The Trumpashianization of America

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.

It’s hellish.”


commodification (image borrowed from




About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I started teaching full-time in 2009 and am tenured. My career as an audio engineer spans 32-years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassette 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 leaving a regular shift there in 2010 due to the teaching schedule. The club and its staff are like family. I owned and operated a live sound production company since 1989 (ending officially in 2017) 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 (BCST141). 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. In addition to teaching, I am a writer. I have several blogs and have written many screenplays since 2007 producing a few of them into short films. In 2020, the craziest year and decade of any of our lives, I am starting a book project titled, "Abra, the Imaginarian." Outside Affiliations: - former Co-Director of SoundGirls - current member of Audio Engineering Society and on the SF Chapter Planning Committee - 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 - past Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
This entry was posted in Absurd, People, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s