Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2010 0207.mpg


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Episode Description:

Well received by the intelligentsia in Northern New England, this is the same old music and humorous social commentary show The humble Farmer has produced every week since April 6, 1978 for radio and now on television . This week Count Basie, Django Reinhardt, Natalie Cole, Charlie Gray, Earl Hines Pictures over the music are the Chaplin films Face on The Barroom Floor and Recreation from public domain.

The show is tightly scripted. Here's the script from the week of February 7, 2010:
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1. When I was a little boy, my father would sometimes drive 60 or 70 miles an hour and then slow down to 50. He said he did it because after driving 70, 50, which was too fast, didn’t seem very fast. The fact that everything is relative came to mind yesterday when I ran across some comments attributed to Lyndon LaRouche which is when I looked him up in Wikipedia. Have you ever heard of Lyndon LaRouche? We very narrowly escaped having him born here in Maine because he’s a Rochester, New Hampshire boy. The life of Lyndon LaRouch reads like a composite of Mein Kampf and Alice in Wonderland. My purpose in talking with you about this master mind today is so that you, too, can read in Wikipedia about a man who claimed that Queen Elizabeth II was the head of an international drug-smuggling cartel, and that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was the first strike in a British attempt to take over the United States. Everything is relative. I am mentioning this to you today as a public service. Because --- no matter what kind of nutcase you might think you’re married to, after reading about Lyndon LaRouch, your spouse will look very normal.
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2. When you come right down to it, you have never seen a man so homely but what he could get some other man’s wife to run off with him. But seeing the contested beauty bragging about the affair in front of a TV camera is something else. That said, I can see a day when only homely men will run for public office. If you will consider the many cheating men you have seen commanding the evening news, you would have to admit that they are far above average in looks, income, fame and physical prowess. Whenever they are tried by the bar of public opinion, women crawl out of the woodwork and vie to confess that, “When we were in the third grade he used to pull my pigtails.” But --- suppose the man were coyote ugly? How much would you have to pay a woman to admit that she had ever been that desperate? No, homely politicians are the wave of the future. They can cheat all they want and no woman would ever tell.
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3. Where but in America could a man impoverish his country by starting a war that kills a million or so people and not be castigated as much as another man who cheats on his wife?
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4. From time to time you get an email that says, “Vote the bums out. Help us vote out the entire Congress and start over.” And the very next email you get says, “In the first nine months of 2009, Comcast spent a whopping $13.4 million on 98 lobbyists in Washington.” You know as well as I do what folks do when they get voted out of Congress. Yes, corporate America hires most of them and their brightest staff people to go back to Congress and lobby to repeal any good legislation that they themselves might have passed in the previous session. How do I learn about these things? I chat with my neighbors as we sort our trash at the recycling center here in St. George, Maine.
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5. When I Google, I pretend I’m a prospector looking for gold. And it is that 10 dirtiest hotels in the world site that we are going to continue mining now. Here’s a review that says, “… the hot tub looked disgusting; like homeless people bathed in it.” I must admit that I have never seen a bathtub that had been used by homeless people so I have no reference here. And aren’t even the people nearest and dearest to you able to make a tub look disgusting? Or have you never married and had children? And consider this: “Our room looked like something from a very bad horror movie.” Is that not a subjective observation at best where it is possible to get bogged down by semantics. Can you distinguish between a bad horror movie and a good horror movie? Is a good horror movie really horrible? Is a bad horror movie not bad? The guest continues: “I was scared to sleep in the bed. Just looking at it made me want to itch.” Let’s turn that around into something positive: wouldn’t that at least give you something to do if the television didn’t work?
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6. You know that I used to open the Encyclopedia Britannica at random every morning and then tell you what I’d read. Then, one day I made the mistake of reading you a definition of fascism --- an act of treason which almost tore the station from its moorings. Would you have thought that the management or the listening audience of any radio station in the world would object to hearing someone read a few lines they’d copied from the Encyclopedia Britannica? Who in the world would care if a few intelligent people knew how to recognize fascism when they saw it? I’ve learned my lesson, and because The Encyclopedia Britannica obviously contains information that is taboo, I now tell you about the curious assortment of things that turn up every day in my email box. Here’s one that made me laugh. In the subject line, it said, “Prepare for the future.”
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7. You might have heard me mention the email I got that said, “Prepare for the future.” It doesn’t take a linguist to figure out that there is not much else to prepare for. If you want your friends to have something that is as equally profound to think about after you’ve said, “Goodbye,“ you might look them square in the eye and add: “Remember, the past is gone and the future knocks but once.”
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8. Did you read that many people in their early 20s don’t even think about saving for retirement? Young people don’t like the word “pension.” This is probably because they have heard their grandparents tell about their pensions that vanished. If you haven’t talked with someone who has lost his or her pension, you don’t have many friends who have worked for corporate America --- which includes Maine schoolteachers. How does one plan for retirement? If you can think of a form of wealth that doesn’t fluctuate and would provide a secure cushion for retirement please let us know so we may pass it along to any of our young friends who might be interested. As usual, when the general public refuses to go along with your program, you can sometimes troll folks in if you call it something else. Someone actually won a prize for thinking up a term to replace the “pension” word. It is, “Save now, play later.”
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9. My wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, rushed into the room and said that doctors were no longer wearing neckties and long sleeve shirts because ties are seldom washed and carry germs from one patient to another. Especially in hospitals. My wife was delighted with the news because she is not a tie person. I am. My father came to this country to break up rocks with a hammer in a quarry. And as the first generation with a grad degree, the only way I have of flaunting my education is by wearing a germ laden necktie.
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10. Wouldn’t you really like to know if neckties spread germs? It sounds plausible. When I looked for the answer on Google, I found the usual balanced article that told me nothing. A journalist presents both sides of an issue because that is considered “objective” reporting. The reader is left to make up his or her own mind. People who make or sell or like to wear neckties say that germs are a secondary consideration when compared with the professional image conveyed by a tie. The tie haters will, of course, augment their cause by crying, “flu germs.” I personally don’t care if my doctors wear a tie or not. But for all the patients in the world I do wish that every single doctor took a shower and scraped his tongue in the morning.
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11. We read that the problem we have with the media in this country today, is that it is “objective.” Our reporter asks, “Should doctors stop wearing neckties that are probably infested with germs?” If there is an answer that is backed up by science should that be the one that is printed? Is the article not objective unless the reporter climbs up on a rooftop to get opinions from the happy few who are eagerly looking skyward as they await Armageddon in 2012? Unless you can convince me otherwise, I think I would welcome a return to the days of subjective reporting --- that is, as long as the reporter thought like I did.
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12. Here’s an email comment from the wife of a doctor. She says, “I think that story is about my dad. He was one of those guys who died young because he wouldn't go to the doctor when he was having heart problems. He was only 59. He was the one that had a major heart attack at 35 that was MISSED. He went to the ER and they told him it was nothing... just indigestion and sent him home. Later when he had another major heart attack the year I got married they found the damage from the earlier one... He spent some time in the ICU and had angioplasty. 8-10 years later he began having symptoms again. He was taking his Nitro glycerin frequently but wouldn't go to the cardiologist. He probably had another blockage and needed more angioplasty surgery to correct it. BUT he didn't go mostly because as a self-employed independent insurance agent He and my Mom had no health insurance (they weren't old enough for Medicare then either) He had just paid off the bills from that heart attack they DAY BEFORE he had the one that finished him off . I do miss him. He hated the idea of accumulating another several hundred thousand dollar more debt. He wouldn't ask for charity to get it written off either. He wasn't just too proud to go to the Doctor. Another reason universal health care…” That from H. the wife of a doctor.
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13. We all have things that we can do. And there are other things that we cannot do. Perhaps an adult might be defined as: “a person who knows what he can do and what he can’t do --- and isn’t afraid to admit it.” The email I recently received said, “humble, Don't you remember what I thought of as Plan A?” Of course I don’t remember anything about Plan A. Because I’d like you to learn a little more about me, you might listen closely to the reply I sent to this person: “Please realize that I don’t remember much of anything. My talent is not in remembering, but in synthesizing that which I have recently heard and presenting it to friends as original material.”

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 07:12


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