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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Punch him in the face (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2012-01-05 05:56, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-01-04 20:25, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
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On 2012-01-04 20:18, Corbett wrote:
Was the original post on this thread for real? Am I being punked?


? you know funsway?


Of course it was serious -- my feeling that some serious ethical considerations are involved.

The various posts only justify this view, methinks. Personal attacks, projections, misquotes, etc. can only come from sosme sense of guilt or sensitivity -- I have pushed a "hot button."

I have never asked anyone to agree with my view that any reference to personal violence (against another) as a solution to anything is ethically wrong -- direct, metaphorically, allegorically, humorously or folly. I posted this so that readers could consider their own ethical views with regards to comments involving suggested personal violence.

I don't really care what your conclusion is -- only that you have been "taken there" -- which is what ethical consideration is all about. Pretending to assign any other view, attitude, emotion, etc. to me is silly.

That fact that disability concerns are involved are secondary to the cultural training of accepting personal violence as "normal" -- making the allusion more terrifying, perhaps. Each person is "less than able" in some way -- and thereby afraid/protective of thier personal space and self-image. Methinks the attempts here at humor only shows the unwillingness to address this fear, or make conscious ethical decision about what you do in communication.

I keep thinking that the practice of magic should result in higher character of those involved. I watch and learn. though this thread is about ethics, none of the responders have used that term -- interesting.


As a magician and a former professional writer (print journalism), I don't find the statement disturbing. As a former standup comic, I personally find it funny, but I can certainly see how others might not. As someone who knows David Neighbors, I'd be extremely surprised if he found the line insulting. And, finally, I don't think there's much of an ethical issue involved, as the statement was clearly intended to be patently absurd.

Do you have similar concerns regarding magicians who still use the sawing a woman in half effect, or swords through the body/boxes? Just curious.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Michael Baker
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Lobo,

Glad to hear that you can see the humor in the statement for its intended absurdity. In fact, that's exactly why it is funny... it's because it is in direct contrast to how we believe people should act.

The thought of punching Stephen Hawking in the face actually transcends the comparative elements that make it a clever metaphor and borders on slapstick. Even while making a point as to the strength of Mr. Neighbors' magic, it's actually funny on different levels. I can see this, as I think a few others also can. Humor is sometimes crude, but is at its core a championing statement as to how people should not act.

Look at the back and forth barrage of crude insults hurled by Jim West (Will Smith) and Dr. Loveless in the movie, "Wild, Wild West". Each found the others Achilles' heel (well, figuratively), and went to work on it.

Everyone has a scab that can be picked at. Look at the Geico "caveman" commercials. The entire premise is humor based in the indignant way that "the caveman" takes offense at certain characterizations and stereotypes. Granted, this campaign far overstayed its welcome, but the original premise was pretty funny.

The violence against others issue is similarly toned. Becoming a good magician requires a certain level of sensitivity toward others. It is highly unlikely that any magician making a metaphorical statement would even consider turning the illustration into reality any more than they would consider actually doing some of the things that magicians often do for the sake of illusion (i.e., sawing a woman in half, locking them in boxes, etc.).

So, with questions being raised such as in this thread, here is a possible Simpsons-like response, loosely based on a humorous dialogue I once had with my step dad after he was confined to a wheelchair following a stroke...

Q: Why would anyone suggest punching Stephen Hawking in the face?

A: Because kicking him in the shins doesn't have the same effect.

Oh, and by the way... I am not seriously suggesting that anyone do either.
~michael baker
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writeall
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That joke killed, it absolutely killed. I mean it slayed me; I'm dying with laughter here. My head exploded.

Too much hyperbole?
Let me shift gears. Watch closely as I pull a bacterium out of this empty hat.
Atom3339
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This thread is still live? Oh my.
TH

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stoneunhinged
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Of course this thread is alive. It rules. This is what this forum is all about.

If we keep at it long enough, one of these days we'll all agree with each other.

Right?
Steve_Mollett
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I'm gonna go punch Howdy Doody in the face.
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The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2012-01-10 22:36, Steve_Mollett wrote:
I'm gonna go punch Howdy Doody in the face.


He'll have to pull some strings to get out of that.
~michael baker
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Atom3339
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Howdy Doody? Now that's just being cruel!
TH

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Mr. Mystoffelees
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So, where is the line here? Is it OK to say anything (legal) about anyone as long as most conclude it is a joke? Would it be acceptable if the mag had substituted "your mother" in place of Stephen Hawking?
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
mastermindreader
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Does Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" cross any lines? After all, what it suggests is far more dreadful than punching someone in the face.
longhaired1
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 12:35, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
So, where is the line here? Is it OK to say anything (legal) about anyone as long as most conclude it is a joke? Would it be acceptable if the mag had substituted "your mother" in place of Stephen Hawking?

Mom's not a physicist so the joke wouldn't have worked.
FrenchDrop
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 12:35, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
So, where is the line here? Is it OK to say anything (legal) about anyone as long as most conclude it is a joke? Would it be acceptable if the mag had substituted "your mother" in place of Stephen Hawking?

No, it wouldn't be acceptable -- but only because it wouldn't make any sense, since my mother is not a world-renowned physicist.

You ask if it's okay (legal) to say anything about anyone as long as most conclude it's a joke. That's a good question and very appropriate to the discussion. First off, it's legal to say anything about anyone, period (short of making clear, unambiguous threats to do them physical harm, at any rate). That's because, thanks to the First Amendment, there are no laws that make it illegal to say anything you like. The fact that a thing is not illegal, however, doesn't mean you can't be sued for it. And that's where your question becomes very relevant.

When the adult magazine Hustler published a piece, intended to be humorous, that implied that Rev. Jerry Falwell had had sex with his own mother, Falwell sued the magazine's publisher, Larry Flynt. In a famous, landmark legal decision, the court ruled that Flynt had not libeled Falwell, because the piece in question was clearly intended as a joke, and no reasonable person who read it would conclude that Falwell had ever literally had sex with his mother. (No judgment was made regarding whether the piece was actually funny or in good taste; it was enough that the piece was clearly intended as a joke and not as a statement of fact.)

Likewise, no reasonable person who reads the David Acer article in Genii is going to conclude that David Neighbors is the kind of person who would punch a quadriplegic man in the face -- or even that Acer thinks he is. Therefore, the article did no real harm to Neighbors or his reputation.

So. Can you say anything about anyone as long as most conclude it's a joke? Yeah, pretty much.
"A great magician has said of his profession that its practitioners '… must pound and rack their brains to make the least learning go in, but quarrelling always comes very naturally to them.'” -- Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
LobowolfXXX
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On 2012-01-11 14:13, FrenchDrop wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-01-11 12:35, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
So, where is the line here? Is it OK to say anything (legal) about anyone as long as most conclude it is a joke? Would it be acceptable if the mag had substituted "your mother" in place of Stephen Hawking?

No, it wouldn't be acceptable -- but only because it wouldn't make any sense, since my mother is not a world-renowned physicist.

You ask if it's okay (legal) to say anything about anyone as long as most conclude it's a joke. That's a good question and very appropriate to the discussion. First off, it's legal to say anything about anyone, period (short of making clear, unambiguous threats to do them physical harm, at any rate). That's because, thanks to the First Amendment, there are no laws that make it illegal to say anything you like. The fact that a thing is not illegal, however, doesn't mean you can't be sued for it. And that's where your question becomes very relevant.

When the adult magazine Hustler published a piece, intended to be humorous, that implied that Rev. Jerry Falwell had had sex with his own mother, Falwell sued the magazine's publisher, Larry Flynt. In a famous, landmark legal decision, the court ruled that Flynt had not libeled Falwell, because the piece in question was clearly intended as a joke, and no reasonable person who read it would conclude that Falwell had ever literally had sex with his mother. (No judgment was made regarding whether the piece was actually funny or in good taste; it was enough that the piece was clearly intended as a joke and not as a statement of fact.)

Likewise, no reasonable person who reads the David Acer article in Genii is going to conclude that David Neighbors is the kind of person who would punch a quadriplegic man in the face -- or even that Acer thinks he is. Therefore, the article did no real harm to Neighbors or his reputation.

So. Can you say anything about anyone as long as most conclude it's a joke? Yeah, pretty much.


I think you've misread MM's question, as suggested by your rewriting the "(legal)" after the "okay" and not after the "anything," as he had written it. The question isn't (as I read his post) whether it's "okay" meaning "legal," to say "anything" (the question you addressed very well), but RATHER whether it's "okay" to say anything that is legal. He doesn't want to know that it's legal; he wants to know whether it might be "not okay" even given that it's legal.

Which may not change your answer.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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On 2012-01-11 13:40, mastermindreader wrote:
Does Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" cross any lines? After all, what it suggests is far more dreadful than punching someone in the face.


Yes, as a vegan, I find AMP much more offensive.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
FrenchDrop
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 14:26, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I think you've misread MM's question, as suggested by your rewriting the "(legal)" after the "okay" and not after the "anything," as he had written it. The question isn't (as I read his post) whether it's "okay" meaning "legal," to say "anything" (the question you addressed very well), but RATHER whether it's "okay" to say anything that is legal. He doesn't want to know that it's legal; he wants to know whether it might be "not okay" even given that it's legal.

Which may not change your answer.

Ah. Good point; you may be right, there. My response would still be similar; I'd point out that there's no such thing as "legal" or "illegal" when it comes to virtually all speech (at least in the country where Genii is published), so the question of whether or not some things are "not okay" even though they're "legal" is kinda moot.

Are some things "not okay" to say even though there's no law against saying anything you want? Yes. There's out-and-out libel or slander, for instance, which is wrong because it's untrue and damaging, and which a civil court can determine is not okay. And then there's hate speech, which is wrong despite being legal; we don't need a court to tell us that.

What David Acer wrote is neither libelous nor hate speech, so it gets us into a grey area where we have to decide what we personally think is "not okay." Are some things not okay to say, even if they're neither hateful nor actionable in a civil court? Sure. But it's up to each of us to decide what falls into that category and what doesn't. I don't think Acer's joke in the Genii article comes anywhere near that category, for reasons I (and several others) have already given.
"A great magician has said of his profession that its practitioners '… must pound and rack their brains to make the least learning go in, but quarrelling always comes very naturally to them.'” -- Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Mr. Mystoffelees
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On the airplane yesterday, a guy said "p*ss on you" to another passenger, but I think he was joking, so what is the harm,no? I disagree...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11......324.html
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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Mr. Mystoffelees-

Before we answer the question, I need to get something off my chest.

"When grandma turned 67, she started walking a mile each day. Now she's 93, and we don't know where the hell she is..."

I'd just like to point out that dementia amongst seniors is no laughing matter. There are many instances of seniors leaving the house en route to some important appointment and then forgetting where they were going and what the purpose was. This absent-mindedness, as innocent as it seems, has led to more than a few getting lost, and every now and then they injure themselves in some remote location, can't extricate themselves, and die of exposure.

I'm sure you think I'm not serious. However, I'd like to point you towards this news article. Please read it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/sto......und.html

We cannot ever know for sure exactly what happened, if this was an issue related to age or some sort of infirmity that led them to get lost. But that's neither here nor there, because the point is the very real and dangerous scenario of an older person getting lost.

I am GROSSLY offended that you've made a joke at the expense of this phenomenon and decided to put it as your signature. We all await your apology for this thoughtless act on your part. What's more, for you to sit here and lecture the rest of us on what's appropriate humour is the height of hypocrisy. For shame.

I am deadly serious about this.

(not really)
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 13:40, mastermindreader wrote:
Does Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" cross any lines? After all, what it suggests is far more dreadful than punching someone in the face.


I'm an 18th Century soon-to-be-born Irish foetus, and frankly, Mr Cassidy, your levity is in poor taste.

And I shan't be purchasing any of Mr Swift's pamphlets either.

PS Can anyone explain when using a metaphor and urinating on dead bodies achieved moral equivalence? I'd love to know, really.
writeall
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The Right or Wrong Section of the Forum.

It seems it is much harder to be right in this thread than clearly and convincingly wrong.
LobowolfXXX
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On 2012-01-12 01:02, writeall wrote:
The Right or Wrong Section of the Forum.

It seems it is much harder to be right in this thread than clearly and convincingly wrong.


That's totally incorrect.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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