All forms of exercise are wonderful, spirit-lifting, perfect. But of all the ways to exercise and get the blood pumping and harden the bod, skiing seems the most…I don’t know, the most complacent? The most middle-class? Certainly the most indulgent and regimented. Every time I see a couple of skiers clomping down the hallway of the Park Regency or hauling their huge gear sacks into a Park City shuttle, I always look at their white faces and every time I see looks of boredom and blankness.

Skiiers might have a lot hidden underneath their gear, but they’re not interesting people. Not on the surface, at least. I’ve been watching them for too many years. I know. They seem lacking in snap and intrigue. A few Park City bar owners and resturateurs love the ski crowd and look askance at journo types like myself because we don’t spend enough. I give them the eff-you attitude right back. I almost dislike skiiers as much as golfers with their hideously-patterned golf shirts and checkered pants and shit.

Plus I vaguely despise those padded ski suits skiers all wear, especially the orange ones. I mean, I’m here trying to figure out a film festival, working hard in my jeans and deerskin cowboy boots and looking for salvation and acting cool, and then two or three pink-faced skiiers get on the bus…oh, God, here they are. Deadbeats. They sit down, fatigued and winded and not talking with each other. All zombied out. They remind me of people who go to Cancun and Las Vegas and Atlantic City for vacations.

The only time I’ve identified with a skiier is when I’ve watched the Criterion DVD of Michael Ritchie‘s Downhill Racer. Otherwise forget it. Forget the whole ski culture.