Hayek? Adam Smith? How about Larry the Cable Guy? [McGehee]
If you watch TV you’ve undoubtedly seen the Prilosec ads featuring Larry the Cable Guy, building on his “Only in America” TV show theme to sell antacid with a flavored coating.
At first blush you might have wondered why Prilosec willingly markets its new product as “stuff you didn’t even know you wanted” like sporks and spray cheese and sweatpants dyed to look like blue jeans. But it’s a subtle buy-in to the premise of Larry’s show — which might appear to hipsters and proggs as a satire on America’s silliness and materialism.
Of course Larry the Cable Guy makes fun of the silly things he highlights on his show — after all, his persona is the stereotypically silly lower-class American that hipsters like to sneer at — but the show works because he’s not sneering. When he says he loves everything about this country, it’s the truth. And when he grinningly highlights the silly and inane about American life and says it’s what makes America great, he’s not kidding.
The fact we have people making and buying things that seem impractical and pointless shows that we have the resources to expend on non-necessities. More to the point, we have the freedom to make those choices. I wouldn’t wear sweatpants that look like blue jeans, but if I wanted to, I could find a pair and buy them because nobody has the authority to tell anyone not to bother making them to sell.
At least, not yet.
It might be interesting to see Larry the Cable Guy get a little more serious about his theme, and explain more fully why these inane products prove we’re the greatest country on earth, and why granting a class of self-appointed betters the authority to direct other people’s resources into endeavors they — the “betters” — deem more worthy, makes us less so.
He might reach more people than some think-tank egghead.