Amy Roberts: Take only pictures, leave only monoliths and housewives
It’s not very often that a few sheets of metal randomly placed in the desert receive international attention. But it’s 2020; things don’t need to make sense.
The “monolith,” as it was commonly referred to, was discovered a few weeks ago by officers with the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Aero Bureau while they were surveying an area near Moab by helicopter to count bighorn sheep. Officers kept the pillar’s exact whereabouts under wraps in hopes of keeping the curious and bored from venturing into the remote area and possibly needing to be rescued. Despite their efforts towards secrecy, within days of confirming the monolith’s existence internet detectives were able to figure out its precise location, trek to the site and upload a few Instagram-worthy selfies to prove they were there.
No one knows who installed the metal structure, or when, or why. Most people seem to suspect it was created by an artist; some say it was left by aliens. But almost as quickly as it was discovered, it disappeared. And no one knows who removed it or why. So the mystery continues. Though it’s not much of a mystery why officials weren’t keen to share the object’s location in the first place. Some of those who documented their discovery left more than footprints. Employees with the Bureau of Land Management, the agency that manages the land, confirmed human waste and trash were left near the site and visitors also drove over and parked on vegetation. The same vegetation those bighorn sheep rely on for sustenance.
So while there is no more monolith and no real answers regarding its arrival or departure, there are also no more humans disturbing the area. There’s still plenty of discussion and speculation, however. And maybe that’s the whole point. We all know 2020 has been filled with bad, shocking, tragic and/or depressing news for many. Maybe we needed this little imagination-filled escape from reality.
If the monolith wasn’t enough of a diversion, I’ve managed to find another — one that is admittedly far less respectable but also birthed from curiosity and boredom. While I’m embarrassed to confess it, I recently started watching “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.” It’s the pinnacle of trash TV and there seems to be very little that’s real about it. But I am friends with one of the women on the show and Park City is featured fairly often. It’s equal parts distraction and familiarity, I guess.
The show is supposed to be outlandish — that’s what the franchise is built on. But the parties and the outfits and the drama are nowhere near as wild as one of the protagonist’s real-life story. Until I started watching this show, I was unaware one could bequeath a church, a congregation and a husband. But apparently, this can and did happen. One of the women married her step grandfather, her grandma’s second husband, when grams passed away. This was required in order to inherit the grandma’s church and its followers, and presumably a large stash of cash as well. I’m not really sure why the husband was bequeathed or if he had any say in who would inherit him. But it does kind of make me want to befriend Amal Clooney and see if she’ll grant me custody of George in her will. Still though, this part of the show seems to be as legit as it is disturbing. As one cast member put it, “I love my grandpas, but I would not want to be married to them. And I’m Mormon, we have a lot of latitude for a lot of weird s***.”
Whether it’s a metal structure erected in a remote patch of desert or the very unrealistic lives of a handful of women who live near us, maybe weird s*** is really what we all need right now. It’s existence reminds us to tap into our imaginations, allows us to relish in a distraction, and if nothing else, confirms our life is not nearly as bizarre as the woman who inherited a marriage to her step grandfather.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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