Fairs teach skills, ways to live

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Walking around pretty much anywhere today, the things that used to be seen frequently have changed.

Gone are groups of two or three people talking, no kids playing tag or some imaginary adventure, you know, or maybe heard of these things. It’s all been replaced by everyone’s neck at an angle looking down, hands holding a little screen.

The march of technology is inexorable, to be sure, but my fear is it is replacing good, common skills like interaction.

The fascination with this, especially in the younger generations, has had similar effects on other skills — skills that are necessary in everyday life.

That’s why I’m so glad that Madison County still embraces the county fair, and that the families in the area put such importance on the events.

To raise animals, to create useful items from metal and wood, to preserve foods and create meals from those items, those are skills necessary just to survive in this life.

However, many kids today, and many who have become adults, have none of these skills, and sadly, no desire to learn. I even know of someone in their mid-20s who cannot, and will not learn to drive a car. Moreover, if it cannot be cooked in a microwave, he can’t cook it.

Kids today need the discipline of a trade, if nothing else, to learn that a world exists outside of a phone interface, and that in order to deal with it, you need skills.

Not to mention that once out of high school, having a marketable skill other than Facebook and Instagram can pay the bills.

Bravo to the fair, and bravo to the men and women who keep the traditions alive. It gives hope for the future.

•Our Headline of Note comes to us from the already tarnished world of entertainment, and from Yahoo.com: Man Dies After Getting Head Stuck In Movie Theater Seat.

This headline will create two reactions, either the you-gotta-be-kidding-me one or the I-just-gotta-see-this one.

Either way, it accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is draw in a reader.

But is it news? Is human tragedy, regardless of its spectacular or ignominious nature, really something that we have to be shown?

In this case, it was an accident that turned into a tragedy. I’m thinking it should be left alone.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.

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