Web Posted -
August 27, 2004
by When Steel Talks
that time of the year again in New York, when pan men, old and young,
gather and exchange war stories of battles won, lost, and show their scars
and blood soaked tee-shirts from past campaigns against the EVIL EMPIRE.
Yes - there is an evil empire in almost every country where pan exists.
The evil empire is that organization, group or individuals, real or
imagined entities (through indifference, incompetence, stupidity or just
plain evil) who are hell bent on making the pan man's life miserable, and
stopping the pan movement from progress. The Evil Empire Exists.
I have heard much stories of the global reach of the Evil Empire. It
appears to exist in Japan, the Caribbean, all over Europe and of course
New York. Pan history is filled with the great battles and class struggles
against the Evil Empire. In New York, for the past thirty-plus years, the
pan people have "ordained" promoters of the New York panorama and labour
day festivities as the Evil Empire.
Now really, in fairness to the NY Evil Empire they are not all corrupt,
bad, miserable tortured souls who hate pan and panmen. There are one or
two good devils among them (ha, ha). As a matter of fact, this year's New
York panorama event, like last year, is being billed a "cooperative
production between the New York-based steelband association and the Evil
Empire." Of course everyone knows this is nonsense. But it has raised
(quite publicly and loud) the question as to why panmen would allow
themselves to be used and "walk point" for the Evil Empire. Everyone who
has served in the military knows what happens to those who walk point.
The New York steelband association has some good pan people who have a
genuine interest for the advancement and betterment of the NY steelband
movement. They have not all fallen to the powers of the dark side.
However, any association with the Evil Empire, given its past history,
would be, and should be, viewed with suspicion, and presents the
opportunity for a damaged reputation. Are we to believe that we are in the
midst of a kinder, gentler, Evil Empire??? Indeed, many have begun to
wonder out loud that this current regime of the steelband association, has
accomplished nothing, other than bringing the New York steelbands back
onto the dinner plate of the Evil Empire. This too, is a bit unfair. Let's
give the New York steelband association another year before making that
judgment. If the NY panorama prize purse does not exceed $250,000 US
(exclusive of "appearance fees), with a $100,000 first prize - by next
year, then there may be reason for serious concern about this current
The experiences of New York's best panorama in 2001, which was strictly a
"Pan Man's Joint" and devoid of any interaction whatsoever with the Evil
Empire, taught pan men that great things can happen when they take care of
their own business and the potential to control their own destiny.
Some have said that if the Evil Empire did not exist panmen would invent
them. Therefore the Evil Empire may be nothing more than the figment of
the pan man's imagination?? In 2004 pan people are solely responsible for
their own successes, failures and expectations - irrespective of what the
Evil Empire does - or does not - do. After all panorama is just one event,
a ten-minute performance, which has always been a tremendous losing
business venture for pan people.
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