Why Does Missoula Seem to Fear Change to Its Nightlife Routine?

By AARON TRAYLOR

It’s interesting to see people in Missoula react to change.

Coming from a DJ who works in the bars around this town, I’ve witnessed buildings and owners change in an attempt to achieve their vision in spite of the naysayers.

Still, “It’ll never be the same” is often the phrase I overhear. From my experience, and from what I hear on the streets, it seems that this town really, really does not like change in their nightlife routine. Why is that?

It’s a very difficult, yet intriguing, question for me and I’m compelled to seek out the answer as I compose this blog. Right out of the gate, I must stress that the majority of people do fear change.

They are scared of getting fired from their employer, they are worried about their health and money, and the truth is, a whole bunch of stuff that, in its own way, can lead to what could possibly be a shift in their lives – from happiness to unhappiness.

And it truly does seem that when a favorite Missoula watering hole or entertainment venue decides to change things up a bit, the reactions from this area are often times unhappiness. Missoula might fear change because we associate it with a shift from good to bad… or bad to worse.

Let’s bring up a couple of recent examples:

  • Hammerjacks to The Badlander
  • Amvets to Monks
  • The Elbow Room to, well, The More Elbow Room

Each venue mentioned above saw its fair share of people who simply focused on the bad stuff and not any of the good that may come from change. If this is the case, why?

A crowd gathers outside the Wilma Theater

My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that we are attacked non-stop from very early on with sad messages about change. We are told to focus on negative things that could happen, most obviously from our news and media, and how things are not as good as they used to be.

But if we really break down all the facts, there is actually more money, better ways to live, much more opportunity, and even improved health than any other time before us. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, why fear?

Let me put it to you like this: Fear of change is the fear of not being able to handle it.

For example, we fear that if our favorite social hangout closes it’s doors, we will NEVER find another place, we’ll NEVER cope without it. It’s the exact same for lovers. We stick with a person, now matter how bad it might be, because we are scared that there won’t ever be another one, or the next one might be worse.

Don’t ever assume this. You are basically telling yourself that you haven’t learned anything from the relationship, and gotten LESS wise, instead of more wise, LESS confident instead of more confident.

The people I’ve met in the Missoula nightlife scene that cope with change and found that they were optimistic about life in general. The grass was greener, things were getting better. I could tell they were healthier and had a much higher self esteem. It’s not only a challenge, but an enjoyable one.

For the people in this town who are constantly thinking, “the scene will only get worse,” change is hard simply because the thought is that it will just get worse. I want to ask those people this question: “Have you ever had a time in your life when you didn’t end up coping with the situation at hand?”

Even though the Missoula scene has made major changes in the past, even for those people who are saddened by those scenarios, the answer is more than likely “no.” Everyone who wants to be entertained and have a good time out with their friends has a very passionate and strong spirit; it’s weird to me to think why they may doubt so much.

When we think back at what our scene has overcome, it’s hard to take “it’ll never be the same” as a serious challenge!

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To say he is America’s Tallest DJ wouldn’t be far from the truth when it comes to Aaron Traylor. He clocks in at a whopping 6 foot 10 inches and has been the premiere source of the Northwest’s born and raised talent for 20 years; he’s a radio disc jockey at ZooFM, turntable mix master, and a guy who has a hard time fitting into most clothing.

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To say he is America’s Tallest DJ wouldn’t be far from the truth when it comes to Aaron Traylor. He clocks in at a whopping 6 foot 10 inches and has been the premiere source of the Northwest’s born and raised talent for 20 years; he’s a radio disc jockey at ZooFM, turntable mix master, and a guy who has a hard time fitting into mostclothing.