I would have to say that the U.S.A. has indeed forged a culture that is unique to them.
Although young , America has lived a very full life. A war of independance, a civil war, witch trials, assassinations of Presidents, attempted
genocide of a native people, a history of slavery, involvement in more wars than many other countries put together.
America has produced it's own mythology, much of it drawn from it's early life; Paul Bunyon & Babe the Blue Ox, Pecos Bill & Slue-foot Sue, Johnny
Appleseed, Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Bell Witch, Davy Crockett & Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, John Henry, Casey Jones,
Daniel Boone, Annie Oakley, Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane, The Hatfields and the McCoys.
As with all mythologies most of these are based upon actual people and events but have been romanticised and skewed out of proportion.
When looking over the more popular of the American myths we see a theme of violence and death.
Some would say that the American culture is the very antithesis of European culture. Many Europeans describe the American culture as coarse and
vulgar, yet many of them are secretly in love with many aspects of American culture.
The great Rockabilly singer Charlie Feathers did not have a mass following in America, but go to Europe and you will find he is worshipped like a
D. H. Lawrence, writing in "The Plumed Serpent
", described America as "The Great No
", the total negation of the positive life forces
exhibited on every other continent.
Frank Norris, who wrote what is possibly the greatest and most fearful description of the American White Manifest Destiny, "Mcteague
Contemporary artists such as David Lynch (In his seminal "Twin Peaks
series), Joe Coleman and William Burroughs understand the darkness that
lives at the heart of America.
To quote Burroughs;
America is not a young land.
It is old...
and dirty and evil.
Before the settlers,
before the Indians.
The evil is there waiting.
Although a nation of immigrants, America (Be it the people or the influence of the continent itself) has put it's own twist on many beliefs and
* The conversion of Palo Mayombe
* The ancient celebration of Samhain
* The creation of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry as an appendant body out of regular Freemasonry.
I am an Australian, a country not much younger than the U.S.A., yet with no real cultural identity. We have mostly remained an extension of the
British Empire, yet without access to it's history and culture.
We have not melded our culture with the Aboriginal myths and beliefs, unlike the Americans who have absorbed so much from the Native Americans and
even cultures like the Aztecs, the Spanish, and the Africans.
It amazes me to see a country not much older than my own influence the world in such a unique way.
American music is one of the most influential in the world, be it Motown, Rockabilly, the Blues, Country & Western, etc...
I believe that when a country produces it's own unique voice in the world of the arts, they have produced their own culture.
I don't really see a conspiracy against your culture, but a fear of it. America is a war-like culture and this causes other nations to view it with
suspicion and fear. I don't think it is a negative thing to be war-like, but others may. It is the ancient war cultures that are most remembered: The
Romans, the Celts, the Mongols, the Teutons, the Vikings, .
All of the above mentioned cultures have had their own positive aspects yet they are viewed overall as being war-like.
The Wild West seems to be lodged in many peoples minds when they think of America.
Hollywood may be to blame for much of the world's perception of America.
Nearly every country in the world is privy to American news services and this is not reciprocated. What makes good copy? Sex and Death. We get to see
the school massacres, the serial killings, the incursions into other countries, the race problems, the shot heard round the world.
[edit on 24-10-2006 by Beelzebubba]