The Continually Confounding Saga of Americans

So many ideas fill my brain on a daily basis that cause a quick cessation of my heartbeat that I think I might need a defibrillator soon.  There appears to be an influx of news and stories that hurt my heart and soul much more than ever.  Perhaps it is that I am aging?

The Tea Party Ted Cruzian chooses no words that should fall from the mouth of a Christian.  He supported blocking aid to the families of Flint Michigan who have been literally poisoned by their Republican Governor and his appointed “emergency managers” running the state. When an aid bill came up for a vote – Ted Cruz said, “No” to the lead-poisoned citizens of Flint, Michigan. In a quote from this article: “The main Republican objection to the bill is that they believe that the people of Flint should have to pay for their own federal assistance.”

Really?  This from a Senator whose own state of Texas had just received federal assistance after their own request for such relief.  You have got to be JOKING ME?  No, this is America the (once long ago) beautiful. Remember these lines from the song, Ted Cruz?

“America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

No, I didn’t think you remembered it.  You certainly don’t when you espouse your completely AntiChrist views of the way the budget should be spent.  You are a heathen.  I dare say that whatever Lord there is that may amount to some good would not welcome you to her table.  You can go straight to the hell your types have created here on earth.  A stockade with you bound to it in the center of the town of Flint, MI would be too light a sentence for you.

Katharine Lee Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College,  wrote the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” in 1893 at the age of 33. That’s always been a favorite age of mine as it marked my entree into the global world of the Internet (thus by danaj33 moniker). The song is a little too white for me with the “alabaster” reference, but she was expressing her visions in the travel writing about Chicago and the World Columbian Exhibition (aka the Chicago World’s Fair) and all that she encountered on her trip to Colorado.

And then this:

A line from an article in the NY Times, “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team” perfectly suited to a revelation I had just this early evening:
Our data-saturated age enables us to examine our work habits and office quirks with a scrutiny that our cubicle-bound forebears could only dream of. Today, on corporate campuses and within university laboratories, psychologies, sociologists, and statisticians are devoting themselves to studying everything from team composition to email patterns in order to figure out how to make employees into faster, better and more productive versions of themselves.

How to make employees more productive.  How quaint.  That appears to be the tent I have been living under at the college that I have devoted my adult life to teach others how to have a fantastic career immersed in the world of sound. But that inspiration that I used to give has been mired in the data collection trough that requires that I prove my self worth to the institution by gathering data right down to the student ID# so that someone can figure out how well I’m getting through to students of various colors.  I’m buried in meaningful conversations and professional development surrounding the wonders of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment and disaggregated data.  I was just pondering this when I realized someting about the 25-30-year-old “techies” who have taken over my once amazing city of San Francisco.  This I wrote in my journal tonight:

After reading several pages in “The Typewriter Revolution” while my brain gently decompresses after a week of teaching with one of the lectures focusing on analog tape recorders and finding my students completely enthralled, I connect some very important dots regarding our young society in America. The shrinking middle-class has much ado with regard to the digital age where everything is “virtual” as we touch pictures of things that once were real and physical items before us.  These are now emulations of our previous tactile experiences.  I am lucky to live in that interesting ‘tween time which gives me the knowledge and experience of living in the truly physical and tactile era of the analog domain of my elders, but also understand, know, and flow with today’s youth and their completely digital existence.  I am sad for them.  No wonder that San Francisco is run amok with these new imprints of adulthood  that I call “insensitives” who have moved here to take short-term jobs that pay well for the moment with most of their earnings spent on $4,000-per-month apartments that push the real SF (workers, artists, musicians, teachers) out of SF.  These “techies” have never experienced a truly tactile domain in their lives so how can one expect them to be sensitive to others?  If they have been living in an artificial game world, then they know nothing of truly sentient experiences.  Perhaps the Amish people become more relevant by the minute?  *SnAP*  Reality Show idea:  Send some techies to work on an Amish farm in the state of Pennsylvania for a month to learn a bit of enlightenment.

OH, and now Mr. Cruz has changed his mind.  My, my, the power of social media!  I think that Preparation H asswipes would be better in the White House.  This man runs for the position of “Leader of the Free World”.  My head hurts.

Americans today:  what the hell have you been ingesting to make your fool minds operate in this way?

america-the-beautiful_nb6782_1

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About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I was a part-time faculty member until 2009 when I became full-time. My career as an audio engineer spans 27 years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassetter 4-track) in the early 80's while attending college at UC Berkeley. I formed a couple of bands and sang lead (sometimes playing rhythm guitar) until 1988 when I discovered that the "behind-the-scenes" tech realm was much more to my liking. I love how an audio engineer controls the ENTIRE sound mix, and not just one's own instrument. I then began a career as a live sound engineer in earnest and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels (most notably "Medicine" on American Recordings) and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991. The club and its staff are like family. I have maintained a live sound production company since 1989 called dcj Productions that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, I started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT connected to a Soundcraft Ghost console in my home studio. In 1995, I advanced to Pro Tools and have been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as an engineer in post-production sound design and mixing. I remained "strictly analog" in my live sound mixing until just this past year (2012). Now that one can obtain a decent, live sound digital mixer at an affordable price, it was high time to check out digital for live. I now have a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 to work on with my students to give them much needed hands-on experience with a digital console. I co-owned and ran APG Records & APG Studios, an SF record label and recording studio, from 1999 - 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI. The company folded in 2004. I continue to record music and engineer live performances at many Bay Area venues in addition to full-time teaching at CCSF. In 2001, I was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where I have taught many of the classes including Digital Media Skills (BCST119), Basic Audio Production (BCST120), Digital Audio Production (BCST124), Sound Recording Studio (BCST125), Sound For Visual Media (BCST126), Advanced Sound Recording (BCST127), Sound Reinforcement (BCST128), Audio for the Web (BCST135), Video for the Web (BCST136), and Field Video Production (BCST145). I have also taught classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Art Institute of California-San Francisco, Globe Recording Institute, and Laney College in Oakland, CA. A few CCSF Projects: - Produced a promotional video for the Math department Bridge Program titled "Quadratic Rap". - Produced a new employee orientation video for the Human Resources department at CCSF - Coordinated audio for camera - SF Mayoral Debate, Fall 2011 - Coordinator of Audio Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Fall 2011 - Co-Coordinator of Video Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Spring 2012 Outside Affiliations: - past Vice President and Interim President Board of Directors - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp - past volunteer/contributor to Women's Audio Mission - past member Bay Area Women in Media and Film - current member of Audio Engineering Society - current Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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