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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Stop with the "Muggle" thing!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Skip Way
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I have an idea. Instead of "Muggles" (meOWrrrrrrrrrrr...thud!) let's call them "traversable wallets". After all, they are simply keeping our money warm until we convince them to part with it...right? Once again, logic and rational insight rules the day!

There ya go, Joe. Logistical transfer of rhetorical flames to another target complete!

**** those imps!
:o) Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Michael Kamen
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Just a few thoughts to share.

". . .please stop using the word Muggle unless you are doing a Harry Potter themed show or are doing magic for obviously Harry Potter fankids. To non-HP geeks and adults, the word sounds childish and plain ugly. . ."

After reading all the ideas expressed here and thinking about it some more I have to say the above makes a lot of sense to me. Mind you, no objection to anyone doing the Harry Potter (or similar) themed show either.

What about the performer whose character is just a regular guy to whom extraordinary things keep happening? Part of the schtick may be the inference that these things could happen to anyone, or that "the magic is in you," for example. Is his audience a "muggle?"

In the con-game character, the audience may represent the "mark," the "victim," the "mug." Hey, "mug" sounds a lot like "muggle," possibly contributing to the negative connotations for the regular guy type of character.

In summary, I think "muggle" is a very limited and perhaps limiting view about ones audience, that not all magicians will identify with, undertand, relate to, depending on their individual performance style. I dislike the term "layman" for the same reason. It implies our performance characters are all that of a clerical gospel-magic practitioner, which of course we are not.
Michael Kamen
Joe Russell
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Cataquet, its the principle of the matter, plus its for a good cause, I'm only doing this for the kittens.
Who is Tattoo Joe?
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-10-21 11:46, Michael Kamen wrote:...What about the performer whose character is just a regular guy to whom extraordinary things keep happening? Part of the schtick may be the inference that these things could happen to anyone, or that "the magic is in you," for example. Is his audience a "muggle?"

In the con-game character, the audience may represent the "mark," the "victim," the "mug." ...


Great to read of someone considering the relationship between the persona and the audience in performance. I wish more would take some time to examine the world view of their performing character, what that character wants in general and what that character wants from the audience.

If you check the term use for muggle here, you'll not find it used in performing context but instead in discussions about how our community and its currency of secrets interfaces with the world at large which treats our works as property under a different value system. Likewise in performance context as we discuss method and backstage stuff, we could do with something to help shift our frame of reference to audience view and audience expectations. Do you know of a term for this?

Agreed about not using the term in performance unless doing something that directly relates to the rest of the Harry Potter story universe. "For this next experiment I'd like the cooperation of a hobbit with a clean handkerchief." Such things do read as odd and probably don't go over well.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2005-10-17 20:09, BlackShadow wrote:
It's all very well calling them muggles on a board like this, when pretty well everyone posting has a fair amount of magical knowledge, but who would use it in a show?

I'm sure you'd all be happy to say "Ladies and Gentleman, you've been a wonderful audience" Or "I'd like to request assistance from a member of the audience" but would you say "Can a muggle please volunteer to assist me?" or "You've been wonderul muggles tonight." I think not. It is not a term of endearment, it is a term of derision, and it sucks.

Don't call people things behind their backs you wouldn't say to their faces.


I second that, BlackShadow. I value and RESPECT my audience. In my opinion calling them muggles would be setting them beneath me. They aren't beneath me. They are with me and I appreciate it. Smile
Michael Kamen
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Jonathan,

If memory serves, I think your representation of how you have used the term in the past is accurate:
". . .in discussions about how our community and its currency of secrets interfaces with the world at large which treats our works as property under a different value system. . ."

Insofar as the magical community attaches to itself a higher ethical standard than the community at large, analogous to the high sense of responsibility a "true wizard" would be trained in as a consequence of wielding great power, I can see your point.

You say, "Likewise in performance context as we discuss method and backstage stuff, we could do with something to help shift our frame of reference to audience view and audience expectations. Do you know of a term for this?"

I have to admit I think for this purpose the terms spectator, audience, uninitiated, all suffice well. Despite the popularity of the HP books among children, some parents and others, I think "Muggle" is too obscure and value laden (as I think you acknowledged) to be a very useful addition to the technical lexicon.
Michael Kamen
Jonathan Townsend
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Thanks Michael. Where you find the standard terms for theatrical audience suffice, I feel they are not sufficient. There and in treating out knowledge as parallel to storybook magic it seems we happen to disagree. Joe now has a great example of a "no" vote and cogent argument to support that side of the issue. No disrespect to any magical or mundane creatures, their opinions or even their imps here. Smile
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RandyStewart
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Well my position on this matter hasn't changed, I've lost track of the discussion, but had to return with a burning question. If those caring to adhere to the rule forbiding the use of the word "muggle", whats to be done with Café member "Mr.Muggle" with some 569 posts? I mean merely quoting the guy will perpetuate the use of the word.

I assume he would be spared as we are considering the use or ban based on the context in which it used. Hehehehe.

My apologies if the question has already been adressed and on with the debate.
bsears
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For my money, it depends on context. I can see where the use could be insulting (and very dorky), but my experience has been that kids like it and laugh and appreciate the reference to Potter. I've even received great responses in the classroom (I'm also a teacher) from saying things like "line up for lunch muggles!"

Its in the way that you use it.
EvanSparts
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This is one of the dumbest threas I have ever read. Who cares what we call them I don't think its as offensive as the word laymean. I think the word laymen by definition someone not knowing or not wise to something. Muggle by definition is non-magical folk according to Hagrid. All that seems to say is they are smart just not magical. that's where we come in.
Joe Russell
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I agree with Mr. Sparts, this is in deed the dumbest thread on the Café, however I cant believe the 5 pages of responces this silly subject received. The reason I am typing this post is because it is the 2 week dead line that I set for this objective and I am sad to inform the public that I didn't reach my goal of 50 anti-muggle responses. It was more like 35, I am still against the word and so are my supporters, and hopefully this topic is one of historical signifigance, this is the last post I will right concerning the use of the M-word.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-10-28 11:23, Joe Russell wrote:...and hopefully this topic is one of historical signifigance...


Historic it may be. Hysterical says I. His oracle seems unwise and we magi do require a word for those we serve who are not magi themselves.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Frank Tougas
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Quote:
On 2005-10-28 11:43, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-10-28 11:23, Joe Russell wrote:...and hopefully this topic is one of historical significance...


Historic it may be. Hysterical says I. His oracle seems unwise and we magi do require a word for those we serve who are not magi themselves.


Gee I thought that word was magician, it was a word for the OTHER people we were arguing about. Ah well...water under the bridge.

Mr. Townsend’s cogent arguments for the "M" word (I worry about them kittens) are triumphant. A dazzling display of superior intellectual gamesmanship. I for one salute you.

Now if we could just put in the same amount of time, effort and thoughtful discussion for the more mundane questions of our time...oh say something like...a cure for cancer? We would have something. As well as being up to our butt in kittens. Smile

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Josh Riel
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Here are a few suggestions:

Dupe: An easily deceived Person

Mark: A target

Sap: A gullible person

Softie: A person regarded as weak

Point (My preference): I don't really know how it would relate in specific, but aside from the book what does muggle mean?

I say we call them "Points"
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
RandyStewart
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Well one good thing did come out of this. I won a $50 bet that it would go at least five pages with no more than three posts of my own.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-10-28 19:37, Josh Riel wrote:...Point (My preference): I don't really know how it would relate in specific, but aside from the book what does muggle mean?...


It is because that term comes from the story world of those books that I chose it. I believe we have a chance to gain some perspective on ourselves, our magic and our audiences by looking for parallels between how we affect people and also how magic happens in stories.
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Josh Riel
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I wasn't really insulting the Harry Potter series, as I read them, and enjoy them. Neither yourself Mr. Townsend, even though you do make me scramble for the dictionary or even read a post multiple times, while not being the least "lettered" person among this forum. My point was merely that the word itself has no meaning, without the book. I don't know... If you're a grifter, you might not want to say Muggle, for obvious reasons. But as "a" magician, well what magician would be considered "A"? there are too many facets of magic too set many into one. But for myself I chose "point". Being me I think everyone should agree. But being sensible people, most should not. I still want you all to agree with me.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Jonathan Townsend
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Josh, how does the word "point" specifically reference the distinction between world views and life perspectives of us magicians and those we entertain?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Josh Riel
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I am not attempting to do anything, but come up with a name to call folk who don't practice the art of magic from those that do. There is a clear distinction between the twain. Everyone sees this distinction, even those who don't practice magic.... which is why were called "Magicians", and revered all over the world. "Mark", "Shill", "Sharp" are a few pseudonyms for different folk, there are others. We could call them "Parasitologist's" and still know to whom we refer, assuming it was a common reference. I don't think we should stop with the "Muggle" thing, as "Muggle" would be a name we give a person who is not us.
I just think we can replace "Muggle" with "Point", for the satisfaction of myself. However, if I were to call them "Points" and no one else does, I might as well be speaking in tongues. If no one understands me, what is the "Point"? As magicians we have a different language, sort of. We call the Top of the cup the Bottom, the Lie the Hype, etc.
Honestly, It doesn't matter what we attempt, as Magic folk we are always trying to redefine ourselves, to be different. Therefore, I don't think a consensus can ever be reached.
If a consensus could be reached, let's NOT call them "Parasitologist's"!

If my ramblings haven't made it clear, I can't think of a reference that "Point" would create, but to a person who does not know about "Mad Eye Moody", they might not see the reference of "Muggle" either. Also I don't think Pop Culture should dictate our present views. While I must admit it does. I have used "Muggle" in my posts and will continue to do so (Until "Point" is adopted) Because it does exactly what you say it does, which is convey a meaning. But were Magicians, and I don't think we should tolerate a "Muggle" I.E. J.K. Rowling's to dictate what we call them.

That was an overlong post, I must learn brevity
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Jonathan Townsend
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I agree that one can make up a word and use it. If you define the term "point" in context as "non magician one for whom the methods of magic would diminish their enjoyment..." I am happy to respect your term.

I went with a model from literature. In that model and context I see much we to explore and many items of almost immediate utility. I went for what was at hand and used the principle of parsimony (taking from what we already have in our culture) and seek to leverage that resource in conjuring.

Your choice and path are valid. As to the ultimate utility of defining new terms in this context OVER the utility of adopting a model from literature... I am unconvinced. It's okay to disagree about best practice. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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