The stereotype of the ignorant American is famous; unaware of anything going on in the world, highly selfish and unable to relate to other ways of thinking, all covered with a wide fake Hollywood smile. While of course not all Americans are anti-social idiots, like in almost every stereotype there is truth to this one as well. Yes, a lot of Dutch are cheap, French are snobbish and Germans lack a sense of humor. And yes, a lot of Americans are pretty ignorant people. Their country also doesn’t let people drink until they’re 21 years old, an age at which the process of growing up is basically done. Could it be that America’s twisted alcohol policy is breeding some pretty twisted people, cause they missed out on learning some valuable basic skills?
The United States of America have had an uptight policy towards alcohol ever since the prohibition was established in 1920. Currently people from the US can drive a car at 16 years old, fight wars far from home at 18, but can only drink their first legal beer at 21. A bit of crooked rules, wouldn’t you say?
But before anyone thinks we are just bashing the inhabitants of the ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave‘, this is not our intention. Nevertheless, as former students of an American University we believe we have a pretty clear image of how Americans in general think and act. So please consider this post as positive criticism, as we explain how lowering the drinking age to an acceptable number like 18 or rather 16 would improve the average American as a person, by using 5 negative stereotypes.
1. Americans have very little basic knowledge.
This stereotype is backed up by so many polls that it’s scary. It involves basic knowledge on history, politics, religion or geography. In a research of Forbes and National Geographic, almost half of the questioned Americans could not find New York on the map, while another poll showed that 20% of the population thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth.
So how does drinking make this any better? Well, when social drinkers sit down for a few glasses all kinds of funny facts pop up. One could argue that drinking sessions are vital to boost your basic knowledge of everything going on in this world.
2. Americans are not likely to help others
A hypothesis that is hard to back up by numbers, but we believe there is absolutely some truth in it. In the United States many people believe everyone should take care of themselves. If you need further proof, just look at the arguments given against the health care reform of 2010. It’s the survival of the fittest.
But if anything can make a person more social on a structural level it’s drinking. You learn to carry each other, sometimes literally. Drinking in your puberty years is like a speed course in growing up to be a responsible social person. Sometimes you have to take care of your drunk friend, next time he’ll take care of you. No matter if it’s holding back the hair of a puking person, bringing someone home safe, providing a place to crash or standing up for someone in a fight, you’ll soon find out that what goes around, comes around.
3. Americans don’t know how to share
Also hard to back up by facts and figures, but in general a lot of Americans seem to be quite individualistic. “This is mine, cause I bought it with my money. You want too, buy your own.” Sharing stuff is for commies.
Well if anything makes you understand the importance of sharing, it’s alcohol. You don’t need to get overgenerous and pay shots for the whole bar every time you go out. But you can start off simple with taking turns who gets the next round with your friend. And let’s see how far you get from there: share a bottle, share a bed, share a woman. Isn’t there a saying that everything is better when shared?
4. Americans are mainstream and not creative
This is a tricky one, since the United States of America produced a large amount of very creative people. Still we believe that most of them developed their talent despite the straitjacket of American society. Most artists were considered weird, or outcast until they got famous.
Is it any wonder that so many artists also enjoy a drink? Absolutely not, alcohol boosts creative impulses, you develop thoughts and ideas that would never come while sober, as you break the mainstream autopilot inside you. Also it may just give you the courage to say “Fuck society and group pressure, I’m going my way”. And of course we can’t all be Ludwig van Beethoven, Ernest Hemingway or Pablo Picasso, but we may understand them better by developing our own creative talents.
5. Americans are phony
A matter of perspective of course. But it’s a commonly shared opinion that it’s typically American to act over the top with a lot of superlatives. Something is never good or nice, but it’s gorgeous, wonderful and amazing. Everyone is a bit of a Hollywood-actor. It’s therefor sometimes hard to figure out what Americans really think or feel.
As nothing else, alcohol brings out real emotions and feelings. When the booze kicks in, it can work like a truth serum. It can be quite refreshing to tell people how you really feel about them and quite valuable to hear what they think of you. If people would open up after opening up a beer, there will probably be no need for that many therapists and psychiatrists in America.
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