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The Biggest Culture Shock: Americans in Movies vs. Real Life

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Re: The Biggest Culture Shock: Americans in Movies vs. Real

Postby NorthAmericanguy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:38 pm

Winston wrote:I've often wondered about this:

- Why is it that on TV and in movies, Americans are so open, friendly, sociable, communicative, and easily invite you into their cliques, taking you out for fun and introducing you to others? They act so warm, emotional, full of life and feeling, and are easy to talk to and get involved with. And in romance/drama films of old (less so nowadays) people were so passionate and full of feeling in their eyes and expression, as though they were fully aware and conscious.

- But in real life, Americans are generally uptight, closed, cliquish, paranoid, anti-social outside their clique, difficult to meet, don't talk to you unless its business related, and basically ignore you and expect you to mind your own business while they mind theirs. People are in a bubble and there is an "ice barrier" between strangers. They seem like zombies/automatons who are totally unaware and oblivious to others around them, as though they were not fully conscious. They are always in a rush to get through their daily routine. They seem totally uninterested and unconcerned with human connection. And if you are not like that too, you stick out like a sore thumb, like you are in a sort of Twilight Zone - in a different reality from everyone else!

Why is there such a HUGE difference that no one talks about?! It's so bizarre, like the Twilight Zone!

My friend and cultural advisor, a former US immigrant, made the same observation in my forum:

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8855

"I think generally, the biggest culture shock that people experience in the US is not between their country and the US but between what they thought the US would be and what it actually is. Books and movies about America make the place appear very free and exciting and happening and the people are so interesting and emotional. There is sex and fun and romance going on. When they arrive, the place looks very conservative and the people appear robotic and quiet. Sex is subdued and hard to come by. The people are not open at all, they look closed and mistrustful. Everybody is just working and looking tired and apathetic. Talking to strangers is taboo. There are thousands of little rules and laws and social mores that seem as dogmatic and strict as those in a Muslim society. And every time you are at risk of breaking yet another law and facing very dire consequences. That is the biggest culture shock of all."


This is so blatantly obvious, yet no one talks about it. To do so would make you look like a loser, so no one dares to. It's like an "Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome. Either that, or people don't see it due to the cognitive dissonance of their programming.

There is also an unspoken social law that says that anywhere you go, you MUST say that people are very friendly and wonderful, or you say nothing at all. Or you can blame yourself. But you are NOT allowed to say that people are anti-social. That is a big taboo and No-No. Thus truth is censored no doubt.


I agree with all of the above, but in my opinion its not that Americans don't want to talk about the issue, it's the fact that Americans don't take the time to analyze their own culture and see if anything is wrong with it.

Lucky for me I'm pretty smart, I traveled around the state, and I payed close attention to other cultures such as Indians (from the sub continent), and Mexicans, and I noticed they seem to have more of a good social life (that helps them get through life easier).

Another thing I have noticed is that Americans have this belief that America is the best country in the world (but they never lived out of the country!) and that no other place can be better. So once again, this mentality kind of locks you into a mental box and you just just put up with the lack of social life and fake friends.
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Re: The Biggest Culture Shock: Americans in Movies vs. Real

Postby lone_yakuza » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:11 am

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Last edited by lone_yakuza on Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Billy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:20 pm

the guy from gangnam style ist doing pretty well. hope is not lost. maybe he would be a good world president. the guy is funny and has charisma. many asian lack in that department. i don´t know why? they don´t feel sophisticated. maybe because of the confucian thing they lost individuality....

there are many countries in the world which are far more bad the the us.
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Re: The Biggest Culture Shock: Americans in Movies vs. Real

Postby ILoveBlackAmericanWomen » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:29 pm

Winston wrote:I've often wondered about something.

Why is it that on TV and in movies, Americans are so open, friendly, sociable, communicative, and easily invite you into their cliques, taking you out for fun and introducing you to others? They act so warm, emotional, full of life and feeling, and are easy to talk to and get involved with. And in romance/drama films of old (less so nowadays) people were so passionate and full of feeling in their eyes and expression, as though they were fully aware and conscious.

But in real life, Americans are generally uptight, closed, cliquish, paranoid, anti-social outside their clique, difficult to meet, don't talk to you unless its business related, and basically ignore you and expect you to mind your own business while they mind theirs. People are in a bubble and there is an "ice barrier" between strangers. They seem like zombies/automatons who are totally unaware and oblivious to others around them, as though they were not fully conscious. They are always in a rush to get through their daily routine. They seem totally uninterested and unconcerned with human connection. And if you are not like that too, you stick out like a sore thumb, like you are in a sort of Twilight Zone - in a different reality from everyone else!

Why is there such a HUGE difference that no one talks about?! It's so bizarre, like the Twilight Zone!

My friend and cultural advisor, a former US immigrant who speaks 10 languages, has been to over 30 countries and is an expert in cultural analyses, made the same observation in my forum when he described the biggest culture shock that immigrants face in America:

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8855

[b]"I think generally, the biggest culture shock that people experience in the US is not between their country and the US but between what they thought the US would be and what it actually is. Books and movies about America make the place appear very free and exciting and happening and the people are so interesting and emotional. There is sex and fun and romance going on. When they arrive, the place looks very conservative and the people appear robotic and quiet. Sex is subdued and hard to come by. The people are not open at all, they look closed and mistrustful. Everybody is just working and looking tired and apathetic. Talking to strangers is taboo. There are thousands of little rules and laws and social mores that seem as dogmatic and strict as those in a Muslim society. And every time you are at risk of breaking yet another law and facing very dire consequences. That is the biggest culture shock of all.j/b]

This is so blatantly obvious, yet no one talks about it. To do so would make you look like a loser, so no one dares to. It's like an "Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome. Either that, or people don't see it due to the cognitive dissonance of their programming.

There is also an unspoken social law that says that anywhere you go, you MUST say that people are very friendly and wonderful, or you say nothing at all. Or you can blame yourself. But you are NOT allowed to say that people are anti-social. That is a big taboo and No-No. Thus truth is censored no doubt.


That is a stereotype of White people. Growing up White Americans were seen as very "stiff" and uptight. Had no spice and was j ust wierd. No emotions, no love just antisocial zombies. More Americans of color were seen as very nice and social had great humor, personality and fun to be around.
To be white or black - is to not be a human, but a living definition and label. To be a slave to definition, to fashion, to the industries that market us like cattle, emptying our pockets like the udders of the cow, being paid to cut our bodies for cosmetics, benefiting off of putting harsh chemicals on our heads, making money off of us choosing to live and participate in the reality they created. Don't be "black", don't be "white", don''t be "Asian", don't be "Latin." Destroy the illusion, become human.
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Re: The Biggest Culture Shock: Americans in Movies vs. Real

Postby ladislav » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:31 pm

That is a stereotype of White people. Growing up White Americans were seen as very "stiff" and uptight. Had no spice and was j ust wierd. No emotions, no love just antisocial zombies. More Americans of color were seen as very nice and social had great humor, personality and fun to be around.

But it is precisely the white Americans that are seen by the world as open, friendly, and the ones who are stiff and uptight are the British and the Germans. And, also the Scandinavians.

The Asians are all into imitating, meeting and talking with white Americans - because the latter are so ( quoting the Asians) uninhibited, free, happy, jovial and "bright-eyed".

As far as the Americans of color, foreigners are afraid of them because the think these will hate them for not being black and not being American, will come up to them with a gun and say something like- let me see your green card or in case they are white, will call them "h-nkey mo......er" and tell them to get out of the neighborhood. Which in fact has happened to quite a few people I know.
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Postby Andrewww » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:23 am

A few differences I noticed when I arrived from EE to Canada:

1.There are no people singing Christmas carols around the neighbourhood like in the movies. In fact Christmas and New Years is much more social and "alive" in EE (where people will actually come and sing at your door).
2.The majority of women are average in the looks department. There is no hot girl next door either.
3.The majority of people are anti-social and self centered. They also don't know how to have fun. In fact they will most likely call the police if you have a party for your birthday and you make a bit of noise.

There are many more but I don't have time to list them right now.
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Postby S_Parc » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:44 am

Billy wrote:the guy from gangnam style ist doing pretty well. hope is not lost. maybe he would be a good world president. the guy is funny and has charisma. many asian lack in that department. i don´t know why? they don´t feel sophisticated. maybe because of the confucian thing they lost individuality....

there are many countries in the world which are far more bad the the us.


I don't know about you but I've seen that sort of stuff on local video, throughout my travels in E Asia. The difference is that he's got a worldwide hit but how's it any different from a translated 'Pump Up The Volume' or 'I'm Too Sexy For You?' Imitation is not admired in the same way as being Avant-Garde or eclectic.

I think it's like "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", where folks who're Hong Kong moviegoers saw plenty of those types of films, throughout the ages. For the rest of the world, it was like the first mainstream *western* promoted Martial Arts drama.
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Postby abcdavid01 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:24 am

I think most people are just making fun of that chubby PSY guy though. Good song/video, but it's still a William Hung thing.

Yakuza, why war? If (when) Asia dominates the world Economy then they'll control global media and cultural output and can reverse perceptions.
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Postby Winston » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:23 am

Ladislav,
I took that great summary you wrote about the biggest culture shock that immigrants experience in America and turned it into a pamphlet. Check it out here:

http://www.happierabroad.com/CultureShock.pdf

See my other pamphlets for distribution here:
http://www.happierabroad.com/Pamphlets.htm

Come on guys. You need to print these out and hand it out to those with a potential interest to help spread the word. Why am I the only one doing this?

If any of you would like to design a pamphlet of your own (under two pages) to post on there, let me know.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"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
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Postby tom » Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:47 am

What I cant stand is the non stop bashing of men in media, to me TV is effectively dead. Its a form of torture to watch.
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Postby jtest28 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:26 pm

tom wrote:What I cant stand is the non stop bashing of men in media, to me TV is effectively dead. Its a form of torture to watch.

Me too. In fact, I literally can't watch it anymore. At least not watch it with enjoyment. There's so much propaganda now that there's no room for the actual movie! Even the hidden messages aren't even hidden anymore. I wish I could sign a waiver saying a agree that women are smarter, stronger, more athletic, more oppressed, more pissed, and can kick 100 men's butts simply because she's "pissed off and ain't taken it no more", then go watch a movie without all that shit in it. . .
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Postby Jester » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:07 am

jtest28 wrote:
tom wrote:What I cant stand is the non stop bashing of men in media, to me TV is effectively dead. Its a form of torture to watch.

Me too. In fact, I literally can't watch it anymore. At least not watch it with enjoyment. There's so much propaganda now that there's no room for the actual movie! Even the hidden messages aren't even hidden anymore. I wish I could sign a waiver saying a agree that women are smarter, stronger, more athletic, more oppressed, more pissed, and can kick 100 men's butts simply because she's "pissed off and ain't taken it no more", then go watch a movie without all that shit in it. . .


:lol:

+1
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