People HATE us. It really never ceases to amaze me how much people really hate travel writers, travel filmmakers, and influencers. It sometimes absolutely guts me.
I have always been a travel writer, because I’ve always been a traveler and loved writing. My parents worked for the airlines, we had no money, and the only luxury we had was airline benefits (back when it actually meant something). So I would go everywhere as much as possible with no money. I went for the adventure.
I fell in love with travelling because I love people and different cultures. I like learning things. I like seeing something new. I like celebrating differences. I’m an optimist I guess.
However, sharing those experiences somehow brings out the worst in people, and really from the most unexpected places. Take Montana for instance. Montana. I recently was invited up to Big Sky to experience the beauty of nature and the warmth of it’s people. It was a fantastic trip.
However Reddit would have me believe otherwise. I mean some of these comments, about a little video about Big Sky Montana, are absolutely amazing.
I mean … Big Sky, Montana what is going on my friends??? Such biting vitriol from such a small, quaint community is not just unexpected, but I would say unwarranted. Most of all, I am confounded by some of these remarks, and have questions. . .
OK_SKILL_2725 (I like someone that is honest about his skill level.) with “This has Jersey trash written all over it. This is a Gianforte circle Jerk” led the charge against my admiration video for Big Sky. First of all I’m from Long Island my friend. That’s Jersey east. Get it right. Second … I had to google Gianforte (thought it might be like Monsanto) which turned out to be the Governor of Montana. Now … I’ve only been in one Circle Jerk, and that was in Prague back in ’99 so, you know, different times, but man, would I LOVE to be in a proper political Circle Jerk. Mr. Gianforte, I will accept your call.
PaulRevere-406 (bro, there are apparently 405 other’s that got the news out first) states bluntly “You must be the dumbest journalist ever”. This gave me serious pause, mainly because I thought “maybe I’m too stupid to understand what he means by “dumbest” … Dumb because I accepted to go to Big Sky? Dumb because I missed one of the other highlights of this charming mountain hamlet? I wish they would explain, or at least show their math, because apparently they are right and I just can’t figure it out.
GracieDoggSleeps (Is there like some sort of gennerator that makkes this? It sounds like the netwwork passwordd that Comcast gives you by defauult) This comment I genuinely appreciated, because I get, and agree, that if you take the time to find that special spot, you have the right and should keep it secret. However, they are not taking in account that I am in fact a kid from NYC that has never fished a day in my life, who went with a guide who brought me to that location and knew I was writing a story about it. So, just saying, if I know about it I doubt it’s a “secret”. Then again I am the dumbest journalist ever so I might not have made that clear. Also, sidebar, I really liked this comment because they used an extremely popular move (Fight Club) to make their statement, which to me is ironic because they used something everyone has seen to make their point clear not to talk about something.
Minute_Specific_9381 (sounds like a premature ejaculation support group, honestly first thing that came to mind) wrote the cryptic “That anybody would share beta you can make more shitty videos” is still, frankly, keeping me up at night. Beta… what? Beta blockers? Beta version of Premiere Pro? What is it that allows the videos to be shitty? Also finish the sentence … “is beyond me” applicable? That anyone would comment beta so you can make insult, is what I say in return.
karlthebaer (large, perhaps hairy German named karl in the LBGQT+ community) got me good with “George Santos, is that you?” which really tickled me pink! I mean, for the right price Karl, it could be. I had to google “George Santos Montana” because I didn’t get the reference, but all I got is that Santos claimed he was on the Hannah Montana show, and just to be clear, Hannah Montana was actually from Tennessee. So, still in the dark here, unless you’re referring to my pretty eyes, then, thank you.
In the end OK_SKILL_2725 takes the prize for “Get Fucked. You’re all the same trash that comes west.” First, I love anyone that says “Get Fucked”. It’s almost as good as “Eat a bag of dicks” which of course is the precursor to “Eat shit and die” a classic East Coast sentiment. Also the statement “You’re all the same trash that comes west.” really sums up this particular group of people and their world view. That they are different from anyone that comes to visit their beloved town of Big Sky. A town I might mention was created by a NBC news anchorman in the positively ancient era of 1973. So … unless you are indigenous OK_SKILL_2725 I’m pretty sure everyone in Big Sky came from out east amigo.
Why am I writing this? Is it so I can take a snide shot back at these haters? Yes. Yes, that’s pretty much it. And I can. Just like they are free to say whatever they want about my work, I’m free to say anything I want back at them. Which really only leaves the question of “should”. The United States is wonderful at free speech, and the internet is its greatest conduit. Personally these comments confuse me more then they hurt, but they do sting a bit too. I, like anyone who is foolish enough to put their work out there, is no stranger to internet hate. Perhaps my favorite is from an award winning loveletter I did to the town of New Orleans. Those comments baffled me.
With Big Sky however, what confuses me most is not their hatred of me trying to spread the world of how amazing their home is (and mind you thier #1 primary source of income is tourism, you’re welcome) but that any person could be so mean to another for it. It’s one thing not to like something, or agree with it, but to say garbage like this is pretty low and disgusting. Maybe they don’t know there is a person behind these words and images that works hard, that takes time to meet locals, to tell stories that inspire the world to be better. I don’t do it for the money, and I definitely could make more being a banker buying up your property and building another strip mall. I think your anger if misdirected my friends, I am not the enemy, you just chose to live at a ski resort and you hate tourists. Sounds self inflicted if you ask me.
Well, here is a travel tip you might enjoy: I hear the Canadian Yukon is the new west. It’s far, empty, and their internet is spotty at best. You’ll love it.