a good reason not to see Django Unchained

By Jim Stanford on January 11, 2013

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Quentin Tarantino’s latest film has been getting plenty of hype locally, owing to some scenes being shot here last winter when a snowy backdrop was needed.

In the wake of the Newtown massacre, a British interviewer had the nerve to ask Tarantino yesterday about the abundance of graphic violence in his films. Skip to 2:40 in the video for Tarantino’s petulant reaction.

I’ve always had a problem with the director’s glamorization of violence, and skipped most of his work since Reservoir Dogs. In the interview he says he already has addressed the question, but in fact he has said very little. I know because after recently watching Inglorious Basterds on video, I did Google “Tarantino use of violence” to try to understand where he is coming from.

Last winter, during the Django shoot, he had an assistant call ahead to a Jackson restaurant to request a particular cut of steak. Watching him freak out in this clip, it’s easy to see why. If a news interview is a “commercial” for his movie, we’re all here to serve his whims, while he has no responsibility to anyone.

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Selko honored for ski photography

By Jim Stanford on December 12, 2012

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Selko, right, poses with some gaper while covering the 2006 Torino Olympics.

Although the news has been shared widely since last week’s announcement, let me add my congratulations to photographer Jonathan Selkowitz for being named the International Ski Federation’s Journalist of the Year.

The award recognizes journalists for their career contributions to the sport. For 20 years, Selkowitz has poured an astounding amount of passion into covering ski racing, which is far from lucrative and, aside from Olympic years, receives little attention.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jonathan at two Olympics and other skiing events. No one works harder on and off the slopes, as the story below attests. He also is one of the more thoughtful humans on the planet.

In winning the award, presented jointly by the FIS and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, Selko joins a select group that includes longtime TV announcers Bob Beattie and Tim Ryan and the late USSA correspondent Paul Robbins.

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in memoriam: The Snaz

By Jim Stanford on November 21, 2012

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A chapter in Jackson Hole media history has come to a close, as David Gonzales announced yesterday he will cease publishing The Snaz.

The popular website was Jackson Hole’s first mountain culture blog, established in 2006. Originally dedicated to Jackson Hole videos, the site evolved into a platform for news, discussion, fine art photography and conservation.

Original logo.

Gonzales said he is retiring the site to focus on TreeFight, the effort he founded in 2010 to protect whitebark pine forests from climate change.

“I had to consolidate my efforts,” he said. “TreeFight is more important in every way.”

Although there were several experimental websites in the early 2000s — jhlocal among them — The Snaz was the first Jackson Hole blog to achieve a wide audience. At the height of its popularity, the site drew close to 2,000 readers per day, Gonzales said.

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avy forecast debuts new look

By Jim Stanford on November 16, 2012

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Redesigned forecast page.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center began issuing its online forecasts this week loaded with new graphics and features, in what forecaster Bob Comey calls a “soft opening” for the site.

Avalanche hazard and mountain weather forecasts are available for the Teton area twice daily, at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Forecasts for the Greys River and Togwotee Pass areas are posted each morning.

New this year is a section called “Avalanche Problems,” which explains the type of hazard backcountry users should look for. A graphic illustrates the aspects and elevations where the problem can be found, and other metrics show the size, likelihood and distribution, as well as whether the trend is growing worse.

The center received grants from the Forest Service and 1 Percent for the Tetons to upgrade the service, which received more than 1.3 million visits via web, email and phone (307-733-2664) last winter. Online page views were up 65 percent, while the number of phone calls dropped in half.

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free tickets to ‘Further’ screening

By Jim Stanford on October 17, 2012

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With the Tetons freshly capped in snow for the first time this autumn, the timing couldn’t be better for Saturday’s screening of Further, the second installment in the backcountry riding trilogy from snowboarder Jeremy Jones and filmmaker Teton Gravity Research.

Picking up where he left off in Deeper, the film finds Jones continuing to push his limits as he ventures into more remote terrain — without the use of lifts or helicopters. “Through research, patience and hard work, the crew was able to live in caves and on glaciers to ride untouched lines without another human in sight,” TGR explains.

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