What books trigger Americans?
And I mean "Americans" in the broadest sense, not just left-wingers or just right-wingers.
What really gets under their skin and makes them feel uncomfortable and off balance?
Which writers subvert their worldview and its dichotomies the most comprehensively and effortlessly?
As an American I'm most affected by books or works which highlight the underlying insufficiencies of our national condition. It might seem ironic, but the most "triggering" books for us are probably the same ones which might earn the appellation "great American novel"; Infinite Jest and Moby Dick come to mind. Also, Stoner and Death of a Saleman.
"Americans" don't even really exist in that broad a sense because there are too many regional differences.
If you mean the stereotypical fat dumb clapistanian, anything too liberal or too conservative.
regional differences are particulars. Americans, as a whole, have the same history and culture.
Babbitt and Sinclair Lewis particularly triggers Americans. It reminds them of what they don't want to believe in, that the dreams in which their culture and nation was born don't actually exist.
I don't like people, and Americans are currently the smuggest people on Earth.
A planetary pimple, begging to be burst.
In the 19th century they probably were still the smuggest, but the British Empire would have been my main target were I born then.
The Kingdom of France before that. Etc.
That's just taking a left wing American perspective.
I had stuff more like Joseph de Maistre in mind.
Evola was a daydreamer, but Maistre actually considered his politics workable, and in his day, they were.
Asian/Middle Eastern politics and religion are even more alien and disturbing, but there's currently a fad for Americanised versions of this stuff among the latte sipping classes. They'll project just about every prejudice they have into Tahiti and Ancient Lithuania and Tibet and whatever. They'll reflexively discover reasons why every other culture is superior, mainly because doing this proves how superior they are to the lower classes.
I'd rather crush both hipster and yokel by finding what they have in common and removing its testicles.
>Babbitt and Sinclair Lewis particularly triggers Americans. It reminds them of what they don't want to believe in, that the dreams in which their culture and nation was born don't actually exist.
M8 this is like a cornerstone of modern American belief, kids have to read those in school. I'm guessing you have never been here and get your conception of America entirely from 4chan.
I'm in the habit of meaning what I say/write/type/utter.
(/ is pronounced "slash," and " is, like, communicated by finger movements, y 'know? I am asking a question kinda but sorta notta reallia ya knowa what eyea meana? I'm getting the strangest urge to write a screenplay based on a comic book and start saying things on twitter.)
>I don't like people, and Americans are currently the smuggest people on Earth.
>A planetary pimple, begging to be burst.
>In the 19th century they probably were still the smuggest, but the British Empire would have been my main target were I born then.
>The Kingdom of France before that. Etc.
>I'd rather crush both hipster and yokel by finding what they have in common and removing its testicles.
Serious question, Opie. Are you 13? You sound like every angsty teen edgelord stereotype ever. If you're not a teenager and you actually think this way, that's even worse.
>I'd rather crush both hipster and yokel by finding out what they have in common and removing it's testicles.
It also occurs to me that Freud now offends both the right and left due to the rise of feminism.
Good, good. Let the hate flow through you.
I'm not under any particular constraint in the way I live, so rebellion is not necessary. This is purely frolicking on my part.
Alright, just throwing this out there:
Really relatable, average male character with brown hair and green eyes, fresh out of college with a Media Studies degree, Methodist upbringing, studio apartment.
Works hard to save up to buy an old heirloom of his father's he came across at an antiques shop.
Returns a wallet he found on the pavement to its owner.
The day he has enough money, his landlord, Louis Sebastian de Montmorency, an Englishman (of some kind) loitering in the US for some reason, same age as him but had never worked a day in his life, buys the entire stock at the shop, has some Mexican labourers throw it all into a car compactor, and then displays the resulting piece of modern art in the entrance hall of Mr. Average's apartment building.
No, it is not. The north east was settled by english and germans, then flooded with a variety of immigrants for hundreds of years.
from california to texas was all part of mexico for a long ass time.
california also has a bunch of chinese people.
I don't even know the south and middle. Then we have hawaii and alaska which are their own things. Also puerto rico
>It also occurs to me that Freud now offends both the right and left due to the rise of feminism.
>implying some of the most renowned feminist thinkers today don't use psychoanalysis
You've obviously got a chip on your shoulder, some prejudice against Americans. Well, that's not true. Your bias is against your idea of the American, this stereotypical thing that most people realize isn't true.
I can almost guarantee you that any message you try to make about America will be embraced by some not insignificant group of Americans. The place is just too big. I mean, the last presidential election had the votes split nearly 50/50.
The only thing I can think of that might piss off most people is something glorifying the 1%, the richest of the rich. Now that I think about it, upper middle-class people will probably enjoy it, maybe. The same way they enjoy viewing the instagrams of rich people.
You'd be better off writing a book to piss off a state, but something tells me you're clueless.
>implying Americans aren't the last best chance for humanity
your mom's diary. she writes the size of my cock and I don't like that information getting out because I am a famous intellectual and I don't want people thinking about my ten inch cock when they should be focusing on the integrity of my ideas.
In the sense of a desire to challenge them? Yes. I'm taking them on.
Wow, two political parties. That's like running into a Dunkin' Donuts right after passing by a Krispy Kreme; just overwhelming cultural diversity.
I agree with you on the rich, but I'd also like to hurt their feelings too if at all possible. Insinuations about pedigrees should do the trick.
And for the actual blue bloods, I suppose I can depict sexual competence. That always sends a chill down their tweed-encased spines.
Since I'm airing my opinions, may as well say that I like Trump. He's a total barbarian (I mean, just look at his ties,) but he's good fun. Lights a fire under everyone's arse.
That's my intuition on the matter.
My point wasn't party diversity, which is sorely lacking. I think most people agree our government is broken. My point was that people have different opinions, vastly different.
What you seem to be trying to do reminds me of South Park. They shit on everything. I guess you could just make a list every single American stereotype and then kick it up the ass in your book, but even then people will enjoy it. I'd read it.
The whole "smug American who thinks his country is just the bestest and gets offended if anyone suggest otherwise" is one of the least true stereotypes out there. Even the people you do piss off are going to forget about it rather quickly.
Well, now that I think about it, bashing on entertainment and everyone's obsession with screens might piss people off, since it's so widespread. Hardly a problem unique to America though, and most people will just parrot the "turn your brain off" argument and then forget your book ever existed. Best of luck.
Racism is another boring Western tug of war which the rest of the world does not care about. The Chinese are incredibly racist, for example.
I once read a novel, I think it was Là Bas, where Huysmans cunningly inserted his own low opinion of the mediterranean race in the voice of a quack doctor. Nobody could claim he had put the words in the mouth of a trustworthy character, but he introduced the idea to his reader and set the words echoing in their mind nevertheless.
Maybe I'll do this with a Chinaman.
Do you believe this? I cannot express how much I want to know this. The words do not convey my emotion. They do not carry my tone, and this post reads as if it sarcastic, but it is not. I really want to know, do you believe that only white people can be racist?
>The United States represents the reductio ad absurdum of the negative and the most senile aspects of Western civilization. What in Europe exist in diluted form are magnified and concentrated in the United States whereby they are revealed as the symptoms of disintegration and cultural and human regression. The American mentality can only be interpreted as an example of regression, which shows itself in the mental atrophy towards all higher interests and incomprehension of higher sensibility. The American mind has limited horizons, one conscribed to everything which is immediate and simplistic, with the inevitable consequence that everything is made banal, basic and leveled down until it is deprived of all spiritual life. Life itself in American terms is entirely mechanistic. The sense of I in America belongs entirely to the physical level of existence. The typical American neither has spiritual dilemmas nor complications: he is a natural joiner and conformist.
>The Americans' 'open-mindedness', which is sometimes cited in their favor, is the other side of their interior formlessness. The same goes for their 'individualism'. Individualism and personality are not the same: the one belongs to the formless world of quantity, the other to the world of quality and hierarchy. The Americans are the living refutation of the Cartesian axiom, "I think, therefore I am": Americans do not think, yet they are. The American 'mind', puerile and primitive, lacks characteristic form and is therefore open to every kind of standardization.
>Western tug of war
Don't you realize traditional class politics is replaced by identity politics?
There is no irony in this, just ontology. Also, I'm Chinese for full disclosure.
White Americans want to keep America white but don't want to admit they're racist unlike the Chinese. I believe this is a result of McCarthyism trickling down to identity politics.
I think it's an extension of the old "understatement" or "countersignalling" doctrine. The people who feel threatened by minorities are automatically of low status. Class is alive and well within ethnic groups.
More complicated than that, and mixed in with pragmatic acceptance of mass transit and dissolving tribal boundaries, but w/ev
The Melting Pot. First Generations might keep and have difficulty to adapt, but second generations can usually be considered Americans, they adopt American Culture, even if they keep many of the characteristics of their past (even though most of that culture isn't actually their culture from the past but a strange representation America makes of those cultures, the Irish and the Italians is an obvious case).
Obviously Americans come from different places, but the values they espouse, their culture, their language, is not german, nor irish, italian, portuguese or Spanish, it's American.
lol. That's the dumbest thing I've ever read. There's no way he actually believed that, right? I mean, it's a joke, right? Satire?
If that was real there is no doubt in my mind that he, and OP, are honest to God retarded and OP needs to be put into a mental healthcare facility. As soon as possible.
>“Gentlemen, why in heaven’s name this haste? You have time enough. […] Ages and ages lie before you. Why sacrifice the present to the future, fancying that you will be happier when your fields teem with wealth and your cities with people? In Europe we have cities wealthier and more populous than yours, and we are not happy. You dream of your posterity; but your posterity will look back to yours as the golden age, and envy those who first burst into this silent, splendid nature, who first lifted up their axes upon these tall trees, and lined these waters with busy wharves. Why, then, seek to complete in a few decades what the other nations of the world took thousands of years over in the older continents? […] Why, in your hurry to subdue and utilize nature, squander her splendid gifts? […] Why hasten the advent of that threatening day when the vacant spaces of the continent shall all have been filled, and the poverty or discontent of the older States shall find no outlet? You have opportunities such as mankind has never had before, and may never have again. Your work is great and noble; it is done for a future longer and vaster than our conceptions can embrace. Why not make its outlines and beginnings worthy of these destinies, the thought of which gilds your hopes and elevates your purposes?”
- James Bryce - "The American Commonwealth" (1888)
I think you don't have a clear understanding of media in the western world. Most of media from print to virtual is controlled by corporations, those corporations cater to their respective government's ideologies because the governments are dedicated to maximizing profits for those selfsame corporations. The media outlets create the ideologies of the people, and the people, generally toe the line. The thing you are trying to crush is bigger than any of the individual governments and individual corporations, you are an ant trying to crush the solar system. If you are trying to trigger individuals, then this thread has done admirably, if you are trying to trigger the American population, any media you try to disseminate will be torn apart in other forms of media and the public will listen to the media that they have listened to their entire lives over whatever you have stated. How do you have a degree in media studies and not understand that the US government, media, and public ideology are in lockstep with one another?
I don't read newspapers. And you should stop reading newspapers about newspapers.
Again, this is a standard issue left wing American outlook. I really don't mind corporate greed. I'm quite greedy myself. It's self-righteousness I don't like.
"The Media." America's favourite chewtoy. And, like a chewtoy, they make no dent in it whatsoever.
Maybe I should have said "hamster wheel?"
And I don't have a degree in Media Studies.
Steven Jason Smith does. You know, the poor guy who has to look at his father's Sentimental Object crushed into a daringly transgressive cube of antiques every time he enters or leaves his apartment building? He doesn't even understand modern art. He has a poster of Van Gogh's Starry Night, though, and thinks about spiritual but not religious things while looking at it.
Blogs about tv, podcasts about youtube, whatever.
You think I'm trying to crush the media because you have media on the brain. Paranoia is lazy. Weren't you aware of that? The media is an effect, not a cause. The people involved are surely self-interested, and are just as surely members of a culture that they grew up in.
People create cultures based on very old habits, some of which are too subtle to really be depicted in media. In fact, the least conscious aspect as the ones I want to pillory the most.
Nah, it isn't. Less intelligent commentators on American culture usually prefer to make broad generalizations about the country because nuance takes intellectual effort to observe, plus these commentators think they're already experts on our country since they are addicted to our popular media , but in fact this is a nation of hundreds of different languages, racial identities, cultures, subcultures, religions and sectarian differences. There is so much racial and cultural in-fighting in this country that it boggles my mind that anybody could think we're all the same, but people believe what they want to believe, what's easier to believe.
The media is hiding a third possible explanation from you.
Namely, that you are too dense to understand sarcasm.
Talk to someone else about the media and pretend they have problems with the media, Media guy.
>i want to trigger people
How are you going to trigger people when the means that you want to trigger people are strictly controlled by the people you want to trigger
>ur dumb, talk to someone else
Is that because you havent tried to trigger anything other than a bunch of neets on a imageboard?
>Did you imagine I wanted to borrow the CIA's xerox machine or something?
Do you imagine that the CIA's xerox machine is the best method for triggering people?
You should have stuck with the edgy child taking on the american people because you want to watch the world burn, because your strawmen and inference's from left field are more confusing than anything.
>putting words in my mouth
Post the memo because I want to see it teebeeH
> internet has decentralised publishing
Your not even trying anymore. Im not going to reply unless I see some real effort
By your passive-aggressiveness I'm assuming you've been to different parts of the US and therefore know without a doubt that all Americans are roughly the same.
I mean, nobody is stupid enough to just believe some "le fat and loud murrica maymay", right?
Or is this thread your work? What you're writing to piss off all Americans? It might work. I say might because you're clinging to untrue bullshit, which should piss anyone off, but on the other hand creationists exist so, who knows.
Our own books honestly. Brockden-Brown, Hawthorne, Melville, Especially Twaine, Dreiser, Faulkner, and Dos Passos, Wright, Morrison (all the pessimists) show how the promise of being a premier democracy with a unified, melting-pot cultural identify was broken almost from the start.
My ex cut all off all contact with me because I defended a man whom I held in high esteem despite of his being a convicted rapist. It must be that she is American that her response was so excessive but I imagine rape might have a similar effect on other Americans, especially if you involve a toddler.
Oh yes. Wore a canvas suit and had a native guide with me on a difficult trek through those uncharted and mysterious lands.
I've never encountered people so unknowable, so indefinable. It was almost a spiritual experience to be told that I have an ayeckcint.
Not before dinner, I hope.
The south and west coast first of all are as different to New England as New England is from Britain or Ireland. And black and hispanic communities are totally different for obvious reasons. NYC and Jersey are basically another planet.
But if you head even 150 miles south of NH into Massachusetts, you find a completely different mindset regarding government, acceptable lifestyle, fitness, foods etc. Claiming that the US has massive amounts of homogeneity suggests youve never really lived in different regions before.
I've lived in China, Malaysia, Serbia, Italy, to name a few.
Serbs make a good onion-tuna baguette, goes down well with a little Lashko. Italians pronounce "Lashko" as "Lasco."
The more I travel the more petty and irrelevant the distinctions between Clevelanders and Reno-dwellers, or whatever, look. Travel allows you to see the big picture.
If you think size equals complexity, you don't understand the bottleneck phenomenon. There's more genetic diversity in Africa because the rest of humanity descends from a handful of tribes that left via Egypt.
New England, i.e. American culture was founded by people numbering in their thousands a few hundred years ago. The result is a dozen accents (compared to hundreds in England) and a homogenous culture that grew from a bottleneck event. Your outlook is parochial.
Americans hate the reality that they are usurpers not builders
You, in your staunch denial of others' selves and self-righteousness, seem to be just the same, but from a different perspective. You are every bit of a blowhard as everyone you so strongly despise, because in the end we are all despicable. You simply lack the constitution to hate yourself, openly and with relish, the same as those whose self-aggrandizement you hiss at. Hiss at the mirror, because you (without irony on my or your part) are a genuine philistine. I say that as calmly as possible.
Foreign criticism. Local is fine, just no criticism from outsiders. Any book with a foreigner criticising America. Also a great reason to hate John Oliver. Hes not a real American, he's a Brit at heart.
>Since I'm airing my opinions, may as well say that I like Trump. He's a total barbarian (I mean, just look at his ties,) but he's good fun. Lights a fire under everyone's arse.
Cute opinion, but this man is actually going to be president and it won't be funny anymore.
Sure it will. The Trump presidency, all eight years of it, is going to be controversy on controversy.
He will ruin everybody's shit. Except for the white working class's shit, but you can't have everything; and truth be told, I prefer a blue collar chap who speaks his mind to some vegetarian status jockey any day.