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Zeno
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12 Jun 2009, 8:22 pm

Ever since Lehman collapsed, I have found myself increasingly disenchanted by the over consuming spend more than you make American way of life. Yesterday I watched Hangover (filched of course from the internet, that great American invention) and found myself disgusted by what these people regarded as fun. The movie is nothing more than the fantasy ruminations of 30 something American males, but it did reflect a theme of irresponsible entitlement that is to be found throughout Western media. The film industry in particular has made it a mission to promote such gratuitous excesses of sex and violence slapped in between thick slices of materialism. According to the Hollywood mantra, getting some is the summum bonum of a man’s existence. It is the touch of trilling texture, the feel of raw tits and hard metal that gives meaning to an otherwise empty life. I used to buy into it, so much so that I actually moved to the States. Things have changed.

What will the world look like when U.S.A is no longer number one? I spend my life studying Chinese companies and do not wish to see the days when it is China that reigns supreme. America annoys me, and its unfulfilled promises have been a bitter disappointment, but the Chinese reality is truly frightening. What do the Chinese believe in? At least in an American world there is that hollow but not unpleasant orgasmic reality born of victory and magnanimity. The Chinese view of the world was formed in those dark apocalyptic days brought on by internal collapse and prolonged by foreign invasion. It is from this vile substrate that Mao drew his sinuous philosophy. And above all it is Mao who still informs the Chinese political consciousness. But it was America and its support for that criminal Chiang Kai Shek that made China so. The fates of these two giants are intertwined in an inseparable dialectic, like an unwholesome Waltz where the partners locked in embrace via with one another for the right to lead.

What now for this Singapore man? Where will I get my feel good fix?



Postperson
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12 Jun 2009, 8:39 pm

I don't know, but it was a good rant.



cyberscan
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12 Jun 2009, 8:40 pm

Not all Americans are sex starved materialists. There are many of us who do not buy everything in sight. I, for one, think carefully about buying anything and whether I need it or not. Unfortunately both Hollywood and the American government have declared war on the American people. The government has succeeded in destroying decent jobs and economic opportunity for the Aerican people, and Hollywood has succeeded in destroying Americans' sense of right and wrong.


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12 Jun 2009, 8:44 pm

You will get your fix in those not-so rare, simple occurences:
Makling someone you care for smile.
Relaxing after not being able to for a long time.
And my aspie fav: Running over events ONE more time, and realizing justice has been served.

NOT shouting at your sister, but offering her the remote control.
Working VERY hard, then curling up in bed to let your weary muscles rest.
And realizing, that when HORRIBLY drunk at the last-schoolday-celebration, all your friends, foes and classmates are honest about how much they <3 you. Heck, some plastic even proclaimed she had PDD-NOS, which is what I thought I had for aeons, and another kid, I hadn't seen him in years, apparently went into therapy because he saw me..*Grumble*. Still, he's not a bully anymore.

My point is: Don't assume to get your joy from whatever insect overlord resides in the floating citadel far above earth.

Day to day life is far more engaging then your nation's motto.



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12 Jun 2009, 10:34 pm

We are still America, and only seeking new thrills.

The drive to create new fields and bring in the bucks as proof is part of a hunter culture, something Europe in it's farmer days rejected.

Now we take it out by creating the Internet so the world can steal porn.

As a byproduct, most marketing is moving to the web, which is an open and level playing field.

The big house and fast car, the girl, the high paying job, are not worth much when all the neighborhood has the same house, car, and drives on the freeway. The job only paid interest on the life, and the girl was an expense account item.

When the music stopped it was a plywood box, the car had high upkeep, traffic was just as bad, and the girl found a new job. Americans are walking away from their old lives by the millions.

We have become so annoyed by the system, many are now thinking the simple life of a rice farmer, build your own hut, keep it so simple it cannot crash.

I buy my clothes at Goodwill, my machines used, I make my own repairs, and get the same function as someone who spent twenty times as much.

All we have are our days, and doing the things we enjoy.

The new American goal is working your way up to broke, owning nothing, oweing nothing. No more consuming, just food, shelter, simple clothes. We have been working sixty hours a week to pay interest! Ten hours can keep you in food and shelter.

We have woken from a bad dream where evil bankers bought Congress, changed the laws, and stole everything, including the future. The problem is it was not a dream, and the only out is to quit, no work, no tax, no debt, no interest, only those with nothing to steal have true friends.

The worst thing exported to Asia was greed. The entire planet could not support America, China on the same path will strip mine the globe in no time. The place we can afford to live is the Internet.

Most people support government, for when there are even two, the resulting wars are the most bloody in history, we had ours, as did the French and British, China had several. So I can see why the Chairman taught Unity above all. China has come a long way since 1949.

As a hard core Capitalist, the Party are my kind of people, they make choices like Native Americans, as we say, a Chinese Business Plan is for 500 years. American plans are rarely solid for a year, and everyone knows the pro forma for three and five years are pure fiction. The best plan to run up a score, and sell to someone larger.

As someone from India said when I asked what he thought of American culture, "I will tell you if I see any." We are in transition, from gangster movies, to war movies, and now back to gangster movies.

It has all the merit of last year's football game.

Still, we do come up with some good ideas. We are 5% of Earth, and about 1% who drive the real world economy.

We have to go to an ownership society, what you have is fully paid for, and trade is based on skill and intelligence. We can no longer afford to be Americans.



Zeno
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12 Jun 2009, 10:46 pm

No, it is Americans who have succeeded in destroying America. There is a new film out (Food Inc.) that seeks to blame the food industry for the obesity epidemic and the unhappiness that comes with being fat which is sweeping across America, but consuming meat and high fructose corn syrup is a choice that people make. You can always eat grains and vegetables if you want to; saving money in the process and living a healthier lifestyle to boot. Blaming corporations, Hollywood or the government is a cop out. Americans can choose to eat well and eat healthy just like they can also choose to spend less, save more, and actually contribute to the welfare of the world’s environment by only consuming what they need. But this is not what Americans want.

The Chinese on the other hand have made tremendous sacrifices to get to where they are today. The Chinese staple is rice which is usually accompanied by vegetables and a little meat. Dairy products are a new thing and after the recent poisoning scare, likely to become something of an exotic treat. Whilst the Chinese waistline will grow as they get wealthier, the sort of morbid obesity that is causing a public nightmare in the United States is not likely to take root in China if other more developed Asian countries like Korea, Japan and Taiwan are examined.

Despite the filth and grime of Chinese cities, the average Chinese actually contributes far less to the global strain on natural resources because they tend to be very careful about what they consume. The pollution in China is a result of Western countries exporting their dirty industries to China and thus keeping their own home environments clean. Imagine then how angry the Chinese would feel when people like Ben Bernanke starts preaching that the root cause of the credit crisis in the United States is surplus savings in China. Look at the issue from their side and you can understand why Timothy Geithner was laughed at when he spoke of maintaining the strength of the dollar at Peking University.

Singapore is caught right in the middle. We are Americatown to the Chinese and Chinatown to the Americans. I just wished that America would wake up and learn that individual responsibility cannot be avoided. There can be no meaning to a life, however materially sufficient or luxurious it may be, if you do not earn it.



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12 Jun 2009, 10:54 pm

Well I do feel like I live in a generation of overconsuming. Not sure if there's anyway to change that now since the damage has already been done. I mean most of this is coming from big corporations and businesses competing to make the "american dream"...it sucks but like cyberscan says..not all of us fit this narrow generalization you have made. In fact, it makes me sick as it's done more damage than good. But anyway, that's capitalism for you.


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12 Jun 2009, 10:55 pm

I would say most of the world is going down the drain culturally. There are a few examples of places that are a little behind on that, notably Japan, but America, China, Isreal, Europe...it's all a big, crazy world and there doesn't seem to be anyone I would want ruling the world, but anarchy is a terrible idea and an impossible goal anyways.



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13 Jun 2009, 7:15 am

Zeno, you don't show up on here much but when you do, you make some excellent points.


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13 Jun 2009, 7:32 am

Zeno wrote:
No, it is Americans who have succeeded in destroying America. There is a new film out (Food Inc.) that seeks to blame the food industry for the obesity epidemic and the unhappiness that comes with being fat which is sweeping across America, but consuming meat and high fructose corn syrup is a choice that people make. You can always eat grains and vegetables if you want to; saving money in the process and living a healthier lifestyle to boot. Blaming corporations, Hollywood or the government is a cop out. Americans can choose to eat well and eat healthy just like they can also choose to spend less, save more, and actually contribute to the welfare of the world’s environment by only consuming what they need. But this is not what Americans want.



No one is compelled to eat that crap. At most supermarkets one can purchase fresh ingredients and put together a healthy diet.

In our house, the salad is the cutting edge of the meal followed by moderate portions of fish or white meat of chicken. No frying. Broiling, boiling or roasting.

Lots of grains for breakfast with no sugar or syrup added.

And it is cheaper than buying crap.

ruveyn



willa
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13 Jun 2009, 8:16 am

Zeno wrote:
It is the touch of trilling texture, the feel of raw tits and hard metal that gives meaning to an otherwise empty life.


:lol:
This pretty much hits the nail on the head.
But, also, it's just a movie =P.
I personally have grown to really really really hate the american 'culture' I live in (seriously, the american young adult, the 'Gen-X' and 'Gen-Y' as they are dubbed, seem to be two extremes, overly idealistic fat headed morons, or couldnt give two sh!ts dumb ass morons, either way, they are morons =P. But I start to analyze it and think that no matter where I live I would probably grow to dis-like it. And when I travel through the states it makes me realize something else. Compare the sizes of the US and Europe, People are even more spread out and it has created a real big cultural diversity. Go down to Miami then up to New York and you'll notice 2 drastically different people and atmospheres. I think in europe you may have more of a diversity bred by competition between different heritages growing up as neighbors, where as the US is by just such huge cities developed independently thousands of miles away from each other. Obviously not as much a diversity and not the same mechanics as thousands of years of history, but diversity none-the-less.

And in chicago, there is no 'culture' The city is ~ 20% white, 20%hispanic, 20%black 20%asian and a mix of western european forms the majority of the rest. Its such a mix. I like it, chicago is really one of the only cities to be like this, there is literally no racial majority, therefor no cultural majority.

So dont judge american culture as a whole (a 'majority' is ok though =P).

Besides, it could be worse, we could be french :wink: :D


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Zeno
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13 Jun 2009, 9:18 am

I do not mean to beat up on America. After all, I come from a country that most consider to be the unknown American outpost in the Far East. Nor is this an attack on capitalism. Anyone who has seen what communism really means would gladly accept all the excesses of a capitalist system. My disenchantment with America began with that gut wrenching week when Lehman turned turtle.

For six months until March of this year, I pored through the financial filings of the major American banks and brokers starting from the early 1990’s because that is when the SEC began making the filings available online. I can tell you the mistakes that Lehman made in vastly expanding its mortgage origination business; but even so, its collapse remains non-obvious because they were warned about coming tsunami. Richard Fuld was told repeatedly to raise more capital and he dawdled. On September 15, 2008, it seemed to me that Richard Fuld, CEO of one of the most important financial institution in the world, wanted the bank he led to fail. The press release that triggered the run on Lehman was written such that it expressed uncouth contempt at a market which he had assured just moments before.

As Lehman fell so a presidential election was lost and won. Troops are being withdrawn in Iraq as we speak and a mindless war is broadened in Afghanistan and expanded into Pakistan. The Chinese finally found the courage to tell Uncle Sam to go f**k himself to the cheers of a world happy to see the imperialist bully get told off by a power whose financial clout debt ridden Americans cannot ignore. Lehman’s collapse is a world historic event and yet 9 months on it feels as if no one really cares. They investigated Bear Stearns, they legislated against AIG, there is a congressional query into Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch; but where is the much needed investigation into the collapse of Lehman Brothers?

I believe that they will not investigate Lehman because if they do it will result in a scandal that will make Watergate look like an innocent daffodil. The same hand which triggered the Asian financial crisis pulled the chord in this American credit crunch. The panic and its effects are real, but the catalyst was entirely synthetic. Very serious crimes have been committed and the perpetrators are going to get away with it. And why not? If they waltzed away with their riches 10 years ago they sure can keep the spoils of power now.

Do they regret it? I hope they do. I know they will.



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13 Jun 2009, 9:28 am

ruveyn wrote:
Zeno wrote:
No, it is Americans who have succeeded in destroying America. There is a new film out (Food Inc.) that seeks to blame the food industry for the obesity epidemic and the unhappiness that comes with being fat which is sweeping across America, but consuming meat and high fructose corn syrup is a choice that people make. You can always eat grains and vegetables if you want to; saving money in the process and living a healthier lifestyle to boot. Blaming corporations, Hollywood or the government is a cop out. Americans can choose to eat well and eat healthy just like they can also choose to spend less, save more, and actually contribute to the welfare of the world’s environment by only consuming what they need. But this is not what Americans want.



No one is compelled to eat that crap. At most supermarkets one can purchase fresh ingredients and put together a healthy diet.

In our house, the salad is the cutting edge of the meal followed by moderate portions of fish or white meat of chicken. No frying. Broiling, boiling or roasting.

Lots of grains for breakfast with no sugar or syrup added.

And it is cheaper than buying crap.

ruveyn


I agree completely with the salads and whole grains and, to a certain extent, the fish where the Japanese have perfected raw fish as a worthwhile edible substance. But the lack of frying, broiling, boiling or roasting insofar a chicken is concerned indicates your house is rather unique in eating raw chicken which presents considerable problems insofar as salmonella is concerned. Not being experienced in discerning raw chicken flesh as either white or dark meat I am curious as to whether the color of the raw flesh is obviously white or dark. Of course, if you are expert in the geek techniques of biting off the heads of the chickens while they are alive before you consume them dinner at your house must be an exciting event indeed.



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13 Jun 2009, 9:34 am

:lol: Good to see you back, Sand. At first, I read ruveyn's post the same way and then noticed the period after the word frying. I was about to raise the same questions but concluded he just meant no frying and the other methods are used instead.



techstepgenr8tion
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13 Jun 2009, 10:44 am

I think its a good sign of what humans do when they are 'haves' for too long. You get a culture where the evolutionary psychology adapts to the difference and we find brand new ways to beat on each other and make life hell even with all the amenities we could need. Just like living in the ghetto wouldn't be terrible if the choice wasn't crime, growing up in the suburbs wouldn't be worthless and even destructive for so many kids growing up if entitlement didn't mean that people had the need to bully the hell out of each other on the grounds of who's parents had more money, or at least money that they would spend on their clothes, and then adding to that the wonderous drug and partying excesses of the kids who's parents unknowingly were funding their kid's drug habits or buying these kids new cars when they went out drunk and wrapped their Audi's around telephone polls or trees.

The problem is what's embedded in all of us and what we, as human beings, choose to do with it. Narcissism tends to be alive and well everywhere, more dormant in places I think where life is harder but when life gets too easy - human nature comes back around and assures misery. You also look at it like this; to be in another country starving, living in a wood shack, it seems like most of the horror that we have over that image comes from our own narcissism - as in, if you have to work 80 hours a week to have your castle, have heart and high blood pressure by the time your 50 of trying to deal with the stress of keeping your job, continuing to pay the mortgage, paying top dollar for the best colleges for your sons and daughters (likely keeping up with where the Jones's sent their kids), and having to pop antacids daily because you've torn your stomach to bits; yes, we have a lot but it's still a rather cramped and contorted state where you can very easily not enjoy your life much at all - even if your simply trying to make enough money to have a space marked out as your domain not to be hassled in and to live your life as best you can. The need to be in the later position though has been kicked and beaten into us, just like for reviling the simple life as that of a defective person or someone who's almost a non-entity; thus that drive I think is largely cultural but the evolutionary mechanism of it is almost deafening.

The problem though, I really don't think our entire race, as human beings, is capable of being unified enough about an issue like this to bring it to the forefront or put in the degree of introspect for that observation to hold any ability to really change us or change our world. It seems like we've danced around the idea of evolution for years but, for the full faith and credit we give it in the science class and public sphere, we seldom think about what on God's green earth it means about how we operate or what we need to look out for in terms of our ingrained needs or behaviors. We really could make the world a far better place if we just listened to the math and started addressing ourselves on how we're really built and what the caveats of our nature are. Some people may say that Marxism is the antedote; I'm very skeptical of it myself.



Last edited by techstepgenr8tion on 13 Jun 2009, 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.