I won’t call Dan from Necessary Roughness un-necessarily rough.
As the author and voice of the, loved by few, tolerated by many, loathed by some, Brothers of John the Steadfast commercials, I actually didn’t take that much offense to Dan’s article referenced above. I will paraphrase a Jeff Schwarz quote for the IE Comment Line, “I am a big boy, I can take it”. Hey, I used to play soccer with these guys until a Lt. named Charlie from England brought a rugby ball to practice and showed us what a real man’s sport is.
Ok, the 30 second spots are dated. When I hear them, sometimes I cringe, sometimes I am happy. I especially don’t like the “Fred and Barney” one. Sound quality is bad. The text is pretty witty though. Maybe not winsome, but witty.
My favorite that doesn’t get played much is the “I am Baptized” spot. “Three little words, so easy my three year old can say them.” But alas Baptism is not a critical event.
Another favorite was the spot for the 2009 Steadfast Lutherans annual conference: Rockin Sade’s “Smooth Operator” in the background for the first 10 seconds straight into a Lutheran chorale.
Just me and my copious collection of 1980’s music, my wife’s Mac, a Blue Microphone and Garage Band (all get a TM after them)! I always wanted to work Guns ‘N Roses “Novemeber Rain” into a spot, but I just couldn’t write the words because I was too enraptured listing to all 8 glorious minutes and 52 seconds of it..
And when it comes to Polemics and Rhetoric… I am LutherQuest trained and went on to write for the somewhat contentious and long dead Beggars All blog, which our beloved Pr. Wilken called his favorite blog back in 2007 or 2008 (I kept that episode as an MP3). So when I write copy, sometimes sarcasm comes to the fore. I know it can be offputting.
But back to my critic Dan from Necessary Roughness and I quote:
“What’s the message? Inferring a lot from the context of the commercial and the program that plays the commercial, one is to get the message that if you perceive the elders and pastor of your church, the district, or the LCMS as a Good Ol’ Boys club and you’re tired of that, you should check out the BJS. If your church is pitching Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Beth Moore, or some “gospel” that is really either life affirmations or “three steps to walking on water,” and you’re tired of that, you should check out the BJS.”
Great! He got it! That was exactly my intention. Isn’t this exactly the point of the New Lutheran Media? We are pushing and promoting an alternative Lutheran lifestyle that is certainly not my parents’ church. I don’t even think, at my age, it is my grandfather’s church. It is more like great grandfather’s if anything. Synod Inc. created a monster when it killed Issues, Etc. and it also opened the door to the dismantling of the Old Boys Club, which allows “Lutherans” to peddle the “haufen Mist” that is Joel, Rick and Beth. So yes, that was my message. If you are sick of the garbage I was brought up with, turn to the Brothers.
And more from referee Dan
“But that’s only if you’ve been paying attention to synodical politics, which most Lutherans don’t. To the great middle the commercial comes off as pretentious. “Perhaps you should buy Joel Osteen’s book and read it,” isn’t something I’d say to someone I’d want to be my friend. It’s the morbid humor of suffering brethren.”
When I wrote and produced the commercials, I was going for some “shock and Law”. I also know something about the demographics of the show the commercials were to be played on. I was going for the male 20 to 40 demographic that would love to reclaim some masculinity in the Church. I went edgy. Some people don’t like it. I know that and I did it anyway. There is a reason why God put me in the vocation of factory logistics rather than a pastoral office.
Pretension was not my objective. If anything I pictured my audience as some guy sitting next to me at the bar giving me grief about the engine oil on my white collar.
It has been a busy year for me and I failed to keep the ball rolling on timely commercials. I was getting better at the production part.
If anything Dan just pushed me out of my sabbatical (or lethargy)..