[FUNNY] SARS Epidemic Rages On (on Comedy Central)

James Rogers jamesr at best.com
Wed Apr 30 13:14:24 PDT 2003


From: Russell Turpin
> 
> Were these temporary or permanent immigrants to
> the US? Were they people you met in academic and
> professional circles? These are pretty highly
> selected groups.


Speaking for myself, I've also known many Iraqi and Iranian immigrants who
were neither professionals nor academics (though I've known plenty of these
as well).  I met them because they were neighbors, or I was dating their
daughters, or some other reasons.  They have no problems adapting to a
fairly American view of things, and generally made for good "American"
citizens in general.  Culture is fungible, and people tend to adapt to the
culture they are immersed in.

I would go as far to say that many immigrants in general identify much more
closely with the American stereotype than many native-born Americans do.  My
girlfriends father, who I've known for almost a decade, only speaks very
limited English yet his hobbies, personality, and beliefs are almost a
perfect embodiment of the archetypical benign stereotypes of the average
poor white American, right down to watching WWF every night (he insists it
isn't fake).  My girlfriend is embarrassed by it, but I find it fascinating.
Air drop him into rural Oklahoma and overlook the fact that he is Vietnamese
and barely speaks English and he would fit right in.  Yet he has only ever
lived in the San Francisco Bay Area; it wasn't like he "learned" these
characteristics.

No, people are people, cultural artifacts aside.  You'll find the usual
distribution of preferences and personalities that you find in America
everywhere else.  Tweak the cultural context a little bit and you can make
just about ANYBODY look suspiciously American in character.

Cheers,

-James Rogers
 jamesr at best.com
 



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