66 thoughts on ““An Americanizer””

  1. This is the least funny post that I have ever seen on this site. It is disrespectful. Who is the site moderator? I want to tell his mother about this outrage.

    • Humour in civilised societies often involves expressing a lack of respect for the target of that humour. The freedom to publish deeply disrespectful satire is an essential part of any society with political freedom. What gets called `democratic government’ these days has its roots in the Europe of the 17th to 19th centuries. The political satire that developed with newspaper culture (particularly in London, where one power centre was) in the 18th century makes most modern commentators look very tame. And as for what they got up to when the French Revolution was running – oh boy!

      In any decent society, you need someone yelling disrespectfully from the sidelines, saying all the things that `nice people’ won’t say. Britain has http://www.private-eye.co.uk/. A lot of governments won’t allow that sort of thing to be published – countries so governed are all worse places to live than Britain.

      Any society where disrespect is barred is a society that contains a great deal of unacceptable repression. For example, there is a law in Turkey that bans expressing disrespect for Turkey and Turkish institutions. There is no such law in the UK where I live. What are the consequences of this? Well, in Turkey, you’re likely to find yourself shot dead if you, for example, publish an article suggesting that Turkey might have been responsible for wholesale murder of Albanians (it’s happened). We do not have similar problems in the UK. A political cartoonist in the UK can, for example, represent Tony Blair as Dubya’s lapdog, or Gordon Brown as Stalin (Steve Bell of the Guardian has done this) and get nothing in return except his usual pay. That is how it’s done in decent societies.

      Please can we have some more disrespectful jokes? Done well – as this one is – they are very funny and often make worthwhile points.

      • Well, in Turkey, you’re likely to find yourself shot dead if you, for example, publish an article suggesting that Turkey might have been responsible for wholesale murder of Albanians (it’s happened).

        not Albanians, but ARMENIANS!

    • Now, here’s something you’ll really like…



  2. This video was perhaps the best proof to the theory that consuming large amounts of vodka causes permanent damage to the ability to understand what is funny.

    Oh well, since we’re at the subject of racist/prejudiced/unfunny humor:

    Maybe next time they’ll tighten that thing around the guys brain and call it the “russianizer”.

  3. Wow. You guys are pretty rude to each other.

    As an American living in Ukraine, I find that video hilarious. I think it is interesting how Americans feel that smiling is the definition of friendliness, and how they feel so awkward being over here with no one smiling.

    On the other hand Russians think that all our smiling is phony (which is most of the time is). “Why in the world are smiling at me when I don’t even know you?” seems to be the attitude. I hear someone say once, Russians smile when they mean it. I think that’s it.

    Americans smile all the time, even when they don’t mean it.
    Russians smile when they mean it.

    Great video for poking fun at the differences between the two societies, each one feeling sorry for the other.

    • I wrote in a previous comment about the smiling issue. A russian girl studying at Moscow University wrote a graduation paper about the subject. In short this is what she found out.
      Indeed Russians always seem gloomy and troubled because in comparison to the rest of the world, they don’t smile a lot, esp. in public.
      Reasons : in the rest of the world [so not just the US] a smile means ‘I’m harmless, I have good intentions.’ In Russia, a smile from a stranger is interpreted as ‘I think you are ridiculous’. So if you smile to a Russian he will probably think you’re pulling his leg or trying to make fun of him. In male/female situations it also has a very strong sexual undertone, more than in the rest of the world.

      In shops a welcoming smile is also not common. This, combined with the lack of service and general disrespect for the customer is considered bad business by the outside world. I think they have a point there.

      All things aside – Russians ARE gloomy. But they DO have a sense of humor. More than Germans i.e.

      Someone mentioned the flat intonation of the Russian language – this does NOT apply to women talking, mind you !

      I’m still not sure what I prefer: a smile that might be phony, or no smile at all. I’m leaning to the possible ‘phony’ smile. When I see someone smiling at me, it makes me feel more happy. And the ‘phony’ thing: you quickly find out how to calculate this in, so you’re not surprised anymore when it turns out that way. And you still have your happy feeling.

    • I find it difficult to smile when I don’t mean it. I smile and wave at people I don’t know all the time, and I mean it.

    • I lived in Ukraine for a while. I would give a head-nod to any random person I made eye contact with. It was probably stranger than smiling for no obvious reason.

  4. Actually, inapPROPRIate laughter INDICATES paraNOia, which IS part of the AMERican chaRACter.


  5. Exactly right Brendon. As an American when I am here in America a smile tends to have no meaning to me. When I am in Russia and I get a smile, it means something.

  6. When I was in Russia, the only people I could get to smile at me were old ladies on buses who I blew kisses to and girls I flirted with on the metro. It’s not a bad thing that Americans smile at each other. Is it a bad thing to be demonstrate good will to others?

  7. No, it’s not a bad thing. But we’re talking about the sincerity here.

    Some peoples smile, some peoples nod. You should do what you think is a right thing to do.

  8. Excellent comment.

    I’m curious though, if Americans use OK too much (and I suppose we do) is there a corresponding comment or phrase that’s used in Russia? Something that simply indicates an end to their own commentary and an inquisitive for comments from others?

  9. Yeah, that video was pretty funny.

    Personally, I’m often smiling because I like to go new places and meet new people.

    And I’m often laughing because you’ll never guess what I did with the bodies.


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