The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill."
It's been a might chilly around these parts of late, but I'm a hope'n this column finds readers with a warm heart.
There are a lot of beans ta be planted around here abouts and a few who has them in the ground already is frett'n as ta the need ta replant. Seems a might early fer them kind of thoughts but worry'n is a way fer a grain farmer ta pass the time along. Takes a mighty strong person not ta worry when the world hands out more'n enough ta worry about.
Worry'n is a waste of time. The problem most folks have is to change worry into think'n and anxiety into creative action. Most times we can't control forces outside ourselves, but we can control our reaction to those events if'n we want ta hard enough.
It has been said that if'n a feller can control the thoughts on what ya worry about, ya will decrease your stress level by 80%. Stress kills and causes sickness.
The secret of health, some say, fer both mind and body is not ta mourn fer the past, not ta worry about the future, and not ta anticipate troubles, but ta live in the present wisely and earnestly.
If'n ya can think about worries, ya can think about happiness. If'n ya can think about problems, ya can think about solutions. As a general rule of thumb, folk worry more about what they can't see than about what they can.
Two weeks ago I wrote on The Stranger in the community. As I was look'n through some old files I found this column from Agri-News, April 1998 by Dr. Val Farmer, a syndicated columnist on rural life, entitled "Three Biggest Lies To Come Out Of Hollywood." See what ya think of it.
"Technologically dazzling. Great special effects. Beautiful soft focus photography. Visually seductive and captivating. Fast paced action. Ear-splitting sound. That is the window dressing that makes Hollywood's summer fare palatable. Done well doesn't mean worth seeing.
So what about these less-than-memorable movies - are they just harmless pap to fill empty summer nights? Or do they produce a powerful influence on culture and on millions of young viewers?
Public Broadcasting media critic Michael Medved believes Hollywood tells three great lies about the kind of material they produce.
Big Lie No. 1: "We are in the business of entertainment, we don't influence anybody." These same executives sell advertising to sandwich around their supposed value-neutral product with 30 second commercials designed to change the way people buy, the way people vote, the way they think, act and feel.
Medved states, "So what are we supposed to believe, that 30 seconds of a commercial can change people, but 30 minutes of a program can't? The entertainment industry not only changes our notion of what is accepted in society but it changes our notion of what is expected."
Study after study confirms this conclusively damning fact - that prolonged exposure to violence on television promotes more hostile, aggressive and violent behavior and attitudes by people who see it.
Big Lie No. 2: "We just reflect society as it is, we don't shape society." Paul ver Hoven, director of "Robocop" and "Basic Instinct" states a common industry position. "If the face in the mirror is ugly, you don't blame the mirror. If you see society reflected in a mirror and society looks ugly, you don't blame the media, you blame society. We show the world just as it is."
Medved answers back, "The most violent ghetto in American life isn't southeastern Washington or south-central of Los Angeles, it's prime time television." On an average, there are seven murders a night on prime-time television out of a total of 300 characters. That's 49 murders a week out of 300 characters. Medved points out that there is no place in America that approaches that crime rate.
Medved also points out that 72 percent of all speaking roles in feature films go to men and 60 percent on TV. Why? Because the emphasis is on violence.
Sex occurs three times as often among single characters as it does among married partners. Hollywood creates a distorted image that most people lead wild and crazy sex lives in a sex-drenched culture. Teenagers and young adults get the message that if they are not participating in pre-marital sexual activity there is something wrong with them - that they are nerds or losers.
Big Lie No. 3: "If you don't like this material, it is always easy to turn it off." The entertainment industry shapes popular culture. Medved believes the movie and television industry glamorization of violence, promiscuity, profanity and anti-social behavior of every kind is tantamount to cultural pollution.
How can it be that Americans are so preoccupied with proper diet and exercise and abandon all discrimination when it comes to the images, messages and values that Hollywood aims at their minds, their imaginations and their very souls?
If we can't turn it off, we can turn it down. Medved recommends that people improve the quality of their lives by going on a pop culture diet, by watching a bit less TV and by spending a bit less time at the movies. He feels it is absolutely appalling the amount of time Americans spend on this material - an average of 28 hours a week of television. Medved states, "The TV set doesn't need your gift (of attention). Your family does, your community does, your country does."
There ya have it then - food fer thought by Dr. Val Farmer. A lot has transpired since 1998, which is not that long ago in terms of history. When one looks at recent events, one realizes something has changed since that time in terms of same sex marriage, live'n together outside of marriage, bathroom and shower use together by school children based on attitudes rather than on birth record, promotion of socialism, work attitude, patriotism and the list goes on and on.
Do ya suppose Dr. Farmer could be correct in the analysis of the situation, and if so what part do ya think Hollywood and the entertainment industry played in all these dramatic attitudinal changes?
The boys all agree this is food for thought and probably will be discussed thoroughly before we get back into the fields once it quits rain'n.
As fer meself. I spect I will dwell on the subject fer a spell - field work or not.
However, there's something about a long day in the field, or a tractor in the solitude ta provide plenty of opportunity ta think things over.
Have a good rest of the week. Hope'n ta see ya in church this week.
Remember, wherever ya are, whatever ya be a do'n. "Be A Good One!"
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later