musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that the harmonica shall be banned in all music (except for one cat)

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 87/8-P: The harmonica is hereby banned in the Empire. There shall be no more sonic poison vomited into sparkling guitar cocktails served by unwashed Dylan wannabes wearing neck-holders and moaning and spitting into cheap Hohners. The Emperor has decided that, artistically speaking, the harmonica is the proverbial fart in church; it is an Almond Joy bobbing in the public pool; the accidental, mid-wipe finger-punch through the toilet paper; the over-the-top scatological humor in the formal blog post; the plump and throbbing zit perched between the azure eyes of a beauty queen. The harmonica is a heinous-sounding buzz-saw backing a choir of angels. It adds about as much musicality to the average song as pants would add to the hydro-dynamics of a cruising Great White. (The only valid harmonica musician of all time is Toots Thielmans — he, alone, shall continue to be allowed to play, until such time as he may go up to the great Jam Session in the Sky.) Next week, all harmonicas shall be seized and destroyed in the Imperial Harmonica Smasher. (Yes, we built one. And, yes, it is as cool as it sounds.)

Everyone knows the definition of “perfect pitch” is when you throw a harmonica into a dumpster and it bounces off of a broken accordion. (Thank, yeeew – the Emperor’s here every week. Try the veal!)

The Punishment: Those caught with contraband harmonicas will be thrown into the smasher along with their offensive, metallic tooters — whose natural sounds will have been far more disturbing than the ensuing death screams of the besquished owners could ever be.

PS: John Popper is not a valid defense against this decree, so don’t try it. If anything, just bringing his name up will make the Emperor even more angry.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning. 

Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
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