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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? (54 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pop Haydn
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To try to use a form like a limerick to give expression to powerful and deep thoughts and strong emotions is to break the form by forcing it to do more than it is really capable of doing. Magic is meant to do something that few other art forms attempt. To try to force too much meaning and depth on this form is to collapse the form itself.
landmark
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So the King of Hearts does not represent the tyranny of love and the existential pain of a two dimensional man? And mortals do not cower before my power when I find their card in a shuffled deck?

I'm going to to have to re-evaluate here. Smile
tommy
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Like magic, limericks are fun, often bawdy and delightfully entertaining nonsense but are unlike magic in form. Some nonsense literature, however, is formed like magic as it balances nonsense and sense forming a dilemma by way of subverting language.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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Much to like in this allegorical construct --

"a peculiar little art ... not meant to bear a lot of weight."
and
"To try to force too much meaning and depth on this form is to collapse the form itself."

yet, the resulting memory of "magic" requires the interaction/communication with an observer, and any "art" a touch of emotional transference as well.

The construction might be viewed as an arch with two legs on which to stand. Certainly, there are limits as to how much weight it can hold - but not restrained or expected by the performer alone.
Different forms of an arch can sustain different weights relative to the apparent strength of the supports. Some seem more artistic/beautiful than others. Some or crude and practical.

The key to success may be in some agreement by performer and observer as to what the arch should bridge.
The performer may pile on too much weight or the observer expect too much or too little.

Just musing ...

for me, though, the field of magic has no such limits. Why do people find magic fascinating? What are the cultural variations of appreciation and limits?
What can science learn form magicians and the other way around? What role in our society does deception and illusion play? Etc.
Magic is never limited to just performing or fooling people - oer "having fun."


A limerick may be a momentary diversion. An arch may support a footstep or cathedral.
The magic is that we all can find awe&wonder in both -- or not.

....

relating back to the OP. A limerick may not be appropriate for a given audience or setting. Or, the choice of limerick should consider the audience at least.
Yet, many magicians feel the right/need to inflict themselves with tricks not appropriate for any number of reasons.
So, the interrupted or dismayed victim can either laugh or poke you in the nose. Or offer a limerick in return.

Thanks for the incisive thoughts, Pop!
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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landmark
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A magician pulled out all the stops
With gaudy and glittery props
But the audience snoozed
And the poor magi boozed,
"If only I'd listened to Pop!"
Senor Fabuloso
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There once was a man form Nantucket

oh wait. it's not that kind of party Smile
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
funsway
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From another forum on the Café'

This immortal ode -- limerick, actually -- is in honor of Dick Oslund:

An ingenious magician named Dick
Had a magic case eight inches thick,
From which he would pull
The full show for a school
Plus the Vanishing Elephant Trick!
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Mary Mowder
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A School show that was full?
401bound
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HAs anyone watched this video Chris Ramsay posted recently on his Youtube channel? It disgusts me quite frankly. Hope other people feel compelled to speak up.
https://youtu.be/4Drizmj5BOA
funsway
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Not discussed, exactly, as daily I see evidence of de-evolution of the human species. A lot waste of time with no point whats over, except --
that apparently these yokels have an audience who will take time to watch what thye offer. Time from what?
Surely there is something better for these guys to do with their talent? and much better things to do than watch such drivel.

That aside, their suggestion that they are about to evaluate the concept of "magic isn't what it used to be" is wrong in many ways:

who are they to have a valid opinion one way or another? (Yes, I checked out Chris Ramsey videos and saw attempts at skill demo but no magic)
the concept of "on the shoulders of giants" is a different concept all together.
this clip is not one of them anyway, so they invalidate their own false premise.
They take each part out of context of whah we know nothing anyway.
etc.

Then they really blow it by asking, "What does this have to do with 'hand is quicker than the eye'"?

That concept is not a valid basis for performance magic then or now - just a lay person misconception.
So, these guys are not good magicians at all, and the only parody is of their intelligence and lack of understanding of magic

Which does, in a way, prove their point. Magic is dead because people like them post such videos pretending to be magicians,
and proof that YouTube is not a valid source of information about anything.

So, I guess I am discussed a bit over Chris and his friends being so disrespectful of magic, its history, any audience or themselves.

Of course, that would say that I, "just don't get it." Possibly true, and as a magician I don't want to.
Today I will go out and interact with real people in real life situations and affect their lives and learn new things about life BECAUSE I am a magician -
not because I do tricks or will perform any inexplicable demonstration - but because of who I am as a result of studying and performing inexplicable things.

I say, Get a life, guys - and your YouTube audience too You do not get it at all!"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
ChrisPayne
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The Chris Ramsey video has been really useful - 1 minute of investment watching it and I need never bother with him again. We have a rich set of Anglo Saxon terms for that behaviour.

Little does he realise that a video in which he sets out to judge ends up with him and friends being the ones judged.
ChrisPayne
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Incidentally I found Pop's contribution in this thread one of the most thought provoking and enlightening posts I have read.

At the heart of our Art is the moment of magic, the trapdoor feeling when all we depend on drops away and we experience freefall. Any presentation should aim to heighten that feeling and "the crack that lets the light in". We need a premise to draw people in but, rather than overspecific story lines or explanation, I am increasingly convinced that subtle use of metaphor, where the spectator joins the dots, can have the strongest impact.

This is not an easy task!
tommy
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Self-criticism is difficult but on the whole, the public is fair.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Senor Fabuloso
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All the public knows is what it likes. Fair has little to do with it. A fair assessment of a performer, would first be based on knowledge of the art and what it takes to perform it. The public mostly, has no clue.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Jonathan Townsend
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This is a performing art. How about starting any assessment with whether audiences like them?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
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What audiences know is a self-conceited magician when they see one and could find no pleasure greater than that of taking him down a peg or two and what could be fairer than that?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
critter
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I've enjoyed a lot of what Chris Ramsay has had to say, though I often disagree with it and see chasms in his knowledge. This, however, was just irredeemably juvenile.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers


"This I offer in explanation of how it was that I found myself in my undergarments as I sat in my cell attempting to plot my escape."
~Professor Phineas Valeyard, Miskatonic University Dept.of Psychodynamic Natural History.

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Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Jan 1, 2019, tommy wrote:
What audiences know is a self-conceited magician when they see one and could find no pleasure greater than that of taking him down a peg or two and what could be fairer than that?


An educated public that knew a thing or two about what it takes, to be a performer. That's what would be fair. Some magicians seem to have the same problem, of not knowing what it takes to be an entertaining performer and label it "conceit". Not only does this do no favors, for the art but it validates the question at hand, with an affirmative connotation, justifying the behavior. Not fair at all.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
tommy
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A magician ought to understand there is very little that escapes the understanding of his audience and act accordingly.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2019, tommy wrote:
A magician ought to understand there is very little that escapes the understanding of his audience and act accordingly.


Lets analyze this statement for it's truthfulness.

"very little that escapes the understanding of his audience" If this was true there would be no magic secrets. Obviously the audience is not aware of what's going on. But even if they knew what was happening mechanically, they would still be blind to all the preparation that goes into putting on a good show. The best performers are those that make it look effortless, and with such observational ignorance the audience couldn't understand the complexity of a show, if they tried.

"act accordingly" what does that even mean? The statement implies that since our audience is aware of how we accomplish our wonderment, there in no wonderment and so what's the point?

These words seem very strange coming from a magician. Well one that performs.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
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