Haven't had a political discussion around here for quite a while and I could not let it stand like this so: Basic, simplified story of the evolving western culture: Basis was laid in Ancient Greece, mostly in Athens. Christianity was founded in Israel and found its way to Rome where it was combined with Greek culture. This was set back by Celtic barbarian culture, but reevolved with Celtic elements to form most of European culture. The US added to that culture in the early years a reformed version of Democracy and helped pushing some human rights forward which happened in Europe as well although the US were the precursors in that area and thus speeded up the process in Europe as well. So basically western culture is mostly non-American, but with some American add-ons. In the end American culture is more European than European culture is American. I must also say you have a very weird idea of culture. You call our fashion, our entertainment TV shows and fast food culture? I am wearing American blue jeans right now, but they have nothing to say. I could be wearing some monk's cowl and it would not change my culture a tiny bit. It is different with burkas and similar things which carry a political statement, but jeans do not. McDonalds is not part of our culture. Even if I went there weekly, which I do not and few people do so, it is not our culture (again here it could be said a much higher percentage of your food is European than our food is American). You proudly call out consumerism as your culture, by only naming every-day products as parts of your culture? I would be ashamed if that was my definition of culture. Culture is made up of values, politics, things that speak to our intellect. Good music you can actually listen to and not just have it running in the background, a good discussion, nowadays even a well-made movie (I am NOT talking about TV and movie productions which merely serve our need for entertainment, those mostly do come from America, most productions of a higher standard on TV here are of German origin. Books even more so). Regarding the language, of course this forum is in English, it is an American site. Implying that the UK has nothing to do with English becoming the world language is also wrong. The British Empire covered one third of the planet and everywhere English was taught and spoken. I am not doubting that the USA produce most of the entertainment movies in our cinemas and that much of the pop music comes from there. I am not saying that the USA have not contributed to the spread of western values and the English language. They are nowadays doing so mostly by being a dominant power on the internet (interesting thesis there, Matse). But to say that the culture of other countries (that includes Costa Rica) is mostly American and taken from you, to imply that your culture is so very much independent from influences and to even bring consumerism even near the actual meaning of culture is just laughable and to put the word worship in there just shows ignorance and arrogance.