15 October 2021

Kiwi Gandalf

News from Middle-earth:

"New Zealand council ends contract with wizard after two decades of service"

"The official Wizard of New Zealand, perhaps the only state-appointed wizard in the world, has been cast from the public payroll, spelling the end to a 23-year legacy.

The Wizard, whose real name is Ian Brackenbury Channell, 88, had been contracted to Christchurch city council for the past two decades to promote the city through 'acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services', at a cost of $16,000 a year. He has been paid a total of $368,000."

Off to the Grey Havens and then Valinor, I guess?


  1. What the news media consistently fail to mention is that he's been spouting hateful misogynistic crap for decades as part of his "wizarding" act, and he's got away with it because people have treated him as a joke. Now that people are having enough of his shit, he's crying about being "cancelled" for being a sexist old arsehole.

    1. So more of a "Saruman" then, it would seem...

    2. If they really wanted him to be faithful to Tolkein's writings he should just largely ignore women, not hate them. Let's see, female characters with speaking roles in the entirety of LotR - Galadriel, Eowyn, Arwen, Ioreth (aka the healer at Gondor they mock for talking too much), Rosie (aka Sam's future wife), Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, and...um, is that it? Maybe Farmer Maggot's unnanmed wife? I'm probably forgetting someone from Bree or Bilbo's birthday party but still, that is not a reasonable number of female characters, and really only two of them have anything but bit roles in the story - and one of them has a creepy can't-have-Aragaorn-guess-Faramir-will-do story arc thrust on her in an effort at romance that rivals the worst of EE "Doc" Smith and Robert E Howard.

      I'd think a proper Saruman imitator would go on at length about how climate change isn't real and the trees are out to get us.

  2. I wonder if Harry Dresden will apply for the job opening? He certainly has teh professional credentials and New Zealand looks like heaven compared to the hellhole of city he lives in.

  3. Ageism. Pure and simple.

    I wonder how much a wizard could expect to earn in the U.S. Most of the witches I've known did their work as a side-hustle...


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).