Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2009 0823.mpg


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Episode Description:

Humorous social commentary and old time music by King Oliver, Fletcher Henderson, Django Reinhardt, Hoagy Carmichael, and Harry Allen

Humorous social commentary for The humble Farmer television show August 23, 2009
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1. You might expect someone of my vintage to whine and cry about the good old days but I’m not going to do it. I’m 73 years old and I like to think about the things I can do today that I couldn’t do – let’s say back in 1962, when I was 26 years old. Can you now do things that you couldn’t do 47 years ago? Yes, I know, you want an example. Right now, today, I can get on an airplane with my wife Marsha and go off to Sweden for a couple of weeks to visit friends and relatives. If I had tried to do such a thing with Marsha in 1962, I’d probably been dragged off the plane by federal marshals and locked up for life for running off with a 12-year-old.
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2. How would you like to pick up enough quick cash to pay off the mortgage on your home? Or, have enough change in that little cup in the kitchen to spend your winters in Fuengirola or Reggio Calabria? You can do it. Involve yourself in an authentic human drama and put it in a book. The process is now so shopworn you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Get a knapsack and a camera and a stout pair of walking shoes. Ok, you’re way ahead of me --- you can see where this is going, can’t you? So you already know you should have one or two friends with you when you start up that rugged mountain trail right on the border of some tiny country where the people are scared to death of the United States. Everyone in the world, except a few provincial Americans, knows that it has been two or three generations since the United States was hailed as a protector of the oppressed and a beacon of freedom. Whether we like it or not, most people in the world see no difference between our recent government and a bunch of bandits who ride into town, shoot it up, and leave with anything that isn’t nailed down. The fear that they will be taken out next is, of course, why several of these tiny countries come across like the Wizard of Oz and set off bombs and make a lot of noise from behind the curtain. They are scared. All this is to your advantage when you accidentally wander across the border and are seized. After you are accused of spying and are rescued by Jimmy Carter or Al Gore, your book detailing an authentic human drama will be a best seller.
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3. This morning I was thrown into a panic when I got an email that said “As I was on http://www.thehumblefarmer.com this morning, I was unable to locate a "Google Sitemap file" on your website.” No wonder my life has been on the skids. There is no Google Sitemap file on my website. But, I did the same thing that you do when you want to know something. I Googled, and, do you believe this? Surprise, surprise --- they’re just another one of those companies that tries to sell you something that you don’t really need. Google Sitemap file? Good people to stay away from.
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4. An excellent way to learn something is to ask a question. So --- “Why,” I said as I looked over the grandchild’s shoulder, “Do you heap up that child’s plate with four pancakes? The child eats a bit more than two of them and the rest gets thrown away. Why don’t you give the child one pancake. When that one has been eaten, give the child one more --- and so on.” I think my question was a natural one, don’t you? When I was a kid you ate everything on your plate. You only took as much as you could eat. I still do it. If you’ve ever seen me at the grange suppers you’ve seen me take tiny portions but you know that I go back for three or even four helpings. Well ---- I was told that working mothers don’t have time to stand over a small child. Working mothers have countless other things to do in the house so it’s easier to heap up the plates and then attend to other things. Is this the way you do it --- or did it? I don’t know if this is the best way to feed children or not. I could never afford to have children. They eat too much.
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5. Do you leave toys scattered in your front yard when you go on vacation for a week? Do you have someone pick up your mail so your telltale newspapers don’t turn brown on your front lawn? You heard them say on TV that toys in the yard and uncollected mail are an invitation to criminals who want to break into empty houses. Of course, even when they see all those manifestations of the empty house, robbers still knock first because if anyone is home they can simply say they were thirsty, ask for a drink of water, and be on their way. I laughed when I heard about the newspapers and toys in the yard being an invitation to robbers, because if you live anywhere near my neighborhood on the coast of Maine, you know that there are two sides to that coin. Without even trying, I can think of four --- no five of my neighbors who have whipped out some serious fire power and blasted holes in people. These shooters not only command an inordinate amount of respect in our community but are envied by many of our neighbors who, for years and years, have wanted to shoot someone, but could never find a good excuse to do so. Now, much like the wimpy urban hunter who throws corn on his back yard to lure in the turkeys, my neighbors will bait their front yards with a week’s worth of scattered toys and unread newspapers. --- And then sit back with a keg of beer, 300 back issues of Sports Afield, a 3 ½ inch 10 gauge magnum loaded with number 4 buckshot, and cheerfully wait for someone to kick in the door.
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6. I enjoy the Lobster Festival. I drive my Model T in the parade and many friends wave to me along the route. And, perhaps like you, I realize an economic injection when thousands of city folk arrive, hoping to savor a step backwards in time. Perhaps in your travels you have seen a good old Snake Dance, a Ghost Dance or some ceremonial procedures of the Peyote Church. Anthropologists were alarmed when these dark vestiges of a primitive, superstitious age were abandoned by a scientific society. Nowadays even children know that there is no correlation between a rain dance and heavy, black clouds suddenly appearing on the horizon. But --- isn’t just going through the motions well worth while when curious tourists will travel far and spend much just to witness what they believe to be culturally deprived people engaging in an archaic ritual? --- Now, about that person who wrote a letter to the newspaper saying that “emotive religious lingo” and the singing of The Lord’s Prayer should be discontinued at the Lobster Festival….
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7. Do you think that your opinions are shaped by what you hear on talk radio? Would you be surprised if they were? I seldom have time to turn on a radio so my eyes opened wide and I could barely get my breath when I caught about ten minutes of talk radio today. You might not believe this, so please understand that I could be wrong and you can correct me if I am --- but I think I heard a member of the Maine State Legislature say, that the United States has the best health care system in the world. If he believes this, he is an ignorant provincial who has no business representing Maine people in the legislature. If he doesn’t believe it, he is a very naughty man who intentionally lies to his constituents to advance his own political agenda. In either case, only an inconceivably wicked gang of media mogul thugs would, on a daily basis, expose their listeners or readers to the blatant lies I heard today. You know that I have lived in Europe. My wife has lived in Europe. The other day we spent the afternoon with two people who were born and brought up and married in Europe. My wife and I each have our own set of friends and relatives in several countries. Over the years we have visited them many times. We are conversationally familiar with their homes, their food, their jobs, their incomes, their healthcare systems, their roads, their transportation system, their schools and universities. And compared to their schools, their incomes and their homes, perhaps half of the people in the United States are living under what amounts to very precarious third world conditions. On the other hand, from our travels and reading we know that even visitors to some so-called third world countries can enjoy better health care than Americans. So --- if you want to learn the truth about healthcare in America, or the truth about anything else, you might want to Google or cultivate some cosmopolitan friends because AM radio is not going to help you.
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8. Every year about this time Marsha and I are invited to a party about fifty minutes north northwest of our home in St. George, Maine. Although I’m not going to say exactly where this party is, there is a barn dance after everyone has eaten their fill of grilled chicken and you might be able to pinpoint it from that. I am flattered to be invited because just about everyone I have ever spoken with at that party is a retired professor or has a job that requires one or two post-graduate degrees. You can easily understand that our host makes his clean-up easier by putting out a barrel labeled, “Food Scraps Only,” one labeled, “Plastic and Paper Only,” and a third labeled, “Cans and Bottles Only.” For years I had a huge Free Lobster Picnic at my farm for over 1,000 people, where I also set out barrels to help me sort and separate the trash. Back then I quickly learned that I had to have someone right on deck to supervise the sorting because your average person can’t understand signs. Yesterday I learned that more than a few people with advanced degrees can’t either.
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9. I have many friends who have autism. I didn’t know this until this week when I read a book that told me what autism is. If the last chapter hadn’t degenerated from science to superstition, I was going to tell you to tell you the name of this book so you could read it. Besides learning about autism, in this book I read a few things about cows, which interested me greatly because, even as I speak, there are 5 cow friends within sight of my back porch. Although I’m not going to give you specific examples, I read two or three pages of bad things that happen to animals that are kept in drab concrete cubicles. Did you know that animals kept alone in barren cages get very messed up and can be permanently damaged? When they get out, they can’t function like normal animals. You must see a parallel. Does it make you wonder if society might realize some long range social and financial benefits in rethinking our present penal system some of which hasn’t been changed in two or three thousand years?
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10. Here’s something I found while digging through some old files in my computer. It made me laugh when I read it. It is in Swedish and it says, “Tack så mycket för dansen." "Dansen? Jag har försökt tränga mig fram till baren." It translates into something like this: “Thanks for the dance.” “Dance? I was struggling through the crowd trying to get over to the bar.”
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11. Here’s a little bit of something that could be construed as wisdom. It’s yours for free for whatever it’s worth. One day years ago while standing on a stage before a smiling crowd of people I had a brain freeze. Halfway into a story I realized I'd messed it up, so I simply said so, and started in with something else. In my business --- and perhaps in your business --- people don't hate you for being human and making mistakes, but they can resent you for knowing everything and always being right.

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 06:59


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