Myths and Prejudices about the USA

15th February 1999

In Australia, we have a number of myths and prejudices about Americans. I certainly have them. So does Robert Barrett, especially in his book And De Fun Don't Done where he mercilessly savages Americans. Sadly, the myths and prejudices that I carry, have mostly been swept away by close contact with Americans. This may not be the case in all of America, but it is certainly true in THIS area.

Myth Reality
Americans are very fat This depends on the area. Virginia is supposed to have on of the largest percentages of truly obese people in the USA, but you don't see very many of them. Virginia is a military city, so most of the people are slim and trim. Most people here are also very health aware, and they exercise and play sport and go to gym. That's not to say that there aren't fat people around. There are. But I have seen hardly any. The few that I have seen are really big. They make me look svelte.
American beer is really weak This depends on the state. Some states restrict the alcohol level in beer to about 2%. A lot of states don't. Virginia doesn't have any regulations apparently. If the beer doesn't have an alcohol percentage printed on it, then it's probably a lite beer and about 2% to 3%. There are a lot of beers that are about 5% to 6%. I've even seen some that are up to 7%. The beers that everyone drinks are usually pretty weak. Budweiser, Millers, Coors. These are awful beers and should be avoided. Luckily, the USA has an incredible range of beer, boutique beers, imported beers, speciality beers, seasonal beers. If you avoid the common crap, this place is a beer drinker's paradise.
America is the land of the free This is not true. They can do some big things like bear arms (after plenty of red tape and bureaucracy), but they have lost so many of the little freedoms of life. Freedom of speech is just about gone, as is the freedom to meet and march. Everything they see and read is heavily censored. The only really free people in this country are the rich. They are free to do anything they want, and the poor people are free to cop it.