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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Geez, you're a Geek! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MattTheKnife
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Cholly, by golly!,

I see your point but I'm by no means one of the "old-timers" (who I might add that I have nothing but the highest respect for) and when someone calls the working acts that I do the derogatory term of "geek" then I get offended. It's just like when someone calls a talker a barker... it just SCREAMS to everyone in the know that this person doesn't have a clue.

Anyway, that's just my feeling on it and nothing more.

Cheers,
-Matt (TK)
NJJ
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You can't stop the evolution of language but you can learn about the history of words. I don't use the term Geek anymore because its not accurate.

On 'Geek Magic' vs 'Sideshow Arts' It is important to note that audience's often do not see a difference. They are grossed out by blockhead and they are grossed out by knife through arm. The terms are more industry jargon.
drwilson
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While we are on the subject of offensive language, why don't you look into what "squaw" really means. A lot of place names like "Squaw Mountain" or "Squaw Lake" are now being changed because it is offensive to some Native Americans. Here's a hint: it doesn't refer to an entire woman, just part of one. So folks, get a clue. If your use of the term "geek magic" offends someone who you could stand to learn something from, it's not acceptable, no matter how many dorks in suits use the term. Yes, languages changes, but sometimes people change it back or fight it. It doesn't matter what "other people" are doing. You are responsible for your own actions.

Yours,

Paul
ringmaster
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A person who calls a HUMAN ODDITY a freak is a PIZZUKE.
Less than 2% of reported UFO's turn out to be actual interplanetary vehicles.
dpe666
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This is not an argument for either side, but a "new" question. Why is it that at the begining of Harry Anderson's Needle Through The Arm routine, he starts off by saying, "Let's talk geek". He then gives a brief summary of what a "geek" is. I don't seem to remember any complaining. Was this ever an issue? If not, why is it ok for him to use that term, but everyone else is a "bigot"? Is it because Harry Anderson is famous? Smile
drwilson
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No, it's because Harry Anderson is explaining what the word geek means to sideshow performers: a specific act, biting the heads off chickens. As far as I remember it, that's what he's doing. That's not offensive because he's taking the word that people have been throwing around, and explaining what it means on the inside.

Speaking only for myself, whether someone is offensive or not has nothing to do with whether they are famous.

Yours,

Paul
thegreatnippulini
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Quote:
On 2005-08-14 11:31, MattTheKnife wrote:
I see your point but I'm by no means one of the "old-timers" (who I might add that I have nothing but the highest respect for) and when someone calls the working acts that I do the derogatory term of "geek" then I get offended.


I myself do not consider myself to be an old timer, Hell being 31 I'm still a kid in MANY eyes. But it is true: using the word is offensive, so it should be put to rest. Beautiful example: The word NEGRO was used a hundred years ago to describe a black person. It was widely acceptable and used often, even in radio, press and TV. Even the UNCF uses the word (hint: it's the "N"). Go ahead and use that word today to a black man. When you're finished putting ice on your swollen eye, broken teeth and bloody nose, then you'll realize not to use offensive language to describe people in this world, and hopefully you will have become a better person. The SIDESHOW ARTS community is getting tired of magicians trying to expand their presentation by adding true sideshow and calling it Geek magic. A. You are not a geek. B. It is not magic. These are offensive terms. Please refrain from using them because it hurts.

Thanks
TGN
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Cholly, by golly!
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Many young african-americans use the word N***** as a term of endearment.

Their use of the word is not racist or masochistic.
It's a joke... it's self-depreciating humor.

I think GEEK is used the same way by young sideshow performers.

Lots of people find these words offensive.
I don't... as long as they are not used OFFENSIVELY.

If a young black guy wants to call himself a n***** or a young sideshow performer wants to call himself a g***... I don't care.
It doesn't apply to me.

I personally don't use either of these terms because they're not ACCURATE.Using them makes you sound like an idiot.

Interestingly enough, the word CARNY(used by A LOT of old-timers) has negative connotations as well.
Stephon
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Ok, this is really becoming a serious problem for me.

When I wrote my show several years ago, I knew what a geek act actually was, and I knew that the term "geek" was being widely used to refer to people who performed sideshow arts. What I did not know was that is was offensive to more traditional sideshow performers. (I say "traditional" cuz it's obviously not offensive to the Jim Rose crowd.)

My entire show is built on the premise that a geek is a) a nerdy, socially awkward loser, which is not cool, but which we all are in one way or another, and b) someone who performs dangerous and sometimes shocking acts as entertainment, which is cool.

The show is built around the character I play, who is at once geeky, and does "geek tricks". The idea is, that by the audience experiencing the show with me, they make a transformation from the nerdy geek to the cool geek. I explain the (sideshow) origin of the word geek, and that it's been expanded recently to refer to definition b) (which is true).

(I hate trying to explain the concept behind a show--it always sounds so stupid).

I end the show with,"So next time someone calls you a nerd, a dweeb, a dork, or a doofus, you stand up straight and proud, look them right in the eye and say, 'No, I'm a GEEK!"

So, this thread is really making me feel like I'm screwed. I don't want to offend anyone within the sideshow community; however, my show is successful, the audience likes it, and I'm not inclined to completely change the premise, content, and everything else in my show because I use one word that a percentage of a very insular population objects to.

*sigh*. this sucks.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Harley Newman
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Being a geek is a hard act to swallow, eh?

It's a show, Stephon. FEEL the guilt, and make it part of your script.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
thegreatnippulini
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Swallow, Harley? Man, I thought I was bad with the puns, but that was a good one. Hey Harley, any chance we'll get to see you at the Gathering? I miss your wit and words of advice, they've helped me out in ways I cannot even tell you.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Stephon
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Quote:
On 2005-08-15 11:14, Harley Newman wrote:It's a show, Stephon. FEEL the guilt, and make it part of your script.
Challenge accepted. I'll get working on it.

;^) ;^)
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Harley Newman
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Hey, Nips! I understand. I remember discussing that Newton thing while eating sushi, and it was good, and you did it, and I love the idea, and am GLAD you did it. Yay!

I'll try to make the gathering for one day. I'm deep into scriptwriting, building, and performing at the moment, with some nasty deadlines hanging over my head. Somewhere I have to find some time to rehearse some new things.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2005-08-15 10:44, Cholly, by golly! wrote:
Many young african-americans use the word N***** as a term of endearment.

Their use of the word is not racist or masochistic.
It's a joke... it's self-depreciating humor.

I think GEEK is used the same way by young sideshow performers.

Lots of people find these words offensive.
I don't... as long as they are not used OFFENSIVELY.

If a young black guy wants to call himself a n***** or a young sideshow performer wants to call himself a g***... I don't care.
It doesn't apply to me.

I personally don't use either of these terms because they're not ACCURATE.Using them makes you sound like an idiot.

Interestingly enough, the word CARNY(used by A LOT of old-timers) has negative connotations as well.


To my generation the word geek is a nerdy kid who was good at school so I have always had images when hearing "geek magician" of a little spotty loser in glasses hacking into their arm with a machete!


I like the word Carny. It has a certain dangerous mystery about it. It reminds me of carnivore or carnage. Its the sort of image I think would work in the favour of sideshow acts. The image of the dirty, tattoed guy who lives life on the edge.

Of course, its all cheap stereotypes but isn't that show business?
thegreatnippulini
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Harley, cool. Lookin forward to it! Besides the Newtons Cradle, the advice on how to play with the audience, knowing how and WHEN expletives are appropriate... that kind of thing has REALLY propelled my career in a good way. I'm looking forward to more!

TGN
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
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