Mark Baratelli, the Website Producer at Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in Florida, created a slide show of our town featuring Chadz Cafe and other good places. See it at creativitity.blogspot.com. Mr. Baratelli is also a performer:
“Mark Baratelli is a freakin’ comic genius!”
Ringed by high and rugged mountains, beset by tribal strife, short on GNP, and subject to harsh winters, the newly formed province of Livingstan has long borne a striking resemblance to the other ’stans, like Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Bashkortostan, Turkestan, Tajikistan, Hindustan, Kyrgyzstan and Lazistan. Today it joined forces with the larger region of Parkistan (the county formerly known as Park) that surrounds it in asserting its stature as an independent entity.
Livingstan has adopted sister cities in the past, but that did not quench its thirst for recognition as a cow and rail town with international aspirations. In addition, there are natural synergies with the ’stans. Take Uzbekistan where 34.1% of the population is younger than 14. Judging by the cinematic fare that enjoys 30-week runs at Livingstan’s Empire Theater, most of the Livingstan population is under 12. Like ’stanis from across the seas, Livingstanis also like to wear funny hats. Montana and Kyrgyzstan are sister states already, increasing the ’stan synergy.
As is true for all the other ’stans, the overwhelming majority of Americans could not locate Livingstan on a map if programming their TV remote controls depended on it. Livingstan is a province in the American state of Montana, itself long regarded as a fiercely independent geographical, cultural, and political entity.
Like Afghanistan, Livingstan is an ancient focal point of trade and migration, and has experienced ongoing lawlessness. Like the other ’stans, Livingstan is not a glitzy destination, although it is invaded from time to time. Not to be confused with Lesbekistan, an independent province of San Francisco, Livingstan also enjoys a strategic location, and, in spite of political instability, believes that it has a bright future as a source of recycled plastic materials gathered by hat-wearing natives from fences and shrubbery after the daily wind gusts.
Livingstan has recently chosen a democratic way of life as old dynastic traditions fade away. Today it joined Parkistan in breaking away from Montana and the US, and adopted Parkistani currency. Now all the Livingstanis need is an official state language.
At left: Proposed flag design for the province of Livingstan.
If you saw the sound bite from me in last Friday’s Enterprise, you know I am not a Christmas shopper. It’s not that I’m cheap (impecunious perhaps, but not parsimonious), but I think all the getting and spending is more than silly.
I make an exception for buying local and especially for buying art locally. That’s not silly. It’s smart. A painting, print, or photograph will last far longer than the latest phone-like device that takes your picture, plays music, plays videos on a screen proportioned for field mice cinephiles, and plucks your stray nose hairs. So, head on over to ArtsMontana.com and cruise the links in the left sidebar to see an astonishing array of local talent and to find art that you can buy online or directly from the studio. The Events/Shows category will also plug you in to art from local galleries.
Go on. Think Wall Art not Walmart. Mister Walton’s heirs don’t need any more 432,000 square foot homes.