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[filmscanners] Re: was: RE: SS4000 & ...now: mean people suck

I will say but one thing one this.  For context, I am an American who
lived in London for 5 years.

I think it is a mistake, and quite unfair, to apply a behavioural
stereotype to everyone of a particular Nation.  All the British are not
one way, and all the Americans are not another way.  There is tremendous
diversity of behavior and attitudes across both populations.  Certainly,
different cultures have different modes of socially acceptable behavior
- and on average (if you will), communication styles in England (not
necessarily applying to Scotland, Wales or Ireland) tend to be more
indirect (this is well documented in cultural/sociological research).
That said, the offending statement had nothing to do with that. (it was
quite opposite from, really).  Being familiar with both cultures, I find
nothing about it as being commonly acceptable behaviour in either
culture.  It was rude and insulting, and obviously burst out from some
bottled-up, mounting frustration.  It was entirely a personal reaction
(over-reaction, really) of the poster, and one that seemed to come of of
nowhere with no recent context (at least to me).  It had nothing to do
with being British -- certainly nothing to do with any notion of
National elitism, and the reaction had nothing to do with being
American.  I think we are much to quick to assign negative behaviours
that we experience as being characteristic or a particular nationality
or ethnicity.  Rather than trying to couch this in National or cultural
terms, we should be counseling the offending poster in anger management.

Arthur Entlich wrote:
> Before moving on, and to further belabour this point (note both the "u"
> in belabour and in my earlier posting with the word behaviour - I don't
> use those spellings, but I figured George Harrison might) I do believe
> Tony has hit the nail on the head, in terms of this being a cultural
> issue, but it is more complex than it may appear on the surface.
> I am a dual citizen (US and Canadian) having lived first in the US and
> then in Canada, about half of my life each.  I was always under the
> impression that English people were very "proper", especially with their
> use of language and in personal interaction.  Well, that illusion got
> blown away the first time I traveled to London. I was absolutely shocked
> by the rude and profane mouths I encountered, and some were people in
> the service industry dealing with clients or complete strangers!  I am
> on many newsgroups and lists and am quite active in some of them, and
> almost without exception, the people who are most aggressively hostile
> toward me and make the meanest, rudest and most profane comments are
> Brits, almost without exception.
> I would probably agree that some of it is just cultural use of the
> language, which almost seems to be overcompensation for that previous
> assumption by your ex-colonies (the US and Canada for two, plus many
> others) of that prim and proper manner of Brits.  I think part of this
> might actually be because the Brits who visited and settle in the
> colonies during early periods tended to be upper crusters (diplomats,
> ambassadors, priests, government agents, high echelon military, etc) who
> were "well bred" and did speak an upper class language.
> Having said that, however, I do believe that some of the current
> "cultural" differences are based upon an elitism which still remains
> within Brit culture, which allows some people to feel they have the
> right, due to falsely presumed superiority of thought and ability, to be
> disrespectful and belittling of others.
> Let me just say to that, that those of us who now occupy the lands which
> were once colonies aren't all a bunch of "boobs", in fact, some of us
> aren't even of British stock!  And we do not need to be "redressed" by
> the previous masters of  the lands we now live within, anymore than we
> need to teach our first peoples how to fish better.
> So, to Brits who feel the need or right to put us "in our place", know
> that the children have  developed their own lives and value systems,
> whether you approve or not.
> Present company excepted, of course...
> Art
> Tony Sleep wrote:
>> On 16/02/2008 Arthur Entlich wrote:
>>> I won't quote it, but George's comment was as clear as the nose on my
>>> face. It was  hostile, very directed, and IMHO, very inappropriate.
>> On a hunch, I just checked, and George is a Brit, posting from a
>> BTinternet address. There is actually a cultural collision here in style
>> of expression. Americans are, IME, extremely polite (perhaps because you
>> never know who is carrying a concealed handgun:) and do have a certain
>> formality to their writing style. You see this not only on lists but
>> across US publishing, serious newspapers maintain a formality of style
>> that has largely disappeared in UK after the London 'Times' began using
>> photos on the front page about 30 years ago. To Brits, US prose often
>> seems turgid and verbose. I guess UK expression must often seem uncouth
>> and intrusively direct.
>> I think maybe that accounts for the different perceptions here. To my mind
>> George's expression was tetchy and direct but not intended to cause
>> offence, just to make a frustrated point - which I took to anyway be about
>> quoting. However for Art in Canada and Laurie in USA, it seems to have
>> crossed a line.
>> Not making excuses, but hoping we can understand and move on.
>> --
>> Regards
>> Tony Sleep
>> http://tonysleep.co.uk

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