The act of generalization

I’m not even sure the word generalization will fit this post. I’m sure another word could easily replace it, we’ll just leave it there. Sometimes I get bored of talking about video games and animation. A recent short discussion has made me want to write this, so lets see how I do with it.

A friend of mine asked me a question. “If you could live in any other country besides the USA, what would it be?” Before I could answer she blurted out. “I’d live in Japan” I then said “I’d probably go with Germany”. Without hesitation a stranger asked me

“Why would you want to be a Nazi”

I sat there and smiled at him, honestly the cat had grabbed my tongue. I was dumbfounded, by an ignorant question, and I didn’t know how to respond. I’m a quite guy, who usually stays quiet in front of people I don’t know. Needless to say this older man didn’t press forward or say another word to us.

At first, I guess you could assume he might have been joking. But later I asked friends and some family the same question my friend asked me. After they answered, and I responded with Germany, I got quite a few of the same responses as the first man. Enough of the same to facepalm for a month.

I’m a huge fan of history, and I’ve always studied a bit about other countries besides my own. I will also have to admit, what draws me to European countries is the conflict that seems to plague Germany, by these few outsiders lol. But, it makes me wonder how much bigger this generalization is.

Of course this comes with all things in life, from religion, race, to everything really. It made go back and asked these same people about other countries. I’ll just post the country, then list the few of the things I heard.

Russia

  • Not that big of a deal, most are drunk on vodka.
  • They are stupid, and hate Americans.
  • All of them are communist, and need to be taken care of.
  • Most of them are spy’s, and not to be trusted.

Italy

  • I hear they are all really friendly.
  • I’d love to visit there.
  • I heard their food was amazing.
  • The country is run by the Mafia, haven’t you seen the movies? (This one cracks me up, one of my friends is obsessed with mafia movies.)

Japan

  • I would love to visit Japan.
  • Sony & Nintendo, enough said.
  • Hideo Kojima is God, whats not to love about Japan?
  • Japan is full of perverts.
  • The Japanese crucified Santa Claus. (I have no clue where that one came from.)

Germany

  • They caused the holocaust.
  • They are Nazis.
  • The women there don’t shave.
  • Germans are cold hearted, and have no sense of humor.

The reason I asked about these four countries is simple. If a few will make generalizations about a country from WW2, why not the rest? But as you can see, it really didn’t turn out that way. I then preceded to try and get opinions on Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, and Hirohito. I didn’t get much of a response with any of them, other than Stalin, which usually brought talk of the Cold War.

This all made me think of the possibility of my friends and family, among others as just being under educated. I’m not saying this in a bad way, but its easy to generalize or at least come up with an answer to something you know nothing about.

Through school, I went from kindergarten to half a year of 6th grade in Virginia. Finished out my 6th to half of 9th grade in Ohio. Then finished out 9th grade to the end of 10th grade in Indiana before I quit. Then got my GED when I came back to Virginia.

Three states where I had to live, and forced to study lol. I get that certain subjects like History, Science, with others are boring. Me being the big history nerd, never learned anything about other countries mostly. This includes geography thrown into the mix. These three states on a scale are miles apart from each other in a scary way, when it comes to thie education levels.

To some I may be considered a drop out, and I’ll admit I hated school. My grades started slipping as soon as I hit 5th grade, my interest wasn’t there. But I can say, I always passed my History, and Geography classes with perfect grades. I even got student of the month for history in 8th grade lol.

It still comes down to these conversations bothering me. I want to travel, to really visit every country I possibly can. I’ve never been one to really judge anyone, or make fun of, for any reason.

This

800px-Flag_variant_of_Nazi_Party_(1923).svg

Doesn’t mean or represent this

1280px-Flag_of_Germany.svg

Upon further looking around, and even asking some people. Anything as far as Nazi memorabilia is banned in Germany. I’ll just leave a list on this one too.

  • Kids are taught about WWII at an early age, which continues to be reinforced throughout school.
  • The main focus is the Holocaust, which are shown in stark terms.
  • People such as Hitler and his followers are portrayed as pathetic. Who were evil and brutal, but also deluded and somewhat petty, and dim.
  • Making a Nazi salute is a crime.
  • Saying “Heil Hitler” is a crime.
  • Even some video games have been banned for having such things in it. Others have had to have those things cut and taken out.

I’m sure you get the point now, and I have no reason to keep going on listing things. I’m not even sure most would care to keep reading it. Germany has had its far share of problems.

But maybe this goes for every country though, everyone loves to say things about other people. Of course unless you flip it on them. Many Americans here in the states would flare up if you start talking about certain things. No one has a perfect explanation for having slaves, or killing another because you were looking for a better place to live, to be free to practice a religion or not too.

Many more things could pop up, it doesn’t take long to find trouble or start a fight with a so called true patriot, which has the right amount of passion and love for his country. Which setting down with them and having a long conversation, you’d think they live on a separate world, which everyone else not born here, or of the same color, or native tongue are simply foreign aliens from another planet.

Yet, we here in the United States on a deeper level are divided, and lack understanding of others. Which most want even take the time to recognize the common interest we have with others. Yet, so many fear leaving the country because they out there hate us, and we don’t know why. Some do venture out, and they realize what fun it is, and how wonderful the world really is.

And still, a simple minded fool like me can’t understand where all the hate, pride, and generalizations of others come from. I wish I could say my parents taught me this, but the sad truth is it was little. The true facts about my family is we come from Virginia, a lot of them pride the so called “redneck” life. And I hear racist things all the time, yet I’ve never found myself wanting to be like that.

As far as my country goes, I was born here, and raised here. I love it, I’ve been blessed enough to see almost every state with the exception of a few which include Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, California, and New Mexico. Maybe a few more, I got pictures of most lol.

I’m done, this rant has gone on long enough, and off point. If you’ve stuck around this long I thank you for doing so. I do want to ask though. Have you ever moved to a different country? If so do you like it? Or do you want to/ plan to?

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About crazysnake513

I'm currently 24, I love video games, and animation. I also love to sketch, and write poetry. I plan to maybe start college soon for animation, if all goes well. In the mean time, I'm working on my own animation project.
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18 Responses to The act of generalization

  1. megaeggz says:

    I went to Rhineland in Germany with school when I was about 10. That was about 12 years ago, it was beautiful and the people were friendly ๐Ÿ˜€ Didn’t see any nazis.

    For your viewing pleasure ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I moved to Scotland for 3 months for work but I am from England so I didn’t move very far haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. zdunno03 says:

    Good post. I have lived in Turkey for 6 years now and am saddened by the misconceptions many Americans have of not just this country but Middle Eastern countries, too. People in the US have little knowledge of world history and geography, plus little understanding of other countries and cultures, which is interesting since so many immigrants live there to help educate them. But people in other countries have a poor opinion of the US, especially these last 20 years. Americans need to open their eyes to the rest of the world. You are open to that and it is a very good thing. Stay open. You will have a much richer life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Turkey is also another place I really want to visit in the future. I will highly agree with the misconceptions Americans have of the Middle East. It quite pathetic to me, as no one, or the majority acts like they don’t want to learn.

      The far bigger problem here is none other than major news networks, such as FOX, and CNN. They blast so much garbage and give a negative image of the Middle East, which is putting fear in a lot of people. I would also admit, a lot of what people talk about, to seem educated on a subject, comes from those networks.

      You know we have a huge amount of immigrants here, but most will treat them poorly. Very few will try and learn from them, or even hear them out. So I can honestly see why other countries have a poor opinion of us. And lastly, I agree, I wish more Americans would open their eyes to the rest of the world, instead of shutting them out.

      I don’t see that happening though, until we as a nation fall as the so called global superpower. That to me is a lot of the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      • zdunno03 says:

        Unfortunately, I agree with you. Americans tend to think of themselves as superior which is a bit dangerous when one is ignorant of others. It’s why we blunder so much in terms of foreign policy. And, of course, we don’t get it right with minorities in our own country. But I’m glad to see your thinking on this subject.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed, and thank you again for your thoughts! I usually don’t talk about these types of subjects, because I can’t stand politics. But I don’t like seeing other mistreated either, for something that is non-sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Riley says:

    I’m moving to Virginia soon for school. Racist you say? Thats not good. I wish I could go to another country. Not that I hate it here but I’d enjoy a good adventure and some culture shock. Try your best to see around the words of generalizations people are just stupid and dont know any better most of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Virginia isn’t that bad of a state, and I’ve always enjoyed it. I wouldn’t worry to much about racist, its a spotty thing. I’ve seen it in all three states I’ve lived in.

      A adventure would be nice, if you ever get the chance don’t pass it up. It truly is a magnificent thing, which ends up being a life changing event.

      People may be stupid lol, and I wanted to say that. But I can’t help to feel sorry for these people who don’t know any better. But then again, its easy to self educate nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Red Metal says:

    What always gets me about generalizations is when people outside the group assume that the crazies speak for the entire faction and so the sane people get lumped in with them whether they like it or not. The reality is that the crazies tend to have the loudest voices and, consequently, their antics are the ones a lot of people choose to talk about. However, these people are also in the vast minority and the minute normal people realize this is the minute their insane philosophies bite the dust.

    Iโ€™ve traveled outside of the country โ€“ specifically to China and Japan and I have to say that it was a life-changing experience. A lot of people in America donโ€™t even have passports. I wish more people would go out there and see what the world has to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nicely said, and that is some of the feedback I was hoping to get. You ever heard of the WestBoro Baptist Church? Your reply made me instantly think of them.

      Going out of the country truly is a wonderful experience. I agree it would do a lot of others good to get out.

      Like

      • Red Metal says:

        Thanks, although I think I may have also accidentally described about fifty different internet fandoms.

        I have heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. They are rather unpleasant people to say the least. At the same time, I think they also make a very good case for why free speech is better than censorship. When you think about it, they do a better job killing their cause than their fiercest opponents ever could. I wouldn’t be surprised if their antics actually sped up the progress of the LGBT social movements.

        As for the people who make these generalizations about Germany, it’s likely they disregard everything they’ve done since the end of World War II. Among many, many other things, I can safely say they’re missing out on some interesting musicians such as the bands, Can, Faust, Neu!, Scorpions, and Kraftwerk. ‘Tis truly their loss.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had never really thought about that before, until you mentioned it. Every group like that does kill their own cause. At the end of the day though, I figure the only true thing they get is media attention. Which in all honesty gives people like me entertainment.

        A lot of people are missing out on a lot of things from other countries. I can’t lie though, music hasn’t never been big with me, so I miss out on that.

        Thanks though for sharing, I always enjoy hearing others views.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. D.T. Nova says:

    “The Japanese crucified Santa Claus. (I have no clue where that one came from.)”
    There’s an urban legend about a Japanese department store display that had Santa on a cross; there’s no evidence that it ever actually happened, though.
    It’s still really weird that something like that would become a generalization/stereotype about the country, even if it were more widely believed than it seems to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure my friend was really using it as a stereotype, but he keep throwing it out there. I personally had never heard it before, and his grandfather told him. He was also a WW2 vet, and I figured it held some meaning coming from that time period.

      Still fascinating though to hear that. Thanks for sharing it with me!

      Like

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