman a lot, for whatever reasons.
                              The main problem for us with Reagan was that he frightened us. His pressure on NATO members and the consequential decision to beef up the nuclear potential in EUROPE with middle-range missiles (Pershing II and Cruise missiles) which could carry nuclear warheads into Russia within 7 or so minutes. That was in 1982-84. We, that is all who opposed the idea, were simply afraid that any normally defusable tension on the borders of the two military blocks could lead to a nuclear shoot-out, because of this extremely short time in which Soviet commanders would have had to decide on a counter attack. This increased the likelyhood of a nuclear war in Europe and terrified us just like the Americans were justifiable worried about the Soviet missile build-up in Cuba in 1960!

                              In the end Reagan's stance did help to wear out the Soviet regime, but it was very risky, and we aren't convinced it was planned that way. The worries of our various Peace Movements weren't seen to, but instead everybody opposing "the Pershing in his own apple yard" was dubbed "communist" or seen as a member of "Moscow's fith column" and often criminalized for exerting his/her right to demonstrate (something we'd learnt from the very United States as a fundamental right). This arm-bending in mind we DO kind of prefer presidents who don't paint the world in black and white or "either for us or against us", but seek a partnership.

                              many regards,
                              LE

                              -----

                              Hmmm, from a European point of view today: Berlusconi would be among the failures, unless of course you never expected any better of him and aren't disappointed.
                              The elder De Gaulle in his last term wasn't a success story either, although he had his earlier merrits in his vision of a united Europe.
                              Alan Garcia of Peru?

                              b-t-w. Sometimes you don't get a reply as we go to beddie earlier than you guys in Estados Unidos.
                              Actually there are thre United States - USA, Mexico and I think Brasil.
                              Google ergo sum

                              Comment

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