Blader Digest: Criminal Intent


Immediately after my first time watching, all I wanted to have him yell was, “NO, YOU DUMB BITCH! I CARRY AROUND ROLLERBLADES BECAUSE EVERYONE THINKS THEY’RE SO COOL!!!” Just that thought idea was kind of funny because it would have been true: no one just carries around blades to look cool and get girls.

So maybe the video was some avant garde (although not at all) commentary about the dedication to sport. We all do what we do for love and not to look cool just by walking around holding something with wheels. (See: anti-poser skateboarders) Or maybe it was something quick and cute: a brief, simple, time-tested plot around Nick Uhas blading around.

On its happiest, the edit could be viewed as an inside joke: enough work and dedication, and there’s a big-boobed blonde waiting for us at the end of the day. That’d be nice. Unlikely, but its a nice thought.

Then again, on first viewing, I failed to realize the significance of every little thing in blading and how it could unravel our gentle fabric. Some people made it seem as if a crime had been committed against rollerblading — leaving our gentle sport cast away on the side of the highway, its pants around its ankles as it bleeds from the asshole.

To get the full gist of it all, see Rollernews:

(There was some love in the post, if little and brief)

Reactions to this piece ranged from “way to try something different and go for it” to “calling this video a heap of pathetic shite is being real and not being a hater,” taking everything into account of the girl’s unrealistic skating speed to the technical merits of the editing by Brazillionaire.

It’s not like the script is going to be competing against Inception at the Oscars or anything, but the reaction to something that was less than three and a half minutes long is astounding. I mean, c’mon, it was just a fun little music video. It’s not like this was a single-shot attempt to get on MTV or something.

While I will go nowhere near saying the music video was a piece of expressive art, I will say it doesn’t deserve the scourging at the pillar it received. Then again, I often miss important things.

But it’s not like the Uhas/Brazillionaire combo was the only dead carcass left for the online vultures.


If there’s anything rollerbladers like more than going skating, it’s talking about gear: pros, cons, new skates, new skins, who’s getting what pro wheel, what company is folding, who’s starting what. We’re like a bunch of pre-teen princesses at the mall. And that’s fine. Passion is a good thing.

So, among all the goodness Rollernews compiled together this week, there was this extremely brief announcement about a pro skate for some guy from some company:

One glimpse and you know where this was immediately headed — two directions and no common ground.

While people were spouting off like a bipolar ex-girlfriend, I was dummed and amazed at who the hell Iñaki Estrada even is.

The best I think I could find of him on YouTube was the one below. If the edit below is any kind of barometer into his level of skating, you can expect a lot more pro skates coming out for a lot of people. Shit, if all you need for a pro skate nowadays is an edited kicking off with a hammer like a royale down a six-stair, expect a Brian Krans pro skate soon. And that’s fucking sad because I skate like old people fuck.

However, I was not alone when it came to wondering who Inaki was exactly. Can’t say it’s a name that keeps popping up in contest results and such. Hell, it almost seems his home country of Spain has almost denounced his citizenship:

Oh shit. That stings. Oh well, it brings up a good point.


I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

That mustache-savvy, dashing young man is a pretty important person when considering what to take into account. See, when the U.S. Supreme court — the people who well us what we can and can not say without retribution — was deciding a case that involved free speech, Justice Holmes decided it was best to let ideas out in free discourse instead of merely having everyone watch their tongue if they dissented against something, like say, I don’t know, the government. His dissent started with:

“Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical…”

Nearly fifty years later, the same court coined the term, “marketplace of ideas,” kind of a different spin on the Socratic method. That, and there was a guy before that, who didn’t use the term, but defined the general principle:

“This institution will be based upon the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it”

Thomas Jefferson

In essence, these thinkers and patrons of free expression all agreed that all forms of expression should be allowed into the public forum, allowing the people, not the powers, to decide what they want to believe. Put it all out there, and the good of the people will decide what ideas are best.

These methods have been vital in deciding policies regarding First Amendment issues, which include, art, literature, journalism, photography, video, and so on.

But it also applies to Rollernews. I have been privy to many a conversation where people have openly said Rollernews should be shut down, or at least boycotted. Many of those with said opinion have argued that people outside our sport would go to arguably the most popular rollerblading site to see poorly-made edits of skaters who shouldn’t have edits on Rollernews. Basically, they want only the best to be broadcast and comments to be screened so only the positive survive.

I, however, couldn’t disagree more adamantly. To allow such a thing to occur — which is thinly-veiled censorship under the guise of marketing rollerblading — would stifle creative voices and dissension. In order for the best ideas to prevail, they must compete in an open, free, and unbridled market so the consumer (a.k.a. you and I) can decide what they would like. To hamper any dissent would make us as tyrannical as those we fear.

So, despite all of the bickering, bitching, fighting, name-calling ass hats that anonymously populate Rollernews, it is a brilliant and vibrant marketplace of ideas because it allows the freedom to agree and disagree.

And that’s as deep as I care to get on the subject.


Scenes all over the place have been having themselves some good ol’ fashioned times, getting together, shotgunning some Busch beers, grilling up dead animals and skating some messed up spots. I mean, anyone can go skate a 10-stair rail, but true Southern boys can skate anything.

And if Southern boys know anything, it’s how to get nice and dirty and some really fucked up shit. Southern legacy can prove it. The latest bit of evidence comes from Birmingham and Tallahassee, where it’s so hot and moist during the summer your balls stick to your thigh until mid-October.

Birmingham & Tallahasse BBQ Edit from SOUTHERN LEGACY on Vimeo.


I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again: if you’re not reading Ben Rogers, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

In his latest installment of his writings for ONE Magazine, Mr. Rogers offers up some well-crafted prose regarding the U.S. in terms of the blading world. Think of it as a State of the  Blade Union.

It’s an introspective look at skating summed up in a few clear and insightful observations. It is in no way an “America rules and fuck Europe” tirade reflective of the article’s title (and the mentality of many short-sighted American bladers), and that makes it even more better.

Really, you need to read it.

It’s way the fuck more upbeat than I’ll ever be.

Blade or Die,

Brian Krans


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