In Denial: Australia, Human Rights and Climate Change

When the complaint was lodged in May 2019, there was a sense…

Decum Fabulum: The Rider to the Sea

English, Italian, Latin ... in whatever language stories have come down to…

COVID-19: Where was it born: China, the United…

Continued from: COVID-19: Where was it born: China, the United States or…

Bias and balance

My parents only agreed on a very small number of issues. They…

One million jobless – unprecedented, and out of…

By William Olson  The Morrison government released its latest unemployment statistics on Thursday,…

Extreme Moderation in the Spittoon: Kamala Harris for…

The Vice Presidency has always gotten a degree of bad press in…

"Hey, Bill, your son's made a racist cartoon!"…

When a friend asked me why I'll read the Murdoch media if…

Mr Morrison - are you a sadist?

One issue which has been vividly revealed by the current crisis in…

«
»
Facebook

I’ve never been to America

Foreword: Australia has endless flaws and whilst I’m not going to paint a picture that Australia is not in many but different ways just as troubled, in just as much danger from government corruption and just as racist towards non-whites, that’s a topic for another day. 

I’ve never been to America, but I can tell you the names of 30 different cities. I can tell you which accents are from what location. I can tell you the name of the “discoverer” who stole the land from the Native Americans which ultimately lead to the genocide of thousands. I can tell I was told this through a fairy tale that painted Christopher Columbus as a discoverer and a hero. I’m not American but I can tell you about how this took place almost 200 years before my own country’s Indigenous population was also subject to the same pain. I can tell you a detailed narrative about how the British Slave Trade stole and destroyed entire civilisations and how still today this deeply inhumane act causes immeasurable pain, for not just those stolen but for those of the mother land they were stolen from. I’ve never been to America, but I can piece together almost a 1/3 of the American National Anthem and I can clearly sing the first 3 lines. I’m not American but I can tell you the first president of the United States, some of the names of the founding fathers that signed the Declaration of Independence, why there are 50 stars on the flag and even some of the First Amendment rights. I’m not American but I can tell you that I’ve known all of this since I was 10 years old but I’ve never been to America.

I’ve not been to most countries, and by comparison what I know about them is little more than nothing. I can’t tell you why any other country’s flag is the way that it is, nor can I tell you the names of any cities I haven’t been to, nor their history or the path of their justice system, not like I can for America. I’ve never been to America but I know more about it than any other country and sometimes I even know more about it than my own, but unlike other countries I’ve been to, I’ve never been to America. I know jam is jelly, and jelly is jello, I know cookies are biscuits, lollies are candy and I know trash is garbage, gas is petrol; and that the joke ‘what’s the number for 911’ was not funny to me because the number for 911 was 000, and I have known all of this since before I was 10 years old. I’m not American and I didn’t learn this at school, I didn’t learn it from my parents and I didn’t learn it from text books or from an Encyclopaedia. I didn’t learn it by talking to people from America nor had I ever had contact with an American, but at 10 years old my knowledge of America rivalled the knowledge of my own country. My knowledge of American culture could be recalled in much the same way because I had learned it all from America through my television screen.

At 10 years old, I knew that America was the land of ‘the free and the home of the brave,’ the only place in the world with true ‘freedom of speech,’ where you were ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and not ‘guilty until proven innocent’ as it was for me. The place where justice prevailed and where freedom of speech never failed. America, the place where children didn’t wear school uniforms, and going to school was optional. The land of pushpops, poptarts and arcades; fast food and home to McDonalds and every movie ever made. The land of little league baseball, backwards facing caps, skater bois, after school hangs outs and summer camps. A place with cool mums and dads who let their kids do ‘whatever they want.’ America, the place with two story houses and white picket fences, rolling green lawns and playgrounds for back yards. America the home of Disneyland and where dreams were made, a place of magic and where dreams really do come true. This was the only narrative I would ever be told.

Over and over again, subliminal messages would fire from our screens as if screaming at us ‘America is great, America is perfect,’ in this never ending loop. Program after program, advertisement after advertisement we were told that even though we’d never been to America that it was everything we always needed it to be and the only thing we should ever care about. At 10 years old, despite that our parents tried to tell us it wasn’t really like that and despite deep down we knew nothing could be perfect, we didn’t want to believe them because for most of us who’d never travelled to the outside world, it was all we knew. To some kids, America was the only country in the world worth knowing about, nothing would ever compare and nothing would ever be as good, not our food, not our clothes and certainly not Australia. Sometimes we would scoff at the thought of having to watch our own TV shows, and they had to be good if they were to draw in our attention. America, the land of equality, freedom and justice for all and yet… we never knew this was all a lie.

I’ve never been to America, but now when you call 911 you’ll go through to emergency because so many children don’t know the number for 911. I’m not American, but two years ago I had to explain to the 6 year old daughter of a close family friend of mine, that Trump was not the president of the world, that he was only the president of America and that he wasn’t our president either. Then I had to explain that Australia doesn’t have a president – so entrenched are we that the perverse pattern still continues on to today. Take a good look, America that is what your country has done for you, ‘he’s not my president,’ and only when I say it, is it TRUE, because I’ve never been to America and Donald Trump is not my president.

I’ve never been to America, but I can tell you when I was 10 years old that I saw the country through my screen in much the same fashion that an authoritarian regime would seem but I’m 16,000 km away. I’ve never been to America but even today when I turn on my TV every single television station will be playing something American almost 99% of the time and hearing my own accent is a novelty. I’ve never been to America but I’m forced to feel guilt and responsibility for a nation I’ve never been a part of. For which even as I say this, you might still argue I was. For a history I didn’t write, for a time I’m expected to understand, for a reality I was never exposed to and was never made to understand. If I don’t, I am publicly shamed for this, for your situation, that I cannot comprehend. Because it is not my country, and I’ve never been and I have my own shame, reconciliation, progression and changes to make. I have my own apologies to make. Much like most Americans today, America shaped my world view, but there’s just one problem, I’m not American. My life is still dominated by American culture but that’s not the problem, and not even why I’m angry, I’m angry because, America, you are still telling LIES.

I learned a long time ago that if you want to be part of the Social Media Universe now more than ever you have to know as much as I know about America. You have to know what you can and can’t say, you have to know how not to offend and you have to know most have zero tolerance for acceptance if you don’t. Often you must give up your identity, put yourself second and you must acknowledge theirs first, and you’ll frequently be expected to know things no one outside America should be expected to know or else be patronised and humiliated with social discourse you’ve never known. And I have witnessed from some, the so-called unity that is really exclusion of all but your own. You have to know they don’t understand your culture, because unlike you it wasn’t shoved down their throats until you had no choice but to remember the first three lines of their national anthem. You have to know they only know America, and for many of them, America is the world and the only world they have or will ever know. You don’t know us half as much as we know you, America, and I don’t think we’ve ever told you this nor have you ever been expected to know this because I’m Australian, not American.

From the age of 15 was when the cracks started to show, when the days of high speed internet began to take off. That was when the false narrative was finally stripped away. No longer was I giddy, weak at the knees and nervous to speak to Americans anymore, it would seem Americans were not gods after all, they were just people like everyone else. In fact, they were a highly troubled and divided nation of people thwart with division, racism and vast inequality, trapped behind a smoke screen their leaders had projected to the world for decades. A smoke screen that was extra thick and especially perverse for my country alone. Ever since I can remember, I have known America, but everything I did know was a lie and I never knew the truth. For that I’m deeply angry and for that I’m deeply disturbed, not because I don’t care about Americans, for a deep nostalgia, unity and even love runs through my veins, but because I spent half my life being told by America that they were nothing short of perfect.

Perfect despite they have guns. Perfect despite that the only gun I have ever seen was on the belt of a police officer and I’ve never seen anyone fire a gun. Perfect but my neighbours don’t own a gun. Perfect despite no Universal Healthcare. Perfect, but going to the ER could mean death anyway. Perfect despite they trial children in court. Perfect despite mass school shootings where thousands of innocent lives have been lost. Perfect despite that police murder people in front of thousands. Perfect despite white supremacy, racism and oppression that I’d have never have imagined in my wildest nightmares and certainly not for America growing up. Perfect despite most voted in a sex offender and refuse to acknowledge a global pandemic that is killing thousands worldwide. Perfect because millions don’t believe in science nor the climate crisis, won’t mitigate its threat and won’t vaccinate for other diseases that threaten humanity. Perfect, despite too many do not even believe in the pandemic.

America, this world of oppression, this world of pain and great division and needless sacrifice. This world of suffering, mass homelessness and deaths from inadequate healthcare; and as an outsider and despite entrenched in their culture, this we never knew about. I’m angry because I had to wait to hear it from Americans themselves, I had to grow up before I learned the truth, they never truly had a voice, and never even tasted what I thought I America was, nor were they aware of these tall tales I had been told, for I continue to shock my friends with the only narrative America had ever sold.

For most of my life I only imagined their life was perfect, I had only imagined they had democracy more intact than mine but the truth is, in some ways they are every bit just like me; except they have never known basic human rights like I have. For some Americans learning I have never lived like them, is too much to comprehend and so envious are they that they lash out in pure hate. I want to say sorry for never knowing their world for what it is, but often I don’t know what to say because there are too many euphemisms and acronyms in the way. It’s all I see, it’s all I hear about and it’s deeply rooted in my identity but I cannot understand, as like a child I’ve watched them fall apart and like a child I’m naïve and never know what to say from the start. I’ve tried to imagine a need for guns, especially in schools, the First Amendment rights and why healthcare was privatised. I’ve tried to imagine the unnecessary pain they feel with COVID-19 and how many people have negligently died, but I can’t. Over the years I’ve tried so hard to understand, so much at times that I’ve cared more about their problems than my own. I have spent long nights and days agonising over their troubles that they often kept me awake at night.

I have never been to America, but for the first time in my life I don’t want to go there, and like millions of Americans I don’t want to be told lies anymore. I’m not American and that much I know because nobody is American like you. What I can tell you is that I stand with you, we only ask for your patience in return and we need that most of all. Please don’t be offended for what we do and don’t say or for what we don’t know, because despite that I still live and breathe American culture still to this day, I’ve never known America and no one knows America like you do.

When I was 10 years old I thought I knew America, but now I realise I never knew it at all and for that I’m sorry and for that I offer my strength and to you I say this: maybe you’re not the ‘land of the free,’ but by god for the BIPOC (an acronym I learned just yesterday) the health challenged and all others who aren’t at the top, y’all are definitely home to the BRAVE.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

32 comments

Login here Register here
  1. Jack Cade

    Lovely narrative.
    Columbus’ real name was Colon ( one of the Central American countries calls its currency the Colon.
    Colon seems an appropriate name for the founder of a country full of arseholes… with a president called Fart.
    Having said that, I have actually never met a Yank that I didn’t like. When I toured Europe in the 60s, staying in youth hostels, I usually found myself hanging around with Americans, because they were good company. In Zurich I wandered around the city with a New York Jew and a long, tall Texan.
    But I loathe their country’s foreign policy and inbred stupidity.

  2. Jack Cade

    A couple of years ago I was chatting to a bloke at a party, who had lately returned from a spell of house-sitting in Canada and the US. House-sat in Denver and there was a loaded gun in EVERY SINGLE ROOM IN THE HOUSE!!
    Sobering…

  3. Dave G.

    Like Jack Cade I youth hosteled my way around Europe 59/61 & met some great Americans my own age, a great sense of freedom & fun they were always good company.I was also impressed that many of them being from migrant families were bilingual not common amongst Australians then.I think the Vietnam war changed America but no doubt young Americans are probably still good fun they certainly were in my youth.

  4. Ally Morgan

    I’ve been to America, only briefly on a holiday….but I found that the people I talked to knew little about the rest of the world, and really, very little about their own country…..so insular.

  5. Keitha Granville

    I have been to America, three times. (pre Trump, so another lifetime)

    On the whole the people are just like us, proud of who they are, proud of their country. It is true they know less about us than we of them, but that’s simply exposure. Just as you have written, television has informed us about them. They don’t see anything on their screens about us.
    Until Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max, Steve Irwin, Nicole Kidman – actors, fiction – just as much of our information and narrative of them was actors and fiction. But now in the era of instant news and social media we are all learning more about the real world. It’s not as pretty as we thought, neither here nor there. We are learning stuff about our own country and theirs that we don’t like. Not because we didn’t care before, we had no way of knowing, we weren’t informed. Now that we do it is up to us, here and there, to do something about it.
    Americans are decent people, most of them, ordinary people, most of them. Only 20% of them voted for their President, because they unlike us have optional voting. That’s how you end up with a moron leading your country. ( we should not have believed the lies that gave us ours, we should have seen through the spin, we have no excuse)

    The gun thing is another whole story, I have no idea why. Aren’t we lucky.

    But do visit, when it’s safe again. It is a fabulous country, just like ours. So much to see and marvel at, so many really nice people.
    The world all over has many flaws, but if we all learn about and visit each other, maybe it can be a better world.

  6. Win Jeavons

    Back in the 70s my daughter had an American teacher in upper primary school . She objected to being required to learn the names of the US states, asking why they should not rather learn the states of Australia. His reply; ” I don’t know them”. Being intelligent, she was rightly offended by this. We had a generation of school kids taught by Yanks ,it is evident in spelling.

  7. Bronte ALLAN

    Great & true sentiments here, Nicole! I have been to America–well the Western part for a holiday of three weeks, & I must say, like you & some other letters here have said, we got along very well with ordinary, everyday people over there. We have relatives who live in Manhattan Beach , Los Angeles & they & their friends etc are very nice people, just like us! It would appear that a vast number of people who live in the ‘States are NOT like our friends. All these other people i am referring to would appear to be undereducated red necks who hate people of any color or race, who are not white Anglo Saxons, & of course believe that every one MUST owns guns as the Second Amendment of their Constitution says. Sadly they appear to now be in the majority! Whilst their stupid LYING flat earth, climate change denying, ignorant so-called President–the Trumpet–is running America it will never get any better,. & probably much worse than it is now!

  8. Phil

    I don’t want to be picky but more than a few thousand Red Indians were killed by the whites it was more in the millions. Their movie industry was huge to be sure and so was the British movie industry. Parts of Star Wars was made in the UK. I am not sure but the Bollywood movie industry in India is probably bigger than the US.

    My father RIP spent 3 months in a US hospital during WW2. He told me that the Yanks were the salt of the earth. I still have letters from a nurse he befriended and still corresponded with after the war. Fate is a funny thing, if dads brother hadn’t lived in Australia we were going to immigrate to the States. Thank God that never happened. Haven’t been there, wouldn’t go if someone gave me free tickets.

    There was a great doco about Americans in England during WW2. About bringing English brides back to the USA promising them the farm life in the country but instead, ended up in some multi story block of flats in a shit hole like New York.

  9. Jack Cade

    Phil

    If you ever venture into Quora ( and you’d be entitled to ask why you’d bother) you will
    be astonished at the number of questions posed by Americans who think that John Wayne won the battle of Iwo Jima, that the Yanks beat Rommel in the Western Desert, that Steve McQueen masterminded the Great Escape and William Holden built the Kwai railway.
    Hollywood has convinced Americans that their founding fathers were the noblest, finest people who strode the earth; but In truth they were deeply unpleasant people, a strong thread of which persists.
    Their received history is bullshit. Dee Brown, in his seminal Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, suggests that the whites made nearly 800 treaties with the Native Americans, and broke every one. Custers glorious Last Stand should be renamed Custers ‘Shat Our Pants And Ran Like Fuck‘.
    They even rearranged the bodies in the Civil War photographs because some of the piles of corpses were not photogenic. Not the sort of country we should be sucking up to.

  10. New England Cocky

    The American Dream promulgated by Hollywood for decades has morphed into the American Nightmare as the undeserving rich receive unreasonable tax advantages and corporations are coming to dominate national thinking. Why recently a corporation was defined as equivalent to a natural person for the purposes of voting rights in what has been demonstrated as a corruptible and corrupted election system designed to maintain the status quo.

    I guess it will be a while before I am convinced that I want to travel to a country without a national health service, where child mortality in schools is a daily occurrence, where there is plea bargaining and a corrupted legal system, whee police believe they have a right to be enforcers of the unspoken and unlegislated racial discrimination policies protecting the white usurpers of Indian lands against the rising population of other racial presently in minorities.

  11. Florence Howarth

    Did short bus trip to Italy 1990s. Most of the passenger’s young US of Italian background. Lovely kids but near paranoid about being robbed, even their personal safety. Funny thing, they were the only ones who lost anything.

  12. Jane

    I lived in the US for 5 years in the 1980’s. It was not good and I was very pleased to leave.
    Many reasons.

  13. Phil

    ” They even rearranged the bodies in the Civil War photographs because some of the piles of corpses were not photogenic. Not the sort of country we should be sucking up to. ”

    Ronald Reagan even as the President told people he flew bombers during WW2. The reality was, he never served but donned a flying jacket to advertise and flog war bonds. They as you already know Jack, are the most insolated/isolated people on the planet. Most of them have never had/held a passport.

    I have a book it is just labelled ” America ” It was penned by the famous Alistair Cooke of the ” Letters from America ” radio series on the ABC that was on for donkey’s years. In it are pictures of Black men in trees having been lynched with a crowd of whites standing around at the bottom, pissing it up. There are pictures of mass graves which appear to have been dug with a machine they are that big, but of course no doubt dug by the American Red Indians. One of the pictures shows women and children buried four tiers in depth. There is no provision on this site to upload them otherwise I would scan them. To think that gibbering idiot Trump and the rest of the religious whackos in his administration may yet be the death of us all. I despair at what is going on in the world.

  14. RomeoCharlie29

    Like the author I was brought up on a tv diet of American pap, with the resultant esoteric knowledge. I have met, and liked, some Americans, have briefly visited the west coast twice and would not live there in a fit. My anger with America is the hypocrisy of the ‘land of the free’ narrative against the long history of interference in governments which, while popularly elected, are perceived by the maniacs of the military industrial complex as ‘commies’. The unworldliness of the. Vast majority of Americans, the ease with which they have allowed so many of their institutions to be corrupted, especially both major political parties and their inability to see how even the so-called rights in their Constitution ( the second amendment re gun ownership or the fifth, relating allowing avoidance of answering to the law) are perverted. Sadly the one person who might have been able to shake the system up, Bernie Sanders, was a victim of the political corruption that sees an almost-Trump as a serious alternative. And what hope if the rapper Kanye West were to somehow prevail. Could the US become an even bigger laughing stock than under the pussy-grabber?

  15. Michael Taylor

    It was always a wonderful poster. Above the tunnel that you entered leading to arrivals after filing out of the plane at LA was a framed picture of President Obama, with the words “Welcome to the United States of America.”

    And after dreading the thought of seeing it replaced with Trump’s bashable face on our last visit we were joyed to see no picture at all.

  16. Jack Cade

    When Australia changed its currency from pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents, an acquaintance of mine and his girl friend were travelling through the United States. A friendly bus driver, intrigued by their accents, asked them numerous questions about Australia. When it came to money, they mentioned that we now had dollars and cents. Because the old pound was worth close to two dollars, they innocently said that the new Aussie currency unit was worth about $US1.50. This assertion was met with increasing hostility ; ‘It cain’t be worth more than a US dollar. It just cain’t. The US dollar is the strongest currency in the world!’ The logic of the basic value did not register with him, It just couldn’t be, and the discussion turned into an argument into a rage. They got off at the next stop.
    They can be a particularly obtuse people, bristling at perceived insults. I got a very fiery response once when a Yank asked me if I knew Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and I said ‘’No! I didn’t know he’d moved.’
    Big mistake..,

  17. Michael Taylor

    Jack, on one trip we had the good fortune to have a young taxi driver – a uni student earning a few bucks in his holidays – who actually lacked a brain.

    It was Christmas, and Carol and I thought we’d spend it in Vegas to escape the heat.

    “But isn’t it cold in Christmas in Australia?” he asked.

    “No, it’s hot,” we both replied.

    “So you have Christmas at a different time of the year?” asked the young genius.

    “No,” we replied.

    “So how come it’s hot there? It’s always cold at Christmas time.”

    “You’re forgetting that we’re in a different hemisphere.”

    Jack, wait for this … the young uni student come taxi driver asked us …

    “What’s a hemisphere?” 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

    I’m guessing he went to Trump University.

  18. Michael Taylor

    He just could not comprehend how we could have Xmas Day on the same date when it was hot in Australia. 😳😳😳

    One would hate to think how he copes with a concept such as the Equator where it’s hot all year round.

  19. Kerri

    You have summarized many of the points driving my anger at the USA at the moment, and a few I hadn’t thought of Nicole.
    The first step to improvement for America, would be the impossible acceptance that the USA is not the greatest country in the world. That American exceptionalism exists but not in the way that most Americans think.
    That no! not anyone can be the President and that the US President is not the leader of the free world but merely one of it’s many leaders.
    When I was a young green teacher back in the early ‘80’s my subject coordinator handed me a potential teaching tool to evaluate for purchase for my faculty. Geography. It was an American publication comprising some 50 Photocopiable worksheets covering “Geography”.
    My recommendation was to hand it back with a firm no! (We were not allowed to burn or bin the sample. My personal preference)
    One of those 50 sheets had mention of Australia. And the rest of the world. That is, one single photocopiable worksheet covered any other country than the US. The other 49 were solely focussed on the USA. It was then I realised how navel gazing and so engrossed in itself as to disappear up it’s own anus was the USA.
    In year 11 I studied US history. It was far more interesting than Australian history given the civil war, slavery, assassinations etc. The thing that hit me like a bolt of lightning was that the Mayflower, full of European, Dutch mostly, Religious immigrants was a voyage of people who believed that they were sent by god to begin a new colony. A new world. God had chosen them specifically to start a new colony and discard the rest of the world where they felt religiously persecuted.
    Well that explains Americans! I said to my best friend. It explains the untramelled ego of the American spirit.
    A people that from it’s white invasion had believed itself to be God’s people chosen for their extraordinary talents will never accept what a rat race they really are. A people that deliberately set about driving the buffalo to extinction to compromise the survival of the Indigenous peoples and original inhabitants of North America. A people that stole African citizens and treated them as inferiors for decades before Abraham Lincoln decided to free the slaves. (Initially Lincoln had called black leaders to his office to offer them freedom if they returned to Africa.) A people so gorged on religion and religious righteousness that they cannot accept those who will not support their fairytale nonsense and no one, EVER, admits to disbelief in god any more than disbelief in American exceptionalism. A people so accustomed, so ingrained in blowing their own trumpet that they are deaf to their own failures. Even down to earth left wing journalists like Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper still refer to the best country in the world. 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ And yet, the daily videos of undereducated, ignorant and frankly unwashed trash that spout their racism confuses these left wing pundits? They cannot believe how many of these exist?
    The possibility of a second term of President Donald J Trump is still very, very real. Trump is doing his best to set up the “deplorables” to believe that the election will be rigged! That COVID19 is just “a little flu” (To quote Bolsonaro) that we will all survive. He will continue this campaign until well after the election using it to, most likely, explain away the judicial prejudices (against him) that prevent him from “making America great again” or, less likely, to drive his opponent into the ground and destroy every attempt to redeem an unredeemable nation by altering the status quo.
    But hey? Who are we to complain when the bulk of Trump’s publicity has been backed, as was Tony Abbott’s Prime Ministership, by Australia’s greatest export. The venerable or is that objectionable Mr. Murdoch.
    I have been to America Nicole.
    Four times.
    On the last visit I quite deliberately chose accommodations in downtown LA to expose my adult daughters to the homelessness and utter desperation of so many US citizens. That was in 2015 even before Trumpism!
    We are a family who likes to walk around an area and see what it is about. The two most pervasive odours outside our hotel (which we were reminded by taxi staff was where Die Hard was filmed) were car exhaust and urine. My younger daughter pointed out that many of the homeless would react quickly when we walked by out of fear of having their meagre possessions taken if they were not guarding their tent (if they were lucky) or their cardboard houses.
    Yes! I’ve been to America and it is Not what it is cracked up to be!
    It seems likely that America will be a great deal smaller in population In the not too distant future but it’s self belief will never wane. “We have built this country from nothing and we can do it again” they will cry whilst cheating the poor into modern slavery, persecuting those of colour (who are less worthy due to their melatonin), slaughtering their elderly by neglect and killing off their best and brightest with their ever justified “second amendment rights”.
    I probably will never go to America again. And I will probably be the better for it.
    No country is the best in the world. But the USA is a looong way down on that list.

  20. Jack Cade

    I think the classic ‘dumb yank’ comment was passed on by a tourist who accompanied some Americans on a tour of Windsor Castle. One of the Cindy-Lous asked the guide ‘Why didn’t they build the railway station next to the castle?’
    The tour guide, straight-faced, paused and said ‘Apparently they did consider it. but
    In the end they decided it would be best if they built the railway station next to the train line.’

  21. RosemaryJ36

    I spent the first third of my life in the UK, listening to the BBC (before TV) and have never adjusted to programs being interrupted for ads. I think we too often forget that individual people can be interesting and pleasant but the politics of their country are unacceptable compared with our own.
    I still hate ads so watch ABC TV and get the news from ABC radio. I, too, have never been to the USA – and have no desire to do so!
    Jack Cade – fantastic anecdote!

  22. New England Cocky

    @Jack Cade: An Texan was touring a farm in Israel and comparing what he saw with home.

    ‘So how big is this key-butz of yours”?

    “‘Well, we are standing next to the southern boundary, that tree line over there is the western boundary, the river down there is the eastern boundary, and the top of the ridge line with the fence is the northern boundary’, replied the Israeli farmer.

    “Why,”” said the American,” Ï can get into my car and drive all day from my southern boundary and still not see my northern boundary,” said the American.

    ”Ï once had a car like that too,” replied the Israeli.

  23. Jack Cade

    New England Cocky

    Ha.
    This is not the forum for reminiscences, but I posted earlier about hanging around with with a New York Jew and a long tall Texan when I was in Europe. In the hostel, we slept in a gigantic room like a camp, on a wooden platform on individual mattresses – two rows of about 10 each in the centre and similar along the sides. After lights out we all chattered, and I sang out to Tex, who was about 10 mattresses
    away – ‘Hey, Tex. Do you know that in Australia, there is a farm that is bigger than Texas?’
    Uproar.
    Tex ‘I don’t believe it.’
    A Japanese lad halfway across shouted ‘Is TLOO. Is TLOO.’
    Hubbub died down, a chastened Tex said quietly…
    ‘Who owns this goddamned farm, anyway.?’
    Me. ‘Oh, I dunno. A Texan, I think.’
    ‘That figures.’
    So we were friends again.
    I often wonder what happened to Tex and Solly. You didn’t exchange addresses in those days. Another city, another YHA…

  24. Michael Taylor

    One young bloke in Nevada wanted to know where I learnt to speak English.

    “Back in Australia,” I said, while giving him a blank look.

    “What’s the national language of Australia?” he asked.

    Many answers ran through my mind. I was tempted to reply with either Pitjantjatjara, Patagonian, Siberian, Gaelic or Latin, but I chose to reply with …

    “We’re the only remaining country that speaks the language of the long-lost city of Atlantis.”

    The idiot believed me.

  25. Dr Tom Loveday

    Been twice – NEVER AGAIN

  26. Chaz

    I’m not an American also. America and most other countries are being weakened by the global elites, with grate assistance from mainstream journalism. Yes, that so-called profession died off decades ago if the quality of their analysis of any given topic is a guide, but they still have much influence over the under-educated and-or the time-poor. Add the insane agenda of Hollywood as featured in a recent doco, Fall of the Cabal and it’s a miracle any freedoms still exists.
    The only thing standing between a dog-like submission to the takeover by the Jesuits who are adept at using all groups against each other to further their own plans is a high proportion of Americans own guns. Fear of triggering a civil war is holding back the final push by the ‘elite’, at least until potentialities of failure are predicted and war-gamed by their AI system. Not perfect is it?

  27. Anne Byam

    I have been to America – some 40 years back and would never want to go again. I saw it the tough way ( by bus ) right across and back, and also from the other side of the coin – staying with wealthy people on the East who were friends from when they lived here.

    From what I hear, read, see on TV, nothing, but nothing has changed in those 40 years.
    The people are just as ignorant of other countries, just as arrogant ( not all but a lot ), just as homeless, uneducated, dangerous and untravelled – some even have never crossed their own counties boundaries, let alone State. And their infrastructure is just as frail now as it was then.

    If they do become travellers, one will often see their arrogance increase, with expectations that they are first in every queue, every situation – to be attended to as the ‘exceptionals’ they believe themselves to be. I do believe this stems from fear mostly. Fear of being entirely out of their comfort zone which has taught them ad nauseum about America being ‘the greatest’ and the police of the world. Not to mention hoisting those bloody flags every 70 feet or so.

    However, not everyone there is like this. Just too many.

    A great article from Nicole, which I applaud and agree with, and I also agree with every word posted by RomeoCharlie29.

  28. Wam

    Well you are a little unlucky to have americophiles for parents who let you wander into septic crap unvaccinated by the war.
    When I was 10 dad made sure I knew that Marion Morrison was a draft dodger and American films were Jewish propaganda. There have been rare American movies that enriched my life. The first pointed me to the worth of black americans ‘Carmen Jones’ and the other couple had Australian or English actors to inject some credibility into the films.
    Even there there is risks every man women and child smashes something at the slightest frustration and a later eyes down trite like makes it all right. Indeed I saw one episode of Toni collette in United States of Tara where she knocks down a 15 year old boy and her 10 year old son kicks him..
    You are to be congratulation for avoiding the indoctrination of so many boomers who, ignoring atrocities like no gun ri and my lai passed the war and peace myths to their children.
    I feel sorry for today’s 10 year olds living in a society that makes your experience pale into insignificance with tv, cable, Netflix, WiFi social pages, Tweets, and Myriads of instant contact Platforms(although less than 300k likes for trump’s bullshit tweet is encouraging?
    The second gave whites the right to shoot Indians which became the right to shoot anyone you take a dislike to and if they were red or black no consequences that was a couple of 100 years ago and they are still shooting.

  29. Michael Taylor

    In the early 1970s my mother wanted us to emigrate to the USA so we could be closer to the loads of relatives we have over there.

    I strongly opposed it, mostly because of footy: I played suburban football in Adelaide and was a keen Port Adelaide supporter.

    But I can (hypothetically) promise you this: I wouldn’t be carrying a gun or voting for the GOP if we had have gone over.

  30. Anne Byam

    Horrifies and at the same time kind of fascinates me – just how gullible the Yanks can be. Despite their arrogance, when many subjects are broached, they know next to nothing.

    Good on those who honestly attain University through hard work and go on to make a difference in this world. That’s about the only good thing I could possibly say at this point in time.

    Except – – – – – that their countryside, mountains etc. ARE really beautiful.

  31. leefe

    Having grown up in Tasmania, I know parochialism, but down here we are rank amateurs compared to the Seppos. The vast majority know nothing of the rest of the world and don’t want to. To them, we are nothing more than a theme park.

  32. Josephus

    Small point: cookies is a US word. In England and usually here too, biscuit is the word used, which means twice cooked in old Norman French. Today some other US words are used here though , eg apartment for flat. I avoid Americanisms.

    Australia is a lot more like the US than it is like the UK today; culturally and in its buildings , although the accent is admittedly roughly based on 19th c Cockney. The now common rising intonation of women especially is a US import.

    Mindless chauvinism is rife here also; ‘our country is the best in the world’ etc, as our PM says.
    There is a gun lobby on the Right here, climate denialism and anti vaxers too. Racism, similar. Lack of 2nd language capability among non First Nations, similar.

    To end, a true story told me by an English student tourist guide for Americans visiting Florence, 1970s. Says that Michelangelo did the statue of Moses. Oh wow, how old was Moses when M. sculpted him? asks a US tourist. Stunned, student replies, Oh about fifty…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: