Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2010 0425.mpg


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Episode Description:

Well received by the intelligentsia in Northern New England, this is the same old fashioned music and humorous social commentary show The humble Farmer has produced every week since April 6, 1978 for radio and now on television.

Music by: Django Reinhardt, Glenn Miller, Jack Teagarden, Natalie Cole, Erroll Garner

The show is tightly scripted. Here's the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of April 25, 2010
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1. An age is reflected in its literature. Edward Arlington Robinson, who 100 years ago was probably related to almost everybody where I live, wrote about whiskey. Gustaf Fröding wrote about poverty. Poets have written about bubbling brooks and whippoorwills and malleable young men who march off to die. My question to you is, how could any contemporary bard aspire for immortality when our present culture can be summarized in an essay about Viagra and plastic toys from China?
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2. Here’s a rare email that arrived last week. The heading was, “Courier delivered Viagra.” Yes, it said, courier delivered Viagra. Can you envision in your mind a situation so critical, so pressing, that one would pay extra to have Viagra delivered by courier? Look closely and you’ll see vague specters, huddled miserably on the front steps. Their faces brighten at the distant drumming of hoof beats. A dispatch rider, leather bag over his shoulder, gallops into the dooryard. Without dismounting, he throws himself forward in the saddle, extends a clipboard, and says, “Please sign here.”
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3. You might have read that the 25 top hedge fund managers made over 25 billion in 2009. Although I don’t earn enough money to pay an income tax, this is my understanding of how the high rollers did it. When the removal of Roosevelt’s government regulations permitted financial institutions to engage in fiscally unsound practices, after it made the people engaging in those unsound practices rich, their card houses collapsed. The stock of those financial institutions plummeted. When President Bush gave those institutions your tax dollars to save them from themselves, the people who got rich by causing the collapse quickly bought hundreds of millions of dollars of the depressed stock in those institutions. Because of the bailout, the value of the stock went up 400 percent or more and the top 25 people to profit made over 25 billion dollars. If you were to Google, “Jay Gould, the skunk of Wall Street” and read up on this ultimate financial technician, you would learn that not much has changed in 140 years. This is good. There is still a chance for highly motivated individuals to get ahead in America.
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4. Crime does come back to haunt one. Here is an example. You will remember my telling you about, “The mills are alive with the hounds of Munich” the other day. A radio friend sent me this as payback. Mike took a vow of silence and joined a monastery. But, one night he couldn’t take it anymore and when the monks paraded around in the courtyard chanting, Mike joined in with, “Eve-ning.” One of the monks in the parade heard him and said, “Someone chanted ‘Evening.’”
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5. My brother said he got a call from someone on Price Edward’s Island asking for information on Nancy Galey Skoglund who had written a paper on the I’m Alone rum running boat. My name was on the bottom of the paper so he tried to find my ex-wife through me. I don’t know why the man called my brother when Robert Skoglund will turn up on several hundred places on the Internet.

http://www.lib.rochester.edu/index.cfm?PAGE=1004

I Googled, I’m Alone and came up with --- in the University of Rochester Archives -- the I’m Alone paper, , which, although I would swear I’d never seen before, I must have read in 1968. Although I have no use for the social applications of alcoholic beverages or marijuana, I do think that this country would be a better and safer place in which to live if they were both legalized and highly taxed. I now pass this along as an example of the government’s never ending --- futile attempts to keep over half of the population from getting something that they want.
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6. Here’s a letter from Dr. Olga who heard me mention Dick Tracy’s 2-way wrist radio. She says, “I have been trying to get a Dick Tracy 2-way wrist radio for years. It looked a lot easier for Dick to talk to the moon or the Moon Maid than it is for me to call my husband at work. So Steve has been looking for one for me for years. It has to work like the one in Dick Tracy.: Small, fits on the wrist, has the face of the person you are talking to on the screen... No luck. Diet Smith was way ahead of his time.” Dr. Olga continues with this commentary on casinos. “Legal gambling is a tax on people who can't do math. The profit from the lottery in Arkansas is being used for scholarships for college students. So we tax people who can't do math and give the money to people who can or who will learn how thus creating a permanent underclass of the math challenged. This is really unfair. It is predatory on the poor.” Thank you, Dr. Olga
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7. Here’s a letter from David. It says, “We spent some time driving around Hancock County and found that the Department of Transportation has a creative way to deal with the impending budget shortfall. Instead of spending lots of money maintaining roads, the MDOT has discovered that for about $100 each they can buy and install signs that say "Rough Road."
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8. No, not all of the emails you get today are advertising Viagra or lonely Russian girls. There are also the red neck political emails which are circulated by our relatives, many of whom were actually able to get high school diplomas. They also send us the syrupy pictures of the puppy-snuggling-with-a-kitten emails that are supposed to remind us that we are all living creatures and --- shouldn’t we all be able to get along? Of course when you look at those pictures, the first thing that comes to mind that the animals have been put to sleep and stuffed to get them into those cutesy positions. Would this also work with belligerent people who do not get along with their neighbors?
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9. The email said, “Defy your age. Miracle Anti-Aging Cures Now Available.” To begin with, the word cure obviously implies that aging is a disease. And if aging is a disease, babies are born sick. These ads to sell pills to cure aging are written by young people who don’t realize that most of us who are old don’t mind being old. Got that, kids? We don’t mind being old. We don’t mind looking old. The only thing that annoys us is feeling old.
10. The Internet has changed our lives. I don’t know about you, but I now depend on it for information and communicating with my friends. I would be lost without it. The Internet has its dark side, however. You already know that your career can be hampered by a people rating site that enables any crackpot to post anonymous comments about you. Politicians, movie actors and anyone who appears on the radio or TV on a regular basis take printed lies for granted. It is part of the territory. I have seen blatant lies about me printed in newspapers and someone with an agenda once posted a lengthy article about me in Wikipedia. When I corrected the errors about The humble Farmer in the Wikipedia piece, the page vanished, which is just as well. Have you noticed factual errors in Wikipedia? If you use Wikipedia as a reference tool on a regular basis as I do, you already know that some of what you read there has been posted by people with an agenda. But, luckily for you, no employer worth working for would believe anything printed about you in newspapers or posted on an Internet rating site. If you were going to buy an automobile, you’d ask the man who owns one. Potential employers will call a couple of phone numbers on your résumé
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11. It seems that no matter what your cause, nowadays you can support it with quotes by Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln. Nowadays nobody would dare say anything bad about either one of them. Wow. Abraham Lincoln said that. These guys I’m listening to on the radio must be on the right side if they’re quoting Abraham Lincoln. And they have an American flag on the wall behind them. But --- if folks down my way had owned radios 200 years ago, they would have smashed them with a hammer had a radio commentator said anything good about Thomas Jefferson. The Embargo Act of 1807 shut down the shipping in Wiscasset. And can you imagine what the Emancipation Proclamation did to Maine shipping in 1862? You’ve heard me say that they had a torchlight celebration parade when Lincoln was assassinated. They touched off tar barrels. People who like to quote Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln should remember that in their day they were two of the most hated men on the coast of Maine.
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12. May I call your attention to the woman who said she didn't stop at the scene of an accident because her brakes failed? She was easy to find because a front fender was torn off by the impact and left at the scene. I am distressed by the transparent excuse she gave for not stopping. A more creative person could have said that she didn't realize she'd hit something.
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13. You might know that I always wanted to be a jazz musician but could never do it. I wanted to play sax. When I first went to Rochester in 1957 to study clarinet, I thought I could start by listening to records and memorizing solos by good people. But I can still remember that over 50 years ago Bill Motzing, who played trombone at the Eastman school, told me it wasn’t a good idea. Bill must have been 19 or 20 at the time and had already played with Kai Winding. He was a monster trombone player and somewhere I have some old reel to reel tapes I made of the Eastman boys playing. I admired Bill Motzing and John Thyhsen and Wolfgang Knittel and Al Regni and all the other guys who played jazz so took everything they said right to heart. But I just read that Tristano would often have his students learn to sing and play the improvised solos by good people. Tristano said that the student was not learning to imitate the artist, but was gaining insight into the musical feeling conveyed by the artist. Knowing what I know now about my playing ability, no matter what I did it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference.
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14 Just for you, here’s a quote by Mark Twain who said, “There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice."
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Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 08:57


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