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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » GENII - The Conjurors' Magazine » » Punch In the Face (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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funsway
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I have re-read the first paragraph of the January article "Easy Come" in disbelief. My respect for Genii has completely vanished and I will not renew my subscription. The concept of advocating or suggesting that anyone should "punch him in the face" is so tasteless, crude and unprofessional that both the writer and editor should be ashamed.

Is this what the practice of our art leads to -- violence against anyone who holds a different view than yourself? Magicians offer a different view of just about everything -- so should you just knock down a spectator or kick him a couple of times because he doesn't applaud? Your just purchased trick doesn't work as well as you desire, so when you meet Sankey at a convention you shoot him, right?

Why hit Hawkings anyway -- more fun to dump him out of his wheel chair or shove him in front of a bus.

What an insult to Dave Neighbors to suggest that he would be anything but polite to a stranger regardless of his beliefs.

I have long felt and taught the being a performing magician should make of you a better person. Obviously ,Genii thinks the opposite -- that one should become less human and sensitive -- even cruel in order to be an effective performer.

Yeah, I know -- it's supposed to be a joke ...

even worse.

I'm not against violence -- a disabled Viet Nam vet, but to advocate violence for something so trivial is appauling. Or maybe you are are just against people with disabilties. Either way it is no laughing matter.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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TStone
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I can't find where in the joke it is advocated or suggested that anyone should be punched in the face.

In fact, the joke seem to solely consist of an analogy, describing David Neighbor's creations as being so impossible that they seem to blatantly disregard all physical laws.
I think you accidentally read something between the lines, that isn't actually there.
funsway
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Joke?? accident??

quote, "if he ever met Stephen Hawkings, he'd proabably just punch him in the face."

what is this an analogy to" Def -- "an inference that if two or more things agree with another in some respects they will probabaly agree in others." Here the planned assault is based on differences rather than similarities. The probelem is no that a magician apaprently does impossible things, but the concept that this ability should translate into physical violence -- evne as a joke.

wasn't there a recent Scandanavian incident in which a person took out his personal frustrations on innocent victims? Maybe he had just come froma magic show.

There is no "accident" -- I deliberately take objection to the entire concept of suggesting violence as a response to anything magical, entertaining, fictional character or even just being a responsible citizen.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
TStone
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I still can't see where you find that actual violence is advocated, condoned or suggested.

The whole quote, in context, goes:
Quote:
Master Coin-Magician David Neighbors has so little regard for the laws of physics, [that] if he ever met Stephen Hawking, he'd probably just punch him in the face. Over the years, he has published many examples of this disdain, and here is yet another. [Coin trick description follows]


By the construction of the paragraph, it is very clear that it all refer to coin tricks (the many examples of "disdain" are all coin tricks, as opposed to anything else).
In the context, it is also very clear that the joke is a comparison: That the level of impossibility in David's coin tricks has an impact that is analogous to punching the world's most renown physicist in the face.
I fail to see how this can be misunderstood. There is nothing in the construction of the paragraph that support your conclusion.

I also fail to see the line of reasoning that takes you from a joke about the impact of a coin trick to the very recent Norwegian tragedy. The label "too soon" applies, and being a real life tragedy, as opposed to a humorous hypothetical analogy, your association is actually far more offensive than what you accuse Genii of.
motown
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It sounds like coloful language to me. Something used by writers all over the world to give a story or article life. If you don't get it, you don't get it.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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mayniac
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Yeah I don't see anything to worry about here...
Eric Fry
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Actually, I thought it was offensive too, especially considering Hawking's physical condition. Also, it was nonsensical. Physicists don't create the laws of physics. It was just a misplaced attempt at lively writing.
billmarq
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@Funsway - I am sincere in my gratitude toward you as a disabled veteran. I am a a veteran of 20 years service myself, but somehow managed to avoid combat. I must say however, that I truly believe your anger at the writer and editor is totally misplaced. What Mr. Fry aptly describes as "lively writing" is probably the best description. I cannot understand how anyone could perceive the comments as a personal attack against Mr. Hawking or disabled persons. Hawking, given today's zeitgeist, is the iconic figure of all that embodies the Science of Physics. He has even appeared in a Star Trek episode.

TStone is right on the money. There was no call to violence in the comments. Furthermore, if the writer had referred to Albert Einstein instead, would you have inferred that he was anti-Semitic? I doubt it.
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motown
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Well said Bill.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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funsway
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Quote:
On 2012-01-03 20:32, billmarq wrote:
if the writer had referred to Albert Einstein instead, would you have inferred that he was anti-Semitic? I doubt it.


No -- the thought of heritage or religion would not have entered my mind -- just as I made no reference to Stephen Hawkings religion or heritage. I would have seen a brillant but frustrated frail old man being attacked. The point is that neither attack is a metaphor for any distain for "the laws of physics."

If this is just "lively writing" then it is cheap sensationalism for the ego of the writer and does nothing to enhance the article or presentation of the effect. I am disturbed by the reference to personal violence as a choice of "lively writing."

If the point was to make light of the "laws of physics" how is this achieved by attacking a physicist? How does it enhance the reputation of David Neighbors? How does it serve as a model of how a magician should present the effect?

My reference to being a Veteran is metaphorical to "I am not against violence in some circumstances." It is not metaphorical to "war is wrong," or "arms control" or the "laws of war." It does mean that I never see personal violence as "a joke." But I felt that way before "going to war."

I believe that Genii made a poor editorial choice is allowing this kind of "lively writing." It is a "slap in the face" to magicians everywhere. We pretend at magci. Where is the magic in pesonal violence?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
TStone
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You know, there are about 500 million – 1.8 billion people in the world that understand the English language...

It is not uncommon in that language to illustrate emotional sentiments with physical analogies.
There's even words that, properly defined, means both a "physical collision of bodies" and having a "great emotional impression".
For example: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/impact

When a British person says "I was gutted", it very seldom means that he just had a run in with Jack the Ripper.

And when a spectator says "I was gobsmacked", it does not actually mean that the magician have punched the spectator in the face, even though the literal sense of the word seem to say exactly that - instead it means that the spectator want to illustrate the emotional effect of how utterly astounded he was.

Now, if the spectator is allowed to use the analogy of being smacked in the face when becoming astounded, then why are not a magican allowed to make the exact same analogy?
JordanB
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I died laughing when I read this thread.
Vlad_77
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Colorful writing is one thing, but the writer could have picked better verbiage than "punching Stephen Hawking in the face." While I have not yet read the article I do find such a sentence tasteless. The writer COULD have used a magical metaphor instead of a metaphor for violence - something of which our planet has had and still does have far too much of.

The fact that Professor Hawking DOES suffer from Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) DOES play into this. It is simply crass, VERY crass to even metaphorically speak or write of punching a disabled person. This hits close to home for me as my elder brother had cerebral palsy. Had anybody even remotely implied any punches to him, believe me, as much as I abhor violence, THAT person would have gotten a nice bit of Tang Soo Do to the gut. Yes,I would have compromised my principles, but it's my brother.

Tom I respect your thinking as a magician and I write the following respectfully: your analogies while sound in other circumstances simply are not germane to this specific scenario.



BTW, Stephen Hawking not only appeared in Star Trek TNG, but, he is ALSO a HUGE fan of magic.

A H I M S A,
Vlad

PS: JordanB, I am curious what you found so humorous in this thread which led to your untimely demise.
TStone
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Quote:
On 2012-01-04 07:58, Vlad_77 wrote:
Colorful writing is one thing, but the writer could have picked better verbiage than "punching Stephen Hawking in the face." While I have not yet read the article I do find such a sentence tasteless.

Tasteless, maybe. That's something different all together.
Do you sincerely believe that the David Acer quote advocates, condones or suggestes actual violence toward anyone? That is what Funsway believe and are protesting against. Actual violence is what he questions, not different taste in humor.


Quote:
Tom I respect your thinking as a magician and I write the following respectfully: your analogies while sound in other circumstances simply are not germane to this specific scenario.

So you agree with Funsways interpretation? David Acer, in his text, does not talk about the impact of a magic trick, but promotes an actual physical assault on Stephen Hawking? Just want to make it clear.
Vlad_77
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Tom,

I am in The Netherlands until Sunday and so I have not read the article as I stated; I forgot my Genii registration number so I cannot check it out online while I am here. I am not implying that David Acer is in any way promoting physical violence against Professor Hawking. I do agree with Funsway that references to violence - are problematic. In your own words Tom, I respectfully submit that you stated that the verbiage is "tasteless, maybe." I respect David Acer as a performer and writer. He is also one of the funniest comedians I have ever had the privilege of seeing. With all of his credentials I am taken aback that in THIS instance he would employ a metaphor that is simply inappropriate. Surely David Acer would know already as many do that Professor Hawking loves magic. Why could he have not used a metaphor more suited to that. In fact, any metaphor which would signify complete astonishment in the apparent bending or breaking the laws of universal physics sans violence would be quite easy to conjure. Professor Hawking held the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge for 30 years - an honor also held by Sir Isaac Newton. I believe that Professor Hawking deserves more respect and I stand by my assertion that the verbiage is utterly crass. Actually in revisiting this post I find that when I reconsider the accomplishments of Professor Hawking AND a fatal illness I find that my own verbiage of "crass" to be a woeful understatement.

Some years ago in America, Saturday Night Live did a comedy sketch with The Holocaust as its theme. I was horrified and I vowed never to watch that show again - and I haven't even when Sir Paul McCartney was the featured guest. There are just some things IMHO Tom, that simply are not funny and should not be the subject of "humor." David Acer is better than this and I am saddened by his metaphor. No, I will not choose to unsubscribe to Genii. I will however write a letter to Genii and to the ALS Foundation in protest of this gauche remark.

Ahimsa,
Vlad
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2012-01-04 10:23, Vlad_77 wrote:
David Acer is better than this and I am saddened by his metaphor. No, I will not choose to unsubscribe to Genii. I will however write a letter to Genii and to the ALS Foundation in protest of this gauche remark.


That's noble of you. While you're at it, do make sure that the ALS guys know that you would have written a similar letter to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences if Albert Einstein had been the subject of the joke.

I mean, you WOULD write such a letter, right? After all, to do otherwise would be to admit that, unlike Acer, who looked at Stephen Hawking and saw a renowned physicist whose name people recognize, you look at Hawking and see some handicapped person who needs an internet White Knight to defend him from a joke.

Nah, you couldn't be that hypocritical. So, be sure to mention the RSAS, will you? They gave Einstein the Nobel, and would surely have been similarly outraged at the effrontery of having one of their members cited in a joke. After all, Einstein's far worse off than Hawking is right now.
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billmarq
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Vlad - I should have followed my instincts and avoided involvement in this thread, but let me say that I believe nearly all of us agree that Mr. Acer could have found a better way to express himself. That is not the issue. I have no problem with anyone stating an opinion that this was a poor example of "comedic" writing.

Acer's statement was a hyperbolic metaphor expressing a disdain for the laws of physics. NOT an attack on Mr. Hawking and certainly not an advocacy of violence or an expression of hatred for disabled persons. Interpretting the remarks otherwise is plainly erroneous. Hawking's name was used as a symbol of the science of physics, nothing more.

Anyone offended by such hyperbole should not watch this week's Wizard Product Review, by the way.
Honi soit quit mal y pense.
TStone
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Quote:
On 2012-01-04 10:23, Vlad_77 wrote:
I am not implying that David Acer is in any way promoting physical violence against Professor Hawking.

Just isolated this to show Funsway that not even those who agree with him, agree with him.
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Quote:
On 2012-01-04 07:54, JordanB wrote:
I died laughing when I read this thread.


I know. This whole conversation has me so gobsmacked that I feel as if Funsway has punched me in the face.
TStone
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Since Hawking is know to have a rather drastic sense of humor himself, it's not unlikely that he would have found Acer's text to be funny.
Like in this case: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/christ......_update/

Who is really served with the hair-trigger sensibility of someone whose English is subpar?
The whole thing is almost like the David Howard incident.
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