There are manifold relations between magic and politics, yet they are not always blatantly obvious. There’s an interesting book (in German) by our dear magic friend, Dr. Harry Keaton (of “Fool Us!” fame), who has thoroughly researched the principles of deception employed by politicians. Yet there are rather few tricks that lend themselves to “political” presentations. But a few days ago, I came across the one above in a dealer’s mailing: a tongue-in-cheek product of Magic Castle veteran Milt Larsen. To reflect reality, I’d say the tie should stretch to four to five yards, at least!
Whew, if you want to kill your festive feelings, you may want to read this lengthy investigative piece from the Los Angeles Times about misconduct, racism and sexual harassment at the Magic Castle.
What a sad and disturbing read!
This article comes down on the management like an ungaffed head chopper. And all they can conjure up is some blurb from The Hogwash Castle’s Corporate Handbook of Hollow PR Patter?
Obviously, it’s impossible to judge the facts from the distance, but if only half the allegations were true, the Castle and AMA should probably consider rebranding as Home of Magic’s Master Molestors…
Kudos to Hannibal for speaking up and calling out on the harassers! Let’s hope that he still has a career.
Sadly, magicians have always been masters at making women feel uncomfortable, both on and off stage. Misdirection and misconduct are often linked like Himber rings. So it’s probably not a big surprise to see the Castle portrayed as a haunting place of old, white randy sinners who got stuck in those 60s/70s vibes of heavy drinks, light packet tricks, slick patter and sleazy fingers.
Time for a major Metamorphosis performance!
Addendum as of Dec. 18:
The Magic Castle’s general manager under fire has resigned from his position, as the Los Angeles Times reports.
White House master magician J. Carrod Blimp is currently seeking to extend his lucrative contract for another four years before getting fired and forced back into touring country clubs, second-rate casinos and third-rate TV shows.
More than a few overseas observers of magic La-La-Land have come to the conclusion that “The Blimp,” as he is affectionately known to the stunned trade press, is the biggest and best deceiver this strapped and torn country has seen in a long time. Here’s why:
His verbal control and patter are unique. A master of misdirection and surprise, he effortlessly turns facts into lies, transforms factoids into “alternate facts” and changes topics and positions quicker than a Sliding Die Box. Timing and misdirection of the feisty faker are flawless and only seen through by the initiated few.
A master contortionist and leading global bizarrist, he has also single-handedly introduced the very visual genre of “nose-flag magic,” which he likes to perform in formal and informal circles (see below). Always a stunner! Equipped with a handful of funny pinstriped sock-puppet Secretaries, he also practices his effortless ventriloquism and makes grown men sound like goofy rugrats. So funny! And let’s not forget his time-honored burlesque pussy-grabbing routine, which certainly is a favorite among fledgling models and lawyers alike!
Like Moses parted the Sea, the deporter-deceptionist parts his huge audiences into “Us” and “Them” with just a wave of his ole tiny wand. Where Copperfield only walked through an old Wall, he announces to build a brand-new one nobody will ever penetrate! What a Houdiniesk challenge! And hold your breath for the biggest and most enduring trick ever in his upcoming Grand Desillusion Show: Where Copperfield only made the Statue of Liberty disappear temporarily, he is about to make the Constitution disappear– permanently, that is. Merlin Awards galore!
So get in line and book your ticket now – and don’t let his ole sidekick Donny, the Demented Deceiver make that one disappear, too!
Im Auftrag von SUPER RTL und TVNow geht demnächst die “Ehrlich Brothers Magic School” auf Nachwuchs-Suche. Wie das Medienmagazin DWDL.de berichtet, sollen in der Sendung jeweils zwei Zauberer unter 15 Jahren gegeneinander antreten. Insgesamt acht Folgen werden in diesen Tagen aufgezeichnet. Ein Sendetermin steht noch nicht fest.
The second part of Rüdiger Deutsch‘s fine and unique collection will be auctioned off by Potter&Potter on October 31. Again, there is a fine catalogue of 100+ pages available than can be downloaded for free here.
A shame to see this collection go and be dispersed all over the magic world, but that’s just the way it is…
Wittus Witt hat soeben die vierte Ausgabe seines A-B-C der Taschenspieler-Kunst veröffentlicht. Das Buch enthält auf 156 Seiten die folgenden Beiträge:
Olaf Güthling über die jährlichen “Tenyo plus Eins”-Tricks für Sammler
Jan Isenbart mit einer Detailanalyse des ikonischen Gemäldes “Der Gaukler” von (?) Hieronymus Bosch
Peter Mika über Leben und Karriere des Semiprofis Hans-Georg Boginski alias Mister Bogo
Dr. Steffen Taut über die frühen Zauberkataloge und Listen von Willmann und Horster und ihre historische Einordnung (Teil 1)
Einträge unter dem Buchstaben “C” aus Jochen Zmecks Zauberarchiv
Besonders üppig fallen diesmal die Beilagen zum Buch aus: Neben einem Poster mit einer Übersicht der genannten Zauberkataloge und einer Autogrammkarte von Mister Bogo liegen sowohl eine Postkarte als auch ein auf Holz aufgezogener (!) Druck des Gemäldes “Der Gaukler” bei – eine tolle Idee!
Hier gibt es einen kurzen Video-Einblick in das neue Werk:
Tenyo has recently announced their set of new tricks for 2021. Here we go:
- T-294 Magical Honeycomb (by So Sato), a double transposition of two cardboard hexagons
- T-295 The Blur (by Mathieu Bich), a card effect with a gimmicked deck where all cards turn blurred, except for the chosen one
- T-296 Magic Tweezers (by Kenichi Komiya, original idea by Mario Lopez), a fine visual appearance of coins out of a mystery card with a small hole in it, and
- T-297 Cheek to Cheek, a gimmicked version of “Triumph”.
Judging from the videos, the “Magic Tweezers” trick is my favorite from the 2021 line-up (but I will probably use an old credit card with a punched hole it its center)!
The tricks should ship from magic dealers within the next two or three weeks.
PUR+, das beliebte TV-Wissensmagazin für Kinder von ca. 8 bis 12 Jahren, das beim KIKA und im ZDF läuft, hat sich in den letzten Jahren auch in der Zauberszene einen guten Ruf erarbeitet, dank flotter, respektvoller und kindgerechter Sendungen, etwa mit den Ehrlich Brothers, Topas und Thomas Fraps oder zum Thema Optische Täuschungen. Moderator Eric Mayer hat dabei stets die Aufgabe, als “Stuntman des Wissens” selbst etwas zu erlernen, und er stellt auch Nachwuchszauberer vor.
Von PUR+, das gerade seinen 20. Geburtstag feiert, sind derzeit einige der letzten Sendungen und Beiträge rund um Zaubern und Täuschung in der ZDFtivi Mediathek abrufbar.
Craig Petty, magic performer, inventor and co-host of the original “Wizard Product Review” is back on the magic scene. After a few years doing one thing or the other, he has started a YouTube channel called “Slightly Unusual” and is back with a daily dose of tricks, reviews, rants, Q&As, and more, slightly matured, but still with explicit lyrics guaranteed.
Here’s his latest rant on the ridiculous flooding of the magic market with daily truckloads of download trash:
He has also produced a very funny, self-deprecating video about the trick RED (not his trick at all, as it turned out) “that literally killed his career.” Kudos for that!
Magic certaily needs much more honest trailers like this one!
What I rather dislike is how Craig shoves his little boy into the poisonous world of YouBurp. I don’t feel that little kids belong there and that they should be protected from all the jeer and filth and hatred until they are old enough to decide for themselves.
But then, I’m old-fashioned and also believe that political leaders should have a bright, honest mind, respect for the Law and some love and understanding for the people and their needs and concerns… What do I know?
(Continued from my last post)
Smith was the only real person mentioned on the frontispiece of TEATCT. This means that there is also a chance that he was “in on it”, a friend or partner of Erdnase, so he may have given false clues in order to protect his anonymity, even all those years later. Who knows, he might might might even have been Erdnase himself, a notion that has not been looked into deeply and seriously yet, as far as I know. S.W.E. = Smith Was Erdnase???
In conclusion, I really would advise not too rely too strongly on Smith‘s “clear and undoubtful recollections” and to not exclude other options or a promising candidate just because “his height or age doesn’t match with Smith‘s description at all.”
To be fair, there are two points to consider: First, unless proven otherwise, it is reasonable to assume that Smith tried his best in remembering and describing his mysterious customer. But then again, a free-lance artist may have met hundreds, if not thousands of clients over the years, maybe with quite a few of them having very “special” assignments. And was drawing hands a totally odd job at the time? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows.
And secondly, yes, maybe a fine artist would pay special attention to the hands of this strange client. But maybe he was so busy getting the finger positions, cards, and angles right that he wouldn’t remember a thing about the man’s real hands…
When it comes to estimating a person’s age and height, this seems very thin ice to me, as there’s a huge subjective factor involved in it. Also, from today’s perspective, a lot of people on photos one hundred or more years ago seem to look so much older then they actually were at the time.
As I’ve learned from Joe Posnanski’s interesting book, The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini (see my short review here), even the world’s most famous and most publicized artist of his time, who undoubtedly was a short man, had quite a huge range of heights attributed to him.
My biggest point though is the indisputable limits of our senses and our brain when it comes to attention, perception, and memory. Please feel free to take my little online test for you here. If, after 10,000 hours or more of shuffling and toying with playing cards right under our noses, we are unable to tell which Jack looks which way or which Kings do not sport a mustache, what kind of peripheral information are we supposed to remember and report reliably then decades after an insignificant incident?
No wonder that we marvel at the few enviable people with eidetic memories, as this incredible trait is so many light-years away from our own experience in daily life!
That’s why I wouldn’t bet more than a dollar or two on the reliability of Smith’s recollections about Erdnase. Yes, I would consider them for what they are, but I certainly wouldn’t use them as “conclusive evidence” against or in favor of one Erdnase candidate over another.
(End of rant.)