Don't pin that on just Americans. People are basically the same no matter what country they are from. I've heard these accusations of American's supposedly stunted perspective before, the accusation itself is a stereotype. All countries have population who prefer entertainment that stays within the safety net and other population who prefer their entertainment to be raw and not inhibited by conservative views.
Sure, every country has its share of both views. The difference is just how big each share is. In Europe, the extreme conservatives are a minority, if it is just small or ridiculously small depends from country to country. In the US on the other hand, this extereme conservative group appears to be the norm when seen from the outside.
Much of this perception has come in recent years, by many little things.
I disagree with you that movies are among them. But TV series, yes most definatly. Overtly mild and politically correct shows like "Friends", "Step by Step" and many others certainly have done a lot for this impression. But the one major incicent that stands out is the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident a few years back.
In Europe, this stunt would have been considered mild
compared to other things that regurlarly happen at live family events. Had the Janet incident been in any other western country, it wouldn't have had any consequences what so ever, and a note on the last page of the tabloids would have been the most media coverage generated by it. Indeed the nip slip incident itself
was barely mentioned in any news channels in the west apart from the US. Completely and harmless and unimportant. But the extreme overreaction displayed by the american public on the other hand, now that made headlines! Actual letters from angry parents sent to the channel airing Superbowl was used as entertainment in humourprograms in radio and TV for weeks, I kid you not. This cemented the impression of americans as moralistic fanatics in the eyes of the rest of the western world, I'm truely sorry to say. After that, people have been more sensitive to news about things that cause controvery in the states, like the Golden Compass and what have you not, which is considered perfectly harmless everywhere else.
Please note that I'm not saying that all americans are moralistic prudes, far from it. But there are indeed differences in how "prudent" various cultures are, and while many points of complaint may be sterotypical, there are undeniably some level of truth in them. This certainly goes for the things which often cause offense in the US. Surely no one can deny that.
Across the pond you have
-nudity on TV all the time. No, not just cable, but ordinary free for all TV. Things reserved for cable in the US are the norm. This safety net you speak of does not necessarily offer all that much "safety".
-Virtually all beaches are clothing optional.
-Religious faith is generally not considered a virtue. A vice would be closer to the truth. If a politican tries to use his strong religious views as a selling point, he'll likley loose the election.
-Anyone saying they believe in creationism and the young earth school of thougth would immediatly be considered insane or a dangerous fanatic, usually both.
I imagine all of the above would be pretty controversial in the US.
In those places where americans are sometimes considered conservative and moralistic, it is not.Hold Brillan!
one of the best posts i've ever read on the imdb! as someone who lives in germany and has lived in the US for a while i wanted to tell the person above that she's wrong but you explained it perfectly. great examples and easy to understand for those that haven't been to both the US and europe.
Extreme conservatives are not the norm here in the U.S. They're not even the norm in the Republican party. They are a very vocal and vociferous minority who get in the media all the time.
Most Americans thought the Janet Jackson overreaction was ridiculous.
There are over 300 million people here and only the most outrageous get publicity. There are tens of millions of non-Puritanical people here. You should come visit or live here to see what it's really like.
For real----I'm American, and I really thought that whole controversy over Janet Jackson was ridiculous as hell, and sadly, it did hurt her career as she hasn't made an album since,which sucks.(Interesting how it never hurt Justin Timberlake's career at all, since he's the one who committed the actual action anyway, yet nobody jumped all over him about it as much as they did Janet.) And the whole thing was just an accident anyway---you'd think she'd done it on purpose,or that the sky fell, the way the media reacted to it. And people pointed out that there were commercials that were much racier than anything Janet Jackson showed for all of 5 seconds on national TV. Just like the recent dust-up about Miley Cyrus's dancing actions at that music award show, or complaints about the way Queen Bey (Beyonce) was dressed while performing at the halftime show, which was also equally ridiculous. From what I've seen in European movies and media,they're always seemed to have a much more mature attitude toward sex in general (which is why they probably laughed their behinds off at all the hype any of these so-called incidents got in the first place.
Yes, Americans raised in a conservative church like I was do have their hangups (and learn to grow out of them--not as much as we think we do,unfortunately,but we try) but all of us aren't like that,thank goodness.
Extreme conservatives are not the norm here in the U.S. They're not even the norm in the Republican party. They are a very vocal and vociferous minority who get in the media all the time. <They are now>