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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Is Michael Phelps arrogant?

So Pieter van den Hoogenband has won silver on the 200 meters at the world championships. Was amazed by the time of american swimmer Michael Phelps, but the photo above this piece turned me off again. First saying 'I'm going for 8 times gold'. And then not even looking happy, just putting one finger up. Only seven to go. Why do Americans always irritate me with their arrogance? Seems they need it to get that far in the competitive American sportsworld, otherwise no one would be interested in this swimming competition? But being from a less masculine country, I judge this finger to be offensive. I prefer the 'toppiejoppie' of Inge or Pieter's remark: 'I admire that guy, what he did is terrific'. Find that the American sportsworld is much more aggressive, but also more childish. Get Three! Get More Get Seven! No Get Eight! Wonder how he'll feel if he only wins seven. Will he be laughed at in tv shows? Could well be: you promised us eight and all you got us was seven! Loser!

In the end I think Phelps will be just an average guy, but his cultural clichees keep him at a distance from my Dutch mentality. We'll carry on playing the underdog. Much more fun, you even get applauded for ONE bronze! Well, good luck to Michael. Hope for him he will get his 8 gold medals. If only he promises to show some genuine happiness after winning the last one, not only a 'and then there were eight and I did my job'-tight lipped arrogance.

What I do know is I chose Canada because I like the Canadians so much better than most Americans. Have met lots of nice individual Americans (of course there are a few! In such a big country!), but the atmosphere in Canada on the whole is so much more relaxed. A cultural cliche that is still true. Wonder how Americans will describe their differences with Canadians. Must dive into that one of these days.

Anyway have signed a new rental agreement today for another apartment. Will move may first (30 day notice..), so Marcel can also enjoy the humming fridges serenade for two weeks. Jottem.


Matthew said...

Looks like the TV shows won't laugh at Phelps after all.

As for arrogance, re-read this post.


Anonymous said...

Phelps is a arrogant wanker

Noel said...

Like Anon said, but that is like most yanks

Anonymous said...

American arrogance is a common societal trait of a certain kind of white American masculinity. It is part and parcel of that kind of masculinity, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

American arrogance is a common societal trait of a certain kind of white American masculinity. It is part and parcel of that kind of masculinity, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

It is not just white people but all Americans. They grow up with self belief that they are the best in the world. It is amazing how ignorant they are to everything outside the States.

hollarback said...

Well, you are stereotyping an entire people based on the exuberance of an athlete ( with the attendant adrenaline rush) after a sporting event. Many athletes are very confident, it enables them to reach their goals..not just Americans.

Is that really reasonable? Your post is very arrogant in it's assumption - you come across as a very bigoted person. Have you ever even been to the US? Or did you just go there for holiday/vacation for a week or two...making you an instant expert on everything American. Or perhaps you just glean your opinions from the media.

Most of the other swimmers from other nations don't share your prejudices - then again, they have lived and trained in the US. They have knowledge that you lack of what the US and Americans are like.

Your case of Phelps "offenses" is pretty weak. Simply put, based on your own words - You are a bigot. Just accept it.

Anti American bigotry is very acceptable these days - but it is still an irrational prejudice based on stereotypes - it's just hatred and bigotry.