Are they stupid and out-dated? I think in some cases they are. Now, before I go any further, I want to put a disclaimer in here… Um… I’m in America, so social expectations here are far different than say, Malaysia. I can’t think of anything else, so I’ll just move on.
We are expected to side with one or the other, and catch hell if we don’t. This is incredibly annoying, because it basically means that society frowns on thinking for yourself. I don’t like Republicans (too much religious crap mixed in) or Democrats (they think we have unlimited money, and that the government can solve unemployment by providing more government jobs, which costs more money.)
Try having a political discussion with people when they can’t grasp the concept of not blindly following one single ideology. I want social freedoms AND fiscal responsibility, so gay marriage shouldn’t even be a political debate (it’s a religious thing) and there SHOULD be limitations on taxation and hand-outs. I understand why tax breaks for businesses help create jobs, but why do taxpayers help Walmart build new stores? They have plenty of money to do it on their own.
We are expected to know what is going on in the world of prime-time TV. WHY!?!!? I don’t even pay for cable TV anymore, because Hulu and Netflix take care of 99% of my needs; for everything else I just go down to the bar and watch the Packers. American Idol, X-Factor, Top-Chef, The Office…
Why do people take this stuff so seriously? Don’t they have better things to worry about? This goes for celebrity gossip as well. I recently had to write an essay on celebrities… “Pick one celebrity who you identify with as a family member, then explain why.” All I could do is explain that I don’t care enough about celebrities to answer the question in a way they expected (still passed, but got lower marks because I’m not a slave to Hollywood. ARGH!)
I can tell you that I like just about every movie Johnny Depp has been in, but I don’t know (nor do I want to) anything about him as a person! How can I “identify with X as family” if I don’t know X? I have friends who I consider family, maybe they should have asked that. It certainly would have promoted a more social society, rather than encouraging the mass-ignorance of anything outside CaliSchwarznia that pervades this country. Sometimes the gossip gets so big that it becomes national news (like when I posted about the guy who got booted from American Idol.)
Social society… Can we even be called a society anymore? That’s actually a good question, and I don’t know that we can. We lock ourselves away in front of digital screens, and going on dates is almost unheard of now-days. How can you be a society if you never do anything social?
Anyway, back on topic….
It is expected that you either like them, or you don’t. Nobody seems to understand how I can like football (American football) but could care less about basketball, baseball, and hockey. I can discuss football at length, but couldn’t even tell you who has won the NBA championship since the Bulls.
Some people take this stuff so seriously that they even have multiple TVs to watch separate games on, at the SAME TIME. It is also generally expected that women hate sports, and this is simply not true. I know a lot of women who like sports… They just don’t go insane about it like some guys I know do.
Everyone is expected to attend some kind of college. Apparently you are an idiot who can barely read if you’ve never gone to a “higher learning” establishment. Intelligence isn’t just knowledge, it’s the ability to USE the knowledge you have. Bush Jr. went to Yale AND Harvard, but he only ever really saw success in politics… Many still consider him stupid.
We are quickly producing more college-educated people than we have jobs to support, and when you live in a country that CONSTANTLY tells you that you can be anything you want to be, it just causes a lot of depression when people finally discover that’s not exactly true. If everyone goes to college, then who is going to flip the burgers? You may laugh at that, but seriously, what are we going to do when you need an Associate’s Degree in “Fry-Tech” to work at McDonald’s?? Spend $40,000+ on a two-year degree and come out with a $9.00 an hour job… How does that make sense?
If you don’t speak English, get out. That’s what they say anyway. Apparently, we are supposed to play “globo-cop” around the world, but we don’t have to accept other cultures…
First: we don’t speak English here anymore, we speak American. Second: it’s great to have a standardized language in any country, but it’s ridiculous to expect that nobody will speak anything else.
This is the single largest problem I see in America. We tend to ignore social differences around the world, and expect that they should conform to ours. This is as selfish and arrogant as a society can be. How can we properly solve disputes in other parts of the world if we refuse to even see their perspective? We also can’t claim to know enough about other cultures when we don’t even know our own… Most Americans wouldn’t be able to name all of the states in the map above if it weren’t labeled, let alone the cultural boundaries that are very present!
Americans seem to be completely ignorant to the fact that this is why so much of the world hates us. We go around with a giant cattle-prod, sticking it in places where it should never go, and then expect that everyone should love us for it. We don’t have an obligation to make sure Africa is doing things one way or another, nor do we have the right to intervene in middle-eastern affairs. There are Americans who actually get upset when they visit other countries (like Spain, France, Russia, etc…) and can’t find anyone who wants to speak English.
If you visit another country, you have to understand that they have a different set of expectations for you, and that you offend them when you don’t even try understanding. Just like when you get upset because Asians speak whatever language is native to them here, they have the right to NOT speak English there! We are not perfect, and should accept that. Don’t get mad when you are asked to remove your shoes in Japan, it’s a part of their culture… and promotes cleaner floors.