Crotchety ol’ Robert Bork is hopping mad about American cultural exports, and he’s arm in arm with the mullahs and censors:

… Mr. Bork, author of “Slouching Towards Gomorrah,” thinks some conservative (not to say radical) Muslims have a legitimate point ? as do American evangelicals and others on the religious right.
“They have good reason to be very worried about” the spread of American movies, music and fashion, Mr. Bork allows. “I suppose it’s better than what they have now, but I wouldn’t celebrate too much if they began to adopt our popular culture.”

But the simplest critique is the American. Take me, for instance. I’m an American, and I’m apparently not very Americanized. I don’t listen to popular music, wear trendy clothes, or rush out to see Hollywood films. That’s not a point of pride, either. It’s a matter of taste. There’s no homogeneity among the Americans I know. In film, for example, nothing is more American than the work of John Cassavetes, but the critics will fail to see that because they mistake commercialism (which can occur anywhere) for character.
The underlying message is that people who ‘succumb’ to ‘American’ commercialism must be protected by those who know better, and must be herded into inherited pens like sheep. The real critique is one made by Jose Ortega Y Gasset years ago: the ascent of the masses. Whether a valid critique or not, I’ll leave that to you to decide. But one thing is clear, and that is that current critics mistake commercialism for national identity and have staked out a false heart for their monster.
Reason editor Charles Paul Freund has a nice take, though, noting that ‘Americanization’ is most prevalent where native culture is stifled by oppressive controls:

Mr. Freund offers an inspiring anecdote. In Talibanized Afghanistan, in 1997, all aspects of culture ? movies, music, photographs, art ? were strictly forbidden. Yet smuggled copies of “Titanic” (which many an American pastor preached against) found their way into Afghan homes.
The movie was so popular that young men in the capital of Kabul wanted their hair cut in the style of star Leonardo DiCaprio. At weddings, cakes were shaped like the Titanic.
It seems as if pieces of “Titanic,” so to speak, are tastiest where local cultural cuisines don’t nourish.

At any rate, today is evidence that Philadelphia (America’s birthplace) has retained its cultural identity.