Monday, October 27, 2008

International Relations

I've been having relations, with Andy of WildARSChase. NO, not those kinds of relations - international relations. See young Andy decided the best way to make up for a recent cultural faux pas was to do a co-blog ( my first co-blog - excited much!?! ) , in regards to cultural cliches, if you will. So, the following are two sets of lists, one by WildARS, one by my good self. In an attempt to create a better understanding of Americans and Australians, we've compiled lists of common stereotypes that may or may not be true about both countries. We hope it's your favourite (or favorite!) list of all time.First up, the list compiled by WildARS.

( Note: Comments by Andy are in italics, comments by AmyXXOO are in bold. )


1. All sound like Steve Irwin - Crikey, this one is a load of crap mate! Which is to say no, we don't all sound like Steve Irwin. God rest his soul, but the man was a walking cliche, at least when it comes to Australian language. To be honest, i think he just spoke like that to play up to you Americans - you eat that stuff up.
That we do. We love pigeonholing people. Just ask Native Americans. We think all of them live in tepees and drink, forgetting that whole part when our ancestors slaughtered their ancestors.... It is sad Irwin died, though. What a good dude.

.2. Are frequently eaten alive by Great White sharks - Leave the sharks alone! Seriously, I think the Great Whites get a bad rap - as far as experts tell it, the frequency of their attacks is, well, pretty infrequent. The best way to NOT get attacked - stay out of their ocean!
Tell that to Rob Schneider. See, I think sharks are the best, even if I am terrified of them. Shark Week on Discovery Channel is a good time, but it constantly shows people getting eaten off the Australian shores. You should write Discovery a stern letter.

3. Know what a dingo is. - Wait, this one is true. We all know what a dingo is, but having seen one in the flesh is a whole other matter. I mean, unless you live in either Northern Queensland or anywhere in the Northern Territory. I thought i saw a dingo once, but it was just a skinny German Shepherd...
Is the Northern section the place to stay away from? Sounds like Hicksville.
It's the place to stay away from if you want to avoid: crocodiles, sharks, dingoes and people missing numerous teeth.

4. Think rugby is better than football - Are we talking American football ( which we call Gridiron ) or soccer ?
Uh, the only good kind, American football. Americans pretend we like soccer, but we're not good at it. We just think we should be good at it. I will say that rugby is the manliest of sports.
Correction - rugby league is the manliest of sports. Rugby and rugby league are two different sports. Ah, so much for you Americans to learn....

5. Have an inordinate amount of actors working in Hollywood, who all immediately drop their accents - We don't have an inordinate amount, it's just that all the actors we send over there are good enough to be working. Yay for us! That whole dropping their accents thing is annoying though - be proud of where you're from, people. Like Hugh Jackman - sure, he'll change his accent for a movie but when he's offscreen, it's Australian twang all the way!
I always forget Nicole Kidman is Australian. You can have Russell Crowe back, however.


1. Are fat and lazy - This is proven by the fact that you have " drive thru " everything: drive thru voting, drive thru pharmacies, drive thru banks. Seriously, you are too lazy to line up for anything if it means you'll have to stand up!
Wait, you don't have drive thru banks? You're missing out. Our banks have drive-thru ATMs with Braille on it. You know, in case a blind person is driving and needs cash fast. We will, however, stand in line for hours to see a celebrity. Even a minor one, like John Goodman or Cuba Gooding Jr.

2. Think we are the best at everything - You own Michael Phelps so you can lay claim to being the best at anything he's in, I'll give you that. But you guys think you're entirely awesome at any sport you try your hand at. Plus, when you get beaten and it's been proven that you are, in fact, not the best - well, you are sore, sore losers.
We are terrible losers. When the USA men's basketball team didn't win the gold in the 2004 Olympics, everyone freaked out like, "How is that possible." Some of us in the South are still upset about losing our Civil War.

3. Like to force democracy on unsuspecting nations - You mean like Vietnam ? Or Iraq ? You mean like that ?
Pick a country. I am surprised we aren't forcing something on you of some nature. We do like to force democracy a lot, even when a country doesn't ask for it. As if democracy is the only way to exist. You know what they had in the Bible? Kings. You know what God actually wanted? Nobody in charge but God. But democracy, evidentally, has become the chosen form of government, "in God we trust"-- unless it's in a classroom, and then God's gotta take a backseat. We've got no problem killing people in other countries so they can get their share of democracy, but we definitely will not force kids to listen to silent prayer. Let's not get crazy here.
Woah, i think we hit a nerve there Andy. Democracy, God, the education system - that's a whole other blog post right there.
I feel better now. And slightly un-American. Crap.

4. Think we are trendsetters in music and fashion - The Beatles? British. The Rolling Stones? British. Vivienne Westwood, one of the greatest innovators in modern fashion? British. Versace, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana? Italian. Nope, no Americans on that list at all. I mean, I'm not saying you guys have NOTHING - just, the world does not revolve around you.
It's sad, isn't it? We're so far behind, and yet are so ethnocentric in thinking we are tops in that stuff, even when it was all done in Europe first. We do have the Jonas Brothers, though. And jean jackets.
The Jonas brothers? Uh huh....
We have Britney Spears, too.
I have three letters for you Andy - O.M.G.....

5. Believe we should own the only nuclear weapons - You do, don't you ? Its kind of like a dad chastising his son for having Playboys under his bed: he's going to say " son, those are bad! ", then he's going to confiscate them, but then he's still going to watch porn on his computer.
Excellent point. Instead, dads and sons should watch porn together on the computer. It keeps families together. Also, we should all get rid of nuclear weapons. I don't see the point in having them if no one is allowed to use them. Either let's get this nuclear holocaust ripping and roaring now, or let's get rid of the toys.

So, there you be ladies and gents, the first half of the greatest, most awesom-est, most incredibly ace list of all time. For the second half of the list, do yourself a favour and shoot on over to Andy's page - the second half of the list, the stereotypes i compiled, should be posted in the next day or two.

Seriously, get on over there! If you like funny, intelligent, vibrant writing, Andy is your man!


  1. Andy is the king of coblogs and tackling the tough issues. I'm glad that it brought me here today.

    That being said, I didn't learn a damn thing.

  2. (Just kidding...obviously, my Canadian heritage is making me apologize for my not-quite rude comment)

  3. Excellent stuff guys, the cultural divide is much smaller than it once was because of your list. LOl!
    Ah you forgot my favourite actor who is Australian, Oscar winning Geoffery Rush no less. If you want to know what we Brits think of Auzzies then thank Barry Humphreys for bringing us Dame Edna Everage!! The guy who wrote Schindlers Ark was on the radio here, Thomas Keneally, (Booker Prize winning Auzzie), and I swear he sounded just like Edna! I couldn't take the guy seriously at all.

    Hey this is very one sided! I've met American Tourists in England....ummm, I'll keep that opinion a secret!

    Good fun ....X

  4. Great co-blog you two! =) Andy is great at doing co-blogs and I usually find other great blogs whenever he does a co-blog with someone who isn't already in my reader. I can't wait to read the second part.

  5. LOL, great list, you guys! I love how none of the Aussie stereotypes are true but all the American ones are!

    Amy, I agree with your theory on Steve Irwin, I think he probably did play up the accent & idioms because the Americans do absolutely love our slang. I made a co-worker double up laughing when I referred to some girl as having a face like a smashed crab.

    I cannot imagine the horror of Australians in regards to Michael Phelps. We usually win all the swimming medals and very little else, so I'm sure there was a fair amount of sore-loserness in Oz during the Olympics...

    Although I am a terrible example of an Australian really, as I hate beer and sports, especially cricket.

  6. I lost everything else after "Great White Sharks" and "Shark Week." The rest was just me wiping up my drool. Sharks are amazing, amazing creatures and I'm pretty sure I could turn any conversation into something about sharks.

    Next thing on the list of adventurous things to do: Cage Diving.

    PS, my cousin lives outside Brisbane with her husband and they keep prodding me to come visit. After this post, I'm thinking I have to ASAP.

  7. I think I learned something about myself today.

    Foreigners hate me.

  8. I noticed the lack of fast food drive thrus in Europe while I was there. I never use the drive thru bank window, but I do use the ATM. I was unaware on Nicole Kidman being Austrailian. I saw Keith Urban and he has a light accent. I totally agree on the pushing our beliefs on other countries. A lot of Americans push their beliefs on other Americans too. Good post!

  9. Hold up... we have drive-thru voting??? Why didn't anyone tell me!? I must've missed the drive-thru window at my local civic center...

  10. Fabulous post, I loved it. Stereotyping may not be a good thing, but it IS funny . . .

  11. you left out the stereotype of the american tourist.

    although, i believe these are your opinions, not necessarily shared by all australians?

    and what if not forcing democracy on a country is going on in East Timor? Its not just America folks.

  12. Dash - serious human rights violations were being perpetrated against the Timorese by Indonesia. It had virtually nothing to do with the system of government in East Timor and rather a lot to do with stopping them being killed. I would actually draw more of a parallel between East Timor/Indonesia and Tibet/China rather than ANY of the countries we're talking about in terms of having democracy forced on them.

    Sorry for getting serious for a minute there, Amy!

  13. Thanks everyone for coming!
    @Dash - nope, we didnt leave out the American tourist: you just need to go visit Andy's page for that one.
    @Belle - no worries mate!