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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Norman Bigelow, Houdini and Christianity (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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houdinisghost
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I have just received an email from Norman Bigelow which seriously misstates Houdini's attitude toward Christian churches.
What Norman is saying in his email comes completely from his own head, and in no way does it reflect anything Houdini ever stated or wrote about religion or Christian churches.
Patrick Culliton
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Kevin Connolly
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I don't have a clue what the hell he is talking about. He is so far off, in left field, in the next town, it needs no reply.
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Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
Kevin Connolly
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He just issued a quasi apology by email. He may even taken a shot at you in it.

My feelings is that he's in the twilight of his life and of his mental faculties.
Please visit my website.
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Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
houdinisghost
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It's not an apology at all. It is a lunatic rant that makes the first email look tame.
He quotes "Cannon (sic) William Rauscher" to try to validate his complete and total fabrication regarding Houdini and Christian churches
Didn't Norman used to call himself "Houdini's reincarnation."
Just before the motion picture kicked in, Houdini was the biggest star in show business. The books, the movies, the box-office records, the collections he assembled--this was a major figure.
And this guy Bigelow would have us believe that Houdini reincarnated as a cockroach.
Cliffg37
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Er... why don't we all cool down and let this go. One thing we all have in common is that none of us actually knew Houdini. We read books and trust accounts. Honestly anyone who knew Houdini was very young when they met him, and is very old right now. Let's not argue.
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Wolflock
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I agree with Cliff here. None of us knew the man, SO why argue about something we only really have opinion about? Let each person have their own view on Houdini's belief system.
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Kevin Connolly
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Everyone is cool, so I may be missing something.

If you want each person to have an opinion, which I haven't posted one yet, let the other side have their opinion aired.
Please visit my website.
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Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
Cliffg37
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On a related topic... I was at a dinner party the other night, and someone started talking about HH. One question that came up was...

How many people in the entertainment industry have been dead 85 years and yet we still talk about them?

After giving that some serious thought, I came up with two other names. Enrico Caruso, who passed away four of five years before Houdini did.
And, P.T. Barnum who died in 1891.

Anyone think of anyone else?
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John Cox
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Here is what Houdini himself said on the topic. His exact words, word for word.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2010/12/......ess.html

Patrick is right. Norm is misstating Houdini's position. It appears to me he is extrapolating to make a larger point (his point) about religion and superstition. Think we need to see some evidence that Houdini held these larger ideas to take this all that seriously. For now, what we have are Houdini words and the historical record, which is very different from "opinion."

But it's a provocative discussion, and I like that Norm is still out there stirring the pot. He's always been controversial. And, remember, Houdini was working on a book at the time of his death with HP Lovecraft called The Cancer of Superstition, which Bessie cancelled for reasons unknown.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2011/02/......-of.html

Cliffg37 -- how about Valentino?
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Harley Newman
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Contemporaries of HH that are still generally known? Little Egypt. Al Jolson. Sarah Bernhardt. Mary Pickford. Douglas Fairbanks. Buffalo Bill Cody. Le Petomaine. Laurel and Hardy. Buster Keaton. Chung Ling Soo. Charlie Chaplin...just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are quite a few others.

Le Petomaine was the highest selling draw in Paris, when HH went there, followed by Sarah Bernhardt. I believe that's why HH didn't like Paris. His ego couldn't take it, being outsold by a farteur.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Harley Newman
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BTW, the song we all know, that's associated with bellydancing, was written by Sol Bloom, who coordinated the Midway Plaisaunce at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. He went on to a career in the music publishing business (having never copywrited that particular song), and then became a congressman from New York.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Chance
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Lawrence of Arabia
Robert Houdin
Bach
Beethoven
Strauss
Mozart
Klimt
Picasso
Dali
KerryJK
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Not counting composers, authors, playwrights, artists and others still known through the tangible works they left behind rather than their reputations as performers:

Gypsy Rose Lee (burlesque dancer)
Georges Hackenschmeidt (wrestler)

I am hard pressed to think of any entertainer who can match Houdini's legend as a household name based entirely on what he did as a performer.
John Cox
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I thought Cliff was asking not which HH contemporaries are still remembered, but which entertainers who have been dead for 85 years are still remembered. The likes of Chaplin and Pickford have only been dead for 30+ years or so. Maybe that wasn't what he was asking, but it makes it a little harder to come up with names.
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houdinisghost
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Pickford?
Wake up, Gran'pa!
Ask 100 seven year olds who anyone on that list was. Ask them who Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was.
Ask 'em who Houdini was. They'll almost all know a bit about him.
Ask 100 fourteen year olds who Will Rogers was. Ask them who Barnum was.
Actually, you can ask most of the little morons who Dwight Eisenhower was and they won't know.
Walt Disney is as famous as Houdini, I would say.
I want to say Hitchcock. I'd like to think that even the numbskull youth of today would know of Hitchcock.
James Dean--and he did it all in 24 years and three movies.
Mary Pickford's name (and Doug Fairbanks') come up in Clint Eastwood's film "Letters from Iwo Jima."
It seems as if sometime in their teens, a lot of kids learn about Le Petomaine.
My son is twenty and I have been showing him classic films all his life.
He spent his early years watching cartoons on TV. When I first showed him Chaplin and W.C. Fields and Laurel and Hardy, he was very familiar with their images from the old cartoons where Hollywood people are portrayed.
Valentino was very well known when I was a kid. Muhammad Ali's brother was baptized Rudolph Valentino Clay.
Al Capone? I was going to Loyola High School in L.A. in 1961. Somehow, Al Capone's name came up. The priest who was teaching the class asked, "Anyone know what he died of?" and, as one, 35 fifteen year old boys said, "SYPH!"
Cliffg37
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To clarify. People in the entertainment industry, not authors. (Shakespeare would win hands down) But entertainers.

Movie actors, dancers, magicians, singers, theater actors etc. Who have been dead 85 years or longer and are still talked about or at least recognized by John Q. Public.

So, While Georges Hackenschmeidt Wrestled and lost the first world title to Frank Gotch back in 1901, few have ever heard of him, and when did he die?

Laurel and hardy, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, all possible here, but I don't think any of them have been dead that long.

The classical composers that Chance listed are certainly valid for this list. (Nice list btw)

I can agree with Robert Houdin, but who has ever heard of him outside of magicians. You will probably get, "Robert Houdin? Did you mean Houdini?"

Thanks John, you hit my question on the head.

Still many good answers here.
Magic is like Science,
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Cliffg37
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Harley, when did Al Jolson pass away? He might be a candidate here.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Kevin Connolly
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1950
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
Steve_Mollett
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Quote:
On 2011-04-23 09:56, Cliffg37 wrote:
On a related topic... I was at a dinner party the other night, and someone started talking about HH. One question that came up was...

How many people in the entertainment industry have been dead 85 years and yet we still talk about them?

After giving that some serious thought, I came up with two other names. Enrico Caruso, who passed away four of five years before Houdini did.
And, P.T. Barnum who died in 1891.

Anyone think of anyone else?

Rudolph Valentino
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The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
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Steve_Mollett
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Sarah Bernhardt
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
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