The Best of Villainelle

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Oct 182013

1379615_10202010995017573_276397421_nVillainelle was probably the most prolific, and definitely the smartest, writer for the old LDG. She started writing for LDG at about the same time she started skating for Red Stick Roller Derby in Baton Rouge. She changed a lot over the years, and her LDG work tracks her evolution, personal and derby-wise. She went from being sort of a scaredy cat (sorry, Vill) who skated around the edges of practice to being a fantastic blammer on RSRD’s A-Team, the Diables Rouges. Now she’s the President of RSRD, in nursing school, and basically a total badass. Here are some of her best pieces on LDG.

The Woman You’ve Always Been: This is Vill’s first post, and it should be required reading for anyone new to derby. She talks a lot about what drew her to derby and how it helped her find herself. It’s raw and personal and brave as shit.

I’m Not Sorry: Vill on learning how NOT to apologize.

This Feminist Darkness: Arguably the best writing on roller derby and feminism. But don’t argue with me about it. Just read it.

Sex and Roller Derby: Kinda speaks for itself.

What My Hot Pants Mean To Me: Vill on body dysmorphia and learning to love her ass.


Status Faux Pax – Social Media and Tact

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Nov 172011

My college boy derby widow came home from school a couple weeks ago to tell me that the University of such and such conducted a study on time wasting. They concluded that Facebook is the biggest time waster. I know what you’re thinking: That study sounds like a waste of time. Admittedly I waste countless hours of my unemployed seclusion tooling around on the interwebs and the Facebook. I update my status when my pet fish does something new, or a stray cat of some new color pattern walks past my window. Most of my posts are asinine and if you read all of them you may be dumber for it later on in life. I love adorable kitten posts and cartoons with ironic or nonsensical content.

But don’t we all. Isn’t that what drew us to the face space to begin with? Sure we connect with friends, but eventually, habitually status updates become second nature. I have even heard my social-media-inept husband say these words: “That’s going to be my next status update”.

Socially there are things we are (or at least were…) brought up not do or say in “mixed company”. Traditionally politics and religion head the “no-no” field. Of course, there is no taboo on the internet and with all of your friends now being connected to their friends’ friends the company could not be any more mixed. Privacy too is becoming a thing of the past. I know for a fact “kids these days” have no grasp on this because I hear loud conversations on public buses/grocery store lines/airports about herpes outbreaks, abortions and drug deals (to name just a couple).

When the Mr. proposed to me in a gear shed on a muddy river bank in a remote location of Alaska the night before I went out to sea for a month, I painstakingly waited out the 25 minutes it took to connect to the friend face from the only spot in the boatyard with a wifi signal so I could change my status to “engaged” before the friends who I would write letters to could out me to everyone else. What about “outing” your friends? Last year a team mate’s mom found out her daughter’s leg was broken and she was in the ER via Facebook gossip. And just last week I came home to see some cryptic, non-specific well wishes involving the emergency room directed toward a former team mate of mine. It’s scary to see your friend is in the emergency room (on a practice night – so you know it’s bad) and not to know why. Does it need to be said that some things should be left up to an individual to divulge? Yes.

“Hey, I hope you get your period real soon. Call me.”

“Congratulations on being pregnant!”

“I can’t believe you miscarried! I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you.”

“Oops, heard you landed in the E.R., feel better soon!”

“Friends” with your co-workers? Watch that shit. Being tagged in a compromising photo could get you in trouble at work, as your co-workers “friendship” has now become a direct link between your social media and your employment. Anything other people write about/to you will get back to every damn person you are “friends” with.


Secrets are being divulged without consent. Maybe it’s to prove you have knowledge of  a particular persons life and this is how you choose to display your ‘close-ness’. Maybe they won’t care. Maybe they like the attention. Maybe no one really close to them is their social media friend anyway. But come on people, can we muster up some responsibility and some tact?

Probably not.


Mar 072011
by Turbo Tyke #225, Red Stick Roller Derby, Diables Rougesstar

What happens when you join a roller derby team? You can’t sleep. Your heart starts racing before practice. You have high expectations of becoming the biggest bad ass in the league, the region, THE WORLD. Your every waking moment (and there are a lot of them because as I’ve mentioned, you can’t sleep) is spent contriving ways to get better at this crazy sport. You know nothing about the game, but you know you’re in love and it’s going to feel this way forever.

What happens next? A lot of things, but eventually, familiarity breeds complacency, and at some point you find yourself slacking. Maybe you’re at the top of your league and there’s no one around to call you out anymore; maybe you’re in the middle and the bitches at the top are so busy inventing new plays with names like “Confuse the Chicken” and “Have Sex With Your Grandma” that they forget you need help mastering your hockey stop; maybe you still can’t stop at all and no one seems willing to pull you aside and say, “Try pointing your toes inward when you go into the plow.” For whatever reason, your beloved league can’t provide the kick in the hotpants required to renew your initial enthusiasm. I suggest you seek outside support.

confused chickenLast weekend I went to my second roller derby training camp and as any of the skaters in my league will tell you, my enthusiasm has been most decidedly renewed, probably to an irritating degree.

Blood and Thunder was fucking amazing. My league mates (Tank, Violet, Zoom) and I skated almost constantly from 9 in the morning to 9 at night for 3½ days and were reluctant to remove our skates Sunday afternoon for the 8-hour drive home. We took pages of notes on advanced offensive strategy; we learned how to return to the fundamentals of skating and tweak the basics; we loaded up on drills and plays to take back to the girls at home. But most importantly, each of us regained the derby spark. I can see it in Zoom’s eyes when she explains the fancy whips she learned from Smack Ya Sideways; in Violet’s smile when she demonstrates “derby hugs”; and in Tank’s whole demeanor when she and I talk over each other out of sheer excitement while planning our next practice.

I’m not saying you have to shell out tons of cash and drive thousands of miles in order to rediscover your derby spark in times of slump. Just remember that there’s a whole world of derby out there besides the one inside your helmet, and the more you access it, the more you’ll progress as a skater and as part of a team.

This is unrelated, but I have to tell you: I beat THIS WOMAN at Queen of the Box. Granted, it was off-skates and she obviously would have out-witted me with skates on, but still… I think I deserve a cookie or a shiny star on my chart.

Turbo Tyke is not a regular contributor to LDG. But we want her to be! If you want to see more of her on LDG, or send her a cookie or shiny star, hit her up on Facebook.