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procyonrising
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Hey Looch,

After hearing things that way, you're absolutely right. McKenna was out of line there (if for no other reason than ridiculing someone else's work that way).
hjelm
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Well written, Banachek.

Maybe it's stupid of me to continue the discussion but I have to. I'm not angry with McKenna. What is done is done. If the thing happened as told it was silly of him. The thing that worries me is people here writing things like: "McKenna has, in my view, done nothing wrong in exposing an already exposed method."

"An already exposed method?" It's not exposed for my mother (I think)! Smile I thought that the magic was for her, the audience, and not for me, the entertainer! Let me put it this way:

The magic club in our part of Sweden have had courses in magic several years. One year I was the teacher. The fourth time I asked one of my neighbours if he was coming with me to the course. "No, this time I'm going to hunt elks. And by the way, I don't want to study in this course any more. I don't want to know the secrets. I want you to come to my house, have a cup of coffee and do tricks for me. And I want to be amazed and I want to sit and think for myself how everything is done."

Isn't that what it's all about?

We are making magic to people! They don't want to know the secrets! They don't want to think, "Was it that easy?!" They want to be thrilled! If you tell one or two things for people they wouldn't get happier. If you tell my mother how the Balducci is done you destroy something for her.

Who is to decide if a method is already exposed?

So the thing is clear, I think: Don't expose magic!
BonzoTheClown
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Salsa...Few people can remain at the top forever, least of all Paul McKenna. He was at the highest point he possibly could be, with once what was the number on rated show in the UK.

Marc Climens
Darko Dojin
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Quote:
On 2004-05-22 17:07, Banachek wrote:
I agree some go way over in their zealous actions to stop people they think are exposing. I suspect their actions often do more harm than good by cementing the wall between themselves and the people they think are exposing. I have often wondered if any of these people have spoken to those they think of as exposing and asked them where they stand today on the subject and past actions. We all make mistakes. I sure have made mine. Much better to talk to them, understand and try to pull those people into a better way of understanding of what their actions do rather than create an all out war. With war there are always casualties on both sides…

This is not to say we should not try to put a stop to exposing. Any exposure at all hurts our art, even if in a small way. But we need to be smart in how we go about it…

Steve's comments make a whole lot of sense. I have never been in favour of exposure. I completely disagree with the zealous manner with which some react even to minor acts of exposure.

If McKenna exposed IT or NW I would be pretty upset but the Balducci? It's a question of degrees and reactions to them. Not all exposure is equal and no one deserves to be pilloried for exposing something that has already been exposed even though it is technically and ethically wrong.
John Clarkson
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 09:43, Darko Dojin wrote:
...If McKenna exposed IT or NW I would be pretty upset but the Balducci? It's a question of degrees and reactions to them. Not all exposure is equal and no one deserves to be pilloried for exposing something that has already been exposed even though it is technically and ethically wrong.


I tend to agree in principle, Darko, although you and I may disagree about specifics. If one believe that all exposure merits shunning and boycotts, then one will end up not purchasing or reading works of some of the greats in magic. All of the following people have been accused of exposure: Dai Vernon, Andy Nyman, Ian Rowland, Jim Steinmeyer, Harry Houdini, Shoot Ogawa, Darwin Ortiz, Danny Korem, The Pendragons, Dunninger, and a host of others. The list could be expanded indefinitely, depending upon your particular definition of unacceptable exposure. Some even extend the boycott and shunning to people who, although not exposers themselves, fail to condemn other people the boycotter believes are exposers.

By this logic, we could, I am quite sure, manage to shun every magician and mentalist, living and dead. I've even heard people accuse Banachek of exposure since he uses the word "magic" when describing his mentalism performances. (Yep, according to this doctrine, Banachek has exposed that mentalism is not real psychic power!) And worse yet, Banachek is friends with Randi who, according to some, is an exposer! The McCarthyism and heavy-handedness in this area is distressing, not because it is unkind, but because it displays such utter lack of reason.

Performers who have ever rolled up their sleeves or shown that their hands are empty during a performance have exposed secrets of magic by revealing that sleeves and palms are tools used by magicians. How many of you have flicked a card to prove it was a single, thereby implying that it could have been more than one card? Shameless exposure of the concept of multiple lifts! Have you ever handed out a prop for inspection, thereby proclaiming that other magicians could be using trick decks or gaffed coins?

Honest, ethical people can differ as to the boundaries of what is acceptable revelation. It's really not as absolute as some would have us believe. If it is not an absolute, then there must be weighted factors used in making the decision about whether or not to reveal something. I've been known to roll up my sleeves, but I wouldn't expose the Balducci Levitation. Even so, I cannot get my shorts in a knot over McKenna's apparent revelation.

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Darko Dojin
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John, always the voice of reason and pragmatism. It's good to see you back on the board.
John Clarkson
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Thanks, Darko. Good to be back.

Top Hat, please don't boycott my upcoming 43-volume treatise on the corner crimp. And, don't distribute video clips of my dear old mother in compromising positions at her last garden party simply because she fails to condemn my utter disregard for magical secrets. Smile

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
TheRealDeal
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 12:23, John Clarkson wrote:
All of the following people have been accused of exposure: Dai Vernon, Andy Nyman, Ian Rowland, Jim Steinmeyer, Harry Houdini, Shoot Ogawa, Darwin Ortiz, Danny Korem, The Pendragons, Dunninger, and a host of others. The list could be expanded indefinitely, depending upon your particular definition of unacceptable exposure.

Honest, ethical people can differ as to the boundaries of what is acceptable revelation. It's really not as absolute as some would have us believe. If it is not an absolute, then there must be weighted factors used in making the decision about whether or not to reveal something.

It's worth noting that some of the above actually HAVE exposed magical secrets. It does not have to be as absolute as some would have us believe, but neither does it have to be as fuzzy as you would seem to imply. To borrow your metaphor, why should condemning McCarthyism require excusing actual spies?
Darko Dojin
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 13:59, TheRealDeal wrote:

To borrow your metaphor, why should condemning McCarthyism require excusing actual spies?



Because espionage is illegal and threatens national security and endangers lives.
Banachek
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There is a big difference between being friends with someone and agreeing with everything they do. If I were going to shun everyone I disagree with, I would no longer be married and have nothing to do with my kids. As for Randi, I may not agree with the exposures in the past however I do agree with his warm kind giving to people who have needed help, the amount of people he helped get and eductaion. I agree with his stance on racism in a time when racism was really rampant in the U.S. Randi refused to perform in theaters where only whites where allowed. I do agree with the basic idea Randi has about Pseudo-science . But enough on that as I have spoke about it elsewhere here. Bottom line is there is more to a person than one dimension.

Also note I speak about us all making mistakes. We all have skeletons in our closets whether it be in magic or other areas of our life. Should we constantly have them held against us? Does nobody grow with experience of their mistakes? Agreement and understanding of mistakes are two different things and it seems to me that many do not understand this. Empathy does not equate to agreement.

As for exposure by greats through the years. Yes many have, but does this make it right? Just because Dunninger did it, Houdini did it does not make it right and does in no way show that it helps magic. At the same time, did it hurt magic, on some level yes on others maybe “it caused some to come to magic and invent wonderful magic we would not have.” But as said, if you love our art you should want to better it by performing great magic and promote it that way, that way also brings people to want to perform magic.

I think Blaine and Derren have brought more people into our art than all the exposures put together.

As for equating associating magic with mentalism as a form of exposure. By associating mentalism with a form of magic in no way exposes the methods of our art. It is just a description (the true one) of what we do, in other words an exposure of the truth but not an attack at the foundation, neither does it take the mystery and wonderment of what mentalists do away despite what some may think. My audiences are amazed despite my disclaimers just as people are amazed and in awe at a great performance of magic. The only way that this equation would fit is if someone felt the lie of saying it is “real” outside the context of a show and that it is not just entertainment, is okay.

Some could argue that giving our methods away is an exposure of the truth but it is an exposure that takes the very foundation of doing what we do away. Our job is to entertain and whenever a spectator knows a secret, it makes it a little harder to entertain with magic. Exposure removes the magical awe and amazement of what we do. In a way we are stealing the feeling of wonderment away when one exposes a magical secret. There is no lie when it comes to performing magic, there is no wrong to be put right, audiences know it is magic and expect it to be. Therefore there is no need to expose the secrets on any level.

If one exposes the simplest of magic tricks, one teaches the psychology behind what we do, the misdirection we use.
Yes a show can still be entertaining on some level, such as a great story of a great joke, wonderful costumes or even great lighting and special effects. But we are not just storytellers, comedians, we are magicians/mentalists/hypnotists. A magician needs all his tools to be a magician and that includes the secrets of his magic. Without our secrets, it is just great theater.

Having said this, I do feel there is a difference between magic books and exposure. In one you have to be interested enough to pay for it and search out what you are looking for. Same as if you want to be a marine biologist or any other profession.

As I said before, we all make mistakes and should be given a chance to rectify them. But to agree with something just because you feel it does little harm. I can't understand that either just as I can't understand a vehement hatred of someone you disagree with. Life is waayyy to short for hatred.

Just my 1/2 a cent Smile
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Banachek
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TheRealDeal
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 14:06, Darko Dojin wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-05-23 13:59, TheRealDeal wrote:

To borrow your metaphor, why should condemning McCarthyism require excusing actual spies?



Because espionage is illegal and threatens national security and endangers lives.



Perhaps I misunderstand you, but I think this supports my point. In the McCarthy era, many people were attacked who were not guilty or "guilty by association." But there were also some real perpetrators. Their spying had harmful consequences. So it is with exposing. It can and often does have harmful consequences. (Maybe not like international expionage. It is only a metaphor after all.) McKenna's exposure will adversely impact those who do the effect. Nothing of value was gained by it. Where's the gray area?
carlomagic
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 14:37, Banachek wrote:


Exposure removes the magical awe and amazement of what we do. In a way we are stealing the feeling of wonderment away when one exposes a magical secret.

If one exposes the simplest of magic tricks, one teaches the psychology behind what we do, the misdirection we use.




Perfectly put, and one main reason behind my objection to exposure.

I may not know anyone who actually uses the Balducci, but I bet there are some who have paid a lot of money for other levitation effects and would be pretty disheartened by cries of 'I know how you do that...' by a public attributing gained knowledge in the form of public exposure (sounds a bit rude!!). Smile

I re-read my initial post and thought I was a bit too strong in the wording, I just have an objection to the actual principle raised - not really individuals who do the exposure OR those who see no harm.

I just feel that the essence of our art is the reservation of knowledge for those who genuinely seek it to continue the art itself. And those are also the people who, for me, are worth listening to and learning from.

Best regards,

Carlo
Darko Dojin
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I was never in favour of exposure, merely that I thought there was a massive over-reaction to it which needs to be tempered with a degree of pragmatism.
Trev
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I can't believe it. Everyone's getting their knickers in a twist about this!!
John Clarkson
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On 2004-05-23 13:59, TheRealDeal wrote (referring to my earlier post):
Quote:
It does not have to be as absolute as some would have us believe, but neither does it have to be as fuzzy as you would seem to imply.
Actually, I've implied no specific degree of fuzziness. I have merely suggested that there are few absolutes here.

Quote:
To borrow your metaphor, why should condemning McCarthyism require excusing actual spies?
More innocent people than spies were harmed by McCarthyism. Moreover, it is a tenet of Anglo-American justice that we'd prefer to set 10 guilty men free than hang one innocent person. You may dispute the soundness of that approach, but I think I'll stick with it for the time being.

There are two issues that have arisen: (1) the vagueness of standards concerning exposure; and, (2) the appropriate response when we believe that someone has violated the standards.

Since I deal on a daily basis with issues that could deprive someone of life and liberty, I simply cannot muster a whole lot of righteous indignation over the exposure of the Balducci Levitation; I don't have enough energy left for that. The best I can do is to state my belief that, if we all strive for the ideal of preserving our secrets as we understand that term, magic will not perish as a result of the occasional transgression. I myself adhere to fairly traditional standards about the exposure of magic. I also recognize that reasonable people may differ.

In accordance with your statement that "it doesn't have to be as absolute as some would have us believe," when I look at the list of people who have been accused of exposure, I conclude that one man's magical spy is another man's Professor.

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
shrink
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John Clarkson wrote:

"The best I can do is to state my belief that, if we all strive for the ideal of preserving our secrets as we understand that term, magic will not perish as a result of the occasional transgression."


When does occasional become to much? It seems to me that exposure has become more than occasional. And the size of the exposure and nature of the exposure also come into play.

Magic may not perish but material used by mentalists and magicians to earn a living may well become unworkable.

The Levitation in question may not be of great value however it wasn't Mckenna's to expose. And surely he could've came up with something more entertaining to say. Although he usually puts me to sleep, reminds me of an insurance salesman.

If anything needed exposing it is the incompetence of many lawyers who hide behind esoteric jargon.........;-)

Just teasing John although half serious at the same time!!
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 17:35, shrink wrote:
...
When does occasional become to much? It seems to me that exposure has become more than occasional. And the size of the exposure and nature of the exposure also come into play.
Hard to know, shrink. By occasional transgression, I was referring to the inevitability of sin, no matter how hard we strive to achieve the ideal. "Occasional" referred to more to the sins of an individual than to the cumulative impact of many occasional sinners.

Quote:
Magic may not perish but material used by mentalists and magicians to earn a living may well become unworkable.
Debatable. So far, exposure doesn't seem to have done great harm. (I am referring here to magic in general, not to individual performers.) That doesn't justify it; it is just a factor to consider when deciding upon an appropriate response.

Quote:
If anything needed exposing it is the incompetence of many lawyers who hide behind esoteric jargon.........;-)
You and I agree completely on this point, shrink. I will add that jargon--whether legal, medical, or magical--has the effect of denying power to the masses. But, consumers demand the jargon. Wouldn't you rather read "De minimis non curat lex" than a bald admission that the legal system cannot cope with the smaller problems that plague us all?

Likewise, why do physicians use highfalutin terms for the obvious? Perhaps it is because we are willing to pay dearly to hear them say, "Son, you have nonspecific urethritis" but would scream "fraud" if they presented a bill for telling us the same thing in plain English: "I have no idea why it burns when you pee."

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
appletruth
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Having said this, I do feel there is a difference between magic books and exposure. In one you have to be interested enough to pay for it and search out what you are looking for. Same as if you want to be a marine biologist or any other profession.-Banachek


I don’t see how you can discern a substantial difference between them, Banachek --Perhaps you can expand on your statements to clarify?

Both are exposure, but I take it maybe what you mean by exposure is an unwanted (by the magic community) means of spreading information.

But the means of the transactions appear the same in both cases. One has an interest to search out (via channel flipping on the TV or radio) information that is appealing just as one searches books and videos that are appealing to gather information. These books and videos cost money just as one needs to purchase TVs, radios, antennas, satellites and cable channels. Money segregates only those who have money from those who do not. The means of delivering information you deemed not being exposure seems to parallel the unwanted exposure that can be found on TV and radio.

Is it not important to have a perception of the person one is offering information too? How does one perceive someone’s motivations for purchasing their books or videos if money and interest is the only transaction for gaining the information?

Regards,
Appletruth
Banachek
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Big difference Appletruth. On TV, radio and such it is shoved in the faces of the masses whether they want it or not.

A magic book one has to take the time and energy to search what one is looking for. Then one has to take the time to read it. This is all an investment.

TV really can't be equated that way, TV/newspapers are all a part of everyday life, reading a magic book is not. Buying a magic book is not. Very, very different animals. To equate the two, in my opinion is just playing semantics and really seems to be arguing for the sake of arguments sake. A waste of time in my opinion.

Appletruth, are you saying that there should be no magic books or are you saying exposure is okay? If you are equating magic books on the same level of exposure then you must be making a clear statement of one or the other!

A magic performance itself relies upon the secrets to be magical.
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Banachek
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marmaduke
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Since Paul Mc'Kenna has virtually ruined stage hypnotism as a career in the UK albeit indirectly and unintentionally he may as well do the same for magic.
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