[identity profile] jessm78.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] therightfangirl
Many times I've felt like posting about this in my own LJ, but can never work up the courage as 99% of my flist are liberal. So I figured I'd post where people understand.

I've always been fascinated by people in other countries who take such an interest in our elections. But the past two elections it's been driving me nuts. They all gush in their own LJs about how wonderful Obama is. The day after the 2008 election, a former flister from Germany posted a big picspam of Obama pictures and underneath wrote in all caps, "Congrats, world!!!" A few days before the Inauguration, another girl from either Germany or Austria made a post with a pic of Obama with a smirk on his face and for a caption she wrote "There's the door, George!" She said she couldn't wait for him to be in the White House and was gushing "OMG, he's so close I can feel it!"

It was like they were insane fangirls fainting in his arms. I didn't really understand why people overseas cared so much... after all, they wouldn't have to worry about how his policies affected them personally. I mean, policies like trade and such, I kind of doubt the average twenty-something fangirl would care about. I guess it goes with the whole "rock star" thing.

So a few years ago by and no one says anything anymore, except for an flister in Norway who actually wondered what the heck Obama did to get a Nobel prize. Very rare on my flist. But it seems to be starting up again, and related to that I was following a recent convention held for Supernatural, one of my fandoms, in Brazil. Someone had posted a series of tweets from con attendees with links to photo ops. One fan was wearing a t-shirt with "Barack Obama", a caricature-type picture of Obama in a basketball uniform and a basketball at his feet, and underneath it the words "Four More Years." I shook my head and wondered why anyone would wear something like this to a fan convention for a sci-fi/horror type of show. Maybe hoping the star would compliment their shirt and give some info on their own political beliefs? Someone did the same thing at one of these cons in Canada a couple years ago, only wearing a t-shirt in support of Gay Marriage,hoping to get some feedback from the stars.

Again I started wondering why anyone overseas would care. It's not like they have to put up with him like we do. The whole "rock star" thing really turns me off.

Anyway, was wondering if anyone else noticed anything like this on their flist or elsewhere online and had any thoughts. Maybe this is a silly topic but I really felt the need to vent. *g*

Date: 2012-05-07 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theidolhands.livejournal.com
Not silly at all. Vent away.

The most infuriating thing for me as an American was watching people literally take a day off after Obama won. If that didn't say all, I don't know what did (that and celebrating his victory with the ubiquitous f-word). The most embarrassing one was a teacher. When she tried to re-friended me out of the blue, removing me partly over this...I politely declined. Mostly because I felt one could not have an honest, multi-sided conversation.

You know people, if you'd been listening, he said, "WE can do it." As it was they seemed to think he could poop rainbows and fix the world by waving a wand. Let's just say that I felt like I did a better job listening and as such was disappointed a lot less.

Having liberal politics shoved down my throats via fandom is a definite pattern and having politics shoved at me in general (when I didn't ask) is not my favorite. If someone likes the same silly fantasy world that I do -- I wanna talk about it -- like when we were kids; I wanna connect, feel like there is hope for humanity. That is hard to do when it comes pre-packaged with attitude. /Idealist
Edited Date: 2012-05-07 08:20 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-07 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jdphoenix.livejournal.com
I feel the same all the time. I don't see much on LJ but on tumblr it's all the time and I'd say more than half the posts I see about Obama are from non-Americans. It's clear that to them he's just another celebrity to fangirl over (which, at least to me, is one of the scariest ways you can view a politician).

Date: 2012-05-07 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mprice.livejournal.com
I can't say that I have. But then, I'm very selective about who I friend, and the majority of them are either conservatives or members of my main fandom. I don't post about politics too much, but I also have right on my info page that I'm a "Right-Wing Extremist." If they can't handle that, they're more then welcome to leave.

Date: 2012-05-08 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mprice.livejournal.com
My main fandom is set during the Cold War era. I don't really have to worry too much about anti-communist rants. If I were actually post any, that is.

The biggest liberal I have to put up with is my older sister. But my other siblings and I agree that she's always been out of the loop.

Date: 2012-05-08 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theidolhands.livejournal.com
I just want to THANK you for making a filter for politics (or using a cut). You'd think that would be obvious. That was another thing I had to ask people to do AND I have to warn them in advance that if they want to bash and/or lump all religions together -- count me out.

Didn't miss anyone who de-friended me over stuff like that, although I was a little proud that it wasn't me who told them to get lost. No matter what you say, or how nice you say, there will always be people who don't care or don't pay attention.

Date: 2012-05-07 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neverfading.livejournal.com

"caricature-type picture of Obama in a basketball uniform and a basketball at his feet"

Ironic, since "tall black man = basketball player" or "all black people are good at basketball" is kind of a stereotype, albeit a stereotype rooted in reality. I doubt that's how B.O. (heh, nice initials!) wants to be perceived.

Date: 2012-05-07 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neverfading.livejournal.com
"It's clear that to them he's just another celebrity to fangirl over."

Exactly. I could be all wrong about this, since I don't have any specific details or numbers, but it seems to me that in many countries outside the US, black people and black culture are considered sort of a novelty and therefore interesting and fascinating and sort of "exotic."

Countries with relatively few black people seem rather fascinated by the Hollywood version of black culture and it wouldn't surprise me if, in their minds, B.O. belongs to the same category as black entertainers like Will Smith or various rappers and actors.

In Japan, for example, a caricatured version of black culture seems to be just another hip and fashionable trend that young people can use to seem edgy and annoy their parents.

On the one hand, some countries can be very racist and negative about black people, but IMO on the other hand, people in Scandinavia or other parts of Western Europe can have this overly idealized view of black culture where they think it's still the Harlem Renaissance and all about jazz music and people like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington and all that.

EDIT-O-MATIC: just extrapolating a bit, I think that unfortunately, nations which are all-white or mostly-white have received the leftist message that whiteness is bad-bad-bad and diversity is mandatory, and therefore they're eager to embrace some bastardized version of minority culture, even if said minorities don't even constitute a significant presence in their population. 'Cause we can't have white Europeans celebrating their own culture, now can we? :/

It wouldn't surprise me if the psychological aftermath of WWII (anti-nationalism, guilt over the Nazi era, suspicion of anything that looks or smells like racial pride or racial homogeneity) plays a role in this "Everything non-white is super-cool even though I don't actually know any black people, yayyy!!!" ass-covering attitude.
Edited Date: 2012-05-07 10:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-09 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zansa-san.livejournal.com
Greg Gutfeld wrote a very ... interesting article on European racism against black people on either his Daily Gut or Bighollywood (before the site was revamped). He was talking about being in France and leaving some fancy restaurant at the same time as another (black) American tourist. There were these two slightly tipsy French girls outside who basically jumped on the black man as soon as they saw him: "Omg, you look just like Don Cheadle (or somebody)! Take your picture with us, Mr. Cheadle!" and stuff like that. Badgering him about his "work" and how "talented" he was.

Basically, the modern-day version of pointing a pistol at somebody's ankles and screeching, "Dance, dance!" :/ It was ... well, pretty pathetic on the part of the French girls, and really demeaning for the black dude, who kind of just shrugged it off. They just couldn't fathom that he wasn't some famous black guy because he looked just like him. -_-''

Date: 2012-05-07 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neverfading.livejournal.com

My grandparents had a good friend from Holland who was super-duper-fascinated by American Indians because according to her, her country didn't have any "native people."

Um...you ARE the native people, aren't you? WTH :P

Edited Date: 2012-05-07 10:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-07 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
Hee! I'm sorry, that just made me giggle!

Date: 2012-05-07 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shaolin.livejournal.com
It seems like a number of European countries have a fascination with cowboys and Indians. When I studied abroad in France, it was not uncommon to see shopfronts with cowboy and Indian displays. And I also remember getting a pamphlet ad for an amusement park that had a cowboy and Indian theme.

And then there's the popular Belgian comic series "Lucky Luke," which is about a cowboy in the Old West.

I guess Amerindians and cowboys, for that matter, are exotic to Europeans.
Edited Date: 2012-05-07 11:50 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-08 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sekhmetsat.livejournal.com
THIS. Euro-tourists seem to think we Natives STILL dress in buckskins and beaded mocs.... um, it is the TWENTY_FIRST CENTURY!!!!! we work for a living like everybody else....

Date: 2012-05-07 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kharmii.livejournal.com
I should make a tasteless joke about Germans and their love for socialist, celebrity-like leaders.

-So tasteless. ;-D

Date: 2012-05-07 11:32 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-08 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikedpunch.livejournal.com
But the problem with that is it would only quickly degenerate into a long winded flame war, which would only end in someone being compared to Hitler.

Date: 2012-05-08 12:40 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-07 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muses-circle.livejournal.com
Yeah, I don't understand it one bit how people in other countries fangirl/fanboy over Obama like he's the cat's meow. I saw a lot of that on my LJ when Obama was elected in 2008 - it's so stupid, because they don't have to live with his destructive policies and gigantic ego.

Then again, Obama visited "the World" during the 2008 campaign like he was already the president. Did you watch his speech from Germany? Talk about a packed house...I was beyond appalled by his "holier than thou" attitude. While I haven't seen the Barak Love pop up on my LJ and FB yet, I have a feeling it's coming around the corner soon. At least the die-hard Leftists and Progressives are going to fan-flail.

Date: 2012-05-08 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theidolhands.livejournal.com
You have a right to make a post that politely asks people to either filter you out of political posts or to please put them under a cut. I found most would if asked, and those that didn't, it said a lot about them. If one chooses to look under a cut, then they only have themselves to "blame" -- that is, I was far less likely to get upset or to just blow it off if I didn't like what I'd read.

Oh and ditto if I friended someone who stated in advance how they felt about this or that (although one can still wish for filters or cuts). Tit for tat can be interesting, although combative, like I did a post after seeing too many people "eff yeah" and taking the day off. People, a little grace and hard work. I mean, really. It's not like you were personally on his campaign team.

I'm good at separating opinion from friendship, but others aren't. I would see that if I objected, they were pretty content if I just ignored it. However, I didn't ignore it in my own journal; don't be dropping off your politics on my front door, all assuming. Only recently have I gotten to a point with absolute boundaries (one happens to be illegal drug use, for example). A place where if I read something, I'm like -- No thanks. Go do that away from me. Bye.

And ya know, that's just me. Right now. If that makes me unpopular or whatever. I'll have to live with it. We're all entitled.

Date: 2012-05-08 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muses-circle.livejournal.com
It was like he was running for president of the world.

I know, right! And that thought scared the crap outta me back in 2008 - and I have a feeling he'll pull that stunt again this year, too. He's already honored Lenin by kicking off his re-election campaign on the dude's birthday. :-\

I wish LJ had better filters, too. I don't like defriending over ideological differences, though it's happened all too often.

Date: 2012-05-08 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shaolin.livejournal.com
Part of it's just the usual crap that people from other countries (and American leftists) think about American politics and culture. That we're backward, war-mongering, Jesus freak cowboys and, oh, wouldn't it be so nice if we wised up and elected a European-style left-of-center politician? We'd do so much better with a social democracy.

Another related part feeds into that--that with a Democrat president, we'll have fewer wars. Even though it seems that European interests got us into Libya and then Obama and warhawk Republicans spoke about bringing liberty to Libya and other lies. And, well, that part I feel is legitimate for other countries to care about, because wars that we get into affect them, though not as deeply as we are affected.

And then the last part is just Obama's cult of celebrity. Race probably plays into that, too--the "clean, articulate black man" part, maybe some foreigners see him as exotic. And apparently he's a gifted orator, though I never got that from him, to be honest.
Edited Date: 2012-05-08 12:09 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-08 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muses-circle.livejournal.com
And apparently he's a gifted orator, though I never got that from him, to be honest.

Me neither. The guy stutters like crazy when he doesn't have his teleprompter.

Date: 2012-05-08 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kelincihutan.livejournal.com
In some ways, America is to blame for the amount of foreign interest in our politics. (Don't panic. I think you'll like where I'm going with this.)

I lived in Indonesia while I was growing up, and I went to a school full of people from all over the world, so I got a perspective on what American culture looks like from the outside. And there are two things that we have done to bring this on ourselves.

One, we export our culture like crazy. American films are routinely more popular than any other sort, they play everywhere, and they play everywhere in English. Most of the time, the movie is subtitled, rather than dubbed. That being the case, everything the characters on the screen say all gets wrapped up into the same box. So the leftie political commentaries in all those movies get packaged into the entertainment that is shared by people around the globe. And that's just movies. Think about all the other American entertainment/media that goes everywhere and multiply this effect accordingly.

Two, for people in third-world countries (so, this point wouldn't apply to Obama fans in Germany directly), America is literally impossible. Because we have a big country, with lots of resources, that holds a stable democracy with a strong economy and a high standard of living. Multiple cultures live in the US without tearing each other to pieces (especially relevant in areas of the world where multiple cultures live in one nation and Do Not Get Along). And when you live in a nation where government corruption is business as usual, the fact that the United States is not, in fact, quite as cool as some of the hype (because I have honestly met many, many people who think that all Americans are rich and happy all the time) doesn't always connect to the way you're going to think about it when it comes up on the news. In fact, you're going to want to be involved.

This is our fault, guys. We built an economy so successful and a nation so prosperous that we allowed a whole enormous group of people to make careers out of doing nothing but making stuff to fill leisure hours for everyone else. And then we validated all that pure fluff stuff by legitimizing entertainment as a way to express opinions of all sorts and make points about social and political ideologies. And then, as if all that weren't outrageous enough already, we allowed all this entertainment to be viewed by people of Other Cultures, all because we value the right of those who made it to market their creations to whoever is willing to purchase them.

If we didn't want everyone else to be so interested in our country, we should've made it less awesome. :P

Date: 2012-05-09 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kali-kali.livejournal.com
As a non-American, let me add my take on the matter.

Part of it is the way [livejournal.com profile] kelincihutan said - America has exported itself all over the world, so people see it all the time, and thus it is a part of their reality as well. But this exporting of culture/ideals/etc. is more than just the happiness and rainbows that were mentioned. A lot of the suckier stuff has been exported as well, and that is why people around the world (and in this case, more specifically, other countries in "the West") care so much about American politics.

Yes, you guys have built a big strong badass country. Kudos to you. However, America has also been, consequently, throwing that weight around in the world. Sticking its nose in where it wasn't asked to and the like. This has made people happy and free and it has also made people sad and angry. Whether this is for humanitarian reasons or for profit, or for good or for bad, is irrelevant. It is just the fact that America does it. So when America does it and pisses people off, those people are also going to look closely at who is working together with America (whether on that particular case or otherwise), looking who might be a softer target than America herself. So now something that was initially America's problem suddenly becomes a problem for the rest of us too.

That's a simplification, but the point is is that America's policies, and foreign policy in particular, affect all of us. Not just you. That's why a lot of people care. And since most people outside of the US are more left-leaning than even your Democrats, Bush was the bastion of badness because he got us into this boondoggle of wars, and that's why Obama is so well-received, simply because he is not Bush. I don't get the adoration myself, but a lot of people do it. In America, too, and not only about Obama - I've seen people all over the political spectrum in the US be more excited about politicians than about rock stars. You guys elevate your politicians to crazy levels of adoration. The only other place I've seen such levels of adoration and even caring about politicians and their private lives is in totalitarian states.

Date: 2012-05-11 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whak-hat.livejournal.com
Yeah, well the world has always followed American politics. The support for Obama was initially because we all hoped that he could change the American's many rules and hypocrisies (such as on gay-marriage, racism and women's rights that still exist.) He failed to do anything useful however.

Now this may seem a bit cruel, especially to all the Americans who have to suffer under this guy, but the fact is that because Obama lacks any balls or skills to run the country the rest of the world finally gets to start making it's own decisions. Africa and the middle east's people are fighting back against their leaders because now there will be little to less outside influence. Canada is doing amazingly well and fully stepping out of America's shadow. Europe's in the crapper, but we all knew without America to be there keeping them from killing one another, that would happen. Asia's starting to look for more friends and losing their dictatorships (not completely or as revolutionary as the said Africa nations or middle east. Simply the people have and want money and don't give a shit what their leaders say.)

So while Obama's no good for America, it's pretty good for the rest of the world.

And yes I know there's plenty of countries that are also suffering this fools inability to lead (as I mentioned above.)

Date: 2012-05-11 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whak-hat.livejournal.com
thanks, sorry if you are an American dealing with this twit. Hey if you want Canada's pushing for a million person immigration to solve our lack of baby making-ness. (how in hell did that even happen? It's freezing 86% of the time and we all like boning…but we still lack babies)

Date: 2012-05-11 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whak-hat.livejournal.com
Alberta is of the awesome

Date: 2012-05-16 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] animenutcase.livejournal.com
Although I've never been to Alberta (or Canada in general), I have heard from a very reliable source (read:"Ontario Sucks") that this is true.

Date: 2012-05-17 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whak-hat.livejournal.com
Ontario is beautiful and energetic but ruled by a very shitty liberal government that is ripping it apart. Hopefully we'll get conservative in soon and kick these idiots out soon

Date: 2012-05-25 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] animenutcase.livejournal.com
Best of luck. I've heard that it kind of sucks to be a Canadian at the moment. People sing the praises of your health care system, but the LOLing at Liberals blog on tumblr suggests that it's not as hunky-dory as people say.

Date: 2012-06-08 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whak-hat.livejournal.com
That depends on where in Canada you are

Date: 2012-06-09 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] animenutcase.livejournal.com
I believe she said that she lives in something of a remote area in New Brunswick.


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