Of War and Music
I must give a few well-shouted Huzzah!'s to the folks who created the September Concerts. This was the fourth year that the September Concerts Organization had presented this very special day of music, staged in literally every New York City park, and several other parks in Florida, as well in Tokyo, Kobe, and Osaka in Japan. The idea is that each year, on September 11th, musicians of all backgrounds, ages, colors, races, styles, genres, and levels of expertise donate their time and talents to bring samplings of their music to parks, squares, churches, restaurants, libraries, clubs, backyards --- anywhere and everywhere that people can peacefully assemble.
Ostensibly, your Dragonmaster had gone to Fort Tryon Park to prepare me Wizardly self for the Medieval Festival. (Frankly, I was quite lonely for the thing.) Luckily, there were
two September Concerts going on at two different areas of Fort Tryon Park. The one I attended had a whole plethora of music makers spending the afternoon jamming; indeed, it was the lively, energetic traditional Greek fiddling style, as rendered by the beautiful Elektra Curtis-Stewart, that finally lured me in! (Heh-heh!)
And here be who else entertained the people who came and went throughout the afternoon: North Carolina blues songstress Paula Larke, who, after gazing upon my credentials, identifying me as New York's Unofficial Wizard, suggested that I remain unofficial (Be assured, Milady Paula, that I have every intention of remaining thus!); percussion expert Kim Nemoy; gospel crooner Lady Peachina; flute soloist and collector Kat Epple; Milady Elektra's violin students from the Harlem School of the Arts; technopop performer Dan Kovan; Latino guitarist Juan Quinones; the charming folk trio of Tom Boyd, Terri Scheinzeit and Chris Jacques; and the York Brothers ---Joe, Frank, Jonathan and Ratso --- also known as The String Messengers, bluegrass and country fiddlin' masters par excellence!
The charming Elisa Zazzera is to be commended for having brought all these wonderful music makers together; I hope to be able to see them all perform in the near future. Huzzah! and hurrah!, each and all!
Believe me when I tell you that this Sunday would been just magnifico were it not for two incidents that gave me pause to rethink why I do the work I do as New York's Unofficial Wizard. In the morning, as I parked my Wizardly butt onto a bench at Bennett Park while on the way to Fort Tryon Park, two 12-year-old boys noticed my regalia and costume. Though I managed to state that I had written two unpublished books, both of those young rugrats dared to dismiss your humble Dragonmaster as little more than a man in a costume, wielding a stick with rubberbands and long ropes on it and a star with five bells on it at the end. And, to add further insult to injury, both boys dared suggest that I forswear my robes, get my book projects published and then find a real job! Oh? Know ye this, Mortals: If I wanted a, quote, unquote, REAL job, I would end up as just another carbon copy yuppie in a business suit and tie --- and, by Merlin's beard, it'll be a cold day in Hell before I even permit myself to follow that path! The only reason Moondog himself followed that path was because he was willing to share his life with Ilona Goebel; I, on the other hand, am not so easily assured.
But the real last straw occured when I was on the homestretch, strolling back to the ol' humble hovel. I was minding my own business, playing it as cool as possible when out of nowhere a wild-eyed woman with a cane approached me, and screamed at me that I had some sort of demon possessing me! "In the name of Jesus," she ranted violently, "I cast you out, you demon!" Now, I had no idea who this person was, but it was apparent to me that she was mentally unhinged. Indeed, she even attempted to physically assault me for merely wearing my robes! Fortunately for me, I had seen that recent local news item about another mentally unhinged person who had dared to stab a poor, defenseless baby --- so it was clear to me that I was in potential danger. Luckily, thank goodness, I was able to completely my homeward journey unscathed (or thereabouts).
And at this point, there's something your Dragonmaster needs to get off his chest here. Y'know, I do appreciate that there are Christians who wish to save my soul (as you know, my colleague Merdwin the Mediocre is a fine example of having been brought up by loving, kind-hearted Christian parents); but coming at me violently with a cane is NOT the way to do that! You either baptize a person with holy water, or take him or her to church with you. I have better things to do with my time than battle a deranged would-be exorcist!
And while I'm bearing me soul here, folks, let's have an understanding:
When first I introduced me Wizardly person to you, New York, I made it absolutely clear: you're stuck with me for the long haul; and, as your Unofficial Wizard, I intend to keep on doing my damndest to encourage you to imagine responsibly and meaningfully; and to once again take stock in your fraternity of eccentrics, whose membership includes yours truly.
Over the years, however, since I first made that promise to you, there have been more and more of you out there who continue to debate about the matter of me sanity. The fact that I have been discovered by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, with whom I'll be locking horns again in November, isn't enough; I've been praised by two way-cool rock bands, Green Day and the Foo Fighters. And even that's not enough. In the days following the horror of Hurricane Katrina, it has become apparent to me that 2005 thus far has become a year of disappointments, excuses, lies and finger-pointing --- no matter where you look, from the President of the United States to the Governor of the State of New York, from our own Mayor to even that vile wench Martha Stewart, everybody is blaming the other guy, who in his/her turn keeps saying "I didn't do it."
Well, ya know what? I'm fed up with the whole bloomin' lot of it, and I know that those of you reading this are just as fed up with it all as well! To that end, therefore: NO MORE MR. NICE WIZARD! Starting today, Blackwolf the Dragonmaster declares open season on pea-brains, halfwits, and dum-dums in general! I don't need to justify my reasons for wearing my robes, nor do I have any patience for those who continue to not get it about me. Simply put, I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore! I'm Blackwolf the Dragonmaster, dammit --- and I don't have time for morons!
Hast thou a problem wi' that, Milord?