Saturday, April 28, 2018

Just a few observations

Ever since we moved to the country in 1967 and started playing around with pigs, cows, chickens, and other assorted farm animals, I've noticed how little Hollywood knows about farm animals.  Sometimes it's just the small details; other times, the stupidity gets to the point of being ridiculous.  I've seen the same thing in books I've read.

I was reading a book one time (Nora Roberts I think) in which the main characters lived on a cattle ranch in some far-off state like Wyoming.  Cattle start disappearing one at a time.  I don't recall the story line, but as it turns out, the thief was going out to a herd of beef cattle, putting a halter on an animal, and leading it away to a spot where he'd then kill it.  Cliff and I had a good laugh at that, since nobody walks into a herd of beef cows with a halter and leads the cow out.  Your run-of-the-mill cow would walk or trot away before the stranger got to her.  If she did happen to stand still, you'd never get a halter on her, and if you managed to get it on, you wouldn't be able to lead her anywhere, since cows have to be trained to lead.

I realize you can't expect city folks to know this, but if I was writing a book or producing a television show, I think I'd at least talk to a farmer about what goes on with cows.  

I've been watching a show on Netflix, The Ranch.  I first began watching it because I like Ashton Kutcher's looks, and continued watching... well, because I like Ashton Kutcher's looks.  There's WAY too much unnecessary cussing, but I put up with that to watch the two brothers bantering with one another and their dad.  It isn't what I'd call a great show, but it entertains me... mostly because of their total lack of knowledge about cattle. 

On one episode, cattle prices were down and our ranchers were going broke.  On the next episode, cattle prices had suddenly increased to the point where the ranchers were thinking about buying more land.  Within the plot of the story, it couldn't have been over a couple weeks between episodes.  Cattle prices don't normally go up that fast; seems like the bottom can fall out pretty quickly sometimes, but it usually takes a couple of years for them to get back where they were before the market fell.  

The boys call their friendly veterinary frequently to check on a sick cow.  Now, this is a beef cattle ranch; but every time they have the vet over, the sick cow is a friendly Jersey (dairy breed, not beef) wearing a halter, tied to a post and chewing her cud.  Oh, and the floor around her in the barn is spotless, no poop or pee anywhere, the cleanest wood-floored barn I've ever seen.  So the cow obviously isn't sick (chewing her cud?), doesn't defecate, and is trained to stand patiently when tied to a post.  But she is part of a beef herd, with no mention of anybody milking the cow, who would HAVE to be milked, because her udder is huge, and a calf can't take that much.  Besides, I see our ranchers taking store-bought milk from the refrigerator on occasion.  

It's mind-boggling.  Maybe I just need to get out of the house if I'm thinking about all this, right?  After all, it IS a comedy, and I'm getting some extra laughs from their mistakes.  



  1. Sounds to me like you could talk yourself into a part-time job as their Subject Matter Expert (SME). Send a link for this post to the show in care of the network and wait for their call!

  2. I have the same gripes about shows about teaching. They act like we have small, completely well-behaved classes, lots of support from admin, etc. LOL I guess TV shows don't do their research about anything!

  3. Donna, I don't mean to boast - and I don't want to sound too condescending to others, but I lived in Hollywood and also worked with literary editors. I can attest to the fact that MANY of them are idiots with high-paying jobs. You'd be surprised at how many of these "experts" don't know what the heck their doing half the time.

    If you watch movies and TV shows carefully nowadays, you will find MANY more factual errors than there were during Hollywood's golden era heyday. Things have really gotten sloppy and careless.
    Does the rampant use of drugs have something to do with it? Or are IQ's just getting lower? Heck if I know....

  4. I should be one to talk about "idiots"! I just re-read my previous comment and realized that I misspelled "their". It should be "they're"

  5. But Jon, anyone who has read your blog for awhile knows your spelling is not a problem, so they'd recognize it as a typo.

  6. It takes one to know one. I on the other hand would have never noticed. Good observations ! I'll be paying more attention now when I watch. Hey, it's always good to laugh !

  7. I'm sorry to break the news to you folks but the students are not getting the kind of education we got back in the day and they are way too rowdy. I don't know how teachers nowadays can even teach them anything. My retired teacher friends are all delighted to be retired. :)

  8. Loved this post and I'm thinking that Hollywood needs a farmhouse insider. Heck they could hire you and you wouldn't have to leave the house! Just tell 'em how to handle their "sets" and "background details"! You may be on to something there - ha! Cute post.

  9. hire yourself out as a consultant.

  10. I had to laugh at the thought of putting a halter on a beef cow or steer and leading it somewhere. I'm not a fan of Ashton Kutcher, but I may have to watch an episode or two of this show.


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