7 June 2009

what's wrong with North Americans?

I don't know if the following is specific for North American dating or just a byproduct of a global trend of superficiality.

From another Blog: Man fells for woman who turns out to be a liar.

Here's the comment which I left on that blog:
I am here as a foreign observer to find out what’s wrong with North American culture. A culture in which people fall in love with what other people say, instead of falling for what they are. It is our greed which enables such exploits. Not a greed for money, but a greed to be awesome, be superior and to be around awesome and superior people. Attraction based on the other’s rank in society (be it their job or education) cannot be true attraction.
Usually the North American system of being confident and showing off one’s awesomeness works pretty well… (and it discriminates against foreigners who have been raised to see modesty as a virtue)… it’s only in cases like this, when we can see that something’s fundamentally wrong with this society. Not just something wrong with the liars, but also with those who go for the superficial awesomeness, instead of profound goodness.
I hope nobody is thinking that I hate Americans. While being critical of many things here, I also enjoy many other things. I've met many people here whom I like. I just point at some of the off-putting situations to find what is wrong. Things which I think do not go as wrong in other cultures as they do here. But since evidence is very anecdotal, what can I say? It is well-established that many immigrants prefer to make friends with people of their own cultural background, but the differences in the cultures are very hard to pin down. As one acquaintance put it Yesterday: "I just find that I am most comfortable in this group of people." And she was referring to a group of people with different Eastern and Western European backgrounds. Not people from one specific culture, but none of them grown-up in North America. Is that my new culture?

2 comments:

Sarah said...

I agree with your general observation about North Americans but what makes you think that they are "wrong" and you are "right"?

Robert said...

Exactly, Sarah! Many things in foreign cultures (if not most) do feel wrong to us foreigners just because we are not used to them. (Or some people adore those things, just because they are different.)

However, I think that some cultural issues have clear advantages or disadvantages to society. One good example is that the food in some countries is generally more unhealthy than in others.

In this example, what seems wrong to me is that the problem of falling for a liar is in part caused by the cultural obsession with awesomeness. It might not have happened that way in another culture.
But maybe obsession for awesomeness also has some advantages that I have yet to find out...

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