Networking And Beasting In The Boom Days Of Zoom

by Travis Mateer

While I’m not really clear what a publisher of a corporate appendage like the Missoulian actually does, I do appreciate some of Jim Strauss’ tweets, like this one:

Networking in ANY community is very important, and Missoula is no different. Where else can one go to get access to influencers?

Turns out, you can go to the Zootown Arts Community Center. Isn’t that where I have my art studio, you ask? Yes it is. Which is why I am VERY excited to tell readers about the opportunity (May 20-21) to BEAST YOUR BIZ!

I’m not exactly sure how one “beasts” one’s “biz”, but I know someone who does, and that’s the CEO of United Way of Missoula County, Susan Hey Patrick.

Yes, SHP is going to be present this May 20th and 21st to dispense how to BEAST your BIZ. If you aren’t aware of SHP bonafides, here’s some stuff from her bio:

Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, she was a reporter for a daily newspaper and a corporate communications writer for a Fortune 500 company.

Susan is a past president of the board of directors of City Club Missoula, and a past president and current member of Missoula Sunrise Rotary. She is also on the boards of the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce and the Glacier National Park Conservancy. She is a Montana Ambassador, appointed by the governor to serve as an ambassador for economic development in Montana.

In 2015, Susan chaired a citizens’ committee that worked successfully to pass two bonds totaling $158 million – the largest in Montana history – to improve the facilities and technology at all Missoula County Public Schools.

Reporter, corporate writer, bond peddler. That’s some good shit. And let’s not forget Susan’s role in the 10 Year Plan To End Homelessness.

While the BEASTING goes on later this month at the ZACC, the BOOM making our Zoom Town ZOOM is a clear and present concern for the tourism pushers, who have conjured a new term to create some sympathy-cover for the crisis they’ve helped exacerbate: destination stewardship.

Ridiculous. From the link:

On Monday, City Club Missoula hosted a panel discussion on “Destination Stewardship: How can we keep from “loving Montana to death?” The four guests – all of whom are associated with the tourism industry – said the sudden growth in the numbers of tourists coming to Montana have them scrambling to try to figure out what to do.

Some said that in just a few short years, they’ve had to reverse their focus from pushing for more visitation to trying to advocate for values that are now under threat.

“Today, many (of us) are evolving toward destination stewardship, and (these) organizations begin with a community-first mindset: support creating a thriving tourism economy while protecting and supporting destination assets,” said Racene Friede, Glacier Country Tourism CEO. “This strategy is all about protecting the very qualities that make Western Montana, first and foremost, a wonderful place to live, with the added benefit of being a wonderful place to visit.”

I really enjoy the work done in the realm of language. It’s not just funny to me, but a nearly endless stream of material to chew up and spit out.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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1 Response to Networking And Beasting In The Boom Days Of Zoom

  1. “Destination Stewardship,” indeed. Well, it has a nice ring to it. And frankly, it’s a really good sounding philosophy. I’m sure a think tank of some awfully sophisticiated thinkers came up with the phrase. I’m willing to see if they are serious, but it already has the aroma of an Exxon TV ad depicting that megacorp’s purported dedication to preserving our pristine estuaries.

    As you probably know, one of my MAJOR PET PEEVES is the ‘narrative’ that Missoula is a “liberal” town and that refractory problems are the result of the City’s “liberal governance.” This irks me to no end, because it reflects a false dichotomy that there are “liberals” and “conservatives,” and never the twain shall meet. The “D vs. R,” “Red State vs. Blue State” paradigm is fomenting a festering, nascent civil war as it exploits cultural wedge issues to distract the People from their worsening oppression by plutocrats serving the oligarchs.

    Of course, in actuality, that narrative isn’t so false: the word “liberal” has been so tortured, the DNC so successful at redefining it, and the RNC so savvy at demonizing it, that the narrative is TANTAMOUNT to “truth.” And as Rush Limbaugh, the most successful demagogue of neo-fascist sophistry and political illiteracy in our lifetimes, almost single-handedly turned the word “liberal,” for at least athird of our population, from a respectable, honorable adjective/noun connnoting anti-authoritarian, pro-democracy, pro-pluralism, pro-individual, social-democratic monetaristic and progressive philosophy, into an vile epithet assuming the role previously played by “Red,” “Commie,” etc. Self-proclaimed liberals traversed the demonization by supplanting “liberal” with “progressive.” And as the DNC was fully conquered by ‘Third Way’ corporatists and the Clintonites (who perpetuated a mythical image of populism and progressivism), the McGovernites, Udalls, AuCoins, et al were targeted, defamed and defeated due to AM Talk Radio, mega-million-dollar direct mail operations, etc., the Millennium passed by and 22 years later, we have a teeming sea of young, idealistic activists (and wannabe politicians) who proudly claim the title of “Progressive” while primarily embracing identity politics, cliche slogans and an astounding obliviousness to the Class War being waged on us.

    Which brings me to the message I sent you the other day, forwarding you my Facebook update posted after I read David Erickson’s reporting about the latest public discourse about the proposed 700-house Grant Creek development that public outcry defeated once, in 2020. I am pasting it below for your readers, because it illustrates the contrast between our Missoula “liberal” Democrats, and left-oriented progressives and socialists (including Msla. DSA) who are aligned with many libertarians and right populists in their outrage over TIF abuse, rank exploitation of our housing emergency, the Engen Cult of Personality and the economic cleansing of our community. Here is what I posted:

    ***************************************************************************************************************

    HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE between REAL progressives, and IDENTITY POLITICS/BOUTIQUE LIBERALS:

    On a developer’s Grant Creek rezoning request so he can build 700 homes:

    REAL PROGRESSIVE: “There are many reasons to oppose this rezoning application, but the one that I want to emphasize this evening is that the proposed rezoning and the developers’ plans do not address Missoula’s most pressing housing needs, namely affordable rental units and single-family residences for sale,” argued Grant Creek resident Peggy Walker. “There will be no affordable apartments in the Grant Creek Village.”

    IDENTITY POLITICS/BOUTIQUE LIBERAL: “I’m so excited for this as an opportunity to say ‘yes’ to more housing,” said Missoula resident Maggie Bornstein.

    Source: The Missoulian (5/10/22)

    ****************************************************************************************************************

    Keep afflicting the comfortable. Keep comforting the afflicted. I may not concur with some of your theories but I believe we’re far better off with pesky, persistent citizen news-hounds doggedly nipping at the heels of our powerful.

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