Look at this man, just take it all in … and then keep reading.
For more than two decades Ian Brackenbury Channell was known as the official Wizard of New Zealand. He was paid $11,290 annually — which is $260,000 over 23 years – for “acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services” and now, he is canceled.
What was his offense, you ask? Making a joke that made people mad.
The joke, you ask?
“I love women, I forgive them all the time, I’ve never struck one yet. Never strike a woman because they bruise too easily is the first thing, and they’ll tell the neighbors and their friends … and then you’re in big trouble.”
Yup, that quip on the TV show “New Zealand Today” was enough to get rid of a guy that was A WIZARD!
This dude just started making appearances in the city’s Cathedral Square in 1974, according to the city’s library website. Over the years, and after the popularity of Lord of the Rings, his public appearances expanded to include … rain dancing during droughts… and showing up to lead protests against the city’s plan to demolish historic buildings.
This is all real life stuff, folks. I am really writing about a Wizard being canceled. The edible has not even kicked in.
There are so many great quotes to cite on this, so I am going to just plow through them without really stringing more thoughts together.
The Guardian reported: The council recently sent him a letter saying his services would no longer be needed and that his presence didn’t fit with its new tourism message. The city’s “promotional landscape” is changing, city’s assistant chief executive Lynn McClelland said, and will reflect “a vibrant, diverse, modern city that is attractive to residents, domestic and international visitors, new businesses, and skilled migrant workers.”
Another dandy from McClelland: “The Council has met with the Wizard and sent him a letter thanking him for his services to Christchurch over the past decades, and informing him that we are bringing our formal contractual arrangement to a close.”
No chance that those people thought they would be making official statements about firing a Wizard. I didn’t think I would be writing about one.
What is the Wizard going to do about it all? Nothing. He doesn’t fvcking care. He is a fvcking WIZARD!
“It makes no difference,” he told Stuff. “I will still keep going. They will have to kill me to stop me.”
Kill a Wizard? Good luck, New Zealand.