Vice turns its lens on Williston



Friday night in a Williston bar, part of a Vice photo essay.

From the bad boys at Vice, we have a photo gallery titled “Friday Night in the Bakken Oilfield.”

The photos all were taken in Williston as part of a “Friday Night in…” series. The premise is pretty basic: “send photographers to the planet’s finest cities and towns to capture Friday night as it unfolds.”

Use of the word “finest” may be facetious, I don’t know, but other cities featured so far include Hamburg, Bucharest and Ferguson, Missouri. The series is all about photography. There is only one paragraph of text about Williston, the best part of which was a quote supposedly heard at closing time in a local bar:

“We get drunk and think about how Williston used to be, then go home and dream about how it could be.”

I suppose spontaneous poetic philosophy is sometimes heard at closing time, even in Williston. It reminded me of something I read about Time magazine’s foreign correspondents many years ago—that it was amazing how those correspondents could always find some anonymous “man on the street” to sum up some local news story in a way that was both pithy and profound.

Some of the best photos are simply shots of bar patrons hamming it up inside and outside various joints, as well as photos of the Cold Hard Cash Show. The Johnny Cash tribute band is not identified, but yeah, that’s them.






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