Blader Digest: This is Our World

It’s been a week. It might have felt short or long, but it was the same length as every one before it. I promise you no one is messing with the space-time continuum just to make you feel dumb.

If you did feel like you had a long week, or the one you’re just starting will be that way, I’ll keep it short.

Anyway, here are some words.

Skip Breakfast but not…


It’s where burritos, burgers, sammiches, and other great things happen, like this edit featuring Mike Dempsey.

LUNCH – Mike Dempsey from Mike Dempsey on Vimeo.

‘Good for a laugh’…

Or that’s what Craig from iRollNY said when he sent me a link to this gem:

Here’s the main question: Is this shirt for teenage Justin Bieber fans, or a shirt better marketed to rollerbladers? It’s along the same lines as this one of those ‘Skateboarding is not a crime, but it is pretty gay‘ T-shirts.

In reality, I feel kind of bad for skateboarding. It truly is a dark day for them.

In with the old, out with the…

If there’s one constant thing in rollerblading, there’s never an official story.

Why was Don Bambrick kicked off Razors? Sure, we know from what people said online, but Razors said nothing.

Why was Oli Short off Valo? Other than what Oli said in a Be-Mag interview, we never heard much. Valo said nothing.

What happened to Rat Tail Distribution? Outside of some ominous birth to death dates a few weeks ago, here’s what remains on

So what’s going on with Nimh? Maybe they’ve found a new distributor, but then there’s something coming…

Oh, I highly doubt that Shima still has anything to do with Nimh and Shima Skate Manufacturing at the same time.

Rumors—not fact, just rumors—have been for months now that Jon Elliot and Brian Shima have been on the outs for a while now. That might help explain the new Shima skate company.

All I hope is that Shima can bring the whole Nimh team over to his new company because they one they’ve assembled now is retardedly stellar. Holy balls is that a great collection of talent! If you don’t think so, watch the Nimh video again.

So what’s with Elliott?

I don’t know about you, but the Jon Elliott from 2000 is a different Jon Elliott in 2011.

But, hey, Ground Control seems to have a video out soon, so that might be worth checking out…

Sounds like it…

This is awesome…

Think of it like a craigslist for blading. However, there are no hookers or random creepy people stalking the shit out of strangers on public transportation and masquerading their psychosis as a “Missed Connection.”

The Donate & Skate Facebook page might be in its tender fetal state, but it’s a great idea. Join up, contribute, and let’s see what happens.

What is a life worth?

If you don’t know who this is, let me introduce you to James Short. He was—and I use the past tense on purpose—a beloved rollerblader not only for his take on how he skated, but how he contributed to the organization of rollerblading itself. He played a big role in getting many things going, namely helping with the Bitter Cold Showdown.

He was 24 when he was struck and killed by a driver in Ohio last August. He was on his motorcycle. The driver, Doris A. Caranda, was driving drunk at the time. She just so happened to be so loaded she was in James’ lane when she hit him.

This week, she was sentenced in court for the accident.

The maximum she faces in a real-life prison is a two-year sentence.

If the community service program won’t have her, she’ll serve another six months in prison.

Let’s do some math:

Short’s life: 24 years.
Caranda’s maximum sentence behind bars: 24 months.

That sounds fair, right? You drive fucked out of your skull enough to drive into another lane, kill a guy, and get out of prison in a term converted from  a person’s living years to months.

No, because that math is just coincidence.

Either way, an awesome blader is dead and his family got short-changed from some kind of justice.

Let’s all scream about how the system is flawed. Let’s all scream about how that woman should have received a harsher sentence. Let’s all scream about…

Let’s all shut the fuck up because we, as a blading community, failed.

The justice system is biased as fuck. I know, I covered it for five years. I saw guys busted with 500 pounds of weed given probation because the judge thought they were “innocent pawns,” but those pawns drove off from their sentencing in an Escalade. I’ve seen innocent men go to prison for the term of their natural lives for murders they so very clearly did not commit.

We can’t buy and trade justice like everyone else, but we can persuade it. If we can gang together and get rollerblading shown at the U.S. Open, the least we could have done is organize and write the judge saying how this life—this member of the rollerblading family—meant so much and the fucking dumb c-bag who couldn’t say no to a few dozen drinks before driving home in the wrong lane needed to spend a decade or two in prison to finally, for once, prove that a life means something. Had she killed him with a gun she wouldn’t see the other side of razor wire ever again.

But I guess it’s not how the person died, but that they died, right? Nope ,because it was an “accident.”

Because I’m sure Ms. Caranda had all those drinks by accident. And then falling into her car, getting the key into the ignition, and driving away from the bars were all accidents too. The lane thing, well, that was probably the only realistically accidental part of the whole thing. However, all the things she did on purpose were very deliberate before that.

It’s like loading a gun, pointing it at a person, and saying you pulled the trigger was on accident.

But that’s not the case. The case was the sentencing. Eighteen months minimum. Two years maximum.

We could have done better. We could have influenced the outcome.

Thankfully, not every one of us failed. Some of you did great work.

I, for one, am part of problem I lost track of the case. I started writing about it when I wrote for ONE. Then it went away as I spent time making dick and fart jokes and occupying my time by who Colin Kelso was talking shit on this week.  Did Rollernews, Be-Mag, ONE, or any other blading media have any such campaign to get bladers to write the judge?

It’s a rhetorical question, so I don’t have to answer it.

We (or at least a great deal of us) failed.

To James’ family, and his memory, and all of our blading friends we’ve lost, we must promise to do better with our lives.

We must promise to not forsake another moment.

We must promise to go beyond our best every second we are breathing.

We won’t be afraid because we know you, and the rest of our lost brethren, are watching over us at all times.

For you, my friends, we live on, unafraid and free.

For you, we…

Blade or Die

— Brian Krans


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