An American is someone who lives in the USA. Not all americans are overweight, ignorant pricks with an addiction to burgers and flag waving. Some of them are actually friendly, intelligent people!
Remember, kids: just because meet or hear one person from a certain place doesn't mean that everyone from there is like it. Oh, and did I mention that the actions of the US government don't ALWAYS speak unanimously for every last citizen of the USA? Just wanted to clear that up.
They do think some wierd things, though.. They call football soccer, American football football, aluminium aloominum, jam jelly and so on. But belittling them for differences like that would be a bit petty of me, wouldn't it?
Things you should know:
1. Yes, we are aware the term "American" can be used for anyone living in North or South America. The term "British" can be used for someone from Scottland, Ireland, or England. What else do you want us to call ourselves, United-Statesians? Besides, I don't see you calling people from Brazil or Argentina or Cuba American anyways. Why should we?
2. Yes, we are aware our President shows serious signs of mental retardation. All goverments have their problems.
3. We're not stupid. We don't go around speaking "American", laughing at all other "American" speaking countries thinking they stole the idea from us.
4. We're not all crazy extremists or blind conservatives.
5. Your country probally produces almost as much pollution as ours, and seeing as the US is about 3,718,695 cm2 (9,631,420 km2; gasp! an American knowing about the metric system? unheard of!) large and has 302,431,000 citizens, we're not doing that bad.
6. Celsuis- Farheniet, Meters- feet, Pounds- killograms. Gallons- liters. We use both you know.
7. We don't hate all Canadians, Brits, Cubans, and Japaneese people. We don't think all Muslims are terrorists. No matter what Bush says, we most definitely don't eat "freedom fries". We don't all support Iraq. We don't think Pakistan is in Africa.
8. Just because we can't trace our ancestors in America back for 329 years, it doesn't mean we love our country less.
9. Patrioism is never a bad thing. Even if you lived in the crappiest country in the world, it's still your country.
10. No, we don't think everyone in the world celbrates July Fourth with us.
11. We don't eat McDonald's everyday or drive five cars.
12. Not everyone speaks like their from Texas. There are forty-nine other states you know.
13. We don't think we're better than you.
14. Lastly, half the people that bash us are allies with us. Our country has relations in more than half the world. Most likely, we're best friends.
French: "Look at Iraq. What a dumb mistake."
American: "Dude, we know our president's an ass."
But nonetheless, regarding my own humble experience, I found most americans beeing really kind, straight, honest and generous people, and despite these qualities, they can be quite (irritating) modestly too. I believe even behind the "fuck off, leave me alone"-attitude, some of them have, you still may find a big, bumping heart in the right place. They live, struggle and suffer as we all do, well, probably in a more intense way. A lot of them have managed to create incredible beautiful and touching things like art, literature, music and other amazing or insane stuff while they have been living in the worst nightmare you can't nor you like to imagine at all. You won't find this special kind of strength and creativity very often outside america. Especially their music can tell you a lot about them; if you're open minded and dig deeper.
It's true their culture is quite dominating, from an european point of view, but this is because they're often just freaking good in what they do, and the "language" they speak is one everyone can understand. Since the U.S., as well as Canada, were founded by people who came or fled from every thinkable place of this planet, americans are the sum of all these origins. Squared. So, from a different view, we're all americans. If you want to see one, just look into a mirror. If you hate them, you probably just hate yourself.
Regarding U.S. residents, I hope, wish and pray they get their act together again, that they get over all this sad shit they suffer from and rise like a phoenix. Come on. Nobody can smile like you do, show it to us again. I'm missing it.
B: "Yeah, just like all Germans."
A: "They eat shit all day long and look ill."
B: "Yeah, just like all Frenchmen."
A: "They speak a pathetic language."
B: "Yeah, just like all Britons."
A: "They are obsessed with sex."
B: "Yeah, just like all Italians."
... and so on and so forth ...
A: "They're just fucking stupid and have no culture."
B: "Yeah, just like you."
I myself am Canadian, and although SOME Americans are fat, idiotic, ignorant slobs, many are the exact opposite. A lot of Americans (probably the majority) are genuine, hardworking people who do the best they can to provide for their family with what they have. Many hate Bush, and are glad Obama's taken his position, hoping that it'll lead to more peaceful and better living. Not all of them wanted to even go into Iraq in the first place, and even though the stereotype for Americans are fat and stupid, many of them don't deserve it, and if you think that 300,000,000 people are stupid fat asses, you are extremely close minded.
Me: Well I'm sorry you feel that way, it makes you look very arrogant.
Mostly people who live in the USA are called Americans.
People in other countries like to call them fat and stupid which is the common stereotype. Americans think of themselves as free and rich.
Many Americans I know eat like normal people though. Last time I checked there, I have seen more ads for healthy, organic food than for McDonalds. It wasn't like that a few years ago though.
SUVs are becoming less common, and there is now a growing number of Hybrids on the road. Driving a Peugot around on an interstate highway wouldn't be as safe as a Prius, but still very efficient.
Americans also aren't stupid at geography either. Most do know that England and Scotland are two entirely different countries.
Not every American is arrogant about their country. The US is the world's lone superpower, but whether it is the "best" is subjective and must be based on many variables. Most the negative definitions about the US come from Americans themselves.
Oh, and you can make fun of American culture, but chances are if you have a computer and internet then you are as greedy a capitalist as they are.
America is a huge country, so there are definitely many nutcases out there, but you can't judge an entire country based on a few pricks on the internet. I have met many people who have traveled to America and had a grand time there. America may not be perfect, but it has a lot to offer if you look in the right places.
(answers Japanese-manufactured cell phone)
Bigoted European: "Whatever, you greedy capitalist yanks"
(takes huge handful of McDonald's french fries)
Observer: "Guys, shut the fuck up, you both sound like idiots."