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Hi, everyone! I'm one of the new members on here. Lovin' this site so far, but I do have a question.
In many of his articles, Winston tells people that in America it would be inappropriate to tell someone that people are all stuck-up and antisocial. And that the general opinion is that if you don't have any friends or dates, then you should work on your social skills, because most people are "polite and friendly". Oh and also he talks about how the media never portrays the real social problems in America, and how if you go out by yourself and without a date you'll be seen as a loser etc.
I don't remember the exact wording, but it was something to that effect. That statement is mostly true, but think about this.. When would it ever be appropriate to say that people are stuck-up and antisocial? In what society or culture would it ever be okay? And why would the media bluntly tell you that? And then any motherf**ker out there could pretty much destoy your whole point by simply saying:"Well, I beg to differ, sir. That is your own subjective opinion. People are in fact polite and friendly. I have lots of friends and acquaintances, and they're all good hard-working people. They all go to church on Sunday". Do you see what I'm sayin' here?
Winston, when you were in Russia did you ever ask your friends/girlfriends why most Russians are drunks? Did you ever ask them why they're so rude and in-your-face in comparison with Europeans and other foreigners? I don't think it's ever appropriate to publicly criticize the whole society like that. All in all, it is a matter of personal opinion. If you're having a tough time meeting people, it may not be the same for some other dude livin' down the block. If you think everybody's antisocial, that may not be true for everybody else.
I know I should've just PM'ed you, Winston. I would really like to hear other people's opinions on this.
You are right that most people don't like to hear negative things about their country, even if it's true. But so what? I have to call it like I see it. Some things are too obvious though, such as Americans not knowing their neighbors, the loneliness epidemic, social isolation, etc. and have even been covered in mainstream media articles. Google "The Seattle Freeze" and you will see mainstream news articles about it. So sure, sometimes the media talks about it, but not too much.
In general Americans don't talk to strangers unless it's business related. And people don't usually socialize outside their clique. But it depends on the situation and environment. Older men are more likely to talk to strangers, whereas young women are least likely to. It also depends on the state and town. Southerners are more hospitable, and West Coast people are more stuck up, all business and cliquish than those in the Midwest or South. The dating scene on the West Coast is the worst too. All of this is well documented. There are many variables. But what I say is generally true. I call it like I see it.
What is wrong with that? What do you suggest I change in my articles? What are you proposing or trying to prove? Yeah you have a point, but so do I. We are both right. So what is your question exactly? Are you trying to prove something? Or suggesting a change? Can you be specific?
Things are relative though, and based on your reference point. And people have different standards for what is "sociable" and "friendly". There are people who claim that Americans and open and friendly, but when I probe them more, they finally admit that American women are not approachable to strangers, thus proving my point. However, to them, the approachability of women was not the defining factor in whether people were friendly or not. But in a way, they admitted that I was right.
If you see my videos of meeting female strangers in Russia though, you will see a huge difference in approachability.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
Hey man... Good thing you told me about the Seattle Freeze, because coincidentally I know someone who lives there and they'd been trying to get me to move to WA. I'm glad I researched that topic, even though I think that it is a major problem in all Northern/Northeastern states. Seattle is not the only place that's like that. I've encountered pretty much the same attitude/atmosphere in Ottawa and Chicago and a bunch of other places here in the US.
All I wanted to say is that you're kind of an idealist in that you expect people to be friendly and polite, and you expect the media to bluntly tell you the truth. Maybe you could change the wording a little bit and say how it is not absolutely everybody being uppity, but the overwhelming majority of people. You know you'll always have a couple of oddballs here and there, and also some of the subcultures kinda defy all the mainstream nuances and biases here in America. It would be unfair to just throw everybody in the mix and make a blanket statement that everybody's stuck-up.
TruthOrConsequences, I'd gone from 100+ friends/acquaintances in college, to a dozen, in the decade which followed.
A lot of it has to do with what Winston's been talking about, albeit, there are gradients on these themes, so not everyone's story is the same.
The truth of the matter is that after having been on a type of open college campus, where everyone sort of hangs out and chats, the mainstream America, however, reverts back to a type of high school-ish cliquey hierarchy where everyone sort of pretends to be a Private Idaho success story, even if it's all talk and little substance.
Thus today, I feel more like I'm in high school but in place of being let's say a sports star, a debating champ, or a violinist, the persona is that of a businessman, who's always got an inside track on something. Now granted, sometimes the whole 'show & tell' thing is kinda fun but as a whole, it makes life look more like a kabuki play than real life.
I think folks like Winston get weary of this and want something better. Unfortunately, in America, if you don't project success, then you're a case of sour grapes and a misfit. I guess that would make me a misfit, who's successfully projected success, without really buying into the party line.
People who went to American colleges back in the 60's and 70's, especially the small liberal arts ones, tell me that mostly everyone in their class seemed to be casually dating, very naturally. Everyone would get to know each other despite different interests.
Whatever happened to that. The good old days of Bob Dylan, Woodstock, and Vietnam War protests have now become the days of Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, Facebook, and junk TV shows. Nowadays in college, men and women alike are extraordinarily picky about who they decide to go out with. People stick to their cozy clubs, fellowships, frats, and sororities without bothering to move out. Students are more selfish, narcissistic, and dumbed down. Although it's easy to get to know new people and hang out with them, you will simply have to find a niche or else be wandering around on your own.
Many colleges now feel like a gigantic high schools, with people dressing, talking, behaving, and socializing in nearly the same ways. Cliquishness is rampant. There is indeed a facade of openness and friendliness with all those clubs tabling on campus and students exchanging numbers in lecture halls. However, a closer look indicates that not much has changed since high school, especially among the mainstream undergraduate population. Kids simply do not suddenly change after being plucked out of cliquish high schools and then thrown into college dorms. And then what about all those cool clubs and friendly classmates that you just got acquainted with? They will simply "disappear" from your life if you don't fit into their clique.
Of course you're not supposed to say that. You will be rebutted with,
Also, the many wonderful friends I have in college tend to be graduate students, non-mainstream Americans, or immigrant students from various continents.