Guilt and Pleasure - the Magic Edition

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.

Postby Naphtalia » 04/25/08 12:38 PM

There is a wonderful magazine dealing with all kinds of Jewish topics called Guilt and Pleasure.

I recently came across an old copy the magazine which was magic themed.

It's archived here. It's also possible to buy a back issue.

Not everything here will appeal to magicians, but if you have a chance, it's worth checking out.
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Postby castawaydave » 04/25/08 08:59 PM

Naphtalia--thank you for that link--some of the articles were interesting.

Here's a quote that will stir up controversy!! From an interview with the Israeli Army's first ever official magician (21 years old):

"Israelis, for magicians at least, are the toughest audiences ever. Ever! They have chutzpah and they just want to see you fail as a magician. Even big magicians from the U.S. like Max Maven, the mentalist who come to Israel, most of them fail miserably. They dont know how to manage an audience like that."

Ooch.
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Postby Max Maven » 04/25/08 09:20 PM

A curious statement. I have performed in Israel precisely once during my adult life, a few years ago at a convention in Eilat. I do not recall failing -- "miserably" or otherwise. But perhaps my memory is fading.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/25/08 09:48 PM

I notice that the soldier has only good things to say about himself.

One of his answers: "I worked hard to develop my stage presence. Many magicians have a persona. I myself am confident and outspoken. Onstage, I am just magnifying my true personality. Anyway, by 18, I was already playing a lot of shows and big theaters in Israel."

So, he puffs up his chest and [censored] on the premier mentalist in the United States. I think we can take his comments with a grain of Dead Sea salt.
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Postby 000 » 05/19/08 09:00 AM

Regarding the Jewish theme above made me think back to an article written by that fine gentleman William Rauscher.
Concerned a Jewish magician who escaped the gas chambers during the Holocast by 'conjuring furiously with pebbles' for the warders.
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Postby 000 » 05/26/08 06:51 AM

And also check www.jewsinmagic.org

Alos some intersting stuff on magic and the Bible,and magic and the Talmud.
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Postby David Kaplan » 05/26/08 10:14 AM

Jews in Magic was a fascinating resource, but it hasn't been active for quite a while.
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Postby David Kaplan » 05/26/08 03:35 PM

Of course, you can still access the content on the Internet Archive here: http://web.archive.org/web/200502032144 ... ll_mag.asp
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Postby 000 » 05/27/08 01:10 AM

Thanks for the link David
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Postby 000 » 05/29/08 02:31 PM

I read that the Wizard club was formed in 1932 because SAM did not admit Jewish magicians at the time.
When was this changed?
And where perhaps can I read some more about this piece of history?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/29/08 02:40 PM

Houdini was a Jew, and also president of the SAM from (I think) 1917 until his death. Perhaps other assemblies were not as broad-minded. There have been rumors for years that many IBM rings didn't admit Jews.
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Postby Jim Maloney » 05/29/08 03:20 PM

Nate Leipzig was a member of SAM from very near the beginning, and was the president from 1938-39. But, as Richard said, perhaps there were assemblies in other cities that weren't as accepting.

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Postby 000 » 05/30/08 01:03 AM

here is where I read it

www.wizardsclubofchicago.com/history

So it differed from assembly to assemby?
What about blacks?
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Postby 000 » 05/31/08 09:20 AM

Many people have an interest in the History of the Art of Magic, ranging from the personalities, their props and routines. But History also reflects the TIMES that we have lived in, and anti semitism and racial discrimination also reflect these times. In that way History can remind us to avoid past mistakes. Having said that can anyone answer the following questions
Was it ever SAM or IBM policy to exclude Jews? Who decided? A Committee, or enshrined in their Constitutions? Dont forget , there was a fair bit of pro Nazi sentiment in the thirties in the USA.
What about African Americans? Were they admitted to Societies only after the Civil Rights Act of 1963, or also before?
Had Jews and African Americans ever formed their own Societies as a result of this discrimination? Do some Societies still discriminate to this day?

Respectfully yours
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Postby 000 » 06/03/08 07:10 AM

A new jawclenching effect, INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY LOSS, and available exclusively from THE HALF JEW.
Here is the effect. The performer seeking answers, clearly shows to a group of intelligent and well informed spectators a few playing cards between the hands ( genuine bike cards). Each card contains an uncomfortable historical question, regarding prevailing social evils, such as anti semitism and racial discrimination.
Now by simply spreading the cards between the hands the magic starts to happen. First the minds of the spectators goes completely blank! As a kicker they are also completely unable to speak! Can be repeated and is instantly reset! Suitable for forum, close up and parlour! Why settle on making rain appear on command when you can have the INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY LOSS at a fraction of the price? A complete sell out in Hymies lounge the other night. Get yours today!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/03/08 07:27 AM

If one does not actually know the answer to a question, it's often better not to speak, rather than to waffle a fabrication.

There's a chance that nobody knows the information you seek.

Take care, Ian
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Postby 000 » 06/03/08 07:59 AM

I doubt that very very much Ian.

Be that as it may, I forgot to add in my blurb that this effect also comes in the DOMESTIC version (please specify). The effect is the same, but your cards will contain such questions as
Will my life improve if I put the garbage out?
Guaranteed to induce a blank stare and speechlesness from your partner! Hurry, stocks are limited.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/03/08 10:42 AM

000, people on the internet tend to be younger rather than older, and younger people will know nothing at all about this. Older folks would probably rather forget it. That might account for the lack of responses.
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Postby castawaydave » 06/03/08 07:01 PM

It is appalling but racism is common-place TODAY. 100 years ago--50 years ago--by all accounts it was absolutely par for the course.

This is complete speculation, but I think we can ass-u-me (uh-oh...) there had to have been racism and anti-semitism in magic clubs, because racism and anti-semitism existed (indeed exist) in every other area of society.
--Certainly, some places would have been more tolerant, but other places...well, let's just say if you're "different" be sure not to get caught at the magic meeting after sundown, if you know what I mean, and I KNOW you know...

The bigoted policies may not have been by-laws written in black and white (they usually aren't) but they were no doubt understood as givens by a certain percentage of participants...or a certain percentage wouldn't have participated: "Why the very day they let a _____ into the club, I quit because I am a super genius."
-----------

The only first hand experience I have regarding Jews and their pain in the ass trying to join clubs, is that my college fraternity was Sigma Alpha Mu, still known in places as "the Jewish House" (I'm still a goy--but don't hold it against me! HA!) which was started 100 years ago by 8 Jewish guys specifically because nobody would let them pledge any other house.

As irritating as ignorance and bigotry are, I also would be interested in finding out more history along the above lines.

--Of course, after all these years, how many oldsters are going to log onto the Genii Forum and admit, "SURE I black balled old so and so! I admit he did the greatest act I ever saw, but he was a ________, so I could NEVER vote for him! Of course, 'twas all in good fun, you understand! Ahh, the good ol' days, when ________s knew their place..."
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Postby castawaydave » 06/03/08 08:40 PM

P.S. True, Mr. Alexander: honorary lesbian, AND honorary Jew: top that!
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Postby Richard Hatch » 06/04/08 12:15 AM

000 wrote:Many people have an interest in the History of the Art of Magic, ranging from the personalities, their props and routines. But History also reflects the TIMES that we have lived in, and anti semitism and racial discrimination also reflect these times. In that way History can remind us to avoid past mistakes. Having said that can anyone answer the following questions
Was it ever SAM or IBM policy to exclude Jews? Who decided? A Committee, or enshrined in their Constitutions? Dont forget , there was a fair bit of pro Nazi sentiment in the thirties in the USA.
What about African Americans? Were they admitted to Societies only after the Civil Rights Act of 1963, or also before?
Had Jews and African Americans ever formed their own Societies as a result of this discrimination? Do some Societies still discriminate to this day?


Magic societies tend to mirror society as a whole. When the S.A.M was formed in 1902, racism was not only pervasive in America but institutionalized. So it is not surprising that the original S.A.M. constitution restricted membership to "Any reputable person of the white race, of legal age, wherever located throughout the globe, who is interested in Magic as an Art of entertainment..." (Article IV, sec. 1). At the 35th regular monthly meeting of the S.A.M on April 1, 1905 in New York City, a letter was read from "Mr. Cooper (negro) of Marion, Ky. who desired to unite with S.A.M. The Most Ill. President reported that he had acknowledged receipt of Mr. Cooper's letter and explained that the laws of S.A.M. restricted membership to the white race, but while this is a fact, it was not the intention of the society to discriminate against any particular race." (reported in Mahatma, Vol, VIII, no. 11, p. 126 and Sphinx, vol. IV, issue 2, p. 18). I don't know when this policy was changed (does anyone have access to that information and care to post it here?), but it was still in effect as late as October 1928 according to references in the literature that I was able to find.
The S.A.M. was not unique in this regard. An advertisement in the Sphinx for Feb. 1922 (p. 466) solicits members for the Knight of Magic, "open to all magicians of the Caucasian race residing in New York and vicinity." The advertisement was placed by the secretary, John J. McManus, later famous among collectors, and whose library was largely donated to the Library of Congress and the University of Texas at Austin (along with that of his friend Dr. Morris Young, the famous McManus-Young bequest). At least as a national institution, the S.A.M. was not officially either sexist (admitting women members fairly early, Elinor Redan being the first, member #134, admitted at the first annual meeting) or anti-semitic (Louis Krieger was one of the original 24 founding members, and Horace Goldin became member 26 at the first regular meeting, for example). The membership policies of local assemblies likely mirrored the local practices.
This was true of the German Magische Zirkel, for example, which became the only officially recognized magic organization in Germany with Hitler's assumption of dictatorial powers. As the German laws were quickly written to exclude Jews from most aspects of society, so too did the official organization move to exclude Jewish members. It is my understanding that the Cologne branch of the Zirkel disbanded, rather than expel their Jewish members, a rather heroic act of defiance at that time and place.
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Postby castawaydave » 06/04/08 11:50 PM

Thank you for the above, Richard.

--& I'll be dipped: They DID put it down in black and white...


Originally posted by Richard Hatch, "...the Cologne branch of the Zirkel disbanded, rather than expel their Jewish members, a rather heroic act of defiance at that time and place." That's the Truth.
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Postby 000 » 06/06/08 03:12 AM

Jim Magus has written a book called Magical Heroes;The lives and legends of Great African American magicians ( anyone got a copy to sell?..PM me) (also worth a read Conjure Times, by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson, (which Ive manged to procure)

Magician King from Chicago was also a founder of Brotherhood of American Minority Magicians (BAMM...currently 8 members I understand) and puts on a show incorporating magic with African American History. In the context of the times(!), IBM was seen as quite progressive inviting AA Magicians from early days to perform at the annual conventions. Good news too is that there wasnt racism experienced by fellow magicians. The agents and promoters were a different story, sometimes even cancelling shows when the performer of colour arrived!

So lets celebrate our diversity...if youre the 'club' type in Chicago you could join the Wizards Club (Jewish), BAMM (Minority),FCM (Christian), Kidabra (kids and family(, IBM, SAM, and even Invisible Lodge( Freemasons)



BUT LETS NEVER FORGET THE PAST
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Postby Richard Hatch » 06/06/08 11:48 AM

Chris, we have one copy in stock at H & R. Jim has some great information and his book is acknowledged by Haskins and Benson as the primary source of much of their material.
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Postby 000 » 06/06/08 01:03 PM

Bought!
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Postby 000 » 06/08/08 02:24 PM

One place in the world where some (higher caste) members of the magic community treat others ( lower caste) like s@%&* is in India.

If you want to get a feel for Indian Magic may I highly recommend Net of Magic, Wonders and deceptions in India, by Les Siegel. The man writes brilliantly!
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