Saturday, February 19, 2005
According to this article Americans are ignorant about Europeans and also too religious and censorship-happy. But ironically, this article shows that Europeans (as represented by this member of their media) are just as, if not more, ignorant of Americans.

For example:

America is strait-laced and earnest, and is getting more so with every passing day.

A recent example which caught my eye, I thought at first it was a joke, that several television stations refused to allow the screening of Steven Spielberg's film Saving Private Ryan.

Saving Private Ryan, starring Tom Hanks, is not pornographic, nor is it grotesquely violent. It is a war film with some shooting and some swearing.

Although it would be shown on any television station anywhere in Europe, with no comment and no censorship, the swearing is too much for America.

Actually the stations did not air that movie for fear of possible fines by the FCC, as reported here.

America is fast becoming a nation of faith not fact. A nation where the unpleasant aspects of human existence are simply airbrushed away.

Television coverage of the Asian Tsunami was a case in point. In Europe it was covered as an unrelenting tragedy, in America, one television network promised "incredible stories of lives saved in near miraculous fashion".

Americans want to believe in miracles, their heads are in the clouds.

While Europeans fret about what they regard as real life, about poverty and social justice and about combating AIDS, Americans find it easier to rally round a vision, however otherworldly it might be.

Nevermind the fact that Americans have given more aid to the Tsunami relief efforts than any other nation, that they give more money to support aids prevention in Africa and on medical research generally than any other nation... Apparently Americans aren't the only ones unconcerned with facts.

Witness President Reagan's arms build up in the 1980s, which helped to destroy the Soviet Union, or the first President Bush's decision to press for German re-unification, when even Mrs Thatcher was nervous.

The fact is that Americans have long regarded Europeans as weak-willed, lily-livered, morally degenerate moaners, incapable of clear thinking or resolute action.

My point is that this tendency is accelerating.

I agree. Europeans need to grow a back-bone and stop relying on the United States to clean up their messes....

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I am an attorney in Chicago. Politically speaking, I am an indepedent that tends to lean conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social issues. I try to remain as unbiased and open-minded as possible. Please email or post any comments, and especially criticisms. If something I say is wrong, or you disagree - let me know about it!

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