Saturday, 21 July 2007

Beefy Comments

I haven't spent too much time publicising this blog--I really just told friends and family about it. I actually set up the blog, thinking that it would be good to have access to the images wherever I was. But recently, I've gotten a couple comments on my blog, the photos and the thoughts, because of Jett Loe's ( endorsement of my project on his blog about Belfast and from traffic from Erin Parish's blog (

The comments have been supportive--people seem to like the project. But I would like a bit more, to tell you the truth. The project, in a lot of ways, is about joint definitions--about finding 'truth' through everyday thoughts--through the everday thoughts of many people. So, what I think I should say is: join in this discussion. Let me know where your thoughts fall. Where do you come from, and what do you think of when you think of Americans? Do you want to associate yourself with one of these responses--or do you want to propose a new thought of your own? Give me a Beefy comment.


Anonymous said...

this is a unique examination of stereotypes from the eyes of the holder and the eyes of the receiver - in addition to issues of national identity, it would be equally as facinating to examine other types of stereotypes. interesting work.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting what you say about the fact that you find yourself having to dig into stereotypes to give images to the words of your interviewees. I don't find it that surprising though. Indeed I do think stereotypes have a comforting role in our search of protection and confirmation of identity.
I have always hated the usual stereotypes about Italians and, even more, those Italians that seem to impersonate them, but then...once in this country, once mixed with people coming from all over the world, every now and then I find myself almost justifying a certain behaviour because...I am Italian ?!
I have heard other people despising nationalisms and then finding themselves defending their respective countries in a way that they wouldn't have expected themselves to act like.
I think it's a defensive mechanism, a way to affirm an identity that is somehow threatened or weakened. So although it may seem a statement of nationalism, I think it's actually a case of very private and comforting individual self-defence: I am part of a bigger tribe, so even if you see me here little and alone, my group exists somewhere and is established. Am I actually a concrete participant and actor in this group? not really...sometimes I don't even like them (one of the reasons for which I am here!), but if I can use the group to make me stronger...all is gained.
Sorry if these dull and minimal anthropological reflections may be out of your track.

leslie said...

In the 1970's I left the New York metropolitan area to 'find America'. I envisioned cowboys on horses, tied in front of saloons, in Texas. Really. I truly suffered from TV image overload, having grown up on Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger.
I was amazed to discover multi-tiered highways and skyscrapers in Dallas, and a Cadillac sporting the biggest set of longhorns on the front bumper you had ever thought could exist. I kid you not. Hello America!