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Cheshire Cat
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I tend to go along with Peter here - a certain sensitivety and awareness (or common sense if you wish) has evolved over the past 20 years or so in most forms of entertainment, and magic cannot be an exception.

However at my time of life I cannot help having a 'wicked' personal sense of humour at times, I guess it's human nature - but I would refrain from thrusting this onto others and keep it duly suppressed!
Peter Marucci
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Phil Pearce writes, about comments on "how much is that in real money?":
"I disagree. I think that's pretty funny . . "

You probably wouldn't if you were in the other country -- oh, let's say, for example, Canada -- and the person who was looking disparagingly at your currency, with a picture of your head of state on it, and asking what it was worth in "real money" was an American.

This cuts to the very heart of my point: You have to be extra-sensitive if you are dealing from a position of strength.
Dave Egleston
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Once again, I think you've picked the wrong example - I was raised in upstate New York and that sentence (real money) was said at least once a month on both sides of the border and I never heard ANYONE get upset. And as stated earlier, my family thought Canadians were just another minority, but weren't offended by that old joke!

By the way, and as an aside - Have you ever thought about what would have happened if Ben Franklin's committee had been successful in June of 1776?

I'm desperately searching for the trick referenced so I can at least comment from some sort of knowledge.

But as always seems to be the case in a Marucci inspired thought - We're in the same room but the lighting seems to be bad.

Dave
Phil Pearce
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Peter: I think the choice of names for the effect (Retard) is a bit off base, but nothing to get one's shorts in a twist over. But in my opinion, you carry this way too far.
I have traveled to quite a few foreign countries and I have made the same exact joke that you cited about real money to the locals in Italy, Thailand, China, Switzerland, and Massachusetts, and have never had a negative reaction. If someone in the U.S. would get offended (!) if someone from another country said the same about a sawbuck, well...in my opinion, they're just wound a little bit too tightly. They would need to take a couple of deep breaths, think about what is happening in Iraq right now, put it all in perspective, and really think about it.
Maybe it was just an ill-chosen example; the more I think about it, I'm sure that's what it was.
Cheers!
Phil
debaser
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I was part of the original thread Peter is talking about. Since then I have looked at the Mac King book at BORDERS book store.

The effect title is "Rubber Cement Retard" and the word retard is used in the book to descibe someone who (and these are Mac King's words) "If you want to look like a total DOOFUSS".

So it is a matter of "appropriateness" in the situation. I feel that saying someone who looks like a doofus looks like a retard and putting that in a public book sold at major book stores is bad judjement.

Mac King uses the word retard to obviously refer to people who are retarded (not some 17th century reference).

There is nothing wrong with saying someone is mentally retarded (assuming they are). But to call that person a "retard" is offensive, because you are not referring to their disability, you are defining them by it. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE.

I do not consider myself politically correct and if someone used the term retard in say an adult comedy show, maybe it would be funny. That is not the case when you put out a book that is primarily for younger children.
debaser
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PETER - For someone who is lecturing about using hurtful words in a public situation I do not understand your post on the thread titled "oxymorons". This is a direct quote by YOU on that thread:

When referring to Oxymorons
PETER SAYS -

"Depending on where you live:
Chinese driving-school!"

Since this is the Magic Café and it is a forum for the young and old and Chinese, I feel that your statement of Chinese driving schools being an oxymoron is fairly inappropriate.

I don't see how that is any different than the Chinese Laundry ticket effect.

We make the rules on how we want to live and how we would like to be perceived. It is up to each individual to represent themselves to the world. WORDS HAVE POWER and it is all our responsibility to use those words with dignity and grace.

Matthew
nums
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"You probably wouldn't if you were in the other country -- oh, let's say, for example, Canada -- and the person who was looking disparagingly at your currency, with a picture of your head of state on it, and asking what it was worth in "real money" was an American". Peter M. wrote that and I have a story that does not agree with it.
When I had a real job I went onto a Canadian ship and was doing my job , a sailor asked me if I had a new "gold dollar" in exchange for a "loony" . I happened to and I asked him why they call it a "loony" - was it because it had the picture of the Queen on it? After picking himself off the floor from laughing he explaind it was due to the "loons" (birds )on it.

P.C. SUCKS. This is not to say I like, use or agree with the N word or the P word for Polish people or the S word for Spanish people, only that I hate calling the bums homeless, the blind vision impaired, and the crippled handicapped. I don't know if there is any correlation but I remember a better world when if it walked like a duck, quacked like a duck and swam like a duck it was a duck not a BILLED WATER FOUL. I am a magician, not an illusionist or performance artist, or any of the other 10 syllable words people use to describe themselves these days. For GOD'S sake lets not call a Sanitation Engineer a Janitor, he may feel bad about himself.

Jeff
Chrystal
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I am personally offended at the word "R". As a Special Education Teacher and a board member of the Learning Disabilities Association, I advocate on behalf of children with disabilites. (mentally challenged and physically disabled don't necessarily go together as some people assume).

Yes, some of you "don't get it". Your words said in jest, wound and hurt children daily when they hear that term. But they should get over it? Then I would say bully to you.

Would any of you look at a child that has been called "R" by others and feel saddened by their tears? Do those that "don't get it" walk around a school yard and hear that word used in derogatory terms..it's never said jokingly.

Advocating the use of the word or any others that hurt people is only perpetuating its use. It's the responsibility of those that care about others to tell a person ..I don't want to hear it and it's offensive to me.

I can almost hear the detractors now speaking "sheesh she's a bleeding heart". I would argue a caring one..better than a black heart anyday.

So there is my two cents worth.. Smile
Peter Marucci
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Debaser writes: "There is nothing wrong with saying someone is mentally retarded (assuming they are). But to call that person a "retard" is offensive, because you are not referring to their disability, you are defining them by it. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE."

Thank you, Debaser, for being at least ONE person who understands what I am talking about.

The situation got out of control when it slipped into the "money" area.

But Debaser also writes: "For someone who is lecturing about using hurtful words . . ."

I am NOT lecturing anyone on the use or misuse of hurtful words; if anyone thinks that, I apologize.

I was, I thought, simply drawing attention to a perceived problem -- one perceived by many people (but none of them here, it would appear!)

What I tried to point out -- albeit unsuccessfully in this crowd -- was that there are some words that should not be used today because they hurt the people they refer to or are directed at.

(I've yet to come across a Chinese person who objects to the term "Chinese".)

But feel free to use any words you like in any situation you want. After all, I'm not your mother and if you want to sound like a good ol' boy (probably a politically incorrect term!), that's fine with me.

But in doing so maybe someone somewhere will understand how magic is being dragged down to a third-rate level.
Sid Mayer
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Oh, for the deity of your choice's sake. This has become a temannoyer in a teacontainer.

Blandly,

Sid
All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
GlenD
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Interesting...
What are you going to do ? In all walks of life there are all kinds of characters.
But if you stand in front of a brick looking wall in front of a mic in a room full of inebriated folks, you can say just about anything and everyone laughs... Smile
Even in this age of high sensitivity on just about everything! Go figure.
Oh well, time and place for everything, right? Can't wait to see the movie, "Anger Management"! Smile Smile

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Cheshire Cat
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Well Bigwolf, it seems that even though we broadly supported what PM had to say we have been thrust into the pot, or rather "crowd" of those who lack understanding of the point!

It's a lovely sunny Tuesday morning here in England, - so I'll get the petrol mower out and leave this cyber minefield to it's own devices . . . gardening is such a nice pastime, and it helps prevent one from becoming circumfrencially disadvantaged too.
Peter Marucci
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Sorry, ace, wolf, et al. Perhaps I got somewhat carried away and painted in too broad strokes.

In any case, "a lot of" (not "all") people don't seem to care whom they offend, so long as they can justify it to themselves.

Okay, if you can live with that, go ahead.

It explains a lot.
Cheshire Cat
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Thank you Peter, the Evelyn Fison Floribunda is in the post to you.

Having worked as a musician extensively in my younger years, on cabaret circuits, I experienced first hand just how hurtful and insensitive some performers can be. I have sat on stage (piano player) with a West Indian drummer colleague through a stand-up comic's 30 minutes of '******' and '****' jokes. I offered to walk off with my friend, but to his credit he sat and faced this barrage with dignity and endurance. Now, as a children's entertainer, I avoid anything that could poke fun at the 'chosen' child even! To counterbalance this argument though, I think the ridiculous extremes that some have gone to, so as not to offend, e.g. inner city Manchester, UK, nursery schools singing "baa baa white sheep", or allowing some vitreolic Muslim cleric with a hook for a hand, to close off a London street with outside worship because the mosque has been closed down, is beyond sanity.
I also believe that most races, including white Anglo-Saxon like myself, have humorous traits, and a moderate amount of 'sending-up' is harmless. But alas, many performers do not have the skill to carry this off without inducing ill-feeling, so if in doubt, I'd leave it alone.
Peter Marucci
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Great post, aceparties!
That's it exactly.
And it's certainly refreshing to know that there are some performers out there who understand the difference between humor and hurt.
debaser
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NUMS - Your post was saddening at best.

So since you don't understand big words and have no compassion towards anyone who doesn't cause a threat to you, I will explain it for you.

Blind implies that you are unaware of your surroundings (this could mean blind love, or being blind TO THE CONDITIONS OF OTHERS) whereas vision impaired descibes exactly what it is.

Crippled implies helplessnes usually brought on by an outside force. It is also more of a verb than a noun. Handicapped implies having a condition that limits certain abilities.

Bums (I cant believe I even need to say this one). A person that say, doesn't have family nearby and has lost their job in a slow job market might become "homeless" whereas a bum implies that this person just doesn't care and is lazy.

I hope this has given you some insight NUMS and maybe even though you HATE to have to make modifications to your speech, now you can see some reasons why it might be a good idea.

________________

Peter - I wasn't implying that the word "Chinese" was offensive (just like it is not offensive in the title of "Chinese laundry ticket"). It is the use of it to describe a group of people as being ignorant that is offensive.

In the case of the Chinese laundry ticket it is offensive because not all Chinese people say things like "tickee or shirtee" (although some may).

In the case of YOUR quote it is offensive because all Chinese people do not drive poorly (although some do).

I can not see one lick of difference between your words and the words used by the people who wrote the title and patter for the Chinese Laundry Ticket (except that they wrote it years and years ago, while your words are very recent).

So you're not lecturing or preaching (fine), but you are writing about lack of sensitivity towards people. I personally feel like your words were just as offensive as the words of the people you are talking about.

Matt
Peter Marucci
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Matt writes: "I personally feel like your words were just as offensive as the words of the people you are talking about."

Good! That's exactly the reaction I was hoping for!

Strike out and show that you care about human dignity!

Of course they were offensive -- and wrong -- and I apologize.

But good on you for zeroing in on them!
debaser
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Thanks Peter and good on you for admitting that you were wrong.

Matt
nums
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Debaser, Websters online dictionary defines blind as follows.....1 a (1) : SIGHTLESS (2) : having less than 1/10 of normal vision in the more efficient eye when refractive defects are fully corrected by lenses b : of or relating to sightless persons
2 a : unable or unwilling to discern or judge <blind to a lover's faults>

And it defines Cripple as ....1 a sometimes offensive : a lame or partly disabled person or animal b : one that is disabled or deficient in a specified manner.


Bum is defined .....1 a : one who sponges off others and avoids work b : one who performs a function poorly <called the umpire a bum> c : one who devotes his time to a recreational activity <a beach bum> <ski bums>
2 : VAGRANT, TRAMP
- on the bum : with no settled residence or means of support .

I am sorry that you do not agree with me but I am not mad, nor do I dislike any of the people mentioned in the definitions ( except bums, and my brother is a 44 year old bum who, were it not for a few friends, would be homeless). I am also not saying all people without a roof are bums but the seven people I know personally that are "homeless" are BUMS and have no desire for a house or work and are perfectly content to live off of panhandeling. My wife and I have on several occasions offered jobs to a few of the seven and all have turned them down. I feel for the ones who lost homes and jobs due to the economy and have even performed for them to show a little sunshine in their otherwise dreary day (do you?). Have you bought a one-legged man lunch? I have. The first two deffinitions are right on. As for homeless I have to say that all dogs are animals but not all animals are dogs- therefore all bums may be homeless but not all homeless are bums.

ME

P.S. Here is to the day when there is no blindness, no crippled people and everyone has a job and a home.
Chrystal
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Hi Nums,

I kinda see what you are trying to say but at the same time want to point out the following.

Webster's Dictionary revamps its list of words yearly (or it may be every two years), dropping anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 words and sometimes even adding that many on.

One case in example..remember a time when mouse referred to only a small fuzzy creature? Or a hard drive might have meant driving in a thunder storm? Giving examples from the dictionary doesn't necessarily make them correct or still in common use. Glance through the entire thing and I'm sure you'll find thousands of words that people rarely use anymore. Sheesh, remember when men referred to women as dames? They'd get a funny look if they used that word nowadays.

Anyway a lot of this topic has gotten under my cutaneous and I want to remain demotic, besides I'm becoming desultory.


"Woe is me!" Smile
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