elmwood: Some Explanations Please

This isn’t exactly a pitting, but there’s been a recurrent theme in a few recent posts by elmwood that I’d like to see explained. (I may be a bit late on the reaction, seeing how he made the last of these posts a few days ago, but I’ve just noticed it.)

First [post=9933990]this[/post]:

elmwood was the first one to bring “obnoxious” in the thread. Most people until then were agreeing (or disagreeing) with the notion of Americans (and other national groups) as being loud. Other than the condemnation of Fox News, there wasn’t much in the way of moral judgement either way. Then [post=9936212]this[/post]:

even sven also didn’t make any moral judgement. Maybe her choice of words wasn’t perfect (“open” and such), but what I understood her to mean was that some cultures tend to put more emphasis on the expression of emotions, while others are more phlegmatic and show less emotion. That’s certainly possible, and it could be expected that the first group would speak more loudly. There’s nothing “good” or “bad” here.

Finally, we get to [post=9955293]this[/post]:

Honestly, on boards like this one, I’ve never seen the fact that some cultures, notably European ones, tend to be less individualistic and more “communautarian”, so to speak, than the US, be considered a “good” thing in general. Indeed, since most of our membership comes from the US, the idea that in France parents must have their children’s names be approved by the government, or that in Germany people are forbidden to buy Nazi memorabilia, is often seen here as the first step on a slippery slope toward tyranny. (Myself, being from a less individualistic culture too, I tend to see good points in both value systems.)

So my question is, where did elmwood get the idea that people here give a break to non-Americans when they would blame Americans for the exact same thing? Because I didn’t see anything like this in the linked threads. I’d like to see some evidence of this hypocrisy or double standard.

its been five days and no replies to a pit thread?!

Come on, for Elmwoods sake, lets get this thing rolling!

It was Fourth of July weekend.

You’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to say something like:

How come when Americans make pit threads, people are ready to pile on and tell them they’re wrong, but when a Canadian does it, there’s an absence of dissent?

'Cause them Canadians are far too polite and lacking in invective in their OPs.

I’ll help: insert “fuck” in the OP where appropriate…

Elmwood just has a chip on his shoulder, that’s all. He’s a thoughtful, intelligent, softly spoken guy who was just born on the wrong continent. :smiley:

but he does have a beautiful singing voice.

that was a scathing OP full of vitriol, piss & vinegar: you really put elmwood in his place .

He’s no doubt sitting a corner sobbing quietly to himself.

And right after Canada Day besides. You can’t get a cross-border Flame War going when both sides are on vacation.

It’s not so much the two linked threads, although it seems implied to me. Instead, though, I’ve encountered many other threads and subjects where some quality that is considered positive when applied to “Europeans” (yes, I know there are many countries in Europe) or something European is considered a negative quality when it’s applied to something American, and vice versa.

For example, if the American interpretation of a type of food has less flavor compared to how it’s served in Europe (mass produced beer, chocolate, coffee, etc), it’s considered “weak”," flavorless", “watered down”, and so on. When an American interpretation of some cuisine has more flavor, the European version is instead dubbed “subtle”, “refined”, “authentic”, and so on.

That’s not to mention the many times it’s claimed that the British version of some television show is better than the US version, something is always done “right” in Germany or the Netherlands as opposed to the US, and so on. It’s almost NEVER the other way around, where a Doper will claim that is great in the US sucks on the other side of the pond … except “war mongering”, “electing shitty leaders” or something like that. Seriously, some threads leave me feeling like I’m living in some dysfunctional third world country, and that I should make a raft and float off to Portugal for the good life.

By no means am I one of those “USA love it or leave it” patriots who can’t think for himself. I’m politically liberal, and tend to refrain from obnoxious displays of patriotism.

Elmwood, I think you might have a form of tunnel vision. Europeans do get a lot of things right :slight_smile: so do Americans. I notice that my national TV - even in French-- is cluttered with US productions, including programmes like Ugly Betty, Lost, and Desperate Housewives, all of which are entertaining us in their dubbed-in-France form. Surely that’s a way of praising (albeit indirectly) American products. You are still Top Dogs in the world, and for that privilege alone you are bound to get criticized. It’s nothing new.

[hijack]Hypnagogic Jerk, thanks for reminding me of Camil Samson with the quote in your profile. I just listened to a clip in Radio-Canada archives. The guy was inimitable! [/hijack]

Well you wouldn’t wanna watch any French (from France) shows. They’re nearly all shit, really shit, tray shit.

We happen to agree on that bit. They occasionally get a cultural show right, that’s about it. Why “the thief”?

Okay. I actually started this thread more in order to understand what had prompted your posts than in order to pit you, since I didn’t see anything in the threads that justified them. (I wasn’t all that surprised or bothered to see that it hadn’t attracted many responses, since it wasn’t a major issue in the first place.)

I don’t know, here European beer has a reputation as often being skunky. It’s possible that what you’re describing happened, but I don’t remember any particular case.

Could this be because the US has adapted a fair number of foreign TV shows? The snobbery isn’t so much “Europe vs. the US” but the original vs. what is perceived to be a “copy”. I know of a rather large number of French (and other) movies that were remade in Hollywood, sometimes with an almost identical scenario. Why would I watch the remake when I can watch the original?

I actually find it interesting that many foreign movies need to be remade in the US, with American actors, to catch on there. I guess it’s because “foreign movies” and especially “French movies” are synonymous with highbrow art in the US, so this movie, just to name an example, wouldn’t have fitted any niche in the US and needed to be remade into this.

This said, we may have hit the nail on the head here. I’ve noticed that many Americans seem to have a sense of cultural inferiority compared with other countries (especially European ones). This may be linked to the fact that Americans identify strongly with their ethnic origin and believe that their culture is basically a mix of other countries’ cultures (which it isn’t). Is this what frustrates you? It’s worth remembering that Americans aren’t the only people having to deal with this problem.

Eh, many countries have much shittier leaders than the US, but your shitty leaders affect more people. :smiley:

Ugly Betty is an American show? Ah, it appears to have originally been a Columbian show, with the version we’re seeing being the American one (dubbed in France, as you point out, which yields horrible results). I thought I remembered it wasn’t originally American.

Ah, good, you’ve figured out who actually said it. I didn’t know if this quote was apocryphal or not, and even if it wasn’t, which Socred leader (of which there were many) had said it. I just remember my history teacher from high school saying this. Of course, Socreds were such an interesting bunch that we could have fun all day listening to them. :wink: Anyway, thank you.

Parce que Je vole les coeurs des jolies femmes (or something like that).