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American culture. . .

It doesn't take much of a philosopher or historian of culture to figure out what "American culture" is.

If by "culture" you mean grand opera, ballet, theatre (as opposed to 'theater'), then I'd have to agree that we're way out back compared to those cultures that have been around for a few millennia, like Europe, or a few hundred millennia, like China or India. But that isn't it at all.

American culture is barbecues and hot dogs on the 4th of July; uniquely American because that's our Independence Day.

American culture is family and turkey on Thanksgiving - another uniquely American holiday.

American culture is taking your kids to a baseball game on the weekend, or loading your kids in the station wagon and driving out to the beach, the lake or the mountains on the weekend.

And it's the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, the Pasadena Rose Bowl parade (and maybe the game, too), and the Indiannapolis 500.

You can get a good idea of what it's all about by spending an hour or two with a book of Norman Rockwell paintings.

Mostly it's about family and friends enjoying the freedom to travel, work hard, play in the sun, help one another, and generally enjoy whatever the countryside has to offer.

Sure, there are a lot of people who don't buy into this idea. And they're people who were born and raised here, too, but would rather try for a short cut to the easy life by knocking over a bank ("because that's where the money is"), hurting someone else or stealing what they figure the other guy doesn't need as badly. But you have to expect a certain amount of that when you've got over 200 million people in the country. When you go on a picnic, there are going to be ants, bees or mosquitos. So you try your best to keep them contained.
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