February 13, 2013

God Made a Farmer: Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial with Paul Harvey


"The late Paul Harvey was a masterful throaty narrator in the romantic age

before the onset of America's now ubiquitous metrosexual nasal intonation. Harvey just didn't sound different from the present generation, but from what we suspect, he sounded different from most generations to come as well. One reason that our age cannot make a Shane, High Noon, or The Searchers is that most of our suburban Hollywood actors cannot even fake the accent of either the frontier or the tragic hero anymore. When Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall go, so goes too the last link to the cinema's Westerner. There are no more voices like Slim Pickens or Ben Johnson. One of the successes of the commercial is that the photographed farmers did not speak, and left the impression of mute superiority." --Works and Days | The Super Bowl Farmers

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Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 13, 2013 2:57 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

What amazed me about Paul Harvey was the discovery that he was still alive. That inimitable voice was one of my earliest memories, coming from the kitchen radio while I ate lunch. This was in the '40s, and he sounded like, I don't know, one of those guys from the strange world of adults. It literally never occurred to me that he was probably barely 30 (although that would certainly have qualified as ancient at that point.) His voice forever afterwards remained one of those musty memories of the World Before Rock And Roll.

A guy I worked with would quote him, in the '80s, and I found him on the radio again. For some reason that connection between the world I'd left behind and the one I found myself in remains a stunner.

Paul Harvey. Good day.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at February 13, 2013 7:52 AM

My in laws are farmers. Wheat. It is a super human effort, and yes, it is something from another time and space.

My dad was a logger, and a WW II combat veteran. Now, think about that. I know! You can't imagine it. Last night we watched some Kriegsmarine survivors of the Bismark talking on a You Tube video. They talk and express themselves the way that my old man's generation did: from behind a veil, and trying without pretense or exaggeration to communicate with people not like them. It is a pleasure to witness things like that. Hint: always watch their eyes.

VDH hits a home run with this essay. The Searchers, indeed.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at February 13, 2013 9:35 AM

Rob, Paul Harvey died about four years ago, February 28, 2009. His son Paul Harvey Jr. does a show now.

Posted by: Potsie at February 13, 2013 9:53 AM

Yeah, pots, I know - I misled somewhat in my timeline.

What I meant was that I was flabbergasted when I discovered that Paul Harvey was still alive and broadcasting in the '80s.

That was amazing enough. Sorry for the confusion as to my intent.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at February 13, 2013 10:18 AM

This commercial really resonates. We will all remember it long after all the others are forgotten.

Posted by: c w swanson at February 13, 2013 3:03 PM

My son, fresh out of golf school, in his skinny jeans and golf sweaters, took a job as a book keeper for a local cotton farmer and seed broker. Over the past 2 years, I have seen him, learn the business, as the farmer had him irrigating and truck driving, as well and dealing with the books. His dress, and manner have gone to work wear and boots, and he works long, long hours. He has become a man, and is now a manager, with marketable skills.

Posted by: Leslie at February 13, 2013 9:51 PM

But have you seen this one? http://www.youtube.com/embed/EUzMPlQb2G4?feature=player_embedded

Posted by: Casca at February 14, 2013 6:42 AM

I read this:


and was disheartened to think that there is nothing that occurs in this world that can be left alone, but instead must be used as a tool by someone to whine and complain about their 'group' being discriminated against. I wrote the author, and got this reply:

And see, we disagree. The glory of the country I don't agree with your
idea and you don't agree with mine. We're actually disproving the
state you posit the country is in.

Thanks for your note.



On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 6:43 AM, tomw wrote:
> >
> > Does EVERYTHING have to be "politically correct" and acceptable to a
> > particular crowd only if it is people with the proper arithmetic mix of
> > colors? Are hispanics white? Are they black? Are they brown?
> > Why can't you just listen to the thoughts of the ad? Why can't you just
> > take it for what it is worth without complaint?
> >
> > You must have had a terrible life so far, thrust to the dirt by Mighty
> > Whitey. Oh, wait, you WORK for whitey.
> >
> > I am so tired of everything that happens in this world having to agree with
> > someone else' idea of what should be.
> >
> > Life is unfair. Get over it.

In my mind, he missed my point, but ... whatever.

I used to rush to work in the early AM to hear Paul Harvey on WGST, and was bothered those days I missed him, semi-blaming my wife for our being too late to listen. He brought joy and sadness and awareness of others to my life.
I listened to the commercial, unaware it was a commercial at all, and thought of my cousins on farms in MI, and the summer time I spent there. Surely slept well, and early too.

Posted by: tomw at February 16, 2013 10:18 AM