For Your Entertainment (FYE)
“Aside from the immediate impact on the U.S., the widening European debt debacle may be a harbinger of what lies ahead for politicians in Washington. The wider issue for the governments of all developed countries is the rising cost of paying for social programs created a generation ago. From Japan to Europe to the U.S., those programs are becoming increasingly unsustainable as life expectancies continue to rise for new retirees.
“The great thing is they are getting to live longer, and it’s great to live longer, but it’s not free,” said Constance Hunter, chief economist at Aladdin Capital Holdings. “But everybody wants it to be free. They want to still get all of the benefits and promises they had when the life expectancy was 10 or 15 years shorter. So this problem is not going to go away unless we figure out how to address it at its core.””
“Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) in which both teams designate a scoring player (the “jammer”) who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer —in effect playing both offense and defense simultaneously. Roller derby is played by more than 1,000 amateur leagues on every inhabited continent.
While the sport has its origins in the banked-track roller skating marathons of the 1930s, Leo Seltzer and Damon Runyon are credited with the basic evolution of the sport to its initial competitive form. Professional roller derby quickly became popular; in 1940 more than 5 million spectators watched bouts in 50 US cities. In the ensuing decades, however, it predominantly became a form of sports entertainment where the theatrical elements overshadowed the athleticism. This gratuitous showmanship largely ended with the sport’s contemporary grassroots revival in the first decade of the 21st century. Although some sports entertainment qualities such as player pseudonyms and colorful uniforms were retained, scripted bouts with predetermined winners were abandoned.
Modern roller derby is an international sport dominated by all-female amateur teams, in addition to a growing number of male, co-ed, and junior roller derby teams. 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.”
“Rollerball is a 1975 American dystopian fiction film directed by Norman Jewison from a screenplay by William Harrison, who adapted his own short story “Roller Ball Murder”, which first appeared in 1973 in Esquire magazine.”
“In the film, the world of 2018 is a global corporate state, containing entities such as the Energy Corporation, a global energy monopoly based in Houston which deals with nominally-peer corporations controlling access to all transport, luxury, housing, communication, and food on a global basis.
The film’s title is the name of a violent, globally popular sport around which the events of the film take place. It is similar to Roller Derby in that two teams clad in body armor skate on roller skates (some instead ride on motorcycles) around a banked, circular track. There, however, the similarity ends. The object of the game is to score points by the offensive team (the team in possession of the ball) throwing a softball-sized steel ball into the goal, which is a magnetic, cone-shaped area inset into the wall of the arena. The team without possession of the ball is defensive and acts to prevent scoring. It is a full-contact sport in which players have considerable leeway to attack opposing players in order to take or maintain possession of the ball and to score points (in the overpopulated world of the original short story, the object of the game is to kill off the other players). In addition, each team has three players who ride motorcycles to which teammates can latch on and be towed. The player in possession of the ball must hold it in plain view at all times.
Rollerball teams, named after the cities in which they are based, are owned by the various global corporations. Energy Corporation sponsors the Houston team. The game is a substitute for all current team sports and for warfare. While its ostensible purpose is entertainment, Mr. Bartholomew, a high-level executive of the Energy Corporation, describes it as a sport designed to show the futility of individual effort.”
Sometimes life can become weirder than fiction………;+)
For Your Entertainment (FYE)