National Identity/Proud to be a(n)....

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. Imported

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    Javierdude22: If you look left at my avatar you see something we Dutch have been very proud of ever since it took off (literally): The KLM (Or Dutch Royal Airlines). As you may know the KLM is now officially part of Air france, although more or less as a duaghterfirm.

    I would lie if I said I wasn't totally bugged by this. The KLM has always been something to be very proud of for us Dutchmen, and after the three European biggies (BA, Lufthansa Air France) she was the next in line. The blue swan of the sky (how she is called here). And the goodlooking stewardesses in blue outfits. But now she is in majority hands of France.

    And from an economic standpoint I understand this. The airline industry is muredr these days and eventually more and more fusions, take-overs, or co-operative arrangements will take place. But the thing is that Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (providing direct and indirect employment to hundreds of thousands of people) might lose out on the deal. The Dutch government received guarantees that Air France would not compromise the economic capacity SChiphol Airport now has for at least 8 years. After that they get carte blanche ( so to speak). They might favor Charles de Gaulle Airport of Paris if the ecomomic tide asks for it. Several financial newspapers already say the Company The Netherlands will eventually lose out on the deal.

    Hm, I wasn't gonna discuss this particular news event, but I was wondering how you guys feel about any type of pride you feel for anything surging from your home country, homestate, homecity or other geographical boundaries. I know I feel pretty damn proud of some of the things the Dutch have achieved, but a lot of the Dutchmans pride even goes o far that in discussions we compete at city level. 'Rotterdam has the biggest port of the world'. 'Amsterdam has beautiful canals, history, and Schiphol Airport'. And even on the level of really small city with distinct features.

    Where does your pride come from? How do you feel most connected? If you don't feel any particular pride, why?
     
  2. Imported

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    throb919: Javier--Hearing of KLM's buyout made me a bit sad, too. I am fortunate enough to have flown KLM several times--trans-Atlantic to Amsterdam (JFK and BWI) and several more times on inter-European jaunts--and it's always been one of my favorite airlines. (What happens to Martinair in this? Weren't they somehow a subsidiary of KLM...?) I've enjoyed seeing that distinctive blue uniform on KLM's stylish and sophisticated (and beminnelijk) flight attendants in airports everywhere. In the same hard-to-explain way that I feel a sense of well-being in Nederland, I did checking-in at a KLM counter or landing at Schiphol. I surely hope Schiphol will not close! It's one of my very favorite airports--not just for being efficient and sensible, but for the clean and crisp Dutch design that's just part of day-to-day life in Holland. Elements of De Stijl and Rietvald-inspired designs are everywhere at Schiphol--but entirely unassumingly so. I'd hate to think we'd lose it.
     
  3. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Well the airport industry has been a mess since 9/11..well, longer than that, but...REALLY been a mess since then. In part, I think it's because of the size of the US and Canada...there are a LOT of flights that never leave this country, and for a while there people just weren't going anywhere because they were scared...now, of course, it's because they have no job or money....

    That said, to answer your original question, I am proud to be from Wisconsin. I live in a state that celebrates itself, and not in a small way. I have lost count of the number of enormous pieces of cheese, mice, fish, dinosaurs, Native Americans, and cows I have seen...all molded from one factory in Wisconsin...honest to God.

    I mean - look at the winner for the Wisconsin quarter - going to come out in winter 2004. Mind you, this is the PEOPLE'S vote:..and it WON! Ok, now look at this quarter and tell ME that we aren't proud of everything that everyone else makes fun of us for...

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/sep03/173693.asp

    The Headline: Cow and Cheese Quarter Wins Out!

    On Wisconsin! Home of cows...and cheese...and Harley Davidson...and...Miller Beer...and...well, me. ;D

    Paul
    7x6&C
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Amoosingly corny and cheesy-looking, doncha know.

    Pecker

    (If at first you don't succeed....well, darn!)
     
  5. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Well, Pecker, if memory serves the citizens of Old Dominion can get pretty jingoistic down there too, just like we can up here....

    I kinda like the quarter...not the one I voted for, but...at least it's memorable.

    Javierdude - for the backs of the new Euro coins - did they have such contests in Europe so people could express what it is they like about their country?

    7x6&C
     
  6. Imported

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    awellhungboi: Call me crazy, but having looked at the link you provided, I like the cow & cheese quarter. Farmers are great, hardworking people--it's nice to see some recognition of America's agricultural heritage. I wish it said, "Moo" in the banner instead, though.

    I like Virginia's quarter too--being born and raised there, I think Virginia and Virginians have a lot to be proud of. Hmm, now I'm sounding jingoistic.

    North Carolina has two dudes from Ohio on the back of its quarter.
     
  7. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Well it is required to have the state motto on there by Wisconsin law....

    Our motto is both wonderfully concise and yet ridiculous:
    FORWARD

    The motto comes from the days of Robert LaFollette, and the Progressive movement, also *puffs out chest* a product of Wisconsin.

    Um...are we ever really gonna go "Backward"?  That's MY question   :D

    Oh and there's nothing wrong with jingoism despite its negative connotation...that's what this thread is about...

    7x6&C
     
  8. Imported

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    awellhungboi: Ah, Robert LaFollette! Now there's somebody to be proud of! We could use somebody like him today.
     
  9. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    [quote author=7x6andC link=board=99;num=1064997145;start=0#6 date=10/01/03 at 18:28:29]Our motto is both wonderfully concise and yet ridiculous:
    FORWARD

    The motto comes from the days of Robert LaFollette, and the Progressive movement, also *puffs out chest* a product of Wisconsin.

    Um...are we ever really gonna go "Backward"?  That's MY question   :D
    [/quote]

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find that the motto "Forward" comes from the fact that a cow is too stupid to do anything but move forward.

    Many a cow has died of exposure and/or starvation by wedging itself between a couple of trees, never knowing that all it has to do is back up a couple of steps to free itself.

    :D :D :D

    Pecker

    (For Sale:  Cows & calves, never bred.  Also one gay bull, cheap.)
     
  10. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Well Pecker....I'm going with Crazy Bob...but you might be right.   :D

    Without this disintegrating into a political thread - Bob LaFollette was the right idea at the right time, IMHO.

    What I have ALWAYS thought was funny - both the progressive movement and the Republican party were founded in Wisconsin.

    7x6&C
     
  11. Imported

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    SpeedoGuy: Javierdude:

    The state I'm from in the USA has a worthy tradition of being a leader in environmental consciousness and protection. This is also true of civil rights where our state constitution gives more protection to individuals than the U.S. Consitution. This state has been progressive on social issues as has a history of electing leaders who, for the most part, are not embarrasing us by ending up on trial or in jail. While things aren't perfect here by any means, there is a lot to admire.

    Nationally, I could say I'm proud of many American ideals, if not often the reality of life here. The U.S. Constitution, even with its imperfections, is something worth defending. The Bill of Rights and elected representative government, radical ideas when they were instituted, have so far stood the test of time well and have improved with age. They even served as models for other democracies to follow. I can't help but feel some pride every time I re-read the simple but profound lines in the Declaration of Independence "We hold these Truths to be self-evident that all Men are created equal..." The founding fathers left us with a pretty decent set of rules by which to conduct our affairs.

    Still, the older I get, the more I worry about how the ideals our ancestors fought so hard for are being forgotten in a blur of consumerism, greed, sloth and indifference to history and world affairs. Americans are a pretty hard working group of people but sometimes it seems that ignorance is celebrated as a virtue. Why do I think this? Our print and broadcast media spend so much time sensationalizing meaningless trivia instead of reporting real news that honest debate on matters of importance cannot be conducted by the citizens. People just throw up their hands and mutter "...whatever..." to so many issues that require a bit of thought rather than a sound bite. Further, it should be an embarrassment that so many U.S. citizens could not even find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map yet its true. How can we have a discussion about the virtue of our foreign policy with this kind of ignorance on the loose? Hell, one of my neighbors recently asked me what the United Nations was.

    Someone stop me before I go off the deep end in despair....

    SG
     
  12. Imported

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    7x6andchg: SpeedoGuy -

    I'd stop you, but sadly you're right.... :(

    Perhaps Monstro is right, regardless of one's political leanings...we need someone to "shake things up" a la Mr. LaFollette circa 1920s

    7x6&C
     
  13. Imported

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    awellhungboi: Speedo, I'm sure Robert LaFollette would agree with just about everything you just said.

    It's people like LaFollette who make me proud to be an American. To refresh everybody's memory's here's part of his entry in the Encyclopedia Americana:

    "Robert Marion LaFollette, (1855-1925), American political leader. A founder of the Progressive Movement, he was a spearhead for political reform in Wisconsin and the nation for 25 years. Unwilling to compromise on principle, "Fighting Bob" LaFollette earned the deep admiration of his supporters and the hatred of many foes. LaFollette was born in Primrose, Wis., on June 14, 1855. A farmer's son, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1879 and practiced law in Madison. In 1880 he defied a local political leader to win the office of district attorney. He then served (1885-1891) as a REPUBLICAN in the U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

    The Governorship

    "Defeated in 1890, LaFollette resumed his practice. In 1891 he became convinced that Sen. Philetus Sawyer, a wealthy lumberman, had tried to bribe him in connection with a legal case, and LaFollette's outrage triggered 50 years of bitter political rivalry. From then on the real division in Wisconsin was almost always between pro- and anti-LaFollette factions rather than between Republicans and DEMOCRATS. He remained a Republican, and was opposed by conservatives in both parties. LaFollette's subsequent rise coincided with unrest among farmers angry at Eastern capitalists who controlled money and credit and who dictated railroad freight rates. Supporting LaFollette, they were joined by small businessmen, professionals, and intellectuals disturbed by how wealthy businessmen controlled access to political power.

    "This progressive spirit flourished elsewhere, but nowhere better organized than under LaFollette in Wisconsin. A brilliant orator, he campaigned across the state for years. After twice losing the nomination for governor under the convention system, he was elected in 1900. Reelected in 1902 and 1904, he achieved many of his goals. Wisconsin was the first state to adopt the primary for nominations for state offices. A new law taxed railroads on the value of their property, ending an inequity. Taxes on corporations permitted the state to pay its debts. A railroad commission was created to regulate rates. Funding for education was increased. A civil-service law was adopted. This legislation was drafted by political and social scientists and economists, a feature of the "Wisconsin Idea." . . .

    Donald Young
    Editor, Adventure in Politics: The Memoirs of Philip LaFollette

    You can read the whole article at: http://www.grolier.com/presidents/ea/side/lafoll.html
     
  14. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Hmmm...

    Maybe "Forward" isn't as ridiculous a motto as I thought.

    Even I didn't know some of that...

    Forward,
    7x6&C
     
  15. Imported

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    Javierdude22: Tony - That's actually a very good question: what in hell's name is gonna happen with Martinair, ánd Transavia (or Basiqair) for that matter? Both are almost fully daughters of KLM. Hm...haven't read much about that. It's so weird how this KLM take-over made so many people's pride pretty conscious. And like you, I will go nuts if anything happens that will even remotely affect Schiphol Amsterdam Aoirport negatively. Dammit, I ain't planning on having to drive 4 hours to take a plane (meaning: Charles De Gaulle Paris).

    Paul - Speedoguy See, you guys are pretty forward about being proud of your homestate. But that raises a question to me. Do you really distinguish yourselves on this state-identity? What I'm trying to say is that I can imagine people from Seattle being very proud as that's where Boeing started it's business, or Oregon for Nike,. I don't know if KFC is indeed from Kentucky (probably is) but I 'm the type that would say: damn, this company started from my homeland/state/city and is now worldknown. That's quite a big deal.This is why this utter disappointment comes in, when reading KLM has been taken over).

    I was amazed to read in a politics class (I remember this again from you guy's La Follete talk) that Thomas Jefferson said that he was glad to be going home to 'his own country' (meaning Virginia (?) ) when coming back from a meeting in Philadelphia. And he was one of the founding fathers! :) And I think a lotta people still have that, in the US, but even a small country like Holland we divide on city level.
     
  16. Imported

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    longtimelurker: Divisions on the UK level tend to split into the respective countries, with the English also splitting themselves into northern and southern (and sometimes midlands).

    As for national pride, I think our greatest acheivement is just how many of the major inventions and discoveries can be linked to us Brits (even if they weren't actually based here at the time).

    We have: Electricity (M Faraday), Computing (C Babbage and A Turing), Television (J-L Baird), Telephone (A Bell), Theory of Evolution (Darwin), Laws of Motion (Newton), Steam engine (and hence railways and heavy industry) (T Savery) and plenty more.

    What I also find quite amazing is that at the height of the British Empire this tiny little island off the coast of Europe actually ruled over half of the worlds population!
     
  17. Imported

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    SpeedoGuy: [quote author=Javierdude23 link=board=99;num=1064997145;start=0#14 date=10/02/03 at 06:37:39]
    Paul - Speedoguy See, you guys are pretty forward about being proud of your homestate. But that raises a question to me. Do you really distinguish yourselves on this state-identity? [/quote]

    Yes, to some extent we do. I grew up in California which is a big, wealthy, trendsetter state with a lot of influence. Not knowing otherwise, I naturally assumed that other states were just smaller versions of California.

    When I moved to my present locale, I was intrigued to find my assumptions incorrect. This is a different place with different values, different standards and a different pace of life. I was surprised to find that Californians were not welcomed with open arms (although their money sure was).

    Although I've never lived on the east coast, I've gleaned that state identity differences are even greater there where the scars of the Civil War are still visible  140 years later. Though the U.S. is going through some divisive times now, they doesn't compare to the trauma of the 1860s which was undoubtedly the most perilous period in American history.

    I know, I know...  140 years probably does not seem like a long time to a European.  I once heard a saying that I thought was an amusing comparison of  European versus American perspectives. It went like this:  

    Americans think a hundred years is a long time. Europeans think a hundred miles is a long way.

    LOL. I digress.

    Anyway, there is some state differentiation left but I think its gradually fading and being replaced by a mega-media driven consumer monoculture. If present trends continue, this will result in every city and state looking and sounding and tasting like just about every other city and state.  Case in point: Nevada was once known for its legalized gambling and prostitution. Now lots of states have legal gambling. Another case in point: On a recent work-related visit to a remote village in Alaska I was disappointed to find the native kids slouching around wearing the same baggy pants, sneakers, ball caps and sports jerseys that I had seen kids in Seattle wearing only 24 hours before.

    [quote author=Javierdude23 link=board=99;num=1064997145;start=0#14 date=10/02/03 at 06:37:39]

    What I'm trying to say is that I can imagine people from Seattle being very proud as that's where Boeing started it's business, or Oregon for Nike,. I don't know if KFC is indeed from Kentucky (probably is) but I 'm the type that would say: damn, this company started from my homeland/state/city and is now worldknown. That's quite a big deal.This is why this utter disappointment comes in, when reading KLM has been taken over).
    [/quote]

    Companies move often now to take advantage of tax breaks in different states. Boeing is leaving Seattle and Nike's manufacturing is all in sweatshops in southeast Asia. It just as hard to be proud of flighty corporate mercenaries as it is to take pride in college and pro sports teams that contain few members who actually live in the team's home city.

    Companies are becoming so multi-national and spread out its hard to know where the heck they started from. Their names don't reflect where they are they headquartered or where the manufacturing is or where the R&D goes on. Who can keep track of it anymore? This has been the trend in the U.S. for some time. By the looks of things, its going to become the trend in Europe too. Don't be too surprised when you start finding cherished Dutch mercantile items being manufactured in Mexico or Asia. The loss of KLM is just the start.

    Enough gloom!

    SG
     
  18. Imported

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    throb919: Javier, you ask:
    Yeah, we do--but it's more like sibling rivalry and family quabbles.

    Monstro's reference to the 2 Ohioans on our quarter is an example: North Carolina is arguing with Ohio over bragging rights to the Centennial of Flight. Orville and Wilbur Wright were from Dayton, Ohio; all they did in North Carolina was take advantage of the high wind and desolation of the Outer Banks. To me, it's an Ohio accomplishment--yet it's on every license plate in the state of North Carolina: "First in Flight." And in court as OH and NC duke it out. (I wish we'd celebrate an accomplishment of North Carolinians, actually.)

    Wonder if North and South Carolina, North and South Dakota, and to a lesser extent, Virginia and West Virginia have an even harder time with state identity to outsiders? Y'know, like: So why do you need 2 of 'em...? Yet North and South Carolinians would tell you we're very different (and each think we are the better one!) To me, the difference between NC and SC can be summed-up in the name of the town "Beaufort"; there happen to be 2 towns by that name: Beaufort, NC and Beaufort, SC. In North Carolina, we pronounce it "BO-fort" (y'know--correctly). In South Carolina they say "BYEW-fort".

    Back to the original premise--when it really comes down to it, though: E pluribus unum. We get pretty patriotic and American. Family. The brother that pisses you off is still your brother, y'know?. (I'll accept--and like--being called a "yank" or "yankee" abroad. Even if it still doesn't sit well at home. See SpeedoGuy's Civil War reference above. Incidently, I really did grow-up calling it the War Between The States. Sounds like something from Southern fiction...but true...)

    I'm sorry--what was the question...?
     
  19. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Javierdude-

    I am fiercely proud to be a Badger. The United States, well, we're funny. We're really 50 different places who just sort of agree to answer to Washington because that's what it says to do. Each state has its own laws regarding taxation, driving, liquor, cigarettes, land ownership, banking, &c....

    SpeedoGuy- Your saying about American v European thinking was so DEAD on. Also - you're right about California...the further east you go the more people I know of who think we should have just let it be its own country like it wanted to...LOL

    Tony - comes right down to it, and there was very little that was Civil about it. Scary thing is, in some places IT HASN'T ENDED YET. :D And speaking for ND and SD: they are two different places...and actually would be better split by E/W than N/S. NoDak is known to be desolate and full of hockey and beer. SoDak is known for more fertile fields and no income tax or business tax. At least around here that's how they are characterized. ;D

    7x6&C
     
  20. Imported

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    SpeedoGuy: [quote author=7x6+C link=board=99;num=1064997145;start=0#18 date=10/03/03 at 15:46:36]
    Also - you're right about California...the further east you go the more people I know of who think we should have just let it be its own country like it wanted to...LOL

    7x6&C

    [/quote]

    Ah, my home state. I loved being a Golden Bear. But California is indeed a different place, its probably a lot more like Europe....with surfing and palm trees LOL.

    I can remember the Thanksgiving holiday during my first year at college. I returned home for the weekend with my dorm room mates from out-of-state who were unable to afford to fly home for the holiday. That weekend we went to a party at one of my high school pal's house who himself was home for the holidays with out-of-state room mates.

    Anway, the usual music, drinking and partying went on and before long all the Californians were roaring around the house (male, female, gay and straight) and stripping off clothes to pile into the hot tub for a nude soak on a chilly night. Nothing unusual about it. The non-Californians not only refused to participate, they looked at us rum-soaked naked louts like we came from mars. They had just never seen anything like it. One of them stammered "This is just so....California!"

    It was then that I started to gather that California was a bit different than the rest of the U.S.

    SG
     
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