Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

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O/B Readers
Thanks for the opportunity to contact you concerning your super magazine. I now look for it! I just wanted to drop you a short note concerning a letter from Misdemeanor Marvin of the Gallatin County jail (Summer 2005).

Printing his letter, which I considered to be disgusting was, I believe, not a wise decision. Do you need to print all letters to you? Did you print it for shock value? Is there no limit to the ugliness you allow others to speak through your magazine?

After reading the rest of your magazine (Vol. 6, #2) I was disappointed to find this letter which belonged in the garbage, not in your fine magazine.

Most of your readers would agree with me, I think. It's just like those "gutter" bumper stickers that I do not care to read, but am affected by since I've already read them because they happen to be where I am looking. So where do I look while I am driving… up in the air??

The same thing happened as I was reading through your magazine. How about writing something in large letters around it like, "THIS MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO MANY BECAUSE OF CONTENT."

Judy Kelly, Bozeman

Yes, Marvin’s letter contained some unpleasant verbiage. But retorts to the madcap diatribes of Gramps, our crabby old nemesis, are few and far between; we’ll give ‘em space on the page whenever we can. —Mike England

Because I once sold books for a living and have been a reader of a little bit of everything, including magazines and literature about Montana, I wondered if anyone but myself found it ironic that in your Fall 2005 issue (someone donated it to the free pile at the library) you were irritated with the pro-growth, pro-development crowd. Here I would say most of us agreed with the Governor in not letting the Las Vegas developer make off with the “last best place” phrase. The irony comes in because on the opposite page is a well-placed ad for “Montana Elk Hunting.” It seems to be all right to haul them in for hunting, fish with a guide, buy Yogo sapphires, buy a piece of the Paradise Valley, follow the signs to Century 21, or take in last fall’s Bioneers Conference on solutions to restore the earth and people (just as long as there aren’t too many of those people crowding in).

Nor did it escape my attention that your contributors include well-known environmentalist scripters who have always wanted to save that world for themselves or others of their ilk. Or like Rick Bass once said, “he’d like to have a gate at the bottom of the Yaak road.” It comes down to which side of the bread the butter goes on.

And I can’t resist adding, “that dog just won’t hunt” is not a Montana phrase. Like a lot of other things, it’s an import.

Clare Hafferman, Kalispell

It’s all about moderation. The pro-growth, pro-development crowd wants license to do whatever they please, wherever they please, all in the name of economic opportunity—and nothing makes them happier than when longtime locals buy into their bullshit. We’re not against growth or development, we just want it done right, in a way that benefits everyone and ensures the continuance of our treasured way of life. And let’s not debate the origin of small-town sayings; on a long enough timeline, everything is an import. —Mike England

Yesterday I picked up your magazine to check out the activities around Bozeman. I appreciated all of your articles except for one... “Vanity Fur” by Tina Orem (Winter 2005-06). I was shocked that you considered this poorly written and researched article to portray what people are like here. The article states that, “the coyotes are apparently begging for it, what with the livestock issue and their penchant to snack on the neighbor's [dog].” So these wild animals, along with everything else that is suffering from loss of habitat (grizzlies, bison, wolves) because of human encroachment should be extinguished because they are threatening us? Does the author really want us to believe that the coyotes deserve to be murdered? Later, the author expresses a desire for Prairie Dog fur and house cat fur. The author should know that without the presence of predators, critters like prairie dogs would balloon out of control. Uselessly killing animals simply because the population of Baker is interested in accumulating more wealth and then ostentatiously displaying that wealth by wearing their greed is appalling. Fifteen pages later you revere the wolf in an article for its beauty and necessity in balancing the ecosystem. How are coyotes different in their plight? I am disgusted with the frivolity of murder displayed in that article, and I hope that you will refrain from portraying Bozemanites again as greedy and environmentally disrespectful of the land we love here in Montana.

Susan Martin, Bozeman

We agree with you completely about the plight of coyotes and their role in the ecosystem. The article was satirical in nature. If we had any idea it would be so misconstrued and incite such backlash, we’d have made it a feature. —Mike England

I am writing in regards to the arrangement on page 11 of the Spring 2006 issue, entitled “Top 10 Brokeback Mountain Sequels Set in SW Montana.” The derogatory analogies are offensive and inappropriate. Would the magazine publish derogatory remarks towards hispanics, blacks, or any religous affiliation? Please consider censoring your future material from discrediting groups, unless that is your intention.

Jillian Kirschke, Bozeman

If you think that’s offensive, you should see the ones we didn’t publish. It is certainly not our intention to discredit groups—well, except ranchette developers, ambulance-chasing lawyers, snobbish fly-fishers, anti-hunters, right-wing conservatives, left-wing liberals, anti-religion new-agers, anti-spiritual-diversity fundamentalists, lapdog owners, Patagucci posers, and anyone else we don’t like. —Mike England
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