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Sex and the Single Plagiarist

“After three years of chronicling the local dating scene, one of Vancouver's most talked-about columnists has put away her little black book — and dodged her biggest controversy yet.”
ANGELEYANOR
Angèle Yanor

The Globe and Mail's Alexandra Gill bemoans the fact that Angèle Yanor no longer writes the ‘singles chick’ column for the Vancouver Sun.

For VanRamblings, the real issue surrounding the controversy involving Ms. Yanor is not that she proved to be a plagiarist (gee shucks, came as a complete surprise to me), but rather that The Vancouver Sun cynically chose to inflict her unreadable, self-indulgent wannabe ‘chick lit’ prose on an unsuspecting readership, in the first place.



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at March 29, 2004 12:04 AM in Media

   

5 Comments

wish you could have posted some instances of said bad writing on her part.

Archived deep inside the Vancouver Sun website, and totally unavailable ... pulled off the Canada.com server.

Yanor's little stories always seemed to me - on the odd occasion I read them, anyway - to have a too-good-to-be-true quality to them. I suppose we now know why. Her one redeeming quality as a columnist was that she wasn't as blatantly narcissistic as the total unreadables chick writers like McLaren, Eckler and Mallick. Which isn't saying much.

New York Times
January 6, 2002, Sunday

Hey, Mom and Dad, That's Our Sport!
By ALEX KUCZYNSKI (NYT) 1698 words
KETCHUM, Idaho -- BOBBY DIAMON and Billy Kelly, avid snowboarders, stood in the lift line on Bald Mountain two days before New Year's Eve.

They wore Burton jackets, spoke of how they would soon be ''shredding the mountain'' on their Hurley boards, fastened their $399 iPods loaded with hours of music into neoprene holders and watched as a paraglider soared over the mountain, touching down in a parking lot. They were then silent save for the occasional multisyllabic exclamation: ''Doooo-hooood!'' (roughly meaning, ''That looks really fun'') or ''Dude?'' (meaning, ''But would you really want to do it?'').


The pair talked and dressed like teenagers, but for a few critical differences -- the bottles of Vioxx tucked into their knapsacks, the wiry gray eyebrow hairs that curlicued over the tops of their reflective goggles. Mr. Diamon is 48; Mr. Kelly, 55.

Once the sole province of the teenage tongue-piercing crowd, snowboarding is increasingly being adopted by boomers, both men and women. Companies like Rossignol, K2, Salomon and Burton have all started to market snowboard equipment to the over-40 age group, to the distress of some teenage consumers, who picked up the sport precisely because it was not Mom and Dad's thing (skiing was).

''They can't do the tricks we can, so what's the point?'' said Jim Knott, 20, sharing a pie with friends the other night at Bob Dog Pizza in Ketchum, down the road from the ski mountain.

''And we're the ones who started it and they just copy-catted us, right?'' Alice Riedel, 15, said.

They are fighting a losing battle. Snowboarders get older every year, said Jon Foster, the editor in chief of Transworld Snowboarding, the manual of hard-core boarders. On the afternoon of New Year's Eve, Burton set up a tent on the bottom of the Lower River Run on Bald Mountain and the company's representatives diligently courted the middle-aged skiers with shouts of, ''Hey, boarding goes easy on the joints!''

Snowboarding may have first caught on as an act of adolescent rebellion, but it has gone thoroughly mainstream. It made its Olympic medal debut in 1998, and ski areas that once shunned it now cater to snowboarders with specially groomed terrain parks and ranks of certified instructors. If the sport retains any of its old bad-boy spirit, it is an appeal that speaks to the inner teenager in boarders of all ages.

''I am so allowed to have fun like everyone else,'' Mr. Diamon said as he shuffled along on one boot up the Lower River Run ski lift line, on his way to the top of Bald Mountain at 9,010 feet. He paused to wipe his nose on his snowboarding glove, especially equipped for that purpose for the casual-manners set.

''It's very practical,'' Mr. Diamon said. ''I don't have to reach for a Kleenex all the time.''

Parents boarding right along with their teenagers, a phenomenon that's been growing over several years, is the sporting equivalent of having Mom sit in the back seat of the car on your prom date. Transworld Snowboarding, which was founded in 1987, has started to feature profiles of older riders, like one of Robert Andrew Hetzel in the February 2002 issue. Along with a list of Mr. Hetzel's favorite bands (Minor Threat, Ghetto Boys, Devo and NWA), favorite movies (''Fast Times at Ridgemont High'' and ''The Road Warrior''), there is his age: ''Mid-60's.'' Mr. Hetzel's favorite pastime is listed as ''A cool buzz and tasty waves.''

According to the National Ski Area Association, boarders are inching up in age. Since 1996, the median age of a beginner has increased from 21 to 23, reflecting the influx of older enthusiasts. Female boarders make up 32 percent of the sport's adherents.

Snow-sport analysts predict that snowboarders, now 28.5 percent of ski area visitors and 25 percent last ski season, will grow to 60 percent by 2005. On Dec. 29, the 5,800 people on the slopes of Sun Valley, long a tradition-bound resort favored by Alpine skiers, included almost as many boarders as skiers. And it seemed that a third of the snowboarders were well past adolescence.

A major barrier fell earlier this year when the Aspen Skiing Company, which operates the playground resort that used to turn up its nose at outré snowboarders, allowed boarders the run of its Ajax Mountain. Militant snowboarders had plastered the city with signs that read ''Free Ajax.'' And just as crucial, participation in skiing has remained flat nationally for 20 years, according to the National Ski Area Association, and resort owners are eager to lure other snow enthusiasts to keep growing. In Sun Valley, visitors who want to shred the moguls on Arnold's Run (named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has a home there) can rent snowboards, inner tubes, skate-skis and skateboardlike skis, featuring a skateboard top and an elevated, springy bottom.

Mr. Diamon's 15-year-old son, Jeff, said that he was pretty much O.K. with his dad's snowboarding, although he wondered at first if having him on the slopes would cramp his style ''with the Betties'' -- a nickname for female boarders. ''But Dad's cool,'' Jeff said. ''Sometimes he'll ride on the lift behind me.''

From the Warm Springs area of the resort, Karen Casey, 45, in a Polarfleece hat sprouting five foot-long rainbow-colored tentacles, snowboarded the bowls with her son Joshua, 12.

''I think he thinks I'm cool now,'' she said. ''It's probably the only thing about me he thinks is cool.''

''Um, yeah,'' her son said noncommittally and offered the eye-rolling shoulder shrug that is the universal signal for resigned disdain among 12-year-olds.

Some teenagers said it was inspiring to see the older snowboarders, sometimes known as ''grays on trays.'' ''I hope I'm that kind of shape when I'm 55,'' Matt Zamora, 17, said. ''I saw someone today who must have been 80 years old on a snowboard.''

''Yea,'' Scott Stevenson, 16, said. ''Go, old people!''

Jack Sibbach, the director of marketing for the Sun Valley Resort, said that more and more middle-aged people ask for snowboarding lessons every year and that resorts are trying to draw in new and older boarders.

''They get older every year,'' Mr. Sibbach said. ''And we get everyone, women and men. It's good for us because the resorts get new customers, people who are lured to the slopes for the first time by snowboarding. And we get entire families learning to snowboard.''

Mary Reyelts, who spent Christmas week snowboarding in Telluride, Colo., was so excited by snowboarding that she started a group three years ago in Minneapolis called Snow Broads. Most of the 35 or so Snow Broads are in their 40's and 50's.

''We're a bunch of rad moms,'' Ms. Reyelts said. ''It's totally exhilarating to take up a sport in your 40's that is mostly associated with 12-year-old boys.''

Ms. Reyelts, who will be 50 in February, said that older athletes take to the sport because the learning curve is short and the gear is ''awesome.''

After about three days, most reasonably athletic people can learn to board without ending up as a yard sale -- the term for skiers who wipe out in operatic fashion. Some snowboarders also maintain that over the long term, they suffer fewer and less severe injuries than skiers do.

Dr. Herbert Alexander, an orthopedic surgeon in Sun Valley, said:''If you are a first-time snowboarder learning the sport, you are more likely to be injured than a beginning skier. The corollary to that is that snowboarding is a lot easier to learn. People can get comfortable with the mountain in a week, whereas it can take you years to learn to ski. So the window of opportunity for injury in skiing can be greater.''

Dr. Alexander said that boarders are less likely to have knee injuries, because both knees are locked in one direction on the board, but more likely to have upper body injuries, such as broken wrists. Skiers are more likely to have lower limb injuries, such as broken legs.

''It's not necessarily good for the old bones,'' said Nancy Engh, 43, a member of Snow Broads, who was on a snowboard as her children and husband skied last week in Sun Valley. ''But you're not getting these wrenching leg breaks. Just contusions.''

Snow Broads finished off last year's boarding season with a fashion show that emphasized the group's distinctly middle-aged bent. Mrs. Engh said she wore a helmet decorated in bathroom tiles and a sign that said, ''Ask me about my bathroom renovation.''

''I don't think anyone was going to mistake me for a 16-year-old,'' she said.

She and Ms. Reyelts say they have seen the population of middle-aged women boarders grow, but slowly. ''I think women are afraid of the pain, and you do fall down a lot the first few days,'' Ms. Reyelts said. ''We had one woman who wrapped herself in Bubble Wrap and then put on her husband's ski pants.'' One anxious husband even approached Ms. Reyelts at a cocktail party and told her to ''stay away from my wife.''

As for Mr. Diamon's wife, Sarah, she said she would continue to ski because it is a sport with lasting, elegant appeal.

''I hope this is just a phase,'' she said on the lift line. ''Can you imagine the future? What happens if I wind up with a 70-year-old husband who wipes his nose on his glove like a 5-year-old? I don't think I will able to deal with it.'' She paused and looked at her husband. ''Did you hear that, honey?'' she asked.

But his eyes were dreamy, and earphones looped into his ears.

''Sorry, honey,'' he yelled, and gave her a thumbs-up signal. ''I've got the tunes going.''

Vancouver Sun
February 28, 2004

by Angele Yanor
Vancouver, B.C. ----- It's 11 a.m. on a recent Saturday, and two avid snowboarders are standing in the lift line at Whistler Mountain. They are wearing Gore-Tex jackets, joking about how they will soon be "shredding the mountain" on their Burton boards, and they are fastening $549 iPods loaded with hours of music into neoprene holders. They are then silent except for the occasional exclamation: "That's large!" or "Tiiiiight!"
The pair talk and dress like teenagers, but for a couple of significant differences -- the bottles of pain-relief medication tucked into their backpacks and the eyebrow hairs that curlicue over the tops of their reflective goggles. Gary is 49; Tom, 52.
Once the exclusive sport of the slacker crowd, snowboarding is increasingly being adopted by boomers, both men and women. Companies like Rossignol, Salomon and Burton have all started to market snowboard equipment to the over-50 age group, to the chagrin of their twenty-something customers who picked up the sport precisely because it was not Mom and Dad's thing (skiing was.)
"They can't do the tricks we can, so what's the point?" says Evan, 22, who is sharing a beer with friends at Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, located at the foot of Whistler Mountain. "Yeah, we're the ones who started it. They're just copying us," says his girlfriend.
She adds that it is sort of inspiring to see the older snowboarders, known as "greys on trays."
"Hopefully we're in that kind of shape when we're their age," she says. "Do you believe I saw someone today who was, like, 80 years old on a snowboard?"
"No way," Evan chimes in. "Go, old people!"
Parents snowboarding right along with their kids, a trend that's been growing over several years, is the sporting equivalent of having Dad drive you to the prom. But Tom's 17-year-old son says he is okay with his father's boarding, although he wondered at first if having him on the slopes would cramp his style with the female boarders. "Dad is pretty cool," he admits reluctantly. "He'll ride on the lift behind me if there's a hottie around."
"Why shouldn't I be allowed to have fun like everyone else?" Tom asks as he shuffles along on one boot up the ski-lift line on his way to the top of the mountain. He pauses to wipe his nose on his snowboarding glove, specially equipped for that purpose for the informal-manners set. "It's very handy," he says. "I don't have to reach for a Kleenex all the time." His wife cringes.
In the lobby of the Delta Whistler Resort, Maureen, a middle-aged tourist in a hat sprouting foot-long rainbow-colored tentacles, says that she spent the morning boarding with her son. "He thinks I'm cool now that I picked up his sport," she says. "It's probably the only thing about me he thinks is cool."
"Um, yeah," her son replies and offers the eye-rolling shoulder shrug that is the universal gesture for resigned disdain among teenagers. "Actually, I met my second husband snowboarding," Maureen says. "I couldn't find the trail I was looking for, so I asked him and he asked me out for a drink. The rest is history."
She says older athletes take to the sport because the learning curve is short and the gear is "totally awesome." After a few days, most reasonably athletic people can learn to board without ending up as a yard sale -- the term for skiers who wipe out. She says the population of middle-aged female boarders has grown, but slowly. "When you reach my age, you're afraid of pain, even though snowboarding is fairly easy on the knees. Maybe more women would try it if they knew it was a good way to meet older men."
"My sister has tried to meet men everywhere: dog parks, hospital emergency rooms, funerals, even church socials. So I told her to take up snowboarding. She wrapped herself in bubble wrap and put on her ex-husband's ski pants. She ended up meeting a guy, but he was one of these guys who has cut out alcohol, processed sugar, dairy products and meat. She just couldn't picture herself outside a wedding chapel being pelted with whole-grain brown rice."
As for Tom's wife, she will continue to ski because it is a sport with lasting appeal. "I hope snowboarding is just a phase," she says, brushing strands of highlighted blond hair from her eyes. "Can you imagine the future? What happens if I wind up with a 65-year-old who wipes his nose on his glove like a six-year-old? I don't think I'll able to deal with that."
She pauses and looks at her husband. "Did you hear that, honey?" she asks. But his eyes are glassy and earphones loop into his ears. "Sorry, honey," he yells, and gives her a thumbs-up signal. "These tunes are rockin'."

James,

Thank you for posting the two columns. At least Yanor changed the tense (well, sometimes). Talk about wholesale theft.

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