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Martin Pulman
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This issue has been mentioned on a couple of other threads and I thought it may make an interesting topic on its own.

It is pretty well established in Hollywood cinema that the 30s and 40s were the "golden age of film", and the 70s movie-brat era is seen as the "silver age". It is also argued that we are living through a "golden age" of US television.

Can we speak of similar ages of mentalism? Was the golden age the 30s and 40s when Annemann was at the peak of his powers and Dunninger ruled the radio waves, was it the 50s when TV audiences thrilled to Dunninger in the US and Berglas and Canasta in the UK? The 70s when Geller captivated the world and ESP was hip, giving birth to Bernstein, Osterlind, Cassidy etc? Or post 2000 and the rise of the "invisible compromise" movement epitomised by Brown, Jermay and Turner.

What do Café members think?
Atlas
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Personally, I think that it is human nature to look back and romanticise a period of time.

As we get older, we tend to forget the troubles and problems of an era and become nostalgic for it.

Lots of people look back on the 1950's in America as a sort of wonderful time to grow up - but it was in the constant shadow of the nuclear apocalypse and nervousness due to the Cold War. Those terrifying aspects of childhood are now minimized when reflecting back on it, largely because those worries came to naught.

I agree that mentalism has different eras and threads of ideals, but whether you are likely to value one period over another will be somewhat relative. I think the important thing is to appreciate what you've got, while you've got it, and to make sure that you tell those people who inspire you how grateful you are to them while you have the chance.

So, I'm grateful for and have been inspired by the following people:

Bob Cassidy
Richard Osterlind
Luke Jermay
Mark Elsdon
Michael Murray
Ken Dyne
Colin Mcleod
Ben Blau
Max Maven
Looch
Marc Oberon
Paul Romhany
Banachek
Derren Brown
Peter Turner
Bruce Bernstein
Joshua Quinn
Phill Smith
David Berglas
Steve Haresign

There are lots of great people out there.

And most of them are there because of those who went before.

I don't view one period as better than any other - it is all part of one long chain of people who gave a bit of themselves to others, who inspired and taught.

In a way, every time you perform, you fashion the future of mentalism. It is impossible to say how one night on stage for you may impact on and inspire some member of the audience. Each performer leaves a legacy and is tied to what follows. Each new age has been built upon the foundation of the one that came before it, with the work of every predecessor thriving still.

Best,

Atlas
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Sep 2, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
This issue has been mentioned on a couple of other threads and I thought it may make an interesting topic on its own.

It is pretty well established in Hollywood cinema that the 30s and 40s were the "golden age of film", and the 70s movie-brat era is seen as the "silver age". It is also argued that we are living through a "golden age" of US television.

Can we speak of similar ages of mentalism? Was the golden age the 30s and 40s when Annemann was at the peak of his powers and Dunninger ruled the radio waves, was it the 50s when TV audiences thrilled to Dunninger in the US and Berglas and Canasta in the UK? The 70s when Geller captivated the world and ESP was hip, giving birth to Bernstein, Osterlind, Cassidy etc? Or post 2000 and the rise of the "invisible compromise" movement epitomised by Brown, Jermay and Turner.

What do Café members think?


There is no single "golden age." There are at least three. In my "Journey Through the 4TH Dimension" I discussed the first two eras of modern mentalism:

Quote:
Modern mentalism can be divided into two distinct eras. The first - a theatrical response to
the public’s fascination with Spiritualism, Theosophy, hypnotism and early psychical research
- began soon after the birth of the American Spiritualist movement in 1848 and continued,
roughly, through the late 1920’s...


The second era began when the public became fascinated with ESP as a "scientific" phenomenon, and that corresponds roughly with the pioneering work in the field by JB Rhine and with the publication of Upton Sinclair's "Mental Radio."

This was the "Dunninger" era- the presentation of mentalism as "scientific" thought reading.

It changed again in the seventies, as I indicated in my earlier post, with the arrival of Uri Geller and a "New Age" approach to mentalism. That pretty much continued until the rise of the Internet in the mid to late nineties, when what I facetiously call the "trivialization era" began.
George Hunter
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MagicAtlas thinks that "it is human nature to look back and romanticise a period of time." Yes, but there are prominent counter-inclinations in human nature--especially as peers influence each other to the point that they more or less construct, and share, the same world view. One such counter-trend is much more prominent today than romanticizing some past golden era.

The dominant peer-constructed trend today often involves ignorance of (or disdain for) history, and especially involves a shared agreement that our generation knows best (and, indeed, has discovered almost everything that is worth knowing). "Generational Conceit" is stampeding today, and some of our guys appear to be cognitively hijacked by this form of hubris.

George
Dr Spektor
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Comics had a golden, silver and bronze age - then a reboot into whatever it is now....

Spiritualism - what age is that? Likely when it petered out to be replaced with mentalism, hypnosis etc. started a new epoch to start labelling the zones... if ala comic books I'd think...

Dunniger-Anneman Gold / Uri Geller and Kreskin Silver / ? Bronze ? - now I think we are in reboot starting with David Blaine, Mindfreaks etc. and there is a very different vibe out there.

Of course, I am just throwing this out as a straw dog - I am sure during the Pythian Oracle days where they were using billets, one could call that the classical period of mentalism - but others might have called it reading with chicanery or so on.... billets go backkkkkkkkkkkkk
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
mastermindreader
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Any reason why you overlooked the entire Washington Irving Bishop, John Randall Brown, Anna Eva Faye, Samir Baldwin, et al, era between 1849 and the 1920's? There you'll find the roots of modern mentalism.
Martin Pulman
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It's such a shame there hasn't been a definitive written history of mentalism. Sadly, I fear very few mentalists would buy it as we're far too busy chasing the latest "secret" to concern ourselves with the fascinating history of our wonderful art form.
Dr Spektor
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Quote:
On Sep 2, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Any reason why you overlooked the entire Washington Irving Bishop, John Randall Brown, Anna Eva Faye, Samir Baldwin, et al, era between 1849 and the 1920's? There you'll find the roots of modern mentalism.


If you mean me - I called that the spiritualist epoch which the 20th century mentalism sprang from (Sorry if I was not clear)...

But before that I am sure there was some other movement - going back to like I said ancient Greece and even before that.... I am sure the Mesopotamians did a few fun things with clay tablets.... they had clay envelopes back then too - now that was real rugged mentalism back then!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Martin Pulman
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But before that I am sure there was some other movement - going back to like I said ancient Greece and even before that.... I am sure the Mesopotamians did a few fun things with clay tablets.... they had clay envelopes back then too - now that was real rugged mentalism back then!


Yeah, and doubtless some 2000BC Sumerian Peter Turner type was making waves with his latest release, a two-tablet set, "Cuneiform Mentalism".

....I'll get my coat.
psychicir
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I LOVE what Bob just said about "the trivialization era". I couldn't agree with him more!
Dr Spektor
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Quote:
On Sep 2, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Quote:

But before that I am sure there was some other movement - going back to like I said ancient Greece and even before that.... I am sure the Mesopotamians did a few fun things with clay tablets.... they had clay envelopes back then too - now that was real rugged mentalism back then!


Yeah, and doubtless some 2000BC Sumerian Peter Turner type was making waves with his latest release, a two-tablet set, "Cuneiform Mentalism".

....I'll get my coat.



http://teachmiddleeast.lib.uchicago.edu/......-11.html

More a mental magic - but look at that penny - its a time machine effect ala Larry Becker from 3000 BC! Just in reverse! Oh, those wily ancients! Also they had to know their audience - the illiterate could not read the date on the coin.... so maybe it was for elite class shows
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Dr Spektor
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Http://books.google.ca/books?id=d_elJua3......&f=false

P**ks, Switch*es, and Tea*s ala the gods!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Joe Atmore
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Quote:
On Sep 2, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
It's such a shame there hasn't been a definitive written history of mentalism. Sadly, I fear very few mentalists would buy it as we're far too busy chasing the latest "secret" to concern ourselves with the fascinating history of our wonderful art form.


Walter B. Gibson did start to write one. When his items came up for auction years ago, I ended up getting some files and the intitial chapters. Later on, I acquired some more of his onion skin writings. Apparently it was never completed. Haven't looked at it in years, but I think he started with the Oracle of Delphi and then moved on from there. Some really fascinating material by a great writer.
Best Thoughts,

Joe Atmore
International Artists Consultant Uri Geller's Phenomenon TV Series;
PEA Bob Haines Memorial Award;
Dunninger Show Recreation;
Author of Dunninger Knows and Dunninger's Brain Busters

JosephAtmore.com
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