Monday, October 31, 2011

American Dream

"There is no such thing as an average human being. If you have a normal brain, you are superior. There's almost nothing that you can't do."

When Benjamin Carson was in fifth grade, he was considered the "dummy" of his class. His classmates and teachers took it for granted that Ben would take an entire quiz without getting a single question right. He had a temper so violent that he would attack other children, even his mother, at the slightest provocation. "I was most likely to end up in jail, reform school, or the grave," he remembers.

But Benjamin Carson turned his life around. He graduated from high school with honors, went on to Yale University and to medical school. At age 32, he became Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer in his field. In his operation on the Binder Siamese twins in 1987, he succeeded where all predecessors had failed, in separating twins joined at the head.

Through his books and lectures, Dr. Carson eagerly shares the story of his success with young people. In his own words: "You do have the possibility of controlling your own destiny if you are willing to put in the appropriate amount of time and effort." Or, as he tells young people everywhere, "Think Big."

Benjamin Carson is to me a perfect example of the American dream and how it is still alive today. He was able to turn his life around when he started to work hard and dream big. Hard work is something De Crevecoeur deeply believed in. He believed that in America you could have the opportunity to change your life for the better.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The American Dream: Then and Now.

Writing in 1782, De Crevecoeur explains what an American is and what he represents for his country. America was fairly new in terms of settlement and because of such, it gave hope of a clean slate full of promises. De Crevecoeur tries to identify what this new-ness means for those who now live in America.
The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas and form new opinions.
Letters from an American Farmer, De Crevecoeur, p. 44
The repetition of the word "new" is interesting here because it seems to suggest that what happened in the past is now irrelevant. It also seems to mean that America is seen as an escape from whatever life they might have had had they not moved to America. Because of this, America becomes a country where one can escape to a different destiny.

However, is that still true for todays Americans? Recently the press has been inundated with accounts of the Occupy Movement. Thousands of protesters have Occupied Wall Street, Oakland and Boston to show their disappointment in their country's failure to deliver to them what they had been promised written in the first amendment.
Young people are out in the streets of America again, not simply looking for work, although they are seeking meaningful employment. They are looking for an America that their dreams can inhabit, searching for a future that might help to sustain nature as well as heal a wounded, despairing culture. Like all those who have dreamed of America before, they are seeking the land of hidden promise more than the promise of simply owning the land.
Looking for the Dream of America, The Huffington Post, Michael Meade, D.H.I
Interestingly, it appears that the Occupy Movement is occurring because of the rise in unemployment, and not because of a class divide. It is the 99% of Americans who feel that they increasingly suffer while the other 1% lives in luxury. Some might call this the curse of the middle classes, but this protest goes far beyond class warfare.
America has always been a dream needing to be renewed and re-imagined by each generation. Each stream of immigrants rode a wave of dreams seeking a fertile ground to take root in... Occupy means "to keep and hold, to fill, to employ." It is high time to occupy America again; not the America of partisan politics and corporate influence; but the America that can hold and keep alive the dreams of its young people, the America that can employ people in meaningful work and draw upon the well of ideals again.
Looking for the Dream of America, The Huffington Post, Michael Meade, D.H.I
There is a feeling that what America truly means has been lost amongst consumerism and politics, wars and poverty, and it appears as if the country has lost it's shine. Granted, many still dream of moving to America in search of a new beginning, but how can America do them justice when it can't even look after its own citizens? Being born an American used to be considered as an advantage in life, but the unrest felt by the majority of the American population today suggests that the country cannot live up to the expectations that the once new land offered their ancestors.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Immigrant America: a portrait By Alejandro Portes, Rubén G. Rumbaut

"Dr. Benigno Aguinaldo shut down his medical practice in Manila and moved to the United States. Now forty-one, he works as a nurse at a medical center in Los Angeles and makes $50,000 a year – four times what his physician’s salary was in the Philippines. “I am not planning for myself anymore,” he said “I am planning for my kids.” Back home, Benigno had noticed more and more newspaper advertisements seeking nurses in the United States, promising high salaries, sponsorship for visas, flights to Guam to take the U.S nursing boards, and moving expenses. When he asked his father what he should choose – to be a R.N. in America or a doctor in his own country – his father told him, “Son, the opportunity is in America, not here.”"

"He does not want to be a nurse forever, and he is now often at Starbucks keeping himself awake with double espressos while he studies for the U.S. medical boards in the hope of eventually practicing medicine in his new country. In the meantime, he’s hopeful for his children’s futures. His fifteen year old daughter’s main problem, he says, is that her public high school here is too easy."

The very mixed opinion on the American lifestyle for immigrants in the world today is very similar to that seen in De Crevecours’ text. The concept of opportunity provided to Benigno in this example mirrors that created with the idea of agriculture of whaling provided to those original settlers arriving in America. Today the image of “New America” is based upon monetary advantages, if Benigno can earn more money for his family “$50,000 a year – four times what his physician’s salary was in the Philippines” in America then he has no choice but to move. This is very similar to settlers immigrating to America for land where they are able to prosper and not only earn more for their families but leave them estates and income after they are gone. One concept seems to be evident in both this example and those of earlier texts on “New America” which is the hard work that goes into establishing a life in America. Here this is implied with “he is now often at Starbucks keeping himself awake with double espressos”

However there is still a contrast like in “Letters…” portraying the issue of slavery. Here though the idea that American schooling is described as “too easy” for a young girl originating from an undeveloped country is surprising considering America is supposed to be a well-educated nation.

Today's American Dream

Like generations of immigrants before them, the Belarskys came to America in search of freedom - to them the American Dream meant liberty. But Isabel says it promised even more. "The Dream is to work, to have a home, to get ahead, you can start as a janitor and become the owner of the building." The American Dream is not written into the constitution but it is so ingrained in the national psyche that it might as well be. Many point to the second sentence in the Declaration of Independence - the "certain unalienable rights" that include "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" - as the "official" version of the phrase. But it was actually relatively recently - in 1931 - that the term was popularised, when historian James Truslow Adams wrote in The Epic of America that the Dream means "a better, richer, and happier life for all our citizens of every rank".

This extract is from a news blog based on what the american dream is today, and who believes in it. De Crevecouer had a vision of the american dream, hard work pays off. Today this feeling still lives on, however not in the citizens that live there, but in the thoughts of the immigrants. Many migrants still believe in the american dream, that they can start with nothing and become rich, happy and own land. The foreigners feel that america promises them a better life, one to escape from the troubles of their own country, as this Russian women explains, she believes that she can cope with being a janitor, then work her way up to owning a building.

De Crevecouer uses James as an example of success. James starts off as a nobody with nothing, and then with hard work and help form others, he becomes a landowner of many acres. This idea of success is ingrained into other societies like Russia or Poland, they feel that america is a country of equality and a land where anyone be a success.

This extract is from a foreigners point of view and therefore cannot give into account a citizen's or an american's belief, because of living and sustaining to local culture the may not share the feeling as the once did.

The Settlement of St. Louis (1764) : The Missouri.

"I will reply to you in a few words, and I will say, that if you followed the example of ducks and bustards in settling yourselves, you followed bad guides, who have no foresight; because if they had any, they would not put themselves into open water, so that eagles and birds of prey could discover them easily, which would never happen to them if they were in a woody place, and covered with brush. You Missouris, you will not be eaten by eagles; but these men who have waged war against you for a long time past, who are in great numbers against you, who are few, will kill your warriors, because they willl offer resistance, and will make your women and children slaves. Behold what will happen to you, for wishing to follow, as you say, the course of the ducks and bustards, rather than the advice of men of ,experience. You women, who are here present, and who listen to me, go, tenderly caress your children--give them food in plenty; also, to your aged parents, -press them closely in your arms,--lavish upon them all the evidences of the tenderest affection., until the fatal moment which shall separate you from them- and that moment is not far distant, if your men persist in their intention to settle here. I warn you, as a good Father, that there are six or seven hundred warriors at Fort de Chartres, who are there to make war against the English, -which occupies them fully at this moment, for they turn all their attention below Fort Chartres, from whence they expect the English, -but if they learn you are here, beyond the least doubt, they will come to destroy you. See now, warriors, if it be not prudent on your part to leave here at once, rather than to remain to be massacred, your wives and children torn to pieces, and their limbs thrown to dogs and to birds of prey." (Chouteau , 1764, p.5)

This extract was taken from Col. Auguste Chouteau's Narrative of the Settlement of St. Louis. It is the speech given to the Missouri Indians by Monsieur de Laclede, founder of St. Louis. The Missouri had asked to settle around St. Louis as it is 'fine country, where there was beautiful open water' (p5). I find this passage interesting as Native Americans Indians are often portrayed as being openly aggressive and violent towards settlers. The Missouri however, are shown to be friendly, polite even. It is the French and English settlers who posses open hostility towards the Native Americans, them that would attack the Missouri for no other reason then that they were there.

Chouteau, A., 1764. Fragment of Col. Auguste Chouteau's Narrative of the Settlement of St.Louis. [document] American Journeys Collection. AJ-126. Wisconsin. Wisconsin Historical Society Digital Library and Archives.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Charter of Georgia: 1732

"Whereas we are credibly informed, that many of our poor subjects are, through misfortunes and want of employment, reduced to great necessity, insomuch as by their labor they are not able to provide a maintenancefor themselves and families; and if they had means to defray their charges of passage, and other expences, incident to new settlements, they would be glad to settle in any of our provinces in America where by cultivating the lands, at present waste and desolate, they might not only gain a comfortable subsistence for themselves and families, but also strengthen our colonies and increase the trade, navigation and wealth of these our realms. And whereas our provinces in North America, have been frequently ravaged by Indian enemies, more especially that of South-Carolina, which in the late War, by the neighboring savages, was laid waste with fire and sword and great numbers of English inhabitants, miserably massacred, and our loving subjects who now inhabit them, by reason of the smallness of their numbers, will in case of a new war, be exposed to the late calamities; inasmuch as their whole southern frontier continueth unsettled, and lieth open to the said savages."

They talk of the advantages of their new life in America and the misfortunates of those they left at home who are unable to prosper as they now have the availability to. They speak negatively of the Natives describing “Indian enemies” whereby they have savaged both the settlers and the land they wish to remain on. Described as “loving subjects” they show a very bias view of the settlers, the Native Americans are seen to cause all the damage and destruction when this is probably not the case. This differs greatly with the impression we get from many Native Americans today through the ideas they portray speaking of the many massacres where whole tribes were eradicated. I found it interesting that even though they describe the atrocities of the destruction between the natives and settlers they still see America as the land of freedom and still believe they are in a better position than those left in their homeland.

The Taking of Indian Lands

1739 A Baptist minister in Rhode Island explains that, by driving out and killing the Indians as punishment for their sins, “God was pleased to make ready a Place prepared as an Asylum” for the early New England settlers.

This extract was of particular interest to me because of the assumption of rights felt by the early settlers in the Americas. Roger Williams was a supporter of Native American rights and so he found Rhode Island as a safe haven for religious refuge. However, it could be argued that instead of religious freedom, religious dictatorship was put in place.

It is as if this Baptist minister is declaring that God has given them permission to make a New World for the white Christian population, and that existing religions and traditions are simply in the way of God's plan. In order for the Baptist religion to move forward, it must remove those members of the population who are considered religiously 'impure' and in order to do so, this extract could be considered as propaganda against the Native Americans to sully their name.

The Indians in this Part of America appear to have been some of the least improved of the human Species,without any Learning or Knowledge in any of the politer Arts of Life, even without Iron and the Improvements which depend on that... Their insuperable Aversion to the English industry and Way of Life, the Alteration from the Indian Method of living, their Laziness, and their universal Love of Strong Drink, have swept them away, in a wonderful Manner.

The minister then revels in the fact that because of these flaws that he has depicted in the race's character, there were then only one Native American to every 20 English in the colony. The "miserable remainders" are then seen as a deterrent (as they are in the minority) for others who may have thought that they could go against an almighty and righteous God.

The Native way of life was considered as Heathenism and barbaric, and these values of America were not in compliance with the New World destiny that America was supposed to offer to other settlers. The land that the Europeans felt that they had "discovered" was overturned and those who had been living in America for vast longer than the settlers were almost completely wiped out.

It was because America had been so widely advertised as a New World, those who arrived there felt that they would be able to start afresh with a clean slate, and that this is what God wanted for them. It was their right, as Christians, to have a place of Asylum, and those who were not in accordance of this ideal were judged and, because of their sins, were punished.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

English Chaplain in New York

When I speak of converting the Indians by Indians I mean principally those five Nations which lie between Albany & Canada & are called 1) Mohawks or Maquaes, 2) Oneidas, 3) Chiugas, 4) Onundagas & 5) Senecas, of whom though most of the Mohawks are converted to Christianity by Dr. Dellius & Some of the Oneidas by the Jesuit Millet, yet the first not being yet established in any good order at all & the last being converted to Popery, I look upon the work as yet wholly to be done & if what has been already done is not a disadvantage to it, yet that little advantage is gained thereby except a demonstration of the inclination of the Indians to embrace the Christian religion. . . .

This extract is taken from John Miller's account of New York in 1695, John Miller was serving as a chaplain for the soldiers stationed out in New York. I choose this specific account as it shows how the settlers tried to get the natives to participate in their culture, more specifically in the church and western religion.

I found this extract strange as I have always considered the natives Indians resisting any western culture or policies, however this account tells me that not only is John Miller trying to educate the Indians, but also many of these tribes have been confronted and converted before. The Mohawks or Maquaes have already given into western religion and have been 'indoctrinated' with Christianity by Dr.Dellius, this was written in 1695, therefore this educating had been going on, it had already established itself into Indian culture. What we do not know is how this came about? Maybe the Indians believed that the white westerner obviously knows best, therefore we trust him in his ways and religions. However I believe that religion was indoctrinated into the natives, without them knowing, maybe they thought that the settlers were teaching them about tools and guns, but were without knowing force feed these religious ideas and slowly destroying their own culture.

Miller then goes on to say that this teaching is a 'demonstration of the inclination of the Indians to embrace the Christian religion', from this i get the feeling that the teaching isn't for the benefit of the natives (teaching them new ways of living) but as a display or exhibition showing the decline of the Indian culture. This is similar to showboating, whereby the English are presenting how they manged to change these Indians view and policies for their own.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Syria Vs USA 'When the US says "jump" Syria says......

So the Middle East news is that the Obama has called for Syrian leader Bashir Assad to leave power. The White House blog has Obama's statement. Obama on President Assad:

The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people. We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.

The United States cannot and will not impose this transition upon Syria. It is up to the Syrian people to choose their own leaders, and we have heard their strong desire that there not be foreign intervention in their movement. What the United States will support is an effort to bring about a Syria that is democratic, just, and inclusive for all Syrians. We will support this outcome by pressuring President Assad to get out of the way of this transition, and standing up for the universal rights of the Syrian people along with others in the international community.

Western powers have made it clear that they believe it is time for al-Assad to step down. “The time has come”, declared U.S. President Barack Obama.

So from this statement from Obama, he is saying that he suggests that Syria makes its own choice to let the leader of their country stand down, for the better and to benefit Syria. Syria now believes he may do it.

Chinese Opinion of America

"Dr. Yuan noted that Chinese generally have positive attitudes about the United States when it comes to its educational system, music and films, science and technology sectors, managements systems and commercial brands. But Chinese often take a negative view when it comes to policy issues, where they perceive the United States as acting hegemonic (dominance) or as the world’s policeman. These perceptions are frequently tied to the way they view the U.S. president, which, in turn, is related to the Taiwan issue. For instance, when President Clinton announced the “Three No’s” during his visit to China, his popularity in China increased. When President Bush was in China, he stated support for the one-China policy but added that the rights of the people on Taiwan must also be respected, and his numbers went down."

Published in 2007 this shows the effect media can have on the world. A nation where culture and lifestyle is so diverse from the way in which Americans lead their lives still are able to appreciate the technology and media of America. China and America have major ties in their technology and manufacturing of technology, for example the iPhone etc. so are therefore able to appreciate one another’s need for progress. However as China and America become more competitive economically due to Chinas growing economy I believe they may become less fond of each other’s ways especially politically. I believe Chinese citizens may become to resent America. In this article it is stated that the two nations differ in opinion when it comes to political issues due to past issues however the cultural differences of America’s idea of modernity and Chinas contrast of tradition and modernity causes tense. However this does show how easily views can change simply through the presidential relationship with each leader. The aims of each leader can change the opinion of the whole country itself when it may not necessarily be the view of the entirety of the country. It is also interesting to look at the view of the American people to those observing from outside the country. For example outside of America the feeling of Obamas election has been very positive however within the USA there seems to be much less positivity towards him due to his broken promises within the USA and the racial issues still present in America.

This article shows the typical view that the world holds of America therefore it creates a valid point of view along with the trusted view from a reputable website. The large amount of media exports from the USA throughout the world proves the views stated in this article as well as America seen as a profitable, consumer focussed country and as China grows economically we would appreciate that China would think positively about Americas commercial approach.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The American Dream: Or, from the Depths to the Heights

My choice for an article from outside the USA comes from Austria and it's based on the concept of the American dream and what it implies. The article starts by discussing several phrases for those who have gained success from nothing.
Call it whatever you like: “Cinderella Story,” “From Dishwasher to Millionaire,” or just simply “The American Dream.” They all mean the same thing: Someone made it from the bottom of the heap to the top.
It's interesting to note that Kathrin Pilz appears to be suggesting that the term "American Dream" represents any success story, as if one can only achieve success by being American, or that the United States is the only place in the world in which great success can be achieved. Not only this, but by pairing the "American Dream" with terms such as "Cinderella" and "Dishwasher", it gives the assumption that the American dream can be achieved by all, and thus everyone is given a chance in America.

This suggestion of equality is interesting as the article continues. Ted Williams was a homeless man who claimed to have a Golden Voice. One viral video later, and the man becomes a national celebrity almost over night.

And the wonderful twist of fate in the life of homeless man Ted Williams — who got something of a “second chance” earlier this year — does suggest that anyone in America can gain fame and fortune if they just apply themselves. Even a drug-addicted, petty criminal hobo.
Thanks to the birth of YouTube (in itself an American invention) gives everyday people the chance to reach out to the world and become "internet famous". Ted Williams' viral videos, however, went one step further and saw him appearing on several American talk shows.
The media made Williams into the latest example of the persistence of the “American Dream” regardless of the poor economy.
This media attention only helped to reinforce American ideology, while at the same time glossing over all the untidy imperfections that came with the story as well. After receiving a two year job contract and a house, things quickly began to go south.
The media, while playing up Quicken Loans’ generous offer, largely ignored the spicy fact that it was the same company that had made so many people homeless with its underhanded mortgage dealings.
Williams, although being offered rehabilitation, quickly slid backwards into drugs and violence. However, the media attention was rapidly silenced, and the circus surrounding Ted Williams was forgotten.

I found this article to be interesting because of the criticism it gives about the American dream and the ideologies that the media tend to reproduce. I believe the criticisms given to have immense strength to them and I find them to be valid because the American media, especially, is always eager to talk about the success of America and its people, and yet there tends to be a lot of misrepresentation to either the whole story or what happens after. By analysing an article from an outside country looking in, it helps to give a wider perspective on the truth behind news features.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Map of America

I found this map very interesting showing the percentage of land owned by government forces. Nearly 30% of America is owned by the government mainly in the West of America.

The highest federal owned state is Nevada with 84.5% I believe due to the high amount of agriculture and manufacturing that is created in Nevada. For example Nevada is responsible for producing 3/4 of Americas gold. It is also the highest producing state of silver among many other natural resources. Therefore many of the mines would be state owned or leased to private firms meaning that high profits can be achieved by the government.

Connecticut is the lowest federally owned state (0.4%) due to the very much agricultural landscape of the state. Due to the decline in the agricultural industry over the years government would not necessarily want to own as much land as that with resources such as coal, gold etc. Another reason why Connecticut may have the lowest percentage would be its positioning within the America itself. Its situation in the Midwest means that the surrounding land is very mountainous meaning that it wouldn't be an appropriate place for the government to situate military bases. It would also be inappropriate for military bases as there is no close ports or major airports.

Singles of America

This map stood out for me as an intriguing outlook of America's social culture, it shows in numbers, the irregularity of genders in certain areas. This map was the opposite look to what i had devised in my head, i believed that more women or more single women would be in L.A as there is plenty of sunshine and gorgeous beaches, however this map indicates more single women are in New York. One of the reasons I think this has occurred, is that New York is seen as the big business or work hub of America, therefore many women who have moved to NY are there for work and not socialising. They live in New York to widen their work prospects, and may have no interest for relationships. This is why people say that 'Sex in the City' is based in New York and not L.A Posted by Frank Jacobs on July 6, 2007, 6:51 PM

L.A is shown to be where mostly men are single and by 40000, maybe this could be just because of the sheer population of this area, I mean 40,000 men out of a population growing over 15,000,000 doesn't seem that much. However this is where most single men are, one of the reasons for this is; L.A is known for gang violence, some people say that L.A is where gangs were created. Most 'gangsters are men due to the high percentage of violence within the 'wars', also most gang members are loyal to their friends and gangs, that they do not wish to have relationships as this may be a distraction from their group. Another reason staying on the subject of gangs for high number of single men, is that women are not appealed to the danger that being in a relationship with a gangster brings, they wish to stay away from the fear that they could lose their partner or their own lives.

In the mid central parts of America, there isn't many gender differences, there aren't more single girls to boys and reverse. I feel that this not only is because in these states or areas there is less population the gain the figures. But also because living in the centre in of America places like North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming most people are seen to have immigrated to these states, where couples would come to settle down and start and family. More people starting a family are looking for these rural or suburban areas and not big cities like New York or L.A. Also I believe that living in these areas, younger members of the population are less pressured into leaving the home, many people living in the mid centre of America stay in the same place for most of their lives, therefore they are more prone to settling down in their hometown.

United States of Canada vs Jesusland.

I have chosen this map because of its satirical jab at an America under the presidency of George W. Bush. To give the map some context, it began to emerge online during 2004 after the re-election of Bush when he campaigned against John F Kerry.
"This map was to demonstrate the political divide between the Bushites on one side and rational people in the US and elsewhere."

It's interesting to note that this map shows the more liberal parts of the United States to be in conjunction with Canada. After the election in 2004, it's fair to say that admitting you were American in different countries came with a great deal of stigma due to the perceived representation of all Americans being idiots because their President was less than intelligent. By joining up with the "cooler" side of the continent (Canada), it separates those who were against Bush and those who were for him in America.

It also reiterates the fact that the South of America is often represented as being more traditional with their values, hence the use of the world "Jesusland", representing a deeply Christian section of America. It also suggests that those in "Jesusland" are cut off from rational thinking and the rest of the population. It is "Jesusland" that supports Bush and them alone. Alaska is presumably also included within "Jesusland" because of their remote location and lower population. Connecting George Bush with Jesus suggests that those in the South and Alaska have been brainwashed by stories and believe what they are told to believe. "Jesusland" loves its President and loves its religion.

Interestingly, there has been a total disregard of the word "America", suggesting that it has been handed back to the continent, instead of being consumed by the United States of America. "Jesusland" is therefore not seen as America as we know it, but as a new America. One that is hugely differing from what America is supposed to represent to the rest of the world.

REMINDER we meet at 9.15

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Map of America - The 38 State Union

This map that I have chosen shows the re-creation of America from 50 to 38 states to explain how it can be split into wider, more broad states; or into smaller more defined states, depending on which way you choose to look at it.

Main states like Alaska have now been split into separate states”as quoted by one of the users on the blog that I have been looking at.

This new design does have some negative factors such as: the new change leading to confusion in a political way, this means each state that has been split or enlarged may require a new or two mayors if needed.

This could also mean that there may be more political debates in America with regards to the new changes.

This realignment was intended to be more ‘organic’ and more logical, as major population centres such as Kansas City would no longer be located in two different states.

The map is also more useful in the analysis of "cultural influence". In the sense that rural town Arkansas seems to similar to that of West Tennessee but different to East Tennessee.

My overall conclusion is that since the change has been made this could possibly create conflict or close bonds of all Americans.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Japanese view of America

Japan and America are best pals. We’ve been friends for a long time now, ever since we got over that little spat that we affectionately refer to as World War 2. Japan has put up some memorials, we built a monument, we’ve got military bases in their country, and we structured their constitution so that they’re unable to build an offensive army ever again. A truly mutually beneficial relationship.
America has been lucky, really, considering how much it has gained from its former adversary. Americans now read anime and watch manga. They Japanese video games and eat sushi. Though Japan is a strange and different place, we find ways to exchange culture and ideas across the vast expanse of the Pacific ocean.
Japan, too, has gained from the relationship. Japanese people eat cheeseburgers and mini-pizzas (with mayonaise, blech!), they watch American movies like Indiana Jones and Star Wars, and sometimes they even imbibe premium American beers, like Budweiser.

When looking at this blog, it starts off outlining what I thought to be the most significant meeting between Japan and America; World War II, and more specifically Hiroshima. As a result of this, I believed that the relationship between these two would be; not on best terms, however this blog believes differently 'Japan and America are best pals'. It states that both countries use one another's products and furthermore, enjoy them 'cheeseburgers and mini-pizzas', this shows that the relationship between Japan and America has grown substantially, Japan are incorporating American culture into their own. I feel that Japan are enabling this as the believe American culture is not greater but more efficient than their own, Japan are trying to follow America in globalising their assets, for example; Japan are pushing forward in the food chains, such as sushi bars like Yo Sushi, just in the same way America have McDonald's or Starbucks.
This blog shows that Japan has a admiration for America, however i believe this is not the case. The Hiroshima bomb was an attempt at making Japan surrender in WWII, which as we know succeeded, as a result of this bomb,90000-160000 people died, this wasn't because of the initial blast, many people died as a result of burns, radiation sickness, starvation of crops, etc.. From this I felt Japan would have a grim view of America, they would always hold a grudge against America for killing innocent people, who caused not threat.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Views of America

"Dr. Yuan noted that Chinese generally have positive attitudes about the United States when it comes to its educational system, music and films, science and technology sectors, managements systems and commercial brands. But Chinese often take a negative view when it comes to policy issues, where they perceive the United States as acting hegemonic (dominance) or as the world’s policeman. These perceptions are frequently tied to the way they view the U.S. president, which, in turn, is related to the Taiwan issue. For instance, when President Clinton announced the “Three No’s” during his visit to China, his popularity in China increased. When President Bush was in China, he stated support for the one-China policy but added that the rights of the people on Taiwan must also be respected, and his numbers went down."

Published in 2007 this shows the effect media can have on the world. A nation where culture and lifestyle is so diverse from the way in which Americans lead their lives still are able to appreciate the technology and media of America. China and America have major ties in their technology and manufacturing of technology, for example the iPhone etc. so are therefore able to appreciate one anothers need for progress. However as China and America become rivals due to Chinas growing economy I believe they may become less fond of each others ways especially politically. In this article it is stated that the two nations differ in opinion when it comes to political issues due to past issues however I believe this will begin to change as both powers are forced to work closely together in global issues.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Positive and Negative Images of America

I have chosen this image of Jesse Owens as a positive representation of America because this was the first time someone defied Adolf Hitler’s ideology behind the perfect human race. Not only does Jesse show that you don’t have to be part of this Aryan race to accomplish anything, but he also shows an African American up on those Olympic podiums.

I have chosen this image as a negative representation of America because this disturbs me, in our country we have no need for guns but in America they have the right to bear arms. Many fights in the streets are now resolved by gun fights.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Positive and Negative Representations of America.

I decided that this image of an empty Hollywood star is a positive representation of America because of the hope the country inspires within not only its citizens, but within people all over the world who travel to America because they believe that American life is the better life. This also reinforces the American Dream, which offers you everything so long as you work hard and are a good person.

I chose this image of the Westboro Baptist church to mean more than the obvious hate that they spread. I use this image to mean that not everyone is seen as equal in America. While it advertises itself as the land of the free, it appears that this only applies so long as you are a white, heterosexual male from a good background. I chose this picture to contrast with my positive image as it may be that the American Dream is not accessible for all within America.

I found this task difficult because although I seem to have plenty of ideas for negative images of America, I struggled to think of a positive one.

Positive and Negative. The Transition from American Slavery to the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama

The pictures I have chosen for this particular project is one that represents a negative view of African Americans and one that represents someone who is of the same race but has become a powerful man.

During the civil war a large majority of African Americans were worked as slaves. They had no rights as American citizens. These slaves had 'owners'.
Once the Civil War had began, it was made easier for slaves to stop working as they had become recognised citizens.

The Civil War was an easy route for the slaves' freedom as they played a vital role in the war. The War however wasn't the end of the fight towards freedom.
The slaves then had to engage in a violent revolution and they won their freedom and independence, establishing Haiti, the world’s first Black republic.

Which then brings us forward to the present day. In 2008 Barack Obama becomes the first African American to be nominated as president.
In 2009 Barack Obama is the very first African American to become president and the 44th President of the United States of America.

The overall point being, African Americans were seen as a minority and then represented as a powerful leader.

Negative and Positive of America

This image shows the negativities of American society portraying the damage done by the Americans in the Vietnam War.

I chose this image showing the patriotism of America as I believe no where else compares to them when its come to taking pride in their country