Friday, November 07, 2008

Americans behaving badly

I read a lot of blogs. Mostly I read homemaking blogs, much the same as a computer person would read programming blogs or a designer reads design blogs. Homemaking is what I consider my real job, in spite of my recent preoccupation with finding financial income via a paying position.

As a subcategory, I also read some international blogs, at least the English-speaking ones, which means a lot of Canadian, Brit, Australian and New Zealand blogs with a smattering of the Netherlands and Sweden.

Lately, as a form of good will, some of non-U.S. bloggers have congratulated their American readers on their new president-elect. Some have even gone so far as to "approve" of the choice which, while I understand how this might rankled in the gut of our most ardent isolationists, I have to believe means nothing more than to wish us well in our change of administration.

I certainly don't take offense at the fact that the international community has an opinion one way or the other. We are a large, powerful country and what we do matters globally.

I also don't take offense when a blog consistently about, say, sewing, takes a day off to extend glade tidings to the U.S. citizens on a very important decision that, inevitably, affects the whole world. It's their blog. It's our world.

What I do find offensive -- embarrassing, actually -- is when Americans respond to these congratulations by criticizing their own government and then bickering with other Americans on someone else's blogs.

For one thing, it has the air of Dixie Chick cowardice to it: express an opinion in "safe" place and hope it won't get back to the American fan base, thus affecting your bottom line. Natalie Maines didn't make her "ashamed the president is from Texas" statement -- in Texas.

There are plenty of blogs for Americans to duke it out over whether President-Elect Obama is good or bad for America. The only reason I can think of for doing so on a blog totally unrelated to politics or the U.S. is that it is unlikely your facts will be checked. Certainly some of the stupidest rumors get bantered about in the comments section of homemaking blogs.

Secondly, everyone wants to deliver the one coupe de grace comment when it comes to politics, causing us to come across as rude know-it-alls, the kind of reputation we already have because rude know-it-alls are the only ones who can afford to travel overseas. Most of us aren't like that at all and most of us can discuss politics without hyperbole.

I have this urge to post my own comment apologizing for the rudeness of my fellow citizens who can't seem to recognize that the polite response, if indeed any is needed, is "Thank you for your well wishes." This would, of course, only add fuel to the fire and would be followed with things like, "Oh yes, the whole world was 'polite' while Hitler killed 6 million people."


Honestly, I don't know what is going to happen. I only know that no one is going to change anyone's mind in the comments section of a blog devoted to new crockpot recipes and knitting afghans.


jagosaurus said...

Yes. It would be nice if everyone would just calm the hell down.

Sisiggy said...

JAG: Yeah, there's some really ignorant people out there getting unnecessarily flustered...and I think they may be armed.

jagosaurus said...

Yep. It's mostly annoying but there's a small part of this that is genuinely worrisome.

Anonymous said...

Crockpot food sucks. Anyone who creats or likes it is wrong.

Hilter used crockpots.

... ayuh... Wore knitted sweaters on occasion too.

All you smelly Americans need to just GEEEEet OOUT!