Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On the eighth day...


In the four and a half hours of ceaseless spectacle that was Super Bowl XLVII — even the Roman numerals are excessive — there were only two minutes that made you stop and truly listen.

They were courtesy of Paul Harvey, the late, great radio broadcaster. Chrysler had the inspired idea to make two minutes of his speech at a 1978 Future Farmers of America convention into the soundtrack for an ad for the Ram truck while affecting still photos of American farm life scrolled on the screen. ....

In its pacing and its imagery, the speech is a kind of prose-poem. Delivered by Harvey, who could make a pitch for laundry detergent sound like a passage from the King James Bible, it packs great rhetorical force. ....

The Harvey ad was schmaltzy rustic romanticism, to be sure, but it celebrated something worthy. It was uplifting rather than degrading. It spoke of selflessness and virtue in moving terms. .... [more]
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