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Tuesday, August 09, 2005



Blech, I'm only 47% American. After living here all my life, that's a pretty crappy prize.


53% for me. Which, of course, means absolutely nothing.

I realize that this little quiz is not entirely serious, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot help but be annoyed by the attempt to qualify what is American and what isn't (however in jest said attempt may be).


53% American.

I agree with Charles... while I know the "quiz" is just for chuckles, something about it rubs me the wrong way. I mean, who the hell decided that drinking beer is more American than drinking wine? I don't like beer, so I prefer drinking wine. Minus 15 pts.!

HEre's what the quiz should look like:

1) Do you have American citizenship? Yes or No.



Amen, brother. 53% Americans of the world, unite!


Brian, you are exactly right.

Andy (AKA: The Yangban)

Granted, the quiz is just fun 'n games and I'm sure nobody meant any offensive by it.

On the other hand, there is more to being an American than a piece of paper (culturally speaking). There is an American culture that is distinct from the cultures from which our ancesters came. Otherwise, there would be no need for immigrants to assimilate.

For a cross cultural comparison, you could give a test of "Koreanness" that would ask questions like:

1. Do you eat kimchi almost everyday?
2. Do you drink soju at least once a month?
3. Do you give offerings to your ancesters at least twice a year?
4. Is your favorite sport Baseball or Soccar?
5. Do you know what tear gas smells like?
6. Have you ever wrestled with someone for the right to pay for dinner?
7. Do you sleep on the floor?
8. Did you average 5 hours of sleep a night or less in high school?
9. Do you really dislike the Japanese except while buying their music or movies?
10. Can you use little metal chopsticks.

BTW, by that measure I am 30% Korean.

Of course in Korea, there is really only one question:
"Is your father Korean."


I disagree, Andy. Unlike most countries, America is open to everybody and anybody. There is no checklist to judge a person against to determine their eligibility to be a citizen or their "American-ness."

Korea, OTOH, is different. Where were you born? What language do you speak? Are your parents Korean? These are all questions that need to be asked and answered for someone to determine who is and isn't Korean.

I, for one, don't want to see America end up like that.


Andy (AKA: The Yangban)

Once again, I'm talking about culture and not citizenship.

America is more than just a big United Nations of various cultures who happen to occupy the same area. We are a new people (or a "new race" as they said in the old days) distinct from the various lands from which we or our ancestors came.

The generational conflicts that arise between first generation Americans and their more assimilated (or more Americanized) children is so well known that it is a common theme in books and movies; "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "The Joy Luck Club" come to mind. If there where not relative levels of "American-ness" those particular conflicts would not arise.

As for that survey, any attempt to measure something as amorphous as culture is going to be clumsy and that was not even a serious attempt.

But people do assimilate to American culture. They do learn English (folks who think that Spanish will forever be America's second language tend to forget how many German-language newspapers this country used to have). People do become less (Armenian, English, Brazilian, etc) and more American over the course of a lifetime or several generations.

That is not what America will end up like. That is the way it has been since before we were even a nation.

BTW, I am not using this as an argument against what you are saying but, by a quirk of the Constitution, where you were born DOES effect your right to citizenship. If you happen to be born on American soil you have the right to claim citizenship even if your mom was just in the country to visit Disney World.


NO WAY!!!!

I'm only "8% American"????


Just kidding. Had you there, didn't I?

Andy (AKA: The Yangban)


I thought you were Canadian.

Or was that a cigarette your were holding?

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