Eight days till we return to L.A., at the wicked cool Busby's East, and we're presenting easily our best prize-sponsor lineup in the BQT's West Coast history. Yesterday it was all about The Laugh Factory, but today let's take a look at one of the greatest developments of the 21st century…
Yes! The roller derby revival is probably one of the best things of the past 12 years, and we're giving you the chance to experience it in person. Somehow, the sports-entertainment mainstay of 1970s kitsch culture has found new life in the Y2K, with amateur—and, awesomely, mostly female—leagues springing up in nearly every city of North America. The Derby Dolls are among the highest-profile, staging numerous clashes of the bewheeled she-titans every year.
Going to a roller derby match in NYC has been a neglected priority of mine for some time; a friend (and sometime BQT sidekick) is a referee for our local league, and even my college girlfriend is hot stuff in the Atlanta league. What I love about roller derby is its defiantly bootstrap and female-centric aesthetic; this is a sport where women dominate, proudly, as they've converted it from schlockhood to awesomehood (it's even up for consideration as an Olympic sport). As the grand Wikipedia puts it: "Most modern leagues share a strong 'do it yourself' (DIY) ethic, which uniquely combines athleticism and elements from punk, camp and third-wave feminist aesthetics." All things I love and appreciate, despite my personal lack of athleticism, punk cred, camp attitude, and ovaries.
Indeed, the theatricality of roller derby is especially appealing. I've made no secret of my great admiration for pro wrestling—if you're going to make sports into a drama, cast it with actual characters—and RD adopts that ethos, while still being a genuinely competitive sport (although apparently the matches were predetermined once upon a time). Case in point—this is my roller-derbying ex-gf:
So awesome. And the Derby Dolls are so awesome for supplying some free tickets to one of their upcoming matches (schedule here), featuring clashes between teams such as the Tough Cookies, the Fight Crew, and the Ri-Ettes (that one took me a minute, but it's worth it). Be at Busby's East on June 17 to make it happen…and don't forget, starting Monday, check the BQT on Twitter for your chance to win free admission. Rock.