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Europeans Are "a Pack of Pagan Losers"

"A spectre is haunting Europe-the spectre of Communism." Those were the words of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 and their predictions turned out to be highly accurate, as we all know. Now the spectre of communism is haunting America and the end of the world is near.

The conservative media is scared shitless by this spectre and accuses Obama of turning the land of the free and the home of the brave into Russia/Europe/communism/socialism. For instance, Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of National Review Online, writes in Townhall (via No Pasaran): "The recently passed health-care legislation is the cornerstone of the Europeanization of America." Like "Amerikanische Verhältnisse" (American conditions) in Germany, the "Europeanization of America" is an increasingly popular catch phrase for fear mongering ("The Europeanization of America", Atlantica: A Threat to American Freedom, "If It's From Europe, Forget It" and Other Comments on Health Care).

Apparently the US conservative media needs to resort to fear mongering in order to attract an audience and advertisements from big companies. Capitalism is the excuse to exaggerate and insult. Americans live in the harsh reality of a free market economy and are not living the sheltered lives of 7 year old kids as we Europeans do, according to Goldberg:

We can't become Europe unless someone else is willing to become America. Look at it this way. My 7 year-old daughter has a great lifestyle. She has all of her clothes and food bought for her. She goes on great vacations. She has plenty of leisure time. A day doesn't go by where I don't look at her and feel envious at how good she's got it compared to me. But here's the problem: If I decide to live like her, who's going to take my place? Europe is a free-rider. It can only afford to be Europe because we can afford to be America.

Capitalism is the excuse to exaggerate and insult. Americans live in the harsh reality of a free market economy and are not living the sheltered lives of 7 year old kids as we Europeans do, according to Goldberg:

We can't become Europe unless someone else is willing to become America. Look at it this way. My 7 year-old daughter has a great lifestyle. She has all of her clothes and food bought for her. She goes on great vacations. She has plenty of leisure time. A day doesn't go by where I don't look at her and feel envious at how good she's got it compared to me. But here's the problem: If I decide to live like her, who's going to take my place? Europe is a free-rider. It can only afford to be Europe because we can afford to be America.

And according to FOX "News" we are not just free-riders, but a "pack of pagan losers." The video below shows how funny the FOX folks find those derogatory remarks from one of their their anchors:

Video via Media Matters and Dialog International, which comments: "Why do millions of Americans believe that Europe is a socialist nightmare?  Because the only information they get about Europe and European affairs is from Rupert Murdoch's Fox News network."

This stand-up comedy from Lewis Black is a good response to Goldberg and FOX. He talks about the need for health care in the US, what he learned from travelling, and  how folks react to someone who claims he is the greatest and everybody else would die without him, i.e. the free rider claim:

 

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Pat Patterson on :

So an off-the-wall opinion piece represents American conservative thinking and a comedian represents a (European) response? Plus American attitudes towards Europe are hardly the rather recent creation of Fox News. All one has to do is read Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain to realize that Americans have travelled and reported on Europe for over 160 years and have decided mixed feelings. But the ingrained attitude is simply part of being an American and believing that they or their ancestors fled Europe for the right reasons. Either religious persecution, lack of economic opportunities, continent wide wars and most importantly a denial of political freedoms. These may not all be as relevant today but try convincing an American whose grandparents came from Germany or Spain or even China of that without those descendents begin talking about how his family achieved what it couldn't in Europe. Media Matters and Dialog International, one sponsored by George Soros and the other calling anyone who disagrees with it racist?

Joerg Wolf on :

There are plenty of other examples. Some of them are to be found in the links I provided.

Marie Claude on :

Marc Twain made two trips to Europe, especially to France, and his analyse of the french society was corrupted at the first one, as he was sick most of the time, and restrainted into a small circle, his bedroom ! therefore his creations were mostly imaginative. His second trip was more objective, and, positive !

Pat Patterson on :

And yet in his second book on travels in Europe, A Tramp Abroad, he describes in Chapter VII, A Great French Duel, his account of serving as a second to the master duellist Gambetta. Twain writes a very unflattering comparison of this duel and the German university students dueling societies. He recounted how after Gambetta collapsed in fright onto Twain that he, Twain, was probably the first person actually hurt in a French duel in 40 years. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5783/5783-h/5783-h.htm#p074

Pat Patterson on :

It's Chapter VIII. And its Mark with a 'k.'

Marie Claude on :

" Twain writes a very unflattering comparison of this duel and the German university students dueling societies" yeah, still anglo-saxonnery irony towards the French, but if he had been in french students dueling societies, he would have had another exemple, since these martial arts are our speciality for ages, looks at the result in olympic games and world competitions, the french team is still in the top three !

Pat Patterson on :

So are you now admitting that his second novel was not nicer to the French as you claimed. Or would you rather talk about the modern Olympic movement?

Marie Claude on :

Mar Twain was a idle rich American of Anglo-Saxon origin livn along the Mississipi riversides, which used to be populated by french settlors, I can imagine how he felt within this french habits environment ! such a coloration didn't disappear in his carnets de voyages ! But we aren't hoding grief against him, we still think that his Tom Sawer is a chef d'oeuvre of the American litterature ! I prefer Faulkner though

Pat Patterson on :

I doubt you have read any Faulkner to match what you haven't read of Twain. Except maybe from bowdelrized descriptions in Wikipedia. BTW, the Clemens family were originally French Huguenots. He grew up poor and ran away as a penniless preteen to work on the steamboats of the Mississippi. But as usual whenever you are caught out fabricating info you just simply ignore the gaffe and slog on. But that foot-in-mouth must make it difficult to breath.

Marie Claude on :

when will you stop showing off your pedantery ? to be precise, I tried to read Tom Sawyer when I was in english courses, and son found it "boring", so that I never tried to read Twain again, But I'm aware of his anti-french rants, cuz people of your acabit, exibit them often. Faulker, I read a few novels in french, and found the atmosphere very peculiar, it reminded me the ol Brittany peasants, naturally without the implicit racism and Wikipedia is for the know-it-all of your specie !

Pat Patterson on :

Then the question then is on what did you base your claim that Twain was more sympathetic in his writings on France as the result of another visit? If you only attempted to read Tom Sawyer and only it how can you make any judgement on Twain's attitudes except be repeating what someone else said about him? I wouldn't need to be pedantic if once in a while you checked your facts before commenting.

Marie Claude on :

no becuz I made some inquiries and read the necessary excerpts when some quotes appeared on board, like yours ! and you still have your arrogant professoral ton, uh when you're only a old surfer like "Brice de Nice"

Pat Patterson on :

I brought up Mark Twain, without your claimed quotes, to give an example of Americans having certain attitudes about Europe and the French before Fox News came along. But instead of trying to understand that these attitudes, wrong or right, are part of American thinking you immediately launched an ad hominem attack on Mark Twain. Without actually having ever read anything beyond a few chapters in Tom Sawyer as you admitted. I can try to understand German attitudes toward Americans, somewhat, by reading Karl May yet not have a hissy fit because he was factually challenged but rather acknowledge that Germans have made some of that lore part of their view of America. Same with Mark Twain a descendent of French Huguenots who obviously as fallen in with the Anglo-Saxons.

Marie Claude on :

say something in normal english and not in your twisted self absorbed sufficiance ! you were so happy that I relied you on Marc Twain ans thus show how right was the great conservative idole !

Pat Patterson on :

Ok, but only if you proofread your comments first to avoid such obscurities as "suffiance?" And again I never claimed Twain's observations were right but indicative of how long a mistrustful attitude towards the French in America goes back. Twain wrote for an audience that didn't particularaly like the French because he was a popular writer not a scientist.

Pat Patterson on :

Marie-In all seriousness you should at least read some of Twain's short stories. Here's a link to an online version of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calveras County. It contains many of his earliest stories and articles from when he worked in San Francisco and Hawaii. They are simply funny and I would also hope there are good French translations available as it is now in the public domain and I can sympathize trying to make sense of the vernacular dialects Twain's characters used. You can even download a copy from the Gutenberg Project but I've found that often I'll walk off and then return to dozens of pages, out of order, fluttering all around my office. Try the frog story first and then my favorite called Among the Fenians which is barely one page long but Twain hid many vulgarisms in the 'Gaelic' accent of his friend. No sarcasm but I think you'll appreciate the short stories better because in some of his later books you have to remember that the authors were paid by the word. Hence long irrelevant passages were normal.

Pat Patterson on :

Shoot, the link didn't print. http://www.classicallibrary.org/twain/celebrated/01-celebrated.htm

Marie Claude on :

woah, can't believe into your change ! thanks anyway for the advices, I'm investigating about them later

Marie Claude on :

I have no chance with Marc Twain, can't open your link

Pat Patterson on :

That is weird, my apologies, as I can't make that one work either. Try this; http://www.classicallibrary.org/twain/celebrated/index.htm Or if that doesn't work then type in 'classical library' in search then follow then internal link to Mark Twain or The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. I am assuming that it can be either downloaded or printed out but I haven't tried from this site as I have a copy from the Gutenberg Project. But this is kinder on the eyes over the monitor.

Kevin Sampson on :

He also grew up in Hannibal, MO 1300 kilometers north of New Orleans and far outside the range of french settlement. 'Mar Twain was a idle rich American of Anglo-Saxon origin' Is it just me, or does that have a faintly racist ring to it?

Marie Claude on :

thanks for the precision ! and anglo-saxons aren't racist of course !

Kevin Sampson on :

And that sounds like an admission. But the point is, nobody else has felt the need to bring up your (presumed) gallic ancestry, yet you seem compelled to resort to this 'anglo-saxon' straw man at every opportunity. Just what is it about anglo-saxons that gets your panties in such a twist, MC?

Marie Claude on :

just a joke ! Since I'm surfing on conservative (and or libertarian american blogs, or english conservative blogs), it's quite a few years by now, I can assure you that there isn't one day where the French aren't slammed !

Kevin Sampson on :

Just a joke? Somehow, I don't think so. As for people slamming France, do you believe this to be the exclusive domain of 'anglo-saxons'? Maybe you should expand the scope of your surfing. Include some commenters from Southeast Asia, or the South Pacific. I think you will find we anglo-saxons are pretty mild.

Marie Claude on :

do you have some exemples in english, cuz I can't read asian signs

Pat Patterson on :

I puposely didn't comment on the links as they are even worse as far as being typical. Only Mitch McConnell has any sort of actual power, the Examiner is basically a rag that publishes just about any conspiracy theory one could imagine and that sad little vignette of going bankrupt because of a lack of a universal health care has been debunked so many times it is now serving as a punch line for histrionics. It was found that Dr Thorne was counting any unpaid medical bills in a bankruptcy as the cause of that bankruptcy. And the figure she used was $2,500 ignoring perhaps the $20,000 owen on a car or the $250,000 plus owed on a house. With this kind of do-it-yourself statistics I could prove that surfing in the ocean causes bankruptcy because the debtor owed money on a surfboard he charged to his credit card. Ignoring the years of late payments or maxed out cards. Do we now form opinions of US attitudes based on The Simpsons? Can we judge Germans by Fassbender and Karl May?

Joerg Wolf on :

I have cross-posted this piece on Dailykos. A couple of interesting comments: [url]http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/11/856156/-Europeans-Are-a-Pack-of-Pagan-Losers[/url]

Marie Claude on :

I dunno children that have their clothes bought by the state, I acknoledge that there are poor families, but they get clothes from charitatives organisations ; most likely these clothes are second-hand's. Now I'm in use to read such comparisons in american conservative places, they only are able to assert their polemic with the european model, and Karl Marx of course, some use the french revolution too when then can't analyse their own society failure, of course not their own position. But in their own anglo-saxon "civilisation" inspired by Burke,the fabianist seeds for "socialism" were insidiously dispatched by their intellectual elite, as they mostly read their own authors (3% of the whole foreign production can find a american editor), I'm not surprised that Obama is the final product of this wave. that we can find the objective premises into Wilson mendate.

John in Michigan, US on :

Its true, American conservatives are real wimps when it comes to the more, er, physical aspects of protest. Maybe they should be more like Europe? Yes, current Europe-bashing is well above the US norm, and is coming mostly from conservatives and libertarians. Perhaps one day Fox News will get government subsidies, and these attitudes will be "blessed" by inclusion in formal, national school curricula. Meanwhile, Tea Party events will routinely feature riots and extensive property damage. Until then, yawn. If I read [url=http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2010/4/11/51441/7239/40#c40]this Daily Kos comment[/url] correctly, it took the Kos Kids less than 4 hours to question Goldberg's patriotism via the vile "divided loyalty" smear. What on earth does health care, or generalized Europe-bashing (focused on European domestic policies), have to do with Israel? What exactly separates this comment from racism/religious bigotry? Is calling someone a "pagan loser" also an example of religious bigotry? Perhaps, but it seems to me far less serious. It has been a long time since pagans were under serious threat of violence (in the US and EU I mean. In e.g. Sudan it is happening right now...any guess as to the likely religion of the perpetrators? Has Europe yet bestirred itself to officially condemn at the UN?). In the phrase "pagan loser", the word loser suggests to me a sort of schoolyard taunt...which if uttered in an actual school yard, might indicate bigotry or at least ignorance, but when stated by an adult in an obviously tongue-and-cheek manner, hardly seems serious. The Fox anchors don't take it seriously, why should Europe?

Marie Claude on :

glad to see a reasonable person on board again

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