That’s pretty close, just 360 miles away from us here in Missoula.
You wouldn’t think something like that could happen there...but it did.
Could it happen in Missoula? God, let’s hope not.
I saw an interesting article on the Washington Post homepage on Monday, called MONTANANS USED TO LIVE AND LET LIVE. NOW BITTER CONFRONTATIONS CLOUD BIG SKY COUNTRY…
The main crux of the article is the third teenager that died from suicide over the past year or so, and how it’s tearing the community apart.
You can read the article for free here, and here are a few excerpts:
The October death by suicide of the ninth local teenager in 16 months prompted offers of counseling, training for teachers and visits from national suicide prevention experts. But it also whiplashed into partisan recriminations, as residents lashed out in public forums against the superintendent of schools for failing to impose dress codes and discipline and to disallow cellphones, against parents for not securing their plentiful firearms – used in several suicides – and against supporters of masks and other pandemic restrictions for stifling teenagers.
Hostility over the November election, the coronavirus and social movements have left a trail of bad blood among old-school Republicans, backers of the former president, increasingly vocal Democrats and out-of-state transplants, convulsing everything from the school district and the public library to daily interactions.
She’s a fourth-generation Montanan whose grandfather worked for the Great Northern Railway. Widowed with a young son at 31, Fisher was practicing law downtown in 2009 when she ran for mayor, and served one term as a fiscal conservative. She governed with a suspicion of Washington common in Montana, opposing, for example, federal money to upgrade the municipal airport.
She pulls no punches, bashing Republicans who swept statewide offices as “criminals and unlikeables” and the ultraconservatives who now dominate the state legislature as “wackadoo righty-rights” and bemoaning Montana’s party-line voting as the extinction of a tradition of “middles who care who the candidate is as a human being.”
Other public servants had also found themselves in the crosshairs. The county library director gave up, resigning in July to take a job in more liberal Tacoma, Wash., after clashing with parents over mask and social distancing mandates and with the library board over a children’s book about two gay men who fall in love. The book survived in the collection after a formal appeal from a parent, but the issue had stirred deep resentments.
Yes, we have lots of rifts in our society right now.
And in other news...Elton John hasn’t had a chart-topping single in 21 years.
But he has one now.
It's #25. I think it'll get up to #1 pretty soon.