Saturday, February 9, 2013

So God made a banker

As someone with both grandfathers as real, on-the-land, dirt farmers in central Minnesota and SE Kansas, and having grown up in a tiny town in the corn belt with less than 2000 souls, I thought the Dodge Superbowl ad was touching, as in—it nearly brought tears to my eyes.  The photography was spectacular and was authentic because those are real Montana farmers—who looked a lot like the folks who attended my father's churches.  I was hardly alone on this—real-life farmers absolutely loved it—you can read how the pork producers responded on their own website.

But to read the criticisms of this ad in nice liberal websites (esp. Crooks and Liars) you would think it was celebrating pedophilia.  Supposedly it was racist because all the faces are white—farmers like those pictured barely exist anymore.  It was patronizing, it was inaccurate, it used God to sell pickups.  It was a rip-off of a Youtube effort.  Worst of all, it used a speech by Paul Harvey to a 1978 Future Farmers of America convention.  So it was sentimental exaggerations by a guy who never learned political correctness.  Not. Even. Close.

Even though much of Harvey's speech was agricultural stump-speech boilerplate, some of it was pretty goofy.  Best example.  Harvey is talking about the ingenuity that is such a prized virtue in agriculture.  Unfortunately he talks about keeping the equipment running with baling wire.  Several problems.  Baling wire wasn't being used by 1978—it had been replaced by twine.  Guys who "fixed" things with baling wire were usually failing in other ways—it was the fussy-maintenance types who usually did best.  To make matters a bit more absurd, this comment appears in the ad nearly simultaneously with a picture of a magnificently restored tractor (fussy maintenance raised to an art form.)

So yes, Harvey was technologically obsolete even in 1978. But that's not really a problem—agriculture is applied science so we all know it evolves.

  But his narration was still good.  Farmers traffic in life.  Farmers must be involved with their community.  Farmers must be hard-working, honest, ingenious and technologically literate.  Farmers DO like it when they have kids who knowing what is involved, want to go into farming anyway.

  All I know is that at my Superbowl Party, everyone fell silent for this ad. With the exception about half-way through someone asked, "What's this trying to sell?"



Then this.  Someone who understood the sentiments that Harvey was glorifying has come up with a perfect update of the rural progressives who understood that while they had many crooks trying to steal their output, their prime enemy was the bankers with their mortgages that never slept.  This "So God made a banker" ad spoof is beyond superb.  But notice no one has turned this into a YouTube yet.  Making these things like the Dodge ad is really harder than it looks.

So God made a banker

Commentary: A commercial for the next Super Bowl?
By Brett Arends  Feb. 6, 2013

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.”

God said, “I need someone to lend money to people with bad credit at 30% interest in order to get his stock price up, and then, just before the loans turn bad, cash out his stock and walk away. And who, when asked later, will, with a tearful eye, say the government made him do it.”

God said, “And I need somebody who will tell everyone else to stand on their own two feet, but who will then run to the government for a bailout as soon as he gets into trouble — and who will then use that bailout money to help elect a Congress that will look the other way. And then pay himself another bonus.”

So God made a banker.
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The Dodge ad.

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