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Angry Aspen Snowboard Instructor - Page 2

post #31 of 49
I'm a New York writer and journalist who's been accused of having a sense of humor that's far too sarcastic and at times harsh, and I have to say that I just found this column to be lame. I mean, the guy who posted the doctored photo of him jumping off a cliff in Jackson Hole with his kid tied to his back - now that's funny. South Park, the Simpsons before 1997, The Daily Show, The Onion before it moved to New York - that's funny. But to me, this thing was just a mean-spirited essay that lacked any subtlety and was filled with obvious observations dressed up as satire. Of course, sense of humor is strictly a matter of taste, so I'm not saying that those who thought the piece was hilarious are wrong. I'm just pointing out that the people who didn't find it funny aren't necessarily too uptight. It's all a matter of taste.

From my perspective, I think this whole thing stems from a desperate desire by newspapers to get young people to read their publications. It's no secret that fewer and fewer adolescents and young adults get their news from newspapers. So the journalism community constantly is trying to find ways to attract these folks. Usually it's by hiring someone who's considered young or representative of a certain ethnic demographic to write weak, unfunny columns that are thought to be "edgy" by the old, out-of-touch white men who run the newsrooms (see most of what Joel Stein does at Time magazine.) So that's probably what the Aspen Times was after with Ms. Berkley, who makes Joel Stein look like Lenny Freakin Bruce. If a couple of 16-year-old shredders thought that story was rad and decided to read the Aspen Times from now on to see if she writes anything else that's equally ridiculous, well, mission accomplished.

However, that the Aspen snowboarding school immediately canned her should be hardly surprising to anyone. Aspen runs a high-end operation based on a wealthy clientele coming back year after year for a host of reasons, one of which ideally would be the courteous staff. Anyone who goes out of his or her way to trash that rep has to be cut loose. The thought of a few millionaires picking up the paper and wondering if their chubby 4-year-old sparked that column is reason enough for her to be out on her ass. It's like a maitre d' at some fancy Manhattan restaurant writing a column in The Times about the boorish manners of the people who dine there each night. That person might get another assignment from The Times, but they'd probably never work in the restaurant business again. Same thing here - biting the hand that feeds you. I wouldn't cry for Ms. Berkley. But I will say that based on her writing chops she may want to find yet another career path to torch.
post #32 of 49
The article starts out with the sentence, "It just occurred to me that I am a snowboard whore."

Are we to immediately start to take this so seriously that we actually THINK she's a whore, too? Cmon, peeps. That sentence set a tone, and most of the naysayers paid no attention to that. Pity.

It's fluff, it's fun, and not sacrilege to dis a sport.

PS. Thanks, Lonnie. Message received and understood. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

(edited to spell sacrilege the proper way )

[ January 13, 2004, 07:13 PM: Message edited by: Bonni ]
post #33 of 49
EricW, I think you and I are the same wave length about this story. Maybe she needed to make it even more clear that it was some cynical messing with ya.

And ryan, "different strokes" but I never found B&B anything more than irritating.

Doesn't anyone read Dilbert?

[ January 13, 2004, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: Lucky ]
post #34 of 49
Definitely would have canned her at Aspen - the right move.

Definitely found the article hilarious. Not great, or good even. Hilarious. She disses herself and everything else in sight. She's obnoxious. Still hilarious.

Definitely would not want her instructing my kid. Or dating my son. Or writing for my publication. I wouldn't publish that crap. I'd fire her from my newspaper. Still hilarious.

Definitely take skiing and ski instruction very, very, very seriously. Some say TOO seriously. No harm in laughing a bit, though.

Definitely not losing any sleep over it. I'm with the "lighten up" crowd on this one.

Still friends, I hope. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ January 13, 2004, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #35 of 49
Years ago I took the Ski Instructor's training course at Killington. We were told at the start that the pay was lousy, and we had to have a motive other than money to go into the field.
As the course proceeded I realized: That other motive, at least for the instructors who were teaching the course, was being in a position to feel superior to the suckers who were paying to learn, and a feeling of being a member of the elite, with contempt for people who just skied for fun, and learned on their own.
post #36 of 49
I think this lame excuse of a professional got exactly what she deserved- a quick boot out the door. I have absolutely no qualms about saying this. Had she been one of my employees, the result would have been the same.

There is no doubt that this kind of talk occurs behind the closed doors of any locker room in the country. But thats where it needs to stay- behind those closed doors. Not in the faces, the living rooms, and hotel rooms (via that so-called "newspaper") of the people who pay for our services. What a disgrace to our profession. And such an insult to our guests.

This reminds me of a couple of Vail instr's who did something similar, in an interview published in GQ, March 1989. The interview took place one spring, and was published the following March. But advance copies hit the management level about January, and both were summarily fired. Injured at the time, I was working in the SSD's office, and was tasked to handle the incoming calls about this article. The anger and resentment was more than apparent, with almost 50% of the calls coming from other ski instr's.

In both cases, despite the attempt to attach humor to each story, it denigrated the guests and blackened the reputation of our profession.

I support her right to write/publish whatever she may feel, but I also support the rights of a company to decide when it's customers have been maligned.

Maybe her next story will be an expose' about how ignorant the readers of her own newspaper are...
post #37 of 49
I was going to pen a message essentially identical to the ones Oboe and Ski Brooklyn posted. Now I don't have to.

If she worked for me at the SS and something like this ever came up, I would have to do my job as a suit and fire her. At her exit interview, I would tell her that while I know some people probably did get a laugh from her article, it was certainly inappropriate public behavior from a representative of our SS, marginally acceptible private behavior, and certainly could cost our organization big $$$. Goodby.

If she worked for me at the newspaper, I would not immediately fire her, but I would say many of the things Ski Brookly said about her literary ability. Her writing reminds me of the immature, psuedo-edgy style you often see in college newspapers.

Tom / PM

[ January 13, 2004, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by TheIceMan:
Years ago I took the Ski Instructor's training course at Killington. We were told at the start that the pay was lousy, and we had to have a motive other than money to go into the field.
As the course proceeded I realized: That other motive, at least for the instructors who were teaching the course, was being in a position to feel superior to the suckers who were paying to learn, and a feeling of being a member of the elite, with contempt for people who just skied for fun, and learned on their own.
Many years ago, I tried to take a lesson at Killington, and decided that I hated skiing. Now I understand why!

Ironically, reading other articles by the "princess" she is exactly the sort of member that I despised working with in New York City gyms. But had I wrote for New York magazine about trustafarian Vertical Club members from Long Island, I would have been fired.

It took me awhile to learn that if you are in the business of teaching anything to anyone, you will always be miserable if you do not repsect the people you teach. If you hate rich people, kids, Americans, etc. don't teach them.

A women's gym I just stopped working at gives lots of lip service to catering to the over 50 crowd. But the managers love to do imitations of their older members at staff parties!
:

While I am not so bloody serious that i faial to see the humor of this article, I am growing weary of the current icon in female ski writers: The Ski Bimbo. Whether its Mountain Girl in Skipress, The Boston Globe skimail chic, who urges womwn to write messages in the globe to cute guys they meet on the slope, or this Aspen princess, this act is getting old!

And yes, I am being sour grapes! These publications never respond to my very serious queries!
Rant over!
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by oboe:
Definitely would have canned her at Aspen - the right move.

Definitely found the article hilarious. Not great, or good even. Hilarious. She disses herself and everything else in sight. She's obnoxious. Still hilarious.

Definitely would not want her instructing my kid. Or dating my son. Or writing for my publication. I wouldn't publish that crap. I'd fire her from my newspaper. Still hilarious.

Definitely take skiing and ski instruction very, very, very seriously. Some say TOO seriously. No harm in laughing a bit, though.

Definitely not losing any sleep over it. I'm with the "lighten up" crowd on this one.

Still friends, I hope. [img]smile.gif[/img]
This was so good I had to post it again. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #40 of 49
I love satire, but I'm with Brooklyn- she should be fired for bad writing. And she should be promoted at ski school- remember, she 's a snowboard instructor- no doubt imparting the proper f-king attitude! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #41 of 49
Lucky: "And ryan, "different strokes" but I never found B&B anything more than irritating."

fair enough. in which case, check out Space Ghost.

*******************************************

AND, some kinda pertinent thoughts from Randy Newman (who wrote a song called davey the fat boy):

"I've always tried to say something. Often it was a joke. Eccentric lyrics about eccentric people. I would plead guilty on the grounds that I prefer eccentricity to the bland "I love you, you love me, we're as happy as we can be, let's go party under a tree." If I wrote them like that, we'd all be in the same business.

I've been called pungent. I prefer pungent to satiric. But I never pay attention to that stuff because it can't do me any good. Either it makes you self-conscious, or it depresses you.

There was one song I wrote that I thought was cruel after I wrote it. I didn't think "Rednecks" was cruel, or "God Song," or "Davey the Fat Boy" because it was obvious there was something wrong with the protagonist in the song, the narrator. In "Short People," it's the narrator that's the untrustworthy guy, not the short person.

But the song I wrote called "The Blues," the one I did with Paul Simon, that one almost made fun of sensitivity. It made fun of a kid who had trouble, a kid who would rush to his room to play the piano. That was wrong. I can't think of another song of mine that I regret in the slightest, but I do regret that one.

I'm not very careful. I've written things that I didn't think were all right, and I let them go. I wrote a song, "Half a Man," about homosexuality as a contagious disease. I got some letters and some calls on it, but I thought it was funny. It was a song about the lack of understanding of homosexuality, but it hurt some people. Some gay people said my doing the song wasn't worth it, but it was to me.

I once played "Rednecks" in Lafayette, Louisiana, and they'd all stand up, which is not the right reaction but it's the one you get in the South. I get this letter from a black kid who was three, and he says, "I don't know where you're coming from, but I am sitting in a room with 1,500 white people, and there's this white guy up on stage saying 'nigger,' and these people are standing up, and you know, it disturbed me." I called the kid, and I think I explained it to his satisfaction, but I don't feel that I've ever been guilty of bad taste."

[ January 14, 2004, 08:09 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #42 of 49
Maybe we should boycott Weird Al for making fun of people with songs like "eat it."
post #43 of 49
Cast her in the Pit with Nathan Hall, ticket clippers, bannister riders, Harald Harb, and non-lesson takers!
post #44 of 49
BSR,

No worries, all is cool [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] . We all laugh sometimes at our clients or colleagues or bosses (but we keep it private at all cost). I just thought that this article was over the top, being displayed in such a public forum.

Oboe,

I certainly consider you a friend and I am looking forward to see you (and all the Bears) at the ESA.
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Lucky: "And ryan, "different strokes" but I never found B&B anything more than irritating."

fair enough. in which case, check out Space Ghost.
or perhaps even The Family Guy

we all need to vent sometimes. Berkley's venting wasn't clever but it was irritatingly funny.
post #46 of 49
This woman was representing Aspen and did a damn poor job of it. She was a moonlighter (weekend warrior) who probably doesn't have the people skills to be an adequate instructor. You should never make fun of students in the learning process regardless of their physical drawbacks! She deserved to be fired for being an insensitive bitch! I can only imagine how the parents of this retarded child must have felt! Anger & outrage tenfold! Apparently Aspen's standards have lowered as to who they'll hire as a professional instructor! It gives those people who truly are pro's a blackeye. It just takes one jerk!
This gal should work for the enquirer as its more her style! A good read? Not hardly! She's pathetic! :
post #47 of 49
Quote:
posted by snowdog5150:

This woman was representing Aspen and did a damn poor job of it. She was a moonlighter (weekend warrior) who probably doesn't have the people skills to be an adequate instructor. You should never make fun of students in the learning process regardless of their physical drawbacks! She deserved to be fired for being an insensitive bitch! I can only imagine how the parents of this retarded child must have felt! Anger & outrage tenfold! Apparently Aspen's standards have lowered as to who they'll hire as a professional instructor! It gives those people who truly are pro's a blackeye. It just takes one jerk!
This gal should work for the enquirer as its more her style! A good read? Not hardly! She's pathetic!
what a venomous post! twisted knickers? starch em! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

[ January 14, 2004, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: Bonni ]
post #48 of 49
Bonni, look at it this way: If I wrote an article like that about my corporate customers for my "day job", I'd get fired from it, too. It's not professional. But, is ski instruction really a profession for most "pros"? [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #49 of 49
c'mon lighten up, what do you expect she's a knuckledragger.
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