OSPIRG recently posted a video on funnyordie.com titled “Mad Men on Trains,” hoping to raise awareness for the need in the U.S. for a high-speed rail system.
The video gets a recognition boost from Vincent Kartheiser and Rich Sommer, actors from the AMC series “Mad Men.” The actors play Pete and Harry (the characters they play on the series), advertisers who sit down in 1965 to discuss the possible promotion of a rail system.
Pete tries to convince Harry that they would be getting ahead of the game by starting a promotion for trains. Harry is eventually persuaded, but reluctantly.
“We are paid to sell cars, floorwax and brassieres,” says Harry. “I think you can relax about this whole thing; I read a piece that said in 40 years, gas is going to cost almost a dollar a gallon!”
The video is purposely ironic, but the real irony didn’t come until Wednesday’s budget proposals by President Barack Obama: No money will be allocated for high-speed rail programs for the rest of 2011.
In a desperate move to prevent the government shutdown we all heard so much about, and to get a budget proposed that would be accepted by both parties, President Obama agreed to cut funding for the high-speed rail program, a plan he has personally promoted in the past.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Rail Administration officials claim they lost $1.4 billion in funds for the rail program. Obama’s original plan was to spend $53 billion over 25 years, giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed intercity trains by 2020.
You can search funnyordie.com for “Mad Men on Trains.” If you vote “funny,” the video will stay on the website longer, or you can vote “die,” which will take the video off the site sooner.