Readers respond to "Skate or Die"

Roller Playing

Beth Walton did a wonderful job writing about our beloved Minnesota Roller Girls ("Skate or Die," 10/8/08)! Her article accurately portrayed the trials, tribulations, and fun of trying to make it in this local roller derby league. These smart, talented women do all that, and so much more.

Since 2004, the league has been owned and operated by the skaters. They do not make any money, and instead give proceeds to charity every season. Skaters also hold committee assignments and attend various charitable events, so for some, it's like having a second job.

The women are obviously committed to being great athletes, and to being a positive part of this community. They come from every walk of life, and present a strong, positive image of women, which is evident to all who see them.

Why do they do all of this for no pay? Because they love it and believe in it. I'm fortunate to be in my third season as a volunteer with the MNRG. We have around 40 volunteers who do statistics, merchandise, security, and production, among other duties. Both on and off the track, the skaters and volunteers are fantastic people, and I am proud to work with them. We do this because we love and believe in the sport, the skaters, and volunteering within our community. Visit the league online at, and our volunteer crew at See you at the next bout!

Johnny Crash, MNRG volunteer production lead Minneapolis

Disgruntled groupie disses Roller Girls

Oh, the Roller Girls. The embodiment of the "cool" girls that I had desperately wanted to meet and be friends with as an antidote to the designer-obsessed, vapid bimbos in my high school...and college...and after...yet who didn't seem to exist.

Enter the MN Roller Girls, described by many as "tough, no-nonsense chicks who kick ass." While I have no desire for playing contact sports myself, I thought, "My gods! A collective of chicks I'd love to hang out with!"

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, so incredibly wrong it makes me weep. I am sad to report that every single MN Roller Girl I have spent time with (and there have been quite a few, I assure you) has been any combination of the following: arrogant, dim-witted, narcissistic, catty, misogynistic (oh yes, you heard me right there), fashion-obsessed skanks who flaunt sexuality for power—which is disgusting no matter who does it—and poor sports to boot. They are trash talkers and sore losers, and all about playing dirty to win. It has all consistently pointed to one possible answer: Any girl who has to go beat the shit out of other people on a regular basis is doing so only because she is insecure and unhappy with herself (which would also explain the bitchiness and back-stabbing).

These "bad asses" are anything but. Do they work hard? Oh, hell yeah. They need to work a little harder on being decent people, though, or they might as well go hang out with the Vikings on a party boat. Sorry, MN Roller Girls. You've lost my support.

AMW Minneapolis

Shootin' Straight

Your recent article about the Minnesota Personal Protection Act (MPPA) was surprisingly even-handed considering where it was published ("The Smoke Clears," 10/8/08). A number of things jumped out at me in the reading of the article.

First, I noted the hilarious irony of how prominent legislative opponents of the law were introduced as "former state senator so-and-so." Perhaps their silly fear-mongering had fallen victim to an experiment with liberty, the result of which was finding that we really never had anything to fear, as your article's tagline said.

In addition to that, should we have listened to the pragmatists on the side of MPPA who spoke nothing of liberty and emphasized the reasons for its passage that, as your tagline so deftly implied, were just as invalid as the silly fear-mongering?

The point I'd like to drive home is that both sides were always wrong and the correct position opposes both. How often do we (erroneously) believe that government reining in our clearly defined liberties will make us safer? Is safe slavery preferable to "dangerous" liberty? How often do we support something not out of principle but because its proponents tell us that it "just makes good sense"?

Truth is, we shouldn't even need special permission from the state to carry a firearm; the U.S. Constitution already permits "ifs," "ands," or "buts." Besides, if we did away with the silly laws altogether, 13 counties wouldn't be running the deficits referenced in the story.

Anyway, the law is sufficient for Minnesota given its present culture. In the future, perhaps when the minds of Minnesotans are well-girded for the duties of liberty and citizenship, the permit requirements may be swept off the books forever.

Matt Rothchild Little Canada

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