Please don't judge...

I’ve been enjoying the threads about life in different countries, and I’d like to take a different angle. What aspect of your life or culture is frequently judged by the wrong example? Here, let’s start with these…

Please don’t judge American beers based on products of Coors, Anheuser-Busch, and Miller Brewing. There are hundreds of outstanding breweries in the U.S., and any bar that takes beer even halfway seriously will have their products on tap. Name a beer style, and somebody in the U.S. brews it well. Ooh. Just typing this makes me want to head down to our local brewery tasting room and pick up a growler of porter.

Please don’t judge Macintosh users based on the smug, arrogant “artiste” types parodied in Apple’s own commercials. Most of us just use the product because we like it, and don’t wear Apple T-shirts or spit in your Windows threads. We acknowledge that Macs have (gasp) flaws. We just like them better than Windows computers.

Please don’t judge American tourists based on the crass idiots in Hawaiian shirts that think you’ll understand them if they just talk louder in English, and don’t understand why your fine restaurant in Chandigarh doesn’t serve a T-bone steak with fried or mashed taters. Most of us do take the time to learn something about the country we’re visiting and try to act civilized and really experience your cultures. You just don’t hear much about the good tourists because nobody notices them.

And one request, folks. PLEASE see if we can let this thread run its entire course without ever mentioning George W. Bush. Let this paragraph be the only echo of his existence in this thread. Please?

That Americans aren’t all trilingual. Our country is BIG and most people would be doing great if they travelled a lot and visited only 75% of the states before they die. Learning languages are hard and take a lot of practice. The only alternate language many Americans need to know often is Spanish and the people that speak it don’t tend to be the ones to demand that people learn their language. We can’t drive 200 km and encounter people that speak many different languages on equal terms that we need to interact with. We aren’t inherently stupid (most of us anyway) but we just don’t have a need to learn languages that would take a great deal of time and effort for extremely minimal payback.

Please don’t judge 20-something male software engineers based on the nerdy-and-proud-of-it pale gamer types with severe delusions of the world being maladapted for their “genius” who express, at times almost misogynistic, attitudes towards women because they would grasp at any straw and spin any angle only not to have to blame themselves for their social shortcomings. If I’m feeling nice I might stop by and “fix your computer”, but keep in mind that my own home PC has not booted in over a year chiefly because the last fucking thing I want to touch after working fourteen hours is another computer. If I do so, please offer me some tea. I do not drink Mountain Dew and even thinking about it turns my stomach. The last thing I want to keep hearing is “Since when did you develop an appreciation for natural beauty?” over and over and over again from people I’ve known for years! Oh I don’t know, since last week, when I pointed out the fucking gorgeous sunset outside, cause in reality the previous hundreds of waxing crescents, gorgeous foggy valleys, plants, animals, shorelines and cloud formations I’ve pointed out to you over the years in print and in person were just my sneaky nerdy attempts to misguide you into thinking I prefer the cubicle existence. Hah! Didn’t see that coming, did you? Well there, my secret is out, I prefer nature and fresh air to video games. Maybe the fact that neither my TV nor computer work at home could’ve given that away a long time ago but I took that risk.
Please don’t judge people who claim to be deeply spiritually involved in their own religion just because a large number of them seem to be cherry picking convenient thought-terminating cliches and easy to follow practices from obscure world religions that are supposed to paint them as the unique and beautiful weird-for-the-sake-of-weird snowflakes that they really are. Just because I don’t have a statuette of a jew in the middle of his execution or some jolly fat guy being groped by infants you keep calling Buddha for some reason, just because I don’t anthropomorphize some unseen universal power insisting he or she would care about performing miracles around me for my amusement, just because I am not on a first name basis with the earth goddess, just because I would rather be in touch with some girl’s outer rather than my inner clam does not mean I am not religious or spiritual. Just because I accept as true and valid but do not necessarily follow the main tenets of most world religions does not make me ambivalent, does not make confused and it sure as hell does not, automatically, make me a unitarian. Just because my acceptance extends to Mormons and Scientologists does not mean I’m a moron, and just because I claim to have reverence and understanding does not mean I can’t crack a potentially tasteless joke about free pork, stressful life of mollusks, penguins or magic underpants in a social setting – I cannot truly respect something I can’t both cry and laugh about.

Please don’t judge all women based on your previous bad relationships. I’m sorry you fell for a money-grubbing whore that cried when you ONLY bought her a half carat ring for her birthday…but not all women are like that and therefore there is no reason to do a 180 and spend NO money on me.

That reminds me of two more:

Please don’t judge everyone who drives an SUV or pickup truck by the urban cowboys who do it to be cool. Some of us really do require 4WD and high ground clearance just to drive home from work in the winter. Some of us really do tow 10,000-pound trailers or haul large or heavy loads in the back. In short, some of us actually use these monstrosities for what they’re designed for.

Please don’t judge all environmentalists by the eco-terrorists, freaks, and frauds. Not all of us who are concerned about the environment are extremists who think animals are more important than people.

Please don’t judge my theism based on your atheism. Listen, I’m glad you worked your way through God not being real and all, but can’t you be glad for me, too? If I’m not one of those crossbashers, then don’t try to un-convert me.

Please don’t judge those of us who wear Hawaiian shirts, thinking that we’re all crass idiots. :wink:

Please don’t judge all religious people by the kooks. We don’t all believe that every word in the Bible (or whatever holy text) is literally true, we don’t all think that our religious laws should be enshrined in civil law, we don’t all hate women, gays, people of other religions, or what have you, we don’t all go around trying to convert everyone else to our religion, and we don’t all go around killing people in the name of our religion.

Please don’t judge all people who play video games by the ones who drop out of college, can’t hold a job, and live in their parents’ basements because they got so addicted to some game. It is possible to play video games and hold a job.

Please don’t judge all people with mental illnesses by someone who fakes or exaggerates mental problems to get attention or get out of doing something. Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are real, they cause very real suffering, we can’t just “snap out of it”, we’re not doing it to get attention, and they mean that some situations are harder for us than they would be for someone who doesn’t have our particular problems.

Please don’t judge all college students by the stereotypical party animals. There are college students who are working very hard towards a goal, and who don’t go to that sort of parties or deliberately make a lot of noise or damage other people’s property.

Please don’t judge all football fans as being idiots who can’t get any true perspective on important issues, who can’t have an informed conversation on non sporting topics, who haven’t got any emotional depth.

On the flip side of ZipperJJ:

Please don’t judge all men based on your previous bad relationships. Just because the men you have chosen are all poor boyfriends doesn’t make all men pigs, nor does it mean that if a couple is going through a dilemma that it’s automatically all his fault. In fact, I have the feeling that if you removed the “men are pigs” mantra from your everyday life, you may suddenly see that not all men are like that and you’ll find one who treats you right!

Please don’t judge anyone based on what sexual practices they have (or have not!) done. Experimentation and learning what you truly want from a partner does not make anyone a “whore” (and for that record, don’t judge “whores” either; you know nothing about their life and circumstances), and just because someone has done something you do not want to do, doesn’t make them any less of a human being. Has that person invaded your privacy or hurt you/someone else through their actions? No? If not, then back off. Their business is their business, not yours.

Just because we’ve never done some particular sexual practice doesn’t mean that we disapprove of anyone else doing it.

Same goes for not living together before getting married- just because we thought it was best that we not live together before we were married doesn’t mean we disapprove of other people living together without being married.

Please dont judge anime fans based on the few rotten otaku that roam this world in search for fan service and Japanese sex slaves. Anime is just like any other art form in respect to the capability of the viewer to not only have a fine and educated taste, but also to have a healthy lifestyle. Liking anime does not make one a dork, a loser, or a weebo.

Preach it! Although some of us are.

Please don’t judge Dodger fans by those who show up in the 2nd inning and leave by the 7th. There are some of us who show up for batting practice and sit/stand through the final out.

Please don’t judge great athletes by looking at lying, cheating scum like Bonds. A-Rod will make him irrelevant in a few years anyway. (Yes, I know what irony is.)

Please don’t judge people who own guns based on your own irrational fears.

At any given time you will see 5 or 6 threads about religion. It is rare when an atheist starts it. The conversions are by the religious. Most atheists have little interest in changing people.

I’m comfortable being judged.

Please don’t judge New England Accents by the Kennedys. We don’t sound like them. Almost no one sounds like them! Cartoon mayors aside, of course.

Don’t spend much time in Great Debates, huh? About 1/2 of the “religion” threads are started by non-believers. Well, religion in so much as a way to ask Christians again and again (and again and again and again and again…and that’s just a partial list. Since March) to justify their beliefs.

Please don’t judge all atheists by the angry, loud ones. Many of us made a personal choice, and have no wish to force anyone else to change their views.

Also, don’t mistake those of us who are curious about why people believe what they believe for those who want to bash those beliefs. Some of us just have hungry minds.

Certainly not. I have some Hawaiian shirts myself. But a disproportionate number of crass American tourists seem to wear Hawaiian shirts in Mexico. I don’t know why.

True enough, but I’d bet that the only American beers that make it overseas are the mass-produced products of the big brewing companies. For example, here in Kansas City, Boulevard Brewing makes a splendid array of products that I would hold up against anything in Europe, but it’s only distributed to about 20% of the U.S… Our friends in Europe won’t get a chance to taste it at home. I imagine the products you mentioned are the only ones they have to judge.

[way-off-topic hijack]

Of course, this is the tragedy of Yuengling.

If they only sold it in Ohio :frowning:


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