Why do Americans love talking about shit?

I’ve been to the USA twice. Not for long. When there I was amazed by two things. The first one was how articulate even the average guy in a bar is. They may believe Obama is the anti-Christ and their grandmother was abducted by anal probing aliens, but compared to the average Aussie they’re models of modern eloquence.  I have a fond memory of my American country-boy lover apologising once for his ‘mendacious articulating’.  Men- fucking WHAT? (a red-blooded Aussie male would’ve said)

The second one was how uniformly everyone seemed to take the existence of a creator for granted.  “You really don’t believe in God??? Who do you think made all this then? How did it GET here?”.  In Oz, it’s more like ‘yeah whatever, you and the other 80 percent’.

Anyway, as a consequence, most of what I know about America comes from movies.  And this is what the movies say.

People in America find crapping and farting of immense interest and humour.  No romantic comedy is complete without the hero accidentally wiping his bum on grandma’s monogrammed tee towels, or the heroine giving way to diarroeah in the middle of a crowded street, or Romeo letting off a silent but deadly ‘Ooops – I think I may have followed through’ in the presence of his beauteous but tolerant Juliet.  When I was in the good ole USA, and had to spend hours each day killing time by watching American tv, every ad break was full of blandishments to buy stuff to plug you up, get you moving, soothe your piles or oil your rectum.  Virtually every sentence has an ass in it.  Get your ass over here.  I’m gonna whup your ass.  You bet your ass I am.  Who does his ass think he is! And the oddly heterosexual ‘I’m gonna fuck your ass so hard my dick’s gonna knock your teeth out!’.

American high schools are a bit like Abu Ghraib when the warders are having a party night.  In Oz, being bullied usually means being called names when the teacher isn’t looking and maybe having your school bag tipped out on the way home from school or the chair out pulled out from under you as you’re about to sit down.  In the US, the school wimp can look forward to having his head held down the toilet till he’s nearly drowned, or a rattlesnake put in his locker, or being playfully boiled in the shower, or having a bucket of blood emptied over her formal dress.  When the jocks/homecoming queens are feeling good-natured, they might just throw a slushie, or spike your drink with laxatives, or upend you in a wheelie bin .  What the teachers are doing while all this is going on, I don’t know.  Don’t they HAVE playground patrols in the US?

So what I want to know is, is this a skewed view of our nearest and dearest imperial power?  Is Glee really a reflection of what goes on in US highschools?  Do you really think about poop all day, or is that just Hollywood mendaciously articulating?

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About turnipsforbreakfast

Rose has two blogs, www.butimbeautiful.wordpress.com, and www.turnipsforbreakfast.wordpress.com. Enjoy!
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76 Responses to Why do Americans love talking about shit?

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Hmm, I don’t think I’ve thought about poop yet today. Must get busy. I wouldn’t want to appear un-American. 😉

    • Perhaps you need to turn on the tv! Or watch a re-run of Bridesmaids??

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      • Carrie Rubin says:

        In defense of my American brothers and sisters, I must point out that the Brits love their potty humor, too. The movie ‘Death at a Funeral’ (the British version, not the less funny American one) has one of the best poopy scenes I’ve ever seen. If you have not seen this movie, you really should. One of my favorites.

      • Good point -yep I’ve seen that one. Where the old uncle poops on the guy’s hand. Ah, poop…hours of fun for the littlies!

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  2. pawsitiveHeather says:

    Haha, I’m an American, and have been all my life. I don’t watch Glee, and I can tell you, all of what was said really only happens in movies. Obsessions with asses, slurpies, toilet bowl hair, rattlesnakes, etc are really only in the movies. There are always exceptions, but for the most part-all of it is just Hollywood.

  3. I’m having a moment of grateful silence for being Canadian… I’d hate to have to argue this one! Apart from my recent moment in the sun with an Aussie bloke, my education about Aussie men is based on “Kenny,” “The Castle,” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” Hmmmm…

    • Well yeah, Kenny is very fond of crap – well it is his living. All men in my experience love to crap. But Aussie culture doesn’t elevate it to the iconic status that American culture does. Canadian culture – well I can’t say!

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  4. SammyScoops says:

    I admit, I’m often guilty of this. Usually my thoughts and monologues focus more on its consistency than size or smell in regards to shit….

    I don’t think there’s many things (I’m sure you could figure out what they are) that are in the same league as the satisfaction you feel after dropping a nice healthy turd in the toilet.

    [kerplunk]

    [Ahhhhhh……]

    The kind where once you’ve flushed and washed up, you can’t help but feel pleased with your efforts; its rewarding on a very cosmic level…..which reminds me, I’m working with one right now, of the turtle head variety.

    Wish me luck!

    • The turtle head variety???? I agree, having a crap is a nice, relieving activity – but I think it holds much more pleasure for men than women, due to anatomical factors. Like the way men seem to be much better at letting off loud forceful farts than women.

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      • SammyScoops says:

        #True Story! What can I say though, when you got it, you got it. [shrug] And do you mean to tell me you don’t know what a turtle head is?

      • Yes. What is it? I mean, I could google it but it’s more interesting to hear it from you.

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      • SammyScoops says:

        Hahaha, I’m not sure I wanna take that one on…. Ok, I’ll go with the path of least resistance I guess…

        You know how turtles have a shell right; and they tend to stay inside them most of the time except occasionally to peek their head outside to quickly catch a glimpse bringing it right back inside….

        Well…[ahem]…[ahem]….

        The tip of the turd would be the head….. indecisively trying to decide whether the coast was clear so it can bust a move and escape from your shell like posterior right down the toilet bowl

        [Kerplunk]

        It must have heard that worked for pet gators in New York….. Tsk tsk….. Poor misguided motherfucker….smh…smh…

        It’s situation is just the shits.

      • So it’s kinda having constipation? Thank you Sammy! I’ll never think of turtles the same way.

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      • SammyScoops says:

        Good, they make useless pets.

  5. I don’t watch TV, as nothing on it, especially the news, resembles real life.

  6. babedarla says:

    Oh my…girl, Hollywood has turned mendaciously articulating into an…er…art form! See, a few decades ago, some number cruncher came up with the idea that the age group most likely to spend bundles of cash at the movies was that of 13-14 year old boys. The rest of us have been suffering ever since…

  7. i lived in the states for a year, but not to study. had a friend who did a semester over there, joined a frat. said that not only is it exactly like what you see it in the movies, but it makes for a whole new level. the movies, t.v shows are like the pg version of what happens in reality. is it true? fucked if i know. is it a tad scary… dunno. (‘Murica).

    • I think if you stick a bunch of young folks in a residence, weird stuff happens, unless there’s adult supervision. Even here! But not to that level – for the real wild stuff, you have to be in the defence forces.

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  8. Well everyone here seems obsessed with poop. The thing about blockbuster summer movies and teenage boys is true. It is all about money, so our movies are shit.
    As far as the god thing goes, Atheists live on the coasts, not so much in the midlands. But even so we tend to be careful about announcing it since everyone in America has a gun and those that believe in God (the big G there) tend to have lots of guns, automatic ones with huge magazines.
    As far as bullying goes, a lot worse happens when you aren’t in school. I was always trying to protect my teeth, mom paid a lot for them, and told me if I got them knocked out she would kill me.

    • That sounds scary. If I were your mum I’d say the same. I actually like Hollywood movies, I could just do with a bit less butt and fart stuff. That’s interesting about atheists. Still, most of the US appears to believe, right? I was startled once when I was at some scientific symposium and the speaker said (over coffee) ‘Well of course I believe in God and creation, but…”. That would be an unusual opening remark from an Australian scientist. We are very different countries, huh. Our PM is an avowed atheist.

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      • Yes, most Americans believe in god of some sort. We are a lot more alternative, liberal and accepting on the coasts. Most of the conservatives consider us to be whacked out, stoned, liberal, granola eating, orgy going, hedonistic, nut cases. Which is pretty funny because we do have a fair mix of Republicans here too, but I am proud that my state allows gay marriage, legalized pot, has right to die laws, and is the only state attempting to get legislature passed that would require insurance companies to cover abortions.
        A few of years ago (before Obama) there was a poll done and they discovered that a black, lesbian, woman would have a better chance of being elected president than an atheist. Go figure, but we are a nation that was originally populated by a group of Puritans that felt the Church of England was too liberal.

      • So I’ve heard. Whereas WE were populated by a group of criminals.

  9. i always thought the physical bullying shown in us movies/tv shows looked absolutely terrifying. it made me thankful for the relatively tame psychological bullying experienced in new zealand, though perhaps that’s just because i went to a girls’ school.

    • Me too. You wonder, why aren’t the police involved, the teachers…at the very least the cleaning superintendent (all those slushies on the floor, can’t be good news for the men with mops). And Mean Girls. Ms M reckons no school she’s ever been to has had girls anywhere near as mean as Mean Girls. And she didn’t go to a girls’ school.

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  10. Good and bad everywhere it seems. As far as bullying is concerned, I’d far rather deal with the Aussie version (which seems similar to the South African version). A friend of mine has just moved to Canada and she recons the schools there are exactly as you see in the movies.

    • Really? How scary! But why is that? Don’t adults intervene in the USA? It’s not like they don’t EVER do horrible stuff here, of course they do – it’s just not considered normal.

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    • Or badly potty trained, perhaps. Maybe there’s some book that guides all American parents as to how to potty train their kid, and it’s really twisted, and so they all grow up with weird hangups around poo and farts and butts. Come to think of it, that pretty much describes my daughter.

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  11. Doesn’t it worry you that they are all armed? No ifs, ..ands…or Butts.

    • iamnotshe says:

      Oh dear. You can’t tell me the Aussies don’t like a good fart joke, no? As for the movies. OMG! I’m SO SO sorry you get most of your American History from Hollywood. Not a good source. Then again if you google American History, it’s pretty scary in its present condition.

      As for guns; we not all fucking armed: At all.

      This was an excellent lesson on how distorted out opinions are of anyone other than ourselves. Seriously, I met a guy on E-Harmony who was raised is South Central Los Angels (USA, for the uniformed). He asked me what I thought his life was like. I’m embarassed to say that I thought he was raised around a bunch of gangs with all this shooting. NO! He was a middle class guy with a nice family.

      OK, so, the ONLY advice I can think of is DON’T WATCH most of the SHITE movies that Americans produce. If you like movies see independent films. If you want to have a good time, he he he, give Mel a call and we’ll have a pleasant time.

      BTW, i’d rather NOT talk about shit!

      Oh, and the mermaid is now trying to kill me! I’ll be working on #3. No 2 is going to look like the angel of death! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

      xx

      • I like the idea of the angel of death!! Nah, Aussies like farts and poo same as anyone. they’re not a major feature of our movies though (except for Kenny). It’s true that our opinions of Americans are pretty distorted, I realise that. For instance, most bloggers seem pretty normal – and yet, Australian media from time to time makes much of the fact that Americans (as a statistical group) seem to believe some very odd things. Maybe Aussies do too but nobody asks us! The thing is, like it or not you ARE an imperial power, and as such subject to the less than admiring gaze of smaller nations, much as the Romans were. Bloody Roman weirdos, I bet the British used to say.

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    • Sort of. But then, if I was an American it’d worry me more. And as Mel says, they aren’t all armed – just a very vocal minority?? of them. I suppose you’ve got to be thankful they don’t all shoot their kalashnikovs off at weddings.

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      • iamnotshe says:

        LOL, i thought you said Kardashians (sp) … I’d be All In on shooting them. Is that too American of me?

        Anyway, back to the angel of death. She’s going to the workplace with me. She needs a bit more impressionistic blobbing and perhaps I’ll be done with Merm #2.

        As usual, I wasn’t being critical of you; or mad at you! I love your topics! I THINK you should stick it to Americans.

        Imperial?! OMG, we have NASDAQ and we have some pretty smart foreign scientists! As for NASDAQ: All i mean is whoever set this up (probably Thomas Jefferson was involved) … has long bit the dust and left us with a reputation for having loads of money and control over the “market”.

        We all have such extreme stereotypes about WHO Americans are, or WHO Brits are, and for the most part the world is becoming sort of homogeneous.

        It does concern me that gun violence is a mess here. We seem to be on “this side of a repressed-anger society”. WHY? We can’t take the imperial pressure. HA. Don’t know!

      • Oh, I dunno. My mum used to dislike Americans (tho if she’d ever met one, she’d be terribly polite). She thought they stuck their noses in where they weren’t wanted. I guess the non American view swings between ‘loony Americans, believe anything, obese, violent and moronic’ to ‘purveyors of freedom, coca cola and lovely capitalist goodies to the world’. I don’t think the world is that homogenous. Maybe more than it used to be though. Maybe I just don’t like the idea! Gun violence. Hmm, you are a nation which is VERY suspicious of its government – I noticed that. Education system very poor. Views can be polarised – religious, racist. Lots of drugs. Lots of minority vs majority issues. Ineffective government. Lots of guns, few controls. PhD paper on American gun violence now concluded. Please do not ask for references as refusal may offend 🙂

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      • iamnotshe says:

        Truth be told; Don and I have been thinking of moving to Canada or Australia for the longest time. I think Americans don’t trust ANYTHING. Remember, we are the land of, “Bring me your tired, poor, moronic, sick, “losers from other countries”, etc. No wonder we’ve turned into a mess. As far as government goes; we really don’t seem to get anything done except wage wars and take money from the middle class. Congress and the presidency simply play poker every day.

        BTW, the angel of death now looks like Cedric Benson. He was a running back with the Chicago Bears for 4 years. I could probably sell this one though, however as a man: A big man.

        Merm #3 on the way … being considered. (I’ll write later).

      • Australia has its morons, goodness gracious don’t you worry about that! (no that particular moron’s dead now thank god, look him up, joh bjelke petersen, my son’s hero!)

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  12. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Interesting post, Beautiful! I think American “men” are obsessed with jokes about their privates, poops, and farts (not so much the women).
    I personally think gun-control will be a debate until the end of time in America.
    I don’t really watch t.v. (I’ve never seen Glee) but when I was in High School (25 yrs ago) there was alot of the cliques (nerds, jocks, partyers, mean girls,etc) The worst thing that really ever happened was a fist fight…
    Now, since the gangs came and changed everything (I guess forever here). I work with 3 or 4 young ladies (age 20 to about 26) and they scare ME with their High School stories – daily fights in the hallways, girls with razor knives, stabbings in the parking lots, kids that hid guns in their lockers, a girl was raped in the school last yr) I know our public High School has a few on-duty police officers, they do locker raids, surveilance cameras are in the hallways….some places in America are in a really sad affair.

    • That’s a real worry. ‘Since the gangs came’ – does that mean there was a time before the gangs? Why DID they come, then? Here, I think we’re just developing gangs in the western suburbs of Sydney and maybe other places – it’s relatively recent. Not sure why – maybe immigration, partly, maybe drugs.

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      • whiteladyinthehood says:

        Yes, there was a time here ‘before’ the gangs. They came in the mid 90’s to a bigger city across the river from where I live…and took over large sections of the city and fought each other to sell crack cocaine…then within a few years they branched over to my side…(The Bloods against The Crips)…

      • That’s interesting but horrible for you and the other people who live there (who aren’t in gangs – if you are, obviously it must be just lovely!). I guess that’s the whole drugs thing. Just make it legal – then whoever wants to be an idiot can go do it and not bother anybody else! (well I know it’s not as simple as that but it kind of is, too).

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  13. aFrankAngle says:

    Although probably different, I imagine most cultures have different obsessions. Nonetheless, I enjoy a good dump.

    Although there are a good number of nonreligious citizens, I would think that an self-proclaimed atheist would have difficult time winning a national election – well, especially because one party embraces a slice of Christianity.

    Returns of Bridesmaids? Oh please – we just saw it for the first time this past weekend. … but hey – good post, Rose!

  14. Ned's Blog says:

    We Americans do think about things other than poop or farts…….. I can’t think of any right this minute, but I’m sure we do. Oh, and please don’t read anything into the fact that I’m replying from my iPad while sitting on the toilet.

  15. The Hook says:

    Americans, man…

  16. I’ve never been outside the US, but I just thought this was universal. My memory is not exactly clear on this, but I’m pretty sure I read that the 1st historically discovered joke was a fart joke. Seriously.

    I don’t know if you’re into tennis at all, but Patrick Rafter is my favorite all-time player. He should’ve won a Wimbledon or two.

    • Does Pat Rafter fart? No, I avoid all sports, on the grounds that I fall asleep or get hit (or puffed, which is worse). But I think Pat has a lovely white headband. From memory.

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  17. shovonc says:

    According to Michael Lewis’s Panic!, Germans are very obsessed with shit also. Thanks for the kind words, by the way. I was feeling a little low, and you cheered me up.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ha! Interesting observation! Now I’m thinking of all the fart/poop jokes in films. I think you are right 🙂

  19. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    It totally had to look up ‘mendacious’. But thanks for my word of the day!

    Love the way you write, Rose men fucking WHAT? Yup, very Aussie.

    US bullying (well, from what I see on TV) really disturbs me – but worse, a Canadian girl at work told me that yes, when she was in high school, ‘loser’ kids would be booed out of the canteen. HOW they ate, I don’t know, but they’d be booed out.

    Then you get people saying bullied teens who suicide were weak & whatever, but not so. They endured just WAY TOO MUCH.

    • Thanks! but why is it , though? I’m inclined to think it’s what happens when you segregate young people off into large groups – when we evolved, I guess it was in family or tribal groups, not so much young people all stuck on their own in a ‘playground’. But there are arguments against that. You can’t stop bullying entirely, it’s the way kids work out how to do social relationships, but there must be ways you can minimise it. Certainly at M’s former school, according to her, there wasn’t much overt bullying – they just weren’t allowed, the teachers kept a close eye and the social culture was negative towards it.

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  20. juddin97 says:

    Haha, I am American and this is too true, it made me laugh.
    And you know, I would describe myself as philosophical, thoughtful, and witty. But I don’t mind people who find fart jokes funny!
    You should come check out my blog: http://juddin97.wordpress.com/
    Have fun with this blog, by the way, I know your readers are 😉

  21. scarswarm says:

    Hollywood boils everything down to to lowest common denominator when they make something for the masses. Better programming exists sure but everybody has cracked a smile at a poop joke at least once. Fact of the matter is a lot of things are funny to a lot of different people but for sure poop is funny, maybe not as funny as we think it is but funny none the less.
    I stopped watching comedy by choice a while ago and when I see them now they seem pretty formulaic audience+poop joke*sex scene= profit
    something like that…

  22. Har+new says:

    “Most of what I know about America comes from movies.” This is why I hate when there’s an imbalance of portrayals of a certain race in movies and television because that’s when stereotypes kick in. Thanks for “liking” and commenting on my blog!

    • Yeah that’s true – I mean most of what we all know comes from media portrayals. To us in Oz, sometimes Americans seem as peculiar as little green men from Alpha Centauri.

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  23. I find going in to new situations that people are never as bad as American movies have led me to fear. I always forget that fact when I’m facing a new situation again though. Total brain damage! High school movies of the 90s and 00’s are the worst example. It’s just lazy hacks at work. I was in tears before my first day of secondary school that my head was going to be flushed down the toilet. I think those kinds of movies are becoming a little bit more true to life now though. There is a great alternative example of a American teen film – a movie called Dazed and Confused from 1992, by a proper director called Richard Linklater. In it the quarterback is in with the tough guys but also mates with a dorky crowd, cool dudes have exchanges with non-cool dudes etc and the whole set-up is less backwardly tribal generally, as it is in real life.

  24. That’s comforting. I know from my daughter that high school life is somewhat tribal in Australia, but nobody is significantly violent to anyone and she couldn’t even identify a ‘popular’ group as such. I’m glad to hear American movies of the 90s are misleading – I’ll watch Dazed and Confused instead.

    • When I was in the later years of my school there was someone called ‘the scatman’ who retrieved his excrement from the toilet and mashed it all over the walls. Prefects were assigned to stand outside the toilets for weeks on end and as soon as that stopped he struck again. Went on for a couple of years. He was never identified.

  25. That’s the weirdest thing – like ‘who plopped in the urinal’ in South Park. You’d think he would have been pretty smelly.

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