Gorgeous Gussie knew how to draw a crowd – and it wasn’t by spattering asterisks over her knickers

How to shock the Brits without slogans...

How to shock the Brits without using the Ni*** word…

Dunno if use of the Ni*** word is more generally repugnant than use of the c*** word.

Come to think of it, how do you pronounce Ni***?

The question is raised in the light of a fuss reported here about some words on a Christchurch roller derby player’s shorts.

According to the headline, the shorts sparked a racism row, although nothing in the report mentions anything that the Grumbles would regard as racist.

They are struggling, actually, to work out what the allegedly offensive words might mean.

They are familiar with a six-letter N word that is apt to be regarded as racially offensive, although for the most part offence seems to be taken only when it is used by white people.

But the N word in this case does not have six letters.

The Otautahi Roller Derby League contestant wore shorts featuring the words “Ni*** Please” in last Saturday’s Garden City Turf Wars battle against Dead End Derby at Cowles Stadium.

Here in the Eketahana Club, we are astonished that anybody could take offence at “Ni*** please.”

To the contrary, we were delighted to see use of the word “please”, which has become seriously neglected by a younger generation of selfish, grasping and discourteous brats.

But obviously the good folks of Christchurch have more delicate sensibilities because…

The slogan prompted some family groups to walk out, according to complainants who contacted The Star.

One of these delicate souls has been named in the NZ Herald report.

This is useful information. Alf will steer clear of her on all occasions, lest she take offence at …

Well, he can’t be sure, but he often wears a tie which boldly depicts the cartoon character Asterix. And if she takes offence at Ni***, then it may be she would take offence at Asterix.

0 a asterix

Trying to avoid giving offence, as you can see, is awfully difficult when it is unclear why offence might be taken.

Let’s see if we can find out more from the named complainant.

Cherry Carelse, manager of rival team Rock’n Roll Derby Circus, said she’d complained previously when the player wore the offending shorts.

“I saw a couple of families in the stand I was in get up and leave and overheard a 6-year-old girl asking her mother what a ni*** was,” said Ms Carelse.

“Children look up to athletes and while roller derby may walk a fine line between appropriate behavourism with suggestive names and uniforms, no one can argue that the word has any place in sport or in public.”

Alf is bound to ask the same question.

What is a ni***?

He furthermore wants to know how the word is pronounced.

Ms Carelse was not alone.

Another spectator, who asked not to be named, said she was “absolutely disgusted and outraged”.

She said she couldn’t believe the words were acceptable at a “family-friendly event” with “multiple sponsors paying to be associated with this league”.

“The attitude encourages a negative mentality within the community. It’s not okay to be using these words, even in jest.”

These words?

But one of them is meaningless and unpronounceable.

The other is the word “please”, the use of which should be hugely encouraged.

It is much more agreeable than “whatever”.

Alf is no more enlightened on learning that –

Otautahi Roller Derby League marketing and public relations spokeswoman Michelle McConnell said the offending pants were being “retired”.

“The skater has apologised to the league for the controversy caused and regrets any disfavour spread to our associated groups”.

She said the league was “against discrimination and victimisation of any group, unanimously and actively”.

The slogan had been “misinterpreted and used as leverage in an attempt to defame our league”.

Alf rather likes the idea of retiring a pair of pants.

But he remains bewildered about Ni*** being misinterpreted and used as leverage in an attempt to defame the league.

Can Ms McConnell be more helpful?

A wee bit.

Ms McConnell said the player’s skating name, number and pants slogan were references to her favourite band Wu-Tang Clan – an American east coast hip-hop band.

The intention was to “associate her alter-ego as being part of the community who use that phrase – an in-joke for fellow Wu-Tang fans”.

Mrs Grumble did some deep research and dug up an example of Wu-Tang Gang’s art.

Art?

Maybe not.

But only those who have been hardened by exposure to very naughty words should go further and sample (here) something that sounds more like a smut-sodden diatribe than a song or a poem.

Oh, and let the record show the NZ Herald couldn’t resist going to the bloody Human Rights Commission.

A spokeswoman, Vicki Hall, said:

“While the slogan may give offence to some, it is not clear that it breaches the Human Rights Act.”

This is the sort of thing that could soon end up on Dame Susan Devoy’s desk.

Alf can’t remember what was written on her shorts, back in her squash-playing days.

But he does remember Gertrude Moran’s knickers.

They had nothing written on them.

Gertrude played tennis at Wimbledon when Alf was a very impressionable youngster – the media called her Gorgeous Gussie.

As he recalled by going here

Nope, no slogans here.

Nope, no slogans here.

Her outfit, a short tennis dress with ruffled, lace-trimmed panties, was short enough for her panties to be visible during the match, a first for any tournament.

Her outfit drew considerable attention; reporters covering the event began calling her “Gorgeous Gussie”, and photographers fought for positions where they could get low shots of Moran, with the hope of glimpsing the lace.

The event scandalized Wimbledon officials, prompting a debate in Parliament. Moran, who was accused of bringing ‘vulgarity and sin into tennis’ by the committee of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, later reverted to wearing shorts.

But so far as Alf can remember, she didn’t have slogans written on her shorts.

And she certainly didn’t adorn them with asterisks.

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7 Responses to Gorgeous Gussie knew how to draw a crowd – and it wasn’t by spattering asterisks over her knickers

  1. buzzybeearch says:

    Thank you – we needed a laugh about all this nonsense 🙂

  2. P1nic says:

    The key to this entire piece of ‘journalism’ is the sentence “Cherry Carelse, manager of rival team Rock’n Roll Derby Circus, said she’d complained previously when the player wore the offending shorts.” Ms Carelse is indeed from a rival league and she carries a mighty large chip on her shoulder. Simply put the NZ Herald has been manipulated by her to defame an opposing group. Should the skater have worn these pants? – probably not. Should the NZ Herald have dug a bit deeper and seen they were being used as vehicle for one individual’s bitterness? – 100% yes.

  3. Missy says:

    I think all shall be greatful Derby even exists in Christchurch, both ORDL & DED were either helped or started off by Ms Carelse & still going well, all aspects of CHCH Derby were greatly a part of her making. Why put the RRDC down as-well when someone chose to voice themselves & Ms Carelse was brave enough speak up as well. Ms Carelse, chip or not, I can see where you may be coming from, Id like to say thank you for saying something as I felt myself being apart of ORDL, I have friends in all the CHCH Leauges so please no more hate, I was very upset by the word being joked about in training, with alot not thinking that it could possibly trigger a sensitive place in someone, but I myself felt I could not tell my team mates or the committee that I was very distressed due to past racist traumatizing experiences I have been in. Every time I hear or see that word anywhere I feel physically ill that I was regularly having to rethink leaving ORDL. Thankfully now I can feel okay skating alongside of my friend & teammate knowing that shes going to retire these shorts. I also thank her. But keep in mind roller derby shouldnt expose racist words in a family event, especially on the day of a white pride protest, its insensitive to bring it up at any time as you do not know what others have actually lived though & to this day may still be called that terrible word & trying to keep strong.
    Thanks for the voice and thanks to my team mate, I hope to see RRDC go far just as we have.

  4. niggapantz says:

    I am the “nigga Knickers” lady. I have had to allow time for this whole cray cray ordeal to blow over because I did not want My team to suffer from what could be considered “that crazy nigga’s rant”. So now I am going through lots of forums, and responding. My response to this comment above –

    “I think all shall be greatful Derby even exists in Christchurch, both ORDL & DED were either helped or started off by Ms Carelse & still going well, all aspects of CHCH Derby were greatly a part of her making”

    – NIGGA PLEASE, as the founder of ORDL I started this league with ZERO help from Ms Carelse, in fact she went out of her way to try and ensure ORDL would never get off the ground and it is not hard to argue that her running to the press over a pair of shorts she once proclaimed to love is due to jealously of a team she wanted to fail that then actually ranked #6 in NZ in 2012.

    “Thankfully now I can feel okay skating alongside of my friend & teammate knowing that shes going to retire these shorts”

    Unfortunately the papers reported this story a little bit incorrectly. I was not actually a skater in this bout, and in fact had not been a skater for 4 months before this photo of my bum was sneakily acquired by Ms Carlese at a game I was not actually skating in. The above person who claims to be happy to skate along side me “their friend” would have been happy to know that they actually hadnt needed to skate alongside me for many months before writing this post. They were either A) a troll or B) actually there is no B. They were obviously a troll because any skater of ORDL would have noticed they had not been skating with me for many months since I had retired. SHAME ON YOU Ms Carelse for trolling. Shame on a nigga who tried to run game on a nigga.

    Thanks you Alf Grumble for giving me a good laugh over a completely stupid matter that should have never made it to the media. I am now a follower of your blog “fo’ lyfe”

  5. I սsually do not drop a grеat deal of remarks, but і
    did ɑ few searching and wound uρ here Goցeouѕ Gussie
    knew how to draw a crowԁ – ɑnd iit wasnt by spattering asterisks
    over her knickers | Allf Grumble. And I ddo have 2 questions
    for you if you usually do not mind. Is it simply mеe or does it
    seem like ѕme of thee responses appear like writteո by brain dеaԁ visitors?
    😛 And, іf you are posting on aԁɗіtional online siteѕ,
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    • Alf Grumble says:

      In response, Alf would say (a) none of his responses come from brain-dead visitors and (b) he eschews linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.

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