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It's Like Rollerball, but with chicks and no motorcycles!
January 11, 2006 9:58 PM   Subscribe

It's Roller Derby, and it's back in a big way. Especially appreciated: Their literary tastes.
posted by Astro Zombie (55 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Favorite quote from the last link: "I'm reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey and it is amazing and I am in love with him even though he is a drug addict and an alcoholic, but he writes so well and goes through such pain. I'm reading it because I got it for Christmas from a boy I like right now after I told him I like to read about drug addicts. He did so well. --Rolls Wilder"

Otherwise, some interesting reading selections.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:59 PM on January 11, 2006


From the last link:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. And Classroom in a Book: Adobe InDesign CS2. --Barbie Brawl

I can't tell which part of this passage is hottest.
posted by brundlefly at 10:06 PM on January 11, 2006


The name.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:09 PM on January 11, 2006


Hands of Manos' photos of the Atlanta Roller Girls here.
posted by splatta at 10:09 PM on January 11, 2006


Actually, yeah. That's what I settled on.
posted by brundlefly at 10:14 PM on January 11, 2006


A friend of mine used to skate with the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, but is switching over to the Denver Roller Dolls. (site way under construction, team going active in Spring 06)
posted by jazon at 10:41 PM on January 11, 2006


The Atlanta RollerGirls are awesome.
posted by Sellersburg/Speed at 10:45 PM on January 11, 2006


I am currently reading Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel. I've always felt that Christmas tales should include more zombies in them, and this book fits the bill. -- Scarmen Hellectra
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:08 AM on January 12, 2006


For old school flavor: Kansas City Bomber.
posted by bonefish at 12:28 AM on January 12, 2006


I didn't know it had left... for a lot of us, there will always be a place in our hearts for ass-kicking, dyed-hair, R. Crumb-esque zaftig cuties like "Sayonara Pussy" (from the third link). Funny how women with self-confidence and drive, maybe a tat or two and some piercings- oh, and not to mention big ol' luscious bang-zoom curves- are unbelievably friggin' hot!

The sport itself seems kind of silly, though. Watching the A&E series about the TXRD, it seems like the sport is still being played purely by raw skill and skating speed. The most recent episode featured a team that, in the hopes of rebounding from a bad previous season, began doing regular training drills, workouts, stamina sessions, and attempted to analyze video tape to find patterns... and was actually commented on by the other teams as being unusual (sadly, they still lost to a team that appeared to win simply by being comprised of larger masses on wheels).

Maybe I'm a sports nerd, but roller derby seems to be aching for the evolution into complex play patterns, the skating equivalent of the triangle offense or the Corner 2. Someday, some roller derby savant is going to build up a playbook of moves, blocker patterns, integrating various physics tricks of acceleration and cracking-the-whip with a teammate/opponent, that will make them the Bill Belichick of roller derby. Until then, it seems to be a kind of an undeveloped sport that's more about really hot chicks with double entendre names and skimpy clothing.

Not that I have a big problem with that, you understand... :)
posted by hincandenza at 1:00 AM on January 12, 2006


Oh, I forgot. Via.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:40 AM on January 12, 2006


See, obviously. Can anyone get enough roller derby girl? I know I can't.
posted by Eideteker at 1:40 AM on January 12, 2006


I want to get drunk and chase Seattle's Rat City Rollergirls around in circles!!
posted by roboto at 1:55 AM on January 12, 2006


I've been around long enough to recognize this is the beginning of another iteration of the inevitable failure of rollerderby.
posted by srboisvert at 3:26 AM on January 12, 2006


I agree, srboisvert- because I think it doesn't seem like an evolved sport in terms of rules and strategies, so much as a post-feminist Russ-Meyer-on-skates spectacle. Again, like roboto, I happen to think it's cool; it's like burlesque with more punching. But it has no staying power as a sport from watching it, because these people are not bringing the "wow" factor: that sense that we, as spectators, are "wowed" by some feats of either graceful athleticism or strategic maneuvering.

Watching an arcing homerun shot, or a foul-line dunk, is impressive. Even watching figure skaters or gymnasts, you can't help but think "holy crap!". You just don't get that feeling watching roller derby.
posted by hincandenza at 3:48 AM on January 12, 2006


Watching an arcing homerun shot, or a foul-line dunk, is impressive. Even watching figure skaters or gymnasts, you can't help but think "holy crap!".

Actually, some of us find traditional sports a little boring, tired and over-analyzed. Give me blood, sweat and tattooed boobs anytime.
posted by melt away at 4:22 AM on January 12, 2006


When I won tickets for to see the Mad Rollin' Dolls in December, I wasn't sure what I'd find, or if I'd like it. I really did! There were kids there from about 8 years old up to folks in their late 60s, and all ages inbetween. The 'girls' were terrific atheletes and the match was exciting. I was hooked. I can't even skate across the room, so it's a vicarious thrill to watch these women flying around the rink.
posted by LavaLady at 5:05 AM on January 12, 2006


I once had the honor of spanking several of the Mad Rollin' Dolls with a paddle! That's one of the punishments dished out if they commit a penalty. Others include having to sing a verse from "Bridge Over Troubled Water" over the PA." But the spanking is the best.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:32 AM on January 12, 2006


I love the names. Half the fun is making them up.
posted by plinth at 6:38 AM on January 12, 2006


I dunno. My opinion of Roller Girls has been tainted horribly since I went to a show that featured the whole of the Boston Derby Dames standing around, being fabulous while drinking matching whiskys and PBRs. The fact that they completely talked over Joe Jack Talcum's set didn't help much.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:00 AM on January 12, 2006


*Staff call: palegirl to checkout 48204 please*
posted by nylon at 7:12 AM on January 12, 2006


*Stupid joke about Lisa Carver*
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:13 AM on January 12, 2006


don't forget the gotham girls -- season starts in april
posted by eddydamascene at 7:16 AM on January 12, 2006


I prefer porn.
posted by bardic at 7:29 AM on January 12, 2006


There is a tournament in Tucson in February:

2006 Dust Devil Invitational
Between February 24–26, 2006, Tucson, AZ will be over-run by ferocious and dedicated amateur rollergirls from across the nation. Tucson Roller Derby will host 20 sister leagues from around the country while these do-it-yourself, flat-track skaters compete in a ground-breaking tournament to determine the nation's first-ever Dust Devil national champion team.
posted by eckeric at 7:32 AM on January 12, 2006


Yeah. The TXRD stuff as seen on A&E is a bit hampered growth-wise because all the teams practice and have bouts on the special elevated track at the Thunderdome (not to knock TXRD though, they're pioneers and hard workers for damn sure). Flat track is easier to get going because you can pretty much just mark off a track at any skating rink in the country (and they usually need the business; many struggling rinks were quick to adopt roller hockey awhile back for that reason).

I think the whole roller derby thing is wonderful on so many levels. As pointed out above, it makes sex symbols out of women with non-traditional looks and attitudes, and it's just so much fun for everyone, participants and spectators alike.
posted by First Post at 7:43 AM on January 12, 2006


Actually, some of us find traditional sports a little boring, tired and over-analyzed. Give me blood, sweat and tattooed boobs anytime.

Well said. I agree completely.
posted by Democritus at 8:56 AM on January 12, 2006


Think New Orleans is out of this just because of some little storm?
Think again - the Big Easy Rollergirls are still rolling!
posted by ab3 at 9:12 AM on January 12, 2006


I prefer porn.

I see no reason why the two cannot be combined.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:40 AM on January 12, 2006


Albuquerque's home to the Duke City Derby.
posted by signalnine at 10:24 AM on January 12, 2006


Yeah. The TXRD stuff as seen on A&E is a bit hampered growth-wise because all the teams practice and have bouts on the special elevated track at the Thunderdome (not to knock TXRD though, they're pioneers and hard workers for damn sure). Flat track is easier to get going because you can pretty much just mark off a track at any skating rink in the country (and they usually need the business; many struggling rinks were quick to adopt roller hockey awhile back for that reason).

We actually have two leagues in Austin. The one profiled in the A&E series uses the banked track, the other still skates on a flat track up at Playland skate rink.
posted by lunalaguna at 10:43 AM on January 12, 2006


melt away writes "Actually, some of us find traditional sports a little boring, tired and over-analyzed. Give me blood, sweat and tattooed boobs anytime."

Here here, sir! Well played!
posted by brundlefly at 10:46 AM on January 12, 2006


Los Angeles is home to the L.A. Derby Dolls.
posted by starscream at 10:46 AM on January 12, 2006


Are they using the old-style oval track, or the newer figure-8? That one was cool!
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:03 AM on January 12, 2006


Lack of athletic grace and purity hasn't stopped pro wrestling, though, has it? That's all about the costumes and beatdowns also. Roller derby will survive if enough people find eye candy + ass-kicking appealing. Perhaps they should work on creating more fake feuds between teams and individuals to give it that special, soap-opera tinge that wrestling enjoys...
posted by emjaybee at 11:32 AM on January 12, 2006


recent double.
posted by 3.2.3 at 11:35 AM on January 12, 2006


I'm trying to start up Skaterderby. It's like Rollerderby, only open to both sexes and using skateboards and beer and old Black Flag mix cds.
posted by 235w103 at 11:36 AM on January 12, 2006


3.2.3: See my comment. =)

2¢: It'd be nice if we could get a live preview of tags (like the live preview of the comment I'm typing right now) where the tag is linked, so that you can click it to search under that tag for recent posts. Myself, I think up tags as I'm writing the FPP, and some people don't like to backpage, etc. while juggling all the juicy links they want to post. As it is, I think a number of people are posting, then checking the tags and going: "Oh, crap!"

I'd take it to MeTa, but I've already used mine up for the day.
posted by Eideteker at 12:04 PM on January 12, 2006


Chicago, represent! Times two!
posted by me3dia at 12:12 PM on January 12, 2006


We actually have two leagues in Austin. The one profiled in the A&E series uses the banked track, the other still skates on a flat track up at Playland skate rink.

Right on. I'm aware of that, and of some of the issues between the leagues based on it, but I didn't wanna get into all that here :) Not to slight either TXRD or Texas Rollergirls, ya know.

Just noting it in passing based on the whole potential-for-growth thing. I'm told it costs about $10,000 to trick out a rink with a nice banked track. Generally speaking, the more stuff you need for a sport, the more difficult it is to spread it. Hence soccer as a world pastime--no expensive pads or fancy arenas necessary, all you need is something resembling a ball :)
posted by First Post at 12:58 PM on January 12, 2006


As pointed out above, it makes sex symbols out of women with non-traditional looks and attitudes, and it's just so much fun for everyone, participants and spectators alike.

It's arguable that devising yet another way to turn women into sex symbols is a good thing. I'm enjoying their "nontraditional" attitude, myself. How about we encourage that instead? I'm glad to see them kicking ass and taking no prisoners (to wax cliched for just a moment). At any rate, more women athletes (no matter how cheesy) is certainly an improvement over cheerleaders and sports wives.
posted by scratch at 1:09 PM on January 12, 2006


Maybe it's just the old bits of arrogant indie kid in me, but I thought the roller derby revival was cool when I first heard of it, but now I'm not so sure. The show is very poorly done, to the point where it feels like it's going towards the maxim demographic.

As a sport, it's really cool that there's a sport that is women only, and gaining popularity, but it might be becoming popular for the wrong reasons (the maxim-ness mentioned above).

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing. I know plenty of women who feel its been "empowering."
posted by drezdn at 1:13 PM on January 12, 2006


And Providence.

I think I'm going to their fundraiser, tomorrow. Because it's at the bar I go to, anyway.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:14 PM on January 12, 2006


scratch writes "It's arguable that devising yet another way to turn women into sex symbols is a good thing. I'm enjoying their 'nontraditional' attitude, myself. How about we encourage that instead? I'm glad to see them kicking ass and taking no prisoners (to wax cliched for just a moment)."

Are those things mutually exclusive? I enjoy both. In fact, I think it'd be hard to have one without the other. Being sexy's good. Being a total badass is good. Being sexy AND a total badass is ridiculously good.
posted by brundlefly at 1:15 PM on January 12, 2006


Being sexy AND a total badass is ridiculously good.

Exactly. And it's the attitude that makes it sexy.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Today it seems like everything I post, someone takes some small aspect of it and makes it sound like I'm making a different point entirely. That tells me I need to work on being more clear, I suppose. My bad, peoples.
posted by First Post at 1:31 PM on January 12, 2006


I'll see you at that PRD fundraiser tomorrow, Great Big Mulp. I'll be in a green party dress with Ivana Clobber painted on the back. And I'll have on my shoes with wheels on them.
posted by palegirl at 1:32 PM on January 12, 2006


Did you direct that post to Nia Peeples, First Post? Because, if so, take it to the email. Your posts here should be for everyone.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:39 PM on January 12, 2006


I'm kidding, of course.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:00 PM on January 12, 2006


The singer? No, but I know someone that knows her... :)

It's all good, heh. I hope you understand my desire not to be painted as a misogynist intent on objectifying women, or whatever. I'm just trying to be more clear, man. Of course, that just makes it worse ;)
posted by First Post at 2:05 PM on January 12, 2006


Are those things mutually exclusive? I enjoy both. In fact, I think it'd be hard to have one without the other. Being sexy's good. Being a total badass is good. Being sexy AND a total badass is ridiculously good.

Brundlefly, I agree that they're not mutually exclusive. But I think sexiness generally is overrated, personally.

Exactly. And it's the attitude that makes it sexy.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Today it seems like everything I post, someone takes some small aspect of it and makes it sound like I'm making a different point entirely. That tells me I need to work on being more clear, I suppose. My bad, peoples.


FirstPost, mea maybe culpa, too. I inferred as much as anyone implied anything. "Sexiness" is a hot-button issue (if you'll pardon the expression) for some of us humorless old-school feminists, y'know.

Just out of curiosity--I am honestly not trying to rattle your chain--how would you define non-sexy badass-ness?
posted by scratch at 3:29 PM on January 12, 2006


I really miss Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Now there was a show. It was kind of like a cross between WWWF and Hee-Haw -- and some of the women really were damned good looking.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:26 PM on January 12, 2006


I love me some Roller Girls! My favorite name is 'Venus Envy'....that and her ass hung out the entire 'bout'. Yeah, that ruled. My wife is appalled yet she can't quit watching either. Methinks she secretly thinks she could get out there and do it if she wanted to.

Many of these women are pretty, hard drinking Texas girls that like to fight. What's not to like??
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:28 PM on January 12, 2006


Anyone else surprised that the A&E series isn't horrible? The only thing that bugs me is the highlighting of totally illegal punching and fighting during bouts. From what I've been told, the Carolina Rollergirls made a decision long ago to not bother with that crap and focus on skating and skiill, and I can't help but wonder about the expectations the series is going to encourage.
posted by mediareport at 9:58 PM on January 12, 2006


scratch writes "Just out of curiosity--I am honestly not trying to rattle your chain--how would you define non-sexy badass-ness?"

Grace Jones.
posted by brundlefly at 11:06 PM on January 12, 2006


Useyurbrain: you're hardly alone! Venis Envy was the highlight of that first episode: super cute, busty, and looked fantastic in those panties, the ones that make all the girls bottoms look delightfully heart-shaped. Many of the women in rollerderby are the ideal- great figures- perfect figures- great faces, great attitudes. They can rock out while still being eminently sexy: not just some cookie-cutter Stepford wife submissive porcelain doll, but an honest-to-god hottie who can supercede her mere sexuality, but without losing it entirely.

So, to answer scratch's question: one can be a bad-ass by being a tough, forthright, balls-to-the-wall man/woman. A non-sexy bad-ass is someone who's bad... in a mean, or cruel, or unpleasant way. Crossing the line from unflinchingly honest to outright offensive, or to the point of being obviously a big charade: pretending to be a bad-ass to hide a cruel insecurity underneath.
posted by hincandenza at 12:47 AM on January 13, 2006


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