magic cafe indicts magic magazines

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Brad Henderson » 08/05/09 07:43 PM

In the latest example of 'cafe justice,' 'what's wrong with magic on the internet' poster boy Chris Kavanaugh has gone on a magazine bashing spree, accusing all magazine reviewers of lacking credibility and insisting that no one trust magazine reviews. (What makes this most laughable is his confession that he does not read these reviews.)

I challenged him on this and was - as you would expect - barraged with a battery of nonsensical dodges and personal attacks.

Of course, Chris (who now posts 'anonymously' as review king) cried foul and the posts were deleted. However, he maintains a signature line impugning all magic magazines.

I have since been threatened by dave scribner with banishment from the cafe if I reply. He informed me that chris is allowed to express his opinion - apparently no one else is.

As a reviewer I do try to serve the needs of the readership and have twice posted threads in the magazine section soliciting advice and comments from the cafe readership in an attempt to better understand what they are looking for in a review.

As you would expect, those threads have been deleted.

I realize I should know better - after all chris kavanaugh was booted from here within hours of signing up for having no idea what he spoke of (he claims to be on the forum now, but his timelime belies a lie). Neverthless, sometimes one needs to vent to those who know.

Just thought you would like to know that the cafe is happy to allow someone to impugn the integrity of magic magazines of all stripes, and refuses to allow a dissenting opinion to be voiced

Steve, to his credit, has promised to look into it.

Thanks for listening
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Postby Terry » 08/05/09 08:06 PM

The Cafe is to magic boards what the News of the World (Weird) is to real newspapers.

I doubt you are losing much sleep from it.
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Postby Scott M. » 08/05/09 08:45 PM

I like the Cafe and have gotten a lot out of it. Sure, it's got its negative points, but it attracts a huge audience and that's the downside of that kind of scope. I realize it's pretty much de rigeur over here to slag off the Cafe, but I think these boards could use a bit of the energy that keeps things moving over there.

With that out of the way, I was going to respond, Brad, to your post by saying that you are crazy and that the Cafe by having subforums devoted to magazines is perfectly supportive of print... that is, I was until I saw that your post about reviewers was deleted. I had read it earlier today and was thinking about what I was planning to post as a reply when I returned home. Now it's gone.

I'm not sure I'd say that it's proof of the Cafe's anti-magazine policy as much as I would its awkward and strange way of dealing with conflict. I agree that Chris's comments about not trusting -- and not reading -- magazine reviews are patently ridiculous. I do feel that he sort of quickly dug himself into a hole that he didn't know how to exit after you called him on it. But whatever friction exists with Chris is no reason for an innocuous post calling for feedback on magazine review policy to be deleted. I'll be interested in hearing how (or if) Steve sorts this out.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/05/09 10:51 PM

To steve's credit, he dealt with the problem. Shame scribner is the first line there.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 08/06/09 12:31 AM

The problem with the Cafe is it's size. No one person could manage all that traffic and some of the folks who work for Steve are way too into the power of being able to tell someone what to do, and not very bright.

I had a post censored once by the automatic profanity detector, because it had the word assume in it. It appeared as, wait for it:

***sume

I reported my own post, expecting someone to fix it, and one of the policy zombies actually told me that it was more important that children never see a swear word on the Cafe than that my post make sense.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 08/06/09 01:24 AM

I have a curious relationship with The Magic Cafe. I was banned from its boards for life(I think), without reason, and yet Steve Brooks is a friend of mine on Facebook, and some of the mods communicate with me via email on a regular basis. Go figure!! JR
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Postby the Larry » 08/06/09 02:13 AM

Brad, the only problem I have here is with your heading 'Magic Cafe indicts...' I think you know very well that Magic Cafe is only a forum and therefore has no way do indict anything. The one who did the indicting was Kavanaugh. So much I agree with the problems the Magic Cafe has your heading is simply wrong. As a reviewer you should be more careful if you want people to trust what you have to say.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/06/09 03:09 AM

If you read my post again, I hope, you will see that it was the exchange with dave scribner, as much as anything chris had to say, that was the issue. As dave is the defacto police of the cafe, his decisions essentially speak for the cafe. So, yes, in that sense to allow someone to impugn the integrity of magic magazines and to intentionally prevent a contrary view (or allow follow up questioning - which ironically is why chris believes only reviewson the cafe have validity) is to endorse that opinion - in my opinion.

Now, everyone who has spent more than 5 minutes in magic knows chris is an utter fool who cannot back up a single bit of nonsense which he spouts, so I admit my concern as directed to him was a bit like someone who cares that homeless men are raving that the end of the world is nigh. However it does sincerely trouble me that dave scribner would make just a decision - not only to allow our metaphorical madman to spout his nonsense, but to wilfully delete threads intended to improve a magazine's service to their readership.

Besides, my exchanges on the cafe with loons -or my venting about them - are not my reviews. I would expect chris to suggest that in some way one would imply anything about the other. But I do feel dave scribner's choices did reflect what would appear to be an indictment of magazines. As was pointed out elsewhere, this may really be more of a reflection on how they handle conflict, but the net effect was that the cafe administration was willing to allow these statements to go unanswered.

Thankfully Steve - who often does the right thing when a problem reaches him - took the steps needed.

I hope that cleared things up and once again you can trust me.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 08/06/09 03:27 AM

Brad Henderson wrote:Thankfully Steve - who often does the right thing when a problem reaches him - took the steps needed.


Brad, What steps did Steve take?
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/06/09 05:36 AM

Brad Henderson wrote: Chris Kavanaugh has gone on a magazine bashing spree, accusing all magazine reviewers of lacking credibility and insisting that no one trust magazine reviews.


What is laughable are the reviews by people who are either unidentified or unknown, mostly on websites. Who is Kauvanaugh and what are his credentials?

The fact that galls Kavanaugh is that magazine reviews are credible. But one sees more and more web vendors with positive quotes like, "I loved it. Bob S., Spokane". Like the phony film reviews made up by desperate producers, it is hoped that the great unwashed will be caught up in a manufactured positive windstorm.

My advice: ignore it. Life is too short, and there are so many DVDs to watch and write up.

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Postby the Larry » 08/06/09 06:54 AM

Brad, one of my posts was just recently deleted from the Genii forum. The reason was that what I had to say was not to the liking of chief Genii. So don't tell me this is only a Magic Cafe problem. It is a problem whenever people in power misuse their power for their own purposes. And since we are all humans this happens quite often in many places. Don't whine, move on as Matt Field suggested above.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/06/09 07:13 AM

I don't really want to get into all this again, but since "the Larry" has raised the issue by calling my deletion of his post "an abuse of power," I will.

This is my Forum, and you can't reasonably expect to write nasty things about me in your posts and not have them deleted. I accept reasoned arguments or opinions, nasty I don't like. So if you don't like it, go post at the Cafe. I don't think they'll have much patience for you, either.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/06/09 07:25 AM

Now that steve has rectified the situation, moving on is possible. However, I cannot say I have ever seen such capricious and thoughtless post manipulation (for lack of a better word) here as I have on the cafe. Just think about it - you can relate one instance when you had a post removed - and I am sure rk could/would give you a reason (even if was the honest, 'I don't like what you said'.) On the other hand dozens of people on the cafe have had dozens of posts removed/edited/locked and (at least for me) all we get are vague references to rules that are obviously being enforced by a double srandard and 'because I said so's' - all from dave scribner. Appeals to logic and reason get met with pm's demanding 'do not reply again as this will be my last post on this topic' and threats to ban one if they persist. It's rather like the drunken abusive father, no?

So while I agree that moving on is the next step, I cannot agree that your comparison of the genii forum and the cafe re; moderation is a fair one.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/06/09 08:17 AM

Brad Henderson wrote:Now that Steve has rectified the situation, moving on is possible. ...


Really? Last I looked the bats had flown away with part of the belfry there. The place where skepticism - asking questions like 'what specifically supports your position that ...' vanished in a poof of caprice.

One can always move on. I will go on. Kinda Beckett in there.
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Postby Tabman » 08/06/09 11:52 AM

The Magic Cafe is fun. Kind of like going to the Ginza district around midnight. Genii on the other hand is like going to the Castle on a Tuesday night. I have friends both places and the positive people here and there far oughtweigh the negative ones.

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Postby Mike Carr » 08/06/09 12:08 PM

One can always move on. I will go on. Kinda Beckett in there.


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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/06/09 12:33 PM

The Becket quote goes something like this:
"I can't go on, I won't go on, I must go on."
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Postby Dick Christian » 08/06/09 02:38 PM

Noticed Bill Duncan's comment about assume being censored and appearing on the Cafe as ***sume. I guess I've just been lucky. As I recall I've used the word "title" in an occasional post there but haven't had it appear as ***le -- at least not yet. It's probably only a matter of time.
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Postby Donal Chayce » 08/06/09 02:53 PM

Brad Henderson wrote:...However, I cannot say I have ever seen such capricious and thoughtless post manipulation (for lack of a better word) here as I have on the cafe. ... dozens of people on the cafe have had dozens of posts removed/edited/locked and (at least for me) all we get are vague references to rules that are obviously being enforced by a double srandard and 'because I said so's' - all from dave scribner. Appeals to logic and reason get met with pm's demanding 'do not reply again as this will be my last post on this topic' and threats to ban one if they persist.


Boy, is that an understatement.

However, in my experience, it's not always been DS wielding the strap. SS can be equally--if not more--imperious.

That said, like Tabman for me the benefits I've derived from dining at the Cafe far outweigh the drawbacks. And so I stay.
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Postby BlueEyed Videot » 08/06/09 04:32 PM

Having just been banned from the cafe, I can sympathize. However they went even further than banning me alone, they deleted the entire Forum Skeptics section many of us were posting in. (One active thread alone had 60+ pages, 14K+ reads, so it wasn't from inactivity...)

I was banned because I accused Steve Brooks, half tongue in cheek, of being a bigot due to the cafe having a section for gospel magicians called "The Good News", and they didn't have a section for atheists called "The Real News".

I think Richard's policy here of banning politics and religion is a wise one. The law is enforced and there's no problems.

But for the cafe to have a section for Skeptics and then 86 it when we got skeptical...

Gee, I wonder if the posts I made which were deleted will still count on my post total? Only, what, 30,000 more posts to take the lead from Kavanaugh?
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Postby Mike Carr » 08/06/09 05:24 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:The Becket quote goes something like this:
"I can't go on, I won't go on, I must go on."


Key-R-Rect!

Of course it is a matter of personal taste, but the only thing that I have experienced going on in that play is my butt growing corners.
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Postby Mike Carr » 08/06/09 05:27 PM

Dick Christian wrote:Noticed Bill Duncan's comment about assume being censored and appearing on the Cafe as ***sume. I guess I've just been lucky. As I recall I've used the word "title" in an occasional post there but haven't had it appear as ***le -- at least not yet. It's probably only a matter of time.


Their censors are not too quick on the uptake, D***. :)
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Postby Tabman » 08/06/09 06:10 PM

Richard Hart wrote:Having just been banned from the cafe....


Having known you online and in person for over 20 years I cannot imagine anyone banning you from anything.

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Postby Jolly Roger » 08/06/09 08:04 PM

Tabman wrote:
Richard Hart wrote:Having just been banned from the cafe....


Having known you online and in person for over 20 years I cannot imagine anyone banning you from anything.

-=tab


That's what people who know me in person say about me and my ban! JR
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Postby Dick Christian » 08/06/09 08:34 PM

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever heard of Kavanaugh apart from on the Cafe? Or seen him perform? Or aware of anything he ever created or published? Despite having been involved in or associated with magic in varying degrees for just over 60 years, 35 of them as a professional performer, including meeting and working with some of the tops in the business when I handled the shows, lectures and workshops for the original World Magic Summit when it was held here in DC from 1994-98, meeting many others when I performed at the Castle in 1979 and at various conventions over the years since the mid-1970s I never heard of Kavanaugh until I encountered him on the Cafe (which I think of as the Genii Forum's bastard cousin and which I joined to primarily to aid in my research of book tests).
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Postby Bill Duncan » 08/07/09 02:12 AM

Dick Christian wrote: As I recall I've used the word "title" in an occasional post there but haven't had it appear as ***le -- at least not yet.
During our conversation I may have suggested that any competent first year programmer could figure out a regular expression that would match the naughty words without matching substrings.

Simply use a keyword with one trailing bit of whitespace:
ass vs. ass
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Postby BlueEyed Videot » 08/07/09 03:34 AM

Aw, Tabby, you're too kind.

I will tell you one thing: how absolutely tickled I am that you're back in magic and active on the boards (and in the SHOP) again! So pleased, in fact, that I want you to add me to the list for one of your Sefalaljias--that is, if I'm not too late. I've tried making the gear a number of times but was never satisfied with the result (due, no doubt, to a lack of tools and the fact that I'm all thumbs). If you're making it, I know it will be perfect! ;)

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Postby Tabman » 08/07/09 12:53 PM

Richard Hart wrote:Aw, Tabby, you're too kind.


Awww, stop now, you know better'n that, the only thing kind about me is "what kind?" ;)

How about emailing me about the other and I'll drop you in the slot. Always happy to have you onboard.

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Postby Jim Maloney » 08/07/09 01:06 PM

Bill Duncan wrote:
Dick Christian wrote: As I recall I've used the word "title" in an occasional post there but haven't had it appear as ***le -- at least not yet.
During our conversation I may have suggested that any competent first year programmer could figure out a regular expression that would match the naughty words without matching substrings.

Simply use a keyword with one trailing bit of whitespace:
ass vs. ass


Don't forget about punctuation. Gotta cover your ass.

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Postby BlueEyed Videot » 08/07/09 02:14 PM

Speaking of censoring, I've always loved this poem:

Little Mary donned her skates,
Upon the ice to frisk;
Wasn't she a silly girl,
Her little * ?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/07/09 02:43 PM

Do we need ribald limericks that are unrelated to the subject of magic?
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Postby El Mystico » 08/07/09 03:39 PM

I do.
Can anyone recommend a good site?
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Postby Jim Maloney » 08/07/09 03:44 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Do we need ribald limericks that are unrelated to the subject of magic?

That wasn't a limerick. ;)

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/07/09 07:44 PM

You're right! I am heavily medicated at the moment.
I've also just deleted two rather dirty magic-related limericks from this thread.

So let me remind everyone that those sorts of things, while very funny in the right place (and you should buy Gershon Legman's book if you want to read about 1000 of them), don't belong here.
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Postby Jim Maloney » 08/07/09 08:30 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:You're right! I am heavily medicated at the moment.
I've also just deleted two rather dirty magic-related limericks from this thread.

So let me remind everyone that those sorts of things, while very funny in the right place (and you should buy Gershon Legman's book if you want to read about 1000 of them), don't belong here.

"I hate a dirty joke, I do
Unless it's told by someone who
Knows how to tell it!"

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Postby Todd Lassen » 08/07/09 09:27 PM

Henderson and Kavanaugh squabbling? All I can say to you, Richard Hart....is....there definetely is a God. :) It's too beautiful to be true.

"I cannot say I have ever seen such capricious and thoughtless post manipulation (for lack of a better word) here as I have on the cafe."

"As a reviewer I do try to serve the needs of the readership."

Well, impugn my indictment. Whatever that means. Brad Henderson you manipulated imformation and played favorites in your review of the knockoff of my Triple Threat, promoting the knockoff without even mention of the original...serving the needs of the readership? Not.

Kavanagh makes my skin crawl with all his suckiness, glad you guys found each other.
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 08/07/09 09:47 PM

Suckiness??? That's a new one, and a good one.
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Postby Mike Carr » 08/07/09 09:58 PM

Brad, the only problem I have here is with your heading 'Magic Cafe [s]indicts[/s]...[size:11pt]
J'accuse[/size]'
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/07/09 10:13 PM

Todd, for the record I found the cafe's censorship of your posts (and of posts wishing to discuss your products) to be wrong.

If you read the review you will find a history of the idea including how Jamy came to make them (via paul wilson and connie haydn if I recall). I did not review your product as I was not sent the product for review.

When this issue was raised to me at the time of the review by Nate Kranzo, I told him that he should present any contrary evidence re the lineage of the idea to Stan and I personally would insist it be published.

That information was never delivered.

I know this still bothers you to this day (as I have seen my name and image pop up on your blog occaisonally).

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Postby Dick Christian » 08/08/09 02:44 PM

There is some joy in mudville. The overbearing Mr. Kavanagh is currently enjoying a forced vacation (duration undetermined) from the Cafe for having implied that "Review King" was title reflecting an official status. It is not.
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