Week In Review: July 17-21

by Travis Mateer

book excerpt starts at 25:17

Well damn! Synchronicity strikes again! After wrapping up Friday’s post about True Detective, which stars Matthey McConaughey, I decided to check on the production of Yellowstone, since I tracked its presence in Missoula like a hound dog last year (links further below).

As the image above indicates, there are rumors that none other than Mr. Alright-Alright himself could be replacing Costner as Montana’s fictional Governor. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

Less interesting is the manufactured excitement coming from KGVO that Missoula could be “the Hollywood of the Mountain West“. Come again, Peter Christian?

From the link (emphasis mine):

Emmy-nominated film producer Paul Epstein honestly believes that Missoula can become the Hollywood of the Mountain West.

KGVO News spoke to Epstein on Wednesday while he was busy creating a new episode of ‘Into the Wild Frontier’, now in its third season on the INSP network, who said Missoula has all the ingredients to be a real force in film production.

“I was hired by the local production company called Warm Springs Productions that does quite a bit of TV and they’re based in Missoula,” began Epstein. “I believe they have a satellite office in Manhattan, Montana, and for season one back in 202 I was hired on to become the executive producer and director of the show because that company had set up the show with the INSP network. And so soon after coming to Montana, I realized that it was the perfect place to shoot a documentary series about the early age of America’s westward expansion.”

First; unfortunate last name, Paul. Second; WHY would we want this? Nothing in the “article” indicates why our local officials should wage a PR campaign for Paul to make us the Hollywood of the Mountain West. What, you didn’t know Paul wants local officials to go on the PR offensive? Here’s a screen-shot so you can see my emphasis in RED:

What I think Paul is trying to say is this: things are CHEAPER here, and Yellowstone has primed the yokels for more efficient exploitation…because HOLLYWOOD!

Maybe Paul is right about the NEW Missoula–or ZOOM TOWN, as I like to call it–but OLD Missoula wouldn’t be so eager to sell out our town to outside film-making interests, no matter what stars we might catch a glimpse of.

Before getting to the list of this week’s links, here’s a hefty chunk of my Yellowstone coverage for your perusal:

A Question Of Worth And Cost As It Relates To Selling Our Community Out To Costner’s Yellowstone (June 23rd, 2022)

Talking With Some Missoula Cops About Keeping The Yellowstone Production Safe (July 7th, 2022)

A Message To The Myth Makers: You Will Not Win This War (July 17th, 2022)

Here’s What Ross Douthat Thinks Of Montana In His New York Times Yellowstone Op-Ed (July 29th, 2022)

A Yellowstone Skirmish On West Main Street As The Larger Narrative War Continues (August 11th, 2022)

On-The-Ground Yellowstone Reporting…But Who Owns The Ground? (August 18th, 2022)

Is Yellowstone A “Fictional” Pressure Release Valve Meant To Mesmerize And Pacify Its Audience, Or Something More? (November 15th, 2022)

The Irony Of Missoula Current “Environmental Reporter” Complaining That The Show Yellowstone Is Helping Ruin Montana (November 17th, 2022)

Synchronicities are a big part of how I do my work, and sometimes it’s like they’re contagious. My post (link below) about True Detective inspired a great comment from JC about Woody Harrelson’s dad. Here’s a portion of it:

Charles Harrelson was convicted in 1981 of assassinating a federal judge in the middle of a trial of a person involved in a major, long term drug running (Chagra bros) syndicate. That syndicate included one Andrew Thorton II, a blue-blood Kentuckian from a wealthy horse racing family. Andrew became a narco cop in Kentucky and used his position to segway into the narco trade. Being a trained Vietnam era pilot and parachutist, he naturally gravitated to flying drug running missions between Columbia and Kentucky, graduating from smuggling pot to cocaine. He was a thrill-seeking soldier of fortune type, voluntarily outcast from his blue blood roots and his narco-detective pardners.

One of his associates was a major cartel figure, whom the federal judge was presiding over his trial. Charles Harrelson was allegedly hired by the criminal and his gang to off the judge, and he did… supposedly (he recanted after admitting it). He also asserted he had assassinated JFK. And Woody’s mom was named… Diane Oswald, a distant relative to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Andrew Thorton died on 9/11 1985, when he somehow left his airplane over Lexington (the movie version is hilarious), and his parachute didn’t open (many conspiracy stories about how that happened). He had 75 pounds of cocaine strapped to his body when the cops scraped him off the pavement. 3 months later several other duffle bags full of cocaine had been found (along the flight path back towards Columbia), one of which the cocaine bear had discovered and consumed enough cocaine to kill him. Hence the notoriety of the cocaine bear’s story, and its eventual fodder for a Hollywood slasher movie, of a bear run amok in a cocaine-fueled frenzy, killing 10 people.

But the story of Woody and his connections to the JFK murder and a whole lot of other shit is pretty wild, too. And ties to the narco trade, hit jobs, and various drug task forces looking for his father and narco mob copsters. And Woody’s various roles playing the cop, or LBJ, or…

Makes You Think.

Isn’t that interesting? I think that’s interesting. And there’s more interesting material below to READ, but I also encourage you to LISTEN because where else are you going to get a book pairing like this?

Before the links, I’d like to offer one final image. While Yellowstone is selling the breathtaking landscape of Big Sky Country to those with pockets deep enough to afford it, the picture below is a more stark example of what’s happening to our town thanks to being “discovered”.

Now, finally, here are the links to the week’s articles. Dig in!

If I Had The Resources To Do Actual, In Depth Investigations… (July 17th, 2023)

My Cautious And Cynical Take On The Mayoral Money Flap: The Hyenas Are Already Barking At Each Other (July 18th, 2023)

If I’m Not A Part Of Your Homeless Plan Then Your Homeless Plan Is To Control, Not Solve (July 19th, 2021)

Does Missoula’s International Choral Festival Have A CIA Dark Side? (July 20th, 2023)

A Sad Day For Too Many Reasons, But Here Are A Few (July 20th, 2023)

On Re-Watching The First Season Of True Detective (July 21st, 2023)

If you appreciate the work I’m doing, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to help me out, and the donation button at my about page is another.

Thanks for listening/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
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply