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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » Politicians as a topic for presentation (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gregg webb
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Most everyone tells me this is a bad idea. I'd say, use the "both sides lie" angle. Anyway, I like to watch politicians to see how brazen their bold faced lies are. I can see using the idea of "fake news" in lie detector tests and any trick where the spectator is supposed to lie and the magician can tell when they are lying and when not. Also, the history of the priestly class, who would "interpret" signs and events for the consumption by the rabble. These evolved into interpreters of "the law". These became the lawyers. some but not all politicians started as lawyers.

So you have Equivoque, Double X Jargon, and many areas to explore. The idea of fake news (where the side lying says it is the other side that is doing the lying) I have traced in TV shows to 2 scripts by Gene Roddenberry (one for Have Gun Will Travel and one for Star Trek). In the first instance you have Lon Chaney Jr. claiming to be Paladin and Paladin has to insist "No, I'm the real Paladin", "he's an imposter". And back and forth. And the same in Star Trek, "I'm the real Kirk". "Spock, lock him up. He's an imposter. I'm the real Kirk."

When everyone tells me I'm wrong - I get it...people fear offending half the population these days - but when everyone tells me I'm wrong, I think I must be on to something. Maybe this is the new cutting edge.
Muddy Dench
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I don't know that this is a "bad" idea, per se. I would keep it on a general level where people can relate to the material but not be offended. I wouldn't, for example, talk about a specific politician, a specific political party or a current issue that has political overtones. Then you would be sure to offend someone. That could reflect poorly on you. I think it would also be wise to keep your antennae out for audience reaction. You might find that infusing politics into your patter even in a general way could spark agitation in your audience. It might trigger them to think about a politician or a party and then they start talking about it and leading you someplace you don't want to go. Could be tricky. So not necessarily bad, but could lead to unintended consequences. Just some thoughts.
gregg webb
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I like the idea of calling something "fake news" in a lie detector type effect. Oscar Weigle's trick Alias Divination was supposedly Ted Annemann's favorite trick. I think any trick where the spectator lies and the magician knows when they are lying could work. Again, the "both sides lie" gambit would be good. I have people say that to me all the time. Honestly, many magicians tell me they stay away from politics altogether.

And then someday I'll have to explain how magic was the precursor of religions. Or was it? I once said magic was the precursor of logic, and some guy got up and said it wasn't. I told him it was Pythagoras and that Pythagoras was an early magician as well as a mathematician. Some things I've read lately make me think I was right. I seem to lean towards risky ideas in my patter.
Muddy Dench
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I think the fake news angle on the lie detector could work well. There could be a lot of funny bye-play with the right spec, and still not cross the line where they feel offended. Not so sure about religion, though. People tend to really hold on tight to certain beliefs and religion is one of those areas. That would probably be a bridge too far for me.
gregg webb
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You're right. They cling to religion and guns. Something like that. The old time illusionists would shoot a gun at an illusion where a girl would reappear. (And today they dance with the box.) That's an old quote. So we'll stay away from mentioning gun control too.
gregg webb
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Just watched Bill Maher's Religilous movie, boy that took nerve. I watched it many times over the years. At various times in history magick and religion have been very close. Sometimes I think politicians and these televangelist preachers have a great grasp of speaking in public. I sometimes watch Joel Osteen just to study his patter. And timing, etc. I'm not religious, but watch the scene. I feel now is one of those times. I used to talk with James Randi about what was happening in Russia and scams, at the time. I would bet flim flam is very big there now.

But I grant you, how to disguise it as humor or entertainment, the old snake oil salesman or something. George C. Scott was in a film called the Flim Flam Man. I'm rambling, but this spot is for trying to develop presentations. I've always thought magic is deeper than just eye candy or "mystery and wonder" and is filled with symbology. Mickey Hart's Drumming at the Edge of Magic.
The great Gumbini
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I have found using anything that deals with real life and presenting it in conjunction with magic and mentalism normally works very well. Now I know there are things that can be especially today very sensitive to people. Unfortunately people have become quite sensitive and a shame because in so doing they lose the opportunity for one of the best medicines in the world and that is laughter. But not being a politically correct person I just go with what I believe to be entertaining and fortunately it seems to coincide with the majority of people find entertaining as well.


Good magic to all,

Eric
gregg webb
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Amen. Ha Ha But seriously folks...I was just thinking of a presentation angle about how we have an angel on one side and the devil on the other...in cartoons they sometimes show them as small and sitting on our respective shoulders. I was just pondering how to use this concept to present a trick. Have a spectator show their card to my Guardian Angel ("Don't let me see it.") The guardian angel then whispers to me, etc. Showing it to the devil, and he tells me the wrong card. But if I take out that wrong card, the angel causes it to turn into the correct card (!) Etc.

When trying to come up with concepts, don't be hard on yourself. I used to think an idea was no good if it didn't come out fully formed. They never do. You have to toy around for a while. The goal is find little images around. There are posters with the little devil on a magician's shoulder whispering to him. Robin Williams had a bit like this...just comedy. Also don't let this idea that someone already did something stop you. Change yours around until it is unique enough to feel o.k. about. I'm not religious, but the angel and devil are like cartoon characters in some parts of our culture.
gregg webb
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I realize it is not good to knock religion, but I want to tell a story from back in the early 70's. (1974) I was doing a show at a party and a cat (a black cat) was hit by a car outside. The girl that had the cat, who was a Jehovah's Witness, (the girl, not the cat) said that the cat died because I was doing magic inside the house. I was young and didn't quite know what to say. "I didn't mean it! I didn't do it on purpose! It was an ACCIDENT."

If you watch stand up comedians, we have a long way to go to develop bits of business of a really creative level...not the tricks of which there are many, but the presentations. I go back to the day when magicians were just experimenting with humor by saying "Hold out your hand". "No, I meant the clean one". And everyone was using that. p.s. The story about the cat is not a "bit" but was a true story about how some people feel about magic.
gregg webb
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Jeff McBride told me the story of how he does magic for everybody he meets. He was doing a trick for a cab driver from Jamaica or Haiti or somewhere, and the guy got upset. "Magic is EVIL, Mon".
gregg webb
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So, I was looking at some Bitcoins from Sans Minds. My idea for a presentation goes like this. (I used to think of "moves". At long last I am thinking of presentations.) But the idea is based on a trick I came up with years ago in one of my newsletters where a coin changed into a card using a Spellbound Move. The coin then reappeared in a card box. Finally after a Rub-A-Dub vanish, the card reappeared out of the cardbox. (Mat Schulien move).

My idea is to practice mime until I can pretend like I'm holding a "bitcoin". Pass it from hand to hand, etc. I even have some jokes I'm working on. "Superman is afraid of Cryptocurrency because he thinks it is made from Kryptonite!" Anyway...I want to change the pantomimed "coin" into a Bitcoin using a Spellbound Move. Call it "changing an imaginary coin to a Bitcoin with Spellbound."
gregg webb
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Especially now one could consider patter comparing charlatan style magicians with politicians who now have turned everything around a la Double X Jargon, and saying the opposite of what they know the truth is. Call it "opposite-speak". Or maybe it is too dangerous. Think about it, at least. Never let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. There's a line for you.
gregg webb
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Never let the public know how it all works.
gregg webb
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You could say "How can you tell if a politician is lying?" "If his lips are moving!" This doesn't say which side you mean, or all politicians in general. And don't reveal which side you are on. There is a long connection between the king and his vizier, who would "interpret" signs for the people in terms that actually favor a certain side in the equation.
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