Non-U.S. Dopers: What do you & your countrymen really think of us Americanos?

I used to have a pal (a cat named Maggi—pronounced “Mahh Ghey”— it was short for some complicated Scandinavian name I can’t recall) from Sweden back in my college days, 'pert near 25 years ago.

He used to tell me that his fellow Swedes were almost all of a mind that Americans were considered potentially dangerous over-indulged children in the global sense. Of course, some Swedish girls thought that American guys were appealing in a sort of ‘bad boy’ James Dean-esque way, but most everyone else though we were all fat, lazy, smug gangsters who carried around pistols and would shoot a man for looking at them in the wrong way.

Maggi’s attitudes changed after a few semesters in Boulder, at least to the point where he was willing to say we weren’t ALL arrogant, lazy, gun-totin’ thugs. That was all a looong time ago; and since my 20s, my contact with non-Americans has been pretty limited (other than forays into Mexico, where they think of Norte Americanos as rich, pale distant cousins).

There was a huge amount of ink spent on the attitudes of the rest of the world towards the U.S. population as well as the U.S. government back during the Bush administration. The consensus at the time seemed to be that most Americans were idiots for voting a monkey into office, and that the citizens of the U.S. were a direct reflection of the government; swaggering, arrogant, jingoistic cowboy wanna-bes with more money than guns, more guns than brains, and considerably less brains than almost anywhere else. Of course, that was just my interpretation based on what I was reading; still, I am curious…

So, friends who from the wilderness that exists outside of the United States of America, how do you perceive the American population? Is that based on the media, or do you actually have some American friends/relatives/co-workers? Has that perception changed over time, or with exposure, or is it the same as it’s ever been? Let me know where you’re from and age, please.

Yeah, Canadians count.

Two earlier threads on the subject:

Also, I’d like to add, that IMHO Americans work extremely hard.

Honestly, I don’t think Margaret (or rather Margareta in this case), is such a complicated name.

Who cares what a cat thinks of Americans?

Really…it’s like Americans are so insecure that they need constant reassurance that they’re NUMBER ONE.

Some of them anyway. Not me. I merely walk around in a constant glow of happiness at my Americanness :stuck_out_tongue:

Even a cat can look at a Yank.

If anything, they probably think we worry too much about what they think.

When I first moved to Korea in 1995, all my classmates asked me this: “Is it true that Amercian students have sex all the time at school and carry around guns in their bookbags?”

I’m not sure if American TV shows like CSI and L&O have helped the image any.