Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0220.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 for television.

Music by: Clark Terry, Jack Teagarden, Ray Brown, Fletcher Henderson, Ted Weems, Charlie Gray, Woody Herman and Denny Breau.

This show contains a few minutes of The humble Farmer live on stage in Rockland, Maine, a quiz show with children, Dr. Dick’s Dancing Puppets and guitarist Denny Breau live on stage on Monhegan.

The video over the music is from the February 2011 Fort Meade, Florida Antique Tractor meeting.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with a clip of NASCAR Maine. Here's the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of February 20, 2011.
1. I’m kind of in a hurry with this so if you could get back to me today I’d really appreciate it. I’m trying to find a college professor who didn’t marry, or at least have an affair with one of his graduate students.
2. Fifty or so years ago the people in St. George, Maine voted to go into a school administrative district with Thomaston. This is like sending a weekly check to a man who lives with your wife and raises your children.
3. Do you have time to help me with this? Someone recently wrote on a newspaper blog, “Either Mr. Clark is lying, or he's not very bright" I always thought these two things usually go hand and hand but here the writer would have us believe that they are mutually exclusive.
4. One day when I was sitting in a French class, a woman told us about her friend who was wearing a very short mini skirt in one of those middle eastern countries. She said that people threw stones at her. We’ve all seen legs like that in Maine, but most of us have learned to control ourselves.
5. One morning I heard the people on the news talking about a football game that they called the super bowl that had been played the day before. I called my friend Julian and asked him if he watched it and he said he did. When I asked him what happened, he said he fell asleep. This is good. What else is television for?
6. My wife got a Netflix subscription for Christmas. Today I opened the Netflix envelope just to see what kind of horror movie she was about to expose herself to, and read, “The Golden Boys Desperate for a housekeeper, three crotchety Cape Cod sea captains and housemates decide that one of them must sacrifice his own bachelor bliss and take a mail-order bride, a woman who will cook and clean for all of them.” Of course I shouted out loud and I even got a bit teary eyed, because I immediately recognized the plot from a book by J. C. Lincoln that I have read perhaps dozens of times over the past 65 years. Joseph C. Lincoln wrote over 40 books and I think I have all of them. For years they were not in my library, but right next to my bed in a bookcase I built in 1952. Ever since I was a kid whenever I’d get sick and be confined to my bed I’d read one of those books, and I’d often finish it at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning. I think the last J. C. Lincoln book I read was The Rise of Roscoe Paine which was written in 1912. I always write the date and time on the last page of any book I’ve read and when I finish a book am often surprised to see that I had just read it two months before. J. C. Lincoln’s collection of Cape Cod Stories, which was published in 1907, is another one of my favorites, and I’ve got to tell you about one of those stories. By the way, when I Googled “she jibed” I turned up the story on-line, so you can read it, too. Two old, and by old I mean 45 or 50-year-old retired sea captains are invited to a rich kid wedding up in New York state where a practical joker tries to make them look like fools by scaring the pants off them on an ice boat. But they weren’t out on that ice boat too long before the captains could see that the clown running the thing didn’t know the first thing about sailing, and when she jibed… Well, you can read it on line if you’re interested. I thought it was a great story when I was 12 and I still think so. The name of it is “Two pair of shoes.”
7. After being invited to a sixth grade stage presentation of Romeo & Juliet, I wrote to the teacher who invited me: Len, I would be careful if I were you. Is there any place for subversives in our present quantitative bottom-line someone-must-be-held-accountable school system? Would you want your child to waste his valuable time in school learning the need to respect others or how to be a good neighbor when it can’t even be measured on a test? Is your school going to qualify for federal and state funding if they teach children how to cook or build bookcases? How do you measure courtesy, love, respect or a pleasant smile? Ask yourself if your students will be able to survive in Yale if you teach them that it’s not nice to lie and cheat. If Maine teachers want to do the job that is presently expected of them forget this Shakespeare thing --- they had better be teaching kids how to become mindless obedient workers who all got good grades.
8. A Maine man accused of shooting his wife to death told a friend he did it because she had been nagging. Although this situation is too horrible to warrant commentary, one can’t help but wonder how many men were tempted to clip the article from the newspaper and quietly nail it to a sunny wall --- in the kitchen.

9. I stumbled on a web page by Karen Alexander titled “What is the history of the Gulf of Maine Cod Fisheries?” This page is a synopsis of the overfished cod industry for the past 500 years which you can easily find and read for yourself.

Of particular interest to an unbiased observer is this quote: “Fishermen say the industry's deterioration was caused by onerous regulation, which they say was pushed by environmentalists and based on flawed science that badly underestimates fish stocks.”

One would laugh at this convoluted thinking if it were not for our many unemployed fishermen friends --- some of whom have already found something else to do.

Flawed science? Fishermen kept logbooks and how many fish were landed in Rockland and Portland and even the tiniest harbors is a matter of record:

“Between 1852 and 1859 Beverly fishermen worked harder and harder and caught fewer and fewer fish. In 1852 Scotian Shelf schooners each caught about 26000 cod on average. However, landings per vessel fell steadily until, in 1859, Beverly schooners only caught about 14500 cod each. Since the average vessel was a little larger in 1859 and carried an extra man, fishermen were working just as hard and catching only half the cod!”

And then we read how improved technology enabled more and more fishermen to catch more and more fish until once again, they worked harder and longer for less.

Let’s compare the fishing stock with a well that fills at the rate of 9 ½ gallons per hour. You could draw 10 gallons of water an hour from that well for a long time --- but each bucket would take more labor than the last as the water table dropped. And here the analogy ends, for you can’t believe that even fish that were left alone would come back as quickly as the water in that well.

You might recall that when necessary regulations were removed from financial institutions, some very greedy people brought their houses and the nation’s economy tumbling down around their ears. You might even remember that to save them GWB reached deep down into your pockets and threw your money at them --- which was why they removed the regulations in the first place.

Now these great financial minds say the best way to help our country to recover is not by reinstating the regulations but to let them roll you over and over again.

When we dig ourselves into a hole it is always nice to blame our predicament on someone else so we are not surprised to hear fishermen say that their industry's deterioration was caused by the onerous regulation and flawed science of environmentalists.

Do you believe that regulations created a problem that would melt away if only fishermen were allowed to catch more fish?
Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 0220.mpg

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

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,660,673,540 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 03:02

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