Saturday, July 18, 2009


Far from the madding crowd, Michael Jackson and wedding cakes (thank you for your very positive remarks) are some vestiges of a not so calmer time when dragons ruled the air. Let’s take a little trip through the tulips and try and forget the news of the last few weeks.

The recent revival of the 1981 movie
Dragonslayer to cult status (DVD) has reminded us of several major issues pertinent to our domain: Good entertainment, Dragons and Virgins, Maidens to you sensitive folks. With this in mind we of the Might of Right engaged great tongue in cheek scholarship in researching the above query and found the answer in two popular entities.

The fossil record reflects that dragons have consumed up to 20 tons of food everyday? They are reputed to have devoured cows, horses, sheep, people, cute little bunnies, dogs, beer cans and cigarette butts not unlike their modern cousin, the alligator. Not surprisingly, modern dragons now prefer eating pizza, cows and maidens, not necessarily in that order. The closest they will come to “sit down, high cooking” (haute cuisine for you fancy folks) is the Pitt Stop in Lufkin, Texas home to Blazing Butts, the incomparable Texas Frito Pie and some of the finest bar-b-que anywhere!

Most dragons today choose to live in Wales and Scotland given the great abundance of virgins, their preferred repast (please, no Susan Boyle jokes). Recent surveys, however, reflect their burgeoning preference for the Obama-style, thick-crust American Chicago style Pizza - a close second.

Dragonslayer has reborn what has been reputed by many as the scariest dragon ever cast in a movie and eons from our above friendly dragon. We are not surprised given that this writer’s personal hero - Jim Henson and his puppet factory (the precursor to the Creature Factory) - was responsible for the she dragon named Vermithrax Pejorative (The Wyrm from Thrace who makes things worse) who was animated by the good and talented folks at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Vermithrax, far from Sean Connery’s amiable Draco of Dragonheart fame, lived in a sea of fire and, not surprisingly, didn’t converse with humans and preferred her half-naked female virgins on the half shell. We, of course immediately noted this same sex preference with Vermithrax adopting a subdued Rosie O’Donnell personality. We wondered what the end result would have been had half-naked male virgins been offered though soon realized that even males a la Chippendales probably wouldn’t have the same marketing appeal. Apparently, towel-snapping personas and the “vulnerable virgin” demeanors were the most difficult to maneuver. We continue.

The movie’s conundrum: the intimidated residents of Urland didn’t want to give up any more of their virgin daughters but still desperately wanted to appease Vermithrax. Playing to both sides they continue to supply Vermithrax with virgins and call in a wizard named Ulrich to dispatch their dragon.

The plot is confounded by the mandatory though rigged virgin lotteries, the surly and evil Knight Tyrian, the untimely, supposed death of Ulrich and his succession by the inexperienced apprentice Galen Bradwarden in an ultimate good over evil scenario. Galen’s love interest turns out to be Valerian, the blacksmith's daughter disguised as a boy to avoid the lottery and the lovely Princess Elspeth who in a fit of honor, rigs the lottery so that her selection may restore some honor to her inept and corrupt father, the king.

The really interesting thing about this collaboration between The Walt Disney Company and Paramount Pictures was that Dragonslayer was anticipated to be a “Bambi or Bunny Rabbit” flick. Instead, Dragonslayer turned out to be much more mature and realistic than any other Disney film of the period, literally scaring the Heck out of what had heretofore been a tame Disney fan base. The parental uproar was tumultuous with the Scottish Community roaring with delight at the reaction. We need note that this appeared to be a necessary transition as Disney sought to broaden their horizons by engaging more adult themes.

So, we have a scary dragon, virgin sacrifice and great entertainment. Yes, we recommend purchase of the Dragonslayer DVD for a nostalgic trip to medieval Britain and most appropriately a flick shot mostly in northern Wales (known for their dragons) and at the end on the Isle of Skye in Scotland (home to the feared Cairn Terrier).

Wikipedia’s collaborative review best reflects the movie. “Dragonslayer is set apart from other fantasy films by its historical accuracy in costume and set design, as well as by a script and performances that attempt to accurately portray Britain at the turning point between paganism and Christianity. Sir Ralph Richardson's portrayal of the wizard Ulrich has become one of his most famous roles. Also, the moral complications of the film, along with its realistic depiction of political and societal pressures, give it a greater sophistication than most movies of its genre.” We certainly agree especially since the film well defines at least one dragon’s (supposedly the last) culinary desires!

No, we’re not finished yet. Enter
The Brobdingnagian Bards of the 21st century who though recently disbanded, evolved into one of the most popular acts at Renaissance Faires around the country. I saw them at the 2005 Texas Renaissance Festival. Their romantic, comical and everything in between work remains intact. Lovers of Scottish, Irish and Celtic Renaissance music will love this group which pondered the answer to our initial question, What do dragons eat? Their song, Do Virgins Taste Better on their A Faire to Remember CD reflects the answer to the conundrum though the countryside may not survive. The Brobdingnagian Bards also of Real Men Wear Kilts fame tie in our good folks from Urland and Dragonslayer in admirable style and remind us why we no longer practice the virgin sacrifice in our domain. We should note that The Brobdingnagian Bards were Austin, Texas based and the collaboration of the very talented Longhorns Marc Gunn and Andrew McKee. And what the heck does Brobdingnagian mean? Visit their website and surf around for the answer, aye.
Do Virgins Taste Better?

A dragon has come to our village today.
We've asked him to leave, but he won't go away.
Now he's talked to our king and they worked out a deal.
No homes will he burn and no crops will he steal.

Now there is but one catch, we dislike it a bunch.
Twice a year he invites him a virgin to lunch.
Well, we've no other choice, so the deal we'll respect.
But we can't help but wonder and pause to reflect.

Do virgins taste better than those who are not?
Are they salty, or sweeter, more juicy or what?

Do you savor them slowly? Gulp them down on the spot?
Do virgins taste better than those who are not?

Now we'd like to be shed of you, and many have tried.
But no one can get through your thick, scaly hide.
We hope that some day, some brave knight will come by.
'Cause we can't wait around 'til you're too fat to fly.

Now you have such good taste in your women for sure,
They always are pretty, they always are pure.
But your notion of dining, it makes us all flinch,
For your favorite entree is barbecued wench.

Now we've found a solution, it works out so neat,
If you insist on nothing but virgins to eat.
No more will our number ever grow small,
We'll simply make sure there's no virgins at all!
“Hello, this is Draco of the Hesperides. I’d like to order out, say thirty-five of your Chicago deep dish pizzas with extra Italian sausage, chorizo, pepperoni, double cheese, onion, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms and, of course, top it all off with some Scotch Bonnets. Aye!”

We of Might of Right dedicate this piece to Brobdingnagian Bards Marc Gunn and Andrew McKee who entertained us mightily for thirteen years in tandem and will hopefully continue to do so in their respective venues. Thanks for sharing your musical gifts.


Ned Buxton

No comments: