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Earlier tonight, I was flipping channels on TV as I was eating sardines and saltines. I had stopped surfing to watch two guys on the Howard Stern Show engage in a trivia contest with a porn star. (Some television is just great. Really, really fantastic.) I was playing along at home. The only question that I missed was Jimmy Carter's middle name. (I'm from Georgia, and I didn't know Jimmy Carter's middle name. I should be both tarred and feathered, I suppose.) During a commercial break, Pat Boone came on my TV and tried to sell me gold. To quote Pat from the Swiss America Trading Corporation website promoted by the tv spot:

Stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, or gold? Which do you think offers the most potential to investors in the next few years? Well, according to Swiss America, the answer is... ALL OF THE ABOVE!..IF you have a truly diversified portfolio that includes U.S. gold coins.

Re-read that to make sure that you got it. That's Pat Boone's advice: stocks, bonds, and property are worth just as much as gold, but only if you own gold. (That's not even English, Pat.) If you can figure out how to follow that golden nugget of wisdom, I'm sure that you'll be just as successful as Pat Boone.

Now, I wasn't around in the 1950's, to be sure, but I think the fact that Pat Boone is never mentioned anymore by anyone in any context should give you some kind of hint about his importance to American music and popular culture. His white bucks and dulcet tones may have managed to repackage black r&b music for white America, but I have sever doubts about his ability to pitch anyone on gold futures 20 years after he stopped being a household name. Please note that the commercial does not run during Hee Haw or some other old folk's fare where Pat's name may spark a faded memory, but in the middle of a Howard Stern episode where the younger blue-collars lurk. Strikes me that it is a TV commercial for fool's gold, and you know what they say about fools and gold.

By the way, the porn star lost the trivia contest. And Jimmy Carter's middle name is Earl.

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To be continued...


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