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Old 05-24-2014, 03:55 PM
Location: North Dakota
7,663 posts, read 8,952,951 times
Reputation: 10938


Originally Posted by Vegabern View Post
1. Low wages vs. cost of living. Can't eat the view.

2. Lack of diversity.

3. It's too dry for my tastes. I like it green. The NW corner is alright but I crave more than an isolated area.
Why is diversity such a big deal? I never have understood why that's good or bad. If I live somewhere with diversity great, if not, no big deal. It's never been a priority for me.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:23 PM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
Why is diversity such a big deal? I never have understood why that's good or bad. If I live somewhere with diversity great, if not, no big deal. It's never been a priority for me.
This, this, this. And people are not homogenous even if they all look alike or come from the same place or even eat pretty much the same food etc etc etc. Artificial notions about 'diversity' are just another way to pigeonhole people.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:01 PM
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,358,044 times
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True diversity is when everything is the same, everything is equal, nothing is different. There is no reason to move anywhere else because where ever you go is going to be the exact same as where you come from.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:26 AM
1 posts, read 1,053 times
Reputation: 10
1. Mosquitoes the size of houses
2. Having to drive 4 hours for decent medical care
3. Growing up in a small town where everybody is always in your business and treats you like crap because of who your parents are.

Nope, I don't miss Phillips County at all!
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:57 PM
2 posts, read 1,975 times
Reputation: 10
Default Hey

Agree with anthonyr.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:04 AM
2 posts, read 1,833 times
Reputation: 15
As I grew up, my father was a salesman with a large company. As such, we moved around about every 2 or 3 years. I lived in West Virginia, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, New York, Michigan, and Ohio. From a young age, I always dreamed of living some place of my choosing. I loved the outdoors, and my family was never big into camping, hiking, or hunting. Because of its legendary reputation as one of this country’s most wild places, I always dreamed of living in and exploring Montana. After I graduated from college, I drove there almost sight unseen and decided to settle. I lived there as a transplant Montanan for nearly seven years. While there, I had years of amazing outdoors experiences and adventures, but I ultimately left because of the people.
When I first moved to Montana I noticed, almost immediately, that people were not as welcoming or sociable as in other states. In college I was well liked and hadn’t had very many problems making friends. Having worked most of my way through college as a bartender, I was predisposed to being welcoming and open minded toward many different types of people. I was shocked, therefore, to realize how unreceptive Montanans were to me. It isn’t as if any of them were outright hostile. It was just that most Montana Natives were extremely cautious and uninterested in my friendship. The best way I can describe it is by using the following comparison. There are many types of people who are predisposed to being cautious (attractive women, the rich, elderly people, etc...). In most cases, however, it is fairly easy to get people talking. Once a person realizes that you mean well and just want to be friendly, they will usually drop their guard and talk to you just like any other person. This was not the case with most Montanans I encountered. It was as though they harbored a deep grudge against and distaste for any person from out of state. It was apparent almost any place I went. In most of the United States, bartenders and waiters are selected for their outgoing attributes. Almost everywhere I went in Montana, customer service professionals were tough and unaccommodating. I eventually found better work, but I could not get a job in any service industry position. People were always on guard. I once lived in a small apartment complex with my girlfriend, who was also from the Midwest. The other tenants, three men and two women, were all from Montana. All of them were around our age, and I could tell from the mountain bikes, kayaks, and fishing gear they carried, that their interests were pretty similar to ours. I casually invited them on several occasions to come down and barbecue or have a beer with us. In every instance they declined with a skeptical look, but I would see them all hanging out later on the front patio. I cannot imagine this happening in Minnesota or Ohio. Even in dangerous cities like Detroit, this is a rarity. Tis is not to say that I didn’t make any friends while in Montana. In fact, I made dozens. Most of them will likely be lifelong friends, but they were all transplants from places like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Cleveland. I loved the landscape and unbelievable variety of activities that Montana offered. I volunteered in the community, socialized, and made every attempt to fit in. I respect the Montanan’s contempt for big business and outsiders coming in to develop their beautiful land. I share those same ideals. I just wanted to make a life there. Eventually all of the other transplant friends I had made moved on to more welcoming states. I was the last one to stay, but I eventually left when I ran out of social contacts. Leaving Montana was one of the biggest heartbreaks of my life. I took a job in Wisconsin and made more friends in seven months there than I did in seven years of living in Montana. Whenever I have tried to express these feelings to Montana Natives, I was met with anger or a “damn right” mentality. It makes me sad. I think there is a way to be protective of the place you grew up in without having such an archaic and backward attitude toward people from the rest of the country.

Last edited by Robon33; 06-24-2014 at 02:22 AM.. Reason: grammar corrections
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:03 PM
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I am sorry you had such an unpleasant experience. Not all the towns in Montana are as unwelcoming as the one you landed in.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:09 PM
Location: 406
1,423 posts, read 1,535,991 times
Reputation: 1407

Montana has plenty of problems, but honestly, concerning the people and their receptiveness of "outsiders", I'm a little surprised by your experience with them; not doubtful, but still surprised.

I think it was a CityData member who I once saw postulate that the "Seattle Freeze" is something that permeates as far as Western Montana. Although I personally wouldn't take it to that extreme, I will admit that Montanans, much like their Northwestern counterparts, can be a very reserved bunch that could, especially in the perceptions of an outwardly personable Midwesterner, be received as very cold and standoffish, if not maybe just aloof.

But depending on where you live, the anti-outsider disposition can be palpable, unfortunately. It isn't my intention to be rude, but I have to contend that you're very misguided in your defense of the victim complex that some Montanans display with their dispositions toward outsiders and development (or what you dismissed as "contempt for big business"). It has at least something to do with the experience you purport to have had here.

Even with that, though, Montanans have at times been described to me by outsiders as being some of the most welcoming, neighborly and down-to-earth people they've ever encountered. I've even heard Montanans praised for being so "indifferent" to what other people believe politically, what their religion is, what their sexual orientation is, what they drive, what they wear, the way they talk, etc., etc., etc.

Not that it's really any consolation, but as a P.S., I would like you to consider one important observation I've been making for a long time: Montanans themselves are sometimes much more open to outsiders and change (well, *some* change) in general than are people who relocate here to "get away" from whatever chaos they felt was occurring in the place they came from. To the extent that negative attitudes toward newcomers exists amongst the natives, it's only worsened by the hyper-vigilance of the "new" natives.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:26 AM
2 posts, read 1,833 times
Reputation: 15

I appreciate your thoughts and feedback regarding to my post. You mentioned hearing transplants describe Montanans as down to earth and unbiased regarding the politics, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status of others. I should say that there is a lot to be admired about Montanans, and I will start with the good. I generally found Montanans to be centered individuals who were confident in their identities. They would go about their business and let you go on with yours. I found it refreshing to live in a place where people were less concerned with material possessions and fashion (Although I was once in a brewery in Bozeman where I realized that every single person was wearing some variation of the same Patagonia fleece). I will also say that, in comparison with other States I have lived in, I seldom encountered racism or general prejudice in Montana. This was surprising to me. I had assumed, possibly unfairly, that it would be more prevalent in a more rural state. I was wrong. Even so, I think there is a huge distinction between just being tolerant and being welcoming. I acknowledge that it could have been partly due to hyper-vigilance on my part, but I still maintain that there was a general air of cautiousness to many of the Montanans with whom I interacted. I think that the further east one goes, people tend to give their trust to one another more quickly and freely. If that trust is betrayed, they will simply not interact with that person anymore. In Montana it seemed to me that people were very standoffish at first. They might open up after you had earned their trust, but it might take a very long time. I acknowledge that these were just two different styles of interpersonal interaction, but I prefer former. In my last post I spoke about bartenders who were stoic and unsociable. I noticed a trend wherein many Montana business owners and employees were uncommonly distant and unaccommodating, even in cases where this went completely against their interests. I could relay dozens of such instances involving restaurants and shops, but my favorite is one in which a coworker and I drove up to the Seeley Lake area to do some fishing. I had recently lost some of my gear. Rather than buy new gear at Wal-Mart, we decided to support local business in Seeley. When we got to the sporting goods shop, we spoke to a man who was either the manager or the owner. Since we were aware that he wouldn’t likely give up his favorite fishing spots, we inquired generally and politely about which lake we should go to and what flies or lures we should buy. My coworker was a Helena native, and I was a bearded guy with a Montana ID. This, I assumed, would put him at ease. Instead of being helpful, the man gave very vague answers, recommended no gear, and was sort of smirky the whole time. As a result, we bought almost nothing. It was so shocking, because the Town of Seeley Lake would barely exist on the map if not for seasonal boating and fishing tourism. It was the off-season, and we might have been 2 of only 8 or so customers he had all day! Again, this is only one story, but it is representative of a trend that I noticed. I once read an essay by the Montana author William Kittredge, in which he addressed these sorts of issues. One of the points he made was that both Montana Natives and transplants see Montana as a spectacular last frontier ( It certainly is.) and one of the last strongholds for a certain way of life. He says that natives have and even newcomers adopt the mentality of wanting to be the last ones in and “shut the door behind them”. This, he says, accounts for the skeptical attitude. Even in the book The Big Sky (a story about some of Montana’s first white settlers in the1800’s) the mountain men say “Well it’s all over now. Montana is ruined.” when they see the second wave of homesteaders coming in behind them. Anyway, I wish I could find a link to that essay.
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