Location: Forest Town, California, United States

Many people ask where Helga and I (Vinnie) met. It was at a Jesus Freak festival in the days of my squandered youth. Some brownies were going around that tasted funny and the next thing I know, I'm married to a hippie. But she was cute, and I wouldn't serve a church that hired a divorced pastor, so we are still together till Judgement Day, when I assume we will go our seperate ways. Let me (Helga) add, that it seems the Universe brought Vinnie and I together, who am I to argue. He does have a judgmental nature though, which I find unforgivable.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Heart of the Game

Vinnie here:

I went to see this documentary with moderately mediocre hopes, but they were sadly crushed. This film is the true story of a girls' high school basketball program in Seattle Washington and what happens when a college professor specializing in taxes takes over as coach.
Now first of all, let it be said that there is no bigger fan of sports than me. I think our church's softball, basketball and volleyball team in the local church league are a great tool for evangelism. So I was expecting a movie about sports to provide at least a tad of wholesome diversion.
But sadly, the high school girls basketball team in this film features young "ladies" that on occassion use unwholesome language and at least two of the players in the course of the film are shown to be sexually active.
Now there is no bigger beliver in original sin and utter moral depravity than myself, but still, I ask you, how hard would it have been to find a high school basketball team on which all the players have let any unwholesome language come out of their mouths and are committed to abstinance till marriage (and perhaps a little longer than that)? Would that have been so difficult for the film makers to find?
I don't think so, but they want that PG-13 rating, so they can be in with the Hollywood crowd.
Also the team featuring in the film is the Roosevelt Roughriders. Yes, the high school is named after Theodore Roosevelt, the second worst Roosevelt ever to serve in the highest office in the land, the man who most responsible for income taxes and the IRS.
And, of course, this is set in a public school, a modern day socialist indoctrination center. If people don't have the moral fiber to home school, they should at least turn to a local Christian school (which is probably also morally questionable, but the lesser of evils.)
There is also a point in the film, when a player is banned by play from the league for making poor moral choice. The viewer is asked to choose between following the black and white rules that have been established or whether to give a second chance to a youngster who has very little going for her. Sadly, the film seems to come out against a moral mindless committment to established rules and authority.
So I cannot recommend this film or any others currently in the theater and remind you that a good sermon is all the fun you need.

Helga here:

I too had hopes for this film. After all, it features young womyn in sports and what could be more empowering than that?
Sadly, these poor young womyn on this basketball team are subjected to a MALE coach by the name of Restler. This man encourages the girls to practice the kind of aggression in sports that is typical of his gender. Instead of emphasizing virtures such of sharing, kindness and love, he focuses on competitiveness.
But the worse thing is this coach urges his players to think of themselves as a pack of wolves that will rip apart the other players or a school of sharks that will devours the opposition. As a member of PASA (People Acknowledging the Superiority of Animals) I must object to these sterotypes of animals as violent creatures. We all know that if people didn't oppress animals, wolves would be happy to leave on plants and sharks on seaweed. (We are working on a program in PASA to put our dog companions on an all Tofu diets. They will thank us for it in their canine way.)
There is such a focus in the film on "winning the big game", when I think as womyn, we should focus on having fun in the big game. Instead of trying to "steal" the ball, why not share the ball? Instead of "fouling", how about hugs? This could have been a film to make us proud of young womyn, instead it tries to make them into little men (with apologises to Ms. Alcott).
So instead of supporting this film that supports men's oppessive athletics, why not go out and play a game that is not about winning or losing or the excitement of "scoring"? Why not go out and play soccer?

Harmonic blessing to all, Helga