Generation Y

Column
April 26, 2017

Ski movies: “Cold Prey” (2006)

The title of this piece notwithstanding, “Cold Prey” is not technically a skiing movie; it’s a snowboarding movie, insofar as it concerns sports at all. More importantly, it’s a slasher movie: a group of frisky young adults, a masked killer on the loose—it all just…

Column
April 19, 2017

Ski movies: “Hot Dog… The Movie” (1984)

To make things immediately clear, “Hot Dog… The Movie” is not good. Indeed, one could go so far as to call its post-ellipsis subtitle aspirational, or at least a reflection of a certain need for self-reassurance: “Hot Dog,” a low-budget comedy directed by Peter Markle,…

Column
April 12, 2017

Ski movies: “Downhill Racer” (1969)

Editor’s note: The following is the first in a short series of reviews of mostly older films whose narratives prominently feature skiing and ski resorts.

The opening shot of “Downhill Racer,” the 1969 Alpine drama starring Robert Redford, initially registers as an abstract composition: a…

Column
April 5, 2017

Paul Ryan is a loser (To the tune of Beck’s “Loser”)

[Verse 1] In the time of bloated budgets, I got real wonky, Made PowerPoints in vain, became a fiscal junkie. With the widow’s peak, the airbrushed headshots, Wisconsinites voted for the beefcake hotshot. Kill the entitlements and put it in neutral; Stock market’s gaining with…

Column
March 29, 2017

The family that skis together

During the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Neil Gorsuch, the federal appellate judge from Colorado, Republicans strove to give Donald Trump’s nominee opportunity to present himself as a friendly, well-rounded human being—as opposed to the Constitutional pedant and heartless enforcer of unjust power structures that…

Column
March 22, 2017

“Shall never see a poem lovely as a tree”

Winter landscapes will never stop being kind of magical to me, no matter how joylessly and cynically grownup I become: the endless unstained carpet of a fresh snowfall, the sculptural perfection of an icicle, the fierce sting of the cold itself. The dreamlike beauty of…

Column
March 8, 2017

Principle and prejudice

Writers of internet content are in general unoriginal, pandering, and shamelessly given to formula, so when one particular article becomes a successful and widely shared piece of clickbait, you can bet that other articles in same vein will follow. Was that dress blue and black…

Column
March 1, 2017

IMDb vs. Oscar

My girlish interest in the Academy Awards is surely fairly obvious to frequent readers of this column, given the truly embarrassing number of times I’ve written here about the Oscars (including last week, in what was, upon reflection, possibly least coherent column in the history…

Column
February 22, 2017

Oscar for President

Three months have passed since Bernie Sanders infamously remarked that, in order to win future elections, the Democratic Party would have to “move beyond identity politics.” In a response to a young woman who had asked for his advice regarding her goal to become the…

Column
February 15, 2017

First tracks

I’ve written here before about the uneasy relationship between my passion for skiing and my longstanding tendency toward early-morning sluggishness. Simply put, skiing is not the sport for lazy people (I think that title may belong to bowling, no offense intended to bowlers)—it is not…