Welcome to Maoist Orange Cake. Each week one of our Divas posts a thoughtful (but not necessarily serious) essay on whatever calls forth her Voice or strikes her Fancy. We invite you to join us wherever the discussion leads.
Motto of the MOC: Sincere, yes. Serious? Never!

"I would also like to add that ‘Maoist Orange Cake is possibly the best name for a blog ever. Just my twopence." -- The Sixth Carnival of Radical Feminists, 1 October 2007

The Twelfth Carnival of Radical Feminists is up at The Burning Times blog and mentions one of our posts, Helen 'Wheels' Keller, for recommendation. Orangeists spreading our zest!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rock, Chalk,Jayhawk!

Jayhawk Baby goes for a 3 pointer as she celebrates
KU's win over the Memphis Tigers, in overtime, 75-68!!!

Okay, I know I'm probably the only one on this blog who even cares about this, but trust me, around here, we're pretty happy. Yes, I live in Missouri, but as Lawrence is only 4o miles away, and both my kids went to school there (one of 'em will even be graduating this December) Kansas is my school, then, now and always!


Maggie Jochild said...

I don't know nothing about hockey, but YAY JAYHAWK BABY! She's got such a gorgeous, open face!

shadocat said...

Jayhawk Baby says thank you very much, but her meemaw should've made herself clearer---she was talkin' about basketball(she doesn't know from hockey either...)

Jana C.H. said...

And I thought it was football.

Heaven help the foes of Washington!
They’re trembling at the feet of mighty Washington.
The boys are there with bells,
Their fighting blood excells,
It’s harder to push them over the lines than pass the Dardanelles.

In fact, when I was a student at the University of Washington, the only impact sports had on me was to give me something to grouse about. When there was a big game on, the traffic made it hard to get to the parking spots behind Smith Hall that were free on Sunday. I would grumble about "a great research university", and me, the humble grad student, being unable to do my great research due to a witless game. It was recreational grousing, of course, with pretty much the same spiel every time.

The fight song, "Bow Down to Washington", I learned from my mother, who is also a UW alumna. The part I quoted above is all I really know of it, and I remember it because of the cool historic reference to the Darandelles. I hope the Huskies never update it.

The UW Huskies were originally called the Sundodgers, in reference to Seattle's weather. If you're going to love the University of Washington you have to love rain. I got my BA from Western Washington University in Bellingham, the southernmost suburb of Vancouver BC. (I'm not sure that's true anymore, with the new strictures at the border.) WWU men's teams are called Vikings; women's teams are called Valkyries. I like that.

Speaking of team names: Seattle's new major league soccer team has just been officially named-- the Sounders, after Puget Sound. This is the same name as Seattle's two previous soccer teams. It's not an exciting name in itself, but I'm glad they've kept it, especially since the other three major contenders were "Alliance", "Republic", and "FC". It took me a bit of googling to learn that "FC" stands for "football club". How utterly tedious! I suspect they offered the worst names instead of the best so people would be happy to return to Sounders.

Now, if we don't get some back-chat from all this nonsense, I will be seriously disappointed with the entire Orangeist movement. I might have to resort to drastic measures, such as posting a photo of the moscot the The Evergreen State College. Believe me, you don't want to see it.

Jana C.H.
Saith Arthur Pinero: Where there is tea there is hope.

Maggie Jochild said...

My "hockey" comment was a joke, borrowed from another non-sports-watching friend. But, truthfully, I didn't know it was basketball.

There's a great Jerry Seinfeld routine about how nuts it is to be loyal to a team, when the members of that team come and go based strictly on commercial factors -- they swap shirts and become "another" identity that we are supposed to pay allegiance to if we are from that city. But it has no relationship to character or to real-life events. It's all part of the entertainment industry.

When I lived in the Bay Area, there were three big teams nearby, the Giants, the Raiders, and the Forty-Niners (I understand some of these have changed, though I could not say which). I was always getting questions from friends in other parts of the country about how this or that team was doing, what locals thought about it: As if the political dykes I hung with would have been caught dead watching a game on TV. (I'm sure some of them did, but we would never have admitted it.) I eventually came up with a mnemonic to remember which team was what sport, a trick I've now forgotten except I can say with certainty it was not based on logic -- there is no logical connection between the sport itself and those names.

As someone who avidly watches cooking shows (including crap like Hell's Kitchen and "contests" like Iron Chef) and annual competitions centered on geographic, spelling, and crosswords, I'm not objecting to the entertainment aspect of everyday life transformed to pitched matches. I'd pay to see a cook-off between Lidia and Ming Tsai, especially if they were handicapped by, say, disallowing the use of olive oil or soy. (Showdown in the scullery, baby!)

But sports as entertainment leaves me cold because of (a) the overwhelming male domination; (b) the fact that its die-hard fans seldom participate or contribute to any other aspect of community building; (c) the "worship" of people of color as athletes by folks who otherwise are daily ugly racists (pedestals are not equality, folks); and (d) its excuse as a refuge for incoherent, anti-family-socializing masculinity.

None of which apply to Baby Jayhawk, of course.

Like all drugs used to maintain the status quo, I wonder what we would do with our attention, energy and money if we didn't have commercial sports to distract us?

One idea I like is for us to return to the ball-playing ethic of the native peoples of Mexico and the American Southwest. In those contests, everybody in the communities competing were required to attend, dressed in their finest clothing and jewelry. There were little to no rules of conflict -- anything a team could do to ensure getting the ball through a tiny hoop far up the sides of an incline was fair game, so injuries were brutal.

And all it took was one score. But at that instant, the ball sliding through the hoop, whichever community "won" immediately tore out after the "losing" side, who were running in terror -- because the winning community got to loot anything they could from the persons of the losing side. Eventually the losers would limp home, naked, battered, and vowing to reverse their fortunes next year. Apparently this practice actually did help resolve community animosity, instead of keep it at a low simmer in order to "sell" us crap.

shadocat said...

Maggie-that's exactly why I enjoy college sports so much more than the pros; yes, they have their share of grandstanding males (and yeah, it was the men's team I was talking about, but one of my former students is on that team, so I guess that's why I feel a bit motherly towards them). I'm also a member of the Courtsiders, the women's team support club. We didn't do as well as the men did this year, but I have confidence that sometime in the next 5 years, the KU women will be in the Final Four! (Can't tell I'm a fan, can ya?)

Jana C.H. said...

When word first surfaced about the possibility that the Seattle Supersonics (that's basketball, folks) might move to Oklahoma City, a vocal contingent of fans said the Sonics could go for all they cared, but they didn't want to lose Storm, the women's professional team. And it wasn't just women saying this, either. People who know basketball say you get a better game with Storm: teamwork and skillful play instead of big stars showing off and knocking each other around.