A farmer, a banker, and a factory farmer walk into a Superbowl commercial…

Now  here’s the original Chrysler superbowl ad, narrated by Paul Harvey:

Amanda Oborne’s commentary, from Civil Eats:

Superbowl “Farmers” Ad: Heartfelt and Misleading

I grew up in a small town, population 15000 if you counted every cow in the valley. Every morning I’d hear my dad walk in the kitchen, pour his first cup of coffee and turn on the radio. Paul Harvey’s voice wafted into my bedroom regularly, and along with that smell of fresh brewed Folgers, became a thread in the fabric of my childhood. I didn’t know anything about Paul Harvey’s politics, but I loved the way he owned a pregnant pause.

On Sunday, Harvey’s voice was featured on a Super Bowl ad for Dodge Ram trucks featuring imagery of farmers. The audio was condensed from a 1978 speech Harvey made to the Future Farmers of America. I grew up in a rural town, my dad was born on a farm, and he and my mom opened a buffalo ranch when he retired from his career as a university professor. About the time my parents returned to a life on the land, I started working for FoodHub, a project of the nonprofit Ecotrust, which is a platform dedicated to connecting small and medium farmers with chefs, schools and other wholesale food buyers in their area. As a food system reformer and marketing professional, I had a visceral reaction to the ad.

What was a revelation to me about the farmer spot was that in memorializing and purporting to celebrate farm families and their way of life, the ad highlighted the fact that they’re gone. We all know the short version of that history: Earl Butz said get big or get out, and they did. And during that painful transition, rural America emptied out into the cities, giant companies took control of the inputs to, infrastructure surrounding and distribution of farm products, and we made a massive cultural shift toward suburbanization and all that goes with it.

I think hearing Paul Harvey’s voice and seeing pictures of those incredible farmers and their families struck a chord because I recognized their loss as a milestone in the hollowing out of our society. Where now are the men who are strong enough to plow a field straight, have the integrity to not cut corners, and are gentle enough to splint a bird’s leg? They aren’t carrying a “murse” and pulling cappuccinos in the city, that’s for sure. Nor are there many of them in public office. And they’re certainly not wrapping themselves in the flag and listening to Rush Limbaugh. They, and the ideals being exploited by Dodge, have largely been emasculated or made obsolete….”

Read more on Civil Eats.

Did God make a spoof on the  Chrysler Dodge RAM truck commercial? Click image above to go to “Funny or Die” website to watch the video of what God hath wrought.

And now, another “riff” on the same commercial, from Marketwatch.com:

So God made a banker

“To be read in the voice of Paul Harvey.

And on the eighth day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need someone who can flip this for a quick buck.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone who doesn’t grow anything or make anything but who will borrow money from the public at 0% interest and then lend it back to the public at 2% or 5% or 10% and pay himself a bonus for doing so.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone who will take money from the people who work and save, and use that money to create a dotcom bubble and a housing bubble and a stock bubble and an oil bubble and a commodities bubble and a bond bubble and another stock bubble, and then sell it to people in Poughkeepsie and Spokane and Bakersfield, and pay himself another bonus.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone to build homes in the swamps and deserts using shoddy materials and other people’s money, and then use these homes as collateral for a Ponzi scheme he can sell to pensioners in California and Michigan and Sweden. I need someone who will then foreclose on those homes, kick out the occupants, and switch off the air conditioning and the plumbing, and watch the houses turn back into dirt. And then pay himself another bonus.”…”

More on Marketwatch.com

Judging by the number of commentaries and spoofs this ad has inspired in just a short time, it’s clear that its message has struck a chord with more than one demographic among the American people. Of course it’s the organic farmers and the raw mik dairymen who are keeping alive the kind of farming that Paul Harvey references. And that is a kind of farming that fills a special place, deep in the souls of people, even today.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “A farmer, a banker, and a factory farmer walk into a Superbowl commercial…

  1. D.

    There’s only one thing wrong with the whole picture of “farming”. We need to stop plowing up the earth and planting seeds. We have enough plowed ground and no one should want the monsanto seeds so that leaves small farmers with the task of growing vegetables, fruit trees, etc. Let the pastures feed the animals, even if we have to PLANT pasture grass to get it started again.

    It’s called survival of the fittest. The best way I can think of to get rid of bigagrifarms/ranches is to have twice as many small farms. But we need to rethink the definition of the word “farm”. A farm isn’t always a plowed field, as what was shown in that ad for Dodge. It made me sick to see all those straight, plowed rows because that’s land that should be covered in grass and grazing animals. That ad wasn’t a salute to farmers, it was an insult to small farmers.

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