When I read this critique of the United States this evening, I felt the heat rise in my chest:
The U.S.A. has no poets, no painters, no architects or composers of world stature. Whatever culture it has is borrowed from Europe. The land lacks its own language, culture, and civilization. It has borrowed everything, generally debasing it by Americanizing it, never improving it. Americanization is a kind of kitschification that gives every cultural value an American stamp, turning a mature language into slang, the waltz into jazz, a work of literature into a crime story. If the Americans lacked money, they would probably be the most despised people in the world. Superiority is nowhere as annoying as with them.
Maybe it's because I heard similar sentiments voiced throughout the year I spent in Euope, frequently from teenagers. I used to wonder what it would take to convince these critics that, for all of its faults, my nation has made significant contributions to global civilization. I'm no longer so interested in making that point. But somewhere inside me, that cultural patriot lives on, intruding at the most awkward moments. I mean, what do care what this the author of this clichéd rant thinks?