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                                       ". . .What we have loved
Others will love, and we will show them how."

                                                          William Wordsworth

A Montana Style, Take Two

Another trait of Montanans that’s related to self-sufficiency is what Montana Jones calls away-from-it-all-ness. Do we keep up with the latest trends in music? Maybe not. Do we care?

Away-from-it-all-ness. Importing musicians with other styles and tastes is easy enough, but Montana style is about getting away from all the hubub and noise and fashion trends and pop crap. Besides, why should we go to the trouble of bringing some of that hippity-hop music here when the kids down the street have guitars and can do a pretty good job of banging out some old rock and roll songs, it’s just as much fun for dancing.

Not following trends. Do it yourself. Avoiding the madness of the world. All part of Montana style.

Full article: http://montanajones.blogspot.com/2005/12/montana-style-part-two-rock-and-roll.html

Not being with “it” when “it” isn’t all that rewarding--part of the reason for living under the big sky, I think. For a longer and some what edgier take on the charm of not being cosmopolitan--what Anthony Harrigan calls the “therapy of distance"--see this article from the Contemporary Review: http://www.montanaheritageproject.org/index.php/institute/great-plains/

I keep running into articles extolling the virtues of life in the nonurban spaces of the West, especially Montana. Harrigan suggested in his 1994 article that the dissatisfaction with urban conditions and the allure of the West might in time lead to some new form of Homestead Boom (Katherine argues that it’s been underway for a long time, since she left Racine, Wisconsin for Montana for precisely such reasons):

Ironically, the settlement of the American continent began—and long continued—with an impulse to escape the crowded conditions of the Old World, whether the poverty-stricken countryside of Ireland or Sicily or the ghettoes of Russia and Poland. Indeed for many generations of immigrants, there was truly a therapy of distance—from poverty, conscription, and religious persecution. The Russo-Germans who settled in North Dakota in the late 19th century truly fit the description of those who seek therapy in great distances. In this connection, I am reminded of the statement by John G. Ackerman in the New York Times Book Review that there is a ‘dialectic of possibility in his history which is potentially liberating’. Thus, in time, urban Americans may turn against the horrors of American urban life and decide to participate in an internal migration—a new movement West.

I would like to see an oral interview project focusing on why recent immigrants to Montana have come here.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey
on 12/14 at 08:41 PM
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