Ahti Ahde's picture
Ahti Ahde from Helsinki, Finland is reading Horns by Joe Hill February 11, 2013 - 5:42pm

I know for sure, that some of my texts will be criticism or parody about the US politics, but I would like to be contemporary for the youth/young adults, not for the masses.

Finland is very different country I believe, but hot topics around here are

  1. The youth who drop out side of society due to mental problems. Our society is built upon strong social security, but it is very clear that it is failing on the youth quite bad.
  2. Some of us (I would call us the more intellectually aware) are worried by racistic right wing nationalistic agendas, and some of us are buying into the nationalistic "let's take care of our own first"-agenda.
  3. Basic income guarantee as system to replace the current social security system, which is too inefficient due to heavy bureaucarcy, and favors heavily the older generations.
  4. Gay rights, most of the youth is in favor for
  5. Environmental issues, of which most of us are very informed

So do these topics present shared values of a global generation, or are there some significant differences, and if so, how could one conduct a back ground research about the dominant political flavors of America for example.

Feel free to take the discussion to any direction even remotely related, but no debate, just the big picture of what is there ;)

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 11, 2013 - 8:37pm

Read blogs.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 12, 2013 - 7:39am

I know for sure, that some of my texts will be criticism or parody about the US politics, but I would like to be contemporary for the youth/young adults, not for the masses.

What about it are you intending to be part of the parody?

Finland is very different country I believe, but hot topics around here are

Yeah it is.

The youth who drop out side of society due to mental problems. Our society is built upon strong social security, but it is very clear that it is failing on the youth quite bad.

I don't think this as common in the U.S. We don't have as much of a safety net and not working if very much frowned upon, so you almost have to take part.

Some of us (I would call us the more intellectually aware) are worried by racistic right wing nationalistic agendas, and some of us are buying into the nationalistic "let's take care of our own first"-agenda.

Some folks think that is what they are doing here, although the right wing here gets labeled racist at the drop of a has kind of lost the impact.
 

Basic income guarantee as system to replace the current social security system, which is too inefficient due to heavy bureaucarcy, and favors heavily the older generations.

That is a big debate here.

Gay rights, most of the youth is in favor for

Big debate here is gay marriage.

Environmental issues, of which most of us are very informed

Most Americans are pro environment, the debate is more what is and isn't needed to protect it. 

I think the main thing you might be missing is that the United States is a very diverse nation. You might want to read American Nations or The Nine Nations of North America.

http://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-Regional-Cultures-ebook/dp/B0052RDIZA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

http://www.amazon.com/NINE-NATIONS-NORTH-AMERICA/dp/B00165CUY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360679335&sr=1-1&keywords=the+nine+nations+of+north+america

Matt L.'s picture
Matt L. from Texas is reading Tenth of December: Stories February 12, 2013 - 9:24am

Dwayne is right about the U.S. being a diverse nation, despite how we may be perceived from afar (or even from within). I'm not sure what you're planning to write, but if you are thinking of setting a story in America, you might consider researching the politics of certain regions. Same thing if you intend to use characters that are American. Where they are from? West coast? Northeast? Deep South? Pacific Northwest?

Though geography has less impact than in the past due to technological/communication advances, what section of the country someone is from will provide you with some pretty good guesses as to what their political leanings might be.

Of course this can be broken down even further to state, county, city, neighborhood - but the regions will provide a decent picture. This is not to say there are not exceptions to the rule. Not all individuals or communities fit into their regional paradigm. Being from Texas, Austin comes to mind - it certainly doesn't fit the mold of your stereotypical Texan community.

Some of the hot political issues in the U.S. right now:

  • Gun control
  • Gay marriage
  • Abortion
  • Social Security
  • Welfare
  • Unemployment benefits
  • The economy (this includes the 3 above, but also the deficit, tax law, and more)

These can be broken down into much more detail. Perhaps try Google searching "gun control views in America" or "gay marriage debate in the United States" etc.

Ahti Ahde's picture
Ahti Ahde from Helsinki, Finland is reading Horns by Joe Hill February 12, 2013 - 4:19pm

Thanks for the discussion so far. Maybe the most important aspect is that if I write something political I want it to:

  1. Resonate in American audiences also
  2. If it is satire about current Western politics, I want to be sure that the American audience is also able to grasp the subject. For example, in one of my stories I have a sentence, which I very much assume also American audience can graps, "They are deaf to the idiotic sound of the 'War against Spiritualism'.", but I would like to be more certain about these matters, especially when the references are more subtle.
Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 12, 2013 - 4:35pm

Any generalization about a large nation with hundreds of millions of people is a best middling useful, but I think it is safe to say American culture does not prize the subtle.

In the specific it depends on the American in question. It is vague enough many Christians will feel it is a sympathetic statement about them having less freedom to practice their religion, many people who believe in less common/less organized religions will feel it is a sympathetic statement about freedom they never had, and many people will think it ironic attacking such groups for various reasons.