Firstly, I've been to the US a few times (New York City, San Francisco, LA... New Hampshire :P), and there's a lot of things I like about it. Like the fact that in summer you get better weather than us (although it was a little too hot and humid in LA for my liking), or the fact clothes are cheaper there, and desserts and ice cream are way better than we get here. :) And clam chowder is pretty delicious. And you make much better TV (I hardly watch any British shows at all!). And for the most part the Americans I've met have been lovely people (except those working in the HI I stayed in in NY. They were just rude! In fact, a lot of people were rude in New York). I also have a few really great American friends here on Bloop.
However, I have also met many many Americans who fulfill several stereotypes (and are probably the reason why such stereotypes exist), such as the following:
- the 'America is better than anywhere else, so why on earth would I want to ever leave this country and travel?' attitude
- a general ignorance of the world outside of America
- an inability to understand why any other country would do anything different to how America does it, or to why they would talk differently (lets not forget that the English language did not originate in America!)
- an inability to get the British sense of humour
- a tendency to be easily sent into mass panic at the government's demand (I happend to be flying out of LAX on 11th September 2004, three years after 9/11 and the airport was covered in signs saying that they were on 'high terrorist alert'! It was insane!)
Of course I'm not saying every American is like that, I'm not even saying most are like that. But I do think there's a sufficient number like that to maintain the stereotype, and I do think those attitudes are far more prevalent amongst Americans that say Brits or Australians.
And I like visiting the states, and there's more parts of it I'd still like to see, but no, I wouldn't want to live there. Above are some of the reasons, but there's others too, such as I don't believe in paying for health care. In the UK we have a national health service and honestly, some of the stories I've read on Bloop about peoples experiences with health care (particularly birth stories) in the US really shock me. I'd never choose to deliver a baby in the US over the UK. I also think gun laws should be stricter, and I'd prefer to live in a country where I'm less likely to get shot. And I think it's ridiculous that in the US you can own a gun at 18 but you can't drink alcohol until you're 21. In the UK alcohol can be drank legally from the age of 18, which I think is much more appropriate.
So yeah, I generally like America, and Americans, for that matter, but I wouldn't want to live there.