Behold the myriad ways to ponder how we arrived at this particular time of commercialization in America. Corporations have capitalized on merchandizing, marketing, profit-making, and commodifying everything: Hollywood, Disneyland, sports, toys, food, cigarettes, booze, (add your list here), and people.
Take a look at a few web pages that I culled together for us. This one contains a lecture with zero visual appeal, but makes several points to keep in mind. Go ahead and skim it. You’ll still ingest the information.
Americans find ourselves with this particular President after witnessing a decade of a splashy family laid before us via every medium possible to showcase their nothing-in-particularness save for the fact that they were/are wealthy. We have commodified people to the point where after ingesting billions of bytes of product placement through rigorous ad campaigns, we elected an inhumane product. What else can you say about the Trump name but that it’s a brand. That’s what the family calls it and they have placed their own value on it. Trump claimed on his financial disclosure statement in 2015 that he was worth “MORE THAN TEN BILLION DOLLARS” and valued his brand alone at $3.3B. But is there a human in that body somewhere?
Kardashians are a family obsessed with fame and money. Check out this bizarre story on how and why they became famous. It’s interesting to note how people continued to watch them even as they showed no particular talent for anything other than having money. Trump and his boys are obsessed with fame and money. What’s worse is that Daddy has a narcissist complex in need of a regular diet of applause.
Here’s a telling article from 2015 that begins: “Donald Trump is to me the American version of Vladimir Putin,” says Jerome Tuccille, the best-selling author of the very first biography—1985’s Trump—of the billionaire developer. Between his bullying rhetorical style, barely contained xenophobia, and scurrilous comments about Mexican immigrants, Tuccille says Trump “is appealing to the worst elements in our society.” Indeed!
I am aware that this is not solely an American quandary. Take the Swedish YouTube star “PewDiePie” who does nothing more than play video games as the camera rolls. By the summer of 2015, he was earning millions with over 9 billion viewers. The world is far more obsessed with his earnings than he is, mind you, but this tells us something about the human craving to watch people with money.
Every day, America witnesses a “billionaire” President with his billionaire cabinet topple agencies, exploit the law, lie, cheat, bend rules, and deregulate important safeguards for the average American citizen. To quote my friend David from an FB post he made today: “This new administration has set about undoing every good thing government has done for us, one vile rescission after another. And they do it with a righteous glee that sickens me. They do it with logic that is not logic, using facts that are not facts. And they’re cheered on by people who are likely to be among their worst victims.
(image borrowed from http://www.socialist.ca/node/2453)