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Here is something i have known for a long time. i have experienced nothing but fear from others INCLUDING tourists. this is something i see as frustrating. people from other countries as a tourist have told me what has scared them. just innocent people scare them by accident.
This is proof from a man that is paranoid about coming to america. he is so afraid is unwilling to live here. he says he feels the LEAST safe in america.
which i think is very pathetic by the way. as america is more safe then britian.
this is how the WHOLE world feels about america. He also gets into how paranoid american people are of other countries. and some other good points about our own paranoia. but he fails to realize how paranoid HE is of america...
i do NOT believe the bullshit about being safe in russia or whatever. it is not my cup of tea. i will be going there alone. with no problems. i know it. besides i live in Los angeles. and have had nothing bad ever happen to me. go figure....
please read and share your comments about his article...
When I last explained 17 cultural reasons why I probably wouldnâ€™t move to America, thereâ€™s an important one that I didnâ€™t emphasize, which continues to confuse me:
Why is it that Americans seem to be in a constant state of fear about the world?
This is about both day-to-day life and especially about how bad other countries are. My time in North America was indeed the one place Iâ€™ve felt the least safe out of an entire decade of travelling to over fifty countries, for a few reasons Iâ€™ll give below, but also simply because of all the fear mongering the states does so well anyway.
I see one consequence of this aspect of American culture to be its need to have so many such easily accessible guns, which creates obvious terrible events that do nothing but promote even more fear.
A terrible tragedy hit a school in Connecticut just a few days ago that you will likely have seen in the news, where many children were shot to death. While perhaps discussing this would be topical, and somewhat proves my point, I actually already had most of this post written before that ever happened. Itâ€™s just another one of many similar stories that are unfortunately not that uncommon in the states, even if the terrible body count happens to be higher this time.
The reason everyone has so many damn guns in the first place is because of Americaâ€™s fear of everything in the world, that has never been challenged as it has elsewhere. Or when they sometimes claim the guns keep them safe, and other countries are more dangerous, this makes me even more confused.
This illogical fear that America has of other countries has baffled me for as long as I can remember, as I see it as one hell of an exercise in cherry picking bad things happening abroad and blissfully ignoring those happening back home.
Rio and Egypt â€“ too dangerous to visit?
Right now Iâ€™m in Rio de Janeiro, and when I say this to Americans, they tell me to watch my wallet, and presume that I must have a got-robbed story from having spent an entire year of my life in Brazil. Actually itâ€™s one of my favourite countries and when you learn to act more Brazilian youâ€™ll find itâ€™s a lot easier to blend in with less worries.
Sure, Iâ€™ve heard a couple of stories of people getting mugged here in Rio (most cases Iâ€™ve heard have been American tourists who have been very naÃ¯ve about walking around a poor part of town almost bragging about their wealth in accessories they flaunt; something theyâ€™d be unlikely to do in poor districts of American cities), but these add up to a lot less stories compared to how many Iâ€™ve heard of tourists getting mugged in New York City.
In a few weeks Iâ€™m moving to Egypt, and Iâ€™ve been very regularly getting people asking me if Iâ€™m scared to go, as there are protests in particular parts of Cairo. These arenâ€™t protests against foreigners, attacks on random people in random places or anything of the sort. They are protests in particular parts of cities, aimed at dissatisfaction with the government, and its policies (more complicated than that, but definitely not directed at foreigners like me). If I see anything dangerous looking, Iâ€™ll walk the other way.
So no, Iâ€™m not scared. Iâ€™m watching the news and will see how things develop as Egypt tries to find its place in the world. I definitely plan to be cautious, but I have to be cautious and street-smart no matter where I go. If things take a turn for the worst, Iâ€™ll re-evaluate my travel plans, but as long as I keep my wits about me, I see this more as an interesting time to visit the country, while itâ€™s in such flux, and there are such discussions about its future. Itâ€™s not a warzone.
Cherry picking stories for biased information
Mainstream news in America makes me want to weep for the world. All you ever hear about coming from other countries is how terrible a place they are.
Faux Fox news is by far the worst of all of them for doing this, and you can see the ridiculous extent they bring this to in this discussion on Amsterdam, which is a â€œcesspool of corruption and crime and everything is out of control; itâ€™s anarchy!â€
Iâ€™ve lived in Amsterdam and would merrily walk or cycle home at 3AM with a hat made entirely out of â‚¬100 notes before Iâ€™d even show people that I have a smartphone a single block away from where I was living in Chicago.
As soon as something bad happens (and statistically, bad things are just as likely to happen anywhere), itâ€™s portrayed as that country being dangerous. But rape, murder etc. also happen in America and the causation of it implying â€œAmerica is dangerousâ€ is never similarly drawn. Itâ€™s more a vague idea that the world in general is mega dangerous, and other countries are simply more dangerous.
My North American moments
Some of my scariest moments that couldnâ€™t have happened elsewhere Iâ€™ve been have actually all been in North America. Many times this is a direct result of Americaâ€™s fear philosophy when you see so much guns and the nonsensical war on drugs. Ironically, all these measures to make things better by letting people easily â€œprotectâ€ themselves with guns actually make things much worse!
In San Francisco, a complete stranger I wasnâ€™t even talking to showed off his gun to me on a bus. He was talking to himself and looked like he needed serious mental treatment, and was probably living on the street. I came across a lot of people talking to themselves without anyone caring for them on such buses and hoped nothing would make them snap. While uncared poor people with conditions can happen anywhere, I never expected just how easy it was for anyone to get a gun in America until I saw him with one.
Is it any wonder that America has the worst statistics in the world of any developed country for gun related murders? When there are apparently 88.8 privately owned firearms per 100 people, and over 40% of households with firearms (so some people have several!), then yes, a foreigner like me is scared shitless to be walking the street in a country that thinks the zombie apocalypse has already begun, with its fair share of mentally unstable people who can access them. With over 30,000 firearm related deaths per year, how scared do you think I am of my increase likeliness of being a statistic when Iâ€™m in America?
Itâ€™s not just guns though. And not just the United States. The day I left Vancouver last year, the streets broke out into chaos, with one of the worst riots of the year anywhere in the worldâ€¦ about a game of hockey. Not fighting for freedom or a new government, but because they lost a game. Itâ€™s like the punchline of a really bad joke.
And on my way in from America, I had a terrible invasion of privacy when Canadian border control told me to wait for several hours in a separate area, while they took everything out of my bag and searched through everything I own in the world just in case I may be smuggling in drugs.
I wasnâ€™t, and I donâ€™t do any kind of drugs, but even if I was, what the hell business is it of theirs what I put in my body? A sniffer dog or a quick search while Iâ€™m present can already see if Iâ€™ve got a huge enough stash to be doing a drug run for profit, but every nook and cranny of what I owned was scoured just in case I had a few tiny grams. Americaâ€™s and Canadaâ€™s war on drugs is just about the stupidest use of law enforcement and immigration resources Iâ€™ve ever come across in the world.
They took apart my CD cases, opened up pockets of the case where I was storing a few hundred dollars (and I should just trust them that they wonâ€™t steal it), looked at all my private possessions (literally every single item I own on the planet), and I couldnâ€™t even be there to supervise it. When I came back, my bag was just left open, outside with all my stuff out on a table, some of it (including the cash) light enough that could have been blown away with the wind, since all this was done near where the car was parked rather than somewhere more secureâ€¦ which is where I was waiting for hours like a prisoner on trial.
I thought you needed a warrant to go through peopleâ€™s possessions, or that you could at least let the person be present when you do that. But I guess North Americaâ€™s obsession with drugs means you can throw such basic rights out the window. While I wasnâ€™t afraid for my life here, I was afraid for my rights. If anything goes, why not just take my money (that I never counted precisely because I never expected people to be digging through my bag), or plant drugs on me?
Ransacking all my possessions was just about the worst welcome to a country Iâ€™ve ever gotten. And itâ€™s all because of an incredibly illogical and inconsistent fear of how bad drugs are.
Back to America â€“ my first job abroad was teaching Mathematics to teenagers in the states. I was only 18 at the time myself and because the other teachers were much older than me, it just made more sense for me to hang out with the students two years younger than me in my off time (none of which were in my own classes).
One day the guy who runs the school called me in and said he saw me lying on the grass beside the students. (Shock and horror!!!) I didnâ€™t understand what the hell the problem was, so he made me sit through a videoâ€¦ on inappropriate sexual behaviour. I wasnâ€™t holding hands, kissing, or you know, raping anyone, and I still had to sit through this rubbish (in true cheesy American video style).
I found out that the United States has the worst case of fear of anywhere Iâ€™ve ever been in the world. Children are constantly over-protected from the world â€“ from germs, from strangers, from sexual predators â€œlurking around every cornerâ€, and any time a news article comes up of something bad happeningâ€¦ anywhere, parents go all out in doubling up the protection.
Since there is no filter on the bad news, you just see every possible angle and possibility for something bad to happen and scramble to try to prevent it from happening to you.
You turn on the TV and you get brainwashed by all this fear. Itâ€™s bad things presented to you out of context. Bad things have always happened and always will happen, but when we have news reporters to tell us any time it does, as if this somehow increases the likeliness of something bad happening to you, you start to get pretty damn pessimistic. Statistically, good and bad stuff just happens. Itâ€™s how the world works. Donâ€™t obsess over things outside of your control.
When I see parents in the states overprotecting their children, then I see a part of their childhood getting robbed. No scraped knees, no wondering around discovering nature by themselves unsupervised, no meeting as many new people as possible â€“ because everyone is out to get you. Itâ€™s just making the next generation even worse off than the current one.
The world can be a very safe place with a bit of common sense
In all the time Iâ€™ve been travelling around, nothing absolutely terrible has happened to me. Iâ€™ve never been robbed, or beaten, or tortured or anything like that. Some say this is pure luck, but where I come from we have a saying: Every man makes his own luck.
I donâ€™t drink so I can keep my wits about me when Iâ€™m out alone, I learn the local language, so I can be aware of everything happening around me, I find non-verbal integration of a culture can help me blend in, and I donâ€™t walk around with a bloody SLR camera around my neck all the time to stand out like a sore thumb. I am careful about what I eat and drink, and read up on the country before going and try to make local friends. Iâ€™m a little sceptical at first if a stranger is being â€œtoo helpfulâ€, but still open minded about human generosity.
This is how I live my life EVERYWHERE. Ireland, America, the Philippines, Germany, China, Brazil, and how I plan to do things in Egypt too.
Then again a few unfortunate things have happened to me, but I simply take them in my stride and try to get through them. Iâ€™ve been locked up by Federal police, ran out of money and had to sleep on a rock, and have many other stories for another day. Shit happens. Iâ€™ve gotten out of each jam by thinking clearly.
Itâ€™s not fear that has kept me alive. Itâ€™s being careful, and looking at the world logically, while keeping an open mind and trying to stay positive. Just because there are a few bad people out there doesnâ€™t mean everyone is out to get me and I should treat every stranger as an enemy until proven otherwise. A well known Irish philosophy is that a stranger is just a friend you havenâ€™t met yet. You only need a little bit of healthy scepticism.
So donâ€™t be afraid to go to another country based on biased accounts youâ€™ve heard about it. Donâ€™t be afraid of the world around you when you see bad stories on TV, because maybe that fear is what is keeping people so motivated to keep buying guns, and not trust one another in the first place.
Last edited by ssjparris on January 3rd, 2013, 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Great post, SSJ. I call it the 'culture of fear' in America; I live in NYC, so I'm used to being paranoid around people and not trusting anyone around me. I don't act like that when I'm in Asia however because of how safe it is over there. It's the violent nature of American society that can be really scary sometimes....
let me put it this way. there are more people in california with THE MOST fear in any where else in the country.
you live in NY. the fear you experience there is no where NEAR the fear you will experience in california. people are so fuckin' paranoid here in cali. all you have to do is wave hi at someone and they would literally...run off.
but this is the perception of everyone here in america.
foreigners so nothing but dangerous people around.
you are potentially dangerous to them.
that is why i am getting out of this country. so i can meet women that will feel comfortable around me.
here is a GREAT comment from someone in the comments section of the article....
I appreciate the directness. But you're arguing that Americans have a wrong, negative perception of the rest of the world; meanwhile you're arguing your point with your own negative perceptions (a perception gained in San Francisco, nonetheless! ) Additionally, you're cherry-picking your own information to confirm your perceptions.
Perceptions are crap. Data rules. This article from the augmented trader to help visualize the data: http://augmentedtrader.wordpre...
Why are Americans clinging to their guns? Because we have a constitutional right to own one, and a culture sprung from the days when we forcibly removed ourselves from the rule of England at the end of musket. Additionally, our founding fathers left us with such wisdom:
â€œA free people ought to be armed.â€
â€“ George Washington
â€œNo free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in governmentâ€
â€“ Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334
Meanwhile, see the words of a few with the opposing viewpoint:
â€œAll political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.â€
- Mao Tze Tung, Nov 6 1938
â€œArmas para que? (â€œGuns, for what?â€)â€
A response to Cuban citizens who said the people might need to keep their guns, after Castro announced strict gun control in Cuba.
- Fidel Castro
In fact, I found it ironic that you mentioned your "rights" but did not acknowledge the role of an armed citizenry which allowed those rights to exist in the first place.
Alright--sorry, I got a little too tall on my soap box. Hope you're enjoying sunny Rio.
You have poisons in the food/water/air that make people STUPID. You have TV that makes people INSANE because of the over-reaction, over-dramatization and genuine disinformation and literal BRAINWASHING of the western peoples. You have weapons that can be obtained WITHOUT large sums of money and permits. You have laws that protect CRIMINALS and penalize victims. You have laws that get passed overnight behind the back of the people, that take away what little money and freedoms you have left! You have people - immigrants, legal and ILLEGAL... thugs, worthless minorities that will KILL YOU if you so much as LOOK at them in a way they don't like!
If I was a foreigner, I'd be damn scared of the west too! Americans and British inner city scum especially.
people are dropped down to a level of sub-human or animal. because they chose to believe all that brainwashing crap on tv. i knew better then the populace.
and judging by your posts before i think you know better then the rest of the world too.
Last edited by ssjparris on January 3rd, 2013, 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
The school shooting was just another STAGED FALSE FLAG by the government so that they can use it as an excuse to try to take American's guns away, thus leaving Americans defenseless against their fascist government.
The guy is a f***ing retard if he hasn't figured out that the school shooting and hte Colorado movie shooting were both staged false flags.
The fathers of BOTH "shooters" (they were framed) were set to testify in the LIBOR banking scandal. That's one hell of a coincidence, isn't it?
WAKE THE f**k UP PEOPLE! YOUR GOVERNMENT IS GODDAMN EVIL AND WANTS TO CREATE A TOTAL POLICE STATE SO AS TO FULLY ENSLAVE US!!!!!!!!!! WAKE THE f**k UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!
I am not a CT advocate usually...but something damned weird is going on with all this...I suspect it is contrived in some way.
And about all that DANGER in the USA? There is some... but the REALITY? If you are white or Asian in the USA, you are about as likely to be killed as gun controlled Canada, actually a bit safer than even Canada with its 1.6 killings per 100,000 vs 1.5 in the USA for White and Asian subsets.
All the HUGE fanfare about child abduction in the USA...HUGE NUMBERS, right? It is near total bullshyte. There are about 50 stranger abductions of children per year in the USA. There is more danger from lightning and bee stings by far.
When I am back in Arizona, I meet a lot of foreigners there, mostly from Europe to escape winter cold and play cheap golf, and most say how safe and trouble free their time is.
Most media is in collusion with the criminal gang running Washington DC.
Why can't anyone from the alternative media do some on the ground research and investigating and see if those who are supposed to be acting in Newtown actually live there or not. Why doesn't anyone do some snooping around? Cant anyone talk to townspeople to verify if it's a false flag or not? Same with the Colorado theater shooting, what about all the people who lived through it they would be the source to go to about what happened. Alex Jones has the resources to send a couple of his employees to the scenes of these incidents, why doesn't he?
finally....someone else that can see the WHOLE picture. you speak 100% truth my friend. i commend you for opening up your eyes to the truth.