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  • Anti-Americanism and the Internet

    I am finishing a book for the University of Toronto Press on anti-Americanism and the Internet and I thought it would be interesting to open a thread for the general subject. Scholarly, popular, anything -- I am not going to debate the subject here (feel free to), but to explore the various aspect of the subject.

    I am particularly interested in how anti-American opinions are manifested within the Internet, including video work as seen on Youtube and so forth.

    Here is the general thesis: During the last century, national identity was constructed via media systems largely under the control of the state or the marketplace. Now the Internet more or less throws a spanner in the works of privileged domains of discourse and identity construction. Official discourse within the Net is more or less buried under a tidal wave of popular discourse, an intense debate over what 'America' is and is becoming. How does mundane discourse (popular or 'everyday' speech) within the Net effect the construction of national identity? This I am examining through the phenomenon of anti-Americanism on the Internet.

    Obviously, there is no one adequate definition of what constitutes anti-Americanism.
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  • #2
    Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

    Honestly, the only place I've found anti-Americanism is on IRC, which, composed of chat rooms, is less a medium for indoctrination than web pages, and more a means of conversation as if participants were immediate to one another.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
    I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
    Feel free to quote me. ~

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    • #3
      Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

      Army Barbie is cool

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      • #4
        Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

        You can search on youtube and find lots of 9/11 parody videos - videos that mock what happened or set video footage to funny music, like the Benny Hill theme. I don't think you'd find something like that anywhere else.

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        • #5
          Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

          Are you more concerned with Anti-Americanism as an focus of simple psychological meanness (which will find root anywhere there is an appealing target for it), or as an expression of sincere political dissent (however mild or extreme)?
          In game handle: Steel Scion
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          • #6
            Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

            Originally posted by thebleakaffinity View Post
            You can search on youtube and find lots of 9/11 parody videos - videos that mock what happened or set video footage to funny music, like the Benny Hill theme. I don't think you'd find something like that anywhere else.
            Yes! And that visual side of anti-A is the subject of one chapter. And, as you point out, the fact that it is, for the most part, not found within the commercial media system is of tremendous significance.
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            • #7
              Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

              Originally posted by Steeler View Post
              Are you more concerned with Anti-Americanism as an focus of simple psychological meanness (which will find root anywhere there is an appealing target for it), or as an expression of sincere political dissent (however mild or extreme)?
              The text is not focused on any one type of anti-A.
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              • #8
                Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                In the UK, the vast majority of people support the USA and feel sympathy for the 9/11 attacks. However, not long after that, the old stereotypes returned, and these are portrayed in the media, in various tv shows, and always in comedy sketches, parodies, and political pi** takes.

                These mainly consist of mild anti A though, such as jokes about President Bush, or fat americans, or stupid americans. One i saw recently was asking people what they thought of americans in two words, and always you were getting the answer that americans were fat, stupid, or arrogant. However, i have heard worse, but rarely on TV, mainly on the net, and face to face. In first year at University, i took a module on American studies, but i eventually had to leave it, because the lecurer was extremely Anti war, Anti Bush, and as things progressed, Anti USA, to the point of political rants in class. Many people complained, but nothing could be done, so lots left the course. Mainly though, there are parodies of Bush and Blair in our newspapers, with Blair being Bush's poodle, which, although funny, i believe are meant more as an offence to Blair as America.

                This sort of stuff is more normal in the UK, but is rarely shown to that intensity on the mass media. However, there are also sections of the mass media in the UK that still believe in the 'special relationship' between the USA and UK, and many who support the closeness of the 2 countries, not just the politics, but the language, culture and history.

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                • #9
                  Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                  Even Americans joke about Stupid Americans™ and Fat Americans™. Most of the other stuff, though, seems to me just to attack the current administration, which is not anti-American in the least. American politics rely on the political disagreements of citizens.
                  The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                  I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                  Feel free to quote me. ~

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                  • #10
                    Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                    I see lots of joking from other countries poking fun at as. But Americans atleast have enough humility to poke fun at ourselves all the time or criticize our own faults. I don't mind too much if other countries want to joke about us, because we rip on other countries all the time. We always make fun of the French for many reasons. We laugh at a few things about our British brothers, or our northern neighbors. It's all in good fun, though. The only Anti-Americanism I see is from extreme leftists such as Noam Chomski. He's in the vast minority, though. I wonder why someone who dislikes America so much would choose to stay here. Oh well. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions.
                    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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                    • #11
                      Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                      I don't see the 'arrogant' label as being anti-American. It's a fitting descriptor. 'Fat' is also probably statistically fitting. Hell, even 'stupid' might be accurate with certain demographics, and 'ignorant' definitely applies when it comes to international issues.

                      So, if those labels aren't anti-American, and disagreeing with the political administration isn't anti-American, then is there really much anti-American stuff out there? I'm sure that we could consider the tone of the material and most of us would conclude that lots of stuff out there has an anti-American slant to it.

                      This is interesting. I look forward to reading more about this.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                        I would think that in these times, Anti-Americanism is the new Americanism. Has this phenomenon been fueled by the internet? Most definatley. Is the internet the sole cause? Deffinately not. The American people as a majority act in ways that are quite harmful to America's state. Over eating, undervoting, overpoluting, undereducating... All these things are Anti-American. The American people will be the cause of the collapse of America, or more likely the cause of the collaps of modern civilization as we know it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                          [QUOTE=m0h3k4n;689491]I would think that in these times, Anti-Americanism is the new Americanism. Has this phenomenon been fueled by the internet? Most definatley. Is the internet the sole cause? Deffinately not. The American people as a majority act in ways that are quite harmful to America's state. Over eating, undervoting, overpoluting, undereducating... All these things are Anti-American. The American people will be the cause of the collapse of America, or more likely the cause of the collaps of modern civilization as we know it.[/QUOTE

                          Such power you have given to the American people. To think they will be the sole cause of the collapse of modern civilization! Do you truly think they are the only self-indulged group of humans on the planet?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                            I have notice on some of the online game sites comments that can be considered anti-American. Most of these are very juvenile in nature, however. One that I find quite interesting is an on-going tension consisting of verbal taunts between Americans and Turks on an online game called Silkroad.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Anti-Americanism and the Internet

                              Originally posted by m0h3k4n View Post
                              I would think that in these times, Anti-Americanism is the new Americanism. Has this phenomenon been fueled by the internet? Most definatley. Is the internet the sole cause? Deffinately not. The American people as a majority act in ways that are quite harmful to America's state. Over eating, undervoting, overpoluting, undereducating... All these things are Anti-American. The American people will be the cause of the collapse of America, or more likely the cause of the collaps of modern civilization as we know it.
                              I read this and it just really made me furious!!!! Furious becuase Someone feels the same way I do.

                              This is an awesome dicussion, please feel free to keep it going, for I lack the knowledge from any higher education, but I want to know more.

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