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I've had a year to get re-acquainted with America after living almost 8 years in Germany and I fear I will never grow to love this country again. It is a country built on instant gratification, with an emphasis on wanton and pointless consumerism, coupled with an obnoxious, jingoistic self-identity. Most people are hopelessly ignorant of affairs outside their own county, nevermind outside the borders of their country. They are more concerned with the next sale at the mall than what's going on in the world. Everything is disposable here, including what few traditions that survived the first 200 years of our history. I shudder to think that my daughters must grow up in such a society. We will do our best to instill in our children proper values and respect for traditions at home, but I fear our battle against the shallowness and materialism of the American mass culture is a losing one. Fortunately, it is likely we will again have the opportunity to go overseas, and we will jump at that opportunity.
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