Let's hear some stereotypes about Americans!!!

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Joseph A Kidd

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Jan 6, 1992, 9:23:00 PM1/6/92
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Speaking of national stereotypes......

What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around Germany and/or
Europe? I really would like to hear them!

A couple I - as an American - would assume are:

Americans are usually overweigth and physically unfit.

or....

Friendship with Americans is typically shallow, though the American might give
the other person the impression that the two are best of friends.

or a positive one....

Americans are very approachable as strangers.

Of course these are stereotypes and possibly nothing more than that.
Nevertheless, I am interested in hearing some from the Continent!

I am Joe Kidd at the University of Oregon.
JAK...@oregon.uoregon.edu

Henning Pangels

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Jan 6, 1992, 11:17:30 PM1/6/92
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"American women are loose and easy" (usually stated with some degree of envy)
"Americans think they are the most important people in the world"
"Americans care only about money, career and success"
"Americans have no class"
"Americans are very friendly" (almost too friendly for some stuffy Europeans)
"Americans are not well educated"

These are the kinds of things I sometimes pick up when I go back to
Germany. Having lived in the US for over 10 years, it always bothers
me, as I've had many personal experiences quite to the contrary.
Further, I have not witnessed those kinds of stereotypes about Germans
being used by Americans. Not that American stereotypes about Germans
are any more true, but they seem less scathing, I guess.

Stereotypes suck.

-hp

--
Henning Pangels |h...@frc2.frc.ri.cmu.edu | Field Robotics Center
Research Programmer|(412) 268-7088 |Carnegie-Mellon University
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Door is a Jar

Thomas Franz Enders

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Jan 7, 1992, 12:15:45 AM1/7/92
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In article <6JAN1992...@oregon.uoregon.edu> jak...@oregon.uoregon.edu (Joseph A Kidd) writes:
>Speaking of national stereotypes......
>
>What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around Germany and/or
>Europe? I really would like to hear them!
>

Ok, here you go:

All Americans wear plaid bermuda shorts and Hawaii shirts in completely
unmatched colors.

American women (especially from California !) below a certain age (say 30)
are extremely beautiful.

American women above a certain age (say 50) are extremely ugly and are
using tons of make-up, which makes things even worse.

Americans wear sunglasses all the time.

Americans only eat Hamburgers and french fries and drink Coke.

Everything in America is overly commercialized.

Americans are generally very friendly people and open to strangers.

Americans have a lot of money.

Americans go surfing every day.

Americans eat chewing-gum all the time.

Everything is bigger in America.

Oh, not to forget that 'American' usually means 'from the USA'.
This is just a non-representative assortment of stereotypes I remember.
And of course, when I came to the US, I found all of them to be true. :-)

Thomas
---

Espen J. Vestre

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Jan 7, 1992, 4:26:34 AM1/7/92
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In article <6JAN1992...@oregon.uoregon.edu> jak...@oregon.uoregon.edu
(Joseph A Kidd) writes:
> What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around Germany
and/or
> Europe? I really would like to hear them!

> Americans are very approachable as strangers.

I worked in California for a couple of summer months a few years ago.

The main impression my Wife and I got, is that almost all the people we
got to know well were _foreigners_ (for instance japanese). Americans
seem to have a very open attitude on the surface, all the "How are you
today?"'s in the shop are almost too much. On the other hand, getting an
american _friend_ seems very difficult. And getting invited home to an
american especially.
My home is my castle!

A less serious anecdote:
I think a lot of Europeans would think "Oh no! Typical American woman!" if
they'd heard the conversation (or should we say monologue...)my sister
overheard in a german train compartment between a "typical" [:-)] 40-50
year old american woman and a young girl.
A couple of excerpts:

American: "What do you think of German men?"
American answers herself: "I think they SMELL!!"

American: "In Germany they have SO SMALL dining rooms!! In the US we have
HUGE dining rooms!"


--------------------------------------------------------------
Espen J. Vestre, es...@coli.uni-sb.de
Universitaet des Saarlandes,
Computerlinguistik, Gebaeude 17.2
Im Stadtwald,
D-6600 SAARBRUECKEN, Germany tel. +49 (681) 302 4501
--------------------------------------------------------------

Werner Uhrig

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Jan 7, 1992, 5:51:26 AM1/7/92
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we're supposed to this now intentionally?!?

<groan>!!
--
--(wer...@rascal.ics.utexas.edu)--*OR*--(...!uunet!cs.utexas.edu!werner)--
Credo: --- Never hastily ascribe to malice, ignorance, or stupidity ---
--- that which is adequately explained by inexperience or oversight. ---
(but why would you think I was hasty?!? ;-))

David George

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Jan 7, 1992, 7:54:43 AM1/7/92
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In article <HMP.92Ja...@squash.frc.ri.cmu.edu> h...@frc2.frc.ri.cmu.edu
(Henning Pangels) writes:
>
> "American women are loose and easy"

> Having lived in the US for over 10 years, it always bothers


> me, as I've had many personal experiences quite to the contrary.


Does CMU run affirmative action, maybe you should try California ? or
alt.romance ?

big :-)

David.

Bruce Clement

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Jan 7, 1992, 2:57:03 AM1/7/92
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In article <6JAN1992...@oregon.uoregon.edu> jak...@oregon.uoregon.edu (Joseph A Kidd) writes:
>Speaking of national stereotypes......
>
>What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around Germany and/or
>Europe? I really would like to hear them!
>
>A couple I - as an American - would assume are:
[many line deleted]

>Of course these are stereotypes and possibly nothing more than that.
>Nevertheless, I am interested in hearing some from the Continent!
>
>I am Joe Kidd at the University of Oregon.

How about "In every newsgroup, Americans want to turn the discussion into
a discussion about Americans, or about how much better America is than
everywhere else"

Yes, I know I'm not from Germany, but I once step-parented two German born
German citizens, and I read this newsgroup because I'm interested in
Germany, German culture, and the German people!
--
Bruce Clement speaking for truth, beauty, and the New Zealand way.
Exception #13 at F0AF:5A1D
Error code: 0000
Do you want to T)erminate the program, R)eboot, or try to C)ontinue

Rene Johe

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Jan 7, 1992, 9:37:01 AM1/7/92
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David George <1992Jan7.1...@osf.org> writes:


>> "American women are loose and easy"

>> Having lived in the US for over 10 years, it always bothers
>> me, as I've had many personal experiences quite to the contrary.


>Does CMU run affirmative action, maybe you should try California ? or
>alt.romance ?

I don't know if it's just me, but European women in general seem more
sensual and (sexually) mature. I agree that American women are NOT as
"loose and easy" as their reputation. In fact, American society in
general seems to display a certain amount of sexual "anxiety." Sexual
explicitness is strongly discouraged. Just look at TV. I think U.S.
women are emotionally shallow (boy, if that doesn't get a response!!)
when compared to their European counterparts.

Just a thought.

Joachim Schrod

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Jan 7, 1992, 9:10:55 AM1/7/92
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In article <6JAN1992...@oregon.uoregon.edu>, jak...@oregon.uoregon.edu (Joseph A Kidd) writes:
> Speaking of national stereotypes......
>
> What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around Germany and/or
> Europe? I really would like to hear them!

Oh, I may add a stereotype the other way round, ie, an US stereotype
about Germans. I've read it one minute ago. From the newsgroup
soc.culture.german, Message-ID: <21...@scorn.sco.COM>, author James
Mohr:

| [Y]ou missed something that I feel is essential [...]
| and that is the stratification that permeates all
| aspects of German culture and society. Germans like to seperate
| themselves from everyone that is not part of their 'caste'. I
| particularly saw this in the intellectuals. Anyone who did not have an
| diploma from a Uni or Fachhochschule was something less than they.

(James had luck that he used 'caste'. If he had used "class" Fred
Rump would have rambaged about "Marxist babble". Although "class" is
more often used in Europe...)

--
Joachim

Celia Winkler

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Jan 7, 1992, 11:41:00 AM1/7/92
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In article <1992Jan07.1...@infoserver.th-darmstadt.de>, sch...@iti.informatik.th-darmstadt.de (Joachim Schrod) writes...

Actually, I had a question about this. Esping-Andersen (1990) creates
a typology of welfare states that roughly breaks down into 1) Nordic
social democratic; 2) continental European "corporatist"; and 3) Anglo
laissez-faire based. He traces the separate types of development to
types of class mobilization and historical regime structure. For example,
he writes that Germany had a strong heritage of hierarchical structure,
based on the civil service, and the working class movements were limited
to cities. In Nordic countries, there was a wide coalition among
industrial workers and farmers that resulted in its welfare state tending
more toward universality. (He spends three chapters on this, and I can't
really do him justice).

He indicates that the German welfare state is still largely based on
status (compared to the US which is based on philosophies of market
economy). Of course, there are overlappings and blendings, and, I imagine
in time, there will be far more homogeneity.

So, the question is whether this sense of status is true. If it is, could
it account for the alleged (note use of word "alleged") disparity of
treatment between party members and non- in the former DDR? Do traces
of this alleged hierarchical nature remain in Germany in the form of
education or in other forms? (The US system would not necessarily be
better, as in post-secondary schooling, and, in modification, in
primary and secondary schooling, the market philosophy applies, with the
wealthier getting a better or more prestigious education than the poor.)


--Celia

Fred Rump

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Jan 7, 1992, 12:59:07 PM1/7/92
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h...@frc2.frc.ri.cmu.edu (Henning Pangels) writes:

>Stereotypes suck.

What gets me all the time is the fear of visitors of going anywhere. They
seem to suspect a (*I don't know*) behind every tree ready to shoot a
machine gun as soon as one ventures out into the big bad city.

Just the other day I asked a neighbor's nephew and wife (company from
Germany) if they had visited NY yet. Oh no! They would never go there
alone. I don't know who they expect would be able to protect them but I
suppose any local would do.

fred



--
Fred Rump | 'A little learning is a dangerous thing/Drink deep
CompuData, Inc. | or taste not the Pierian spring' Alexander Pope
10501 Drummond Rd. | SCO Advanced Product Center
Philadelphia, Pa. 19154| Internet: fr...@COMPU.COM (215-824-3000)

Oliver Bonten

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Jan 8, 1992, 5:05:21 AM1/8/92
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cwin...@oregon.uoregon.edu (Celia Winkler) writes:

>He indicates that the German welfare state is still largely based on
>status (compared to the US which is based on philosophies of market

Yes, that's true. For instance, bearing the title of a doctor or a university
professor earns you more respect from your neighbours and is more desirable
to a lot of people than being obviously rich. This applies similarly to
civil officers.

>treatment between party members and non- in the former DDR? Do traces
>of this alleged hierarchical nature remain in Germany in the form of
>education or in other forms? (The US system would not necessarily be

Certainly. The philosophy behind the german system is not to eliminate stratifi-
cation, but to prevent inheriting social status. So, the stratum someone
belongs to shouldn't depend on the one his parents are in. In practice,
however, this doesn't work out perfectly, but the tendency is going towards
it.

Oliver
--
Heute back' ich, morgen brau' ich, uebermorgen hole ich der Koenigin ihr Kind.
Ach wie gut dass niemand weiss, dass ich o...@math.rwth-aachen.de heiss'.

Rene Johe

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Jan 8, 1992, 12:09:22 PM1/8/92
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A couple of days ago, I wrote:

>I don't know if it's just me, but European women in general seem more
>sensual and (sexually) mature. I agree that American women are NOT as
>"loose and easy" as their reputation. In fact, American society in
>general seems to display a certain amount of sexual "anxiety." Sexual
>explicitness is strongly discouraged. Just look at TV. I think U.S.
>women are emotionally shallow (boy, if that doesn't get a response!!)
>when compared to their European counterparts.

After receiving some email on this subject, I'd just like to clarify
one thing to avoid misinterpretation:

I used "in general" twice in that paragraph for a reason. I (being
a male) would never even attempt to claim I understood the female
psyche on a personal and individual level. There are undoubtedly
individual exceptions on both sides of the issue.

Christine Detig

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Jan 8, 1992, 1:08:49 PM1/8/92
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I'm not going to add German prejudice statements about "Americans",
but I want to add US statements about the US:

-- One of five US teenagers lives in penury.
-- One of eight US teenagers has not enough to eat.
-- The infant mortality is higher than in Chile or in Turkey.
-- Every 67 second an US teenager gets a baby.
-- Every 7 minutes an US teenager is arrested because he has drugs.
-- A black person, rising up in Bronx, NY, has a lower life
expectancy than a citizen of Bangladesh.

These statements are distributed by the US National Commision on
Children (according to Die Zeit as of Dec 27, 1991). You can imagine
that they influence our picture of the US.

Further Reading:
Alex Kotlowitz:
There Are No Children Here.
Doubleday, New York, 1991.
US-$ 21.95.

************************************************************
Christine Detig (de...@iti.informatik.th-darmstadt.de)
Institut f\"ur Theoretische Informatik
Technical University of Darmstadt
Germany
*

Elizabeth Gilliam

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Jan 9, 1992, 12:04:04 AM1/9/92
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end...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Thomas Franz Enders) writes:

>Ok, here you go:

>All Americans wear plaid bermuda shorts and Hawaii shirts in completely
>unmatched colors.
>American women (especially from California !) below a certain age (say 30)
>are extremely beautiful.

>Americans wear sunglasses all the time.
>Americans only eat Hamburgers and french fries and drink Coke.
>Everything in America is overly commercialized.
>Americans are generally very friendly people and open to strangers.
>Americans have a lot of money.
>Americans go surfing every day.
>Americans eat chewing-gum all the time.
>Everything is bigger in America.

You watch too many movies :)

The thing is that these are ALL true, but only in California.

Here in Kentucky, we enjoy a more diverse set of stereotypes,
including the ones about marrying cousins, not wearing shoes,
and having horrid accents that only horses can understand.

The funny part about these is that I heard them from people in
New York - they thought these things really happened.
So, if the top stereotypes are what Europeans think of us,
I feel a lot better about our reputation, since New Yorkers
obviously don't hold us in such high esteem.

--
Elizabeth Gilliam
b...@ms.uky.edu "Qvid? Me anxivs svm?"
b...@ukma.bitnet

Elizabeth Gilliam

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Jan 9, 1992, 12:08:17 AM1/9/92
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de...@iti.informatik.th-darmstadt.de (Christine Detig) writes:

> -- Every 67 second an US teenager gets a baby.


We have to find this teenager and stop her!

Espen J. Vestre

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Jan 9, 1992, 3:36:06 AM1/9/92
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In article <1992Jan9.0...@ms.uky.edu> b...@ms.uky.edu (Elizabeth
Gilliam) writes:
> You watch too many movies :)
>
> The thing is that these are ALL true, but only in California.

Typical Californians fit one of two stereotypes:

Stereotype one eats yoghurt and other healthy food, drinks only
no-coffeine-no-sodium-no-whatever beverages, and wears a helmet while
riding his bicycle.

Sterotype two eats only hamburgers and other junk food, drinks only beer
and an occasional coke, and wears no helmet while riding his Harley
Davidson.

Dieter Kreuer

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Jan 9, 1992, 4:12:50 AM1/9/92
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In article <1992Jan7.1...@compu.com> fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:

> What gets me all the time is the fear of visitors of going anywhere. They
> seem to suspect a (*I don't know*) behind every tree ready to shoot a
> machine gun as soon as one ventures out into the big bad city.

According to a news report on German TV a few days ago, the rate of murders
per population is in the US 8 times the rate in Germany (one reason was claimed
to be the free sale of fire arms in the US).

----------------------- -----------------------------------
Dieter Kreuer ## ======== / die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de
Lehrstuhl Informatik IV __ /// /# / dieter%informatik.rwth-
RWTH Aachen ## /// # # / aach...@uunet.uu.net
Ahornstr. 55 ## /// ##### /uunet!informatik.rwth-aachen.de!dieter
W-5100 Aachen, Germany ==== # / PHONE: +49 241 80 21413

Christa Keil

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Jan 9, 1992, 3:08:22 PM1/9/92
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In article <92009.110...@DBNMEB1.BITNET>, I said:
>
>In article <6JAN1992...@oregon.uoregon.edu>, jak...@oregon.uoregon.edu
>(Joseph A Kidd) says:
>
>>What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around Germany and/or
>>Europe? I really would like to hear them!
>
>Americans are very prudish.

For example it is very (at least for me) to see in some american movies,
that someone gets nacked out of bed and carries the whole sheet with him
around ;-)

And:

American females have a strange taste in jewels. Which means ususally
. the bigger the better (a diamon (or Strass) like a golf-ball as
ring is the minimum)

And it seems that they were all jewels they have at once, so that
at the end they look nearly like a overloaded christmas-tree ;-)

Christa
--
Amerika, der Weg von der Barbarei in die Dekadenz, ohne den Umweg ueber die
Kultur ,
Christa Keil ----------- Umv...@Dbnmeb1.bitnet ---------- zo...@guug.de

Christa Keil

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Jan 9, 1992, 2:05:22 PM1/9/92
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>What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around Germany and/or
>Europe? I really would like to hear them!

Americans are very prudish.

American Restaurant: Fastfood (MacDreck, WuergerKing, Roy K.O)


--
"Yankee girls are so "nice_(TM)" that they comb their pubic hair in the middle
to both sides..." (c) Magnus Marcuson, 07. May 1991 ,

Paulo Frank

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Jan 9, 1992, 9:49:02 AM1/9/92
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In article <1992Jan9.0...@urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de> die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de (Dieter Kreuer) writes:
>In article <1992Jan7.1...@compu.com> fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:
>
>> What gets me all the time is the fear of visitors of going anywhere. They
>> seem to suspect a (*I don't know*) behind every tree ready to shoot a
>> machine gun as soon as one ventures out into the big bad city.
>
>According to a news report on German TV a few days ago, the rate of murders
>per population is in the US 8 times the rate in Germany (one reason was claimed
>to be the free sale of fire arms in the US).
>
The widespread private ownership of firearms in Switzerland, coupled with a low
incidence of crime, suggests that the high crime rate in the has underlying
origins other than gun ownership (I am, by the way against private gun ownership). >----------------------- -----------------------------------

btif...@pbs.org

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Jan 9, 1992, 3:23:18 PM1/9/92
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Elizabeth Gilliam writes:

> The thing is that these are ALL true, but only in California.

This one is true everywhere in America:

>>American women (especially from California !) below a certain age (say 30)
>>are extremely beautiful.

And the ones above 30 are beautiful, too!

> Here in Kentucky, we enjoy a more diverse set of stereotypes,
> including the ones about marrying cousins, not wearing shoes,
> and having horrid accents that only horses can understand.

The accent in eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia is the most pleasant
in the world.

> The funny part about these is that I heard them from people in
> New York - they thought these things really happened.

Do you mean New York, or New York City? Folks from NY City and environs have
the most horrid accents of anyone on earth except South Carolinians, but
Upstate New York is entirely different, and most folks in the Empire State
(I call it the Vampire State because of the taxes) would just as soon see NY
City drop off into the Atlantic so it would quit sucking their lifeblood.

-- Bruce Tiffany :-) where appropriate, otherwise :-(

btif...@pbs.org

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Jan 9, 1992, 3:25:38 PM1/9/92
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> According to a news report on German TV a few days ago, the rate of murders
> per population is in the US 8 times the rate in Germany (one reason was claimed
> to be the free sale of fire arms in the US).

Sales of firearms are not free here. They are also highly regulated. And
the murder rate is high because a lot of people kill other people, not because
firearms are sold.

-- Bruce Tiffany

armin.roeseler

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Jan 9, 1992, 4:10:28 PM1/9/92
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In article <1992Jan9.0...@husc3.harvard.edu> fr...@husc10.harvard.edu (Paulo Frank) writes:
>
>The widespread private ownership of firearms in Switzerland, coupled with a low
>incidence of crime, suggests that the high crime rate in the [US] has
>underlying origins other than gun ownership [...].

It is certainly true that the widespread availability of guns *per se*
don't turn a peaceful society into a bunch of thieves and thugs.

There is something peculiar about Americas obsession with guns, however.
On the surface, it appears that gun ownership guarantees constitutional
freedoms to the American people. If one believes this, one must find an
explanation as to why this *guarantor of freedom* is so often turned
*against* the very people that it is supposed to set free.

No, the explanation must found be elsewhere -- possibly hidden deep inside
the instinctual core of the American (male?) psyche. Let's see, what would
Sigmund say? Of course, the gun is just an extension of the penis
(you know, the ability to penetrate over great distances ...). Restricting
gun ownership is simply perceived as an act of castration -- and we can't
let *that* happen. *Now* we understand Americas obsession with guns --
especially in light of earlier discussions about the general sexual
represssion in the US.

Armin

Andreas Stolcke

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Jan 10, 1992, 2:37:10 AM1/10/92
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b...@ms.uky.edu (Elizabeth Gilliam) writes:
> end...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Thomas Franz Enders) writes:
> >All Americans [...]

> You watch too many movies :)
> The thing is that these are ALL true, but only in California.

Actually, only in L.A.

Which brings us back to Hollywood.

Classical stereotype hierarchy -:).

--
Andreas Stolcke sto...@icsi.berkeley.edu
International Computer Science Institute sto...@ucbicsi.bitnet
1947 Center St., Suite 600, Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 642-4274 ext. 126

Fred Rump

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Jan 9, 1992, 7:07:57 PM1/9/92
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die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de (Dieter Kreuer) writes:

>In article <1992Jan7.1...@compu.com> fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:

>> What gets me all the time is the fear of visitors of going anywhere. They

>According to a news report on German TV a few days ago, the rate of murders
>per population is in the US 8 times the rate in Germany (one reason was claimed
>to be the free sale of fire arms in the US).

It's ridiculous but I've never even 'seen' anyone shot and I've been
roaming around the USA for a quite a long time. Nor do I know of anyone
who has ever been machinegunned or otherwise done in.

Your point is well taken though, in that folks from Germany see the news
and imagine it's everywhere. Snapshots create stereotypes and that is the
whole point of the erroneous conclusion.

Fred

Fred Rump

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Jan 9, 1992, 6:43:17 PM1/9/92
to
b...@ms.uky.edu (Elizabeth Gilliam) writes:

>de...@iti.informatik.th-darmstadt.de (Christine Detig) writes:

>> -- Every 67 second an US teenager gets a baby.

>We have to find this teenager and stop her!

And here I thought humor had been forbidden.
I'm still chuckling, stop me.
fred

Oliver Bonten

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Jan 10, 1992, 4:27:19 AM1/10/92
to
btif...@pbs.org writes:

>Sales of firearms are not free here. They are also highly regulated. And
>the murder rate is high because a lot of people kill other people, not because
>firearms are sold.

Maybe the difference is that a lot of petty criminals in the US are armed
and in Europe aren't, due to 1. the better availability of guns (if many
people legally own guns, a skilled burglar will find one easily enough)
2. the high detection rate for armed crime in Europe (keeping many crimi-
nals from being armed, since police would double or triple the effort to
get him or her) and 3. the much higher penalties for armed crime (stealing
a pack of chewing gum gets you a DM50-100 fine, but doing so armed may
get you 10 years, even if you didn't show your gun). This all makes life
for unarmed criminals much easier. This wouldn't be possible if a greater
number of criminals were armed.

Besides, there are cases known where even police shoots a 'suspect' in
'self defense' where it came out that the person shot was in no way con-
nected to the crime investigated and in no way attacked the officers;
they were simply mistaken. If this happens to police, who have a sound
training in such matters, who guarantees that this doesn't happen with
private people? It's not my "right to arm bears" that I'm concerned
about, it's my neighbour's.

Oliver Bonten

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Jan 10, 1992, 4:47:52 AM1/10/92
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fr...@husc10.harvard.edu (Paulo Frank) writes:

>The widespread private ownership of firearms in Switzerland, coupled with a low
>incidence of crime, suggests that the high crime rate in the has underlying
>origins other than gun ownership (I am, by the way against private gun ownershi

>----------------------- -----------------------------------

Do you speak about their army rifles, or are other guns privately available
there? Concerning army rifles - they probably know well where the individual
rifles are and can track down a particular rifle from an examination of
the bullet. Besides, rifles are much clumsier to use in a burglary and harder
to hide when walking down a street than handguns. But certainly the swiss
general wealth is another factor: every swiss citizen is, if not rich, at
least an upper middle class bourgeois (note: this is a stereotype, too)
and doesn't commit street crimes (but probably others, like selling arms
to Iraq or laundering drug money).

Bill Potter

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Jan 10, 1992, 12:26:38 PM1/10/92
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In article <92009.120...@DBNMEB1.BITNET>, UMV...@DBNMEB1.BITNET

(Christa Keil) writes:
> In article <92009.110...@DBNMEB1.BITNET>, I said:
> >
> >In article <6JAN1992...@oregon.uoregon.edu>, jak...@oregon.uoregon.edu
> >(Joseph A Kidd) says:
> >
> >>What are kinds of sterotypes about Americans circulate around
Germany and/or
> >>Europe? I really would like to hear them!
> >
> >Americans are very prudish.
>
> For example it is very (at least for me) to see in some american movies,
> that someone gets nacked out of bed and carries the whole sheet with him
> around ;-)

You mean they're being prudish!? I always thought they were doing a
Linus imitation when they walked around with a sheet.
=============================================================================
Bill Potter : unido!pcsbst!billp :
PCS GmbH : bi...@pcsbst.pcs.com :
D8000 Muenchen : You can't sink a RAINBOW :
=============================================================================

Ed Lieser

unread,
Jan 10, 1992, 2:35:45 PM1/10/92
to
Here are a couple of ideas that Americans seem to have about Germans.

1) Germans rarely bathe.

Well, compared to Americans, not as often (I believe). Some Americans
would shower twice a day, though. A bit excessive, perhaps.

2) The women do not shave their legs or under their arms.

This is at least somewhat true. I wonder if any younger girls DO shave
some body hair nowadays, though, or if this varies in different
parts of the country. This is a seemingly *big* cultural difference
between Germany and America, in that many Americans think that hair on
a woman's legs is repulsive.

3) Germans are big.

I am almost 6 feet tall, and the few times that I've been there it seemed
that a fair percentage of the women were about my size, and a number of
the men were half a head taller.

Any comments, other than "You're an idiot"? :-)

Ed Lieser

Jon Livesey

unread,
Jan 10, 1992, 5:22:25 PM1/10/92
to
In article <1992Jan10.0...@compu.com>, fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:
|> die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de (Dieter Kreuer) writes:
|>
|> >In article <1992Jan7.1...@compu.com> fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:
|>
|> >> What gets me all the time is the fear of visitors of going anywhere. They
|> >According to a news report on German TV a few days ago, the rate of murders
|> >per population is in the US 8 times the rate in Germany (one reason was claimed
|> >to be the free sale of fire arms in the US).
|>
|> It's ridiculous but I've never even 'seen' anyone shot and I've been
|> roaming around the USA for a quite a long time. Nor do I know of anyone
|> who has ever been machinegunned or otherwise done in.

During the two years I lived in Atlanta, two murder victims were
shot with handguns on my block, one in the entry hall of the building
in which I lived, and a third was shot in the parking lot across the
street.

Now that I live in comparatively peaceful suburban California, things
have calmed down a little. In the past year, one person was knifed
to death in a parking lot about a hundred yards from my house, and a
couple of weeks ago, a pair of young men were machine gunned to death,
about fifty rounds from an Uzi according to the police, in a parking
lot just off a route I use for jogging.

On New Years day, a four year old boy in San Jose, about a mile or
so from where I live, managed to kill himself with his grandfather's
pistol. Grandfather had been out at midnight, celebrating the New
Year by firing it into the air, and left the gun lying in the house.
The dead child had been given several toy pistols for Christmas, and
perhaps confused the real gun with one of them.

|>
|> Your point is well taken though, in that folks from Germany see the news
|> and imagine it's everywhere. Snapshots create stereotypes and that is the
|> whole point of the erroneous conclusion.

In this case, by my experience, the so-called "stereotype" seems to be
all too accurate. Last night the BBC reported that the US murder total
was up again, several cities broke their previous records, and the rate
of murders that are never solved rose to another record.

jon.

Jon Corelis

unread,
Jan 10, 1992, 5:39:09 PM1/10/92
to
fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:

>die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de (Dieter Kreuer) writes:

>>In article <1992Jan7.1...@compu.com> fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:

>It's ridiculous but I've never even 'seen' anyone shot and I've
>been roaming around the USA for a quite a long time. Nor do I know
>of anyone who has ever been machinegunned or otherwise done in.

Well I also have been roaming around the U.S. for quite a long time,
and in that time I have been beaten up on the street twice, had rocks
thrown at me on the street several times, had a female room-mate who
was raped while sleeping in the room next to mine, had a female friend
who was raped by three youths in the apartment downstairs from me, had
a female acquaintance across the street who was raped, knew a 19-year
old friend of my sister who was raped twice in two separate incidents
in a public park, have come across human gore lying on the sidewalk
from a shooting that took place twenty minutes before I strolled by,
been roused from a sound sleep at night by nearby volleys of gunshots,
passed by a man on a crowded sidewalk who was holding a knife and
muttering at random "I'm going to kill you" while all the passers-by
ignored him, picked up a newspaper to find that a college classmate had
been murdered on the street by two shot-gun toting thugs a block and a
half from where I lived, had a man on a subway attempt to get a
judo-hold on me for no apparent reason at all, and run into numerous
less serious episodes of violence which I won't bore everyone by going
into here. Most of the specific incidents I've mentioned occurred in
what would certainly be considered "nice" neighborhoods.

So my own experience overwhelmingly indicates that if either
Americans or foreigners think that U.S. cities are god damned dangerous,
they are god damned right.
--


Jon Corelis j...@lindy.stanford.edu
Stanford University BITNET: BA....@RLG.STANFORD.EDU

Alan McKay

unread,
Jan 10, 1992, 6:17:37 PM1/10/92
to
lie...@iccgcc.decnet.ab.com (Ed Lieser) writes:

>Here are a couple of ideas that Americans seem to have about Germans.

>2) The women do not shave their legs or under their arms.

>This is at least somewhat true. I wonder if any younger girls DO shave
>some body hair nowadays, though, or if this varies in different
>parts of the country. This is a seemingly *big* cultural difference
>between Germany and America, in that many Americans think that hair on
>a woman's legs is repulsive.

My German girlfriend shaves nothing, and I like it that way. I
never could understand why someone would want to shave their
legs or goodness forbid their armpits.

--
Alan W. McKay | (902)542-2201.396 | Wolfville, N.S. Canada
al...@aucs.acadiau.ca | Acadia University | SUB Box 6008, B0P 1Z1

Gary Greene

unread,
Jan 11, 1992, 3:25:52 AM1/11/92
to
j...@lindy.Stanford.EDU (Jon Corelis) writes:

>fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:

>>die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de (Dieter Kreuer) writes:

>>>In article <1992Jan7.1...@compu.com> fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump) writes:

>>It's ridiculous but I've never even 'seen' anyone shot and I've
>>been roaming around the USA for a quite a long time. Nor do I know
>>of anyone who has ever been machinegunned or otherwise done in.

> Well I also have been roaming around the U.S. for quite a long time,
>and in that time I have been beaten up on the street twice, had rocks
>thrown at me on the street several times, had a female room-mate who

>was raped while sleeping in the room next to mine, had a female friend...

...much violence deleted to save bandwidth

> So my own experience overwhelmingly indicates that if either
>Americans or foreigners think that U.S. cities are god damned dangerous,
>they are god damned right.
>--

Jon, not to dispute your personal experience (my sympathies) but I must
side with Fred to some degree. Your case seems extreme and not at all
matching my experience or that of my extended family. The worse I can
claim is that I've had my wheels stolen in the dead of night off my car
exactly once. I don't dispute that what you descibe goes on, and worse,
but I haven't seen so much violent experience concentrated in one person
outside of a war zone. As you say, neither do I frequent bad neighborhoods
much. My nephews have seen some of what you describe but then the *do*
live in a bad neighborhood ...part of East San Jose which sees more than
a bit of drug traffic. Even their experience is far and away better than
yours. I will agree with you though that women, particularly alone, are
at more risk than most men.

Good Luck,

Gary Greene
Unisys/Convergent Technology ga...@convergent.com
San Jose, California ga...@netcom.com (at home)

Henning Pangels

unread,
Jan 11, 1992, 12:14:09 PM1/11/92
to

>Here are a couple of ideas that Americans seem to have about Germans.

>1) Germans rarely bathe.

I would agree, although at least Germans bathe more often than the
French...
People have also said that Germans change their underwear on average
once a week, although every German I know (and about whom I would know
such things...) follows a daily schedule.

>2) The women do not shave their legs or under their arms.

Also true statistically (IMHO). But neither do men.
Personally, I don't really care if a woman's legs are shaven or not,
as long as it's not three-day stubble. Ouch!

>3) Germans are big.

Led by Helmut "Birne" Kohl, who's big even by German standards.

-hp

--
awk: syntax error near line 1
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The Door is a Jar

Jon Corelis

unread,
Jan 11, 1992, 12:38:19 PM1/11/92
to
ga...@netcom.COM (Gary Greene) writes:

>j...@lindy.Stanford.EDU (Jon Corelis) writes:

>> Well I also have been roaming around the U.S. for quite a long time,
>>and in that time I have been beaten up on the street twice, had rocks
>>thrown at me on the street several times, had a female room-mate who
>>was raped while sleeping in the room next to mine, had a female friend...

>...much violence deleted to save bandwidth

>Jon, not to dispute your personal experience (my sympathies) but I must


>side with Fred to some degree. Your case seems extreme and not at all
>matching my experience or that of my extended family. The worse I can
>claim is that I've had my wheels stolen in the dead of night off my car
>exactly once. I don't dispute that what you descibe goes on, and worse,
>but I haven't seen so much violent experience concentrated in one person

>outside of a war zone....

I was a little surprised myself looking at the summary of my
experience of urban violence, though it's not exaggerated and in fact I
left a bunch of stuff out. I should add that these incidents were
spread over nearly thirty years, much of which was spent in inner-city
Chicago (which everyone knows is a tough town) and San Francisco (which
a lot of people don't realize is a tough town.) And mostly I lived in
nice neighborhoods which were located next to bad ones, which as any
city-dweller will tell you tends to be a dangerous situation.

Still, I think many Americans from similar backgrounds could tell
similar horror stories.

Returning though to the point that's relevant to this newsgroup, my
own experience of both U.S. and European cities is that the former are
orders of magnitude more dangerous. Sure, I know that there are
dangerous neighborhoods in Paris and London, and no doubt there are
many people who have lived all their lives in inner New York without
encountering crime. But overall, my personal experience overwhelmingly
supports the impression which some Europeans have that European cities
are livably peaceful, while American cities have become almost
unlivably crime-ridden.

Jon Livesey

unread,
Jan 11, 1992, 10:49:25 PM1/11/92
to
In article <jon.69...@lindy.Stanford.EDU>, j...@lindy.Stanford.EDU (Jon Corelis) writes:
>
> Still, I think many Americans from similar backgrounds could tell
> similar horror stories.

Indeed, I think the most telling part of this lies in the
warnings that Americans give to visitors about where and
where not to go, and how to get there. When I first came
to the US, I assumed that I could behave more or less the
way I did when I lived in Toronto. One large North
American city has to be much like another, right?

In fact, I spent the first few months horrifying people
that I talked to: "You went where?", "You went out at
what time of night?" "You went shopping that *that*
part of town?" "You went in the *subway*"? "Are
you crazy?"

Americans who live in large cities seem to develop a
set of rules about where to go, when to go, how to get
there, places never to go, people never to talk to,
bars never to go near..... Eventually this becomes
second nature, and then when someone from overseas
mentions dangerous cities, they say "Really? Well I
never have any trouble." That's right, they don't
have any trouble, because they know the rules, but
visitors generally don't.

jon.

Gary Greene

unread,
Jan 12, 1992, 1:19:18 AM1/12/92
to
j...@lindy.Stanford.EDU (Jon Corelis) writes:

Jon Corelis:


>>>thrown at me on the street several times, had a female room-mate who
>>>was raped while sleeping in the room next to mine, had a female friend...

Gary Greene:


>>...much violence deleted to save bandwidth

>>Jon, not to dispute your personal experience (my sympathies) but I must
>>side with Fred to some degree. Your case seems extreme and not at all
>>matching my experience or that of my extended family. The worse I can
>>claim is that I've had my wheels stolen in the dead of night off my car
>>exactly once. I don't dispute that what you descibe goes on, and worse,
>>but I haven't seen so much violent experience concentrated in one person
>>outside of a war zone....

Jon Corelis:


> I was a little surprised myself looking at the summary of my
>experience of urban violence, though it's not exaggerated and in fact I
>left a bunch of stuff out. I should add that these incidents were
>spread over nearly thirty years, much of which was spent in inner-city
>Chicago (which everyone knows is a tough town) and San Francisco (which

...deleted...

> Returning though to the point that's relevant to this newsgroup, my
>own experience of both U.S. and European cities is that the former are

>orders of magnitude more dangerous. Sure, I know that there are...

Jon, I don't dispute that one bit. I lived in Germany for three years
when I was in the Air Force. When I was there last, 20 years ago, I
found the cities clean, the people polite and generally helpful if you
were polite in turn, and hitch-hiking wasn't a certifiable act of
insanity. Most of Europe was that way, excepting Italy and Sardinia
(which I don't think sees many tourists anyway). The other places to
avoid were places where low-grade warfare took place like Ulster.

Jon Livesey writes in a similar vein to you that:

Americans who live in large cities seem to develop a
set of rules about where to go, when to go, how to get
there, places never to go, people never to talk to,
bars never to go near..... Eventually this becomes
second nature, and then when someone from overseas
mentions dangerous cities, they say "Really? Well I
never have any trouble." That's right, they don't
have any trouble, because they know the rules, but
visitors generally don't.

There is a lot of truth to this as well. I understood that Fred's
point was that a lot of Europeans have gained the impression that
American cities are competing with Beruit for the most dangerous
town to pass through. It is *not* always safe here, and nowhere
near as safe as most European cities (though the skinheads in Germany
seem to be trashing that record a bit lately). But tourists here
ought not to be afraid they will wander into a Miami Vice movie set
with live ammo flying. Most of the genuinely dangerous places are not
on the tour maps anyway. Some care is required (particularly in New York,
Chicago, and Los Angeles), and this shames me deeply, but few tourists
actually get involved in this uncivil stupidity we find ourselves dealing
with these years. Hopefully we will clean up our act sometime soon.

Respectfully,

Henning Pangels

unread,
Jan 12, 1992, 10:59:35 AM1/12/92
to

Without including pages of previous postings under this heading, the
discussion had me examine how safe I felt growing up in Germany.
It turns out that what we, as teenagers, feared most were groups of
drunk French soldiers stationed nearby, who would roam the city on
weekends and had the reputation of beating up random victims. It never
happened to me or my friends, though. Perhaps it was because we made
sure that we were walking around in mixed company, since it was also
common knowledge that they would leave you alone if you had girls with
you. But this is turning into French stereotypes...anyway, that's the
way we saw it. Other than that, it was safe enough to be out and about
the city, day or night.

With that background, I came to Pittsburgh. One of the first lessons
that things were different here happened when my buddy and I decided
to explore the city (on foot, no less, we didn't have a good sense of
the scale) and promptly found ourselves in the hill district, which
arguably is a part of town to be avoided. We got all kinds of strange
looks, but nothing happened until a police car pulled over and we were
told to get in if we valued our health and cameras. As we were driven
through the area courtesy of Pittsburgh's finest, it began to sink in
that this was serious. They dropped us off in a safer part of town
with some stern words of advice.

I'm still wondering if I should have given them a tip...

-hp

--
awk: syntax error near line 1
awk: bailing out near line 1

It's later than you think

Pierluigi Miraglia

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 12:30:53 AM1/13/92
to
In article <oli.695035639@ernie> o...@math.rwth-aachen.de (Oliver Bonten) writes
:

>btif...@pbs.org writes:
>
>>Sales of firearms are not free here. They are also highly regulated. And
>>the murder rate is high because a lot of people kill other people, not becaus
e
>>firearms are sold.
>
>Maybe the difference is that a lot of petty criminals in the US are armed
>and in Europe aren't, due to 1. the better availability of guns (if many
>people legally own guns, a skilled burglar will find one easily enough)
>2. the high detection rate for armed crime in Europe (keeping many crimi-
>nals from being armed, since police would double or triple the effort to
>get him or her) and 3. the much higher penalties for armed crime (stealing
>a pack of chewing gum gets you a DM50-100 fine, but doing so armed may
>get you 10 years, even if you didn't show your gun). This all makes life
>for unarmed criminals much easier. This wouldn't be possible if a greater
>number of criminals were armed.
>
This seems to me on the right track, but I think there is a simpler
explanation.
In the USA there are many people (certainly many more than in Germany or
anywhere in W. Europe) for whom it is *rational* to be violent and to behave
criminally. This is because a lot of people live and/or grow up in areas
and (especially urban) neighborhood where life is actually worse than in
the poorest 3rd world countries. If you have such limited prospects and if
you are treated with complete indifference by people living only a few
blocks away, it seems to me that it would be rational to consider human
life (i.e. the lives of people you see around) as somewhat more expendable.
It certainly would be rational to risk 10 or 15 years in jail rather than
10 or 15 years of miserable "freedom".
I use "rational" here in the obvious way; it's rational in this sense, for
example, to choose the option that maximizes your advantage and minimizes
the risk of a negative outcome. It's rational for most people to respect
the law because the consequences of an infraction are potentially very
dangerous. But, under certain conditions, it may be rational to risk more.
Ciao
PL.
--
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Pierluigi Miraglia Mirag...@osu.edu
Department of Philosophy The Ohio State University Columbus, OH
"Scurdammoce 'o passato" - K. Popper, "Miseria dello Storicismo"

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 12, 1992, 11:59:37 PM1/12/92
to
j...@lindy.Stanford.EDU (Jon Corelis) writes:

> So my own experience overwhelmingly indicates that if either
>Americans or foreigners think that U.S. cities are god damned dangerous,
>they are god damned right.

I think it is time then that we go to plan B and barricade ourselves. Maybe
we can use the old bomb shelters we built at another panic season.

Murders still make the nightly news. Car accidents seldom do. Many more
people are killed in car accidents. Syllogism?

There are 5 million people in greater Philly, 16 million in NY, the odds are
greater that one win the million dollar lottery than to get shot. But they
don't show all the million dollar winners on TV, do they? It's news that makes
for monsters. Things are bad enough as it is, but gory coverage still attracks
the human need for sensationalism.

Fred


--
W. Fred Rump office: fr...@COMPU.COM Define FAX: Fast A** Xeroxing
26 Warren St. home: fr...@icdi10.compu.com
Beverly, NJ. 08010
609-386-6846 bang:uunet!cdin-1!icdi10!fr

Oliver Bonten

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 6:40:21 AM1/13/92
to
lie...@iccgcc.decnet.ab.com (Ed Lieser) writes:

>1) Germans rarely bathe.

>Well, compared to Americans, not as often (I believe). Some Americans
>would shower twice a day, though. A bit excessive, perhaps.

Well, it used to be once a week (saturday), but those times are long gone.
Twice a day seems a bit much, though.

>2) The women do not shave their legs or under their arms.

Why should they do such silly things?

>3) Germans are big.

But everything is bigger in America...

Dieter A. Schmied

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 7:18:10 AM1/13/92
to

I am reading of all the violent experiences of the writers
and their friends. In the former east Germany, I saw no violence, no
crime, noone sleeping in the street and felt no fear walking the
street or taking the undergrounds.

This is a stereotype that I experienced.

Ed Lieser

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 8:24:28 AM1/13/92
to
In article <oli.695302821@ernie>, o...@math.rwth-aachen.de (Oliver Bonten) writes:

> lie...@iccgcc.decnet.ab.com (Ed Lieser) writes:
>>2) The women do not shave their legs or under their arms.
>
> Why should they do such silly things?

Well, here it's not considered silly at all. In fact, many American males
would be immediately turned off by hair on a woman's legs. It's almost akin
to a religious belief. I knew of a woman where I grew up who adopted a
"natural" lifestyle, and everyone questioned how her husband could even sleep
with her because she didn't shave her legs.

I personally draw the line where the woman's legs are hairier than mine.

>>3) Germans are big.
>
> But everything is bigger in America...

Uh, I meant *tall*, not *wide*. :-)

>
> Oliver
> --

Ed

Irene Marquez

unread,
Jan 11, 1992, 8:48:59 PM1/11/92
to

In article <1992Jan9.0...@urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de>,

die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de (Dieter Kreuer) says:
>
>In article <1992Jan7.1...@compu.com> fr...@compu.com (Fred Rump)
>writes:
>
>> What gets me all the time is the fear of visitors of going anywhere. They
>> seem to suspect a (*I don't know*) behind every tree ready to shoot a
>> machine gun as soon as one ventures out into the big bad city.
>
>According to a news report on German TV a few days ago, the rate of murders
>per population is in the US 8 times the rate in Germany (one reason was
>claimed to be the free sale of fire arms in the US).

Yes, I'm sure it's higher... Here in Chicago we had over 900 murders
this past year, but that wouldn't stop me from enjoying all that
Chicago has to offer a tourist, or otherwise.

Common sense should tell
you where trouble lies... just stay out of it. I've been doing
alright for the past 27 years. =) Besides, what are the chances
of getting murdered while on vacation? Come on, live a little. =)
Getting mugged on the otherhand... well, that's a different story.
I don't think there are very many ppl here that want to murder
someone (esp. a tourist) as much as they want to have their money.

Just a few things to consider.

Irene Marquez
University of Illinois at Chicago
U37...@uicvmc.uic.edu

btif...@pbs.org

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 8:51:46 AM1/13/92
to
Jon Corelis writes:

>>It's ridiculous but I've never even 'seen' anyone shot and I've
>>been roaming around the USA for a quite a long time. Nor do I know
>>of anyone who has ever been machinegunned or otherwise done in.
>
> Well I also have been roaming around the U.S. for quite a long time,

> and in that time [... list of violent occurrences ...]

Where in tarnation do you folks hang out, anyway? Nothing like this happens
anywhere near me in West Virginia! And for crying out loud, if you don't like
the neighborhood, why do you stay?

-- Bruce Tiffany

Bill Wohler

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 10:22:06 AM1/13/92
to
h...@frc2.frc.ri.cmu.edu (Henning Pangels) writes:
>"Americans are not well educated"

i heard something different on the plane from, ahem, california to
germany the other day from a german whose children were in
californian high schools. his view was that the american public schools
actually provided a better education--it's just that the american
students are so lazy.

Bill Wohler <woh...@sap-ag.de> <sapwdf!wohler>
Heidelberg Red Barons Ultimate Frisbee Team

Oliver Bonten

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 11:51:06 AM1/13/92
to
lie...@iccgcc.decnet.ab.com (Ed Lieser) writes:

>Well, here it's not considered silly at all. In fact, many American males
>would be immediately turned off by hair on a woman's legs. It's almost akin
>to a religious belief. I knew of a woman where I grew up who adopted a
>"natural" lifestyle, and everyone questioned how her husband could even sleep
>with her because she didn't shave her legs.

Oh, I didn't know of this. It's soooooo silly! Now I really believe that
Americans are a bit weird. In this country, cyclists shave their legs.

>>>3) Germans are big.

>Uh, I meant *tall*, not *wide*. :-)

That may be true. I don't know about Americans in particular, but Germans
seem to be taller on the average than most other people.

btif...@pbs.org

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 12:16:32 PM1/13/92
to
Dieter A. Schmied writes:

O, woe is us, and now that utopia has fallen to the decadence of the West!
If only we could go back! If only we could reclaim all that was lost when
the wall came down and allowed all the western badness in!! But, alas, it
is gone, gone forever! Quoth the raven: "Never more!"

-- Bruce Tiffany

P.S. The raven was wrong.

btif...@pbs.org

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 12:24:36 PM1/13/92
to
Ed Lieser writes:
> Oliver Bonten writes:

>> Ed Lieser writes:
>>>2) The women do not shave their legs or under their arms.
>>
>> Why should they do such silly things?
>
> Well, here it's not considered silly at all. In fact, many American males
> would be immediately turned off by hair on a woman's legs. It's almost akin
> to a religious belief. I knew of a woman where I grew up who adopted a
> "natural" lifestyle, and everyone questioned how her husband could even sleep
> with her because she didn't shave her legs.
>
> I personally draw the line where the woman's legs are hairier than mine.

It is admittedly pretty gross to see hairy legs on a woman -- yuck! -- but I
have yet to see the woman whose legs are hairier than mine! But I think I
understand the appeal, on the other hand. Shoot, there are worse things! At
least they're not extending their necks with brass rings, or piercing their
noses (punkers don't count, as we're only talking about humans :-) ), or
flattening their baby's heads, or crushing their feet for "beauty", or
scarring their flesh with knives, or putting wooden disks in their lips until
they flap against their chests ...

>>>3) Germans are big.
>>
>> But everything is bigger in America...
>
> Uh, I meant *tall*, not *wide*. :-)

Isn't Helmut Kohl pretty wide?

-- Bruce Tiffany

Message has been deleted

Jim Eggert x6127 g41

unread,
Jan 13, 1992, 8:39:12 AM1/13/92
to
> Here are a couple of ideas that Americans seem to have about Germans.

> 1) Germans rarely bathe.

Not so true anymore as it used to be. But once in Germany (in 1975) I
was called a Waschbaer because I wanted to bathe at least three times
a week.

> 2) The women do not shave their legs or under their arms.

True.

> 3) Germans are big.

I am pretty tall (6'4", ah 198 cm), and was considered very tall in
Germany. As I am from German immigrant stock, there was speculation
that (a) better American nutrition made me grow bigger, and (2) some
hybridization occured between different German lines. I doubt both
explanations.
--
=Jim jime%atc.ll.mit.edu (Jim Eggert)

Jon Livesey

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Jan 13, 1992, 2:15:48 PM1/13/92
to
In article <1992Jan13.0...@compu.com>, f...@compu.com (Fred Rump from home) writes:
|> j...@lindy.Stanford.EDU (Jon Corelis) writes:
|>
|> > So my own experience overwhelmingly indicates that if either
|> >Americans or foreigners think that U.S. cities are god damned dangerous,
|> >they are god damned right.
|>
|> I think it is time then that we go to plan B and barricade ourselves. Maybe
|> we can use the old bomb shelters we built at another panic season.

I don't believe that anyone has suggested this. Maybe a better
plan B would be to acknowledge reality.

|>
|> Murders still make the nightly news. Car accidents seldom do. Many more
|> people are killed in car accidents. Syllogism?

No syllogism at all. The appetite of the viewers for vicarious
criminal violence is well established.

|>
|> There are 5 million people in greater Philly, 16 million in NY, the odds are
|> greater that one win the million dollar lottery than to get shot.

Are you quite sure about that? We are now up to one murder per
ten thousand people per year. Do one in ten thousand people per
year win the Million Dollar lottery?

jon.

Jon Livesey

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Jan 13, 1992, 2:19:22 PM1/13/92
to

That's a great idea. We'll move everyone to West Virginia,
and then ask what your murder rate is then.

jon.

James Mohr

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Jan 13, 1992, 11:55:11 AM1/13/92
to

In article <1992Jan9.0...@rhrk.uni-kl.de> es...@coli.uni-sb.de (Espen J. Vestre) writes:
>
>Sterotype two eats only hamburgers and other junk food, drinks only beer
>and an occasional coke, and wears no helmet while riding his Harley
>Davidson.

That's not true!! I resent these insulting and degrading stereotypes!
Sometime I drink wine coolers! 8-)

Jim

**********************************************************************
James (Jim) Mohr "Great spirits have always
Support Engineer encountered violent opposition
The Santa Cruz Operation from mediocre minds."
email: uunet!sco!jimmo - A. Einstein
ji...@sco.com
**********************************************************************
DISCLAIMER
**********************************************************************
The opinions and views expressed here are my own and may not represent
those of the Santa Cruz Operation, The State of California or the
United States of America.

James Mohr

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Jan 13, 1992, 12:30:50 PM1/13/92
to

In article <oli.695035639@ernie> o...@math.rwth-aachen.de (Oliver Bonten) writes:
>get him or her) and 3. the much higher penalties for armed crime (stealing
>a pack of chewing gum gets you a DM50-100 fine, but doing so armed may
>get you 10 years, even if you didn't show your gun). This all makes life
>for unarmed criminals much easier. This wouldn't be possible if a greater
>number of criminals were armed.

German efforts in catching and punishing criminals far exceeds those
in the United States, which I feel is the primary reason for the lower
crime rate. Any attempt to correlate ownership of gun with criminality
is ludicrous. Just as it would be to say that owning a car makes you
drive above the speed limit. More people own guns than commit crimes.
There is no correlation.

IMHO:
The reason why the is more crime in the US is that people have more
reason to become criminals. While I still support the premise that the
average American 18 has more 'education' than his German counterpart,
the Germans enter the job market with a much better chance of getting
a job than in the US. The German 'Berufschule' concept is one of the
best parts of German society. Only a very small fraction of the German
population enters their 20s without some type of skill. Most of the
remainder are still in school. Without the chance for a decent job,
many people have no choice but to resort to crime. (Joachim - The
reason I say that American 18-year-olds have more 'education' than
Germans is because I intentionally left out the 'Berufschule'. This
'education' is too specific for me to include in my comparison.)

>
>Besides, there are cases known where even police shoots a 'suspect' in
>'self defense' where it came out that the person shot was in no way con-
>nected to the crime investigated and in no way attacked the officers;
>they were simply mistaken. If this happens to police, who have a sound
>training in such matters, who guarantees that this doesn't happen with
>private people? It's not my "right to arm bears" that I'm concerned
>about, it's my neighbour's.

Oliver, this does happen with private citizens. There are regularly
reports in the paper about someone thinking that there is an intruder
in their house and they end up shooting their four-year old kid. That's
one of the major reasons why I won't even consider having a gun in the
house. 'Lieber mein Fernseher als mein Sohn.'

>Oliver
>--
>Heute back' ich, morgen brau' ich, uebermorgen hole ich der Koenigin ihr Kind.
>Ach wie gut dass niemand weiss, dass ich o...@math.rwth-aachen.de heiss'.

(Spitze!!)

Fruehling

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Jan 13, 1992, 11:55:47 PM1/13/92
to
In article <1992Jan13.1...@pbs.org> btif...@pbs.org writes:

>Dieter A. Schmied writes:
>
>> and their friends. In the former east Germany, I saw no violence, no
>
>O, woe is us, and now that utopia has fallen to the decadence of the West!
>If only we could go back! If only we could reclaim all that was lost when
>the wall came down and allowed all the western badness in!! But, alas, it
>is gone, gone forever! Quoth the raven: "Never more!"
>
>-- Bruce Tiffany

Oh boy, seems you are one of the hardest hit victims of the east German
system. Probably you were forced to live a long time there. ;-)

Matthias.

Oliver Graf

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Jan 13, 1992, 9:40:00 AM1/13/92
to
Let me add one fact:

Americans are very often extremely fat! (No joke, I've seen lots of
*VERY* fat people on each trip to the U.S.)

Clash
--
Oliver Graf, Uranusstr. 4, W-4620 Castrop-Rauxel, Germany
Email: cl...@aslan.en.open.de // MagicNET: CLASH@CASBAH
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> It's oede to be bloede!! <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Dieter Kreuer

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Jan 14, 1992, 4:15:37 AM1/14/92
to
In article <92011.194...@uicvm.uic.edu> U37...@uicvm.uic.edu (Irene

Marquez) writes:
>
>In article <1992Jan9.0...@urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de>,
>die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de (Dieter Kreuer) says:

>>According to a news report on German TV a few days ago, the rate of murders
>>per population is in the US 8 times the rate in Germany (one reason was

>


> Yes, I'm sure it's higher... Here in Chicago we had over 900 murders
> this past year, but that wouldn't stop me from enjoying all that
> Chicago has to offer a tourist, or otherwise.

Well, actually it wouldn't stop *me* from visiting the US again, either (I
have been there twice, yet, to California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and
Utah). I'm looking forward to a vacation in Florida in May. For me, the US
is still the best place to spend my holidays (I'm especially pleased to
speak the language there). But I would take some care not to get lost
in dark suburban places (and I have to admit that I felt very uncomfortable
walking down Market Street in San Francisco in the evening, although there
was a policeman standing about every 500 feet).

----------------------- -----------------------------------
Dieter Kreuer ## ======== / die...@informatik.rwth-aachen.de
Lehrstuhl Informatik IV __ /// /# / dieter%informatik.rwth-
RWTH Aachen ## /// # # / aach...@uunet.uu.net
Ahornstr. 55 ## /// ##### /uunet!informatik.rwth-aachen.de!dieter
W-5100 Aachen, Germany ==== # / PHONE: +49 241 80 21413

Oliver Bonten

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Jan 14, 1992, 4:52:06 AM1/14/92
to
ji...@sco.COM (James Mohr) writes:

>German efforts in catching and punishing criminals far exceeds those
>in the United States, which I feel is the primary reason for the lower
>crime rate. Any attempt to correlate ownership of gun with criminality
>is ludicrous. Just as it would be to say that owning a car makes you
>drive above the speed limit. More people own guns than commit crimes.
>There is no correlation.

Esp. police efforts in catching murderers and othe violent criminals are
high. This is possible because there aren't so many murders committed.
Ok, you need a criminal to commit a crime, but then, in the USA the
average criminal will get a gun easily enough if he or she tries hard
enough. And besides, many criminals seem to be ordinary honest citizens,
so they could probably legally get a gun. In Germany, it is much harder
for a criminal to get a gun, and in general it doesn't pay off. Maybe
some people who are killed could have survived had they had a gun for
self defense, but you can't name the people who have been saved because
a certain criminal didn't have a gun.

>Oliver, this does happen with private citizens. There are regularly
>reports in the paper about someone thinking that there is an intruder
>in their house and they end up shooting their four-year old kid. That's
>one of the major reasons why I won't even consider having a gun in the
>house. 'Lieber mein Fernseher als mein Sohn.'

Exactly. But it should not be your decicion! For the sake of your four
year old kid you should not be allowed to have a gun in your house. It
is not only criminals that I were afraid of but also short-sighted over-
cautious honest citizens or people in a rage, had they guns. Besides,
you aren't going to shoot anybody for trying to steal your TV, are you?

Cindy Kandolf

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Jan 14, 1992, 6:03:48 AM1/14/92
to
On the stereotype: Germans rarely bathe.

I haven't found this to be the case, but this seems to be one of the
more wide-spread ones. At a camping site in Geiranger, a little town in
Norway that gets a lot of German tourists each summer, my husband reported
that the men's showers had instructions (in German) on them. Not in
Norwegian. Apparently the owner believed there would be some Germans
who had never seen a shower before???

No such sign in the women's shower room, by the way.

-Cindy Kandolf
ci...@solan.unit.no
Trondheim, Norway

Espen J. Vestre

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Jan 14, 1992, 4:13:34 AM1/14/92
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In article &