This allegedly US-produced map of the world, simplified to the point of stupidity, sums up graphically how many people around the planet regard the average American view of the world…
But is it really fair or wise to write off all Americans as dumb or arrogant?
Firstly there are plenty of dumb, arrogant and generally unpleasant individuals here in Old Blighty. There’s no chav like a British chav! I’d say that Springer’s flow of “trailer trash” actually seems quite bright compared to some of the specimens one sees dragging their knuckles along Shirley High Street, here in sunny Southampton.
Secondly, I think the current incumbent in the White House has probably done more to damage America’s reputation abroad than all other US presidents put together. But you can’t damn a nation because of its damned president! Remember that only 25% actually voted for him – and the vote-counting in several states was far from transparent.
Thirdly, America has done some great things, (e.g. Man on the Moon, Arpanet, Unix, GPS, Hubble Telescope, Maglites etc.) – along with some fairly dreadful ones of course (e.g Macdonalds, Microsoft Windows, Iraq war, Vietnam War, Jerry Springer Show, etc .)
Fourthly, there are a lot of Americans who are deeply distressed by their image abroad. There is a definite sense of , “Hey, when did we become the bad guys?”. I remember one American friend ringing me on the eve of the Iraq War saying she felt ashamed to be American. Another young American lad I got chatting to on a bumpy bus ride across one of the Hong Kong Islands told me that in his travels around the Far East he seldom admits his nationality, for fear of attack. He tells people he is Canadian.
On the bright side there are voices of resistance and they are growing stronger. We don’t hear much about it here – not unless you spend a bit of time on the internet.
This is my favourite. It is excellent. These people actually tell the truth! Bush’s administration don’t like them very much but it makes one think there may be hope for America – and the rest of us – after all..