Monday, April 18, 2011

A Spaniard's new impression of America

This is only one guy 's opinion, but I had to blog this.   Leave it to me to meet a fellow and have the following conversation at church yesterday whose little girl goes to our preschool which had sung moments before in the service.   I'd walked out of church for a few minutes (I'll admit it was during the sermon, but I've been fighting laryngitis and needed some air and a cup of coffee from the fellowship pot waiting outside for after the service)....Anyway, I walked out and he and I and this guy's little 2 yr old boy were the only people in the courtyard and we got to talking.  He's a scientist just brought over here by UCLA to do work on some amazing things he went into some detail about.

We got to talking about the differences in Europe and the States and his adapting to life and work in America and he came up with "what's amazing is there's no similarity between what Europeans say about America and America itself...... they're so critical there and this (and he made quotes with is fingers in the air around) 'capitalist' country has given me such great opportunity and the people have been amazingly kind and helpful to me."   I suppose they laugh at the 'capitalist' part over there and he was playing on that, as if 'capitalist' is a dirty word over there where nobody would believe any good could come out of that.  He repeated this a few times so it was clear the juxtaposition of truth and criticism was remarkable to him.

I reminded him that most of what Europeans hear in Europe about America (and I know this first hand and with certitude) is from the NY Times:  critical, demeaning, insulting, etc. .(Even Europe's English-speaking Herald Tribune has been wholly owned by the NY Times for the last 11 years or so).. and he says Europeans believe that's actually news and believe it.  Don't forget, he's an academic and he admitted most of those he comes into contact with are leftwing academics and I got the impression he's not exactly conservative himself but he sure has different attitudes about America since having come here to live.     His statements (I wish I remembered more of what he said) made me feel so good and so sad at the same time.  I don't know what we can do about this situation.  I think FOX was on a few cable channels in Paris by the time we moved back to the States and that was nearly 10 years ago now, so maybe it's on more channels least they'd get some balance.  The only English speaking TV they really get there is CNN International which is even more biased to the left than our CNN.

Later, driving home, I saw a billboard for the remake (wasn't the original good enough?) of the film ARTHUR....the billboard says  'ARTHUR.... MEET THE WORLD'S ONLY LOVEABLE BILLIONAIRE!'   Really?  The ONLY lovable billionaire?...suggesting no other billionaires are lovable?  WHY?  Because they (gasp!) are CAPITALISTS, have what's come to be looked at as evil:  MONEY?    SO, you see, not only is this nonsense rampant in news in America and Europe but it's even in entertainment.......subtle, beguiling, and effective.

What can be done?



Always On Watch said...

Honestly, I'm not sure what can be done about the power of the mainstream media and all the Leftists embedded in academia.

We've had this discussion many times, Z. But I'll say it again: a huge part of the problem today with getting people to wake up and smell the coffee is the mainstream media.

Elmers Brother said...


Joe Conservative said...

Academics shield themselves from capitalism via tenure and the ever increasing federal student loan subsidies (which is why a university costs over $50k/yr) and the "education bubble".

Government public officials and educators are shielded from capitalism through the legislative authority to tax and raise taxes on others.

Unions shield themselves from the direct effects of capitalism through collective bargaining and striking, creating strike funds that allow their workers to leverage market forces in pursuit of their agenda.

...and in the above listed categories, we have the 10-15% of the American intelligencia that reads and supports the NY Times.

Is there any reason why they should be expected to say ANYTHING positive about capitalism?

Joe Conservative said...

Oooops. I almost forgot. The Left's "students" and "student movements" pay no taxes and aren't in the labour force. Their in loco parentis (the teachers) are anti-capitalism. It's not until they get actual jobs and take advantage of the benefits that capitalism has to offer that they learn how they've been lied to by the "parasitical elements" of governments and educational establishment types.

Ducky's here said...

Hmmm, he got his opportunity from a state university in this "capitalist" environment that's trying to defund it.

Joe Conservative said...

Yes, foreigners do get employment preferences over citizens in socialistic enterprises such as UCLA...

...but that's only because they're cheaper than natural borns. ;)

Joe Conservative said...

...and American Universities are failing to turn out the "socially mandated" diverse labor mix that's required for a 21st century economy.

Can't have too many whites in the high-paying jobs unless ypou put a small-h next to their names.

Joe Conservative said...

more on the Left's outsourcing of socialism.

Z said...

AOW, the question's mostly rhetorical. Yes, we talk about this every day. But the problem with the lefty media poisoning Europe is one which should be addressed, too.

Elbro; and be good stewards and fight.

Joe Conservative, I'm not sure most of them DO learn but we can hope.
When you have a scientist as specialized as the Spaniard was, it's not a case of socialists preferring non Americans...not THIS time, anyway.

Ducky, they don't bring people from Spain with no funds to continue his research but good try....I hope you have a happy day; try to get over your constant negative outlook.
It's not the "capitalists" trying to defund anything but pork and entitlements; it's horrid things like Obama Care which will severely limit R&D and so many other things. The excellent docs in the West LA/Santa Monica area are horrified that they were duped and voted's really sad but you get what you pay for, I guess.

The Born Again American said...

It's been a while since I've been here...

We have a group from our 9.12 that meets at our house once a week under the pretence of a "book club" and one of the women is and has been married for over forty years to a gentleman originally from Scotland... He had apprenticed as a machinist in Scotland and moved here as a very young man... The first thing he said was, "what a great country, you can work as much as you want"... He is now in his mid sixties and still works because he wants to, not because he has to... It seems he sold his manufacturing company several years ago and retired to Florida... Is this a great country or what?

Z said...

Hi, Born Again, really good to see you today!
Ya, this was a great country in which we could study as hard as we wanted, work as hard as we could, and let our success reflect it all. Sadly, that's not the case anymore.
Now kids are told on the dopy TV shows I hear they watch (Simpsons, etc.) that studying is stupid and much too much work, working is even more stupid than studying, and why do any of that if you'll be supported by your neighbor who is doing it? Of course, the neighbor's going to be taxed to death, so I'm not sure who's going to support ANYBODY any longer, that American dream was wonderful till we got profs teaching that you're ENTITLED TO it for doing NOTHING.
Heck, when you're welcoming and paying for illegals, isn't that enough a compelling message to our next generation of Americans to STOP! You need to NOTHING! "Heck, they're getting it free, why shouldn't YOU?"


Sam Huntington said...

The USA is attractive to the world’s most entrepreneurial spirits because opportunity exists here. In Europe, nations compete with one another for their share of the brain drain. There are no jobs in Italy, Portugal, and Spain … and so the US benefits from their brightest under-employed. We should welcome these people; they may be our long-term hope. Meanwhile, our universities are producing nitwits like Ducky, whose total understanding of complex society are found within the poorly prepared manifestos of Saul Alinsky and Ted Kaczynski.

Pris said...

Envy is an ugly thing. In fact for many years, we heard the term, "The Ugly American.

This is not new. It's just been ratcheted up by Presidents (Clinton, and Obama) and their "Apology Tours", and a left wing media who don't really have an understanding of the repercussions we're confronting.

Frankly, I never cared about whether we were liked, I have always cared about being respected for our strength, and our independence.

However, if the left is successful in bringing us to our knees, where will foreigners go for a better life? Where will they go for medical care they can't get at home?
Who will they call HELP to when they suffer a disaster, or when they're under attack?

At first the world will feel the satisfaction of the bringing down of number one in the world, but soon they will discover, there's nowhere to turn for foreign aid, military help, and perhaps most importantly, somewhere to look up to for freedom, and the promise they too can aspire to.

So, to sum it up, we have been the most generous country in the world. I think the day will come, if we fail to stand up for her, we will hear, "what will the world do without America?"

Pris said...

Btw, why does hollywood insist on remakes of films which have stood on their own for years?

Do these people read books? They can't come up with anything worthwhile without copying someone else's work?

Arthur was a funny, terrific, very successful movie. Dudley Moore was terrific. No remake is worth the price of admission in my book. How about leaving well enough alone.

Z said...

Hi, Pris, that's why I wrote "Wasn't the original good enough?" WHY DO THEY DO THIS?
I mean screen writers now and again and have a friend who sings praise with me at church who's a good one and about to get something produced....I ask them about these remakes and apparently Hollywood's more than ever afraid of RISK$$$! They bank on a sure thing...whether it's an already-known story or a new star they think will give pizazz to an old story. Imagine ANYBODY doing Arthur better than Dudley Moore?
It's NUTS.
My own friend Denise Di Novi produced the last LITTLE WOMEN...what was THAT about? as if the others aren't GOOD?
She used to live across the hall from me, we were both young and single, and she was running off for dinner with her boss, a Canadian producer, and Robert DeNiro....she borrowed my belt or purse or something..she had a huge crush on DeNiro and couldn't wait to meet him that night. I'm the type who won't tell how it went because it doesn't reflect well on HIM and it's HER story, but suffice it to say...notsogood!
To get back to our topic; with all the good screenwriters out there and all the good books, wouldn't you THINK great new stories abound? They do, but...

ANYWAY, from then on, I've referred to her as Denise DiNovi DeNiro DeNeighbor :-)

I think the world will be saying that much sooner than we the way. I think they're seeing that they can't count on us anymore in any way.
This situation with Syria has me very watchful; let's see what happens from the story that we're backing the rebels financially there.

Anonymous said...

Pris, I think it has more to do with indoctrinating a new generation ....

Always On Watch said...

the problem with the lefty media poisoning Europe is one which should be addressed, too

The problem, as I see it, is the effective way to do that addressing.

I know many Europeans who visit America, and their take is similar to that of the Spaniard in this post. But the vast majority of Europeans do not visit America, so they naturally take the word of their media and their academia.

Z said...

Mustang, "indoctrinating" with ARTHUR?

beamish said...

Started a new office job today.

My desk is bigger than my old boss' cubicle.

Viva capitalism.

Z said...

Hooray, Beamish!
I hope you end up liking the work and the people; at least enough to stay :-)

beamish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beamish said...

Pays better, my own office, real authority...

I'm all on this like stank on poo.

Er, white on rice.

Er, ants on a popsicle stick.

You get the idea.

Z said...

sounds like a great opportunity to be your best self and do some great problem solving on your set up a whole new situation for yourself! So happy for you