For Fred and others who tolerate long posts:
BORROWED PLUMES AND OTHER ILLOGICAL STUFF
The talk regarding the Illogical Double Lift and other related moves reminded me of this:
Printing apologies, corrections, and errata, unfortunately, does not eliminate confusion. The original books and articles causing confusion and misunderstanding remain uncorrected. These offenses are peccadillos to everyone but the victims. If an innocent student reads only one source, he will credit that source. Any crediting depends on a student's memory and inclination to make such citations. The average cardman rarely has a personal, vested interest in this kind of specific recognition. He may respect and thank his precursors and teachers, but doesn't care much about the history of ideas. Complicated ancestral ties and how each creator is inspired, influenced, and taught holds meager interest.
Sometimes students detect similarities, especially if they voraciously read. Al Smith, the fine English cardman, wrote Cards on Demand in 1980. Is P. C. Change (p. 24) is a card transformation. If you analyze it closely, it is a truncated version of Marlos Latest K.M. Move because the changed card is not thumbed off face down to the table. You immediately turn your left hand palm up to show the face-up (transformed) card on top. Smith also added: Card students may recognize the above to be an application of the K.M. Move (Kardyro-Marlo). Although I actually developed the P.C.C. after reading Lorayne's Illogical Double Lift in Quantum Leaps, unaware at that time that both moves were the same. Neither Marlo, nor Lorayne seems to have stumbled on the P.C.C., however. Or perhaps they did and discarded it?
Here is Smith's handling:
Suppose you are holding these four cards face down in your left hand: Joker - Joker - Joker - Ace of Spades and you have just shown these four cards as duplicate Aces of Spades via a False Count.
Place the AS face up on top of the face-down Jokers. Get a left pinky break under the top two cards. Then grasp them as one card with your right hand, pinching their right side between your thumb and first/second fingers.
Drag the card(s) to the right and across the back of the squared Jokers. Start to perform a left-hand Wrist Turn and when the card(s) reach the right side of the Jokers, flip them up and against the Joker-packet. Before the face of the Joker is flashed, your left hand will be completely palm down.
Quickly turn your left hand palm up to show a face-up Joker. The rest of the cards are face down.
Enter Daryl Martinez.
Daryl gave Paul Harris an effect sometime before 1980, which Harris published in Close-Up Fantasies-Book II (1980). The effect is called Daryl's Elevator Repair (pp. 97-108).
This move is a similar [but not quite] to Smith's P. C. Change.
Daryl turns the top card of the deck face up and gets a left pinky break under the top four cards. He lifts all four cards as one, holding them in a right-hand Biddle Grip, and then he flips the rest of the deck face up onto the right-hand card(s).
Next, he re-grips the entire deck by its inner right corner between his right thumb and fingers and taps the deck against the table. Then he immediately flips the deck over and face down into his left hand. The card face up on top of the deck is different, suggesting an instant transformation.
Enter Father Cyprian.
Frank Garcia published The Elegant Card Magic of Father Cyprian in 1980. On pp. 43-45 is an explanation of something called Quick Change.
The moves are identical to Al Smith's technique.
So, what can we conclude?
Perhaps nothing conclusive.
Nevertheless, it is interesting that these three cardmen, living in different parts of the world, apparently devised the same partial K.M. Move [used as an immediate transformation]. The fact that each method appeared in print during the same year (1980) is tantalizingly coincidental.
By the way, to his credit Al Smith alluded to Marlo, Kardyro, and Lorayne.
Finally, Daryl published the same move in Ambitious Card Omnibus (written in 1985, published in 1987) in the article titled, Tilted And Turned (pp.22-23). In this rendition, Daryl combines Tilt with the two-card handling published by Al Smith. The right-hand grip is steadfast and less clumsy than the handling in Close-Up Fantasies - Book II (1980). Note: In Marlo's personal copy of Ambitious Card Omnibus, he wrote this marginal note:
This is the K.M. Move done as a visible change. No credit to Smith (English card book) and even to Fr. Cyprian who ripped it off. Smith credits K.M. Move as inspirational.
"...that fascinating writer has been stript of many of his borrowed plumes."
The above quotation, cribbed from a longer quotation, is credited to a person identified only by the initials R. F. He was referring to the plagiarism of Laurence Sterne in the spring of 1798, thirty years after the author's death. Someone named Eboracensis, it turns out, complained about the same borrowed plumes four years earlier. Maybe they were the same person? If not, R.F. plagiarized from Eboracensis, who is guilty of his own misdemeanor. He consciously or unconsciously took borrowed plumes from The Jasy and the Peacock in Aesop's Fables.
This kind of silent plunder goes onnegligible blips in an immense grid of Text.
Now that we are immersed in tons of Text and other forms of ghostly and palpable Information, we may wonder if such replication is reprehensible. Unless there are axes to grind, scores to settle, or japes to express, the offense of borrowing plumes seems less and less offensive, less and less important. Everybody does it. Everybody did it. It's business-as-usual. Sometimes it makes the news if the players are well-knownsay, a senator (Joseph Biden), a mythic-celebrity (Martin Luther King), or a writer (Alex Haley).
The science establishment of course takes a dim view of plagiarism. Fraud and deceit in their hallowed domain are never sanctioned. Halls and laboratories are closely patrolled because the big-money stakes are high. Yet when a Plagiarism Machine was recently proposed as a possibility, the Science Establishment rejected it. In theory, considering the strides made in Information Theory and Practice, such a detection device is possible. Software wizards could invent a program to find borrowed plumes by comparing Current Data to a Data-Base based on the Complete Published Record. The new collides with the old in Cyber-Arbitration.
Plagiarism began as soon as the printed word was a fait accompli. Clarke "Senator" Crandall spoke of it during a performance at the 20th Annual IBM Convention (New Orleans, Louisiana, 1948): I'm writing a book. The title: Twenty Tricks I Have Stolen. I simply take a book already written, tear out the pages, then paste them up again...and I have my book!
Walter Gibson once chided Bruce Elliott for failing to credit Burling Hull for inventing the Mene-Tekel and Svengali decks. He wrote: In reading books that teem with credits, there are always some startling omissions that to my mind nullify the whole purpose of the credit business.
So, what usually happens when a creator is ripped off?
Legal recourse is too expensive for the stakes involved. Besides, reputations in our insular magic world are more delicate than soap bubbles. Egos shrink and expand, but seem weightless on the metaphoric scale of justice. At best, if your ox is gored, you can scream within the earshot of other rebels without a clue or you can retaliate in our print media. Magicians still write letters to editors. If you have your own column or magazine, you can blast away to your spleen's content. Nevertheless, what bothers victims is the Amnesia Factor. Magicians don't remember names and dates. Credits don't mean much. If they remember anything, it's likely to be the last book or article they read.
Who really remembers?
Perhaps the more damning question is:
Who really cares?