If you meet a white girl with black hair, tattoos, and a passion for horror films, there is a 100 percent chance that she plays in some sort of Roller Derby league. The sport reached its height of popularity in the seventies, thus all but guaranteeing that white people would eventually resurrect it in a fit of nostalgia and irony. But the sport draws in white people for many other reasons, including funny costumes and the opportunity for women to compete under clever pseudonyms like Arianna Puffington and Sarah Nailin’.
Once a league forms, schedules are made, websites are put up, venues are booked, and tickets are sold. In all, it’s a testament to the incredible work ethic that white people have when it comes to a whimsical activity.
Should you choose to attend an event, you will be shocked at the sheer volume of mustaches and black rock-and-roll T-shirts, and the complete lack of anyone with a full-time job. When the activities start, the women will start skating around in a circle. There are rules and points and strategies, but at most Roller Derby matches the only people who seem to be aware of them are the people playing.
If you know someone who plays on a Roller Derby team, you should treat them like a white person who does improv. Encourage them in their efforts, but make it clear that you will not pay money to watch their hobby.
Whiter Shades of Pale: The Stuff White People Like, Coast to Coast from Seattle’s Sweaters to Maine’s Microbrews, coming 11/23 and now available for pre-order!