The American culture is a global machine. From our cuisine, to our achievements, to the evolution of our entertainment industry, the United States has a profound impact on the world and the way it is lived. This is due in part to large-scale immigration into the United States within the past three hundred years that has successfully blended many cultures into one: a single people, distinctly American. My generation is the first of a new breed raised in an age dominated by progressive technology. We have unlimited access to the world's largest encyclopedia; television; phones; PDA's; cameras, etc. Unfortunately, this alienates my generation's ability to distinguish itself in such a diverse world. To most Americans born just after the 1970s, the dramatic shift in information's availability has left many disillusioned by our home culture and what it ultimately means to us. This is understandable. It's easy to forget that the rest of the world has embraced our ideals with such opens arms simply because of the utter normalcy in finding a McDonald's in Prague or a baseball game in Tokyo. You have to ask, Does it really belong to us as a country, as a people, as a culture? Can we claim baseball, maple syrup, hamburgers and blockbuster films as products of our own unique culture? What it comes down to is our perspective. For my generation, America can appear like a bland, greedy, saturated-fat wasteland, void of any real, unique culture in comparison to, say, Barcelona, or Paris. But that is simply not the case. Why are we Americans? What defines us? To be American, to be a part of our plethoric, growing culture, you have to first accept that it is not uniquely ours as a country, but uniquely ours as a world community.
This American World
April 27, 2010