Sunday, October 7, 2007

Opinion Central

I’m guessing Glenn Bishop took exception to my last post – the fact that he dropped my link from his blog roll is certainly indicative of that. I’d like for him to know that it wasn’t my intention to offend him, and I actually restrained myself in what I was writing.

The things I write here are colored significantly by my beliefs and opinions. I make no apology for that. I’m not trying to crank out newspaper articles and give a dry reporting of the facts. It’s more like I’m just talking about what interests me and hoping it interests someone else as well.

I can be pretty passionate about certain beliefs. You see I think magic is a wonderful thing that’s too often crippled by thoughtless allegiance to what’s come before. Magicians have a habit of justifying what they want to do by saying that so and so did it so it must be good. Well, what worked then isn’t necessarily going to work now. Things are constantly changing, and I think magic has to evolve to maintain, or regain, its stature in the entertainment world.

When I perceive something to be detrimental to magic – like the use of goofy props that make no sense outside a magician’s performance – I can get pretty wound up. But that doesn’t mean I’m right. It’s my perception, my opinion. I try to outline a reasonable argument for why I’m taking a position, but ultimately it’s just the way I see things. I’m old enough to know that thinking you’re right and being right can be vastly different things.

I try to live by the golden rule online and off. It doesn’t matter if you’re David Copperfield or a fourteen year old beginner; I’m going to do my level best to treat you the way I would want to be treated. When people are dismissive of “amateurs” or “hobbyists” it really sticks in my craw. They forget that some of the most legendary names in magic fall into that category. Being a professional doesn’t mean you’re any good. And it’s not a license to tell everybody else to shut up because your opinions are the last word. I’ve done magic for over thirty years as an amateur, professional, and semi-professional, and such labels don’t mean much to me. The only label that does matter is magician.

I guess I took a couple of little digs at Glenn in the last post because I felt he was being condescending about amateurs, and that’s an attitude I hate. Couple that with my dislike of strange magic props and I no doubt was somewhat snarky. I’m sorry he apparently took it to heart as there was no genuine malice intended. I think Glenn’s basically a good guy who has trouble expressing himself in a beneficial way. I wish him the best of luck.


Intensely Magic said...

I'm getting damn tired of Glenn's "I'm a professional and you're not, so only my opinion counts" diatribes. If the truth be known, I've probably seen more bad magic from professionals than amateurs. I mean I've seen some real crap passed off as magic by those that are paid to perform. After all, isn't it the audience - the nonpaying folk - that ultimately makes the decision?

Ironically, I personally have no real problem with most "magic only props". I'm a huge believer in motivated actions and not too concerned about the apparatus, but that's for another discussion.

Take care.....

Jim Coles said...

It'd be pretty amazing if everybody agreed with everything I said here -- and probably pretty boring as well. If you have no problem with magic apparatus I can certainly respect that view; I had no problem with Glenn having a different view than mine. What got to me were all the snide comments about amateurs, and the clear suggestion that if you didn’t agree with him you must be a lowly amateur. Reading his stuff, or trying to, he constantly goes on about what a professional he is. Yeah. I don’t know why he can’t put his thoughts out there and let them stand or fall on their own merit. Well, yeah I do, but I’m trying to be nice.