Murderball


I was just lazing around. I had a lot of catching up to do with email. The weekend had been rather hectic with Nepal work, event after event after event, including a full day conference on Saturday. (Janajati Sammelan At The New School) And I ended up on the DFNYC page to look up details on the next LinkUp. Curtis Chin in the Bay Area from Dean 2004 has gotten in touch recently. He was the dynamo behind Asian Pacific Americans For Dean. Now he is trying to revive the group, and was working the contacts in the city as well. I was trying to suggest let's take over the East Village LinkUp of DFNYC for an Asian Plus LinkUp. Why not use existing infrastructure? And there I noticed Murderball. The gory name caught my attention. The event was in two hours. That further added to the adrenaline rush. And then as I was catching up on my email, there I saw an email from Justin Krebs urging to go to the same event.

Justin had just earned a few points with me over the weekend. He had sold me a $20 ticket to a Laughing Liberally event on Thursday at the Drinking Liberally event. One part of me was like, this Harvard educated, Hillary former intern, American capitalist, white male dude, he just fleeced me for some free beer. But Friday was my first time at any Laughing Liberally event, and I am so glad I went. It was just awesome.

Liberally Tipsy
Justin Krebs

I have not quite figured out the Empire Liberally yet, but there is Drinking Liberally, Laughing Liberally, Screening Liberally, and there might be more. And today I found out about some DNNYC, and I wonder if that is part of the DFNYC empire. You never know.

NYC might be a big city, but if you start going to the progressive events, you do bump into some people again and again. As they say, there is actually more room at the top.

I made my $10 payment online through PayPal, took a shower, and headed off. The day had begun. I was ready to soak it all in.

I met Lawrence Carter-Long. He is with DNNYC. He got described to me as "brilliant." We had some soul talk. I talked the whole ISMs spectrum. I said, race concerns me personally. But I am a political person. I would be doing politics even if there were no poverty, no racism, no sexism, no nothing. For me it is the craft, the game of it. But when you put the two together, it is not rocket science to see you got to win, and you do that by hitting the 51% mark. And so people like me who are pissed off about racism and people like you - he is white, male - pissed off about ablism, need to forge a working coalition. He could not agree more. I wanted to do a high five with him after the movie. He did a low five.

The movie was well done. But I kept expecting a feature film, for some reason. It is a documentary. There is music alright. And there are some rough scenes. Not exactly violence, but when they fall off the murder chairs, you are like, is that person's head okay! And sex talk. There were the usual giggles in the room. Sex is universal, it is in the mind. Everybody thinks it. Everybody finds it mysterious. And hence the giggle.

Some of the guys in the movie claimed women dig them because they are in the chair. As in, the chair makes them hotter. I think it is the coalition thing. I mean, we do live on a supremely sexist planet. So people at the receiving end of sexism gravitate towards those at the receiving end of ablism. Or maybe it is the sex. Perhaps both.

One thing I kept thinking was, these are all white, male, rich, or rich enough folks in the movie. There has to be a trade. If you want me enlightened on the ablism issue, where do you stand on the poverty that affects four billion people? I do want to ask that. Poverty is just like racism and sexism and ablism, a political, social condition.

Because the coalition thing does not always work. A gay guy might be a racist. A black guy might be homophobic. A white woman might be both.

And there is always the individual. Each person is unique. That is much of the social interaction. But then the collective identities are also important. When you first see someone, you don't see Robert, you see a black guy. When you see a woman, you see a woman first. And maybe also later, and ever after.

There is softball when people try not to be racist. They are open to dialogue. And there is hardball when people very much intend to be racist. That is their worldview, and that is the only world they know how to live in. And don't unsettle the dust.

For the movie I situated myself in front of one of the three screens, right across the high rise bar table, between one man, and a woman. I was so into the movie, so enjoying the jokes, laughing so hard, the guy later left and I got to sit. He left for some other part of the room. If I had realized when it happened, I might have tried to stop him. To be polite. Offered to laugh less hard.

After the movie was over, Lawrence talked, and one other guy in a wheelchair, an actor. Soccer came on TV. I watched some soccer during some of the second talk. Murderball got some action, but nothing quite beats soccer. Reminds me, I got to figure out a way to watch the World Cup this summer. Since I don't own a TV, it has to be online, or at some neighborhood bar. Life is going to be organized around the games.

Thursday Drinking Liberally is celebrating its third anniversary. I quizzed Justin just before he left, "Will there be room?"

"Come early," he said.

I spent some time towards the end with Keith Cavill and Matthew Castelluccio. Both are in the chair. That was before they got whisked away for a private dinner with the organizers. And I walked my thin shirt over to the train. Thin, chequered, blue, patches of white. Bright. Fluffy. Summery.

On The Web

Murderball - Coming to DVD November 29th 2005
Murderball - Coming to DVD Noverber 29th 2005
Murderball (2005)
Apple - Trailers - Murderball
Murderball
Amazon.com: Murderball (2005): DVD
OSCAR.com - 78th Annual Academy Awards - Best Documentary Feature
Netflix: Rent Murderball on DVD - Free Trial
THINKFilm
Murderball - Movie Info - Yahoo! Movies

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