Saturday, 27 September 2008

How The World Sees The USA

Its interesting to me that how the world sees the USA is so different to how they see themselves. From their literature, films and TV, they are always doing good around the world, spreading democracy and the benefits of a free society. But other countries see the USA as trying to influence them in secret, when the local democracy gets in the way of the USAs interests they know who will suffer, and whose freedoms will be reduced.

There's an book on this called 'Why do people hate America' by Ziauddin Sardar & Merryl Wyn Davies. I don't agree with everything in it, but they make an interesting argument, particularly relating to the influence of TV programs, even those that may be years old but keep being repeated. When a character from the USA wants something, national boundary's are brushed aside, nothing else matters, arrests are made, items retrieved etc. With the current one sided extradition laws in place the fiction does seem to portray reality. But some of it is also down to jealousy, they are more powerful so all other countries hope for a special relationship, and resent having to do so. But I don't think the book has it all correct, as not everyone hates the USA, and many people who do hate the Bush administration can keep the country separate from the leaders.

One antidote to this has been films like 'M*A*S*H' and recently 'Team America: World Police - Putting the "F" back in Freedom', which proves that they do have a sense of humour.

I should mention that some people dislike the name of the continent being used to describe a single country. It does seem arrogant, but then to some the name Great Britain displays our own arrogance. Other countries view us in a similar way, there is a mixture of resentment of past injustice from the days of Empire, things we may have largely forgotten about but that may still be smoldering away.

I enjoyed the first part of the John Adams Emmy award winning miniseries, its though provoking. I'm so used their shows being so one sided, such as the Patriot, where every Brit is evil, every yank a saint. After WW2 the Germans were usually the baddies in movies, then during the cold war it was Russians. In recent times they almost invariably use British actors to play baddies, it seems we are good for something.

I caught some of the Obama/McCain debate on the news today; opinion seems divided, I look forward to watching it 11pm on More4 tonight, 11pm.

Thanks, for the image.

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