Who should we emulate, exactly?

Sep 1, 2007
3,818
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I saw this a while back. It was okay. CollegeHumor dot com is kind of hit-and-miss for me. I'm not entirely sure where you're going with this. Throw me a bone?
 
Dec 14, 2007
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it challenges the notion that simply because someone is popular or well known implies anything about the quality of their work or how it represents an art.

Ultimately, most people think all magicians are douchebags - especially the ones with tv shows.

It's just that they are the successful douchebags, I suppose.

To me, it would seem, that we should strive to achieve reputations greater than "the least douchiest of the douchebags" or "wow, I wonder what mafia backed organization paid for that douchebag to get a tv show" or whatever.

The central question which encourages us to speculate about why magic is held in low regard is an important one - but merely looking to those who have made money or achieved fame is not necessarily going to ever change that overall opinion.

Maybe we should consider what other arts and artists seem to be doing (or not doing) that encourages intelligent adults to consider their activities worthy endeavors.

I don't think looking to a lisping 40 year old in leather pants is the path to ever being taken seriously - especially when this is how the world thinks of said lisping 40 year old.

And I don't mean this as a slam on Criss (though it is). I think we can substitute many of magic's recognized people in that role.

If we want to be king of the dorks, that's one thing. If we want to eventually sit at the table with the cool kids, maybe it's time to listen to the reviews from people in the industry.
 
Sep 1, 2007
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If we want to be king of the dorks, that's one thing. If we want to eventually sit at the table with the cool kids, maybe it's time to listen to the reviews from people in the industry.

I'm sorry, what? How are the industry insiders supposed to be a better source of information? Industry insiders are what gave us Spider-Man 3, Disaster Movie, and the Celtic Frost album Cold Lake*. I really don't understand what your point is supposed to be in showing us a video that shows a less-than-positive public opinion toward magicians and then telling us to listen to the industry insiders instead of the audience.




*If you haven't heard of it, there's a very good reason for that.
 
Dec 14, 2007
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People in the industry (my phrase) are different from industry insiders. Your phrase- with an entirely different connotation.

Nice try though.

Just because someone is the most famous of a group, that doesn't mean they still aren't a douchebag and fundamentally working to the detriment of the perception of that group.

Look at the reviews - not by magicians, but by people who are part of the entertainment industry as a whole. Look at what the satarists say.

Snookie from jersey shore is famous.

But, would it do anyone any good to want to be like her?

Ultimately tis video does a decent job of encapsulating how these magicians are perceived by the world:

Bad dresser who has to use camera tricks. Hyper dramatic, sex infused poufy shirt guy whose magic works. Self important slow moving irrelevant stunt man. And a loudmouth.

Some suggest we should emulate those who have become famous.

What part, exactly?
 
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Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
People in the industry (my phrase) are different from industry insiders. Your phrase- with an entirely different connotation.

Nice try though.

Nice try at what exactly?

Just because someone is the most famous of a group, that doesn't mean they still aren't a douchebag and fundamentally working to the detriment of the perception of that group.

I don't recall anyone questioning that, but okay, I can roll with it.

Look at the reviews - not by magicians, but by people who are part of the entertainment industry as a whole. Look at what the satarists say.

I am. I just seem to be getting slightly different information from the world of satire than you are.

Snookie from jersey shore is famous.

But, would it do anyone any good to want to be like her?

Who said we have to? Myself, I instead would look at Jersey Shore, look at the satire of it, the parodies, the news articles... and I ask myself, "What aspects of the pop culture climate allowed this train wreck to become famous?" I then further ask myself how I could exploit those aspects without compromising my dignity, integrity, or self-respect. I then look at the audiences and try to find out what their tastes are. What are they looking for, when and why are things changing? What trends are coming up, and why are they gaining a following? What's gaining and losing steam? Who are on the cutting edge and who is getting left behind?

There's more to it than just knowing who's an ******* and who isn't. And even the *******s have things to teach us.

Some suggest we should emulate those who have become famous.

What part, exactly?

What they did to get where they are. You don't have to like them, but nobody can be wrong all the time. Criss Angel is a tool, but he worked his ass off to get his first TV specials and his series. He developed an act (early on at least) that people took notice of. Same with Blaine, Copperfield, and P&T.

Just because you don't like a person doesn't mean you can't learn from them.
 
Dec 14, 2007
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And no one isn't saying THAT.

But to assume that simply because someone is famous makes them worthy of modeling ignores many salient points.

It also assumes that what they are doing is good.

Magicians are douchebags? Why? Why don't we here this toward all famous singers, musicians, comics?

That's what I mean when I say we should look to talented people in the entertainment industry. Why can they be humans and we can't - because magicians are copyists who will try to mimic the most famous regardless of what kind of douche they are? Maybe. Just spit ballin there.

So, steer. You say you see something else from the satirists ... What, exactly?
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
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But to assume that simply because someone is famous makes them worthy of modeling ignores many salient points.

I think you and I are looking at this differently still.

It also assumes that what they are doing is good.

No. Just that it worked.

That's what I mean when I say we should look to talented people in the entertainment industry. Why can they be humans and we can't - because magicians are copyists who will try to mimic the most famous regardless of what kind of douche they are? Maybe. Just spit ballin there.

That and the fact that so few of us attempt to be topical or relevant.

So, steer. You say you see something else from the satirists ... What, exactly?

Let's use Angel and Blaine as an example. Obviously, one of the most common jabs against Angel is that he's been busted repeatedly using camera editing to pull off effects. But David Blaine has used camera editing in the past himself and the satirists almost never mention it. They talk instead about his endurance stunts.

That got me to thinking. In 2007 and 2008 when I was doing a lot of busking, I tried to make the time to talk with my audience afterward, get a feel for what the different demographics thought. I got a lot of girls who thought Criss Angel was sexy, and a lot of teenage boys who thought David Blaine was actually rather tough to be able to pull off his stunts. When the topic of camera editing came up, no one knew that Blaine did it. But they complained a lot when Criss did it.

I went back to the satirical material on magicians. Still all about Angel's over-use of camera tricks. The theory that developed in my mind was that what people were latching onto was Criss's apparent inadequacy for his dependency on camera tricks. Here's a guy who portrays himself as almost hyper-masculine, incredibly disciplined, and connected with all these Vegas headliners... and he's basically cheating on his show by giving us special effects instead of the magic he promises.

I interpreted this as two things. The first being that Criss's actions are incongruent with his character that he has established. He has a very distinctive personality, but he can't seem to live up to it. Furthermore, his frequent usage of the camera tricks was a misuse of the language of TV. Every medium has its own language. But whereas David Blaine sought to figure out how to properly utilize television's unique strengths and weaknesses, Criss never quite seemed to get the hang of it.

This was made reality for me when I had to perform on camera on a set for the first time and made mistakes. I thought about my performance in the context I was used to, but didn't adjust for the unique challenges of the medium. I've made it a goal to do better next time. If anything, my mistakes that night reinforced the theory in my mind in an indirect sort of way.

Now, is what I got out of these satirists the same thing you got? Probably not. We're different people. So let me rephrase my earlier statement. We're reading the same material, but we're interpreting it differently. One of us believes the end of Taxi Driver was straight-faced, and the other believes that it happened in Travis Bickle's head.
 
Jan 26, 2008
423
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Sweden
No one is saying that you should emulate Criss Angel or anyone just because they are famous, that was not the point of the other two threads.

The point was that it is stupid and ignorant to ignore it just because we dont like it. The truth is that Criss Angel has gotten further then most magicians could ever dream of and many magicians would love to be in his place and no matter how much we or the public think he sucks he still has a lot of people who likes him.

Its stupid to just ignore that fact instead of asking, What did he do to get the recognition he got, WHY did it work? and what can i learn from it and do with it. That was the point.

Its pretty damn obvious what most other magicians is NOT working either, and its obvious that what he did worked better then anything other magicians ever did. Why ignore the truth?

Dont come on and attack me because i dont like Criss Angel, i thinks hes embaresing. But the reality is that hes where we would want to be and we are not, and its stupid to ignore that reality.

Im pretty sure most serious musicians and film makers hates whats on the top charts, but they do take notice anyways.
 
Agreed. That is just a college humour video and you can make fun of anyone. Check out their superman meets Batman videos. Hell, i'll make fun of Orlando Bloom all night, but that doesn't say anything huge about Hollywood actors or even him.

They probably came up with the title after the concept of the real world magicians teaching at hogwarts and what a silly situation that would be. And the title was an extra sting, for fun.

Its just to be funny. I don't think the people at college humour really sat down pouring over research into the current state of magic, to make a silly video.
 
Sep 27, 2007
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Cenozoic, Oligocene
Agreed. That is just a college humour video and you can make fun of anyone. Check out their superman meets Batman videos. Hell, i'll make fun of Orlando Bloom all night, but that doesn't say anything huge about Hollywood actors or even him.

They probably came up with the title after the concept of the real world magicians teaching at hogwarts and what a silly situation that would be. And the title was an extra sting, for fun.

Its just to be funny. I don't think the people at college humour really sat down pouring over research into the current state of magic, to make a silly video.

Exactly. It's CollegeHumor. They are just trying to give you a few laughs here and there.
 
Riiiiight because Blaine, Copperfield, Penn, & Teller are all "douche bag" magicians, or have an overall negative public opinion. Frankly, I think it's a bit of a farce to try and draw out anything constructive from this video. I see what you're trying to do here Brad, but I think you could have used a different video to make your point.

This video was aimed to be low brow humor, and trying to extract anything but from this video is trying a little too hard I think.
 
Feb 16, 2009
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South Bend, IN
alright guys. i think Raiker made it pretty clear this topic was to be dropped. i think its best to drop it.

Actually, I think both Brad and Steerpike are finally getting into some meaningful discussion. The previous threads did not have that in part because of b_08's attitude (which was initially like that of a blind fanboy) and his general dismissal of all criticism as being fueled by hatred and jealousy.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
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Actually, I think both Brad and Steerpike are finally getting into some meaningful discussion.

Don't get your hopes up. Brad and I have never really talked to each other so much as at each other. I try to keep things civil, but there's only so far this can go because our philosophies are fundamentally incompatible. And besides that, Brad is not a person I would actually consult to understand the pop culture landscape or what aspects of the industry are changing and how and why. For such issues, I turn to Rick Maue for guidance.

The previous threads did not have that in part because of b_08's attitude (which was initially like that of a blind fanboy) and his general dismissal of all criticism as being fueled by hatred and jealousy.

Most of the criticism was from people who didn't want to talk about the topic and instead just cry about how much they think Angel sucks. There needs to be dissent, and unfortunately the majority of people here are too immature and complacent to handle that.
 
Jan 26, 2008
423
1
Sweden
Actually, I think both Brad and Steerpike are finally getting into some meaningful discussion. The previous threads did not have that in part because of b_08's attitude (which was initially like that of a blind fanboy) and his general dismissal of all criticism as being fueled by hatred and jealousy.

There were no problem with the thread or B_08´s attitude.

The problem were that almost no one understood him or choose to missunderstand him.

The thread was not about Criss Angel so there is no need to call him a fanboy. People made the thread about Criss Angel, not him. Its sad that no one could see that.


Seriously, whats wrong with this forum? This has become one of the worst forums i know. Why? Im not talking about the "bad" attitude that we saw in the last two threads, im talking about that no one hand hadle it.

If someone comes up with a provoking topic, people choose to missunderstand it and attack it just because they dont agree instead of joining the discussion. There is no discussion because all they care for is telling you that you are wrong.

And when everyone is not agreeing the they close down the thread without much of a warning. Yaaay! A forum where everyone needs to agree.

It seems like a lot of people dont like Steerspike because of his "attitude" but you know what? Welcome to the real world! When your grown up and out in the real world there will be lots of people who think you are wrong, dont agree with you and dont like you and they will tell you! Just learn how to handle it. We need more of that here.
 
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Feb 16, 2009
217
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South Bend, IN
There were no problem with the thread or B_08´s attitude.

The problem were that almost no one understood him or choose to missunderstand him.

I don't want to derail this thread, but b_08's attitude was something like this

1) None of you have a TV special or the level of fame and monetary success Criss has, so you can't criticize him at all (stated that way, the argument is nonsensical).
2) You guys are all haters STFU (ok he didn't say that but you get my point).

You can check all the threads on this topic (yes all the gazillion of them) and you will see that this was his initial approach. These are basically ad hominem arguments. You really think he was misunderstood?

He started arguing more sensibly later, but by then threads were being locked.

The thread was not about Criss Angel so there is no need to call him a fanboy. People made the thread about Criss Angel, not him. Its sad that no one could see that.

This all started in the thread about that McDonald's aces DVD by Criss Angel. So it was related, but you are right that it moved into things like camera tricks and other stuff. These things happen on all forums to some extent.


It seems like a lot of people dont like Steerspike because of his "attitude" but you know what? Welcome to the real world! When your grown up and out in the real world there will be lots of people who think you are wrong, dont agree with you and dont like you and they will tell you! Just learn how to handle it. We need more of that here.

I don't think too many people dislike Steerpike. He doesn't resort to ad hominem (at least I haven't noticed). He also tries to be logically consistent.
 
Sep 1, 2007
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1) None of you have a TV special or the level of fame and monetary success Criss has, so you can't criticize him at all (stated that way, the argument is nonsensical).
2) You guys are all haters STFU (ok he didn't say that but you get my point).

Rather unfair characterization. These are his own words from the start of his thread:

I love the art of magic and it is heart breaking to me that for a profession as old as ours, we are still kept as a side show. A big part of why Criss Angel is so famous, is that he has no other competition today. That's our fault.

Hardly a fanboy statement, wouldn't you agree?

I don't think too many people dislike Steerpike. He doesn't resort to ad hominem (at least I haven't noticed). He also tries to be logically consistent.

I've made more than a few enemies actually. I say what's on my mind, probably a little too much, and I think it rubs people the wrong way that I don't ask for or need their approval.

As for ad hominem, no. I just like to say naughty words.
 
Feb 16, 2009
217
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South Bend, IN
Rather unfair characterization. These are his own words from the start of his thread:

Hardly a fanboy statement, wouldn't you agree?

Indeed, that's what he wrote in his thread, but this whole argument started in an earlier thread (about Criss Angel releasing McDonald's aces as a single trick DVD). B_08 didn't start that thread.

I agree that he changed his tone from his thread. I give him credit for at least trying to discuss something meaningful later in the game.
 
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