FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » old man blogs at cloud (Page 15)

  This topic comprises 37 pages: 1  2  3  ...  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  ...  35  36  37   
Author Topic: old man blogs at cloud
The Black Pearl
Member
Member # 11788

 - posted      Profile for The Black Pearl   Email The Black Pearl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
What isn't exactly?

The part where you explain why someone else would disagree with you. You took a really dumb mindset and projected it on people who don't like science fiction, and pushed it in front of any alternative mindset they could possibly have.
Posts: 1407 | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
What isn't exactly?

The part where you explain why someone else would disagree with you. You took a really dumb mindset and projected it on people who don't like science fiction, and pushed it in front of any alternative mindset they could possibly have.
The conversation I referenced actually happened. I wasn't projecting that mindset on him, it was the mindset he conveyed. I'm sure people have all sorts of different reasons being dismissive of science fiction (and there's a big difference there between not liking it I think), some more cogent than others. But at the core of every reason I've seen offered so far seems to be a belief that Sci-Fi is fundamentally silly or inconsequential. That doesn't preclude the existence of alternative mindsets on the issue, nor does it mean there aren't varying levels even within the one I've presented. (you might simply believe Sci-Fi's ludicrous trappings make it an ineffective means of conveying deeper meaning while still acknowledging the attempt, for example)
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Black Pearl
Member
Member # 11788

 - posted      Profile for The Black Pearl   Email The Black Pearl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't thing that indicates that he thinks science fiction is "like Star Wars Episode 1". There's plenty of ground in between Episode 1 and Vonnegut.
Posts: 1407 | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
His internal definition of science fiction (because he had never really read any until Vonnegut) was one chiefly defined by the props therein: lasers, spaceships, aliens, the future, action, adventure; fun and exciting, but of no great consequence.* So when he first read science fiction that actually meant something to him, that he felt contained something true and profound, his first response was to (errantly IMO) assume what he was reading wasn't really sci-fi because it didn't match his internal definition of the genre.

I don't think this was particularly dumb, btw. He's a very bright guy and went on to devour most of my sci-fi novels and anthologies once he realized the potential the genre held. His wife and he got to meet Ursula K. Leguin a few years back, of which I am quite jealous. And I've met or read other people who do the same thing: they try to explain why a sci-fi book that meant something to them isn't *really* sci-fi, or even making statements like "I know it's it's technically a sci-fi book, but..." There seems to be a somewhat prevalent misconception that once a work *starts* being meaningful it *stops* being science fiction, which implies a belief that science fiction is or should be viewed as base or juvenile, or at least implies an unnecessarily narrow definition.

*And were you to actually conglomerate all those elements you might end up with something like Episode 1, thus the "esque." But if the analogies I’m using to describe this phenomenon are that inept or distracting, then I’m more than happy to retract them.

Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Black Pearl
Member
Member # 11788

 - posted      Profile for The Black Pearl   Email The Black Pearl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Alright, fair enough.

It came off as an awkward paraphrase to me. I don't really like the style arguement where someone speaks on another opinions behalf, and it tends to disagree with me. Its just really common on the internet, and sometimes its really egregious and I get distracted whenever I see it, or something that resembles it.

Posts: 1407 | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just an awkward analogy. [Smile]
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elison R. Salazar
Member
Member # 8565

 - posted      Profile for Elison R. Salazar   Email Elison R. Salazar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think its because my first scifi *was* pretty much Ender's Game sans the odd Star Trek Voyager/Sliders episode on the snow channel on my pre-cable TV; which as the 16 year old I was pretty much was, spoke to me very deeply and as such I feel I've always felt that Scifi *is* in fact very meaningful, albeit I do come up with two broad definitions:

(1) Science Fiction as speculative fiction. These sorts of stories are more about exploring the author's interest in a given subject manner, or exploring what he feels society or what have you would be like "Should X be wide spread." I'll throw in MilWank HFY (Humanity EEEF YEAH!) stories in this category and all similar (Honor Harrington, etc).

(2) Stories that really want to tell a story but just want the theme/trappings of being scifi.

Star Wars would be (2), Ender's Game is more (1) but the thing about this definition is that I don't feel they are mutually exclusive, they're just useful.

Like Star Trek certainly ping pongs episode to episode!

The ultimate exteme example of (1) Would probably Harry Turtledove A-Hist novels in that they barely contain a plot and typically lack narrative but are ALLL ABOOOOOUT the speculation! (Not scifi but are an example of the extreme end of the spectrum unless we assume Alien Space Bats were involved in every novel!)

Posts: 12931 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stone_Wolf_
Member
Member # 8299

 - posted      Profile for Stone_Wolf_           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For me speculative fiction is a branch of sci-fi that is similar to historical fiction...not far off from current & based on reality.

Where as Sci-fi is more fantasy in a futuristic type setting instead of a magic fueled one. StarWars is a classic example of this...an old wizard, a rouge captain & super tough first mate with a young orphan saving a princess from a dark lord. Minus the "light" part of the sabre and switch up space for sailing shipsand StarWars is basically D&D.

Posts: 6683 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Star Wars is "Space Opera," a particular branch of SF that is adventure stories with a space setting.
Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stone_Wolf_
Member
Member # 8299

 - posted      Profile for Stone_Wolf_           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've heard of it...

I like Urban Dictionary's definition:

quote:
Star Wars:
The epic story about the dysfuctional Skywalker family.


Posts: 6683 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One of the interesting things that cropped up from discussions about space opera and other sci fi sub genres or pseudo whatevers is that s lot of people's definition of sci fi ends up being "if you say it is in the future and or throw in some fantastical technology and or aliens and or have it be in space or on a different planet it becomes sci fi"

Which is weird

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elison R. Salazar
Member
Member # 8565

 - posted      Profile for Elison R. Salazar   Email Elison R. Salazar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As to instead, Neuromancer, that's cyberpunk and cool and totally not scifi guyz.
Posts: 12931 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
One of the interesting things that cropped up from discussions about space opera and other sci fi sub genres or pseudo whatevers is that s lot of people's definition of sci fi ends up being "if you say it is in the future and or throw in some fantastical technology and or aliens and or have it be in space or on a different planet it becomes sci fi"

Which is weird

Well, as I think OSC put it many years ago, that is what happens when you win. Sci-fi as a genre has generated a huge portion of the lastingly relevant literature in the last century: 1984, The Time Machine, Brave New World, Ender's Game, Fahrenheit 451, Slaughterhouse 5, The Mars Trilogy, etc etc. People reliably read sci-fi classics for way longer than most other "genre" fiction, because sci-fi has been at the center of literary innovation since the turn of the previous century.

The only problem is that people have been taught to think of "literature" as being divorced from genre fiction. So the great sci-fi pieces are no longer "sci-fi," even when they really are, and always were.

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, the latest article is off to a great start:

quote:
...but with Obama as the sorriest commander in chief in American history, if Congress doesn’t lead, nobody will.
Someone call Andrew Johnson and let him know!
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would say it's becoming absurd... but it's been so absurd for so long. Now this is more like a sport for me. Just a hobby to see where the crazy is leading now.
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For me it's a game of 'so partisan he's crazy vs. deceitful political opportunist vs. crass column writing opportunist who knows his audience'. Because even after so many columns, it's difficult to imagine the author of books like Pastwatch and Ender's Game, though they were a long and a very long time ago, would be ignorant of American history enough to include dudes like Johnson and find Obama wanting.

But then you get his nakedly hypocritical whining about boycotts against his own film, or Chik-fil-A and I can't help but wonder if this is simply who he is now in terms of politics.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know. He spent a good 500 words in his last column explaining, in detail, why he doesn't care about celebrities, and how much fun he has looking at pictures of celebrities, and the satisfaction he feels at not caring about them. Bizarre.
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr. Card has a far, far stronger grasp on American history (specifically 19th century American history) than I do. I'm pretty sure (or at least, I very much hope) he knows just how rediculously hyperbolic his statements about Obama are. The question is whether he thinks his audience will catch on and he's doing it in a tounge-in-cheek manner (which he's certainly implied before), or if he realizes there are quite a few of his readers who will take it at face value - or even have that belief reinforced because someone as intelligent and educated as him said it - and is intentionally pandering. The fact that the bulk of the article is pretty critical of the Republican party means he might just be playing up the Obama-hate to make his readers think "I'm really on your side" (which is still deceptive), but he's made more than enough looney statements like that uncouched in any such terms that I sincerely doubt it.
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I don't know. He spent a good 500 words in his last column explaining, in detail, why he doesn't care about celebrities, and how much fun he has looking at pictures of celebrities, and the satisfaction he feels at not caring about them. Bizarre.

To be fair, this seems to be a pastime of a significant number of bored people, if the recommended articles on my facebook news feed are any indication. "Look at these celebs doing everyday shit like shopping/eating a sandwich/doing their laundry/going on a walk with their kids. See, they're just like us! Isn't that fascinating?"
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The main thing I would want to pick the dude's brain about would be to get him to explain the Schrödingerian superposition that Obama exists in as described in sum in Card's screeds.

Obama exists simultaneously as (1) comically inept and wholly useless, and (2) the most terrifyingly effective, scheming, dangerous dismantler and desecrator of real american values and intentional corrupter of the office of the presidency. I just want to know what happens when the discrepancy in how he is described is forced to be confronted. When the waveform collapses, which Obama remains? Is Obama a saturday morning cartoon villain, the most implausible threat to society, who is so inept as to fail at everything and yet inexplicably remains perpetually the darkest and most frightening specter of evil across the whole land of white and delightsome peoples?

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why not both?
Sort of like Jar Jar Binks.

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Man, President Skeletor would be awesome.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.vox.com/2015/2/23/8089639/obama-derangement-syndrome

^ worldwatch.txt

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elison R. Salazar
Member
Member # 8565

 - posted      Profile for Elison R. Salazar   Email Elison R. Salazar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
The main thing I would want to pick the dude's brain about would be to get him to explain the Schrödingerian superposition that Obama exists in as described in sum in Card's screeds.

Obama exists simultaneously as (1) comically inept and wholly useless, and (2) the most terrifyingly effective, scheming, dangerous dismantler and desecrator of real american values and intentional corrupter of the office of the presidency. I just want to know what happens when the discrepancy in how he is described is forced to be confronted. When the waveform collapses, which Obama remains? Is Obama a saturday morning cartoon villain, the most implausible threat to society, who is so inept as to fail at everything and yet inexplicably remains perpetually the darkest and most frightening specter of evil across the whole land of white and delightsome peoples?

Tenets of Ur-Fascism.
Posts: 12931 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
stilesbn
Member
Member # 11809

 - posted      Profile for stilesbn   Email stilesbn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
In Paris, when they hear you butchering French, they deliberately speak French more rapidly, and with a more obscure vocabulary, until you're so humiliated you can hardly breathe. That is, if they don't ignore you completely.

Then, if money is involved, they'll take yours and give you the thing you thought you were trying to buy. But never will they show you any pity.

That's Paris. As people in Provence said, "They treat us that way, too." It's nice to know that Parisians are rude even to French people with a regional accent, and not just to Americans.

But they do take special pleasure in being rude to Americans.

I went to Paris a couple of years ago. My wife and I stayed there for a week. Now I speak French pretty well, but I'd be kidding myself to say I don't have an accent. Yet I didn't once run into anyone who gave bad customer service or snubbed me. Everyone was conversant and some even went out of their way to compliment me on my French. The only time I can think of not getting great customer service was at a restaurant and I couldn't get the waiter's attention. Then I had an idea and flipped my utensils over and angled them on my plate at about 4 o'clock. The waiter was at our table instantly. Over there they seem to let you enjoy the dinner and converse instead of bothering you every two minutes to make sure everything is OK. So it was just a culture difference, not a snub, and once I figured out the rule it was simple to adjust to.

Anyway, all this to say is this a stereotype that is lingering around from the past? I suspect France was like that in the 70's, 80's and maybe 90's but I would guess that things have changed. Does anyone else have more recent experience in France. Perhaps someone with less proficient (or more proficient) French than I?

Posts: 362 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 7625

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.myparistrips.com/frenchcultureandcustoms.html

quote:
On a side note, the U.S. media-fueled stereotype of the rude, American-hating French is truly utterly ridiculous, and only propagated by people who have no idea what they’re talking about. Myself, all my friends and everyone I know in France grew up LOVING everything American. There is a big difference between being put off by certain Americans, and hating Americans in general. France and the U.S. have always been enamored with one another, even in disagreement and in spite of cultural differences.

Posts: 4287 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was in France last October and I can say everyone we met was absolutely delightful and very polite and kind. They were more than willing to smile at our (very bad) French and speak to us in English if they knew it. We spent several days in Paris and a few more in Bordeaux.
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
stilesbn
Member
Member # 11809

 - posted      Profile for stilesbn   Email stilesbn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good to know it's not just me then.
Posts: 362 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I got made fun of for mispronouncing a word in while attending a show in Paris (monsieur*), which made me feel pretty shitty, because I'm generally very very good with French. This was 2011.

I'm still bitter about it.

On that same trip, my French was good enough to chew out a waiter for screwing up our bill (basically they had one extra person down for three courses instead of two), and to understand how to get to the airport by public transit, in spite of the grève that was going on at the moment, based on the instructions of the lady at our hotel desk.

In college I took a class on the French perceptions of America, and one of the things that was pointed out was that there has never been a wave of French immigration (Québec, yes). So, there were never a group of French to melt into American society, and also, they never needed to use us to deal with an economic/social/religious crisis, which is where immigration waves come from.

**It's mis-see-ur, not mis-shurr, which is very easy to do when your tongue is lazy.

[ April 16, 2015, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: theamazeeaz ]

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On another note, one of my co-workers is a Frenchman, and another lived in Paris for about a year.

I once asked if there was an unfashionable place in France to be from, and my French co-worker answered, "Paris". This was in the context of the other co-worker's time there though, so he might have been joking.

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
my friends who have lived in paris have a 50/50 split, almost, between "it was an ok place" or "i understand now why most of the country hates parisians"
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
I was in France last October and I can say everyone we met was absolutely delightful and very polite and kind. They were more than willing to smile at our (very bad) French and speak to us in English if they knew it. We spent several days in Paris and a few more in Bordeaux.

People are generally nice to you when you are spending money. That is not a new trope- it was a refrain in Hemingway's first novel The Sun Also Rises, fittingly about an American living in Paris.

Also, I'm convinced that certainly people are just likable, and so are treated well everywhere they go. I am one such person- it is very rare for me to have a bad encounter with anyone while traveling, and I have spent cumulatively months in Paris over the years. I can always *see* why people think Parisians are rude generally (because they are), but I can also see how the people who tell me this are the ones who don't know how to elicit respect as foreign visitors. If you are observant, and behave in a way that pleases people, you will be treated well.

I've lived in the Czech Republic now for many years. Having learned the language and gotten to know the people very well, I can see why foreigners think they're rude, but I can also see things from the Czech perspective. There are just basically different ways of behaving, and showing people deference and respect, but also projecting confidence. Travelers have a hard time know what projecting confidence and respectfulness means in foreign cultures, and how to go about doing it- they look at things with too much of their own cultural filters attached. If you can let these go, people will feel more at ease in your presence, and so treat you better.

Half the time, I suspect that foreign visitors simply *don't know* when they're being treated with respect- and so they interpret social cues incorrectly, and negatively, when it isn't warranted. This could take the form of anything: here, for example, a waiter doesn't necessarily verbally respond to a request. They simply do it. This is considered to be respectful, and even discrete. Foreign visitors understandably see it as rude, because to them it would be, whereas a chatty waiter here is considered overbearing, rather than charming. On the other hand, you *are* expected to say something if you wish to pass someone on an escalator or through a doorway. So visitors often get snarky comments or bad looks from locals when they do not excuse themselves properly. If you watch carefully, you can see and adapt to these differences fairly easily.

[ April 17, 2015, 09:28 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm from New England, and I stayed there for college. A great many students from the south complained about how *unfriendly* everyone was because they didn't say hello to everyone on the street.

... I think I would go crazy if people did that to me.

My understanding is that NYC is more extreme than NE in this regard, and Paris probably more so.

I read somewhere that cultures where people are spread out, but need to greet each other are actually more violent and backstabby than people who are packed in and pretend others aren't there. I get the impression, Parisians are just very honest about their indifference.

For a good time, I recommend going to TripAdvisor, sorting for the most expensive hotels in Paris, and then sorting by one star reviews. There are a shocking number of people who don't think the desk staff fawned enough upon their arrival.

Oops.

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
stilesbn
Member
Member # 11809

 - posted      Profile for stilesbn   Email stilesbn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
I read somewhere that cultures where people are spread out, but need to greet each other are actually more violent and backstabby than people who are packed in and pretend others aren't there.

I hear things like this a lot. Especially in reference to the South. To me it usually comes of as someone sneering at the culture and saying how their own culture is much better. That or rationalizing their own crappy behavior.
Posts: 362 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
People are generally nice to you when you are spending money. That is not a new trope- it was a refrain in Hemingway's first novel The Sun Also Rises, fittingly about an American living in Paris.

The vast majority of interactions I had were with people I wasn't giving money to, though. And the people I did spend money to (like this wonderfully snobby clerk at a little wine shop in Bordeaux) didn't seem to *care* that I was or act obsequiously like they do in the states, which I suppose I could see people viewing as rude. For me it just felt nice.

quote:
Also, I'm convinced that certainly people are just likable, and so are treated well everywhere they go. I am one such person- it is very rare for me to have a bad encounter with anyone while traveling, and I have spent cumulatively months in Paris over the years. I can always *see* why people think Parisians are rude generally (because they are), but I can also see how the people who tell me this are the ones who don't know how to elicit respect as foreign visitors. If you are observant, and behave in a way that pleases people, you will be treated well.
I can see that as well. I've travelled many, many, many times in the past 6 years and my wife spent most of her childhood travelling, and I don't think either of us has had a particularly bad experience anywhere we've gone. We both smile easily and speak quietly, and try and dress appropriately for wherever we go.

I think that can make a difference - we were eating dinner in a restaurant in Paris - where we were conversing quietly, spoke to our waiter and ordered in French, and had dressed up nicely - when an Australian couple walked in. They were wearing shorts and t-shirts, were both pretty heavily overweight (which seems very unusual in France), and spoke loudly enough where we could hear everything they were saying from the other side of the restaurant. I could totally see them going back home and talking about how rude and awful people in Paris were to them.

quote:
I've lived in the Czech Republic now for many years. Having learned the language and gotten to know the people very well, I can see why foreigners think they're rude, but I can also see things from the Czech perspective. There are just basically different ways of behaving, and showing people deference and respect, but also projecting confidence. Travelers have a hard time know what projecting confidence and respectfulness means in foreign cultures, and how to go about doing it- they look at things with too much of their own cultural filters attached. If you can let these go, people will feel more at ease in your presence, and so treat you better.

Half the time, I suspect that foreign visitors simply *don't know* when they're being treated with respect- and so they interpret social cues incorrectly, and negatively, when it isn't warranted. This could take the form of anything: here, for example, a waiter doesn't necessarily verbally respond to a request. They simply do it. This is considered to be respectful, and even discrete. Foreign visitors understandably see it as rude, because to them it would be, whereas a chatty waiter here is considered overbearing, rather than charming. On the other hand, you *are* expected to say something if you wish to pass someone on an escalator or through a doorway. So visitors often get snarky comments or bad looks from locals when they do not excuse themselves properly. If you watch carefully, you can see and adapt to these differences fairly easily.

Having lived everywhere from Japan - where people are generally very quiet and reserved, respect and cleanliness are very important (you are expected to take off your shoes and wash your hands before entering a restaurant, or sometimes even just ordinary places of business), and it's extremely uncommon to speak to or interact with strangers - to the Philippines, where it's common to have people come and talk to you on the street, or grab your shoulder for attention, or (in my case) touch your hair because it looks so unusual... I think so long as you're friendly and not arrogant or presumptuous and pay attention to your surroundings, you do just fine. Going somewhere foreign and expecting people to treat you according to *your* cultural mores and speak to you in your language - and then getting offended when they don't do so - will certainly make you feel like you've been treated rudely, or might even make people treat you rudely.
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't have the article, and I tried to google it, but it was a hard one with the keywords.

I think the gist was that it's a holdover from the dueling days and honor culture, and the statisticians could pull out a pretty good correlation among different areas within the south itself.

If I knew where I read it, I would know how much of it is prejudice.

But to be fair, there's not really a Northern equivalent of "bless your heart".

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heisenberg
Member
Member # 13004

 - posted      Profile for Heisenberg           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Europeans will tend to say that they have no problem with individual Americans, but a lot of them, especially in the younger liberal crowd, will proudly talk about how awful the US and always has been. I dated a Greek woman for a while, and one night a her saying she would rather her country be under Putin's influence then America's brought me to ask her to name three positive things either about the US or that the US has done. The most intelligent person I have ever met, and she literally could not do it.
Posts: 572 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/32xyr1/okay_whats_right_with_america/
Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Talking about lying about tax policy in the United States, I admire Card's chutzpah to on the one hand claim Reid was lying about Romney* and on the other hand say with apparently a straight face, "Every "loophole" in the tax law was put there by Congress in order to create a cash incentive..."

Ha. Certainly none of the reams and reams^25th of loopholes (I'm sorry, 'loopholes') were created for any reason other than to incentivize certain behavior!

quote:
After all, the military's primary mission, when it has a mission at all, is to break things and kill people. This does not boost anybody's economy.
Christ, I know Card knows his history better than to actually believe this. The military doesn't boost anyone's economy? Anyone's?
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Heisenberg:
Europeans will tend to say that they have no problem with individual Americans, but a lot of them, especially in the younger liberal crowd, will proudly talk about how awful the US and always has been. I dated a Greek woman for a while, and one night a her saying she would rather her country be under Putin's influence then America's brought me to ask her to name three positive things either about the US or that the US has done. The most intelligent person I have ever met, and she literally could not do it.

Don't be fooled. I've had plenty of friends and acquantances over the years go on and on about how Americans are this and that, and the other thing. And they don't really know any Americans. And when I point out that the American they *do* know (me), they like, they just sigh knowingly and say: "you're one of the good ones."

Europeans generally think they understand Americans because of our cultural and business hegemony. They understand certain things, but that doesn't mean they know what makes us tick.

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brian J. Hill
Member
Member # 5346

 - posted      Profile for Brian J. Hill   Email Brian J. Hill         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I know Card knows his history better than to actually believe this. The military doesn't boost anyone's economy? Anyone's?
Putting your condescension aside for a moment, you're completely missing Card's point. The quote is as follows:
quote:
After all, the military's primary mission, when it has a mission at all, is to break things and kill people. This does not boost anybody's economy.
Breaking things and killing people doesn't boost anyone's economy.

A strong military certainly provides an economic boost, which Card argues in the paragraphs following his quote.

Posts: 786 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brian J. Hill
Member
Member # 5346

 - posted      Profile for Brian J. Hill   Email Brian J. Hill         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I studied in France 9 years ago, and frankly (pun intended) I didn't experience much anti-Americanism. The most "rude" were the Parisians, but I didn't see any difference between Parisians and New Yorkers, or Chicagoans, or inhabitants of any other big city. Life in a city is much faster-paced, even in a country where the average person spends 4 hours a day eating meals. I was in France during the height of the Iraq War, and even the most hawkish French (an oxymoron, I know) were unsupportive of the U.S. efforts. But none of that translated to dislike of America or Americans in general. The older generations still had strong, positive memories of the American liberation during WWII, and the younger generation thought American culture was "très cool."
Posts: 786 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian J. Hill:
quote:
I know Card knows his history better than to actually believe this. The military doesn't boost anyone's economy? Anyone's?
Putting your condescension aside for a moment, you're completely missing Card's point. The quote is as follows:
quote:
After all, the military's primary mission, when it has a mission at all, is to break things and kill people. This does not boost anybody's economy.
Breaking things and killing people doesn't boost anyone's economy.

A strong military certainly provides an economic boost, which Card argues in the paragraphs following his quote.

Brian, the criticism about condescension might be better placed if I weren't commenting on an essay that was positively slathered in it.

Anyway, however narrowly you choose to define it there are historically a whole lot of times when killing people and breaking things was, in fact, good for someone's economy. Nor is the American military's only mission to kill people or break things either. For god's sake, that hasn't been true since before the Cold War started. Which Card also knows. But perhaps that gets lost in the aria to the genius of republican presidential military competence. God only knows what America shall do without that Sun Tzu of the modern age, George W. Bush, right?

[ April 18, 2015, 07:59 PM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
the military's 'primary mission' (if we're going to be using that, i guess) is usually extension of potential for force as a deterrent against challenges against autonomy of the nation's borders, population, economic interests. it can and often does accomplish this mission without breaking things or killing people much at all, though sometimes this is done with a minimal, almost token extension of force

while we definitely overpay into the general protection program of the west and spend way too much on our military in general (and we're really bad at managing what and how to spend on anyway) you can't deny that the primary benefit we get from a military (that isn't running amok in costs) is, essentially, one that backs our economic force

i mean that he just wrote an article that seems to, you know, not really get any of these things? it goes a long way to explaining the general ignorance of ~military stuff~ that would underpin how one could come to the belief that the bush administration had its shit together in terms of war and the military and were generally competent in the two wars it started

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
though i mean when i actually read the (terrible) article, i guess he maybe gets half of that even if some of the things he is writing actively contradicts the idea he is presenting before? i don't know, his writing has become such churlish crank i sort of end up just glazing through it anyway
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It drives me crazy that any reduction of funding is seen as meaning out military is doing to be decimated without it.

I don't remember which item it was that congress funded (some new plane maybe?) where top military brass actually came out and aid "the old ones work great, no thansk" (who does that?), and congress *ignored them*.

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i mean i suppose if military funding cuts reduced our active troop count by one tenth, then that technically counts as a decimation
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elison R. Salazar
Member
Member # 8565

 - posted      Profile for Elison R. Salazar   Email Elison R. Salazar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A strong military provides some stimulus, a lot of modern innovations came out of military R&D funding and the space race in general is motivated by security concerns.

There's also a lot of specialized jobs that I imagine would be difficult to find in the private sector (a lot of aerospace related jobs for example) and as well the stimulatory effect of having a couple million poor people have jobs.

But otherwise that's if its just standing around brandishing their rifles while saying "Grr!", once they're used in any way then its Broken Window fallacy time.

Posts: 12931 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogbreath
Member
Member # 11879

 - posted      Profile for Dogbreath           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So Baltimore blossoms with the seed that Obama has repeatedly sown from the beginning of his administration, when he publicly stated (or showed) his immediate assumption that any white authority figure, acting against any black person in any way, was completely unjustified in his actions.
Not really unexpected, but still depressing. (it only gets worse from there)
Posts: 2222 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow. I'm not sure I remember reading anything by Card that was bluntly racist like that. It's possible I've forgotten. And I suppose not so surprising considering the general arc of frothing Card has done about Obama.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 37 pages: 1  2  3  ...  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  ...  35  36  37   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2