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America

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#1
I want to know all about America, from Americans .

It's such a big place, I know there must be millions of black holes in my knowledge about America. So many of my views about America have been formed through the media.. and you know how much I trust the media :rolleyes:

I want to know anything you think is worth knowing.

I want to know all about the cultural/political differences/nuances between the North, South, East, West, and the middle.

What's every day life like for you?

How do you view America as a whole?

How did being 'American' become such a important identity, considering the continent is so large.. and some of you so far apart, are many of your peoples just not worlds apart?

What unifies you all, and gives you your 'American' identity?

Like over here, in the UK, we're TINY. and all we seek to do is separate ourselves from each other and maintain our own smaller clans >> England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and bloody Cornwall, lol.

Youknow, cuz the vision of Greater Britain and Northern Ireland has only ever been one of our oppressors, and their brainwashed lackies.

(The European Union echo's in the distance)

Anyway, 3.30am random question, please indulge me.
 

TBerg

fallen angel who hasn't earned his wings
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#2
Being an American is often implied to be part of a religious order. That order was sparked by puritans, with an emphasis of the priesthood of all believers, and culminated in the Declaration of Independence. It was not just a way of restraining the King's power but an empowerment of the individual citizen.

Thus you see around America profound discord from the empowerment of all Americans, as you would encounter a cacophonous performance if everyone played equally at an orchestral concert.

That's how it feels nowadays anyway, and the media landscape seems to be hellbent on creating an everlasting cascade of niche markets. But those niche markets depend upon a common supplier, and the supplier is the Establishment. It is hard to acquire things from then black market, but you will find the good shit if you look hard enough.

My favorite part of the United States actually begins in Missouri and ends in Tennessee and Ohio, because I think there is enough Old World charm without the hard edges of the East Coast. The East Coast has been one of the first places for immigrants to gather, and I think it requires a divorce from those settled communities in order to forge a truly new unified identity without having to play politics between the communities. The friction creates a palpable rudeness that typifies the New York Jew/Italian/Irish stereotype. But everyone becomes more hopeful as they move west into the frontiers of American identity. I can feel it.

In the South, where I have grown up and live currently, I can say that there is a definite lack of ambition, which translates to a more relaxed environment as well as an ignorance about making things go the way they need to go. There is a certain way certain people do things, and they just don't even consider changing it. Their last ambition, that of extending slavery, was vanquished on the field of battle, and they still feel profoundly dispossessed of their own ambition.

I also grew up in York and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where my parents sold their handmade jewelry and candles at the Renaissance Faire there. It had a good feeling, in that I could see so much of genuine Pennsylvania Dutch traditions and the influence of Amish and Mennonites in so many places.
 

Cheeseumpuffs

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#3
I want to know all about America, from Americans .
https://youtu.be/vya24zJHAJs

I want to know anything you think is worth knowing.
I want to know all about the cultural differences and nuances between the North, South, East, West, and the middle.
Okay. So generally speaking there's three sections. The West Coast. The East Coast and everything in between. (Alaska and hawaii pretty much don't count)

You can divide that down into smaller chunks though. California from The Bay and down is one section of the West Coast and then NorCal, Washington and Oregon make up the other section. East Coast again is divided north and south somewhere near Virginia (thanks, Civil War!). And then the middle no-man's land bit is like still nothing but I guess Texas should get a mention.

Clearly I'm understating and using hyperbole, but essentially (to the average Californian(which is where I live)) america looks something like this:

What's every day life like for you?
If I have work I go to work. If I feel lonely/bored I hang out with friends. Basically all the same shit I imagine everyone else's daily life is like.

Most often I'm just trying to find ways of entertaining myself enough to warrant the time and effort of spending the day alive.

Or are you asking about everyday things in specific?

The buses usually run on time but sometimes they don't. A lot of people are chill with weed except the old people. The old people are usually conservative as fuck.

The town I went to high school in is one of the few conservative areas of the coast (pretty sure this district is one of the few red ones in the sea of california blue) and there are generally three classes of people who live here:
1. People who were born here and never left.
2. People who got rich (enough) and retired to a "nice community"
3. People born here who work real hard and go to college and make a life for themselves
Group 1 is usually the children of other group 1ers and usually end up on one drug or another. Group 3 are usually kids of group 2.

Town I went to college in is like 85% frat/party bros and 14% SJWs (with some overlap between the two demographics, probably). When Obi Wan calls Mos Eisley a "wretched hive of scum and villainy," it applies to UCSB and Isla Vista, as well. Santa Barbara itself is beautiful. Good weather blah blah who cares. The people suck. SB (the city, not the school) is two parts rich white conservatives, 1 part tourists (lots of german and chinese tourists, from my experience working downtown) and 1 part people who can't escape the place (see group 1 for my high school town).

How do you view America as a whole?
I dunno. It's just a place. Not really different from any other place. I would say that a lot of the "man america is the best" mindset is fabricated by non-americans, if I didn't know that there were people who actually thought that way here. It's all kind of bullshit to me. I think people are people and we should all collectively do our best to get along and cooperate.

How did being 'American' become such a important identity, considering the continent is so large.. and some of you so far apart, are many of your peoples just not worlds apart?
Here's the thing. I don't think being an "American" is the number one regional identity for most americans. Sure, if someone flies a plane into a building on american soil, everyone gets mad "They attacked us!"

But I think that identity comes second to peoples' state identity. If someone were to ask me where I'm from I'd say California before I ever said America. Same goes for most other americans (I've talked to people from all around the world who attest to this as well). Californians, even, break it up more. Anyone from The Bay can't shut up about how they're from the Bay. People from LA and SoCal are from SoCal. Same for NorCal.

What unifies you all, and gives you your 'American' identity?
Honestly I'm not sure what "unifies" us. Do we seem united?

I think a big reason people here think of themselves as "American" is because all their lives they've been told "You're an American, god dammit. And that means something! That's more meaningful than being British, or Russian, or Chinese. You have the greatest government on earth and it's a democracy and it's perfect and you're the reason it works. You're special." and they get told this over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again until it becomes their truth.

Like over here, in the UK, we're TINY. and all we seek to do is separate ourselves from each other and maintain our own smaller clans >> England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and bloody Cornwall, lol.
Again, regional differences are still celebrated here. People from New Yawk are proud they aren't from Bahstahn and vice verse. Everyone on the coasts are glad they aren't some Southern/Texan redneck (except Austin. Austin Texas is rad) and all the rednecks are glad they aren't one of us coastal yuppies.


Hope this helps. I lost my train of thought.
tl;dr Fuck america who gives a shit
 

smithcommajohn

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#4
America is not what you find in the media. It's safer than the news would make it seem. It's less dramatic than what you'd see in a show like CSI, Law & Order, etc. It's more boring than any comedy show. It's more sophisticated than any reality show.

Besides a country twang in the South (and some rural areas outside of the South), most accents in the US are fairly similar. If you're in a major city there is virtually no accent, since people transplant between cities very frequently.

We have paved roads to virtually any town on the map. This may not sound amazing, but when you consider how remote some of these towns are and how large the country is, we're talking about a lot of pavement.

You can find virtually any type of climate here. In the north the winters are long, dark, brutally cold with plenty of snow. Where I live it is subtropical where it never snows and we usually never turn on the heater in the winter. It is humid and hot in the summer. In our western deserts the heat is scorching during the summer with cool dry nights. The northwest of the country stays cool all year, but doesn't get brutally cold and is very damp.

Is this the kind of stuff you're looking for?

Edit: I like Cheeseumpuffs answer better, although disagree on several points, since I'm on the East Coast. :P
 

smithcommajohn

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#6
You mean you're on that bit of swamp populated by old people and crazy people that's slowly sinking into the Atlantic. :D
Better than being on an unstable land mass with a bunch of hippies. :p
 

Jennywocky

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#7
I think the Boston accent is really strong too (along with the Southern twang). Minnesota accent (filtered in from Canada) is also pretty distinctive. But yes, I don't think the accents are too extreme much of the time, depending on where you go.

the United States is huge in comparison to many European countries, so we have a diversity of climate and landscape features depending on where you are -- arid/desert, hot swampy, two different coastlines, mountainous areas, farmland, forests, snow, plains, you name it. Our population density maps -- we have clumps in large urban centers, then scatterings throughout some very large areas in the central parts of the country. Political party affiliations tend to different in terms of population density, possibly in part due to exposure to diversity.

I grew up about 90 minutes by highway from where I am now, in a very rural area. (We would have to drive 15-20 minutes to go to a supermarket, and the area was all about growing corn and milking cows.) I now live in Baltimore, MD, which I'd say is a struggling city (no population growth in 20 years), although areas between here and Washington DC (the nation's capital, about 25 miles away by highway) is building and feels strong and new. It's interesting because I live just inside our beltway circling the city, but if you drive a mile outside the beltway and leave the suburbs, it will look mostly like where I grew up (forests, some farms, lots of open areas)... yet Maryland here is more liberal in terms of politics and where I grew up is much more traditionally religious and conservative politically... again probably due to the kinds of people who populated the area and my proximity to the nation's capital.

People actually do tend to be proud to be American regardless of political party, although that contributes to the fighting when the country goes in a direction they disagree with. What unifies us? Well, our unity seems to be disintegrating lately due to very different views on who should be allowed to be Americans and what values should be endorsed. In general, it's the sense of freedom, of overcoming odds, of opportunity, of being able to do whatever we set our minds to... those kind of things are the broad American values. But we're fighting over what this actually looks like in our nation, currently. Within those values, there can be a huge gap in upbringing and personal values. We can have very large gaps in life experience between the rich and the poor, the liberal and conservative, the strongly religious and the non-religious, etc.

Some areas of the country are highly traveled, and you can cross the entire country by plane in a few hours with the cost of a $250-400 plane ticket. There are some areas of the country, though, that you will never see unless you specifically go there -- you will never pass through them going somewhere else, and there's not really a reason to go unless you live there. I think we cannot understate the difference between areas where there's a lot of travel and diversity of ideas intersecting versus areas with little infusion of new ideas and so the old ways of living and thinking have been preserved for many generations, even if satellite TV, radio, and the Internet brings increasing exposure.

Cities are kind of distinctive depending on location and history. New York for example always feels very tall, very busy, and very cramped to me, for example.... I don't like the main city areas much. Chicago (which is a two-hour plane ride or a 14-hour car ride from NYC?) feels less tall and more expansive, with room to move and breathe. LA feels very very wide and very flat to me.

I'm tired of writing now. The questions are too broad.
 
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#9
North.

I do have an interest in South America, but I'm much more invested in what's happening North.

Great feedback so far, thanks, I still like to hear from people in alternative states.

Do South Americans refer to themselves as South American?

From my POV, lots of North Americans refer to themselves as 'American', but the South Americans usually refer to themselves from their individual country of origin.
 

smithcommajohn

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#10
From my POV, lots of North Americans refer to themselves as 'American', but the South Americans usually refer to themselves from their individual country of origin.
I assumed from your original post you were speaking about the United States of America. To be American is to be from the United States of America. You will not hear any other country in the Americas refer to themselves as American, not even in North America. Canada has Canadians and Mexico has Mexicans. I'm not sure why this came to be, but that's how it is.
 
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#11
Oh, and food, tell me about food, and the economy, and your views on the rest of the world too.

I heard that your McDonalds are three times the size of ours and for one third the price... I don't know whether to be jealous or not, haha.

Tell me about college and health care..

How is it that your tuitions ended up costing so much?

And how and why it came to be.

Is it true that unless you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you won't be getting an education?

How was your welfare state developed?
Who are your most prominent social engineers?
 

Analyzer

Hide thy life
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#12
I assumed from your original post you were speaking about the United States of America. To be American is to be from the United States of America. You will not hear any other country in the Americas refer to themselves as American, not even in North America. Canada has Canadians and Mexico has Mexicans. I'm not sure why this came to be, but that's how it is.
Usually, from what I have experienced, peoples from S. America refer to people from the US, Canada, or Mexico as North Americans. I think the reason US Americans are referred to as Americans, has to do with the idea of American exceptionalism. The US is unique, special and thus the "real" America. But in strict terms anyone from the new world can be considered Americans.
 

Jennywocky

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#13
I heard that your McDonalds are three times the size of ours and for one third the price... I don't know whether to be jealous or not, haha.
McDonalds seems to have been revamping all of its stories nowadays, which tend to look bigger and classier... along with their espresso menus. I've heard that the espresso drinks aren't too bad, but I'll still go to a coffee shop for my specialty drinks, thanks so much.

Big Mac extra value meals cost around $6-7 (USD) depending on where you go. The airport charges $8.

The clown is creepy, although not quite as bad as the King from BK.

Tell me about college and health care..
There are public schools and private schools. Tuition and resources depends upon where you go. If you are a resident in-state for a State University, you can often get a huge discount. There is tuition, and there is room and board to pay.

When i went to college, I went to an expensive school on scholarship right below ivy League status. Final year of college 1990 - $21K. Current annual tuition now in 2016: $47K.

Every college prices differently, but the gist is they try to provide an experience and resources so that rich alumni dump more money into the college once they become successful. They then can give out discounts and grants to other kinds of students to diversify the student body. (That's how I read it.)

Health care, you typically had to go through your employer for because it pay out of pocket broke anyone but the rich. Employers don't always offer great plans. You really have to consider health care as part of your salary package and not as a side thing -- a decent health care plan is worth a chunk of straight cash salary.

There are walk-in clinics (they seem to have risen in popularity), but they are crowded and the doctors suck.

The recent health care changes forced people (in certain brackets) to get plans so that there is enough money to cover people with special needs. Plans vary from state to state, since they are state run, so costs fluctuate as well. Some people are better off; some, worse; but overall a lot more people are insured. From my end, always having had a decent health care plan, I've felt like my service has diminished a bit; insurance companies are a pain in my ass and I still have a prescription I've been trying to get filled for months and am probably giving up on. But I follow the rules, stay in network, only go when I need to go for care, and I do pretty well. But people in low-income jobs and economic brackets have different struggles and I can't speak intelligently on that.



Is it true that unless you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you won't be getting an education?
My parents were solid middle class -- a nurse and a teacher (and the latter lost his job and became a life insurance salesman).

I went to a school that ranks #37 currently on the US News and World Reports Best Liberal Art Schools in US, but I couldn't have afford that if I hadn't gotten some loans and a ton of scholarships for academic performance; meanwhile, I was watching classmates show up in nice shiny new sports cars their daddies bought them for christmas. My fall-back school was Penn State, which I was accepted for easily and was much cheaper at the time in terms of total tuition (although, again, scholarships....)

There's a job shift occurring -- you actually can find decent service/care jobs like nursing, for cheaper and less school, you can start on associates degrees. Or you can go to tech schools to get training in certain occupations. College is not a necessity per se depending on your career path. College became an industry at some point, so now it almost feels worthless if you get a degree in the wrong field -- people who take out big loans to fund their education, then can't find a job in their field. It's important to do something you want to do + actually have a job market for it, if you're going to take on loans. I feel fortunate I entered a field that had room for advancement and paid well, and is always expanding.
 

smithcommajohn

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#14
Usually, from what I have experienced, peoples from S. America refer to people from the US, Canada, or Mexico as North Americans. I think the reason US Americans are referred to as Americans, has to do with the idea of American exceptionalism. The US is unique, special and thus the "real" America. But in strict terms anyone from the new world can be considered Americans.
Yet no one refers to themselves as American outside of the United States. No one is stopping them... not even the unique, special, "real", and exceptional Americans. What a nonsense statement.
 

dang

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#15
USA! USA! USA! Just kidding. What do you want to know? I was born and raised in the city of Boston. I know New England very well. I spent most of the first 25 years of my life in Boston. Then I lived in Oslo, Norway for about five years. I observed the US from a distance. Then I moved back to the States and promptly moved out to LA (Venice, then Santa Monica). I have now been living on the West Coast for a dozen years. I find it is very difficult to generalize about the US. Summarizing the US is like summarizing all of Europe. LA and Boston are like different countries. Hell, Venice and Santa Monica, which are adjacent to one another, feel like different countries. The US has so much variety and diversity that you have to live here and travel around a lot to find out what it is really like. If you live in England, and you watch Hollywood movies set in the US, you are receiving a very limited view of life here. As much as I hate many things about the country and city I live in, I currently believe that Santa Monica is like paradise. If you can afford it. The climate is as good as it gets globally. The quality of life, if you find your niche, is great. I have no desire to leave. Within a 100 mile radius of where I live is everything you could ever ask for. It is practically like owning a teleportation device. You could conceivably hike, surf, ski, and skate all in the same day. That is why I hate when foreigners dismiss the US in general or LA in particular. Because they are right and wrong at the same time. Saying you hate everything about this country is like saying you hate music. It is very close minded and extreme. There are pros and cons to pretty much everything I have learned. If you are curious about the US, you need to visit. Or move here. That is what the Aussies do. They come here for a year and travel around the country in search of the real America. Do they ever really discover it? Who knows. America, fuck yeah! Coming to save the mother fuckin' world! America, fuck yeah! Team America: World Police was funny. Oh, and Sinny, I hear there is lots of weed here. Lots. Enticed?
 
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#16
USA! USA! USA! Just kidding. What do you want to know? I was born and raised in the city of Boston. I know New England very well. I spent most of the first 25 years of my life in Boston. Then I lived in Oslo, Norway for about five years. I observed the US from a distance. Then I moved back to the States and promptly moved out to LA (Venice, then Santa Monica). I have now been living on the West Coast for a dozen years. I find it is very difficult to generalize about the US. Summarizing the US is like summarizing all of Europe. LA and Boston are like different countries. Hell, Venice and Santa Monica, which are adjacent to one another, feel like different countries. The US has so much variety and diversity that you have to live here and travel around a lot to find out what it is really like. If you live in England, and you watch Hollywood movies set in the US, you are receiving a very limited view of life here. As much as I hate many things about the country and city I live in, I currently believe that Santa Monica is like paradise. If you can afford it. The climate is as good as it gets globally. The quality of life, if you find your niche, is great. I have no desire to leave. Within a 100 mile radius of where I live is everything you could ever ask for. It is practically like owning a teleportation device. You could conceivably hike, surf, ski, and skate all in the same day. That is why I hate when foreigners dismiss the US in general or LA in particular. Because they are right and wrong at the same time. Saying you hate everything about this country is like saying you hate music. It is very close minded and extreme. There are pros and cons to pretty much everything I have learned. If you are curious about the US, you need to visit. Or move here. That is what the Aussies do. They come here for a year and travel around the country in search of the real America. Do they ever really discover it? Who knows. America, fuck yeah! Coming to save the mother fuckin' world! America, fuck yeah! Team America: World Police was funny. Oh, and Sinny, I hear there is lots of weed here. Lots. Enticed?
Totally, you've convinced me to make LA my first stop in America.

Congratulations.

Now, the trip could be soonish - if I opt for the US over Europe.. But I'm not sure which to do first... But I can probably only afford one of those trips within the next year.

Depends who will be travelling with me. I really ought to take my bestie on holiday with me, but that stretches my budget further, and that extended offer will probably be limited to Europe.

So I guess, if I opt into America, you'll be taking care of me.

How longs the trip between where you are , and San Francisco?
 

Cheeseumpuffs

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#17
Better than being on an unstable land mass with a bunch of hippies. :p
Hey! I (probably) am one of those hippies! And besides, I haven't actually felt an earthquake in like years.

Oh, and food, tell me about food, and the economy, and your views on the rest of the world too.
We got all kinds of food. California most notably has awesome mexican food. But you can pretty much get any kind of food you want. You want italian? We got plenty of italian places. Sushi? Fuck yeah we have sushi coming out our asses over here. Burgers? Jesus christ we have burgers everywhere (and in California we've even got In n Out which is like the god of burgers (I think I might go there for lunch later)). You can name any kind of food and pretty much, as long as you aren't off in the middle of nowhere, you'll be able to find what you're looking for.

I heard that your McDonalds are three times the size of ours and for one third the price... I don't know whether to be jealous or not, haha.
Ooohhh nonono no. I've been to the UK. The MickeyDs there are vastly superior. All the MacDolans I saw in the UK were two stories and had padded seats and more expanded menus than ours and were actually pretty close to being restaurants for real.

Jenny's right though, a lot of our McDeezy's have been renovating and revamping, but yours are still way cooler.

Ours probably are a bit cheaper, though, yeah. I don't know for sure. It's been years since I've been to one here in america, much less in the UK so I don't remember prices.

Totally, you've convinced me to make LA my first stop in America.
There's more weed in SF. People will walk down the street smoking joints there. Also if you head somewhere where it's legal for recreational use like Colorado or Washington or wherever I hear weed's been flowing like water there.

How longs the trip between where you are , and San Francisco?
Google maps says driving from LA to SF will take 5-6 hours. Probably closer to 8ish, imo. I live 3-4 hours north up the coast from LA and it takes us roughly 5 hours to get to the Bay. (although, google is saying to take the 5 freeway which could be faster for all I know, since my town is on the 101 which is what I take when I'm going north or south.)
 

Lot

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#18
I want to know all about the cultural/political differences/nuances between the North, South, East, West, and the middle.
This has mostly been covered. I live in a desert. I'm about a 4 hour drive away from the grand canyon. Even in my own state I see vast differences. In the winter, if I drive south 3 hours it's spring weather for everywhere else, and if I drive north 3 hours it's snowing. When you drive through the nothing, there is normally at least a nice view of red mountains, and clear skies. It doesn't rain often, unless it's monsoon season, which this years season sucks so far. My state is quickly becoming an independent state, rather than conservative or liberal. We have a mixture of ideas, and a pretty 50/50 white to hispanic population. Like jenny, the nearest store is bout 15-20 min drive away from my current house.

What's every day life like for you?
I wake up, go to work, get paid less than I need to live on my own. I had to move back in with my parents so I could pay off some credit card debt, and fix my credit after my brief affair with drugs. My minimum college degree (AA) is mostly useless. I worked the whole time I was earning it, so I don't have debt for it, but I do feel like I wasted 5 years. College is also how I got hooked into the cult I was in.

I think a lot about having my own place. An acre of land to start my own orchard would be amazing. I don't want anything flashy, just some land and a family. I spend a lot of time with at my girl friend's house when she is in town. She is 5 years older than me, and lucked out when she found her condo on sale for a reasonable price. Other than working, and staying in doors, there isn't much to do here in the summer. At least not much that's free. Its really hot here, like last week it hit 45c in the heart of the city. It was more like 40c where I live, but still hot as fuck. At least my mango tree loves the heat. My poor avocado tree looks like a fucking mess. I garden when I can, but haven't been home much, so I let my two gardens die. Between the heat, and the stupid fucking rodents, it's not worth the struggle until fall, which is like a second spring.

How do you view America as a whole?
It's really just a thing for me. I'm neither proud, nor ashamed. I was born here, and like my state enough, plus I'm too poor, to move. If I spoke Spanish, I would consider going to Mexico, or Costa Rica, maybe even Nicaragua. I like my weather warm and my food spicy. But as far as being American it's not a big deal. There are so many people that are super proud of it. I can see being proud if you immigrated here, but natural born people have nothing to be proud of. Grateful maybe, but not proud. It's like being proud of being pretty or born in a certain family. You have no control over that, so therefore you didn't accomplish it and should not be proud. Jenny described the proud to be an American thing pretty well.

The US is pretty corrupt, and has done some pretty fucked up things. The government constantly lies to the people. Both major parties are good at pretending to be different, but they all have the same kind of agenda. They spend more than they should, on thing that don't need to be invested in. For how big our military is, it runs like a toddler in the snow. And the people that talk about caring for their fellow man the most, do the least to actually help people. Christians are pretty much just a political pawn for the republicans, and minority groups are the pawn of the democrats. We are very morally black and white about things that aren't black and white.

The Trump nomination is just and symptom of how frustrated conservatives are with liberals. Not everyone votes, so that makes issues. But if 70% of a state doesn't want gay marriage, and the president and supreme court say they need to accept it as law, you are going to piss those people off. People could say the same thing about segregation or slavery, but thats another talk. Religious people feel alienated, and the people that feel like their jobs are being taken by immigrants feel cheated. The left is angry that the right just won't see their way of thinking, so they keep stuffing it down the right's throats just like they complained that christians did to them with religion. Everyone is tactless and impatient.

But yeah, back to my point. People are polarized here. The country is so big that I don't think a democracy is possible. When people do have a chance to find some common ground, it seems like the news and politicians try their damnedest to sow seeds of chaos. The more divided the country is, the less likely people are to notice the shady shit the bureaucrats and crooked politicians are up to. It's like there is crazy gas in the air some times.

But that is also just the world of politics. Depending on where you go, most people are rather easy going. But I'm from the south west. People out here keep to them selves, and for the most part don't care what you do as long as you do it in your own yard. In Arizona, the further you are from Phoenix and the Indian reservations, more friendly people are. Even the extroverts have learned to respect people's space. Community is not really a thing, unless you are in a hispanic neighborhood, and even they still keep to their own home 350 days out of the year.

Mcdonalds is pretty cheap compared to what my friends that visited the UK say.

Is it true that unless you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you won't be getting an education?
That also depends on where you are. There are a lot of non public schools in Arizona, and most of them are free and offer a better education. So as long as your parents are willing to drive, you can get into a good school. But, yes, in the poor neighborhoods schools suck ass. It's why poor people here are often very stupid and ignorant. Teachers don't get paid as much in rural and inner city schools, so they don't want to teach in those schools. SO even if a teacher is total shit, those schools will hold on to them, because there is a teacher shortage in this country. I hear stories from teachers that I know that teach in poor schools. The students are poorly parented at home, so they behave badly at school, and it's easy to just let the slip through the cracks, because, "Fuck those little shits." Arizona also has alternative schools for bad kids. Which is really a blessing. I've seen kids that society had given up on, go on to do well for them selves, because they were given a safe place to finish high school. Most of them would have been better suited for trade high schools, because that where most of them went after hs.

How was your welfare state developed?
Who are your most prominent social engineers?
The welfare state is a mixture of good intentions, actual help for people that need it, and political control. Democrats use welfare and food stamps to get votes, and republicans use medicaid and social security to get votes.

I would say the most prominent social engineers are teachers. Starting at the college level, and pushing out into the k-12. I"m just going to say it, most k-12 teachers are not very intelligent people. Very gullible, and tend to do well academically because they don't waste their brain power on thinking. They pass the message taught to them by their professors in college. University professors often have very little work experience outside of academia. They live in ivory towers of theory and ideals. Specifically social sciences, and nonscientific fields are what I'm talking about. Most are non compromising with their ideas, and push them like a religious zealot. I don't just mean liberal school either. Seminaries and bible colleges are the same. Nothing like someone teaching people to be pastors that has never been a pastor. And I've never met a philosophy professor that didn't have a world view they spent they entire class trying to make you believe.

I'm just a bitter, religious, anarchist that doesn't fit into America. Give me an acre and some trees, and I'll leave the rest of you alone. :kilroy:
 
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#19
Haha, thank you (all) for the goodies.. You were in a cult :confused:
 

smithcommajohn

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#20
Hey! I (probably) am one of those hippies! And besides, I haven't actually felt an earthquake in like years.
I needed a snappy comeback and wasn't feeling very creative. I dig California. I'm not a huge fan of the East Coast machismo. I have a sweet gig, though, so where I live is not likely to ever change.
 

Cheeseumpuffs

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#21
I needed a snappy comeback and wasn't feeling very creative. I dig California. I'm not a huge fan of the East Coast machismo. I have a sweet gig, though, so where I live is not likely to ever change.
Yeah, I'm pretty glad to have grown up on the west coast. California itself may not be for everyone though, and I get that. Seattle is where I want to move in the future, maybe Portland. The east coast just feels grumpier, though, too..

Are you still doing the same thing you were when you stopped hanging out with us on skype where you sit in that one room filled with TVs?
 

EditorOne

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#22
Don't eat at Taco Bell or Arby's.

That's all. The country is too mixed up right now to generalize about anything. I thought we were doing OK, but the American Party (the "know nothings") have staged a comeback after an absence of 160 years, so I guess not. Ask these questions again after Nov. 8, we should have a much better idea about who we are after the election.
 
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#24
Don't eat at Taco Bell or Arby's.

That's all. The country is too mixed up right now to generalize about anything. I thought we were doing OK, but the American Party (the "know nothings") have staged a comeback after an absence of 160 years, so I guess not. Ask these questions again after Nov. 8, we should have a much better idea about who we are after the election.
My jaw is still hanging on the floor in regards to the presidential race.

Trump or Hillary... Dystopia arrived far sooner than I was expecting, lol.
 

onesteptwostep

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#25

smithcommajohn

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#26
Yeah, I'm pretty glad to have grown up on the west coast. California itself may not be for everyone though, and I get that. Seattle is where I want to move in the future, maybe Portland. The east coast just feels grumpier, though, too..
I've never been to Seattle or Portland, but they sound somewhat appealing. I want a more laid back city. Miami is just chaos. Fort Lauderdale is a little better, but it's just not my scene.

Are you still doing the same thing you were when you stopped hanging out with us on skype where you sit in that one room filled with TVs?
Good memory! No, I haven't done that in years. Here's what's happened since... IT Specialist -> Database Analyst -> Database Administrator.

Sorry for hijacking your thread, Sinny. It ends here. Let me add something for you.

My daily life is:

Wake up at 7:00am, shower, and dress. Drive about 12 miles to work in my little hybrid, which takes about 25-30 minutes. Drink a protein shake for breakfast on the drive or when I arrive at work. Go out around noon for lunch somewhere close to work (Latin, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, American, etc.) Drive back home at 5:00pm which always takes longer (35-45 minutes). Pick up something unhealthy for dinner, bring it home and eat it while streaming my favorite TV shows. MAYBE play some xbox. Go to bed listening to Mysterious Universe podcast with the fan on.

Rinse and repeat. Pretty boring, but predictable.
 
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Absurdity

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#28
I live in SF. It's cyberpunk as fuck. Shitty infrastructure and dirty streets and wailing, drug-addled, insane homeless people and self-driving cars and 20-something billionaires.

And yes, there's lots of weed and no one cares if you're smoking it.
 
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#29
Totally, you've convinced me to make LA my first stop in America.

Congratulations.

Now, the trip could be soonish - if I opt for the US over Europe.. But I'm not sure which to do first... But I can probably only afford one of those trips within the next year.

Depends who will be travelling with me. I really ought to take my bestie on holiday with me, but that stretches my budget further, and that extended offer will probably be limited to Europe.

So I guess, if I opt into America, you'll be taking care of me.

How longs the trip between where you are , and San Francisco?
Yep, definitely Cali... Giant Rock is on my bucket list. .. yes, it's desert, I have weird interests, haha.

I live in SF. It's cyberpunk as fuck. Shitty infrastructure and dirty streets and wailing, drug-addled, insane homeless people and self-driving cars and 20-something billionaires.

And yes, there's lots of weed and no one cares if you're smoking it.
Lol, is it that bad?

I love Charmed , and was always like , hey! I wanna go to SF!!
 

TBerg

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#31
I live in Arkansas and have traveled throughout most of the United States and many parts of China. It might seem like it is biased on my part, but I sincerely consider Arkansas to be the most beautiful area of the world I have ever seen with my naked eye. We are not called the "Natural State" for flimsy reasons. You could see elegant landscapes and unspoiled wilderness in my area, if you could swing it.
 
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#32
If you have a stopover of any length in Newark (quite possible) give a yell.
Totally! That would be cool - (Lol, Newark in America Shin, not the UK. Derp)

I live in Arkansas and have traveled throughout most of the United States and many parts of China. It might seem like it is biased on my part, but I sincerely consider Arkansas to be the most beautiful area of the world I have ever seen with my naked eye. We are not called the "Natural State" for flimsy reasons. You could see elegant landscapes and unspoiled wilderness in my area, if you could swing it.
Hey, no shit! Just checked out some landscapes, those are beautiful!

Damn, now I wanna go/be everywhere.
 

EditorOne

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#33
Arby's curly fries for the win!
I used to walk two miles through snow to get curly fries from Arby's when I was in college. In the past 40 years, though, a lot of the franchises have gone downhill in a big way.
 
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#35
We could go to the Clinton Presidential Library! ;)
I could burn it down ;)

Oh shit, I best not write this stuff, I really won't be allowed in! lol

Sometimes I throw in disclaimers that I'm joking - this is one, aha.
 

Analyzer

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#36
Yet no one refers to themselves as American outside of the United States. No one is stopping them... not even the unique, special, "real", and exceptional Americans. What a nonsense statement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_(word)

Back to the original thread:

I've lived all over the States: Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and California(north and south). And visited over half of them. Nothing compares to California.
 

smithcommajohn

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#37
Exactly my point. "In modern English, Americans generally refers to someone or something related to the United States of America; among native English speakers this usage is almost universal, with any other use of the term requiring specification."

If you ask me whether or not it SHOULD be that way, that's an entirely different conversation. It's hard to fight the tide on what a word means. In a very technical sense America/American should be inclusive of North, Central, and South America. This, however, is just not the case.
 
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Analyzer

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#38
If you ask me whether or not it SHOULD be that way, that's an entirely different conversation. It's hard to fight the tide on what a word means. In a very technical sense America/American should be inclusive of North, Central, and South America. This, however, is just not the case.

Fair enough. I guess I am just trying to stir the shit.

But word usage and language is interesting to me. Words have a dual content: Denotation and Connotation. One is based on an objective definition to establish a frame of reference and other is how it's interpreted. So in communication it's important to differentiate the two for sake of clear thinking. The results can be disastrous when this is not understood as we have seen in political terms.
 

smithcommajohn

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#39
Fair enough. I guess I am just trying to stir the shit.
No worries. I apologize if I came off kind of harsh.

But word usage and language is interesting to me. Words have a dual content: Denotation and Connotation. One is based on an objective definition to establish a frame of reference and other is how it's interpreted. So in communication it's important to differentiate the two for sake of clear thinking. The results can be disastrous when this is not understood as we have seen in political terms.
Without a doubt, words play an interesting role in human thought, I agree. With just one word you can spark a feeling within another person because of the connotation. That is an amazing power!
 

dang

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#41
That's god damn right :smoker:

West Coast Best Coast.
I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. I am now California Dreamin'. "The West is the Best. Get here, we'll do the rest." It's magical. Not to mention the fittest and hottest people on the planet in LA. Whatever you are looking for in life you can find it here. Good and bad.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#43
I'm from the South Bay (not THE Bay) which is nice for being close to the beaches. Real fireworks are banned in my area yet people still shoot them every year and anyone who wants a medical card for weed can get one(we have billboard advertisements lol). Everything is spaced out to where you have to travel with purpose cause it's going to take you a while to get there, like Cheeseums mentioned you could travel 4-6 hours and still be in the same state, so good luck functioning without a car. All the decent concerts are clustered in the Downtown and Hollywood areas, at least with the latter though nightlife doesn't end until about 4am. But speaking of Hollywood, the glamour is all lies, besides you pesky tourists it's mostly full of street performers, homeless people, and students(Hollywood HS is nearby). If you want glamour visit the Grove, West Hollywood, Beverley Hills, or even Universal Studios/City Walk. Hollywood used to have a fun anarchistic monster walk during Halloween until the cops started policing it. The old Spanish architecture in some cities is pretty cool. Personally I wish snowboarding, paintball shooting and hiking were viable where I live but other than that I want to leave because of the climate, as I need more trees, rain, and sub-70°F temps in my life. I'd miss the liberal and audacious LA attitude though.

"American" isn't really something people tout irl, at least not in California, everyone represents their city hometown. I'd say it's politicians and the media selling you that image of unified patriotism. Eh though I guess what unites us all is our narcissism may that be extraverted self-entitlement or introverted smugness about political and socioeconomic issues, and also the embrace of convenient consumerism. I've only been to Florida, Las Vegas and NorCal so I can't say much about other states, but I can tell you the liberal areas tend to be urban cities and near the coasts.

One more thing, well you know how the US is huge compared to European countries? That means many Americans never feel the need to travel because we already have cultural and geographical diversity, but most importantly we have a lot of service industry jobs that try as hard as they can not to hire fulltime and fulltime is how you get vacation time(unlike other countries it's not mandatory) which is required if you want to visit anywhere outside the US for more than a day. So yeah there's a certain economic threshold for travel and even then going out the country isn't always necessary.
 
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#44
New York's border is really weird... Is New York a whole state between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts... with an additional city inside New York, called New York?
 

TBerg

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#45
The borders of the states were worked out by compromises between state legislatures and congressional delegation based on historical Royal Charters. The King gave Pennsylvania's charter to William Penn, and New York was transferred from the Netherlands to England. New England's Nee Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, were once part of Massachusetts Bay Colony, having secured their own separate legislatures from the King.

New York City now has more in common with New Jersey and Philadelphia than Upstate New York.
 

dang

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#46
New York's border is really weird... Is New York a whole state between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts... with an additional city inside New York, called New York?
Yes and yes. My brother lives in the Village (Greenwich Village), which is found in Manhattan, which is one of the five Burroughs, which comprise New York City. NYC is the major city of New York State, but not the capital. Albany is the capital of New York State. I still find NYC pretty intimidating. It is huge. And very congested. In addition to his apartment in the city, my brother also owns a house in Bellport on Long Island which is also part of New York State. The Hamptons on Long Island is where many wealthy New Yorkers spend their summers. Owning a place in Manhattan (preferably with a view of Central Park) and also owning a place in the Hamptons means you are very wealthy. Both places are very expensive and desirable. If you own a condo in Manhattan, as well as a condo in Santa Monica, you get the best of both worlds. Splitting your time between the two coasts makes one "bicoastal." Like movie stars who live in NY but go to LA regularly for work. That is why states in the middle of the country are often dismissively referred to as "fly over" states. Many people feel that states like Nebraska are best experienced from the vantage point of an airplane. I have found that people who live in NYC or LA can be pretty elitist. But there is no denying that they are both world class cities that have a major impact on the rest of the world. There is no shortage of attractive, intelligent, creative, hard working, interesting, and fun people in those two cities, each with their own stereotypes. The rivalry between NYC and LA is amusing. If you ask me, both places are awesome and suck at the same time. NYC is great if you enjoy seasons, whereas LA is great if you like nice dry weather everyday. Once again, you need to find your niche. And many people move from LA to NY and vice versa, so you are never too homesick. Sometimes I feel like half the people who live in my neighborhood come from the North East. I am so done with snow.
 

Jennywocky

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#47
Yeah, Interstate 95 goes up (from Wash DC and Baltimore) through Philadelphia PA, through NJ, and then NYC. That whole swath from Philly through NJ to NYC (kinda following what Tberg said) is kinda like the comic book version of "Metropolis" ... it's so built up now, it's all running together and it's only about 100 miles between NYC and Philly (a 2 hour highway trip w/o traffic).

The urban/suburban/rural divides can actually be pretty strong, so if you've got a big state with a huge urban center and another side that's all rural, they can actually be pretty different in outlook, voting, approach, etc.

New York state is the #27 largest out of the 50 in terms of size, but the #4 largest in population and the #7 in terms of population density.

it's kind of funny because, sure, NYC is the largest US city and pretty dense... but then people go traveling up to the middle and north parts of the state to the Finger Lakes and Adirondacks and whatever else, for the natural areas.
 

dang

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#48
Yeah, Interstate 95 goes up (from Wash DC and Baltimore) through Philadelphia PA, through NJ, and then NYC. That whole swath from Philly through NJ to NYC (kinda following what Tberg said) is kinda like the comic book version of "Metropolis" ... it's so built up now, it's all running together and it's only about 100 miles between NYC and Philly (a 2 hour highway trip w/o traffic).

The urban/suburban/rural divides can actually be pretty strong, so if you've got a big state with a huge urban center and another side that's all rural, they can actually be pretty different in outlook, voting, approach, etc.

New York state is the #27 largest out of the 50 in terms of size, but the #4 largest in population and the #7 in terms of population density.

it's kind of funny because, sure, NYC is the largest US city and pretty dense... but then people go traveling up to the middle and north parts of the state to the Finger Lakes and Adirondacks and whatever else, for the natural areas.
All together now: "Start spreading the news. I'm leaving today. I want to be a part of it, New York, New York!" Yeah!
 
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#49
The borders of the states were worked out by compromises between state legislatures and congressional delegation based on historical Royal Charters. The King gave Pennsylvania's charter to William Penn, and New York was transferred from the Netherlands to England. New England's Nee Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, were once part of Massachusetts Bay Colony, having secured their own separate legislatures from the King.

New York City now has more in common with New Jersey and Philadelphia than Upstate New York.
Thank you, you preempted another of my questions.
 

EditorOne

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#50
New York's border is really weird... Is New York a whole state between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts... with an additional city inside New York, called New York?
It makes more sense if you look at the rivers as main arteries of transportation during the colonial era. The Hudson river valley is the eastern part of New York State, running north-south up to a chain of lakes that connect with Canada and the tributaries running into it from the west made the whole thing make more sense. No roads in the 1600s and early 1700s when this was all happening. Additionally, as noted above, lots of disputes among the colonies about boundaries. All the seacoast colonies originally claimed territory due west of where their north-south boundaries were located, ie., Massachusetts claimed parts of what is now NY, Vermont and New Hampshire, etc. There were attempts by some colonies to move people into new areas and then claim it was their territory; the area southeast of Cleveland, Ohio, near the Cayahuga River looks like it dropped into Ohio from New England, because it did. Same town squares, same austere churches and town commons, etc. It was settled by New Englanders.

Wait until you disappear into the wilderness around Philadelphia. Are you any good with Welsh place names? Because we got them, big time, right next to Dutch place names and Native American place names. We have Schuylkill, Manayunk and Conyngham, for starters. We have an entire Slate Belt in northeast Pennsylvania settled by immigrants from Wales and Cornwall and a bit of Ireland who came to mine the slate: Bangor, Pen Argyl, Belfast, and Bath, Bangor is so Welsh the high school fight song is "Men of Harlech."

All confusing. All good. Just don't go to Taco Bell or Arby's. Footnote: Pen Argyl and Bangor are the only places in America that I know of where you can order a pasty in a restaurant and not get looked at funny.





But yes, New York City is in New York State, although really it's not one city but five, each with separate governments: Brooklyn, Queens, Yonkers, Staten Island and Manhattan. Just to confuse things more.
 
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