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Is he right?

 
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sirius black



Joined: 04 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:30 am    Post subject: Is he right? Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMqcLUqYqrs
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "angry" part had some legitimacy, but then he went off-tracks by hearkening back to a largely illusory golden past.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fictional, scripted speech. With ambient background music, and actors posing with fake facial expressions (pretending to be taken aback). So contrived it might as well have been an Obama speech...

As for whether he was "right" or not: he was partly right. But only superficially.
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sirius black



Joined: 04 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would argue that America did not become truly 'great' until the '60s going forward.

Gays, Women, Blacks, the physically impaaired, and others. all had legislation to make them equal citizens when in the 'golden age' they were not equal members of society.

The fact is that while we were doing great things in terms of science, the arts, etc. The 'Leave It To Beaver' era that everyone looks back on with meloncholy was only great for some Americans not all.

If I were a Black person, Gay, Woman, etc. back in the '50s, no way would I say it was better for me back then. If someone wants to go back to that time I'd throw a fit.

We do wallow in our own perceived greatness though and even though it is 'just a show' one has to separate that and accept the statement as a trueism or partly true or not.

I have always viewed America as a work in progress.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of there being a best country is weird. There are countries that are best are specific things, but best is too vague. The speech in the video gets off on saying obvious things and acting like it's profound.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
The "angry" part had some legitimacy, but then he went off-tracks by hearkening back to a largely illusory golden past.


And he just had to throw in that America WAS the best country in the world back during the Golden Age, thus somewhat cancelling out the "no better than Belgium" iconoclasm of the angry part.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Best' in terms of what?

Once upon a time I met two guys from Gambia--a country in West Africa that is little more than a river bank. They were totally convinced that their homeland was the best country in the world. And they were right, if 'best' means where family and friends live and where you grew up, with all the associations that entails. But is that all there is to it?

A couple of hundred years ago, when almost all countries were ruled by monarchs who governed in favor of a small number of families--and Europeans had better guns than anyone else and insisted they had a god-given right to rule, then there was a time when the US was better and was a leader in terms of a larger proportion of the population having access to social and economic justice.

From my reading of history, it seems to me that we have developed a system where we have splurges of progressivism where we lunge forward and then have to stop and wait for that generation of conservatives to die out before we can take the next step. We are just now coming out of the latest phase of conservatism. Like Leon says, we are a work in progress.

It strikes me that people who insist that one country is somehow 'better' than another country are being silly. It reminds me of two students I taught way back when. One was a very good-looking but stupid football player who got in an argument during my class with a short but very attractive female member of the pep band. He threatened to beat her up after my class. A year or two later he went to the state pen for raping his current girlfriend.

'Best' has many meanings and sheer physical strength is not necessarily the criteria that people accept as a synonym for quality. It seems to me that guys with big muscles insist that physical strength is the most important qualification for 'best'. Similarly, people who are good at art and music tend to claim their area of superiority is the most important.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
From my reading of history, it seems to me that we have developed a system where we have splurges of progressivism where we lunge forward and then have to stop and wait for that generation of conservatives to die out before we can take the next step. We are just now coming out of the latest phase of conservatism. Like Leon says, we are a work in progress
Rolling Eyes

You sound about as absurd as chairman Mao describing his "Great Leap Forward"... You consider your lies, hypocrisy, and hardcore authoritarianism to be "lunging forward"?? Yeah, let's bankrupt the society at home, put Al Qaeda into power in Libya, ship guns into Mexican drug cartels, and then go bomb some more children in Pakistan before pretending to cry on TV so we can take peoples' guns away (just like every other hardcore, murderous regime in history did to their population before the mass-murdering began). Progressive, indeed.
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the last ten years America has given away most of its blue collar jobs, that is the major problem it has now. Previously it could bounce back from temporary recessions because of the huge work force, market, and political influence to ensure Americans could, eventually, get a job no matter how skilled they were. Now there aren't the jobs to get Americans back into the labor force.

Globalization has given us cheap tvs and laptops, and if you have a job with low taxes you're sitting pretty, compared to most of the population of western employees. Many employers are only offering minimum wage. Now the difference of working or living on benefits is much smaller. There's still the self respect of working for a living, but now you pay part of your income in tax to supplement everyone else who prefers not to work.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now there aren't the jobs to get Americans back into the labor force.


Quote:
to supplement everyone else who prefers not to work.



Would you mind choosing a view about there being no jobs or workers who are too lazy to work?

As you state things, it isn't clear if you are upset at Donald Trump's kids being denied jobs because there aren't enough jobs for the pampered few to which they are entitled, or you are upset that there are plenty of jobs but the pampered kids of the unemployed are too spoiled to take the darn job.
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sirius black



Joined: 04 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone can find 'a' job. Fast food restaurants are always hiring. The issue isn't being able to find just any job but a job that has a career or can sustain a family or if one wants to get married in the future and have a family.
There are millions who are under employed. They are at jobs that pay below sustainability to buy a home or even live better than paycheck to paycheck.
The clip is a fictional show but that should not disqualify the statement as invalid because it came from a tv show and wasn't uttered by someone who was not. Makes no difference.
If one has spent any amount of time in Europe and even in some non European places even in Asia and parts of South America, its a bit harder to claim the wor's greatest country thing. The number of people who are leaving America from anything from medical tourism to retiring permanently elsewhere is growing....fast.
Basically, there is a case to be made for those who say its not although admittedly the matter is subjective and depends on what one uses as their criteria to determine the 'best'.
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