Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2012 0701.mpg

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Episode Description:

The humble Farmer humor and music show for July 1, 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, Django Reinhardt, Ed Bickert, Ukulele Ike, Scott Hamilton, Jelly Roll Morton and Denny Breau.

This show contains 1.48 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 earning generating most of humble’s email.

The video over the music is of two subjects: Maine artist Wilder Oakes show in Rockland and photographer Jeff Stephensen setting up to take a portrait of humble by the cows on humble’s farm. Tame fare, indeed, for viewers expecting someone to be shot, arrested or blown up.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with Larry Oakes telling us about the $30,000 hotrod he built in his show. Each of the songs and commentary are separated by an outtake. The show ends, as usual, with the Keystone Cops driving a car off the end of a dock.

The humorous commentary that humble delivers between the songs is approximated below:
1. Because my head has shut down twice, causing me to be whisked to the hospital by ambulance, perhaps because of tiny blood clots the names of which I cannot remember, I will continue to eat my 81 whatever baby aspirin before I go to bed. My father's brain shut down when he was 79 because of a stroke and I saw him live for 10 days, unable to talk or even articulate his sentiments --- other than refusing to eat. So I am going to follow the advice of three of my doctors and continue to eat my aspirin. I think that had I been eating my aspirin religiously since I was 70, I would have been spared those two earlier trips in the health wagon when my eyes started seeing two birds when there was only one there. Now that I've finally learned how to spell aspirin would I not be a fool to miss chances to write about it? And hopefully, if I continue to eat the assorted green veggies in the salad Marsha forces into me daily, I'll never need to learn how to spell proctology.
2. There are politicians who are either living in a fantasy world, or else they are intentionally lying to their American constituents. We read that a United States Senator named Mitch McConnell said. "The question is how to go step by step to improve the American health care system. It is already the finest health care system in the world." Wave all the American flags you want, but you might want to look around a bit before believing that the United States has the finest health care system in the world. The senator might well be correct if you define "finest health care" as that health care which makes the most money for third parties.
3. Once again I have been enriched by Facebook. I'd never heard of an e-reader until someone recently mentioned it on Facebook. I looked up a definition of e-reader but wasn't helped by words because I wanted to see what an e-reader looked like. I found a picture. They look like little electronic boxes. Am I admitting that I'm in the lowest socio-economic class by admitting that I don't have an e-reader? I don't see how e-readers would be easier than a book to handle in bed. --- Unless they have their own little reading lights like a computer screen. One plus would be if they turn themselves off when you fall asleep and don't turn a page every 5 minutes. But they would still bounce if they hit the floor. This e-reader has great possibilities, doesn't it? Is it connected to the Internet? If you wanted to read a certain book, you could poke a button and bring up the book and not have to stumble downstairs into the library in the middle of the night.
4. When archaeologists excavated a 400 year old privy site in Newfoundland they discovered eggs from three well-known human intestinal parasites plus a rare species of liver fluke never before found in North America. Isn't it exciting to live in a time when scientific breakthroughs like this are so commonplace, that we calmly take them for granted?
5. Let’s talk about the power of trickle-up economics. You might have recently read a letter to the editor that said, "Anyone caught and convicted of selling drugs to anyone under the age of 21 should get 30 years in prison with NO parole, NO good time, NO early out of any sort. This is the only way to reduce the blight on this nation." Letters like this could easily have been written by a person who owns the laundry or food concessions in a prison. We read that America imprisons seven times as many people as it did in 1972, several times as many per capita as other Western nations, and, since Stalin died, many more people than any other nation in the world. Keeping people in jail Did you ever wonder if a lot of drug dealers might eagerly trade the risk of jail for a job that pays a living wage? If it costs $50,000 a year to keep someone in jail, not counting what it cost to build the prison, and minimum wage were $24 or so an hour, would it be cheaper for society to legislate a minimum wage of $24 an hour and thereby go a long way towards eliminating petty crime? If people on minimum wage were earning $900 or so a week, they’d be spending money at your place of business like crazy. There’d be a tremendous trickle-up effect, unless you were the chief of police your business would be booming, and you and everyone else would prosper. The way it works now, if you own a shirt factory, you can’t expect your employees to buy your shirts if you only pay them enough to buy food. When evaluated objectively, you can see that we have a unique and somewhat primitive economic system. When one considers the big money to be made by keeping people in jail for as long as possible, it’s a wonder that necessities like whiskey and cigarettes are still legal.
6. I just read that it costs $51,300 or so to attend Bates College for a year. That's more than I get in Social Security to live on for 8 years. Fifty years ago it was possible to go to a state college for teachers for $100 or so a year. So back then a person from the lower class had a little start towards moving up into the middle class. By living off campus and working weekends to earn money enough for food and his room, he or she could at least attempt to get a liberal arts education. If Maine high school graduates were to travel in Northern Europe today and mingle with their peers for a summer, they might be surprised to learn that there are countries in progressive parts of the world where young people are encouraged to become all they are capable of being and that there are strong financial incentives to do so. Like our elderly friends who go to India for an operation that would bankrupt them here, young people might opt for an affordable education in Northern Europe. It is an unfortunate fact for those who wax wealthy by employing cheap labor, that a person with a liberal arts education (that is, someone who has taken courses in history, sociology, linguistics, and all those other courses that do not enable one to readily earn a living) is more likely to be a Democrat than a Republican. So to ensure the outcome of elections it has become necessary to make education prohibitively expensive. And the poor kids, who elect to go into debt to grind through the system, find themselves indebted to the banks for many years. So it is a win-win for the rich. They either get cheap labor and votes from the uneducated or they own the financial souls of the educated poor who will vote against them. South Carolina passed the first laws prohibiting slave education in 1740. While there were no limitations on reading, it became illegal to teach slaves to write. It's nice to know that it is no longer necessary to enact such onerous legislation to suppress the teeming masses. The same results have now been realized by simply jacking up the cost of a basic college education.
7. I’ve got to tell you about a new feature you will hopefully hear on this program just as soon as you can help me get it started. You remember how Charles Kuralt used to report on what he had seen riding around America? I think that's a great idea and hope to be visiting your neighborhood, looking for Maine's most pathetic lawn sale. You might have some suggestions as to where I should look. If you remember seeing any recent front lawn offerings, you know that locating Maine's most pathetic lawn sale is going to be difficult. Dirty old bottles. Wet cardboard boxes filled with old computer wires. Piles of moldy baby clothes. Competition promises to be fierce among the old bottle and broken dishes crowd. If you have a candidate for Maine’s most pathetic lawn sale please email me at the humble farmer at gmail dot com
8. I have difficulty recognizing the faces of people I seldom see. If you come to my house for supper and you show up in my dooryard the next day, I might not realize that you had been at my house the day before. So when I meet people for the first time I’m very likely to tell them that I probably won’t recognize them the next time I see them. I don’t want them to think I’m a snob if I don’t speak to them on the street the next day. Some say, “Well, you meet so many people I wouldn’t expect you to remember me.” And others think I’m joking. But I recently learned that two percent of the people in the world have the same problem recognizing faces as I do. I can’t even pronounce the name of this affliction. It is prosopagnosia. I read that people who can’t recognize faces don’t realize it until they are well along in life. This is because for years and years we took it for granted that nobody else could recognize people, either. We didn’t know that we were different. Of course, there are an infinite number of degrees with this ailment. Some men wake up every morning with a woman that they’ve never seen before and we have heard that some older women are grateful. And on the other end of the spectrum there are people like myself who can learn to recognize new faces if they see them enough times over a period of weeks or months. There is a professor at Harvard who has studied unfortunate people like me who cannot recognize people and he has published his results if you’d like to read about it. Because one in 50 people can’t recognize faces, there is a good chance you know someone who has prosopagnosia. Does this ring a bell with you? I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot com and I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2012 0701.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:55:56

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,660,704,260 Bytes

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Monday, July 23, 2012 - 19:07

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