Monday, February 4, 2013
Following last night's Super Bowl everyone cannot stop talking about the Dodge Ram "God made a farmer" commercial. I agree, it was among my favorites and one of the better commercials lately. But I can't stop thinking about WHY we all love it, and then, because I'm in a bit of a minor depressive and annoyed state in my personal life, HOW the WHY annoys me.
You know why we all love it? Because it reminds us of what America is supposed to be. It calls up the original concept of working hard, long hours with little reward and being an all- American. Paul Harvey's delivery of the commercial reminded us of the center of the American dream, which is the one thing we all agree with- we all accept and we all are struggling to hold on to. We love the commercial because it made us feel something we already think we feel. That it's actually possible to be a good person, work hard and have a full life as an American citizen. I get it. I felt it too. (though, be serious, didn't you also feel something for the Budweiser commercial when the horse came running back -- *tear* if you didn't you have no soul.. but I digress..)
So you are wondering, if she agrees with us, we all love the commercial, and for the same reason and it's a great reason then why would it annoy her. Well..
It's not true.
We've been fed the idea of the American dream based on an outdated economic system that no longer exists. We've been brought up to believe in the American way of life, and that hard work will lead you to a fuller, more rewarding life. We've been sold on this concept of success based on the past, and the temptation of the "successful" celebrities we have dangled in front of us all the time. If Oprah can overcome adversity so can I.
But that is not the world we live in any longer. I am annoyed that there is yet another marketing attempt (even though its genius and I loved it) to call up our American dream feelings to SELL US SOMETHING. That's all. The thing is, we've already bought it. We've already fallen for the greatest sales pitch of all time- all Dodge did was repeat it. And it worked.
We don't live full lives. We work at jobs we mostly can't stand in order to have money to spend on things we don't need. And our measure of success is basically how many useless things you own. We don't work on things for the fulfillment of ourselves and the enrichment of our lives- instead we need money to eat and live, and fancy name brands to show your neighbor how much better you are at selling your soul than they are.
I admit, I have never liked this- I have always felt like something was missing or just WRONG about the way I have been living- we all have been living. Compartmentalizing our lives between work and our "real" life is sad and destructive to who we are as humanity. Need proof?
Look at today's youth. They have very little understanding of history, no respect for adults or anything that isn't new, and preferably digital. Young children now depend on being entertained by screens, young adults have no use for historical knowledge, or figuring out what they are talented in- instead they are focused on being successful in the sense that they find the best paying (probably banking) job to fill their lives. We are all disconnected from people. We spend our days on the internet and phone- hardly ever venturing out to engage in actual communication with others- strangers.
Personally- the veil has been lifted. I don't buy it any more. The America we all believe in is not the same one that currently exists.
But it could.
Perhaps influenced by the program Newsroom, or my studies in situationist theory, but I do believe there is another way.
And, that is the reason I liked the same Dodge commercial.
What I heard was what could be. If we all made a decision to go back to what makes each of us unique and who we are as individuals. What are you good at? What do you love? What makes you feel fulfilled? If we each do those things-we have a better chance at actual success.
Thing is- it's hard.
How do I know? Because I'm doing it. I AM a "farmer". I am working hard on what I love, and what gives back to my community. I am struggling every day, and fighting through tears and set backs and doubts to reach the goal of having a fulfilling life with my family. I'm nursing my project with care and pounding the pavement to make sure things get done. My 40 hour work week ends early on and I continue. I am sacrificing the life I had to work harder, and longer. But it is worth it. I will succeed. I already am.
( go here for more info on what I'm doing... http://igg.me/p/247931/x/1584272)
What's funny, all of you- who love that commercial so damn much- think I'm insane. Go figure.