The commercials, dusted with corn-fed humor, feature lonely male farmers at a loss for love in tilled America. The initial moments of rural longing give way to a voice-over, or a talking cattle dog, suggesting Farmers Only Dot Com. Instantly, love seems possible under spacious, a revelation reinforced by a jingle, "You don't have to be lonely with Farmers Only Dot Com."
Our consumer instincts tell us the commercial is over. But no. A graphic drops in shouting the website's tagline: "City Folks Just Don't Get It!"
For city folks, that coda is jarring. After all, we were just innocently slumped in our exorbitant apartments half-watching TV when pow!! This ad hominem slap from the grange rained down.
On one hand, this is so America, 2016. Studies depict a major gulf between our nation's urban and rural citizens. Taxes, earth science, assault weapons, restrooms... the sides agree on nothing. On the other hand, a tagline that writes off the 25o million Americans living on pavement as un-dateable? No, no, no. That's uncalled for.
Okay, let's step back.
City Folks Just Don't Get It!
What exactly is the it! we don't get and how do they know we don't get it!? We truly hope Farmers Only isn't implying we city folks can't grasp desperate yearning for love and companionship. Because if urbanites didn't invent tragic romance, we've certainly been its executive producers.
From Annie Hall to Trainwreck, we've made tainted love an art. Was there a rom-com called called Sleepless in Stillwater? Google says no. So clearly, Farmers Only gets its information on city folk's inability to get it! from scripted productions set in big cities.
Which is so unfair.
Do we city folk judge rural relationships based on Brokeback Mountain? No. Not completely.
(Oh wow, idea for urban dating movie: Love In The Time of Epstein-Barr.)
Now, it's possible lonely ranchers drive to the nearest city on weekends to observe urban dating habits -- but probably not. Or maybe legions of city folk drive out to the country to report back on their social lives -- but probably definitely not.
(Hey Farmers Only: You won't believe this. Right here in Santa Monica, a Porsche just drove by with the license plate: H8 MY EX.)
Anyway, now that we've established that Farmers Only has little on which to base its allegations of city folk ignorance, it's doubly strange that the site's recent spots show farmers on fishing/horseback riding dates with city women. Forget how the farmers met these women and persuaded them to drive light years on remote roads for dates in which they pull up a defenseless trout by the roof of its mouth. The depictions of these city women are wickedly unjust. Clad in designer dresses and spike heels, these women are portrayed as whining, gum-snapping nightmares presumably looking to be saved from lives of prosperity. Granted, rural Americans are less brutally attuned to political correctness, but these stereotypes test positive for serious misogyny.
Do the citified Match.com spots show women in gingham stabbing risotto funghi with their salad forks at at Spago?
Another strange aspect of Farmers Only commercials is that they run extensively during NBA games. Now there's an it! we don't get since basketball is America's most urban sport. Often, Farmers Only spots run right alongside ads featuring Lil Wayne pouring champagne on his Samsung Galaxy S7 phone. Demographically speaking, someone is lost.
Or maybe not. Maybe a 20-second spot on Duck Dynasty is pricier than we think. Maybe Charles Barkley has an inexplicably massive hinterland fan base. Or maybe, just maybe, Farmers Only furtively wants 36-year old lighting directors with Lakers season tickets to get in their hybrid BMWs and rescue loveless country girls.
Boy, that would be some scandal, huh?
But let's say we city folk don't believe that. Without even requesting a look at your internal memos, we believe your intention -- giving heartland love a leg up -- is pure. Off that drop of good faith,
maybe we can start to bridge America's divisions and make a deal: We city folk will admit we might not get the fine points of love in your neck of the woods and in return, you concede that we get the important parts -- the emotions, the desires, the nights of weighted silence, blah, blah, blah.
Who knows what this can lead to? Perhaps on some later date, we'll concede that the guy on the ranch and the girl next door are trickier to date than we thought. In return, you'll allow that, as we urbanites walk in solitude among our three million neighbors, we legitimately feel as if we've dated every possible personality type in existence - including the type who has to make us wrong to prove them right.
You know, kind of like the person who comes up with a slogan like, "City Folks Just Don't Get It!"