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Lewis Black on Travel

A short clip from Lewis Black on Broadway a hilarious bit of comedy from one of my favorites.



Quicktime Video 5.13MB 3'24

 

Comments

That's what i always dislike about the United States, the populace seem to think they are the greatest nation on earth. They wave their flag and shout U.S.A, U.S.A! Makes me shiver.

Thanks for showing us that,

just ordered my copy from amazon.

Thanks for that. I'm Canadian, I can vouch for what Lewis says. We give away healthcare, 100s die from guns every year, not 10s of thousands, we have a surplus, not a deficit, we believe in evolution, not idiocy, and Americans sew Canadian flags onto their backpacks when their travelling... so we must be doing something right.

I cant believe i misspelled "they're" ... i'm so embarrassed....

actually zak,.. you were right the first time :) ... they're is/= they are,... their means something belonging to them,.. lol i am a canuck too, i love my country but cant say its the best , but i've been to the states, and i like our country better! hell i like mexico better. Lewis black is very funny, and his stories hold alot of "truthiness" to them ..lol.

Thank you Lewis Black for summing up the rest of the worlds opinion of the USA. I just returned from a visit to the US and Canada and I can sum up the attitudes of the people I met in those countries as such:

America: "Oh, you have an accent... that means you're not American.

Canada: "Oh you have an accent... what part of the world are you from"

Disclaimer, all the Yanks I met in New York and Washington were wonderful, its when I left those bastions of free-thinking and tolerance and headed in land, that I encountered the jerks above.

user-pic

Haha, that's awsome.

Man that's a lot of double posts.

The US exemplifies the adolescent that found it's daddy's gun. Here we are, young, spry, armed, and thinking we are the greatest thing to walk the earth. Do we listen to our elder nations? Nooooooo, they just don't understand our innate awesomeness. Or better yet, they're jealous!

Hey Zak and Anonamon, I may just be joining you in Canada.

Site problems apparently lost this wonderful discussion. Shame.

"Joe: with the exception of health care and perhaps ID (I can't say), your retorts were weak retorical quips at best, and aggressive personal attacks at worst."

So with the exception of all the facts I mention (and you left out quite a few), you just take issue with my style? Funny that you don't take issue with people like 'YankInOz', whose entire posting style is to insult anyone who disagrees with them.

But this is just the way your type are - you notice a type of behavior in people with whom you disagree and decry it, but have no problem when people with whom you agree exhibit the same behavior. So Canadians are always insulting America, pretending they're better - and lying about their country for ammunition - and that's just fine. Hell, you even encourage it and participate in it. But dare to point out a flaw in the Canadian system and you're an ill-mannered boor.

The word for this is hypocrisy.

"what I find revolting is Americans who think they are better than anyone else"

And why do you have no problem with people from other countries who think they are better, such as the ‘nucks who post here? Because you have a predisposition to dislike Americans.

Frankly just about every person from every country thinks they're better than people from somewhere else, just like fans of one sports team think they're better, vegetarians think they're better than meat-eaters, etc. It's just human nature. You only get pissed off about Americans loving their country because you hate Americans.

"I speak German with a German accent and have been in places where as Americans were in a shop or cafe - every one was nice and friendly and after they left were called swinehunds, schutzen kophs and scheisskerl or schiesser"

Funny thing is, someone reports the (exaggeration) that once they left New York they were shunned for being a foreigner ... and everyone's response is "Those damn racist Americans!". Then you gleefully report that you have encountered people who are racist against Americans, and it's supposed to be proof of a good thing. How can you not see the hypocrisy of your position?

Naturally there are people that hate Americans. We see some of them on TV, and I've met a few. But these people are, generally, no more rational or well-balanced than your average KKK member. That you tend to hang out with these people really shines a light on your character. And if you smile and nod to an American to get their cash, but talk about them behind their back ... you're just a whore, my friend.

The whole point was that Canadians are not the universally-loved group that they imagine they are, not that the whole world loves Americans. And Americans do not pretend to be Canadians when they are abroad. That’s a Canadian myth.

And I can prove my statements - according to this study on the BBC web site (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2137729.stm) Germans, Americans, and the Japanese are the most popular and best-received tourists. A direct quote: “Americans were judged the most courteous and the British the rudest, alongside the Russians and Canadians.”

Like just about everything else you say, your ignorance about how Americans are perceived is based upon myth, misconception and stereotype, and reinforced by the type of people with whom you associate. Interestingly, these are all the basic elements of racism.

"What I objected to was your implication that Canadians do not speak foreign languages when they travel, when Canada is by law bi-lingual and yes, French and English are required"

Not what you originally said, and still misleading. Many places in Canada require bilingual signage, but it is not universal. And the citizens are not required to learn both languages or to be fluent in both languages.

"So, in addition to taking your high school languages did you ever actually live in any foreign countries"

I've answered that question like eight times. You continue to exhibit these strange mental disorders - I understand that, having lied to yourself for so long, you probably have a hard time letting the truth penetrate your thick skull. But you really should learn to pay attention.

"Canadian money is accepted all over the world"

I just told you that it isn't. This may be a recent issue - I'm not aware of your dates of travel. But repeatedly asserting that what you say is true, in the face of experiences which deny it, does not erase the facts.

"Now, you call me stupid - I am not the one denigrating someone by telling them to go back in thier igloo."

Again, no comment on the denigrating remarks by the 'nucks. Just outrage that someone - an American! - dared to stand up for his country.

"What a remarkable display of sophistry."

You should look up the word 'sophistry'. It was actually a statement of racist ignorance, and it was just to make a point.

"For your information, there is a television show in Canada where the commentator goes to the US and asks questions about Canada - on every ocassion every question is answered wrong"

You know, I saw a show on TV where this guy made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Garsh. It must really have happened.

The show you're talking about - the Rick Mercer 'Talking to Americans' bit - is just one example of a carefully choreographed mockery of America, which is the backbone of Canadian entertainment. It is edited to look exactly as you see it, and is part of a larger scheme: to make Canadians feel good about themselves (long a problem in Canada) by giving them a scapegoat. Canadians are forced to pay $1 billion a year to support the state-run CBC, on which this anti-American propaganda is mostly aired.

Now in the US we don't need to systematically make fun of our pasty neighbors to the north to feel good about ourselves, so we don't have such programs. However I do recall seeing an American game show in which a Canadian college student introduced herself. The host asked her 'What makes Canadian college students different from Americans?' Her predictable response: "We're smarter." She then proceeded to get every single question wrong. Pretty damn funny.

In any case, as I noted, most Canadians don’t know anything about the US except the most obvious things. I couldn’t find a single Canadian who could tell me the number of states in the US, how many branches of government we have, etc. This doesn’t really bother me - they don’t have much reason to know this stuff, any more than we do. But it is strange that you assume they know so much about the world, and your countrymen are so ignorant.

Even funnier: even if a Canadian could answer those simple questions about the US, they couldn’t tell me how many states are in Mexico, or the name of Mexico’s president. Memorizing some facts about your neighbor is not worldly wisdom.

"Of course, that isn't so difficult when you consider most Americans don't know the names of all of the States, their capital cities and the names of all of the Presidents of the United States or much about the Constitution."

Funny that you assert this about Americans with no proof, but for your edification: many Canadians do not know how many provinces there are in Canada, all the capital cities, the names of all the Prime Ministers, etc. I’ve met Canadians who do not know what a kilometer is, and who can’t name the person on their five dollar bill. You just assume that Canadians are smart.

"Now Canadian Health care - which I did not address - is by far some of the worst care I have ever experienced"

Then why is it that 'nucks keep coming here and bragging about it, and self-hating Americans keep wistfully referencing it, and nobody calls them on it? Could it be that, like all the anti-American crap that is constantly spouted on this site, you just permit the lie when you side with the liar?

In addition to what I posted (all of which you can verify on the Internet), Canadian medical practitioners are generally poorly-trained (most of the doctors and nurses can’t even do a blood tap without significant bruising). 1 in 4 Canadians cannot get a family doctor, because doctors close their enrollment due to overload. For every 1 doctor that moves to Canada, 19 leave to practice in the US. And Canadians who can afford it go to the US for medical treatment - this is the two-tier system that Canada currently has.

"Because most Americans are so self absorbed, they do not really listen;"

Your conclusion baffles me. You just said you speak some languages with an accent; and it is quite common for people to assume that if you say 'My parents are from X' that they might think you are from X as well. Why do you take this as a sign of rudeness/ignorance/racism? Why is a simple, straightforward question (which actually shows that they did listen to what you said, but misconstrued your meaning, and were interested in you and wanted to ask you about yourself) so offensive to you? Because you are predisposed to disliking the people asking the question.

It’s pretty funny. I have had Canadians tell me, horrified, that when they went to the US that Americans would ask them “do you live in an igloo?”. They couldn’t believe the ignorance! But of course when Americans ask this they are usually joking, trying to be witty (rather like asking a tall person “How’s the weather up there?”). On the other hand I have been repeatedly asked what type of gun I own, and my 60-year-old mother was searched extensively at the Canadian border for handguns. This is ignorance and stupidity on the part of Canadians, and it isn’t good-natured.

"Guns - murder - mayhem. The highest murder rate per capita in the world is not Canada"

Nobody said that it was. But the actual reasons behind why there are so many murders in the US are quite complex. And it's not as if there are no murders or gun violence in Canada - in fact they're having quite the epidemic of both recently.

The fact of the matter is that this site and the people who enthusiastically agree with it are decidedly anti-American. The people who run it post skewed news. Note, for instance, that they quite happily ran blurb after blurb about ID being shoehorned into schools, but said nothing when it was retracted (as we all knew it would be). Remember ‘freedom fries’? How much comedy mileage did your type get out of that? But did you know that ‘freedom fries’ was the stupid idea of two Republican lawmakers, and it was quickly gotten rid of? Of course not, you’re too busy making fun to follow the story itself.

There are goofy facts about people from everywhere. You just have to pay attention. Did you know that 1 in 20 Icelanders believe they have seen a fucking gnome, and the government re-routes many roads around ‘gnome lands’? That people in Scotland still believe in Leprechauns? You laud the Canadian school system, but did you know Mexico actually has the most universities and colleges of any country? The world is full of strange and crazy people. But we only hear about Americans. Because the whole world is fascinated with us - largely because we’re the ones in charge.

No matter your opinion on my beliefs, I can always show that I am being truthful, and I am educated about the subjects of which I speak. I have lived in other countries, and unearthed their bullshit; I have been out of the country and returned. And for each one thing that has seemed wrong or incorrect about my home after returning there have been 100 that have seemed amazing and inspirational.

Only here, where everybody is so self-satisfied and self-assured with being jaded and hateful towards a country this great, could that be viewed with such a jaundiced eye.

There's a lot of lunacy in Joe's comments (diatribe?) but this is utter bullshit:

"Canadian medical practitioners are generally poorly-trained (most of the doctors and nurses can’t even do a blood tap without significant bruising)"

Our medical system is among the best in the world (if you don't believe me, look at the UN stats, or any other ranking. I'm afraid you won't find any studies that conclude that our nurses can't even draw blood), and our mortality rate is also among the lowest, our life expectancy among the highest.

I can't find the words to describe how utterly stupid that comments is.

A "gun violence problem" in Canada? Good lord, the crime rate has been dropping consistently for 20 years. Murders in Toronto rose from 55 to 70 something per 100,000 last year, but that's one city, and American cities of a similar size have murder rates in the 400-500 range. (about 400% higher!) There have been some very despicable and highly publicized murders lately, but they're hardly part of a larger trend toward extreme violence in this country.

Rick Mercer is a comedian, and "Talking to Americans" was gasp a comedy show. It was funny. You know, with jokes in it. You could do a similar "Talking to Canadians" show if you want, but as I said, Mercer is a comedian, not a freaking propagandist. The CBC has the most balanced and informative programming in this country, and if you had ever actually seen any of it, you might know that.

That's enough. Suffice it to say, you're not "educated" about these things, and you really have no idea what the hell you're on about.

Eh?

"Our medical system is among the best in the world (if you don't believe me, look at the UN stats, or any other ranking. I'm afraid you won't find any studies that conclude that our nurses can't even draw blood), and our mortality rate is also among the lowest, our life expectancy among the highest."

Our medical system is actually ranked higher than yours. From the WHO:

"The WHO data on health care quality rankings of 191 member nations gave [the following] scores to the U.S. and the three countries that have adopted the U.S. system: Australia, Canada and New Zealand (hereafter called U.S. et al.). Their rankings were 37, 30, 32 and 41, respectively, for overall health care quality."

Combine this with the (documented) facts about how hard it is to even get to see a doctor in Canada, and you have a gross failure on your hands. But, again, don't let the facts stop you.

"A "gun violence problem" in Canada? Good lord, the crime rate has been dropping consistently for 20 years."

There have been many shootings recently in Toronto alone. The most recent one: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051227/torontoshootingupdate_051227/20051227?hub=TopStories.

Kind of funny, actually - right after this happened, one of your wonderful politicos said that "America has sent us their gun violence." Again you attempt to divert your own failure onto someone else.

"The CBC has the most balanced and informative programming in this country, and if you had ever actually seen any of it, you might know that."

But I have seen it. And it isn't 'balanced and informative', any more than Fox News is 'fair and balanced'.

"Eh?"

Hoser.

In response to Joe about the CBC: I'm guessing some of the propogandist machinery you've seen turning in the state-funded (not state-run) CBC has come from shows like "The Fifth Estate". I don't blame you; only twice have I sit down to watch that and came away with "Cheney is pure evil" and "scandal and scapegoats in Abu Ghraib", two topics with which I share a slight opinion, but definetly not to the extent that the 5th laid it out to be.

Then you might consider anchors like Peter Mansbridge, David Gray and Ian Hanomansing (sp?). IMO, Mansbridge is pretty good about staying neutral, though he does stray when he feels he can pull a smarter-than-you over whomever he's talking to. I don't know much about Hanomansing, but it's probably safe to lump him down in saying he doesn't stray too far from the corp norm. Gray, on the other hand, looks to me like a watered-down and more polite Sean Hannity, except that he's pro-Liberal Party.

Then there's Don Neuman aka Lou Dobbs' long-lost twin. (I only mean that in terms of physical appearance) I like Neuman's style (or what I've seen of it): he asks each participant a question, sits back and lets the sparks fly.

As to your "balanced and informative" (I don't think they'd use that), CBC is about as informative as any other national broadcaster and seems to take more time to focus on the local situation. However, to compare CBC's attempt at neutrality to FOX's is a stretch.

In response to Joe about the CBC: I'm guessing some of the propogandist machinery you've seen turning in the state-funded (not state-run) CBC has come from shows like "The Fifth Estate". I don't blame you; only twice have I sit down to watch that and came away with "Cheney is pure evil" and "scandal and scapegoats in Abu Ghraib", two topics with which I share a slight opinion, but definetly not to the extent that the 5th laid it out to be.

Then you might consider anchors like Peter Mansbridge, David Gray and Ian Hanomansing (sp?). IMO, Mansbridge is pretty good about staying neutral, though he does stray when he feels he can pull a smarter-than-you over whomever he's talking to. I don't know much about Hanomansing, but it's probably safe to lump him down in saying he doesn't stray too far from the corp norm. Gray, on the other hand, looks to me like a watered-down and more polite Sean Hannity, except that he's pro-Liberal Party.

Then there's Don Neuman aka Lou Dobbs' long-lost twin. (I only mean that in terms of physical appearance) I like Neuman's style (or what I've seen of it): he asks each participant a question, sits back and lets the sparks fly.

As to your "balanced and informative" (I don't think they'd use that), CBC is about as informative as any other national broadcaster and seems to take more time to focus on the local situation. However, to compare CBC's attempt at neutrality to FOX's is a stretch. CBC makes less guff about hiding their bias than does FOX.

It is Americans like Joe that make me ashamed to be American. What a fucking asshole! I know a few Dublin pubs where I'd love to see him spouting off that shite of his. He'd find out in half a heartbeat how much Americans like him are "loved" in a nation that used to feel closer to the USA than to Europe. The US is the Land of Opportunity? I can walk 4 blocks in Dublin and land nearly as many jobs with benefits that would make you blush. Shit, China has more opportunity! And even China is preferred over America by nearly 2 out of 3 Australians. And most Europeans agree. If Joe had really travelled internationally he'd understand this sad fact. I don't understand his hatred of Canada. Canada, fer feck's sake! Why not pick from the dozens of truly repressive regimes (Myanmar)? I'd be happy with Canada'a "broken system" over our bloated, overpriced system that I and 40 million other Americans can't access. And Force Healing really taxes my midichlorian count! Otherwise I'd offer Dark Jedi Joe some Force Healing. It sounds like he really needs it.

Just to improve your WHO data quote Joe, here's the section with your [the following] replaced by the original "very low":

"The U.S. spends more total dollars and more dollars per capita on health care than any other nation and New Zealand is in approximately the top 10% in spending. The WHO June 2000 World Health Report shows clearly that quality of health is not necessarily improved by simply spending more money. The WHO data on health care quality rankings of 191 member nations gave very low scores to the U.S. and the three countries that have adopted the U.S. system: Australia, Canada and New Zealand (hereafter called U.S. et al.). Their rankings were 37, 30, 32 and 41, respectively, for overall health care quality. In a ranking of level of actual health, the US and NZ were much worse, ranking 72 and 80, respectively. It is interesting that both NZ and the US were ranked below Morocco, Chile and Costa Rica. The probability the four nations (U.S. et al) would be grouped so closely together in a span of only 12 of 191 rankings (i.e., ~1/20th), and at such low scores, by chance is extremely low, circa p~0.0001 [i.e., (~1/20) to the third power]. Thus, common factors related to health care are documented to astronomical probability as causal for this incredible human tragedy of modern times. Everyone you know is affected in many painful and costly ways. "

http://faculty.washington.edu/~ely/Report2000.html

So the US is ahead of Canada in ranking of health care quality (37th vs. 32nd) but is below Canada in actual health, which I guess takes into account the difficulty of obtaining medical care.

I don't think there's much point in arguing which is better when both countries rank below Morocco, Chile and Costa Rica even though the US is the biggest health spender per capita.

But also note that these rankings are apparently not that trustworthy or stable. These come from 2000, but if you look here:

http://society.guardian.co.uk/nhsperformance/story/0,8150,1085249,00.html

The rankings are very different (from a 2003 reassessment):

(1st) Sweden Norway Australia Canada France Germany Spain Finland Italy Denmark Netherlands Greece Japan Austria New Zealand United States Ireland United Kingdom (last) Portugal

well...I have been out of the country...and I still believe this is the greatest country in the world. I had no idea a liberals measure about what makes a country great is how much stuff the government GIVES away. I was always under the impression that a country was great for what it built, and the values it stood for. No wonder I don't understand liberals. I can say this. If this guy has found a country that is better than the United States of America I would encourage him to go there. If found a country better than our I'd go.

"well...I have been out of the country..."

A drunken escapade to Tijuana hardly makes you an expert in international living standards IMHO....

I wish Americans would stop glorifying Canada, especially our health care system, as it fuels Canadian arrogance and disdain for the States. Watch Rick Mercer and you might get an idea of how full of ourselves Canadians can be. It's great up here but our health care is in need of much improvement and we have ignored the problem for far too long. It's also annoying how most Americans don't mention the corruption of our government when they sing our praise.

That said the clip was pretty funny... and accurate.

Captain, the US doesn't build shit anymore. By your criteria China is the greatest country in the world, as I type this out on a "designed in California, made in China" laptop. And I'll say this, if I have found a country that is better than the United States of America, then I want the United States of America to improve so it is once again "the greatest nation on earth". I'm really tired of the so typical love it or leave it response. Aren't we Americans? Shouldn't our nation be truly great as opposed to big and annoying (how some of my non-American friends describe the U.S.)? For true greatness, we need healthcare for every citizen, from birth to the grave. We need good paying jobs for every citizen, with wages high enough that one person's job can support a family of four at a high quality of life. We need a national pension to ensure that all elderly citizens enjoy a high quality of life. We need to ensure that the ideals framed in our Constitution are adhered to, including the Bill of Rights. We need to ensure our environment is clean, nature is protected, and transportation is accessable to all citizens. Not an easy task, but the greatest nation on earth should be up to the challenge, at least once we defeat the Sith who have commandeered this Republic of ours.

"For true greatness, we need healthcare for every citizen, from birth to the grave."

We have that. It's indirect - you need to pay for insurance. The reason? Because the health care system requires people, resources, and money to continue to function.

"We need good paying jobs for every citizen"

For the most part we have those as well. Unless your criteria are ridiculous ...

"with wages high enough that one person's job can support a family of four at a high quality of life"

... and they are.

"We need a national pension to ensure that all elderly citizens enjoy a high quality of life."

So you want a system that provides the best health care possible to all people all the time, retirement that gives you the same standard of living as a working life ... and a job that lets you support a full family at a 'high standard of living'? I'm curious to see your thoughts on how to achive this.

"Not an easy task"

Oh. You have none. How surprising.

See, here in the real world things are very complex. Now I realize that you are only saying these ridiculous things to make us all think you're a wonderful, golden-hearted idealist. But in reality people like you are worse than useless. Because you not only have no plan for anything, all you can do is complain that whatever plan is in practice is not good enough for you.

Oh, and by the way: if those are your true criteria for determining if a country is great, then you must hate every single country on the planet.

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