by Travis Mateer
This week’s episode of Zoom Town is a conversation about HOW we determine the value of something and the sometimes ugly dynamics involved in WHO determines that value.
For example, if a member of your family is violently killed at a homeless shelter in Missoula, the legal system is the entity that calculates financial damages in a wrongful death case. Of course, you have to either find a lawyer willing to take the case on contingency, or pay out-of-pocket for the legal costs, which for many people is cost-prohibitive.
Another part of the value discussion includes the challenge of monetizing content because, to put it bluntly, writing blog posts and recording podcasts for free is not sustainable for me. I have a donation button at my about page, books of poems for sale, and a Substack account where I am serially publishing my work of fiction, Zula, but the resources those platforms have produced have been minimal (though I deeply appreciate ANY financial contribution).
To raise money for my reluctant journalism, I am selling an original piece of art at the Zootown Arts Community Center this month for $10,000 dollars. The price of the piece includes advertising spots on ALL remaining episodes of Zoom Town for 2021, starting in March. Since I’m releasing one podcast a week, that’s 44 episodes. Also, 40% of the sale goes to support the ZACC’s programming.
Another part of the podcast conversation is the WallStreetBets/Reddit uprising against hedge fund investors like Melvin Capital. My guest, Tim Adams, is much more knowledgeable than I am about these financial shenanigans, so it should be an informative discussion.
We recorded our conversation last Thursday, four long days ago, so more information has come out since about the players involved. One interesting blog post I ran across is this one by Pam and Russ Martens at Wall Street on Parade. From the link:
Yesterday evening, CNN’s Erin Burnett told millions of viewers that it was “amateur traders” who had taken on the powerful Wall Street hedge funds to pump up the share price of GameStop. The New York Post also called Keith Gill, the man who initiated the frenzy in GameStop shares, an “amateur investor.” This characterization of Gill fits with the broader mainstream media narrative that this is an exciting David versus Goliath story. Unfortunately, the facts keep getting in the way of that narrative.
Wall Street On Parade has confirmed that Keith Patrick Gill, a man holding highly sophisticated licenses to trade and supervise others on Wall Street, is the same man using multiple identities to promote GameStop on social media platforms. Gill, and a member of his family, have confirmed to other media outlets that Gill used the identity of DeepF***ingValue on Reddit’s WallStreetBets message board to promote GameStop and that he used the identity of Roaring Kitty on his YouTube channel and Twitter page to help engineer a short squeeze against the hedge funds that were betting the price of GameStop would fall.
Like many people inspired by these events, I would love for this to be a story of David vs. Goliath, but I’ve seen what happens when people invest too much psychic energy in establishment narratives, like Russian collusion with Trump, a seditious photo-shoot at the Capitol, the efficacy of masks, and the big-hearted efforts of pharmaceutical companies to save mankind from a Frankenstein flu.
It’s important to remember that establishment narratives serve power and cui bono is ALWAYS a worthy line of inquiry when it comes to identifying motivating forces behind surface-level outcomes.
If you DO NOT WANT your establishment narratives challenged by inconvenient facts, then by all means, just keep reading propaganda news journals like the Missoula Current.
But if you want a better idea of what is REALLY going on in your rapidly gentrifying Zoom Town, support independent voices like mine.
Thanks for reading.