Sunday, October 28, 2012

" say its your birthday...well its my birthday too...yeah"

"It's so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas," said French painter Paul Cezanne. Many writers make similar comments about the excruciating joy they feel when first sitting down in front of an empty page. For artists in any genre, in fact, getting started may seem painfully impossible. And yet there can also be a delicious anticipation as the ripe chaos begins to coalesce into coherent images or words or music. Even if you're not an artist, Scorpio, you're facing a comparable challenge in your own chosen field. Halloween costume suggestion: a painter with a blank canvas. 

 Going to University taught me enough to shake out many of my 'alternative' pseudoscience leanings.  When I was young, and trying to put myself together in some way that I could find respectable, I would try just about anything.  Any type of therapy.  Some quite regrettably.  But maybe I needed to have first hand experience before I could really dismiss certain ideologies.  
Somehow, the astrology forecasts by Rob Brezny still have a slight hold on me.  Not so much now that I have to go online to find them.  He had a weekly forecast in a free paper in Seattle called 'The Stranger'.  
I think Seattle was the last time I had the type of friendships where a day could be wasted together without purpose.  Maybe a movie, maybe a beer, maybe high tea, maybe some self-invented treasure hunt.  I do not know if these friends had a geographical place or just some place in time, but nowadays people always seem to have limits on their time.

This year could have been like last year- with Halloween parties and practice and other sorts of treats-only I have been down and out with a cold.  I did perhaps make a mistake going out into the snow for a walk, the day I felt slightly better because the next day I didn't get out of bed.
There is still snow on the ground and the temperature is -4!
I do have next weekend to look forward too, we are having a small dinner party and we are going to the cemetery for all saints day. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

"...teach your children well...and feed them on your dreams..."

I have seen a few Roller Derby Documentaries.  An interesting aspect is how early the commonalities in starting, and being a part of a Roller Derby league become a clear pattern.  This can be enlightening, and within a good perspective funny.  
Roller Baby is about not one league, or one region, it is about the sport of Roller Derby itself.  As the sport grows, and changes, there are large questions becoming clear, about skaters transferring right before regionals or championships, sponsorship, paid positions, and most heatedly, how much should Roller Derby conform to the nature of (american) sports?
Derby more than anything to me is its own subculture.  I think my life has been a series of subcultures.
I was born in Haight-Ashbury.  I lived off the Sunset Strip during the heavy metal 80s.  I moved to Seattle in the early 90s (delayed by the L.A. Riots).  I have seen many parts of my life represented in documentaries, books, tv programs.  Roller Derby is no different.

There are the two sides, the subculture and the sport.   Can you really keep subculture within a mainstream sport?  One of the amazing aspects of Roller Derby is that almost every league started organically.  Many times without the women actually having a complete picture of what Roller Derby is.  Then each small group of women go out and find ways to get more information.  From a neighboring league, from a convention like RollerCon, and spending their time and money created a league of their own.

There are organizations that can not be explained within normal parameters.  A.A. is one, in the beginning Ebay was another.
I look at Roller Derby as a subculture that is just going to get bigger.  Like Punk Rock, parts of it will go mainstreams, some new version (New Wave) will be created.  There will always be some place in the world where a group tries to create their own version.
If the sport was to become accepted, as a sport in the realm of sport- well I can't picture that because I like many others came to Roller Derby with forty-years of dislike for sport.
Roller Derby has changed that.  I can see the reasons and advantages of girls playing sports when they are any age.

Junior Derby all over the world, will certainly have the largest future impact on our sport.  Derby Baby was a good starting point in the conversation.  Even in Tasmania the many large questions about the future of our sport has come down to "I will never give up my fishnets!" which of course is not the actual argument.  But a prime example of normal divisiveness within a subculture.  
But yes, in the movie they show a team, in N.Carolina that was created, by a man with a plan.  (As truly was flat track Derby but that is different documentary).  The women skate under their own names, and I am sorry but they are definitely quaffed in a way that most leagues are not.  (My photos are usually taken mid-practice on a day we are practicing in some very creatively found venue and I am dirty, smudged and tired as hell).
Women in Roller Derby need to pick the fight they want- what they feel is the most important aspect to concentrate on.
I believe that if anything can be learned from past movements, and other subcultures is that Roller Derby leagues need to start looking at the larger picture and decide what they want.  I believe Roller Derby does not have to conform.  I believe in the revolution of change. 
But of course if I have learned anything from Derby it is that my opinion is not the only opinion.  Also my ideas might be as good as the next, or not the best.  As with any friendship, there is give and take, and compromise. 
Also my personal experience continues to be as it was last night.  I drove with three other people, all of us volunteering our time, and contributing our money to a new, small start up league.  Västrås. 

They had their first public scrimmage, a showing of the movie and an after party.  Just a sweet group, in their corner of the world, creating yet another revolution.

Or, in the oft-quoted words of L.A. music journalist Kickboy Face: "I have excellent news for the world. There is no such thing as new wave. It does not exist. It's a figment of a lame cunt's imagination. There was never any such thing as new wave. It was the polite thing to say when you were trying to explain you were not into the boring old rock 'n' roll but you didn't dare to say punk because you were afraid to get kicked out of the fucking party and they wouldn't give you coke anymore. There's new music, there's new underground sound, there's noise, there's punk, there's power pop, there's ska, there's rockabilly. But new wave doesn't mean shit."

Monday, October 15, 2012

...first fall was new, now watch the summer pass, so close to you."

All the trees are changing.  Green leaf to color, or fruit back to seed.
I had autumns in Tasmania where I thought I might never see such autumn colors again.  Because as usual I underestimate the amount of change in my life.  Does my constant propensity to believe that all of life in contained within the day you are living, make me more open to adventure or less?  Zok and I tend to say things like "I miss Tasmania, but these leaves are very pretty." As if the two are mutually exclusive, which we are living proof they are not.
 Zok left for America in time to miss our rollerderby bout.  We wanted yet underestimated the amount of people who came.  We had over double the amount of our pre-sold tickets.  The rent on the hall is so high that profit is a bit prohibitive, but of course having a great game, with teams fairly matched, and a large audience can only help build STRD as a league.
Of course it was a lot of work, and I was fairly shattered by the end.
Our committees never seem to think of every detail and there is always a large mistake (or two) made.
Roller Derby is like having a job with no guidance.
(and no pay)
STRD won against Malmo.  This week they go abroad to London to play a game there.  Then there is Berlin-
Followed by another home bout.  Zok is away for both those events as well.  Which gives me unhindered time but not energy because thinking of the schedule makes me want to hide in a pile of those pretty autumn leaves.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"...who wants to live forever..."

I do not think even I appreciate how much time and effort is volunteered to make Roller Derby bouts happen.
Even though I have been part of that work force many times now.
Eighteen or so of us went over to Finland to play a bout last weekend.
That was just us- the visiting team- the league there had to organize and put the bout together.

This month we have a home bout so I will be on the other side of this situation.
Of course I have put many hours in already.
If you read this blog, you know that a couple of years ago my hope of playing in an organized league was very low.
I would sit and scheme and wish I could find just five women to help make it all happen.
Now Hobart has not one but two working leagues and here I am playing around Europe.
That is pretty strange.
Roller Derby is one of those subcultures is very difficult to explain to those not involved and if you are involved then any story I want to already know.

...after all it ius a great big world...with lots of places to run too

STRD our Bteam (my team) played a game against the league in Tampere, Finland.
There is a very large ferry that travels regularly between a city near Tampere and Stockholm.  Cabin sleep four, so the price for our trip was pretty low.  Traveling to play a game always has a bit of a trajectory that involves nervous energy, on the way out, and a sort of hazy hung over, feeling of dulled nerves on the way back.
One must travel, pay the way, and slog gear to play opportunities for games that come up- because why else do we put in so much time? If not to actually bout?

I always have fun.  I have had almost six whole months of training.  In Tasmania we were basically making it up as we went along- other than what I learned in Geelong or a guest coach.  I am satisfied that I got the opportunity to see if I could be a good player.

I am however, decidedly average.  On a less competitive scale I think this might be okay- but I will have to think through what is the best way forward when I am back in Tasmania.