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Wal-Mart features Canadian icons Rush in commercial promoting American jobs...with a song opposed to working

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Feb 20, 2014 02:07 PM EST

Rush: Defenders of good Canadian music. (Photo : NeilPeart.com)

Wal-Mart, like many big businesses, are out to prove to American buyers that they're supporting the American economy with American jobs. We salute that. The problem occurs when the company goes on a P.R. campaign to sway those American buyers via a flawed commercial highlighting Wal-Mart's working force.

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The video opens with the fairly recognizable guitar lick of Rush's "Working Man," followed by the first verse as sung by the excellent Geddy Lee. We also salute just about anything involving Rush. The problem: Rush is a Canadian band. Like, THE Canadian band. Watch anything from How I Met Your Mother to South Park, where the band is more than happy to represent its heritage. Sure, Neil Young, Arcade Fire and Nickelback are from the land up north and sell better than today's Tom Sawyers, but ask what rock band is the most inherently Canadian, and people will say Rush.

Hence the flawed logic behind promoting American job-making with Canadian music.

More problematic however is the choice of song. "Working Man" certainly seems to praise a solid work ethic if you only pay attention to the title line: "I guess that's why they call me, they call me the working man. They call me the working man. I guess that's what I am."

If you still think this is a blue collar anthem, you spaced out during the first verse: "I get up at seven, yeah, and I go to work at nine. Got not time for livin' yet, I'm working' all the time. Seems to me I could live my life, a lot better than I think I am."

Nope. This track is definitely in line with the tradition of the "Summertime Blues," that a work-based lifestyle is lamentable. The only way a Rush song could be more misplaced within an advertisement is if a Top 40 radio station spot featured "Spirit of The Radio."

Maybe we're being too cynical. Check out the video below and decide for yourself.


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