Graham, it is all down to who you meet. I have spent most of my working life in American Corporations, in Aerospace and Defence, and therefore most people (I empahsise not all) tend to be card carrying republicans who will do anything the defend the good ol' US of A, and generally think Tony Blair is the best politician we have ever had. Many of the plants I have worked in have had several military reservists, and most of the senior staff have a military background. Your description of you friends could not be more different to my experience of americans, who are very arrogant, blinkered, right wing fundamentalists of the christian variety, who really don't know why the world hates them, (but haven't actually been out of state in 20 years).graham wrote: Many brits seem to still think there's an empire, they're xenophobic, and extremely arrogant. I don't believe any members of this forum are this way, but then most Americans I know (and many are not in academia) are not particulary 'american'. I reiterate that stereotypes are often not so well suported if you scratch a little beneath the surface.
I spent nearly a year working in LA, which was far more open and cosmopolitan, even if every waiter was a resting actor - yes it is true. But unfortunately the guys I meet at work from the mid west and the sunshine belt are probably more representative of the country as a whole