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[quote] On 2007-07-02 19:47, Patriot wrote: Thank you for the reasoned response. We have two entirely different views of humor and magic. I do respect your perspective on the issue, however, and can certainly see where you're coming from. All of this side steps the main argument that magic in itself is not a form of humor. Humor is one of several emotional tools used to enhance the performance of any art. Humor can be divided into two distinct forms: Verbal and Nonverbal. Verbal humor includes Black comedy, Caustic humor, Droll humor, Deadpan comedy, Nonsequiturs, Obscenity-based humor, Parodies, Mockeries, Sarcasm, Satire, Self-irony or Self-deprecation, Wit, Meta-humor, Abusive humor, Demented humor and racial humor. Non-verbal humor includes Anti-humor, Deadpan humor, Form-versus-content humor, Slapstick, Surreal or absurdity humor and Practical jokes. To evoke humor we use the verbal cues of figures of speech, funny words, irony, adages, stereotypes, riddles and word play (such as puns). We use the non-verbal cues of exaggeration, character-driven body & facial language, clash of context, sound effects, ambiguity and various forms of visual humor including sight gags and funny pictures. All humor falls into one of these basic categories and uses at least one of these basic emotion-enhancing tools. Carl Ballantine presents magic in a slapstick form. Penn & Teller present their magic in a satiric or sarcastic form. The Amazing Jonathan presents his magic in an abusive and black comedy format. Mac King uses a self-deprecating and absurdist humor. The point is that these individuals present their magic within a basic comedic form. If I were to say to someone that Mac King presents his act in the magic form of humor, he or she would look at me as though I'd lost my mind. The magic itself has no inherent humor value without at least one or more of these established humor forms and techniques. Therefore, magic cannot be viewed as an independent form of humor. This supports Danny's a=b, b=c, therefore a=c analogy. The presentation of magic can produce shock, surprise, fear, laughter, sorrow, disgust, boredom, anger, frustration and more. It all depends on how it is presented...refer back to my "Sam the Bellhop" example. Something as simple as the multiplying banana effect can be presented a number of ways. In the proper setting I can weave a believable ghost story around the haunted banana that might have some kids sleeping with their flashlights close at hand. I might use them to tell the heart-wrenching story of a poor starving child who discovers a magical replenishing banana that rescues him and his family from the throes of hunger. I can just stand there and blankly pull banana after banana out of my hand until my audience collapses into a catatonic state of absolute boredom. I can present it as an example of modern math gone mad to gales of laughter. The effect in itself...a magic trick, hence, magic...is neither frightening nor heart-wrenching nor boring nor funny. It is the use of an emotional tool (fear, victory, boorishness and humor) that gives the effect its quality. The tool provides the emotional stimulus to the effect; the effect itself has no emotional value. Without context and emotional cues, the presentation of magic is just a series of mechanical actions. The forms of humor are used to enhance the magic. Magic, itself, is just magic. I sense that we are never going to reach common agreement; not a bad thing whatsoever. I see the points in your argument but can't reconcile them with my own beliefs. I certainly don't expect you to forsake your views for mine. Where would be the fun in that? A fun discussion that caused me to stop and think. For the sake of brotherhood, we can agree to disagree. Good luck with your theory and success with your article. [/quote]
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