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Holly's Answers to Cecil's Questionnaire


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>1) How do you describe Americans? So many different types of people here like anywhere else. In general, physical needs are somewhat satisfied. There is always a way to get food and clothing. Housing is a more difficult matter for the very poor. Mentally disturbed people roam the streets and often live on the street. There is a large ever growing gap between the rich and the poor. People still come here from other countries because of the opportunities for employment which are more plentiful  because of the wealth, expansionist attitudes and coorporate structures stemming from unchecked capitalism. I think many people live in a dream of what America should be or could be, resting on these idealistic laurels. They shirk the truth. News is carefully monitored by coorporate controls. It is necessary to listen and watch public supported news organizations in order to understand what is really going on with this country politically.

>2) How do you describe your American way of life? I never really think of myself as an American. I do not particularly like governments. I find them susceptible to corruption and greed just as individuals are. I feel I am a human being struggling to be free personally, materially and artistically. I create art and I think. I try to live by my beliefs and often fall short of them. I respect diversity in nature. I love the world in it's attempt to evolve and share it's beauty with us. I am saddened by cruelty, injustice and the defilement of  earth and it's creatures. I feel I am a world citizen.


>3) What do you like best about being an American? I love this continent. I found that out when I traveled for 9 months in Europe and Africa after I graduated from high school. I developed a craving for the land where I was born. What I like is that you can be a dissenter here and not have your life taken away. Patriotism, often amplified in periods of fear and war mongering by the power elite is like a toxic cloud which threatens that breathe of free thought and free spirit which America originally was born out of. I think that if regular people woke themselves up and did some research they would be alot more active in the strengthening of good and just principles. That struggle we as a people will always need to wage against ignorance and exploitation. People get caught up in habit and wage earning. Security is a big comfort zone, a drug of sorts which creates apathy and apprehension. 
>4) What do you not like about being an American? I think there is a kind of arrogance that comes with being a big nation. I wish every American would be required to visit other countries around the world. There is a cowboy macho ethic which slaughtered and exterminated native peoples during the last two centuries. I do not like the racial prejudice that comes from the guilt and denial of American's slavery and genocide of cultures different than western European. America has this dark side it refuses to look at. Individuals of course can act very differently and it is through individual and grassroots action that changes in racial divisions will occur. People, when put together in a just society will appreciate each other. I think that when groups or individuals feel left out or ignored, trouble begins. Americans just need to grow as big in generosity as they are big in body.
>5) What do you like best about your culture? I think of culture as a reverence and continuum of the past. America itself has very little culture. I have enjoyed studying American Indian culture from when I was a very young child. I think what is termed 'nostalgia' and collectable is the so-called American culture. New cars are extremely banal and bland in design. However, the cars of the last century up until the late 60ties had interest and beauty in their lines. Designers followed natural forms more. After the power elite killed an American president in their mad rush for control, designs became more and more disturbing, rather killer fish-like. Our culture comes from Europe, Greece and Rome. I enjoy some of the founding fathers, learning about their lives and foibles, insights and ideas. I love theatre and dance, artful animation and independent cinema, the wonderful music which arose out of black suffering; rock and roll, rythm and blues. Each culture has it's roots. One must tavel back in time to explore and reap those treasure chests full of legendary jewels, drape them around themselves and dance into the future.
>6) What do you not like about your culture? Fast food restaurants are a horrible littering of earth and bodies but kids love 'em and so maybe they are good for something. I try to boycott them myself. I think we should also wean ourselves off oil addiction. That unfortunately seems unlikely in this present climate of no-holds-barred environmentally invasive reactionism. I have heard arguments such as,"You want to cut down on forest fires? Clear cut old growth forests." coming out of the mouths of supposedly sane individuals. When told that these wars in the Middle East have more to do with securing oil resources than fighting terrorism, a young man answered me, "So what if these wars get us oil. Hey, we need it!" This kind of American thinking (if it is really thinking I'm not so sure) just makes me cringe and feel that perhaps I would rather not live in America. I know it is my duty to inform ignorance and that includes myself.
>7) What do you like about the American English? It is the only language I feel comfortable speaking. It is fortunate that many other peoples of the world speak it to some degree. I think Americans should be taught another language in grade school before they have grown too old to really absorb and use it adequitly. I think learning a language in highschool during the teen years is too late for most people except the language gifted.This is another example of American arrogance and a sort of pretense or tokenism of academic excellence. The over-emphasis on testing is another fatal flaw in the American educational system. It's information in and information out, leaving a profound ignorance in it's wake.
>8) What do you not like about the American English? Well, It is all I know. I like it because I speak it, slang and all. I always feel like I can write in a way that sounds better than I speak. I think they dropped elocution early on in American public schools rather like they dropped art and music sometime in the 80ties.
>9) What do you think might be the difficulty in learning American English? There are many words that are spelled the same and mean something entirely different. Modern english has been ruined but at least good english from past days is also understood by those who speak poorly. We tend to trust and respect the English because of that." Hey, grunt, grrr, they speak real perty and nice sounding, seems like!  You know?"
>10) Are you familiar with the way the British speak English? To a certain extent. Cockney and Queen's English and that way inbetween.
If so, what are the differences you notice between the two ways of
> speaking English. For example, which group speaks faster? Louder?
> I'd say that the English speak faster and Americans speak louder. 
>11) What are some typical words of American English? I've gotta go! Now, hold on. That'll be the day. That's all right. Forget it.
I owe ya one. Thanks alot. No, not really. How ya been? It's a bit of pioneer talk, you know?  The language keeps changing though, mutating. I've noticed younger people have their own set of slang and speak very rapidly, words slurring together without pause or much space between them.
>12) How do you describe an American stereotype? Cowboys and foreign immigrants. Nobody knows who's which and tries to make do the best they can. No gun regulations and lots of murders.
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