Destination ANYWHERE But Missoula, Montana

by Travis Mateer

At the Arts Hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, they encourage their guests to make art by providing a sketch pad, pencil, and inspirational quote from Pablo Picasso. I was definitely feeling inspired when I woke up this morning, bright and early before the sun, so I took the pencil and created the masterpiece you see above. I think this piece will look GREAT in one of the plastic-sleeve displays in the elevator they provide for exhibiting guest-art. Cool!

I hope Pablo is wrong because I’m imaging some crazy shit to explain the inability of Missoula to deal with dead bodies piling up. My masterpiece depicts a guilty-looking state with a blanket trying to cover up one dead body, while in the upper right-hand corner a shitty director named David exploits the violence to satisfy his own sick proclivities, which he foists on the rest of us by calling it a “movie”. Good one, Dave.

While I tell everyone I meet to NOT visit Missoula, or anywhere else in this vast state (since our corruption is a state-wide affair), an agency that gets your tax dollars (if you live in Missoula) is doing the exact opposite, and to be more effective in luring people to this corrupt state, Destination Missoula is embarking on a process to make a plan–a 10 year plan! Because that’s the kind of shit the nexus of influencers like to do with other people’s money. From the link (emphasis mine):

Nonprofits are looking to the future of Missoula’s tourism industry and they need your help.

Destination Missoula and the Missoula Tourism Business Improvement District are forming a ten year plan. The goal is to continue to grow tourism in the Garden City with a focus on sustainability.

They are currently forming a ten year stewardship plan. The goal is to continue to grow tourism in the Garden City while preserving the parts that locals hold near and dear.

Lovely, Destination Missoula, I’m sure your plan will be great, and even if it isn’t, no local media will hold you accountable for failing because that’s not their role. Nope, their role is the obfuscation of real news while promoting propaganda that protects those with power and influence in our community. It’s pretty simple.

Here’s more from the “news” outlet I called yesterday and left a message with with ZERO expectation I’ll get a call back. This content is so pathetic it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad (emphasis mine):

There have been two community meetings where locals spoke about what sets Missoula apart from anywhere else. ideas floated were Missoula’s outdoor recreation and numerous sporting events and concerts.

“It really is our community. Our community needs to be sound and healthy and happy before we can have visitors in and give them a good experience and that’s what the point of this is,” said Barbara Neilan, the executive director of Destination Missoula.

Um, I’m pretty sure LOTS of other communities have “outdoor recreation and numerous sporting events“, so we’re already off to a sketchy start. Then there’s the idea that Missoula needs to be healthy and happy before we have visitors. Does refusing to give proper investigative attention to people who keep showing up dead indicate a healthy community, Barbara?

The final place I’ll be staying in New York City once had Jack Kerouac as a guest, or at least that’s the claim being made for a tourist like me wondering where to drop hundreds of dollars for the privilege of staying in Greenwich village, the same part of Manhattan that Jodie Foster moved from in a flick made by another fucked up David, this one with the last name Fincher, which I watched last night.

Returning to Montana isn’t something I’m looking forward to, which is also very sad to me. I used to really enjoy the views of this town appearing on the horizon after a return drive from whatever destination we’d been at, but that joy is gone. I think it has something to do with the utter corruption of our entire criminal justice system and the professional victim who thinks she can manipulate the courts to punish me. So far, she’s right.

If you want a martyr, Missoula, I’m your man. So get ready for my return, because I’m more prepared than ever to expose each and every one of you who think you can get away with the shit you’ve been getting away with. That’s a fucking promise.

If you appreciate the work I’m doing exposing these fuckers, then please consider supporting Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), or making a donation at my about page.

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 Destination ANYWHERE But Missoula, Montana

  1. Tony says:

    I love the Destination Missoula survey! Took me down such a nostalgic road; a road of pure unoriginality. Let me explain.
    30-40 yrs ago Missoula was unique and original. The Union Club embodied that vibe; published author sitting next to grimy union millworker while college kids shot pool. No one cared about being cool; cool was the place we lived in and there was an equality that had nothing to do with skin color, bank accounts or address.
    Then it started to change. Came with a bumper sticker “keep Missoula weird”. That was the beginning of commodification but wholly unoriginal- came from Portland. Then someone went on vacation to Spain and saw lighted bridges so Van Buren was lit up. Then someone went on vacation to Rome and saw locks so locks were put on the Van Buren bridge. Then someone went to a conference and heard about dark skies so we turned down the lights. Then Ellen went on vacation and saw a lighted vista so we got Hillview lit up (dark skies be damned). Then someone went to Nashville and saw a pedaled bar that catered to bridal parties so we got one (look downtown on a summer Friday). Then someone went to Austin and saw a daily party on the river so now we have a daily tube hatch. Then someone went back to Portland and learned “how to handle homeless”. Then someone heard on NPR how we should reframe words; we got “houseless”, and “indigenous” and “marginalized”, etc etc etc. We learned we needed to paint a crosswalk rainbow colors.
    We got written up and voted up in Outside, Sunset, etc. We were officially branded as “Cool” (as defined by the arbitrators of Madison Avenue).
    Missoulians became cool but Missoula became uncool because nothing was evermore to be unique or original.

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