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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Mentalism burn out in the 21st century (25 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mastermindreader
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Not sure what you mean by "professional courtesy." Are you referring to professionals hyping each others products maybe?

Personally, I don't endorse anything if I don't really like it. And it doesn't matter who the creator is. The only professional courtesy I extend is not saying anything at all if I think something stinks.
rjbullock
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I personally buy very little new material these days... I think we all probably have enough material to study for the rest of our lives. Perhaps the problem is a resistance to put in the work to make the art truly engaging and meaningful? Being a bit lazy, maybe we want the latest and greatest product to do the work for us perhaps?

I went from looking for new methods to looking for novel plot ideas to just looking for inspiring performances... I find so little these days that truly adds anything to "the classics" (including the modern classics), I will only purchase something if 2-3 people I respect say it is a "must have"... And that doesn't happen to often.
geraldbelton
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2014, MatCult wrote:

Posted on my Samsung Galaxy S5.


I see what you did there!
GaMind
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By professional courtesy, I didn't mean to imply hyping. I meant pretty much what you said, Bob, to avoid saying anything overly negative about a product. Which I feel is a sign of professional courtesy. In fact, most of the posts from the more recognized, respected names seem to provide the most level-headed comments. Guess that's one of the reasons why they're respected in the first place.
mastermindreader
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We're on the same page, then.
Mind Guerrilla
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In his book, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion," Robert Cialdini cites "Authority" and "Scarcity" as two major factors.

Authority: A prominent mentalist starts hyping his buddy's upcoming product as the best thing since sliced bread. Others join in.

Scarcity: "Limited edition! Become part of an exclusive club! Don't let your friends see it! Pre-order now before people find out how over-rated it is! Buy an extra copy which you can re-sell to some other schnook for big bucks!" Smile

And then there's the lack of critical feedback once a product is released, which encourages recidivism on the part of both sellers and buyers, allowing the cycle to begin again. Let's face it, whether motivated by professional courtesy or by purchasers' reluctance to admit they've been taken, the reviews sections on the Café tend to contain little more than thinly veiled advertisements. In the rare instance where someone posts a negative comment, the usual suspects rush to the seller's defense, even if all they can come up with is, "I've found that So-And-So is always very responsive to my emails! Great customer service!" I've posted some critical reviews and have received less-than-professional responses from effects' creators, including one from a guy who decided he would "punish" a dissenter like me by refusing to sell me any more of his overpriced products. Oh, no. Not that. Smile

Ultimately, we're each responsible for what we choose to spend our money on but when the product turns out to be far less than what it was touted to be, I don't believe the hype machine can be held blameless. I recall a Café member who bought into the hype of a pair of limited edition book tests costing $185 and who used his disability check to pay for them. But how could he go wrong? His pals on the Café were gushing over them before they were even released! "Magicians Helping Magicians," right? Well, it turns out the book tests were utter rubbish. I did post a review to that effect, motivated in no small part by this guy's story. If my review helped convince one other person not to throw their money away, then I feel I helped. How much courtesy (professional or otherwise) do con men deserve?
mastermindreader
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MindGuerilla-

I've never hyped ANYTHING that I didn't personally like out of "professional courtesy." Some pros undoubtedly do, but it's pretty easy to spot that kind of thing after a while.

Like I said, the only professional courtesy I've ever extended was not commenting at all about something I thought was sub par.

Bob
Mind Guerrilla
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On Jul 21, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
MindGuerilla-

I've never hyped ANYTHING that I didn't personally like out of "professional courtesy."

I never said you did! Your integrity here is beyond reproach. Sorry if you thought I implied otherwise. I can also understand why someone of your prominence would avoid posting negative remarks. To the recipient, it would be like getting a "thumbs down" from God. Smile People have defenestrated themselves over less. My stature here is much less God-like and, so far, reactions to my comments haven't risen above nasty PMs.

Quote:
Some pros undoubtedly do, but it's pretty easy to spot that kind of thing after a while.

One can only hope! Smile
mastermindreader
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I know you never said I did that. I just wanted it to be clear that it's not something that all pros do for one another.

But, in addition to what you said about the effect of a thumbs down on a creator, a lot of us are hesitant to criticize because it could often invite unwarranted retaliation on our own works. And sometimes not saying anything is just the pragmatic thing to do.

And besides, I wouldn't want to create the impression that I was hyping my own works by denigrating the work of others.

(But in private, of course, we aren't so circumspect with our opinions.)
Mind Guerrilla
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But most of you people here do not have the prominence of Bob Cassidy. Most of you are just poor schlubs like me.

So why do you remain silent when your purchases turns out to be...(struggling to be polite)...disappointing?
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Jul 21, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
But most of you people here do not have the prominence of Bob Cassidy. Most of you are just poor schlubs like me.

So why do you remain silent when your purchases turns out to be...(struggling to be polite)...disappointing?


Because people are wary of the wrath of the mob. I once posted a negative review of Peter Turner's "Dare to Be Bold" and was bombarded with vitriol, including the usual accusations of not being smart or skilled enough to understand it. I was even told by PM that I was going to be banned if I continued to voice my opinions in so negative a manner.

A lot of younger people are going to be intimidated by that sort of behaviour. Luckily, I have more important things to worry about.

( I should add, though, that while I continue to remain unconvinced by much of Peter's early works his later releases have contained some of the most exciting, original thinking of the last decade. But if someone hates the later stuff, or any release, they should be free to say so without fear of the fan-boy army.)
mastermindreader
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But here's the real problem I have with some alleged "endorsements." Very often, they are taken out of context. I am very careful nowadays when someone I don't know approaches me at a convention and shows me something he invented. I used to be very polite and just say something like, "That's great." when he was finished.

Until I starting seeing ads with me quoted as saying, "That's great."

I now call those "ambush endorsements" and am very careful about what I say.

So if you you show me something like that one day, don't be too puzzled if I just smile and say "Yeah." Smile
Mind Guerrilla
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On Jul 22, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Because people are wary of the wrath of the mob. I once posted a negative review of Peter Turner's "Dare to Be Bold" and was bombarded with vitriol, including the usual accusations of not being smart or skilled enough to understand it. I was even told by PM that I was going to be banned if I continued to voice my opinions in so negative a manner.

Scary. Were you told this by a moderator? Were you using inflammatory language?
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Jul 23, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 22, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Because people are wary of the wrath of the mob. I once posted a negative review of Peter Turner's "Dare to Be Bold" and was bombarded with vitriol, including the usual accusations of not being smart or skilled enough to understand it. I was even told by PM that I was going to be banned if I continued to voice my opinions in so negative a manner.

Scary. Were you told this by a moderator? Were you using inflammatory language?


No to both. But as you can see, I'm still here, so no harm done.
Smile
mastermindreader
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Giving a negative review is hardly a reason for getting banned. Whoever told you otherwise is an.... well, let's just say he's wrong.
Rolyan
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On Jul 23, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Giving a negative review is hardly a reason for getting banned. Whoever told you otherwise is an.... well, let's just say he's wrong.

I agree in principle, but I've seen posts deleted at the whim of Mr Brooks/the moderators (who knows who) for no apparent reason, and certainly none given. The posts just vanish. The last one I saw it happen to was a mild disagreement, but a well known poster was critical of certain well known published material. Deleted. I even posted my concern about lack of freedom of speech. That was deleted too (which is both funny and really really sad at the same time).

Power corrupts and all that.
mastermindreader
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Freedom of speech is a wildly misunderstood concept. All it says is that the GOVERNMENT may not regulate speech. It has nothing whatsoever to do with privately owned entities, such as Internet forums.
David Thiel
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Do I like every product I've purchased? Nope.

Do the ones I don't like all get bad reviews? Nope.

Am I afraid of the "wrath of the mob?" Nope.

Here's the thing: I think the person writing the review needs to realize that whether a prop/method/idea works in any given performance really is, most of the time, a highly subjective matter. In other words...just because it doesn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you. I'm not thrilled to death with the recent pile of "propless/doing it for real" releases. for example -- but others seem to really benefit from them. Who is going to point a finger at them and call them nasty names? We are all different performers with different perspectives.

You need to balance your reviews so that you deal with the product and not the person releasing it -- and that whatever you say is clear, clean and reasoned.

To be honest, there IS an aspect of backlash as well. I've given lots of less than enthusiastic reviews. I wrote that PERSONALLY I didn't like "Ghost" by Alakazam...and one of Docc's recent releases. Again...both were reviews done from a personal viewpoint...and in both cases there were PMs and discussions and sometimes vitriolic responses on both sides. How come? It's just one guy's opinion...but some people seem to have a hard time separating the product from the person. I get that.

It's much easier to say something nice about a product than it is to say something negative. But there is still a place for honest responses and I think differing opinions make for a better forum, especially when they don't turn into schoolyard brawls.

David
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Martin Pulman
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There will be no point to the Café if it just becomes a place for "creators" to praise and hype each other's "creations".

We need more honest responses and I don't think they necessarily need to be tempered by consideration of whether others may find the product useful. Unless that is we make exactly the same demand of those posting positive reviews.

Say what you really think. As long as one is not rude, the Café should be home to a plurality of views.
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Jul 23, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
There will be no point to the Café if it just becomes a place for "creators" to praise and hype each other's "creations".

We need more honest responses and I don't think they necessarily need to be tempered by consideration of whether others may find the product useful or not. Unless that is we make exactly the same demand of those posting positive reviews.

Say what you really think. As long as one is not rude, the Café should be home to a plurality of views.
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