Monday, January 02, 2006


So, for all y'all in America, has the A&E reality TV show Rollergirls come out yet?

Rollergirls is based on one season of the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls League. TXRD is an updated version of 1970s roller derby, complete with jammers and blockers and a banked track roller rink. Now it's all women, and they are tough, great women who like to basically skate, get into fights, and drink.

When I was down in Austin in early 2005, I became good friends with a couple of the skaters (one Hellcat and one Puta Del Fuego). It was a real ride to hang out with them for a few months. While I was there, A&E was always around, filming the teams for the show. I almost forgot about it, and then today I saw a story about it in Google News. I think tonight is the premiere. If anyone gets a chance to see it (or even better, tape it!) I'd love to hear about it. After meeting a bunch of them, I think it would be great to see them on TV, especially in reality TV-mode. How crazy.

While I was there, it was pretty astonishing to see how hard many of the rollergirls partied. There's a real rockabilly sensibility in many of them, not to mention in Austin generally. I wonder if that comes through. I saw them get pretty wasted when the cameras were around, and I have a feeling some people are going to get a little embarassed on (semi) national TV. It was also interesting to see how some of them were oblivious to the cameras or pointedly didn't care, while some acted like attention-starved kids acting out, and still others had natural charisma muscles that they flexed. I also saw the camera-folk interrupt them and say, "Uhh, that was a great conversation, but we didn't get any of it. Can you do that again?"

From what I saw, the people in the league were all incredibly devoted to the success of TXRD. I know four of the PDFs have PUTA tattooed on the inside of their lower lips. Crazy. Anyway, I hope it's a good series. Maybe some of them will get 15 minutes of fame.

P.S. Oop! Looks like there's some good news and bad news. Good news is that the New York Times just did a review of the series, so that's a bunch of publicity. The bad news is that they really panned the whole thing. Third-wave feminism is great and all that, but the series comes off sounding pretty thin and sophomoric. Oh well, that's just the Times. It may still be a big hit...


At 11:34 AM, Anonymous winged beef said...

I dreamed once of visitng you in Austin, of arriving on some black muggy night to kick through oak leaves and expired SXSW brochures. "I've gotten, well, involved, in the roller derby scene. It's crazy." Oh Charles, I said, until some days later, pickled in booze, we'd be towed through half a dozen rockabilly clubs behind a TXRD girl named Scorned Furey. Do you remember that sound? It was the sound of the plastic that covered her fresh back tattoo, fluttering in the breeze around us, like some boy's kite stuck in a tree.

At 3:57 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

Mmmmm. poetry in that first comment!

At 1:01 AM, Blogger Crawdad said...

Yes, I owe a hearty thank-you to my brother Mike for giving me a job in Austin where I could actually show up at work at 10:45 (and often be the first one to work!

Through his largesse, I was able to keep up with Scorned Fury and the wonderful women of roller derby. I can't wait to see the tattoo of the winged beast racing around the track.

Ah, rockabilly and roller girls, hanging out at the Continental or the Alamo, listening to Chili Cold Blood. What a life.

At 1:34 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

When I click on "tattoo..." I get a funny ringing in my ears, like steel wheels on a banked wood floor and high-pitched screams. Hmmmmm.

At 1:53 AM, Blogger Crawdad said...

Yeah, me too!

Just FYI, that link is to a William Blake painting ("Jerusalem" I believe), and the top half of it is in fact on the shoulders of Scorned Fury (America's Sweetheart). Go Hellcats!

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Crawdad said...

I am probably the only person outside of Austin who wants to watch this show, but just in case you're on the fence, here's a review exhorting you to see it... OK, I guess exhorting's the wrong word, but this guy is definitely interested. Mildly. it's just me in this, isn't it? (But why do i think my dad would love it?)

At 11:56 PM, Blogger Alizarin said...

Go Hellcats! The Alamo has icy-cold Lonestar in bottles. I haven't seen the show, and I don't have the cable to see it with. But as Pee-Wee Herman said, "I don't have to see it ... I've lived it."

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

shrinkwrap predicts that Crawdad's dad wouldn't love it all that much.

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Crawdad said...

Naah, he'd love it.

It's like the best parts of football, soccer, the roller rink, and boxing combined, plus with crazy 3rd wave feminist women, charting their own destinies in short skirts. Oh, and beer. Is it wrong to like that? Please let me know if it is....

At 1:29 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said..., hmmm...since you put it that way...such a persuasive agrument. OK. I guess you're right. In fact I know you are. Yes. Beer. That's the important thing. That and girls with short skirts and like that. Yeah.


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