The Satanics of Roller Skating III: Skating as Reverse Dominance

The 2017 documentary Roller Dreams details the emergence and ultimately downhill trajectory of the once thriving Venice Beach, CA, roller dancing scene. The film quotes its principal subjects, Mad (aka James Lightning) and Sally Piano (aka Sally Messenger)—among others, as noting that the hit 1979 rollersploitation disco films Roller Boogie and Skatetown USA, as well [...]

The Satanics of Roller Skating II: Getting Over Your Self Out on the Floor

Whether in the predominantly white all-female revival world of roller derby or the predominantly African-American revival world of “urban” “adult-night” skating in neighborhood rinks, another inherently Satanic aspect to the world of roller skating in general is both the flamboyance and the purely recreational aspect of identity construction. In roller derby, this play with identity [...]

The Satanics of Roller Skating I: Skating on Sidewalk Terms

At ten a.m. on a weekday, when the roller rink first opens and, for at least an hour and a half, I’m the only intrepid skater out on the floor, the maple boards beneath my wheels are just waking up. They creak and pop underfoot like the icy surface of a frozen lake. It’s winter [...]

The Unexpected Satanic Gift of Skating

My wife’s off-the-cuff decision to purchase a pair of roller skates for our oldest daughter as a Christmas present nearly broke my arm. It also caused me to stumble, both literally and figuratively, over a set of realities that proved unexpected both in their continued existence and their incidentally Satanic nature. Here’s how it all [...]