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  1. #21
    Ghshl's Avatar
    Ghshl is offline Senior Member
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    I have visited the US on several occasions, and live in a place where Americans stay when they're in Denmark for a semester. My impression is that people are much more open in America, but not necesarrily to any great depth. In Denmark (and Holland too, perhaps?) people seem a bit more closed, but that's only until you "crack the shell".

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghshl View Post
    I have visited the US on several occasions, and live in a place where Americans stay when they're in Denmark for a semester. My impression is that people are much more open in America, but not necesarrily to any great depth. In Denmark (and Holland too, perhaps?) people seem a bit more closed, but that's only until you "crack the shell".
    Yup, but that easy friendliness does not mean that Americans cannot/do not form deep, long-term relationships. We do. It is a lot like cats and dogs learning to speak each other's language - those more reserved countries feel to me like every contact is weighed and judged carefully for its do-I-get-the-Honor-of-belong-your-friend worthiness, while the reserved countries feel that Americans throw around reserved-for-Friends-and-Family smiles and laughs and familiarity too carelessly.

    History and geography make cultures the way they are, but it all works out the more cultural contact both sides have.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Perfidy View Post
    Blonde white kid with an accent is probably just a novelty attraction. A significant amount of my attempts to talk to strangers ends with me saying, "Uhh....hello? Do I frighten you or something? HELLO?" with no response.
    Photos, mr perfidy, photos - you might just be bellyaching here while you personally cultivate the scariest look you can and then whine.

    But let me tell you a funny story - I had a Thanksgiving at my house here several years ago that went like this: three groups of people - my family of white, blonde, blue-eyed East Coast kids and their similar parents; my SIL and her kids, all also white and blue-eyed but raised farmboy country, so huge muscles and ball caps and country twang and all that; and my guests, which were black kids and their adoptive parents from the seedy side of Youngstown OH, the kids biological brothers and literally 6-foot-5 each.

    The adults got along famously. The kids were all sizing each other up, but raised well enough not to insult each other outright. We sit down at the table to eat... Then one of the black kids says out loud "I was really scared to come down here! I really thought there would be guns everywhere and we would get lost finding this house and never be heard from again, but this is nice!" My country-fried nephew just stared. Then he said to the black kid, "DUDE! You are from YOUNGSTOWN!!"

    We ALL laughed until we cried and then had a raucous, beautiful holiday together.

    There is hope, perfidy.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

  4. #24
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    Mr.Perfidy is offline Senior Member
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    Photos, mr perfidy, photos - you might just be bellyaching here while you personally cultivate the scariest look you can and then whine.
    lol!

    No way. I only harden my appearance to seem intimidating in the presence of fighting-aged males who are signalling potential aggression. Otherwise I am all smiles and butterflies.

    There are a lot of factors beyond my control that, I believe, leads to an anti-social, even inhuman level of disconnect. In no particular order, as they come to me:

    : motherfuckin telephones. If a person is under the age of 30, there is a very good chance that they move about their environment while totally oblivious to it. No eye contact with anyone, no interest in anything around them, heads bowed solemnly while thumbs whirls.
    I actually have a good friend, she was my wife's maid-of-honor, that I have not successfully had a conversation with in about 4 years, because I have not been able to speak to her for more than 45 seconds without seeing the light in her eyes die, and then head bow, then typing typing typing. Then she picks her head back up as though she didn't just ignore me completely.

    : Shitty employment conditions. Most of the people that I run into in public are working- as I don't really leave the house to just wander without a goal (Need to grab a blunt, pick up this or that, etc) I encounter a great many employees on the clock. In convenience stores, at their cash-registers, behind deli-counters, all over, they are continuously monitored in all dimensions- microphones, rotating cameras with zooming capability- all of them have already deeply internalized the degree to which they are being menaced by authority figures. A lot of them simply cannot handle that AND social interaction, and are just dismissive and often, scared looking at any attempt to be civil or human.

    : Declining racial relations. In the Dub years, me and black folk had no trouble starting up a conversation, because everyone hated George Bush, so the perception that the races were in some continued enmity had not yet proliferated. Today though, it is not uncommon to get only hard-staring mean mugs from black people anywhere I go. Until a few years ago, I could readily talk to black kids in the neighborhood as they played in the street near my apartment. Not uncommon today to see black parents shepherd them away with protective gestures while muttering with a hateful look.

    : Total ignorance. Most people have almost no critical thinking skills, no language comprehension, and no knowledge of history, culture, or literature. If you don't approach them while already wearing the same circle-jerk pro-sports logo, they are suspicious and negative- any attempt to bring up any topic at all makes their faces bored and distressed looking.

    : Social fracture. There is almost no face-to-face culture in NJ. Except for fuckin sports again, no one leaves their house to do anything around other people. There is work or school, both forced activities entirely managed by obedience and hierarchy and therefore hostile to the development of social circles, and there is television. So, there are not pockets in public where you can expect to see people that know the same people that you know (except in bars dedicated to watching sports), with whom you can gossip and catch up.

    : Totally internalized knowledge of enslavement. As gossip is off the table, because people don't know each other in any kind of networked fashion, that leaves for discussion some kind of idea or commentary on the order of things- local politics, whatever is in the news, the grating pain of your own shared poverty, etc- but, since people spend many hours a week uploading the controlled-media 2-minutes Hate buffet, and since they all practice with feverish discipline the arts of Newspeak, Crimethink, Blackwhite, and Duckspeaking, any attempt at all to even hint at something that might indicate discontent registers on their faces as suspicious, awkward, and distressing. A great many people will literally stutter and fumble over a trained, "no no no not me, I am a good Aryan." (err...american. Haha you know what I am stying)
    "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

    Jack london, "Before Adam"

  5. #25
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    I hear you, perfidy, I really hear you. I actually take steps here in my own household to counteract all those habits/forces that would turn my kids into such folk. But I still think you need to leave NJ. I was there for 11 years myself whilst having my kids, hubby for 14 as he moved there first before we married. We both feel sooooo much better elsewhere. Have you ever been anywhere else to live??
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Perfidy View Post
    Blonde white kid with an accent is probably just a novelty attraction. A significant amount of my attempts to talk to strangers ends with me saying, "Uhh....hello? Do I frighten you or something? HELLO?" with no response.
    living my life as a petite redhead with big bewbies i have an uncomfortable number of strangers wanting to talk to me ALL THE FUCKING TIME. trade ya.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

  7. #27
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    Mr. Perfidy your perceptions are quite insightful and I agree with you; most social (nonfamilial) interactions are based on commerce. It is rare to find opportunities for social interactions that are autonomous, noncommercial and unstructured (this excludes school and religious gatherings).

    But I think CC has a point; maybe where you are living this type of experience is more concentrated. I live in a small town and it seems as though chance encounters, if you walk, do occur, people will stop and chat. Have you considered relocating?
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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