Stereotypes exist for a reason: They help us form opinions about people without all the hassle of getting to know them. Why waste time talking to, say, a Frenchman, when everybody knows they are a bunch of baguette-gobbling, beret-wearing cowards? Russians? Furious, bear-fighting drunkards. Dutch? A nation of burn-out potheads. Canadians? Like Americans, but polite. There! We just saved you years of pointless interaction with foreigners.
...or did we?