Leading our own cheers

Pose

Intelligent, articulate women who also danced for the Marlies Dance Crew

This past weekend brought the start to another season of my beloved Toronto Marlies. And as is the case with every new season, we were met by many familiar faces and a lot of new ones, both on and off the ice.

What we were not met with this season, however, is the Marlies Dance Crew, the small group of women who entertain during stoppages in play. And I find myself oddly torn over this.

On the one hand, I have never been comfortable with the Dance Crew as a concept, and cheerleading squads for pro sports teams in general (I see high school and college squads in a different light).

In the absence of male squad members, the Dance Crew simply seemed like a salacious attempt to get a rise out of parts of the crowd…and based on comments I would hear around me, it worked.

Blur

Torn between dance as art and cheerleading as objectifying women

By the same token, over the seasons, I have actually come to know many of the Dance Crew members, finding them charming, articulate women who enjoy the art of dance. They are friends and part of the Marlies family, with whom I try to maintain contact via social media even after they have moved on to other things.

Cheerleaders in hockey is an odd thing, and I appreciate that it would be impossible—given the concrete floors and metal railings—to perform truly acrobatic stunts that you might see at college events. This may be why the whole Dance Crew concept never sat right with me, because in the absence of that artistic/athletic angle, it felt like the women were reduced to eye-candy.

Thus, while I will miss getting to know new family members, I am not terribly heartbroken over the Dance Crew’s absence this season.

And to the members who have moved on, I wish you all every success and hope you visit the Ricoh Coliseum on occasion, so we can say hi.

Family and friends

Family and friends

Auto(populate)bots Assemble!

robot-n-women

Reports suggest that within the next two decades, robots will take responsibility for upward of 50% of jobs currently handled by humans, who simply remain inefficient and cannot work 24 hours a day.

Already, we are seeing automation in manufacturing and order-entry kiosks in the services industry. It is assumed the next stage will involve a complete takeover of the social media industry, with timelines auto-filled by trivia and rumour bots.

This post brought to you by the Xorblat 3-11A

Photo stolen without permission from The Robot State blog.

For a legitimate discussion of such topics, check out The NeoHuman Blog.

Back to visit the Ex

My annual pilgrimage to the Canadian National Exhibition, an end-of-summer ritual in Toronto. Sadly, The Ex is our national fair that seems to get smaller and smaller each year.

The grand old lady has definitely seen better days, but she still entertains the crowds.

Photographer misses hockey game

One of the challenges of bringing my camera to Toronto Marlies games (farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs) is that I barely get to see the hockey game. I am so focused on trying to get interesting pictures, that 99% of what’s happening on the ice eludes me.

The good news is that I get some really interesting shots. The better news is that the team offers a game highlight reel so I can catch up later.

This album represents only some of the best photos of the 477 shots I took (Marlies only took 31 in the game)…more are available on my Facebook page, where most of my fellow Marlies fans reside.

(SPOILER ALERT: The Marlies took the game 4-1 over the Oklahoma City Barons, farm team of the Edmonton Oilers.)