It's amazing how much people seem to know about the U.S. here. I know because they tell me how much they know all the time. Or at least, what they think they know. A number of my students, (who haven't ever actually visited the U.S.) tell me in a exaggeratedly disgusted way that we do nothing but consume, (buy shit and eat fast food). I mostly just sit patiently and listen, because for me it's interesting to get an idea of how some people see us. Plus, there's no need for me to talk since they never ask me how it is in my personal experience, they just tell me what they already know about my country.
"You've got a lot of fat people." "Obama is an idiot." "You guys get involved in everything."
As much as I may criticize my country while I'm there, when I'm away I often want to defend my country and the people that live there. Sure, we produce a lot of shit that's bad for people, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Ford automobiles. Sure, we consume a ton of shit. But these critics who lecture me on my country are the same people who ask their friends who are visiting Miami to bring them back clothes, shoes, computers, ipods, etc. Hell, they're just as hooked as we are.
Everyone "knows a lot" about the U.S. but many Americans can't even find Argentina on a map. I'd be willing to bet money my family still can't and I'm living here. My own dad thought, and if I'm being honest with myself, probably still continues to think, that I'm in Brazil.
on the phone 4 months after arriving
Me: "Brazil? No Dad, that's actually another country altogether, I'd need a different, special visa to--"
My Dad: *cutting me off* "Alright because Tom Brady is in Rio right now with his Brazilian girlfriend and I thought you may get lucky and spot him in the city."
Me: "I'll try to see if I can find him."
The people I talk to typically seem to be on one side of the spectrum, they hate the U.S. and what it stands for or they love it all. The parts that some people love about the U.S. are unfortunately not all the same things I love, like that we all hate our immigrants and want the rich to keep their hard earned money without paying high taxes. These beliefs are generalizations, obviously not all Americans love all of these things.
You already know I have my fair share of generalizations regarding Argentina, but that doesn't make them true for everyone that lives here. They don't all have squidbillie haircuts and mullets, they don't all lie to their girlfriends and wives about having multiple other girlfriends, not every woman has long straight hair.
If I've learned anything it's that I probably shouldn't/definitely can't generalize about other countries TO people from those countries, because if they're anything like me, they don't care for it too much. Nobody needs a lecture about how terrible their country is and how it could improve.
Except for France, to hell with those fuckers. hahaha! (is she kidding?) hahahaha...