Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2012 0610.mpg


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Episode Description:

The humble Farmer show for June 10, 2012

56 minutes.

Well received in Northern New England for 34 years, this is the same old fashioned music and humorous social commentary show that has delighted young and old alike every week since April 6, 1978 for radio --- and now for television.

Music by: Clark Terry, Natalie Cole, Gray Sargent, Alan Vache, Bill Evans, Bob McConnell, and Denny Breau.

This show contains a few minutes of Denny Breau playing at a music/humor show with humble on Monhegan.

humble is joined again on camera by his young friend, Sylvia, whose smile is generating most of humble’s email.

The video over the music is of many subjects, some footage of humble cutting out the glass for a solar collector and building an exhaust fan for the old cellar under his 200 year old farmhouse in St. George, Maine. Tame fare, indeed, for viewers expecting someone to be shot, arrested or blown up.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with the Fort Meade dentist and humble drinking coffee to give him power enough to do the show. Each of the songs and commentary are separated by an outtake. --- Dr. Rich Komp teaching a class on the construction of PV solar collectors, or an American Eagle carved in St. George pine by local artist Bill Libby. The show ends, as usual, with the Keystone Cops driving a car off the end of a dock.
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1. Having old age catch up to you is a terrible thing. I was a hypochondriac all my life until I was 75, and then, bang, all of a sudden my entire body got sick and fell apart.
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2. The number of shootings in this country would certainly decrease if everybody cared enough about their own personal safety to continually pack heat. We must be ever vigilant. You probably heard about the Alabama guy who went to a party with a gun to protect himself. It was a good thing that he did because he ended up killing three people and wounding three others before he felt safe enough to leave.
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3. Do you watch TV with one eye in the morning as you rush through your chores? You might remember seeing the man who made national news by hitting a boy with a belt --- I think it was because the boy dropped a baseball that was thrown to him. You might have read in a recently translated Bible that “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Did you ever read that every time Ted Williams swung and missed, his loving father disciplined him with a belt? Would this not in itself evince the efficacy of a literal reading of proverbs? Is there not something to be learned here: If you want to pound a kid with a belt, take him into the sanctuary where there are not likely to be any cameras.
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4. From time to time you hear on the news that “Convicted murderer so and so, is going to get a new trial because DNA evidence will prove his innocence.” Don’t you find that interesting? Suppose that you were lying around passed-out drunk in a field where they found someone murdered. Or suppose a dingo dog ate up your baby after dragging it out of a tent. And that you were tried and convicted of the murder. And years later they might have found baby clothing out among the dingo dogs or tested the DNA under the victim’s fingernails, if they hadn’t conveniently thrown it away, and discovered that it belonged to a funny uncle of the victim’s best friend. And so, although the state would hate to admit that there was a terrible miscarriage of justice, after thinking about it for 10 or so years they would have to let you go and put the guilty party in your recently vacated cell. But the point I’d like to make here is that even though you were later found innocent, for the rest of your life you could be referred to as, “Convicted murderer so and so.” If I may get a bit didactic here: It’s probably not a good idea to spend too many of your nights passed out drunk in some deserted field. Or to let your baby sleep outside in a tent.
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5. Have you ever noticed that names of bills passed by state legislators or Congress often have a name that is just the opposite of what they are intended to do? You will recall that Hitler's Enabling Act was officially called the 'Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich.' When it passed, instead of removing any distress, it effectively meant the end of democracy in Germany and established the legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. And you know very well what effect GWB’s “Patriot Act” has had on freedom in America. And now I have here a communication from my perceptive friend David, who says, “in New Hampshire we have the "Right to Work Act", which includes the provision that employees have no rights, and can be fired at any time for anything.” David says: "It's one of those NewSpeak Orwellian constructions.” If you can think of any law that does just the opposite of what its name says it will do please send it along. I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot com
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6. The other night I chanced to read that when England’s Henry I discovered that his minters --- the money people --- were cheating the public, he had them castrated and cut off their right hands. How things have changed in 900 years. Nowadays a man is admired in proportion to how much money he can obtain by ruining others and safely stashing it in a Swiss bank.
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7. The other day I was reading my script into my television camera when the power went out. I figured some kid had hit a pole. When I saw a police car heading south, I followed because I knew that Marsha was on the road and on her way home and I was concerned. I am married to Marsha only because her husband got wiped out in a car accident when she was 34. There was a line of stopped cars by Jane Smalley's. I turned around and parked heading north and walked down past Richard Carter's house. I could see a red car that had cleaned out a telephone pole right at the entrance to what used to be Julian Rubenstein's driveway and a wire across the road. I could also see a dump truck heading my way that had stopped and Marsha's white Rav-4 behind it. That close had she come to getting clobbered. I knew it would be two hours before she would get home because CMP would have to get the wire out of the road. I saw her turn around and go back, to the Barn, I thought, but learned later that she just went back down over the hill and went in to see Bruce and Eva where she chatted and drank tea for two hours. Knowing that she hadn't been rammed on the way home from work, I walked back to my truck. As I passed each car a window would come down and someone would ask what was going on up front. One woman, I think it was Henry's daughter, told me that she'd been following the red car which had been going from one side of the road to another. She said she'd been driving since she was 16 or so and had never in that time seen anything like that car that went from one side of the road to another. The most exciting thing that happened to me was having Eben Polky tell me I had a mosquito biting my chin. We later heard that the driver had just cleaned out another telephone pole before being brought up short by one with a bit more substance to it. I hadn't heard anything like that since Marsha's father, who was a retired tank commander, used to tell me what his vehicle would do. My brother says it will be a long time in this town before anyone matches that record of taking out two telephone poles in one afternoon with one vehicle on the same stretch of road. What do you do when the power goes out? I should rephrase that. What do you do when the power goes out and you're 76 years old? This house never had power in it until 1922 or so. So although we have the old kerosene lamps they used here in the good old days, Marsha didn't light one because I'm allergic to smoke. And we couldn’t heat food because I took out the old kitchen wood stove after I got lung disease from living in a house with a wood stove. You know how living in a house with a wood stove is the same as smoking cigarettes. So we sat in our usual chairs, she eating a salad and I eating a cream cheese and olive sandwich while we stared in the dark at a blank television screen.
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8. Here is an email I got from a friend who lives in Norway. I met her through her husband when he and I showed up at the same meeting of some Maine bee keepers. She says, “it is sad that it is so difficult to make most Americans understand how a good society can be organized. They are so afraid of 'the state', as if it is some evil monster, only out to steal peoples freedom. Another special thing with America is that you have a law that ensures everyone 'the right to pursue happiness'. It sounds like a great right, and it can be, but only if one understands that no person can be happy if his neighbour is suffering. By helping each other to happiness our own happiness and wellbeing increases. This is what the state really is for: helping each other to good lives in a common society.” If you live in Finland or Norway or Holland or Denmark or any of those countries where people vote to help each other I’d like to hear from you, too. I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot com
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9. Did you hear about the man on television who has a great plan to settle our health insurance crisis? He claims it will be much cheaper than the bloated privatized system we have in place here today. He plans to give every American in need of medical care a plane ticket to a medical clinic in India.
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10. My friend Squander has probably done more to educate me this year than anyone I know. --- Although most of the articles she sends along seldom contain any good news and are therefore quite depressing. From what I am reading every day, big money is very quickly buying every available ticket to ship us all to that hot place down under in a hand basket. I don’t know much about Squander’s background --- where she was born and brought up and that sort of thing --- but today she asked me a question that indicated that it was not the rural kind of one-room school background that I have enjoyed. I would guess that she has never raised any cow friends on a farm. At present there are four animals that moo in my pasture across the road from my house and there are five animals that moo and a donkey in the pasture beside and behind my house. Squander knows this because I paste pictures of these 10 animals on my Facebook page which she reads every day. And one day she wrote and asked, “do the cows have a water trough?” Of course the cows do not have a water trough for the plain and simple reason that if they did, I’d have to keep an eye on it 24-7 to make sure the cussed thing was filled. These are things a rural person thinks about long before he invites his friends to truck in their cow friends to eat and grow fat in his pastures. The cows have no trough. I pledged it away to Marsha on our wedding day.
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11. You know that birds and butterflies and animals migrate. You also know that man made obstacles, like the wall between Mexico and the U. S. keeps some animals from doing what they’ve been doing for tens of thousands of years. While sitting in my doctor’s waiting room I recently read that migrating animals evince special behaviors: preparation, allocation of energy, and a fervid attention to the ultimate mission which keeps them undisturbed by temptations. Migrating creatures are programmed to be undeterred by challenges that would deter them in normal times. If a combination of these behaviors sounds familiar, you might be married to a Type A person. When most of us get tired working on a project, we quit or go to bed. A Type A person doesn’t seem to get tired but hangs in there until the job is done and the paint brushes are cleaned and put away. Type A men are likely to be presidents of corporations and their ability to behave like a migrating animal might explain the 20 percent pay hike they got last year. Listen again to these five features of a migrating animal: persistence, focus on target, undistractability, special start and stop behaviors and most important of all, stored energy. On the way to achieving their migrating goals lower animals ignore temptations, like accumulating several mates along the way. This is the primary difference between lower animals and the American Type A male.
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Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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