Americans cannot laugh at their "culture" because they do not quite know what it is. They laugh at themselves as individuals, but cannot laugh at themselves as a people. One cannot laugh at what one cannot define, and definition is the essence of humor; it is the flash of unexpected recognition that evokes laughter. In post-modern usage, humor is essentialist, or to say the same thing, post-modernism is humorless.
America cannot understand the culture of other nations, because it has no culture of its own.
"Spengler," Asia Times