Drive home listening to the news on the radio until I can’t stand the shittiness of it all any longer so I turn it off, then ten minutes on social media and I see example after example of people just being hateful dicks to each other, and then this. This is what being the baddest hombre on the fucking mountain looks like.
Yesterday I attended a rally in Helena, the Montana state capital, to protest the failures of our junior senator, Steve Daines, to adequately represent the people of Montana. The shutting down of Elizabeth Warren is probably his most infamous recent example. He also supported Betsy DeVos (of course he did — she contributed $46,800.00 to his campaign) for Unites States Secretary of Education. Ugh, I want to hurl for having just written that. Haines has voted in favor of everything Trump has done. Essentially, he’s the worst.
Daines was scheduled to address the Montana legislature yesterday, but he pushed it back to today because he didn’t want to face the protests. From what I hear the good people of Helena and surrounding areas will be waiting for him today as well. I have mixed feelings about these rallies, but still, I wish I could join them. Here are some shots from the afternoon.
- 01/29/2017: Awake early in the blackest of moods — why bother, nothing matters, etc. — only to be cheered by the multitudes of birds in the sunlight outside my window, and I’m reminded just what things truly are worth getting bloodied, emotionally or literally, for.
- 01/30/2017: “Yeah,” the baked dude on the phone said, “if I write a triple-x rated sex book will you sell it?” and I said, “Man, if you write it first, I’ll see what I can do,” and he said, “Wow, alright . . . but I have to write it first?”
- 01/31/2017: More wind, more ice, more snow, more fresh birdy little tracks zigzagging my yard.
- 02/01/2017: On a bluebird morning I choose slow over fast to get where I am going and I’m rewarded with a view of the local bison herd up close to the fence; round backs covered with snow and frost, breath clouds of steam in the sunlight, and two young bulls circle and lunge at each other in a game of playful sparring.
- 02/02/2017: A welcome side effect to taking on a few hours a week under the firm and frequent lash of an actual employer is the renewed joy of a couple days off.
- 02/03/2017: Sun-breaking-through-the-clouds-moment while watching a short film featuring the iconic surfer and yogi Gerry Lopez — the first surfer I ever heard of on account of his role as Subotai in the original Conan the Barbarian — when he says, “Yoga comes into people’s lives exactly when it’s supposed to.”
- 02/04/2017: I could happily close out my years living on a meager income in a hut somewhere in Mexico, eating tortillas and corn and beans and firing angry diatribes about the evils of gratuitous capitalism out into the world . . . if I could only find someone to pay me to do it.
- 02/05/2017: Warming weather here in the valley has the snow on retreat, so I daydream of the North just three hours’ drive yonder where falling snow is still being measured in feet.
- 02/06/2017: I was awake and energetic in the early hours before yoga class but after, in the wake of a particularly exhausting hour, it was all I could do to crawl back to my studio, strip off my soaked clothes, and collapse into my chair in front of the fan and doze for another hour.
- 02/07/2017: A bonanza of books and other treasures in the mail today via friends stretching from Arizona to Oregon to Alaska reminds me how much gratitude I am actually capable of.
- 02/08/2017: Wet snow falls on mushy roads; reports of traffic mayhem in all directions; a bearded guy with a tow truck pulls a gigantic SUV out of the ditch well off the road on a sharp sloping curve; and emergency vehicles scramble to points all across the valley, all in one afternoon’s drive home.
- 02/09/2017: Night driving at an hour far later than normal through rain and huge lakes of slush and meltwater, my headlights barely able to push through thick patches of mist that gather about hood high on my truck.
- 02/10/2017: I may try and spend a little more time in the company of wine but no way I’m turning my back on delicious beer.
- 02/11/2017: The mind that collapses beneath the weather will go to some deep, dark places.
Despite spending the first part of my morning battling a bloody nose*, regardless of what else plays out at least three great things happened to me today….
* “You should see the other guy” jokes do apply….
The band Mastodon is coming to Missoula in a couple months. Whenever I encounter a friend or acquaintance from the local heavy rock scene, there is often a moment when they express enthusiasm over the show, and then display befuddlement when I reveal I have no interest in going. When asked why, I say it’s because I hate the band.
This is why I hate Mastodon:
It’s a limited edition “Thanksgiving” t-shirt design they put out in 2013. There was a kerfuffle over it. Of course the band claims they were making a cultural statement. I call bullshit. For a great breakdown of what played out and Mastodon’s response, you can read an excellent piece HERE.
At the time it came out, I had minor interest in the band. I loved their album art, and their noisy kind of prog/metal thing and heavy concept records were interesting at times, but I was on the fence. After this episode I unloaded my CDs and deleted the electronic versions of them and haven’t considered them since. I only think of two words, in fact, whenever they are brought to my attention.
Should I be over it? Nah. Soon as pussy hats aren’t necessary, soon as we don’t need a Black Lives Matter movement, soon as places like Standing Rock don’t have to worry about having their cultural values steamrolled, then I’ll think about getting over it. Until then, lines in the sand, people. Lines in the sand.