American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

Global Coke
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

May 11, 2021


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Pages: 1
Author Topic: I`m listening!

New Member
Posts: 4
I`m listening!
on: November 17, 2013, 16:33

I'm an American, and I'm listening to Their America (an excellent site)!
There is certainly a great deal of attention paid by American intellectuals to the rest of the globe (and our American Studies departments are filled with foreign-born scholars), but I agree with this project's general notion that the United States is, en masse, far too insular and ignorant of the rest of the world and its opinions.
In short, good work, and I'll continue reading (and listening)!
- Sharon

Experienced Their American
Posts: 17
Re: Im listening!
on: November 17, 2013, 16:43

That is very good to hear, thank you, Sharon!
Maybe the site should have a separate section for "American Intellectuals", since no one seems to be listening to them, either.
(Just kidding.)

Alex Wang
Experienced Their American
Posts: 14
Re: I`m listening!
on: November 17, 2013, 22:19

Imagine a family with the most powerful sense of hearing in all of human history, living in the noisiest house in the neighborhood.
They stand with their super-ears at the windows, listening to the world outside.
But the harder they listen, the more they hear themselves.
Seems to me they have only two choices: turn down the music, or leave the house.

Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Re: I`m listening!
on: November 19, 2013, 13:49

Yes, I agree that America does not listen enough and MUST learn to listen more. Unfortunately, America seems only to listen when 'outside history' invades it (when the neighbors throw a rock through the window of its noisy home, for instance). One of the consequences of the horrors of 9/11, for instance, was that Americans were forced to ask: what's happening 'over there', down the street? what are my neighbor's motivations? how do they feel about me? But such questions, of course, should be asked routinely.
I think I may start a topic in another place on this, but I will also say that there is a major problem with American MEDIA which makes its 'house' so loud and its neighbors so hard to hear. That media does not tell Americans about the world, and so Americans are happy to pretend it does not exist.
This site I am sure will help in some important way (and I think it is definitely serving a useful purpose, so I will say as well thanks for starting it!).

Experienced Their American
Posts: 15
Re: I`m listening!
on: November 19, 2013, 16:00

Hi Sharon (and everyone else),

As an American also, I'm definitely listening to Their America. I also think this site is highly valuable in documenting how America is perceived by the world, and I am thoroughly enjoying reading your ideas. Perspectives such as these are not ones we hear too often in the States, and when we do, they are often dismissed or instantly criticized. I think that is perhaps one of the biggest frustrations I have with my fellow Americans: we just don't want to hear it or don't care to know.

I often wonder why is that the case--why we're satisfied with generalizations and surface-level information (and misinformation), that's if we even seek information at all! As an "other" American (an American born in Puerto Rico but raised on the U.S. mainland, a Latina), I've had way too many encounters with well-meaning but often misinformed Americans, so it's always refreshing to be in the presence of those Americans who care to know! Americans who won't automatically assume that I will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo because that's a Mexican holiday, and I'm Puerto Rican, so that must be the same thing! 🙂

As I have mentioned in another post, I wonder when we (America) will reach the tipping point--when the world will scream so loud that it will no longer be an option to ignore. As Kevin mentioned, oftentimes our listening is reactionary (i.e., suddenly being concerned about Middle East-U.S. relations after a national tragedy: 9/11), but when will the listening be routine, constructive, and proactive? I think sites like these are a great place to start.

Keep the great ideas coming!


New Member
Posts: 1
Re: I`m listening!
on: December 4, 2013, 13:20

Hi everyone! I'm an Indian(Asian Indian and not American Indian) and am glad to see that there are Americans who now, particularly post 9/11, wish to understand how 'others' perceive America. I don't think the American government doesn't listen. It does listen, but selectively. American listening/policy has always been determined by power/politics/economics. Is that all that matters? The American government's materialism and its humanitarian pretensions are beginning to show. The American citizens too are kept in the dark about the government's machinations. Aren't the Assange tapes proof of that? But the good thing is that the people in America and outside it, are beginning to 'listen'.
Another suggestion if I may -- To me the terms 'their' and 'outsiders' seem too exclusionary. It is like creating the binary of us/them; insider/outsider. If we wish to engage with each other we need to use more inclusive terms. after all we all inhabit the same planet. Americans/Non-Americans could be one or else just the way you've named the continents, one could use the terms Asians, Africans etc.

Congratulations for encouraging such debates!


Posts: 172
Re: I`m listening!
on: December 5, 2013, 16:36

Thanks so much for your post, Manpreet -- and welcome!
Your point about the importance of distinguishing the American people from (the actions of) the American government is an important one (and it's echoed elsewhere on the site by Brian Jones). Many of the criticisms of the US articulated in our forum discussions so far -- concerning, for instance, NSA spying or drone strikes -- are widely shared, it seems clear, by Americans themselves.
As I note in the 'About' section, one hope I have for the site is that it might help Americans understand better how the nation (which, of course, is represented by the actions of its government) is perceived around the globe: "Though the world has never been more illuminated, America remains, in many ways, the elephant in a dark room, whose most well-intentioned actions are being increasingly distrusted and misunderstood as it steps on the toes (or heads) of its co-inhabitants. We aim to show the room to the elephant, and the elephant to the room, in the optimistic belief (but what alternative to optimism?) that this cannot help but help them both. Hence the flag of Their (or There) America above. America from the other side: america percepta. Not what it is, but what it is for others. And hence the phenomenological timeline, chronicling the history not of America, but of what it has been to others. A state–of mind–at least as important and influential, especially in this time, as the nation of America itself. For, when esse est percipi, america percepta matters more."
The term "Outsiders" was my best shot at a name for those "in but not, in their minds, of the United States", and my intention was that it wouldn't sound or feel 'exclusionary.' As the site grows -- with about 2000 unique visitors a month, we're getting there now! -- my plan is to turn each theater fully over to its 'director' and 'cast,' who will then be able to make whatever changes they like to its name and structure (the usefulness of making some distinctions -- in the forum structure and on the home page itself - between the various regions of 'Asia' has, in fact, already been made by several users, and changes will be made as soon as our membership gets large enough to warrant it).

Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Re: I`m listening!
on: December 2, 2015, 21:47

America, I implore those of you whom are fans of Donald Trump, to take a serious look at the repercussions of voting him in as your future President! It may seem highly entertaining at present, see what crazy point of view he will spew forth next, but even listening to him is dangerous! Hear me out on this...every time you give him attention, it feeds his ego, and further supports those negative notions he has, and feeds the ignorance that is rapidly spreading. Even if he doesn't become President, he has set a precedence for what money, and high social stature can accomplish! The 99% (those of you who aren't in the top 1% of income) must fight this! A win for Trump is a loss for America! It is a loss for the American dream! And a loss for American liberty for all!

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