(2003 to 2005)

Personal insight for the day

Tue Mar 15 23:48:00 UTC+1100 2005


I have a negative emotional response to North American accents (I'd say all flavours, not that I proclaim to have a good understanding of what those are).

Words like 'hate' and 'despise' may not even be too harsh.

Not the individual people, I'll be quick to point out. The *accent*. Further, this is not a conscious response, it's a conditioned emotional response. Sometimes it's a 'weak' response, such as “oh, yeah.. whatever, pfft.” Other times it's a 'strong' response, such as “I fucking hate you.” 

I hear it, and words (or 'feelings') like these flash through my brain: violent, ignorant, liar, dualist, insincere.

My neurons have been conditioned by a life experience of the North American accent primarily in the context of:

I'm quite sincere. The number of positive transactions in my life that have involved a North American accent are dwarfed by the number of negative ones. Positive experiences with the accent are probably limited almost exclusively to cartoons and music. I don't think that I've ever interacted, *in the flesh*, with a North American that I would call a friend. I've met very few North Americans, and the ones that I have met have mostly been in a corporate environment, where they were either pricks, or 'neutral' at best. I tend to find American tourists loud and obnoxious, and the only time I've been sent to hospital after a fight was after being bashed by an 'American accent', and the only time that I've been in the street and someone has threatened to kill me... yup.. North American accent.

There are a few *voices* with the *accent* that I have a positive reaction to, though. For example, Bart and Homer Simpson, or Jerry Seinfeld, etc. And the same reaction is not typically experienced in music, which I tend to enjoy.

I have to consciously engage my mind in 'getting over' the *conditioned* emotional response, so as to prevent myself from being prejudiced. Even then, I can only change my consciousness, I am unable to completely check my emotional response. When I'm quick to befriend a North American accent, my emotional response changes to remind me that I'm probably selling out.

Thought some of you might like to know about the neural damage that the USA's export of 'popular culture', 'news', and particularly 'advertising' has had on at least one foriegner...

So, Stuart, Rick, Scott... guys, I want you to know that I love you, but, well, it's probably best if we keep the relationship textual. (I'm not sure if ~25 years worth of conditioning can be undone...)

p.s. I'll never, ever, ever, buy a pack of Oreos, because of that stupid ad.. with that stupid kid. I'm sorry. I just can't get over it. I've noticed recently they have changed the Oreo ad. Perhaps the marketing department has realised how some demographics respond to 'the accent', and that raw export of television advertisements may be a poor idea.

Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot