Ignoring Reality Won’t Stop People In Zoom Town From Losing Their Shit

by Travis Mateer

I know there are tremendous amounts of frustration spilling over into all kinds of uncomfortable social interactions because I’ve been involved in a few myself, and Monday morning was no exception. I was walking down the river trail expressing my own frustrations to a person on the phone when a man on a bike with a dog overheard me “shit talking” Missoula, so he got off his bike and started coming after me to kick my ass.

Later that day, during City Council’s regular meeting time, a well-known local (and sometimes Zoom Chron commenter) decided to take out his frustrations regarding how Pacific Steel operates, making some people feel VERY uncomfortable. I wasn’t in the room, but heard from someone who was, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Here’s the comment:

While it would be easy to just dismiss John and his complaints regarding what may or may not have happened to his vehicle, I’ve heard some interesting rumors about our former Sheriff, stolen vehicles, and the ethnicity supposedly involved in this black market.

Other black market commodities, like meth and fentanyl, are resulting in so much societal destruction that bigger cities are thinking about sending in the National Guard.

How is Jonathan Choe able to cover the homeless beat in Seattle? Well, last year he left his local news job, and there was concern he was leaving Seattle, but instead he got a new gig that is enabling him to continue his coverage. From the link:

When investigative reporter Jonathan Choe parted ways with KOMO 4 TV in late March over his coverage of homelessness and street crime, many of his viewers worried he would leave Seattle.

But Choe told The Dori Monson Show Thursday that he has landed a new role that will allow him to do deeper investigations into the area’s homelessness crisis.

“My big fear was that you were going to leave the region,” Dori told Choe.

No such thing. Choe has been named a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty, a Seattle-based think tank.

His new position will be “primarily focusing on the homelessness crisis and crime, picking up where I left off,” Choe told Dori.

“I want to be very clear: I’m going to be a straight street reporter with a video narrative,” Choe continued.

Unlike Jonathan Choe, I have ZERO institutional support, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to raise the alarm about what’s happening on our streets, in our parks, along our rivers, and out in the rural parts of our town and state. I even had a reporter all ready to do a story on my meth shack removal project, but I learned yesterday that story got preempted (and ultimately spiked) by our community’s press conference on homeless camps.

I guess there was more important news to cover.

Yes, it’s definitely more important to cover what “Bark” and “Bruiser” are up to instead of the extensive cost in time and money that it took to remove a non-compliant sex offender’s two story meth den from behind Missoula College. From the link (emphasis mine):

Bark attended the prom dressed in a dog costume. He was connected by a leash to his partner, Bruiser, who plays the alpha male in a relationship they refer to as “puphood.” The couple owns and operates the Bark and Bruiser Cafe in Missoula and put down the cash to sponsor this year’s prom.

Bruiser believes the older generation of lawmakers is holding back the progress of society and the equality that younger generations seek. In that sense, he said, it’s just a matter of time before things change.

“We have a new generation that’s coming up to be who they want to be. But we’re still outnumbered by the older generation who is one-sided and only believes one way,” said Bruiser. “Until things change and can be judged in a different way, we’re stuck in a rut. But we’re almost there.”

I hate to break this to you, Bruiser, but those of us actually RAISING kids are concerned about MORE than just their pronouns and sex lives, hence my personal investment in seeing this town NOT become a drug-fueled dystopia.

Speaking of drugs, did you know yesterday was Fentanyl Awareness Day? Well, it was, and here is what Butte did (emphasis mine):

Tuesday marked National Fentanyl Awareness Day in the U.S., and here in Montana, those leading the fight against the deadly drug are working to get their message across.

This includes Butte, where a fentanyl and opioid crisis was declared by chief executive J.P Gallagher and governor Greg Gianforte back in October.

A Community Action Team was established in 2022 to brainstorm ways to attack the crisis head-on. They released a strategic plan back in December and have been meeting in smaller groups to further flesh out their ideas.

Wow, a crisis was declared?! And then a strategic plan?! And now meetings in smaller groups?! Cool, I’m sure that will help.

Meanwhile, in Missoula, the transportation schemes for downtown were discussed at a community meeting held at the Wilma. Were the naysayers of the transportation schemes convinced by the presentation that all the changes will make downtown Missoula a more safe and vibrant place to be? No, they weren’t, but I think they understand that their version of reality will continue to be politely ignored so that $25 million dollars in Federal funding can be pursued.

As people continue grappling with reality, the stability of some of our community members really needs to be discussed in more dire terms, because shit like this just keeps happening:

SR said Wyatt got close to him, got into his face aggressively, and yelled “Whacha gonna do a**hole?” SR said Wyatt then raised his hand with what SR believed to be an ice pick. SR stated that he was within 16 inches of Wyatt and that he thought that Wyatt was going to stab him in his abdomen. SR articulated that he was in fear for his safety. 

According to court documents, SR told officers that he was carrying a concealed firearm in his waistband. When Wyatt approached him, SR grabbed his gun and prepared to draw his weapon in preparation to defend himself. However, SR did not ultimately draw the weapon, but he said he was prepared to use it.

Is this kind of violence in parking lots going to HELP our tourist industry? Maybe the problem is the fact we are parking-lot-dependent, so let’s get rid of cars and just give the parking lots to the homeless. Or maybe we should accept that violence is a form of communication, and some people get to SPEAK when the cause demands it.

Why are these activists so hostile towards this journalist? Especially in Seattle, where they are clearly winning big battles for their movement.

Watching all this madness unfold has me wishing I COULD ignore reality, but that would leave my kids more vulnerable than they already are after the TRUST THE SCIENCE people tried shaming me into jabbing them with an experiment. By the way, this week that bullshit officially ended.

It would be easier to just forget this ever happened. And to ignore other red flags that more trouble is ahead, but I’m not a fucking ostrich, and neither are you, so don’t act like one.

If you appreciate my efforts, support Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), or make a donation at my about page. Any little bit helps.

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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2 Responses to Ignoring Reality Won’t Stop People In Zoom Town From Losing Their Shit

  1. Ray Davis says:

    Ya it’s a rather strange phenomenon around here how stories involving truth and reality get forgotten in the editing room, but not the irrelevant fluff.

  2. Concerned Citizen says:

    Why wasn’t this public comment “point of ordered”? Per the council’s rules, seems like this individual engaged in personal attacks, and even called out specific members of City Council. I’m all for decorum. I just hope the rules are fairly and equitably applied.

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