Very recently my family and I lost a close friend, our dog Sophie. She was almost 14 years old and was full of life and energy up until about her last week with us. After returning home from the vet the day we had to put her down, my father and I sat outside and reminisced about our favorite memories with her and talked about what a great dog she was. She was always as friendly, loyal, loving, and caring as any dog could have been. This discussion with my dad led to another conversation that I decided I wanted to share because I think it has some truth to it. The conversation that came up was; what if people thought a little more like dogs do?
It is no secret that our nation is somewhat of a disaster right now. With Covid-19, social injustice, and politics, being the top contributors, there is always something for people to disagree upon. America seems to be divided about everything, even in a time where we arguably need to be unified the most. That being said, my dog didn’t care what your skin color was, your religion, your political views, your income, or any other opinions you might have. If you treated her well, she was going to treat you well. She judged you exclusively on your character, and I think we could solve a lot of these issues if people thought the same way.
I don’t want to get into politics too much, but it always seems that every ad or debate has to be negative. Maybe if people could focus on why they will do a good job, rather than why the opposing candidate would do a bad job, things would be less divided. Or at least less extreme. I wish people could still have respect for each other, even if they have differing opinions.
My dog always focused on reasons to like people, until you gave her a reason not to. It seems that people tend to have it backward. People want to overgeneralize and dislike someone until they find a reason that they shouldn’t.
A great example of how dogs show love and loyalty where it is due, no matter the circumstances, would be that more often than not, (at least where I am from) homeless people seem to always have a dog with them. And in my experience, the dog doesn’t look any less happy than a dog living in a big house. Assuming they are both treated properly. Dogs don’t care how much money you have or who you are, treat them well and they’ll do the same. Sophie was always loving and compassionate up until her dying days, even when she finally got sick, she did her best to make sure her owners still knew that.
I think people can learn a lot from my dog, and probably from most dogs. The point that I am making is that if people could see past their inherited prejudices, and quit overgeneralizing, the world would probably be a much better place. It is possible to love people with different opinions, religions, political views, or anything else that seems to only divides us. Sophie showed me that. There would be much less hate in the world if people thought like Soph did. I encourage everyone who reads this to try and treat people like she did, it’s not that hard after all. It’s so easy even a dog can do it.
Sit back, grab some popcorn, and get ready to see the Land of the Shining Mountains on the big screen
Author: Shane Cox
*All movie art credit belongs to IMDB
5. What Dreams May Come (1998)
There is an easy way and a hard way to see Heaven. The easy way is to live in Montana.
Led by legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams, this movie showed us the true meaning of the word “soulmate”. In this romantic fantasy, William’s character travels through Heaven and Hell to rescue the soul of the woman he loves. Along the way, he will reunite with his old dog Katie and his children who tragically died in a car accident and no I’m not crying I’m just SWEATING THROUGH MY EYES OK!!! (Seriously, it is a great movie, but have a box of tissues on hand)
Some of the most beautiful shots in the movie were filmed in Glacier National Park. While shooting, Williams decided to take a break and tour the area. (Traylor, 2014) He later said:
“If it isn’t God’s backyard, He certainly lives nearby.”
RIP Robin. There will never be another like you
4. Forrest Gump (1994)
Movies and Montana goes together like peas and carrots…
Montana makes a brief yet beautiful cameo in this legendary picture. During the running sequence, the shot of Forrest running though a field of golden wheat was taken just outside Cut Bank, MT. The scene then cuts to him jogging across a stone bridge at the St. Mary Entrance to Glacier National Park. (Movie-Locations: Forrest Gump, 2020)
Though Big Sky Country is only onscreen for few seconds, it was almost left out of the movie entirely! The studio, worried that the project was going too far over budget, threatened to pull the plug in the middle of production. Hanks and Director Robert Zemeckis decided to cover the cost of shooting the iconic running scene and save what is now one of the most beloved movies of all time. (Ashton, 2020)
As if we needed another reason to love Tom Hanks
3. The Untouchables (1987)
That’s the Montana way…
Chicago is great. But when you want your protagonists to charge the bad guys guns blazing while on horseback you pack up production and go to the Treasure State.
Based on real events, the movie follows Elliot Ness as he forms a team of special agents to take down the infamous gangster Al Capone. The movie’s (arguably) best scene takes place at Hardy Bridge just outside of Great Falls. (Movie-Locations: Untouchables, 2020)
This film is criminally underrated. In fact, you should stop reading this list right now and go watch it. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
2. The Revenant (2015)
The movie that FINALLY gave poor Leo his Oscar
While the movie is set in Montana and South Dakota, most of it was filmed in Canada. However, one of the film’s most pulse pounding scenes was shot in the rapids of Kootenai Falls, just downstream from Libby. In this scene Hugh Glass (played by DiCaprio) uses the waterfall to escape from a party of pursuing Arikara hunters. (Movie-Locations: Revenant, 2020)
I just gotta say…y’all know that scene where Leo eats a raw bison liver? Yeah, that wasn’t special effects. Real Liver. Real Reaction. He also actually crawled inside of a dead horse. All I’m saying is that if DiCaprio wanted to live in Montana he would fit in around here just fine. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Honorable Mention: Return to Lonesome Dove (1993)
A Cowboy’s Odyssey
This 4-part mini-series, while technically not a movie, deserves a place on this list. The sequel to the epic adventure Lonesome Dove follows Captain Woodrow F. Call’s return from Texas to his ranch in Montana.
This series is the perfect binge watch for fans of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies. The filming locations span across the state and include Butte, Cardwell, Virginia and Nevada City, Laurel, and Billings. (Return to Lonesome Dove: Filming and Production, 2020)
Fun Fact:My Dad worked on the Set #2 of this movie while he was in college. He was paid $100 a day to pick up and hide barb wire fences so they were not caught on camera. He and his coworker would spend their free time hunting rattlesnakes to turn into boots and hatbands to sell to the California crew.
I’m sorry, but my Dad is cooler than your dad. 🙂
1. A River Runs Through It (1992)
I’ll never leave Montana, Brother
There is no other way to end this list than with the most iconic Montana movie of all time. While most of these entries only take advantage of the state’s amazing scenery, Montana provides the heart and soul of this beautiful story.
While the film was set in Missoula and by the Blackstone river, the scenes in town were filmed in Livingston, MT. Likewise, the fishing scenes were captured in Paradise Valley on the Yellowstone River, the Gallatin River south of Bozeman, and the Boulder River by Big Timber. (Movie-Locations: River Runs Through It, 2020)
So many elements of this movie make it special. Norman Maclean’s story was adapted by Richard Friedenberg and brought to life by director Robert Redford. The entire cast is amazing, with now legendary actor Brad Pitt standing out among the crowd.
If you were born under the Big Sky…you need to watch this movie. If you have, you know why I can’t put the feeling into words. This film reminds us where we come from. It reminds us of Home.
Ashton, W. (2020, January 2). Forrest Gump: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Classic Tom Hanks Movie. Retrieved from Cinema Blend: https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2487844/forrest-gump-10-behind-the-scenes-facts-about-the-classic-tom-hanks-movie
Movie-Locations: Forrest Gump. (2020). Retrieved from Movie-Locations: https://www.movie-locations.com/movies/f/Forrest-Gump.php
Movie-Locations: Revenant. (2020). Retrieved from Movie-Locations: http://movie-locations.com/movies/r/Revenant.php
Movie-Locations: River Runs Through It. (2020). Retrieved from Movie-Locations: http://movie-locations.com/movies/r/River-Runs-Through-It.php
Movie-Locations: Untouchables. (2020). Retrieved from Movie-Locations: http://movie-locations.com/movies/u/Untouchables.php
Return to Lonesome Dove: Filming and Production. (2020). Retrieved from IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106112/locations?ref_=tt_ql_dt_5
Traylor, A. (2014, August 11). Remembering Robin Williams in Montana: His Visit to Glacier National Park. Retrieved from 107.5 Zoo FM: https://1075zoofm.com/robin-williams-montana/#:~:text=Remembering%20Robin%20Williams%20in%20Montana%3A%20His%20Visit%20to%20Glacier%20National%20Park&text=Scenes%20from%20the%20film%20’What,was%20directed%20by%20Vincent%20Ward
The coronavirus has killed at least 565 people and infected more than 28,000. The total number of cases in the U.S. was 12 as of Thursday morning, in six different states, but the outbreak is still focused largely in central China.
Doctor Li Wenliang, the “whistleblower,” one of the first Chinese doctors who tried to warn fellow medics of the coronavirus outbreak, died of the disease at the age of 34. China National Health Commission (NHC) expressed its deep condolences over Li’s death on Friday.
Doctor Li was the first to disclose unknown pneumonia in his classmate’s WeChat group. He warned fellow clinicians in a group chat in December about a SARS-like illness popping up in one of Wuhan’s main hospitals, BBC News reported. He was then told by government officials to stop “making false comments.”
After Doctor Li was diagnosed with pneumonia that is caused by coronavirus in January, he was lauded on Chinese social media as a hero for speaking out. During the interview by the mainland media “Caixin.com.”, Doctor Li said, “I’m not regretful and I think a healthy society shouldn’t only have one voice. I just hope I can feel better soon so I can go back to work and help more people.” But he didn’t make it.
Doctor is a respectful hero, his death woke Chinese people up and thought: what’s wrong with our society? Why was the whistleblower, the hero that fought with the virus was being not understood by the government? Why does our society only have and is only allowed to have one voice?
Chinese people are mourning the passing of a hero for speaking out and fighting against the illness. Meanwhile, people are also proposing Chinese government to apologize to Doctor Li and give people the reason for blocking the news and blackmailing Doctor Li.
“Hey Friends, I may not be able to response you guys’ texts, cuz I’m gonna save the world.” – Quote from Li Wenliang’s blog, post on 2012.12.21
Whoever chose the performers at the 2020 halftime and decided what they did on stage was brilliant. Because the watchers who are silent–silent about what the show imitates of the horror being forced upon children and families in America–silent about the lack of human rights–silent about the memo that having a voice that is powerful enough together to create change–are being heard. People are showing the silent people that their lack of certain values is most definitely not welcome. Anger is–and should continue–being thrown at the silent because they outcry about exposed skin instead of about the inhumane treatment of people in America.
You can say that shouting on social media doesn’t make much of an impact. But it can be the start of an impact. Fan the flame of this shouted conversation that has been taking place since the beginning of injustice–the halftime show did. (Leo DiCaprio did it for the conversation on climate change when he won an Oscar. Emma Watson does it for gender equality). Many other people use their fame or events to fuel conversation and create change. Many more not famous people create a platform and change daily.
Anyone can see at a glance online whose values align (or don’t) with theirs. This creates a supportive network. Fueling the fire every now and then keeps this communication in place. And who knows what can be done with this network–what actions can spark, then–ignite.
Written by S. Ward for NPAD 460: Marketing and Social Media, Spring 2020
But here’s the thing: being a pit bull owner comes with the responsibility of being a good breed ambassador. There is too much breed-specific legislation, prohibitive insurance policies, and negative press out there. Every dog is a good dog, and deserves a loving, stable home where they can thrive.