The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

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Tom Frame
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The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Tom Frame » September 11th, 2014, 4:51 pm

The Cramp Vol. 1, #1, February 2011 (PDF magazine) by Dale A. Hildebrandt $11.34
12 pages
Available at: http://www.lybrary.com


From February to May 2011, Dale Hildebrandt published four issues of this magazine. I favorably reviewed another PDF magazine of his in 2010, so I can’t imagine why he waited three years to send me this now defunct magazine for review. But, review it will.

The magazine’s title suggests that it is an homage to Jerry Sadowitz’s magazine The Crimp. That title was a bad choice because The Cramp bears no resemblance whatsoever to The Crimp.

Mr. Sadowitz’s magazine is vulgar, funny and contains strong magic. Based upon the premier issue, The Cramp possesses none of those attributes.

The incongruity suggests that Mr. Hildebrandt chose the title to capitalize on the notoriety of The Crimp, in hopes of luring some of Mr. Sadowitz’s curious subscribers. Did I mention that this was a really bad idea?

The magazine’s cautionary subtitle is “Ten Times Worse Than Any Other Newsletter”. Prior to reading the magazine, I optimistically assumed that remark was the author’s attempt at humor.

After reading it, I believe that the subtitle reflects the author’s honest, accurate assessment of his work. If that’s the case, then his decision to sell this material was misguided, if not masochistic.

Mr. Hildebrandt’s writing is adequate, as is the quality of his teaching. He dutifully cites his inspirational sources.

The design and layout of the magazine are quite unattractive. The cover bears a crudely drawn Jack O’ Lantern, I think, and the admonishment, “Smile More!!! [Or eke!!!]. I think.

The paragraphs are bloated and should have been broken up into more aesthetically pleasing nuggets.

Instead of describing each effect on a new page, the descriptions of subsequent effects follow the previous effect and begin in the middle of the page. That doesn’t make for visually appealing reading.


The Jose Effect: A participant freely names any card. The performer removes a playing card from his wallet. He displays the card’s face to the participant. It depicts all 52 cards from a deck. The participant affirms that she sees her card.


The 52-on-1 card was invented by MacKenzie Gordon Gant and marketed by him as “MacKenzie's Magic Memory,” in 1945. Had I been alive and a student of magic, I would have hated this gag in 1945. Luckily, by not getting involved in magic until 1973, I was spared 28 years of gag-related anguish.

When I first witnessed it, I thought it was stupid and unamusing. The passage of time has only served to bolster my opinion of this ghastly gag. There’s nothing magical about this effect.

I don’t like it.


AACAAANBLFITAO52NAATIFTTATISNTBEYLF: The performer tables a deck of cards face down. A participant freely names any card and any number from one to fifty-two. The performer deals cards from the top of the deck into a face-down pile until he arrives at the card that falls on the designated number. He turns the card face up and it depicts all 52 cards from a deck. The participant affirms that she sees her card.


For those who care, the tedious initialism stands for Almost Any Card At Almost Any Number Because Let’s Face It There Are Only 52 Numbers Available And This Is Funnier Than Tommy’s And This Is Not The Berglas Effect You’re Looking For.

Hardy har.

The author’s method is 52 times worse than the method used in the previous effect.

I don’t like it.


Multiple Thought-Up Cards: The performer removes a card from the deck and holds it face down. A participant freely names any card. The performer turns the card face up, revealing that it depicts all 52 cards from a deck. The participant affirms that she sees her card. The performer repeats this demonstration with other participants until the crowd puts him out of their misery.


This cry for help also relies upon an entire deck of the pathetic pasteboards.

I don’t like it.


Chosen Card Plus Thought of Card to Wallet: A participant selects a card and the performer loses it in the deck. A second participant freely thinks of any card.

The performer removes a pair of cards from his wallet, one face up and one face down. The first participant verifies that the face-up card is her selection. The performer turns over the pair of cards. The second participant affirms that she sees her card on the 52-on-1 card.


The crummy card needs to be painstakingly modified. Another common card gaff is also required.

Mr. Hildebrandt’s method is lousy and makes no sense. For the conclusion of the effect, he could have simply removed a regular 52-on-1 card and a duplicate of the selected card from his wallet. Both cards could be examined.

Instead, he has crafted a method in which sleight of hand must be used to display the faces of the cards, and the cards can’t be examined. The mind boggles.

I don’t like it.


H.I.S.: The performer displays a book that has about a dozen words highlighted. A participant flips through the book and mentally selects a highlighted word. After asking a few questions, the performer correctly divines the word.


You need to prepare the book ahead of time by highlighting certain words. To divine the word, you must execute a familiar mentalism procedure.

Why does the performer limit the participant’s selection to a dozen highlighted words? The participant must correctly conclude that there is something special about those words.

I don’t like it.


H.E.R.S.: The performer tables an envelope. He displays the edge of the pages of a book to a participant and asks her to remember the first word she sees. He lights a lighter and holds it near the edge of the pages, causing the word to disappear.

The performer opens the book and reveals that a page has been torn out. He opens the envelope and removes the page torn from the book. The participant sees that one word on the page has been highlighted. It is the word that she saw on the edge of the pages.


You’ll need to prepare the book ahead of time by tearing out a page and by using a special pen to write a word on the edge of the pages.

The participant must correctly conclude that the performer knew the word that he wrote on the edge of the pages with some sort of magic ink. With that awareness, the method becomes obvious and the effect ceases to be magical.

This item was inspired by Al Mann’s “Pegasus Page” and Docc Hilford’s “Wizard’s Manual.” Both of those versions are superior to Mr. Hildebrandt’s offering.

I don’t like it.


Perdiction (Sic): The performer displays a small booklet with a bookmark inserted in it. He states that the bookmark marks a page that contains a misspelled word. He opens the book at the bookmarked page and displays it to a participant. The bookmark has a window cut out of it that allows the participant to view an area of text beneath the bookmark. She sees that the word “instructions” is misspelled.

The performer turns the booklet face down and removes the bookmark. He turns the booklet face up and the participant verifies that “instructions” is now spelled correctly. The booklet can be immediately examined.


You need to create the booklet. Do you really want to take the time to write a booklet, print it and have it bound for this one effect? I don’t.

You also need to buy a pair of special bookmarks and modify one of them.

Mr. Hildebrandt’s inspiration for this plot came from Paul Harris’s “Lysdexia”, from The Art of Astonishment Book 2. The bookmark idea was inspired by Jim Sherman’s “Wordo” which was marketed it in 1938.

Because the booklet can be immediately examined and the bookmark can’t, it draws all of the heat. As a result, I suspect that the crowd will unravel the method. “Lysdexia” is a better effect.

I don’t like it.


I was disappointed with the premier issue of The Cramp. I have three more issues to review. While I am trying to maintain my optimism, I approach those reviews with much trepidation and a rag soaked with ether.


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AJM
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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby AJM » September 11th, 2014, 5:08 pm

Based on your review of #1, why bother reviewing the other three?

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Dale A. Hildebrandt » September 11th, 2014, 5:41 pm

Yes! Mission Accomplished. I think Tom may have missed the intent of "The Cramp". The intent is to publish crap tricks with crap methods; I personally would not recommend it either. The price is too high and the effects are pure drivel and crap.

Sincerely,
Dale A. Hildebrandt

Tom Frame
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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Tom Frame » September 11th, 2014, 7:42 pm

Dale,

How clueless of me to think that you sent the magazine to me because you hoped to get a favorable review that might generate a few sales. I'm shocked and ashamed that I didn't understand that your plan was to publish the magazine and then discourage people from buying it.

You got me. Hook, line and sinker.

I see no need to review the other issues.
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Steve Hook » September 11th, 2014, 8:34 pm

WTF just happened here?

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Mark Collier » September 11th, 2014, 9:11 pm

Dale,

I don't see why you would waste Tom's and our time with a joke that is as bad as your tricks.

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby mrgoat » September 12th, 2014, 7:01 am

Dale A. Hildebrandt wrote:Yes! Mission Accomplished. I think Tom may have missed the intent of "The Cramp". The intent is to publish crap tricks with crap methods; I personally would not recommend it either. The price is too high and the effects are pure drivel and crap.

Sincerely,
Dale A. Hildebrandt


The only way that post could be worse is if you used comic sans.

It's OK you are butthurt your thing got an appalling review, but learn better ways to respond to criticism*. Otherwise, you just end up looking like a penis.


*https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/idea-hub/topics/innovation/video/on-bad-reviews-there-is-gold-in-there-inside-the-entrepreneurial-mind-series/

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Dale A. Hildebrandt » September 12th, 2014, 8:14 am

I guess it is difficult to get some things understood on an internet forum. When I sent the newsletters I informed Tom that they were parody/satire/pure-stupidity. The aim of the newsletters is parody/satire/pure-stupidity. Tom disliked the ideas because of their stupidity. If my aim is stupidity and things are stupid, then I think I have accomplished what I set out to do. I didn't mean to waste anyone's time; I'm not angry or mad or upset by the review; I'm not out to pull one over on anyone. It just seems to me that if pure stupidity is the goal and that goal is met then I've accomplished my mission. I even put the tag line "Ten Times Worse Than Any Other Newsletter" on The Cramp. The Cramp is a place to put all those crap ideas that we come up with that aren't well thought-out, impractical, and so on. I hope this can clear some things up. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Dale A. Hildebrandt

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 12th, 2014, 12:08 pm

Thanks for the clarification, because I've been really confused up to this point.

So, we can take it from the fact that Tom didn't like a single thing in your newsletter that it is indeed a total success?
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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 12th, 2014, 12:50 pm

Any else read the books A Perfect Vacuum or Imaginary Magnitude by Stalnslaw Lem? :D
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby GlennWest » September 12th, 2014, 1:16 pm

I'm not clear why this stuff is for sale on Lybrary.com

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Dale A. Hildebrandt » September 13th, 2014, 7:04 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Thanks for the clarification, because I've been really confused up to this point.

So, we can take it from the fact that Tom didn't like a single thing in your newsletter that it is indeed a total success?



Correct.

Sincerely,
Dale A. Hildebrandt

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Tom Gilbert » September 13th, 2014, 12:03 pm

And this is worth spending $11 how??

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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 13th, 2014, 12:11 pm

Practical Joke?
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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Ted M » September 13th, 2014, 1:41 pm



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Re: The Cramp Vol. 1, #1 by Dale A. Hildebrandt

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 13th, 2014, 3:03 pm

two challenges are waiting to ask for clarification as an aside and phrasing that question in a way that's useful.
better to... and all that.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time


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