Waxing lyrical, and welcome

Is there such a thing as author fresh meat?

If you're here reading this, chances are you've come back to this very new blog due to reading either of my two previous articles. Thanks!

After a small warm-up, it's time to introduce myself. I'm The Cleaner :)

OK, I suppose I can do better than that. I'm a derby-obsessed guy in Melbourne, Australia. I'm neither a player nor an official, at least at the time of writing. I'm just a diehard derby fan, not even a derby widow. So, why have I bothered to start a blog? I'm nobody, and my views aren't those of a veteran, an authority, nor necessarily valid or even interesting (I'll be trying to change that last bit at least).

Family ties (and feuds) - a review of Derby, Baby!

Photos courtesy of http://derbybabythefilm.com/images.html
Photos courtesy of http://derbybabythefilm.com/images.html

Spend even a short time in the world of derby and it won't take you long to observe that the sport is in constant movement even off the track. It's growing at such a rapid pace and is attracting the attention of so many across a range of generations. Yet, it often struggles to shake off the yoke of the 1970s version of derby that your creepy uncle remembers.

It seems that derby is a bit cursed by its origins as a theatrical entertainment, and some might see both those origins, and the still-present subculture and style of derby, as thwarting any attempts it (maybe) makes to be recognised as a valid, complex sport.

Some (limited) exposure of derby in the media compounds this issue with obsession regarding the contact nature of the sport, the derby names, the fishnets. This focus doesn't do the world of derby the justice it deserves.

A tale from the suicide line

It was February, 2012, only shortly after my 28th birthday. With the weariness befitting only those who've seen enough of an Australian summer already, we made our way to the Melbourne Showgrounds in Victoria one Saturday afternoon.

It was the VRDL season opener for 2012. My partner, bless her cotton socks, had phoned up those raucous buffoons Leaping Larry L and Stew Farrell from 3RRRFM's All Over The Shop one Thursday and won a double-pass to the roller derby event.

I knew, of course, everything about roller derby thanks to having seen Whip It *cough*. But to be honest, I hadn't really thought about the sport since I'd seen the film. It was a case of free tickets, so why the hell not.

I didn't really know what I was getting myself in for at all.