Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Processing, please wait...

I'm working hard to finish upgrading the servers before the launch of Derby Earth and the WFTDA Championship so don't expect many posts until then. It'll be worth it, I promise!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ebony and Ivory

I had a silly sort of bubblegum post I was going to run today but then I read the current article over at Roller Derby Inside Track and I decided to put that off so I could put in my 2 cents on the issue discussed therein. For those who missed it, there was a bit of a tempest in a teapot during the Western Regional over warpaint worn by a Rocky Mountain player that looked suspiciously similar to the blackface makeup that caucasian performers used to wear in vaudeville-era minstrel shows. I won't retrace all the ground covered in the RDIT article, I'll simply link it here so you can read it and then come back here for my commentary on the issue. Go ahead, I'll wait.

My spin on this is that there is a very positive takeaway in terms of perspective on where we are now versus where we used to be. If this had happened during most of the history of the United States, it would have been completely intentional and it not only would not have been controversial, it probably would have amused people and caused other skaters to follow suit. Back then, if any white person had raised objections, they would have been subjected to racially charged insults themselves and possibly been roughed up a bit. Hell, Echo Ecko probably wouldn't have been allowed to skate on the same team as white skaters. (That's not an exaggeration, see this for proof: )  Those of us who, like me, are around the age of 40 or older instantly raised our eyebrows and said "uh oh" when we saw AJ's black warpaint. That's because we saw TV stations matter-of-factly broadcast old 1930's movies like the one where Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland sing a song called "Black Up For The Minstrel Show" as they slather shoe polish on their faces then put on a racially degrading skit. I would submit to all of you that it is an amazing and wonderful thing that a group of 20-somethings saw that same paint and had no clue that there was any unpleasant racial connotation to it because they had not been exposed to institutionalized, socially acceptable racism in the same way that we slightly older folks were when we were their age. I'm not saying racism is dead yet but in a weird, counter-intuitive way, this warpaint/blackface kerfuffle proves that in America, it is on its deathbed with a morphine IV drip. AJ, I'm honestly glad that it didn't occur to you and your team that your warpaint could be seen as uncouth. Hopefully your kids will be stunned in their late fifties while mind-surfing the long-forgotten corners of the Mnemonic Internet to learn that anyone was ever treated differently due to their skin color, sexuality, nationality or religion.  And AJ, don't be scared off of the warpaint by all of this, just go for something that will actually be seen by us older folks as a subtle bit of a social commentary on the futility of racism, like this stylish and attractive motif:

5 Trekkie nerd points if you know which is the "bad" color arrangement.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

South Central: The Anti-West

The Western regional featured two absolute locks to go to the Championship. The upcoming South Central tournament could arguably contain zero teams with that same guarantee due to having multiple teams that look like contenders one game and palookas the next. Given that fact, lets throw this poll wide open. Which three teams do you believe will make it through Amber Waves of Pain and go on to play in Chicago for all the marbles in November?


Voting Result: By number of votes, the derby public chose Texas #1, Atlanta #2 and KC #3.
Real result: KC #1, Texas #2, Nashville #3
Conclusion:  That's why they actually play the games instead of just voting on them.