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Robust McManlyPants on Average Display » 2005 » October

October 2005


So, we went to see GARMONBOZIA (pictures) perform at Local 506
last night.  GARMONBOZIA is an ensemble group made up of members
of a variety of other bands.  As their name might suggest to fans
of quality television, they played music from Twin Peaks.

Holy gods, they were amazing.

Now, if you know me at all, you know I am a huge Twin Peaks nerd.  I reach out for the word “nerd” in this context (as in many others) and pull it close that I might embrace it.  I’m in the middle of my – what did I figure, my seventh?  eighth? – viewing of the show with friends (Katastrophes, Mr. Pink Eyes, Mr. Saturday and The Boyf being among them).  I love this show, and anyone who loves the show must surely also love its music.

Thus, with my attitude towards Twin Peaks firmly established, it
would be easy to believe that they could have been kind of shite and
I’d still have loved it.  I will admit this much.  They could
have been kind of bad and I still would have said it was a fun time.

The thing is, they were good.  They were really good.  They had practiced, they knew their stuff, they had sound-bite exits & intros to the songs. 

They were in costume.

The woman who sang lead on “Into the Night,” “Falling,” and “Laura’s
Theme” was dressed as Homecoming Queen Portrait Laura.  She had a
frame she held in front of herself as she sang.

The guy who played keyboards, stand-up bass and sang lead on “A Real Indication” was dressed as Gordon Cole.

Wyndham Earle played bass guitar.  Wyndham Earle played bass guitar.

They opened with some really great arrangements of the classics –
opening theme, the song Audrey plays in the diner early in the show
(“Don’t you just love this song?  It’s the dreamiest…” – Andy,
Angel and I broke into the Audrey Dance when they started playing
it).  Later they really busted it wide open with some Julee Cruise
numbers and “A Real Indication,” which was unbelievably expertly pulled
off.  This wasn’t just some band performing the song.  This
was a band that had seriously put some effort into staying true to the
music of the show & movie and still putting their own creativity
into it.

Halfway through it I thought I was going to have a religious experience.

2nd to last, of course, they just threw it all open.  The band
just rocked out on some Black Lodge action, strobe lights going, the
sound clip of Laura screaming over the top of the band while they were
just tearing the universe a new one. 

At that point, I think I did have a religious experience.

After, I was stunned.  I was just shocked at how good it was, how
unbelievable of an experience it was.  I had quietly suspected
they were going to be folks who’d kind of thrown it together as a
gimmick, otherwise talented, of course, but doing this on a kind of a
lark, but it was really, really good.  That’s what I kept going
back to, as I yammered about it afterwards:  it wasn’t just fun
for being Twin Peaks, it was one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen
I was so dazed by the intensity of the experience – a little part of my
very favorite fiction had come to life in front of me – that all I
could do was sit down.

Fabulous. (more…)

Actually, it’s just that October is really busy.  There’s been lots of gaming (look for a Pigs Are Good People update this week) and Halloween is approaching
and my car is in the hospital.  He has cancer of the transmission,
and is listed in critical but stable condition.  He will be better
by the end of the week.  And, you know, there’s been Hall stuff
and I’m getting ready for NaNoWriMo, and on and on and on.

However, I have to put this out there:  GARMONBOZIA will be performing music from Twin Peaks on Sunday 30 October at 10pm at Local 506 on Franklin St., Chapel Hill.

I am debating going in costume.  I would have to slap together
some simple Ben Horne business suit number or something, but it’s a
possibility. (more…)

This started out as an email to the apostropher,
since I figured he would be able to set me right on the road of
understanding if I was just off in la-la land, but then it got
long-winded, so I’m stealing it back to use as a blog post again. 
I’ll send it to him, too, but I wanted to post it here because I’m
having a slow week, blog-wise.

First, though, NaNoWriMo is
coming up and I have ideas for scenes and no idea how to go about
making them into a novel.  I am going to start writing on Day One
with Charles (yes, Charles from last year)
narrating a little story about three old drag queens who live on the
moon.  I want them to show back up later as The Unanticipated
Cavalry.  One of them is named Francis.  I have no idea how I
am going to turn all of this into a novel, and that is part of what I
love about the month of November.

Anyway, here’s my post, referencing this one from a few days ago:

I said originally that [the vaunted Republican “base” that tolerates
intrusive government, bigotry and the legislation of morals] was tiny,
but I think now it’s 25% of the country.  Today, of course, the
flood of polls continues.  In the one out today,
41% said they thought the Bush presidency would be considered
“unsuccessful” by posterity but 26% said they thought it would be
considered “successful.”  Those are awfully broad terms, hard to
define and quantify in any way that turns them into a real judgement
(successful at what?  idiocy?  anti-terr’rizm? education?),
but then of course there’s the poll out yesterday
that shows 28% of the country thinks we’re headed in “the right
direction,” 29% think Miers is qualified for the Supreme Court, 24% say
the DeLay indictment is purely political, 28% say the investigation
into Frist’s stock sale is of “little merit,” 25% think “the worst is
behind us” on gas prices, and on and on and on.

I have absolutely no solid ground on which to stand when I say this,
but it just makes sense that all these 25 and 26 and 28 and whatever
percents are the same people.  The differences are well within the
margin of error, I’m sure, and if so then perhaps this represents the
total mass that will believe no matter what that Bush can do no wrong,
that Bush is the one personally wrestling Islamofascists right outside
their bedroom windows every night to keep them safe.  I don’t know
why this is such a huge revelation to me, but it seems like these kinds
of things could be used to triangulate exactly who it is that’s
currently running the country.  I prefer to think of them as
everyone’s Weird Cousin Larry, buck-toothed and ignorant and generally
shaking their fists and yelling yeehaw, but others like to think of
them as the upper-middle-class droids lining the pews of megachurches
and some like to think of them as the corporate elite and, well, you
know – all the little stereotypes to which we cling.

I don’t actually want to know who they are or anything, but I do want
to know how many of them are out there.  I know it would be
fruitless in a society where science and tangible evidence can be
dismissed on a conservative whim, but I think i would derive some grim
satisfaction from being able to sweat over an abacus and then slam it
down and say, “THERE! There they are, the ones who actually
like this guy, the ones who constitute his ‘base,’ the ones who are
actually, sort of, running everything, and they are but 1 in 4!” 
I don’t know that I think it would make the other 3 care, but still,
I’d get some twisted self-righteousness out of it.  Otherwise I
wouldn’t be so interested in it in the first place, most likely. (more…)

So last night Steve, Pants Wilder, Katastrophes and Mr. Pink Eyes and I are going to go instance at the Scarlet Monastery.  (This is World of Warcraft talk, folks, but I promise you might find it amusing even if it’s not your scene.  Note I said I promise you might find it funny.)  The Boyf
is cooking dinner, though, so I tell the rest of the gang to head on in
without me and I’ll catch up later.  I should note that I was in
Menethil Harbor, so I’m a hella jog from the Scarlet Monastery, but
I’ve just gotten travel form, so I can polymorph into a cheetah and
tear off at light speed.  No problem.

I eat dinner while everyone else gets started on the Monastery and when
I’m done I take off after them.  Cutting across the Wetlands and
up past Dun Modor is no problem.  The Arathi Highlands, also no
problem.  I have a bit of a scare when I try to stealth into a
field to pick some Goldthorn – precious Goldthorn, the first I’ve ever
seen out in the wild – and end up drawing the attention of a big and
very bad bird that tries to eat me.  OK, so no more nicking off across a field to pick flowers, I tell myself.  Come back here later.

As I come around towards Southshore I ask Pants where to go from there
and he tells me “north.”  The map has only a smidgen revealed, so
I figure I’ll just set off north and see what happens.  After all,
I’m in cheetah form, I’m 40% faster than most any humanoids on the map
and critters, too.  Pants has warned me I’m going to be near an
Undead city at some point, so I stick to the road but keep my eyes open
for any guards I might run across.  I do spot a random 29th level
undead priest sitting in the middle of the road, so I figure I’m
closing in and just tear past him.

On the way into the mountains, though, I manage to pull three random
mountain lions.  I’m a cheetah, so I’m praying I can just
outrun them.  It’s not like I can’t take them – they’re
low-mid-20’s and I’m 31st level – but I don’t want to get stuck
fighting my way to the fight, you know?  Sure enough, I shake them
with a minimum of damage, and I round the corner to see… well, a
snowy ridge of hills just covered in level 35 (and up) ogres.

Great.

I de-cheetah, take Nightstalker form, and try to stealth through
them.  This does not work, and in short order I hear the aggro
noise ogres make from nearby.

If you’re not familiar with WoW, everything makes a certain noise when it aggros.  Ogres laugh.  Well, okay, they chortle.  If you happen to know me offline, and have ever heard Marcus make the snake-handling-clown laugh, they sound a lot like that, only deeper and gigglier
If this doesn’t help, just picture the greasiest greaseball you
know.  I want you to think of a 350 lb. bald guy with a nickname
like Vinnie or “Hands” or something, wearing a wifebeater, chortling
with delight over something particularly distasteful.  A sort of huh-HUR-hur-huh!  That is what ogres sound like when they aggro to you, and I hear that from off to the right.

Screw stealthing, I say to myself, and I turn back to normal
just long enough to take cheetah form again and start running. 
Off I go, with now a small chorus of huh-HUR-hur-huh! sounding
behind me.  I top the hills and to my left is an ancient, crumbled
ruin (Alterac, to which I will someday return for a quest I’ve got in
queue).  No good – that’s got Dungeon, No Vacancies written all over it.  To the right is a snow-filled valley crawling
with more ogres.  I glance behind me and, yeah, there are a
handful of ogres running towards me with their axes up in the
air.  I look back at my two choices again and say, well, fuck
it.  I’m faster than all of ’em put together.  Let’s see how this works out.

All thoughts of stealth far from my mind at this point, I just dive off
into the valley and start booking it.  More ogres start to take
shape as I run across it, visual modeling starting to catch up with how
many baddies are in this valley the further across it I get.  Oh shit,
I think, but really, there’s no going back now.  I race across the
valley floor and all I can hear around me are what sound like about a
jillion ogres all aggroing.  I’m 4 levels lower than they are, so
my aggro radius is huge.  In my mind I picture a bunch of ogres in
an ogre retirement home on the other side of the continent who all lift
their greenish jowels from their troughs of oatmeal and sniff the
wind because even they can sense n00b flesh on the hoof.  All I hear is the sound of paws in the snow as I run for it and, from all sides, huh-HUR-hur-huh, huh-HUR-hur-huh, huh-HUR-huh-HUR-huh-HUR-hur-huh, ogre after ogre realizing an elf-sized Philly Steak just ran by.

They all get a swing in as I go by, of course, but I have plenty of hit
points and by the time I get to the far side of the valley I’ve still
got about 25% of my life left.  Tme to find the path down, I think, and fast.   I rotate the camera up and over, panning down the face of the mountain, and there is no path.  It’s a cliff, and I can still hear huh-HUR-hur-huh
to the nth power coming up behind me.  I swing the camera around,
and an army of ogres is running towards me, axes in the air. 

One of the small cruelties of how beautifully everything is modeled in World of Warcraft is that the ogres are, in fact, grinning

Fuck it, I think, and then I swing the camera back around and
jump.  The fall to the bottom is a long one, and when I hit I take
a bunch of damage.  Not enough to kill me, but I have very little
in the way of hit points. 

At the bottom, there are three mountain lions.

By this point, I am near to tears.  Just yards – scant, eternal
yards – across a beautifully modeled lawn of waving grasses is the
shore of a lake.  Mountain lions don’t swim, right? 
I honestly ask myself this as I dash off into the water.  The
mountain lions get a couple swipes in, and I have almost nothing left
of life, but I am in the water and the mountain lions – thank all the
gods – don’t follow.  I take a liesurely swim across the lake to
regenerate my hit points, and when I get to the little chain of islands
I need to run to get to the far shore of the lake I figure I’m in the
clear.

The island is covered in elementals.  None of them are dangerous
individually, but it is covered in them.  I hear another refrain
of the aggro chorus and I’m back in cheetah form, running across the
island.  At each of the break points between islands, when I hit
the water, the baddies all stop chasing me and I turn back into my
normal self.  Then I hit the next island in the chain, hear a
selection of harmonized aggros, hit cheetah form, and tear ass to the
next island, and so on.  Eventually, I make it across the lake and
come up onto the shore.  Now I’m near Undercity, which is (I
assume) the town Pants had told me to watch out for.  Perhaps more
immediately a concern, though, is the party of Horde players standing
on the side of the road right where I come out of the water.

Fortunately, none of us have our PvP flags on, so none of us can do
anything to the other, but by this point I’m a touch haggard from my
experience thus far.  I simply cheetah-form and fly by them at top
speed.  As I do, the three of them rotate, where they are, and
watch me go.

I later said to Pants Wilder, “I realize there is no /WTF command, but
honestly, if there were, I think that’s what they would have been
doing.  I like to think that on their party-channel one of them
said, Where the hell did that come from? as I ran by.”

Honestly, this game is more fun than should be legal. (more…)

OK, so down below I talked about how the Republicans have figured out
that energizing their fringe doesn’t cost them votes and does swing
elections and how we’re all, basically, screwed.  You want more of
the same?  My office’s carpet is being cleaned at the moment, so
there’s hell-all I can get done for the stink of a bizarre, orange
powder being ground into the rug under the wheels of my chair, and thus
I am here to provide.

So what do we do about it?  Is there any good news to the stark
revelation that the right wing can own us all by convincing a tiny
percentage of the population to vote on the basis of half-assed bills
they don’t even have to get out of committee and a bunch of crocodile
tears for baby Jesus?  Yes and no.  The bad news is that shit
like this works, always has, always will.  Fear trumps enlightened
self-interest on election day every single time, I’m
betting.  You can find blog posts describing the current gay
hysteria as “the Southern Strategy all over again” for a dime a dozen –
a nickel a dozen – but nobody seems to know what to do about it because there isn’t much that anybody can do about it.  Fear sells.  Fear sells like it’s goin’ out of style, but it never actually does, and that’s that.

Why is this such a big deal, anyway?  Because it means the Republicans alone have
realized the old conventional wisdom – that both parties are battling
for the middle 10% of the bell curve – is dead in the water.  The
middle 10% doesn’t matter anymore.  Those 10% of undecided voters
are not undecided because the parties are so alike (they aren’t) or
because the voters in the middle are dumb (they aren’t) or because the
candidates are so appealing (they aren’t).  That middle 10% is
undecided because they are fed up with everyone and everything about voting and politics
The only reason they show up is because they think of voting as their
civic duty and they’re going to feel guilty if they don’t show
up.  They are just as alienated and mistrustful of the two main
parties, and just as certain that they can’t trust a word out of any
politician’s mouth, as anybody in the core of either party.  The
statisticians and pollsters have long-since established that undecideds
will almost always break mostly for challengers, regardless of party or
platform, and so the undecided 10% is just as predictable as the main
body of each party.  In close elections, incumbents and
challengers know precisely what end of the stick they are going to get
when it comes to undecided voters, so why bother trying to sway
them?  A few token campaign appearances are all it takes – just
enough to keep their hats in the ring – and they can blather endlessly
about how important the undecideds are and how they hope that the
undecideds will examine the issues closely and make sound, reasoned
decisions about for whom to vote.  They do, in fact, love saying this about undecideds because it simply bores those undecided voters to tears,
virtually guaranteeing that the undecideds will do exactly the
opposite.  Oh, I know some undecided voters from last year who
were undecided right down to the very wire, and they were eager to make
sound, reasoned decisions about for whom to vote, and they were still fed up and they still mostly broke for challengers over incumbents.  We’re talking straight-up Asimovian, Hari Seldonish, Foundation-style mass psychology here.  The numbers don’t lie.

And the Republicans, ever better at figuring out precisely what levers
need to be pushed to produce just enough of an edge to call the outcome
a mandate, have realized this.  They have realized that in safe
districts the undecideds don’t matter and in close districts the
undecideds can be factored into the numbers game just like everybody
else.  Truly, that leaves only the nutballs on either end of the
spectrum, and they are quick to manipulate those groups by hanging the
carrot of teh gayz0rz or single parents or African-Americans or
immigrants or terrorists or whatevero-fascists out there on a stick and
then proceed to beat that fringe with said stick until the fringe is
begging for more.  Take, for instance, Sen. Coburn of
Oklahoma.  We were all thrilled when he busted out with some shit
about an epidemic of lesbianism in the girls’ bathrooms of Oklahoma
high schools – wank fantasies on parade, no doubt – and we were all
convinced this would render him too stupid to elect.  Guess
what?  The undecideds didn’t care because they’re just as
accustomed to endless bullshit as the rest of us, but it sure as hell
got your weird cousin Larry (the one with three variations on “when
they pry the gun from my cold dead hand” and a small fleet of “support
our troops” magnets on the back of his ’79 Caprice) into the voting
booth.  Who’s chortling through his inbred, meth-scarred nose now?

The good news is, fear is a winning strategy but only in the short
term.  The world, history has shown, has this nasty habit of not ending despite all the traditional institutions of oppression and repression that in fact do end. 
So when people say “it’s the Southern Strategy all over again,” they
are wrong, because the Southern Strategy was all about race and these
days it’s all about the baby-killing gays who want to take away your
marriage license so they can sew it into a flag we will then proceed to
burn as kindling with which to destroy your Christmas diorama in the
town square.

Gods, that was complicated.  I know.  But that’s the
thing.  As oppression becomes less and less acceptable – on a
timescale marked in generations, not months or years or even decades –
there are fewer and fewer scapegoats around and the fringe niches which
can be motivated by those scapegoats become harder and harder to
consolidate such that there’s a profit to the effort.  If all they
do is find whoever’s still okay to beat up in public and then proceed
to wave a big, cartoonish boxing glove at that group of people, they’re
going to run out of targets.  Either that, or one day you’re going
to see a Republican candidate try to squeak out a victory with help
from People Against Weird Cousin Larry, a small 527 group with a big,
big bankroll.  Eventually, that engine has to run out of gas.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out, though, that the
Republicans have started to evolve past the hunter-gatherer stage of
hate-mongering and begun to turn to the fertile field of right-wing
churches for a more reliable, agrarian approach.  However, I don’t
know how to fix that, so I’m just not going to bother.  If you
want solutions, kid, here’s a nickel: buy yourself an electorate that
cares.

So what do the Democrats do about it?  They have two
choices:  continue to battle meaninglessly for the middle, or
start doing the same thing.  Start introducing bills that would
never make it onto a legislative floor but will sure as hell pique the
interest of the lefty fringe.  The rest of us are too jaded to
believe anything they promise, but we’re used to it and they’re used to
it, so it’s not like it will cost them anything and hey, it might get
someone to vote who otherwise wouldn’t.  You think that sounds
crazy, do you?  Try telling Howard Dean, who was arguably one
directional microphone from being the next president.  Tell Nader,
who peeled off enough Democratic votes in 2000 to get Bush elected in
the first place.

Get some Democrats in some very, very safe seats to start introducing
bills to really clean up the water and air, close the tax loopholes on
businesses and beef up labor laws.  Get some just crazy-safe
Democrats to introduce bills to legalize marijuana, repeal the Patriot
Act, crack down on corporations, anything you can think of.  If
some bat-shit lady in Indiana can suggest making it illegal for anyone
but legally wed breeders (ha! the irony!) to darken the door of a
fertility clinic, we can get away with anything.  It is officially on
Let’s talk nationalized healthcare.  Let’s talk outlawing gasoline
vehicles.  Let’s pull every crazy-ass, unpassable,
unconstitutional idea out of the back closets of our wildest
high-concept thinking and start talking about them in public.  The
truth of the matter is, many of us – largely people like me whose
paychecks involve a name ending in “Inc.” and whose cars involve
gasoline and who have more than once stood in the driveway with a
bottle of Round-Up in our hands thinking gods what is a good liberal like me doing to the Earth with this thing
while we just sprayed away – will breathe a little sigh of relief when
most of them don’t pass, and anything that does will be like getting a box of blowjobs for Christmas.

Does it break the system?  Does it render it a farce?

Yes.

Do you also seriously consider our political system being a farce to be a state as yet unattained?

And, perhaps more importantly, will it make people on the left care again?

Last night John Edwards was on The Daily Show and he said that the way
for Democrats to win is to stand up for what they believe in and have a
message of their own.  He went on, after a commercial break, to
talk about his concerns for the working poor, etc., but framed as it
was that half of the interview did a nice job of illustrating the big
problem everyone keeps talking about:  we say we need to talk
about being for things, and then we never say what those things are.  I think the Democratic leadership has figured out they don’t really have to be for anything to get most of the voters to show up anyway.  The Republicans, on the other hand, have figured out they can be for pretty much any old weird-ass bad idea they want and it won’t drive away their base but it will make the fringe start paying attention again.  Is that what being for something
has to mean?  No, but maybe it’s a start.  Maybe if the safe
members of the party were to start really flexing their muscle it would
set an example for the ones who have to be more moderate, who more
closely resemble “the middle” in their views & beliefs.  For
fuck’s sake, it sure can’t hurt.

But hell, what do I know? (more…)

How many times in your life will you get to see the 1953 version of War of the Worlds on a big screen?

Yes, the ESCAPISM 2005 website
is up.  (Full disclosure:  I did the website.)  You can
buy tickets starting October 7th, and they are well worth it. 
There look to be some stunningly good movies in this year’s lineup. (more…)

So, I’d read apostropher‘s initial post
regarding what he terms the Indiana Uterine Security Department,
yesterday, and went back today to learn to my pleasant surprise that the bill has been withdrawn
Apparently the state representative who proposed it got so many angry
calls yesterday that her office stopped answering the phone. 

In the comments on the second post,
though, a frequent conservative commenter there mentioned that he found
this bill “completely freaky” and wanted to know exactly where this
supposed Republican “base” is to whom the bill in question would
appeal.  I responded at length, as is my rather obvious wont, and
after doing so thought, You know, I should clean that up and post it on
my own blog.  Apostropher ended up posting it there, so now I look
like I’m copying him, but whatevs.  I was going to clean it up a
bit, since I am in continual and desperate need of an editor, but my
run-on sentences are there for all the world to see, so hey. 
Here’s my reaction to GaijinBiker‘s question of where, exactly, this “base” can be found and whence comes such freakiness:

I think that most Republicans I know would find this bill completely
freaky. Most Republicans I know, however, are laboring under the
illusion that their party still stands for smaller government and
greater personal liberty, and they are blinded to the realities of
their own party. The people to whom such bills are designed to pander
don’t care how big the government is as long as the government isn’t
nosing around in their own lives, and I would wager even kind of get a
kick out of a government that will gladly nose around in the lives of
those neighbors with the skin or the sexual preference that they never
liked anyway, and those people are a sad lot more common than
more-enlightened voters on either end of the spectrum would like to
believe.

In other words, that “base” is larger than you’d like to think it
is: not a majority of the country, but any means, but the
voters-by-the-busload far-right fringe are enough to swing a close
election. In today’s climate, that’s plenty big enough.

What I think no one has grasped in the official commentariat, or at
least no one has been willing to say, is that both parties have done a
great job of alienating and disillusioning their actual bases by taking
them for granted. We all go to the polls and hold our nose while we
vote for our party of choice with a quiet sigh of resignation to the
fact that at least we’re not voting {insert other party here}. They
don’t have to make promises to cut government and get out of our lives,
or to strengthen labor organizations and restrain corporate interests,
because no one for whom those are genuine concerns will believe them
anyway. All they have to do to get most Republican or Democratic
voters’ votes is exist.

All that leaves them are the fringes of either side who are actively
engaged as opposed to asleep in their boots. The Democrats actively
eschew trying to engage the left fringe, but the Republicans are
perfectly happy to gamble – and quite successfully – that the far right
fringe can be bought off with token gestures (which, as Ms. Evans
points out, can also make handy ammo against the Democrats in iffy
districts) they don’t even have to get out of committee to use to
motivate that small but substantive block of votes and that it will
cost them almost nothing in terms of the votes of Republican voters.
They’ve turned a combination of apathy and empty gestures into a
win-win situation. They win by introducing the bill and thus
guaranteeing the snake-handling clowns will show up on election day and
they win by never having to actually do the things they say they will.
In fact, failure in such efforts only fuels the fire of that fringe and
lets the more rational majority of their end of the spectrum breathe a
collective sigh of relief. How much easier does it get?

They must surely sit around and ask themselves why on Earth it took them a couple of hundred years to work this one out.

(more…)

Sunday night was the 1st bout of the 2nd season of Carolina Rollergirls. The Debutante Brawlers won a very, very heated
game vs. the Trauma Queens. I was going to take my camera &
tripod, but bailed on them at the last minute in favor of simply
enjoying the spectacle. There were some new elements this season
(a demonstration of the rules at the beginning, and the Wheel of
Misfortune between halves). If you’ve never been to a Carolina
Rollergirls bout, you really do need to go and see it for yourself.

The big differences this season are that things seem to go so much more
smoothly, both on and off the rink. Scoring is faster, the
announcing is speedier and the game… well, the game is like a
different game altogether. Now, I want to preface what I’m about
to say by making it clear that the women of Carolina Rollergirls were very good
at what they do last season. Truly, every game I’ve seen has been
exciting and fun and way the hell better than any other game of
anything I’ve witnessed first-hand.

That said, if you call last season good, then Sunday was simply phenomenal.
All anyone could talk about after was how much more intense it was on
Sunday than any game last season – perhaps more intense than the
championship bout. As I said to The Boyf, last year was best
described as watching the teams play a game. On Sunday, we
watched them play a sport. There were examples of
coordination and cooperation, offense and defense that just blew the
doors off what I’d seen before. Busty O’Lipp getting up in a
jammer’s face to keep them back, Julie Jawbreaker knocking people clear
out of the rink, Zella Lugosi whipping around the track on what I later
learned was only her 2nd time jamming, ever, and it was simply a whole different game. Both teams
are good, and both teams sport really amazing players. The lead
was never wide, and it flipped back and forth between the two teams for
most of the match.

Part of the difference, I think, is that I’ve seen enough to have a
better grasp of how to watch the game. I simply better understand
what’s going on most of the time. I can’t calculate the score on
my own, but I have a much easier time understanding who’s winning and
why. My own increased vocabulary for the game, though, is just a
tiny fraction of a fraction of what makes the difference. What
makes the difference is that all the returning players are even better
than they were before and the new players are sweating hard, as
well. It’s just a different experience altogether. Like I
said, they were good last season. This season, they’re better.

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