Michael's Dispatches

American Arrogance

13 December 2010

There have been many comments about American arrogance.  During my travels to 48 United States and over [65] countries -- most of those states and countries multiple times -- some themes have emerged.

There is a pervasive sense in the United States that we are THE best.  I've seen this in four other countries: Canada, France, India, and China. While many Americans think they/we are THE best in the world (whatever THE best might be to the thinkers of those thoughts), significant numbers of Canadians and French will inform you they are superior to Americans (and to Germans and Brits), while Indians and Chinese are superior to all of us.  Oh, and don't forget Israelis who have a tendency to burst out saying they have the "Most moral country in the world!" (They say that with exclamation mark.) Israelis also say, "We have the most moral Army in the world!"  Wasn't so long ago that the Germans were likewise self-convinced.  Today the Germans are convinced they are superior to Austrians who are superior to Germans.  Both are superior to Turks and Americans, while Polish are superior to Russians who are superior to all their neighbors and to Americans.  Czechs are superior to Slovaks.  Many people accuse Koreans of a superiority complex.  Goes on—in fact, this thought could go on for hours. There are many Thais who feel superior to hill tribesmen, Cambodians, and plenty of others, and Chinese who are superior to Tibetans, (but that's redundant because Chinese are superior to everyone). Except Egyptians and Saudis, who both are superior to Indians and Chinese.  And let's not get started on religion—because the Hindus are convinced they are superior to all, and of course Jews have their own thoughts, as do Yezidis, Christians, and let's not forget Muslims, Mormons, and Rastafarians, all of whom are “the chosen people,” like those found in Saudi Arabia.  The first religion, and therefore most superior, is Yezidism, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism and only God knows what else.  Muslims look down on Sikhs.  The first people on Earth were Koreans, Africans, Yezidis, and Adam & Eve, though some scientists say we came from monkeys.   Many scientists believe all true science is superior to religions, but apparently this leaves, ironically, anthropology out in the cold, because anthropologists (isn’t that what this is all about?) can’t even make up their minds if they are scientists or not.  Arabs are superior to Persians.  But what exactly is an Arab?  Do you know?  I don’t.  I tried to figure out what an Arab is and got very confused.  In any case, Persians are superior to Arabs, and to Kurds, while Kurds also are superior to Arabs, though Arabs look down on Kurds.  Some Arabs are Sunni Muslims while others are Shia or something else.  Sunni think Shia are dumb.  All Arabs and Persians are superior to Afghans who are superior to Russians and to Pakistanis who in turn are superior to Indians (apparently not realizing that Indians are superior to everyone, except Egyptians, Saudis, and Chinese), while Nepalese are superior to Indians, but again, the Nepalese apparently don't realize the Indians don't care because they will soon surpass China in population! (Which Indians will also say with an exclamation mark.)  Inside Nepal, Brahmans are superior to Sherpas, though pretty girls prefer Gurkhas.  This generation is inferior to that, while writers look down upon photographers and staff are superior to freelance.  Newspapers were superior to bloggers.

Northern Europe is superior to the whole of Southern Europe.   Marines are superior to Soldiers. Oh Lord, I travel too much. Could go on for hours about all the arrogance out there. Just a little more: Aussies are superior to Americans and to Kiwis, while Kiwis are upset when we don't know where they are. Gators are superior to Seminoles, but there is actually truth to this because Seminoles actually are inferior to Gators.  Mammals are superior to reptiles.  And to birds.  And to fish.  Bacteria and viruses are superior to mammals but neither talks about it.

So there.  Top that!

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