Recently I Facebooked a little bit about stereotypes. I did have some stereotypes about Germans. I assume that the Germans probably had some about Americans. Most stereotypes have a grain of truth but do not apply thoroughly to the whole of a culture or people.
Of course, the scary evil dark side of the Germans is the old 20th century WW stuff: dangerous people shouting a harsh sounding language…and something about NaZis and Jew genocide. That’s the worst of it.
The less bad but still pretty bad? No sense of humor, and they try to take all of Europe whenever they find the strength for it. Still, that same rough language: one that doesn’t sound nice. They believe in working all the time and are fanatical about punctuality to the point of being ‘politically dangerous’.
The medium level stereotypes which are a little weird but not depressing or aggravating: They work all the time. They over engineer everything. They are fanatics about detail. Thorough to the point of a fault. Weird language with grammar so complex, most of them can’t speak it properly – even with a good education. For example: one of the few people who could actually use German correctly in the whole of the 19th century was GWF Hegel and almost no one can understand him, partly because he’s brilliant but partly because he made use of the ins and outs of high German grammar.
They did not take naturally to democracy, and even 1300 years after the arrival of the Christian (and Jewish) message, they still doubt it and either ignore it as if they have lost interest or act like they’re still kicking the tyres – so to speak, to see if they want it.
Here’s another stereotype of Germans: this one is Southern: leather trousers in the Alps and yodelling…some lady with the tops of her breasts overflowing her blouse – even though she is at work, and BEER BEER BEER.
How the ‘they work all the time’ and ‘BEER BEER BEER’ both happen…well…they’re a bit crazy.
Every culture is a bit insane, …I think most countries and cultures have a lot of sanity, but certain forms of dysfunction which are unique to the culture.
I don’t know that much about stereotypes of Americans. I heard that Americans are rumored to live on fast food and that back around 1970 some people thought all the Americans were rich, which wasn’t ever the truth, but we do try. I heard that the English told their young “Don’t go to America; you will get shot.” That’s really what it’s like there…so, apparently everyone has a gun and is trigger happy.
I had the feeling that in some nations, the Americans might all be believed to be whores.
Stereotypes of Americans abroad: I think the one I most expect is the loud working class couple who forces American cash on the foreign waiters and only speak English. If you don’t; it’s on you, not on the Americans.