Flim-Flam February Correction

Discuss the views of your favorite Genii columnists.

Postby Bob Farmer » 01/28/04 01:10 PM

In note 2, the question should be "higher than a 5," not a 5 or higher.
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Postby Guest » 02/06/04 09:04 PM

Bob I agree about your attitude on the CONsumer Alert without any question.

However, I must take exception in the description of the trick that you are giving away free.

"Effect:... You ask him to concentrate on his card. Clues emerge and you name the card, both value and suit."

You give a seven sentence view of the effect and then you spend @ 25 paragraphs explaining how to do the trick and you even admit that there is a 7.75% chance you will still be wrong!!

This isn't magic and you appear to be trying to CON the readers. If this had been real magic you would never have to ask any questions.

Also, all effects should be described as actually performed. If I had read this as magic copy of the effect I would feel that you had been unethical in describing the effect.

I hope this isn't your standard in how you put out your commerical effects.

I tried to find a description on the varies sites about the TSUNAMI that had the description of the "pentacle force" to check to see how your effect is described to see how your magic copy is presented, but there was no breakout of the different effects in the booklet.

However we should all keep in mind that this is the "FLIM-FLAM" section
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/06/04 09:25 PM

Originally posted by James Adamson:

You give a seven sentence view of the effect and then you spend @ 25 paragraphs explaining how to do the trick and you even admit that there is a 7.75% chance you will still be wrong!
Did you miss the part where Bob clearly tells you how to make the effect 100%? Check the last paragraph. Simply cut any ace,king, queen, jack, or ten to top of the deck after the spectator shuffles. Simple eh?

www.conjurenation.com - 'Cards Only' Forums
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/07/04 05:51 AM

James, I have been inventing and publishing magic tricks since I was 10 years old. Every single one of my marketed effects has received rave reviews. This is the first time anyone has ever accused me of misrepresenting an effect or having the proclivity to do so.

Any reasonabe person reading the column -- and understanding it -- would never have made such a comment.

I stand by the column. If you're looking for terminal exaggerations, you might want to consider devoting your energies to Kenton Knepper (assuming you're not one of his devoted followers).
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/07/04 10:31 AM

As a scripting note, I think that asking if the card is "6 or higher" will be preferable to asking "higher than a 5". In my experience (mostly from watching magic, as I'm not a professional performer), many people who are "assisting spectators" are a little nervous and don't always interpret this kind of question as precisely as we might wish. If they hear higher than a 5, and their card is a 5, they may well just answer yes, since the word five in the question matches their value.

This is why I never use tricks that rely on saying things like "pick a number between one and four" and counting on the spectator not to choose one or four because they are not "between" one and four. I've seen many spectators answer "four" to this question; maybe because they are just repeating the last number they heard, or maybe because they misinterpret the question to mean choose one of these two number, one and four.

Either way, the effect is pretty thoroughly ruined if you have to say "I said between one and four."
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Postby Guest » 02/07/04 01:56 PM

Bob, the point I was trying to make here was that the description of the effect that you wrote does not match HOW the effect is actually performed.

Magic Copy of an effect SHOULD represent EXACTLY how the effect is performed !!

No, I do not nean the ACTUAL METHOD REQUIRED , I mean what does the spectator see!

Go back and read the four paragraphs about the effect.

To me it says spectator removes any five cards and think of the highest he sees and to concentrate on his card and then the performer names the suit and the card.

No where in the description does it say that you ask questions, etc. It only says Clues emerge. It also says (in fact, you can do this over the phone). In this case note # 3 would not work.

Now can you honestly say that the method you described matches the description of the effect?

It was not my intent to defame you in any form or manner other then saying if this was represented like it is in this magazine for a commerical effect then you would have failed to represent the true nature of the effect, thus maybe leading to someone purchasing an effect that was not as he had read it.

Also, please note that I did not say that you had EVER mislead anyone in any of your commerical effects. I just asked if the same magic copy was your typical way of describing an effect?

Being a CONsumer of magical effects I have seen mirepresentation a lot in the description of other peoples effects and I believe that IT IS WRONG. Your article just hit that nerve in me. Sorry if I came on a little strong, but I believe that there is an ethical responsibilty from all parties, inventors, manufactors, salesmen/women, and reviewers. To me it is just as important as the other magical codes that we subscribe to.

That is why I was very impressed by the review of Fusion by others in the current Genii. At the end of the review it tells about that bit of chutzpah. Thus in the review it does not tell the method, but does inform the consumer that there may be some limiting factors. Real world, real information.

Also, I do understand that you may have been limited in the copy space that you had available and that may have lead to a shorted explanation of the effect.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/07/04 04:37 PM

Originally posted by James Adamson:
Sorry if I came on a little strong, but I believe that there is an ethical responsibilty from all parties, inventors, manufactors, salesmen/women, and reviewers.
I think folks complaining about such things have a responsibility to actually read the writeup carefully in its entirety before passing on incorrect information.

The fact that you made a point to complain about the 7.75% failure rate tells me you opened your mouth before reading the effect all the way through. Quite simply, you were wrong. A complete reading of the effect makes it quite clear that achieving 100% accuracy in this effect is easily accomplished. As such, I find it easy to take your poorly reasoned point of view with an industrial sized grain of salt.
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Postby Guest » 02/07/04 06:03 PM

Chris, look at the article yourself. In the effect area it says "(in fact, you can do this over the phone)."

Now how are you going to do note #3 for 100%.

But agian you are missing the point. When you descibe the performance of a effect don't leave out the real way the effect plays.

Thats my whole point.
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Postby Guest » 02/07/04 06:08 PM

Bob, I checked into your Kenton Knepper reference. A person of his experience should have known better than to imitate an effect without permission.

Remember in my first post I agreed with you bring it to the readers attention.
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Postby Guest » 02/07/04 06:17 PM

Chris, Liked you website as referenced in your profile.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/07/04 06:19 PM

Originally posted by James Adamson:
[QB] Chris, look at the article yourself. In the effect area it says "(in fact, you can do this over the phone)."

Now how are you going to do note #3 for 100%.
Does he ever claim 100% for doing it over the phone? He's quite clear that unless you can control a value card of 10-ace to the top of the deck that a failure rate of 7.75% kicks in. If you are afraid of that, simply don't do it over the phone ok? I think you're being a bit obtuse here. If you really wanted to increase your efficiency closer to 100% over the phone, you could simply have them cut 6-8 packets and have them take the highest cards to get the "best hand". Seeing as how this is not a commercial effect, but rather something offered free on bulletin boards and in Bob's column, I think your outrage is a bit misplaced here.

But agian you are missing the point. When you descibe the performance of a effect don't leave out the real way the effect plays.
No, I get the point perfectly. You do your best to intentionally misread the effect in order to feel a bit of misplaced outrage.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/08/04 06:41 AM

James:

Some of your comments really made me angry. Especially the following:

"... you appear to be trying to CON the readers."

"... I would feel that you had been unethical in describing the effect."

"I hope this isn't your standard in how you put out your commerical effects."

"... we should all keep in mind that this is the "FLIM-FLAM" section."

Since you are obviously unfamiliar with my work, your comments reveal only your ignorance. Your accusations of unethical conduct and dishonesty sound suspiciously like the ravings of one of Kenton Knepper's pals. Come on, James, confess --you're a Knepper-ite, aren't 'cha?

You also complained that, "If this had been real magic you would never have to ask any questions."

James -- I think you're in the wrong hobby. This is magic TRICKS -- check out ALT.SATANIC POWERS.COM for the real stuff.

If you had any knowledge at all of the fishing area, you would realize that what I explained in the February Genii is a large step forward, so any deficiency in the effect description, real or imagined or contrived, is more than compensated for by a superior fishing expedition.

You said that you could not find a description of "Tsunami" and thus could not assess how accurate the effects descriptions were.

When I first marketed "Tsunami," no effects were described -- however I offered a money-back, no-questions-asked guarantee to anyone who was disappointed, and--

-- nobody asked for their money back. However, people did talk:

"...TSUNAMI, the best damn card trick since OUT OF THIS WORLD! My congratulations and admiration."
-Dennis Marks

"For the past couple of months, one of the questions my friends in magic have been asking me is, 'Have you seen Tsunami?'...Finally, someone performed it for me, Harry Lorayne to be exact, and I was impressed...Don't pass this up..."
-Charles Reynolds,
Magic Manuscript

"A powerful effect..."
-Max Abrams, Genii

"...(A)...collection of unusual mental/gambling routines based on ingenious principles that some top names have raved about, and been badly fooled with...The magician that bothers to learn...(Tsunami)...will have an anywhere-anytime game of Psychic Poker...that will destroy the laymen."
-Jeff Busby, Magical Arts Journal

"Bob...completely blew me away...buy this now or die of regret and the 'greenies' when your buddy blows you away with it..."
-Rick Johnsson, Linking Ring

"...(O)ne of the most delightful conceptions in card magic...this is something not to be missed by the intelligent magician!"
-Peter Warlock, Abra

"...Fabulous material, lots of new thinking and very highly recommended for both the cardworker and the mentalist...an any-time and anywhere mental/gambling routine that will fool the bejesus out of anyone...this is worth far more than its weight in gold for the many new concepts covered..."
-Jeff Busby, Thaumaturgist #2

"...TSUNAMI and DEJA VOODOO are really great..."
-E.B.

"...(O)ne of my favorites!...Very neat stuff! Four stars..."
-Brad Burt, The Magic Shopper, March, 1990

"I own everything you've put out so far, and will undoubtedly buy anything you put out in the future. It's great stuff, well thought out and beautifully packaged."
-R.O. -- Berkley, California

"...diabolically clever and impressive...thank you for your fine contribution to magic and my pleasure."
-J.F. -- New York

"...(Y)ou astounded me with...Tsunami...when I got the manuscript, I was as impressed as my audiences have been ever since..."
-L.P. -- San Francisco


So James, please post all this back to KK, and if receive any further orders, consider going AWOL because I'm immune to all forms of NLP (Nutty Limp Procedures).
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 02/08/04 12:00 PM

There were "nattering nabobs" in the past but Spiro was indicted before he eventually shuffled off. So did the phrase. There are now "babbling boobs" among us, all vying for If The Shoe Fits Trophy. Although this counts for being a Vague Aspersion, let me be clear about one thing:

Bob Farmer DOES NOT parse words. He is a lapidist of phrase-making and clear language. He is a detailist and over-achieving explainer. HE IS NOT A CON and he creates WONDERFUL TRICKS.

(I'm on my tip-toes now atop this soap box.)

Pray tell, brothers and sisters, when has any EFFECT (especially by dealers of yore) been precisely described by anyone?

A magic effect is filled with saliencies (of what supposedly happens) and most subjective accounts wildly vary. Beware buyers are sensitive to this. They carefully consider how an EFFECT APPARENTLY SEEMS or how it will likely be REMEMBERED as being such-and-such. This is what counts.

As far as I'm concerned, Farmer's EFFECTS are wholly effective, completely deceptive, and cleverly designed. (I even like the ones I'll never do.)

So, to end this outburst, let me quote Jim Bob Boudreux of the local Reality Check watering hole who tells me (over and over)...

"Da only way to make a trick fool-proof is to keep it out of da hands of fools!"

Ah,

I feel much better now...

Onward,
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Postby Guest » 02/08/04 12:20 PM

Bob and other readers of this forum.

My comments were only about the free trick provided, no others.

I apolize to you for some of the statements that I have made, it was never my intend to say that any of your commerical effects were unethical in any way and I am sorry that you took it as an attack on the Tsunami.

I let my emotions go to far and some of the words I wrote were wrong to have stated.


The only point that I feel I do not need to apolize for is that the way magic copy should be written. It should be as the effect is seen by the spectator and that the method followes that copy.

As far as being Knepper-ite, I am not. I have read some of the articles that he has on his site so I am familiar with him. I have never used any of his products, and again let me state that you are right in bringing out his diservce to you.

NEXT time I will DEFINETLY choose my words WISER.

Again I am sorry for have anger you directly with it was really a message to the manufcators side of the community.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/08/04 03:07 PM

James, apology accepted.
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Postby Kent Blackmore » 02/09/04 05:54 PM

On the same topic, but a slightly different tack:-
I bought the K.E.N.T booklet, (and not just because my name is Kent ;) ) and thought the effect worthwhile putting into use as described.

Bob's column was an interesting read which added to my interest in the effect and may well be a better method. (I haven't seen Bob's earlier writing on the effect.) And if Knepper or Mahood deserve any raps on the knuckles for lack of crediting etc, I have no problem with that.

What I did find, though, is that the K.E.N.T booklet places a lot of emphasis on pumping for information without appearing to do so. There is quite a lot of discussion about the verbal technique used (as you would expect from a Knepper book). I didn't find that in Bob's column; it was pretty much a case of asking directly for information. To my mind, if the spectator thinks you're pumping, you've just blown the whole deal.
So, from that point of view, the K.E.N.T booklet wasn't a waste of my money.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/10/04 05:00 AM

Kent, you're right: I didn't have the space in a column to discuss how to frame the fishing. This is something that each performer has to learn on his own. I had to assume that anyone interested in this area would already have the ability and knowledge required.

In this area, you always want to minimize the mumber of questions and maximize the information each question provides. The presentation has to make the questions look like they aren't questions.

Notwithstanding the information in the K.E.N.T. booklet on these matters, I still think it is a tremendous rip-off (not only of my work, but of your money).

If you want to see someone who is really good at making a question seem like no question at all, check out the Max Maven DVDs.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/10/04 05:04 AM

Here's another idea that I don't think anyone has come up with before (but correct me if I'm wrong):

Use a Ouija board as a prop in any pumping procedure that asks about letters or numbers. This way it isn't you "asking" the questions, it's Beethoven and the audience already understands the premise of one letter at a time.

Does anyone, alive or dead, know if smaller, pocket-sized Ouija boards are available?
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/10/04 06:06 AM

A year or two ago someone marketed a Ouija board effect in which the planchette (cut from a flat piece of cork) moves around on its own (thanks to a very tiny and powerful "force" beneath the board). It eventually reveals a playing card printed on the bottom of the board. The effect is cool, and the board would fit into a suit pocket. (Sorry, I forget the name of the trick.) At toy and novelty stores, there are key chains made in the shape of popular board games such as Monopoly. These are all nicely done in plastic. One of these is a Ouija board, and it has a sliding drawer that holds a tiny planchette. It's a bit too small to actually move around to different letters. Stepping up from the true pocket size, I use a mouse pad designed as a Ouija board (go to littleegyptmagic.com and click on December 2003 for a photo).
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/10/04 08:18 AM

Steve: The Ouija board mousepad is simply a wonderful idea. You could use that and a dead mouse as the props for the reading.

Where do I get one!? Need one now!!

I have the dead mouse.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/10/04 10:08 AM

I got mine a few years ago at one of those science is fun type stores at an upscale mall (like a Discovery Channel store, but not that name). You can find Ouija tee-shirts, mugs, posters, and a mousepad at

http://www.magentastudios.com/7207
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Postby Guest » 02/10/04 11:04 AM

I was at Toys R Us the other day and they have mini ouiji (sp?) boards.
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Postby mrgoat » 02/27/04 07:37 AM

Has Genii turned into the magic cafe all of a sudden?

;)
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Postby Necromancer » 03/23/04 08:53 AM

Originally posted by Steve Bryant:
A year or two ago someone marketed a Ouija board effect in which the planchette (cut from a flat piece of cork) moves around on its own (thanks to a very tiny and powerful "force" beneath the board). It eventually reveals a playing card printed on the bottom of the board. The effect is cool, and the board would fit into a suit pocket. (Sorry, I forget the name of the trick.)
That was put out by Diamond Jim Tyler as the Ouija Card.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 03/24/04 04:58 AM

As far as I can determine from my vast system of informants, Mike Weber was the first person to use a Ouija board for a progressive anagram.

Mike, we are not worthy -- this is one of the best ideas in years.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/31/04 10:55 PM

Anybody who likes the Ouija board idea should definitely check out The Magic Circle Jerk . If you're easily offended don't read anything but the entry for Tuesday, March 30th, which is the one you're looking for. It's currently at the top, but MCJ is a blog, so it may not be for long.
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Postby Don Spurrier » 04/01/04 05:51 PM

With all of the talk of Ouija boards and anagrams, Bob Read's line in the latest GENII might be of assistance; "He has a dyslexic Ouija board." That could make for a funny routine and revelation.
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