Last Tuesday, awash in the hallucinogenic glow of a drug cocktail, part-time artist and full-time LARPer (that’s Live Action Role Playing for those of you with non-traumatic childhoods), Konrad Bass used his master sword to fend off the forces of evil in their truest form: a BMW-driving commuter. Early on the morning of May 16, the red BMW was accosted by the role player at the corner of Southeast 7th and Morrison in Portland. Bass, clad head-to-toe in "a sequined chain-mail vest, a leather kilt and a snowboarding helmet," punctured the woman's vehicle repeatedly with his weaponry.
The woman, naturally alarmed, called 911 and reported that a "pirate" was attacking her car. Since not having the faintest clue about pop culture imagery isn't a crime, police showed up quickly to subdue Bass.
After several days in a hospital (he's unhinged so he doesn't get sent to jail for this stuff), Bass, who goes by the stage name "Konrad McKane," opened up about the encounter to Vocativ.com.
McKane spends his days immersed in a fantasy world of his own design (that's a surprisingly easy thing to accomplish in Portland). He plays in a 2-piece fantasy-themed band called the Empaths. He writes fantasy novels with wicked awesome titles like "Alkaya: The Legend of Empyro," which doesn't sound remotely cliched or hacky. Google also informs us that he's trying to get a modeling career off the ground which is worth checking out if you enjoy a little schadenfreude … okay, here's a little taste (but only because you begged): "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy, but I don't hold grudges and I love everyone so I have no enemies."
The "self-described rogue assassin" was hanging out with fellow LARPers (which are just fantasy nerds who still like to play with toys as adults, not that there's anything wrong with a little whimsy) at a Monday Funday at Colonel Summers Park, a Portland institution during the Spring and Summer. A member of their little cabal offered McKane some drugs.
“It’s not like I’m a drug addict or anything,” says McKane. “But whenever someone offers some to me, I’ll take them. I find that it’s pretty rude to refuse gifts.” And take the drugs he did.
“Moon Rocks (aka MDMA), DMT and LSD—it was the trifecta!” McKane told Vocativ. Even better, McKane experiences hypomania, a disease that causes him to believe his fantasies are totally real. His condition is exacerbated by drug use (so the guy knew the situation could go south, yet he plunged forward anyway). In the past, McKane has been arrested for a slew of silly crimes like climbing a lamp post dressed as a ninja, bombing down a big hill in an office chair and claiming to be a fictional character that he created, and running around an apartment complex naked (that one got him tasered by Florida police).
A handful of hallucinogens and a 12-hour bout of "tripping balls" in solitude impressed upon Konrad McKane the following delusion: “I was here to save America,” he says. “In 10 days, Obama was going to be assassinated. Morgoth was chasing after me. I was chasing shadow dragons. It was crazy.”
Quick side note: Morgoth, as you probably guessed, is a reference to Tolkien. He's like Sauron's mentor … Sauron is the bad guy in Lord of the Rings. But I digress.
When he happened upon the BMW, "which he admits he mistook for a shape-shifting demon," the intrepid dork "hopped on her hood and tried to pierce her tires with [his] master sword." When the cops rolled up to put a stop to his shenanigans, McKane was cited for criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and menacing. He was subsequently taken to Providence Portland Medical Center.
Due to his mental health issues, McKane isn't looking at any jail time. In fact, he's positively giddy about being cooped up in the hospital until this Thursday. “I call it my writer’s retreat,” he says. “It gives me a break from reality.”
Which leaves this writer wondering when exactly Konrad McKane spends time on the same planet the rest of us inhabit.