Promoticus Outlandicus, subspecies pastoralis

Here at averyfineline, we’ve made something of an avocation out of tracking the wiles and ways of a popular breed of radio promoter in southern gospel (there is, in fact, an entire wing of avfl interns devoted solely to following the movements and sightings of this most fascinating of sg creatures). Their scientific name, Promotus Outlandicus, derives from the outlandish promotional tactics common to some of the breed - see also, subspecies Hendrixsus (some researchers also recognize the variation Promotus Agressivus). More commonly, they are known and most recognizable by their various approaches to the promotional art (the hardsell, the calling in of the chits, the gift showering and befriending, the promising of enticements and special access), and regular avfl readers will probably be familiar with the most common of these tactics from recent discussions. But today is regular hootenanny of scientific research in the field, as we have discovered an exciting new variation of Promotus Outlandicus: subspecies pastoralis. Here is a fine example of the methods native to this group:

Dear Radio Friend,

Like me you probably love the colors of spring. While driving to work this morning, I noticed how quickly the tender buds have begun to appear. There’s great hope, joy, and consolation when they make their first appearance each year - and even in the colors of spring. The young leaves have a lime green shade which seems to speak of new life, renewal, and resurrection. But all too quickly they will become “seasoned” by the stresses and strains of an earthly environment and turn dark green then brown and die.

Right now however, the vibrant colors of spring are splashing all around us in a backdrop of homes, hotels, interstates, mountains, rivers and railroad tracks making the world seem so beautiful - like a watercolor or an oil painting. Isn’t it neat that God placed Easter in the spring of the year? I guess that’s creation’s way of testifying - through Christ there IS life after death.

Since I’m paid to promote music, I’ll close by thanking you for the strong support you’re giving “The Good News” and The McKameys this month. Their song could go all the way thanks to you.

We appreciate it more than you know!

Sincerely,
Jim Stover
Crossroads Radio

Notice the high pastoral rhetoric of the opening paragraphs (from whence the scientific name “pastoralis” derives). Waxing grandiloquent about the symbolic content of spring’s arrival strikes a quintessentially evangelical balance between hopefulness (”the young leaves … speak of new life”) and spiritual anxiety (”all too quickly they will … turn dark green then brown and die”) - the pedigree of every pious Christian. Spiritual (and by extension ethical and moral) credentials in hand, it’s now time for the close: it’s short, blunt and in startling rhetorical contrast to the leafy prose that’s come before - as if the actual bidness at hand (promoting “The Good News” up the chart) is not exactly distasteful, but certainly at best a necessary burden (”since I’m paid to promote music …” as if he must do this and would rather not, or as though he almost forgot). One would clearly rather spend one’s time contemplating the raptures of those “vibrant colors” that “are splashing around us.” But we know this is the work of Promotus Outlandicus and not just some daily devotional or a seasonal reflection for the faithful because there’s the tell-tale markings of the breed’s identifying characteristic: an interpretively slippery reference to a song “going all the way” with the support, help, or attention of a program director or dj (aka “radio friend”). We’ve noted the blurriness to this identifying mark before. Still we are beside ourselves with amazement at the discovery of this most interesting (and heretofore uncatalogued) variation in the species. Somebody, quick … call National Geographic.

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