mercredi 5 mai 2010
One thing I have come across a lot lately is the image "Big Bad America". And no, I'm not talking about war or other politics.

These past few months, during my law course in Strasbourg, every week there are comments from the teachers about those "money-hungry, all business, lawsuit happy Americans"

I have been close to walking out a few times. Pretty much the only things stopping me is that
1) you never know who will be grading your paper/giving you the oral exam, and
2) it is a small professional community.

I guess in a field like Law, the comparisons with the US are more pointed that in others fields. Europeans, and French in particular, seem to portray themselves as little angels next to the terrible Americans. Like Americans are only interested in money, whereas the French are filing patents for the good of humanity only. Guess what? The whole patent system is FOR making money. If you really want to help humanity with your great invention, you DON'T file a patent. You publish your "car that runs on water, sunlight and wind only" or "miracle drug that cures AIDS" online, which means that nobody can get a patent for it, and it is free for all.

If you obtain a patent, then that means that you are planning on exploiting or else prohibiting others from exploiting it.

I just get so fed up with the comments. I think most French people either
a) don't know I am American, or
b) don't care.

I think Americans are, in general, much more sensitive about saying stuff against someone's country. Like some inner filter that says "Hey, my friend's new boyfriend is Chinese. Maybe when they come over for dinner I shouldn't rant and rave about cheap counterfeit products coming from China and how all the Chinese are stealing jobs from the rest of the world."

Whereas the French don't seem to have this inner filter. They'll say what they want to say, and who cares where you are from, or that it might make you uncomfortable?

4 commentaires:

Starman a dit…

Perhaps they're waiting for you to debate the points they bring up.

Mwa a dit…

I haven't found ALL Americans to be more careful. Just the left-wing, politically correct ones. I'm sure you get both kinds in France as well?

Anonyme a dit…

The US is basically wide open for any and all comments and criticism.
Just ignore the idiots and someday, when they get a job in a US law firm, they'll have to shut up.

Lindsay a dit…

Hi Megan,
I'm also an American married to a French guy, but we live in Ohio. I've been reading your blog for more than a year. I read it to my husband a lot and it leads to lots of interesting discussions. Just thought I should say hello and tell you how much I enjoy your blogging. For the record, my husband says it is definitely option b) don't care with regards to this post :)

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