Wondering what the world thinks of us this week? Here are a few clues, I've provided some excerpts from each article (sorry, I am too tired to blog original thoughts today, so here is some traditional blogging). Believe it or not, it's not all bad! Remember you can use Bug Me Not
if a login is needed and you don't want to subscribe to any of these sites:Anti-Americanism: A Sample
(not really a news site, but interesting)Supposedly, even sane people carry in small doses the symptoms of various mental disorders. The hidden masochist in me made me collect anti-Americanisms for quite some time. In doing so I concentrated on the printed specimens that reflect popular sentiment in Europe. What ultimately matters in democracies is what the "people" believe. In the case of dictatorships the sentiments of the masses do not matter: one has to inquire about what the elites think. In both cases, the image projected by the printed media, whether controlled or not, also requires attention.Tabloid Is Anti-Americanism for DummiesWhat exactly is an anti-American "primaire"? Well, one way to translate it is "anti-Americanism for dummies." The question is, who are the dummies? Not the 10 freelance journalists who write the articles that live in the house that Mr. Royer built! They are clever anti-American Frenchmen making fun of ordinary French people who make fun of Americans in that simple ordinary way that's so funny if you just get the joke. By the way, is Mr. Royer pro-Chirac? No. And if President Bush had won with an 80% margin like Mr. Chirac, would the remaining 20% of redeemable Americans voters be worth saving? He didn't see what I meant by that. But he has nothing against the French people - 80% - who voted for Mr. Chirac.
Australian PM's accusation of EU anti-Americanism draws French ire (I love the Aussies!)
PARIS : An accusation by Australian Prime Minister John Howard that France was guilty of lingering "anti-Americanism" drew sharp words from Paris during a visit by the Australian foreign minister.
French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, standing next to his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, told journalists he was "very, very surprised" to hear Howard's remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the weekend.
Ritual condemnation of the USA has been la tendance du jour since the Mayflower hauled anchor at Plymouth in 1620. But mankind has advanced some over the past four centuries: nowadays, taking pot-shots at the United States is a booming multi-billion dollar industry, and one my bank manager is keen I invest in.
Regrettably, however, I can't indulge in the unceasing chorus of Yank-bashing. My financial balance suffers for it, but I'm what's known in intellectual circles as an "Americaphile". I told this to an American pal who'd taken shore leave on a recent trip past Europe. "Oh, so you're the one," he grinned.
Sure it's fiction. But many Turks see fact in anti-US novel.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY The year is 2007. After a clash with Turkish forces in northern Iraq, US troops stage a surprise attack. Reeling, Turkey turns to Russia and the European Union, who turn back the American onslaught.
This is the plot of "Metal Storm," one of the fastest- selling books in Turkish history. The book is clearly sold as fiction, but its premise has entered Turkey's public discourse in a way that sometimes seems to blur the line between fantasy and reality
U.S. Companies Rethinking Their Marketing in Europe
American multinationals are less than enthusiastic about discussing how they have subtly changed their images in response to current political realities. Mr. Courtois and his deputy, Wilfried Grommen, the European general manager for business strategy, were unavailable for interviews.
"No U.S. company wants to admit that they are downplaying their heritage. That could be suicidal at home in the current political climate," said Nick Wreden, an American brand consultant based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who wrote a book called "FusionBranding."
OK, I am going to comment on the last one. This frankly annoys me in a very serious manner. These companies could just as easily promote America as try to pretend they are not American. In the article there is reference to Starbucks in Germany using German landmarks on their mugs. That is fine, but why not use something that demonstrates the ties between Germany and America? How about the Brandenburg Gate over the phrase "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" (An aside: I visited Berlin not too long ago and there is a Starbucks maybe 100 yards into what was the east side of the Brandenburg Gate. Anyone standing where that shop is now when Reagan gave that speech would have been able to hear him. I think that is really cool.) Uggh. Just my two cents for today.