[FOUNTAIN]U.S. is powerful but detestedThe United States is the most powerful nation in the world and maybe the least favorite nation at the same time. It has been criticized for being responsible for the vices of the world, problems of certain societies and even personal tragedies. Its expansionist policies and pursuit of global hegemony are the biggest antagonistic factors. The ill feelings have been growing even more since the Iraq War. Anti-Americanism has become a global phenomenon.
Some distinguish anti-American sentiments from anti-Americanism. An anti-American sentiment might be a temporary feeling, but anti-Americanism is a permanent ideology. Political scientist Kim Jin-ung wrote in his book “Anti-American” that anti-Americanism in Korea usually takes the form of anti-American sentiment. Most Koreans oppose certain U.S. policies or actions, instead the United States itself.
As Western Europe fell into the sphere of U.S. influence after World War II, anti-American sentiment grew there. Third World countries in South America, the Middle East and Asia exhibit far more intense antagonism based on their historical experiences. Anti-Americanism sometimes turns into “scapegoat” politics. Some countries blame the United States for all of their problems. According to a theory, anti-Americanism is not opposition to the United States itself but a resistance to the United States as a dominant nation.
The most notable mark of anti-Americanism is the double standard. People abhor the United States but enjoy American pop culture and admire the American lifestyle. You will find “Yankee Go Home!” slogans on the walls in every corner of South America, but they will half-jokingly add, “Take me to the United States with you.”
The movie “The Host” contains anti-American sentiment. Although not as obvious as the anti-Japanese code in the movie “The Korean Peninsula,” the record-breaking hit conveys clear anti-American messages. However, the viewers have had an interesting response. While the anti-American code has made the movie entertaining and popular, most viewers insist “The Host” is not an anti-American movie. They argue that a cultural anti-American sentiment is different from political anti-Americanism. “The Korean Peninsula,” struggled at the box office, and moviegoers seemed to have enjoyed the “implicit anti-American sentiment” but find “blunt anti-Japanese code” uncomfortable.
Anti-American sentiment is a complicated emotion, paradoxical and self-contradictory. What is important is that extremisms share many things in common, whether anti-American or pro-American.
by Yang Sung-hee
The writer is a culture and sports desk writer for the JoongAng Ilbo.