"Americans are considered crazy anywhere in the world.
They will usually concede a basis for the accusation but point to California as the focus of the infection. Californians stoutly maintain that their bad reputation is derived solely from the acts of the inhabitants of Los Angeles County. Angelenos will, when pressed, admit the charge but explain hastily, 'It's Hollywood. It's not our fault, we didn't ask for it; Hollywood just grew.'
The people in Hollywood don't care; they glory in it. If you are interested, they will drive you up Laurel Canyon 'where we keep the violent cases.' The Canyonites — the brown-legged women, the trunks-clad men constantly busy building and rebuilding their slap-happy unfinished houses — regard with faint contempt the dull creatures who live down in the flats, and treasure in their hearts the secret knowledge that they, and only they, know how to live."
A lot of weird news stories seem to take place in the United States of America
, giving a misleading impression that the place has more weirdness than average. Social scientists recently have even proposed that it makes Americans a rather poor choice
for drawing broader conclusions on humanity from.
While this isn't verifiable one way or the other, there are some possible reasons:
- Population of over 312 million, the fourth-largest in the world, and largest first world country. Like the PRC and India, is possessed of an insular culture but this is somewhat justified due to said population.
- Largest state-economy in the world since about 1915. One of the most well-developed economies in the world, focus being on high-technology and high-skill sectors.
- Plentiful media coverage as a result of this level of development. Some channels operate 24/7 and all focus on US domestic affairs, meaning a lot of weird & wacky stories from within the US are reported.
- World's least-taxednote and most powerful Upper Classnote - affairs of the rich more important than elsewhere, with greater focus on them accordingly.
- Relatively weak government, inc. relative to Upper Classnote .
- Most militarised first-world country.note .
- Most imprisoned first-world country. note
- Sickest first-world country, largest medical and medical insurance sectorsnote .
- Highest absolute but not relative crime rate for first world note . Thus, plenty of gory and sensational stories for news networks. Despite falling crime rates, perception (as throughout First World) in the USA is actually that crime is on the rise.
- Strong national belief in personal freedom - encourages idiots to do whatever they want.
- People in America are a willing audience for the weird and slightly unusual. As one of our comedians, George Carlin, put it, "If you're born on this planet you get a free ticket to the freak show; if you're born in America you get a front row seat."
- With so much access to different forms of media in the form of TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, satellite radio, blogs, webcasts, Twitter, podcasts, etc., those outlets trying to keep an audience must increasingly differentiate from one another.
- Every other country is boring, so no one cares about them.
- In other countries, you will see American TV shows along with locally produced TV shows. In America, you see American TV shows. Or sometimes British TV shows, if you watch PBS or BBC America. Or an occasional — i.e., rare — Canadian TV show in the summer when nobody is watching, or Anime, but beware the Animation Age Ghetto. TV shows from other countries? Forget about it.
- Unlike European countries where you can receive radio and TV shows from other countries over the air, many Americans live out their entire lives without visiting another country or seeing foreign media.
- Averted with American programming based around compiling "wacky" commercials, soap opera clips, internet videos, etc. from Around the World. ex: The Soup, Tosh0
- You encouraged us by paying attention!
Often used negatively
as a No True Scotsman
fallacy, in which someone says something negative "can only be done in America", regardless of if any other part of the world can or has been subjected to it
Compare with Vocal Minority
. See Only in Florida
and Only In Miami
as a subset. See Eagleland
for the unfortunate image that results.
Changing with time as an increasingly large number of "and finally..." stories derive from China and India (most of which are invented by newspapers), the two nations with, coincidentally, the first and second largest populations in the world, respectively.
This trope name does not refer to
works that are only available in the US. That would be No Export for You
. Only an American could make that mistake
Nor does it refer to Larry The Cable Guy
's television series of the same name.