Ricky Jay is a FOOL!

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 09:40 AM

After a BUNCH of people emailed me saying my 'card man hell eh?' thread (which defended the combination of flourishes and juggling with magical acts...) was 'way too long' resulting in them 'simply bailing out', :rolleyes: I've tried to get the basic jist of that essay down with a concise point. :)

Have you seen Ricky Jay's recent show 'On the Stem'?

In this show Ricky ends the first act with a rousing demonstration of egg manipulation. He juggles eggs, catches them on the back of his neck, and skillfully pulls a sheet out from under them having them end up in glasses.(do not feel bad that I've mentioned this if you're planning on seeing the show, since it's in the Klutz book of magic btw...)

This routine got a TREMENDOUS response the night I was there. Stronger than the multiple selection routine he uses to close the show even. This piece had absolutely no 'magic' yet tons of impact as part of a show only an insane individual would not call magical.

Need I say more to those that universally discredit the principle of flourishes, skillful displays, and/or juggling demonstrations combined with magic?

I simply do not get those that cannot realize ineffectivity has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the principle of showing skill but with the failure of the entertainer to connect with his audience of the moment or in using flourishes and magic in a foolish combination. All good flourishes are inherently innocent and most flourish haters hate them cause the cant do them!

Realize when you diss flourishes or juggling you diss Ricky Jay. :eek:

With all due Respect,

Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/22/02 09:43 AM

Cap, your example fails in the most basic way.
Ricky Jay does card routines in his show, but does not do card flourishes.
When he is doing the routine with the eggs (in which he does literally juggle them) he is not doing card flourishes and card magic.
You need a different example for your argument to have any validity.
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Postby Guest » 10/22/02 09:55 AM

Richard, while I respect you greatly you seem to be biased as noted in the 'card man hell eh?' post since you're only response to over a page of text was " cap, do you have a spell checker?" While it was a good point as I ADMIT my spelling sucks, it does seem to imply you didn't read the previous post and therefore aren't responding with the highest quality of responses.

My point registers in every way, since my point is to dispute the idea many hold that "if an audience realizes you have skill it takes away from FUTURE magic effects they may witness in your show."

So the question these people should ask themselves is whether the ring to orange or the multiple selection routine were weakened due to the displays of skill Ricky used in the first act of the show. Maybe that DID occur, I personally don't think so, yet I could be wrong. Is that what you believe?

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/22/02 09:56 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Cap, your example fails in the most basic way.
Ricky Jay does card routines in his show, but does not do card flourishes.
When he is doing the routine with the eggs (in which he does literally juggle them) he is not doing card flourishes and card magic.
You need a different example for your argument to have any validity.
What about the card throwing? That's kinda flourish-y. Also, there's a revelation of a single card he does where he does a one-handed shuffle and then lets the cards cascade from one hand into the other, with the only remaining card being the selection (he did this on his appearance on Conan O'Brian, and it's also in his show, from what I remember).

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Postby Guest » 10/22/02 10:17 AM

Good point Jim, I think that since Richard and his good associate Jamy Ian Swiss have both strongly implied they perceive Dan and Dave Buck as fools within the pages of their otherwise stellar magazine; he is incapable of looking at the situation/topic fairly. Sometimes I feel as if the two just mentioned experts are jealous about the Twins (or other teenagers with great technical finger flicking ability- for example read Swiss's review of Josh Jay's book from a while back...) since these young card men happen to live in an age with TONS of magical media and resources free for the picking. Jamy has implied this often in his review section. Dissing young magicians who enjoy watching lots of magic videos and such. Yet if it wasn't for magic videos I and many of my friends who study assiduously and now read the literature all the time would absolutely not be into it, if not for a video that caught our eye. Jamy always mentions how books are superior but when one is just getting into magic that isn't always the case; and isn't starting the journey the most important of all the steps?

It is deliciously ironic that this notion is sometimes (perhaps unconsciously) given off by the above two mentioned magi since it is MR. KAUFMAN who is greatly responsibly for a great deal of this so called 'LOSS'. ( I don't think it's a loss at all btw) - Proponents of this notion feel it is 'a loss' of 'the way it was back in the day' where secrets where more hidden and you had to work harder to get them.

Yet it is Mr. Kaufman who is the individual behind mass-publishing TONS of incredible books chock full of some of the greatest and coolest secrets in the art of sleight of hand ever. :eek:

I am hugely grateful that this was done as it has enriched my life greatly and I have not blinked on the many hundreds (thousands?) of dollars I've spent on Kaufman and Company products. In fact I cherish a Genii Magazine with Richard signed for me at my first magic convention. It's posted on the wall of my room above my bed where I practice.

Yet saying there is a curious hypocrisy present in each of the these two men on the topics of flourishes and the dissemination of magical knowledge is not too far of a stretch since I can point out a number of cases where specifically Richard and Jamy have used flourishes in widely known and seen performances. If you would like, I will mention them... as well as the points I mention above in regards to the magical literature point and the possible annoyance with teenager finger flickers who do tons of fancy cuts, (which I happen to be.)

Ditto the performing of flourishes by some of their best friends and teachers. In fact I really don't see how or why Richard disagrees with me so strongly on all my posts, especially the one above (the other one WAS long and tedious as well as spelled rather poorly) besides that the fact that I'm 18...

I do realize my thoughts on this topic are just that- my thoughts, i.e. opinions and possibly bs, yet I still think they have at least something which gives my post enough " for your argument to have any validity" to any card man who ACTUALLY reads them and fairly thinks about the facts they present. Dont get me wrong, I appreciate those who disagree with my position since it forces me to think harder about this art I enjoy so much.

So thanks Richard and Kudos,


p.s.- Don't get me wrong I'm still a huge fan, I just had to say what I had to say...

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/22/02 10:32 AM

I'd also like to point out that I'm one of the folks who thinks that flourishes are not magic -- they are simple exhibitions of skill. I also think that including them tends to take away from the magic, and leaves people more in awe of your skill and perhaps the aesthetic beauty of the particular flourish. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. If that's the persona you want to portray, then more power to ya.

However, if you wish to evoke a feeling of magic, I believe that flourishes take away from that. It takes people out of the mindset of "magic" and into the realm of "skill." Instead of the spectator thinking, "I have no idea how he did that...it must be magic!" they're thinking, "I have no idea how he did that...he's got incredible skill!" It's a slight difference, but an important one in terms of characterization and the feelings you leave with the audience.

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Postby Lance Pierce » 10/22/02 10:35 AM

Well, Cap, you have to try to perceive the message that Ricky is trying to send. Is he on stage trying to convey that the things he does are unexplainable or that he's a person of great skill and intelligence? Does Ricky try to appeal to the mind with challenges of an intellectual nature or does he try to evoke a sense of wonder?

I haven't seen "On the Stem," but I was quite pleased to watch him live in "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants" and on many television appearances. The impression I've always gotten is that never once has he tried to create "wonder" but works instead to present a showcase of unbelievable mastery. Because of this, any and all flourishes that he cares to display might be apropos (although it's equally obvious to me that he doesn't want such things to form the core of his work).

Once again, it comes down to what you want your audience to know about you. Let's focus for a moment instead on the performers who really work hard to create a sense of mystery and wonder. Where are Eugene Burger's one-handed shuffles? Why isn't Max Maven doing multiple cuts and spinning cards behind his back? Why do we not see Juan Tamiriz showing off his handling of the Notis Cascade? I don't think it's really because they can't, because each of these men and many others have proven that they can and will learn whatever it takes to get the job done. If they don't do these flourishes, I strongly suspect that it's because they know such displays would destroy the goal of their magic, which is to create, at least for the moment, an experience that no skill or manipulation can explain.

In all your posts, you keep fighting for the idea that flourishes can be done in magic, but as far as I know, that's never really been in dispute. The real issue is how, where, and when.


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Postby Pete McCabe » 10/22/02 11:24 AM

It seems that there's a crucial distinction between flourishes that are open displays of skill with no external meaning (i.e. a one-handed three way cut) and ones that are integral to the magic being performed (i.e. spinning a card on your finger during a change). Although I've enjoyed this thread, it's pretty obvious that nothing of real theoretical substance can come of it until we get the most basic definitions in place and use them consistently.

But on a more practical plane, in my opinion the most important step in the flourish/naturalness debate (to use an obvious oversimplification)comes long before you reach the point of deciding whether or not to add flourishes to your routine. It comes at the very beginning, when you decide what tricks you are going to perform and what methods you are going to use to perform them.

There are a great many tricks whose basic handling creates an unmistakable impression of sleight-of-hand. There's nothing wrong with this -- I do a couple such tricks myself. But in general I greatly prefer to present my magic as a demonstration of supernatural power. And so I have to eliminate everything from the tricks themselves that will interfere with this goal.

If I remove the Aces and use ATFUS to display them before putting them aside, then have a card selected and control it with the double undercut, then take the Aces and do an Elmsley count to show a reversed card, which I deal onto the deck, then double-turn it over on top of the deck, the audience will have no doubt that sleight-of-hand was responsible.

To me, unnatural looking moves with extraneous overhead are the kind of "flourishes" that destroy the illusion of magic. Many flourishes look quite natural in comparison to some of the moves I see magicians using.

Ultimately, in my experience, what determines the audience's reaction is whether they see me do something whose purpose they don't understand. If I fan the deck with one hand for a selection because I'm holding a sharpie in the other hand, that makes sense. If I fan the deck with one hand and smile and say "Ah, the glory of a misspent youth," that makes sense too.

If I put the selected card back in the deck and then cut it, then cut it again... well, I don't see what sense any audience member can make of that.
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Postby Guest » 10/22/02 12:19 PM

I must say that I basically agree with you there Pete. Not much to say or add on that point actually.

... i.e.


Postby Luke » 10/22/02 01:11 PM

I would just like to say to Cap, please stop changing the first sentence of your post to fit the forum you are posting on. Posting the same exact words on forum after forum yet with minor changes to personalize who you are "talking to" is getting rather old. The post above is word for word from TSD....the repetition is getting old. Also...before you started all these posts no one was talking badly about flourishes to the point you are going on about. Proving a point just to gain recognition is a sad way of spreading yourself around.

*sits shaking his head*

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Postby Guest » 10/22/02 01:25 PM

-Whether Ricky tries to or not, many people feel great wonder after seeing EITHER of Ricky's Shows.

Let's take the 52 assistant's show and go out on a limb and pretend that absolutely no spectators any wonder, they were just impressed (remember I don't believe this but am imagining for the sake of the discussion) then those that are 'pro wonder' seem to by default be anti- Ricky Jay's right?- Since he isn't promoting wonder as the prime focus in his 52 Assistants show but rather the image that he is a man with mind boggling skill with playing cards but not supernatural powers.

I'd bet this isn't the case with most 'pro wonder' people though. In fact I have never heard a magi diss Ricky Jay. Never. Why is this?

You would tend to think of these people as confused, since they are admitting through being Ricky Jay fans that wonder isn't decreased by flourishes. Yet they still believe that there is a intrical flaw in the principle of flourishing while doing a magical effect. They still don't believe it's the performer's fault but the inanimate flourishes fault. I've heard many a person call Ricky " the greatest thing for earning the art of card magic respect to come along in the last 50 years...' and then turn around and diss flourishes to teens with the line of 'you poor delusional attention deficit disordered soul, pick up expert card technique for god sakes child!' (Apparently they forgot about pgs 157-167 in that book eh?)


(btw that's in caps not to yell, but since I know all my points will get lost in what many feel to be a 'ocean of text' :rolleyes: of course my name is Cap so there is the tendency to go overboard WITH THEM ;) )


So I think my point is still rather legit Lance. Although I DO see what you're saying. :) To be fair I admit saying " if you diss flourishes, you diss Ricky Jay!" is somewhat of a rather sensationalist thing to say and could be seen as a blatant attempt to get a reaction and a passionate response ( which is exactly what it is btw :D ...) yet still if one were a TRUE believer to the view of flourishes being 'immoral' to the creation of wonder, how could you still be a Ricky Jay fan? It's like your a priest who is always preaching to the youth of the congregation (the teenager 'cut monkeys') about the perils of lust yet you get a hell of a kick going to the local strip club every evening. HYPOCRISY right?

It IS true Ricky Jay often sells the skill angle in the way Ortiz often does' throughout 52 assistants, yet this is greatly lessoned in 'On the Stem' which is the show I am referring to. (there is a gambling piece he does which is an exception though...)Did others out there who have seen this show feel the same way here? I can't help but Wonder :D about this...


Ricky's persona is a lot different from Eugene Burger. No doubt. Still I think Burger and Maven don't do flourishes cause it simply doesn't fit their style, NOT because they feel it would take away from the feeling of wonder in their routines if they did use them. I don't remember them really making a big deal about dissing flourishes really? Although I don't have many of Burger's books since it's not MY style.

I think their is a disagreement that goes beyond " how, where, and when." to use flourishes present with most people here, Lance.

This is the real issue for US since we basically agree on most of the critical points. Therefore I am not posting to convince you.

Although it is enjoyable to get and think about your well communicated responses. :)

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 01:31 PM

To Luke- Are my posts titles ala "let's discuss the CapCuts DVD?"

Luke I honestly have no idea why you've decided to follow me around posting this silly comment in numerous spots.


Is everyone on genii on tsd, which is a pay site and something many great minds simply never felt like paying for. I have many pals who are killer magi yet not on tsd. Are all 1,000 of the people on magic cafe on tsd? I posted on tsd after Dave Buck himself told me he "never goes to magic cafe..." in an email...

This location is for posting, is it a crime to post stuff in more than one spot, is it SOME TRICKY CON? If you think I'm doing this as a publicity stunt it's a gay notion since I would be sucking up to everybody if I was trying to win fans right? Or I'd be like " yo check out capcuts.com, check out capcuts.com" I don't even mention my dvd or my site on tsd or even here hardly at all, where I mentioned it on the cafe was in direct response to a question from some guy about the BRS cut; (btw I really think you overestimate how many people read all the posts on tsd- it's maybe 10 people max, 10 people are not going to make anybody rich for god sakes ! ;) )

I even SAID on that tsd post " this is a post I did on magiccafe a while back and I was curious what tsders would think of it, this comment just proves you never read the post, but are posting in an impulsive negative manner.

These are totally legit points from my perspective) and topics which I've always been interested in. If someone is a huge fan of 3 fly they're going to post a lot of stuff about coins across and the psychology of doing them. I'm a big fan of flourishes, is that a crime?

It's not like anyone has to read any of my posts or respond to any of them right? There are a 100 other topics on this forum and the cafe which you can go to if you see my name as the topic starter right? Geess... :rolleyes:

I've done JUST 2 threads (!!!) - one about how flourishes aren't unnatural where I talk about vernon and erdnase and a this one about with a different slant with the edge being in regards to Ricky Jay. I honestly don't think anybody but you thinks my behavior is 'pullin the wool over their eyes' or 'tricking people into making me money'. You've implied this elsewhere, and it's really silly.

If I cared about making money I'd just but up an ad in Magic instead of talking with alot of the SAME GUYS such as Jim and Lance over and over right? Are Jim and Lance buying CapCut dvds for their kids and relatives or something?
:eek: if so cool- You're my hero Jim! ;)
I doubt it, it's just that I genuinly get a kick out of their intelligent posts. It's really that simple my man. :)

Just because you dislike flourishes doesn't mean you have to follow me around tsd placing pathetic pot shots. I don't even dislike you, did I ever say I dislike you in the past? Where are these negative vibes you have towards me coming from?

As you can see Lance, there are a bunch of people out there I hardly even know who are astonishingly ANTI-FLOURISH and unlike you, without any good reasons.

Postby Kendrix » 10/22/02 02:08 PM

Cap: What is "tsd" ?
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Postby thecardman » 10/22/02 02:24 PM

Thought I would jump into this thread here, as I have some strong(ish) feelings on it.

I do not see why flourishes cannot live side-by-side with sleights in the world of card magic. As long as they are used at the right time - that is very important. Here are a couple of examples.

First, look at Aaron Fisher's current book "The Paper Engine", actually the part about the "One Handed Pop Out". In it, he talks about this sort of subject. I will leave it to you to go read for yourself!

Second, Lee Asher (yes, a friend of Aaron's). He does his "Diving Board Double" and it is something that magicians look and think is cool as hell. Then you see him doing the Asher Twist and it LOOKS like real magic, that nothing happens.

The philosophy that I have taken to heart from studying with the guys in Glasgow, Scotland, is one of "less is more". When you have a card selected, do you control it using "The Five Faces Of Sybil" and make the audience think "well, that was cleaver, how did he know where to cut to my card" or do you control it to the top using a pass and have them thinking "how the hell did that get there? It was in the middle!!!"

Just my thoughts!

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Postby Guest » 10/22/02 02:28 PM

o my bad, tsd= theseconddeal.com website.

Postby Lance Pierce » 10/22/02 02:46 PM


Whether you go to TSD, TMC, here at the GMF, or even to your local AMC or CSV to talk about your BRS or just flourishes in general (FIG), heres one thing youll always find in your life no matter where you are or who youre with:

You cant reason with the unreasonable.

So if someone is truly as anti-flourish as youve alluded some are (and to be sure, Im not anti-flourish in the least, but I guess some are), your energy is perhaps better spent pursuing what you love to do rather than wearing yourself down on the grinding rocks of meaningless and never-ending discourse. Personally, Id be much happier sitting on the grass on a summer day watching a tree growtheres some real lessons there. And at least the tree doesnt have to argue to defend what it is. It just is.

Ars est celare artem,

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Postby Brian Morton » 10/22/02 03:03 PM


I've got a few nits to pick with you here, logic-wise.

I've seen Ricky's show, and yes, he juggles. It's not magic-- it's juggling. It's an exhibition of skill, which, truth be told, is often a large component of Mr. Jay's work. The eggs in the glasses at the end isn't magic, it's also an exhibition of skill, which also happened to be a featured closer of Max Malini.

They get strong responses because they are strong effects. They are also NOT MAGIC. Whether they "look magical" or not is a judgment call on the part of the viewer, and to deride anyone who disagrees as "insane" is a polemic that does nothing to help your argument.

Secondly, you state:
All good flourishes are inherently innocent and most flourish haters hate them cause the cant do them!
This is a fallacy logicians call a "straw man." You contrive to state the opinions of those contrary to your own, knock down this mischaracterization, and then posit your own reason for what you feel are their motives.

Good flourishes are good flourishes. Laypeople, hell, audiences in general, enjoy a demonstration of skill. Whether or not I can perform a flourish has nothing to do with my opinions of them in general. I tend to agree with those who think that, if you are trying to make your magic more "magical," revealing extraordinary skill tends to detract from the impossibility of the effect being presented.

It's rather obvious that because a primary part of your performance is flourishes and manipulations, you have become a passionate defender of that point of view. But your logic breaks down when you attempt to ascribe the motives of others.

You also state:
Realize when you diss flourishes or juggling you diss Ricky Jay.
Once again, no, we don't. Ricky Jay is not the physical embodiment of flourishes. He has made certain decisions regarding his character and what he chooses to perform in his show, and what he is trying to convey. He is known as a skillful performer and this exhibit of juggling goes to the heart of his character. He also performs, if I recall correctly, the Knight's Tour, Fast and Loose and an exhibition of "cheating at poker." Each of these is based upon the premise of great skill. They are related to magic, but not presented as "impossibilities."

Card throwing (something I've done for years since the first publication of "Cards As Weapons") is skill. The multiple selections use selected flourishes to dramatically reveal a chosen card. But the end result is that an audience gives him credit for great skill.

You say:
I think that since Richard and his good associate Jamy Ian Swiss have both strongly implied they perceive Dan and Dave Buck as fools within the pages of their otherwise stellar magazine; he is incapable of looking at the situation/topic fairly.
I am starting to believe that you feel that the only "fair" viewpoint is one that agrees with your own.

I don't think it is quite fair that you put words ("fools") in Richard and Jamy's mouths -- you are overstating their opinions in pejorative language to make your own point.

Cap states:
Sometimes I feel as if the two just mentioned experts are jealous about the Twins (or other teenagers with great technical finger flicking ability- for example read Swiss's review of Josh Jay's book from a while back...) since these young card men happen to live in an age with TONS of magical media and resources free for the picking.
Safe to say, I highly doubt that Messrs. Swiss and Kaufman are "jealous" of the abilities of the Buck Twins. Mr. Swiss was performing at a level of skill complimented by Vernon and Goshman long before the Buck Twins were born. Mr. Kaufman has associated with some of the greatest magical creators and performers the world has seen for any number of years -- he certainly doesn't need me to cite his bona fides. This part of your argument lacks any serious merit.

Perhaps the easy availability of magical knowledge today in the form of DVD, video has created youth with great skills and, arguably, talents. But the thought necessary to create credible magical performance is something you can't get from the easy availability of secret sleights, and certainly not from a focus on flourishes, no matter how spectacular or arcane.

Lastly, in a later post you say:
No doubt. Still I think Burger and Maven don't do flourishes cause it simply doesn't fit their style, NOT because they feel it would take away from the feeling of wonder in their routines if they did use them. I don't remember them really making a big deal about dissing flourishes really? Although I don't have many of Burger's books since it's not MY style.
You make an assumption right at the start which I feel doesn't do justice to the thought that both Max Maven and Eugene Burger put into their respective performances. In fact, I would argue that they don't do flourishes specifically because "their style[s]" are such that a flashy display of skill would decrease the sense of wonder they are trying to evoke. Simply because they have not published anything "dissing" (to use your colorful phrase) flourishes does not mean they have not come to the conclusion that it does nothing for their acts. Max and Eugene are quote possibly the most thorough examples of performers who put the maximum amount of thought into every word, action and nuance of their performances -- I can almost say without a doubt that they have given thought to the idea of the "flashy" (Ask Eugene about his humorous experience with the FISM Flasher for a hilarous anecdote that proves my point) and the flourishy and discarded them without hesitation. This is not what they are about.

Lastly, if you still feel that those who are what you consider "anti-flourish" still lack "good reasons," then I fail to see what might constitute "good reasons" might be to you.

Also respectfully,

brian :cool:
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/22/02 03:32 PM

Brian, now you are "da-man." I said it in Cap's previous thread and I'll say it again here: it's all about what is right for the character - period.

More examples:
Gregory Wilson: Flash and flourish; in your face - and it works well.
Michael Close: No overt display of skill - magic, magic, magic.
Daryl: Playful and skillful; uses flourishes and also "does nothing!" Character!!!
Martin A. Nash: Very few flourishes; but leaves no doubt about skill. A very well defined character.

Character, character, character!

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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 10/22/02 04:20 PM

I'm reserving my contrarian views regarding flourishes and card jugglery for a forthcoming essay; however, so far nobody has said anything about WHY certain cardmen, particularly young ones, are spectacularly attracted to mastering Maneuvers of Incredible and Ostentatious Skill.

When I was first smitten by the pasteboards I cared little about "character" or "mystery" or "entertainment." Instead I wanted to meet the challenges of card fanning, one-hand cutting, and card-spinning. (I also wanted to high jump 7 feet, juggle six balls, and ride an eight-foot unicycle. Alas, I only was able to jump 6' 5," juggle four balls, and ride a normal bicycle. Now I can only jump 1 foot, juggle my checkbook, and ride a bus.)

Why did I want to do these things as a callow lad?

Perhaps the answer is as simple as this: I wanted to do these things because when it comes to feats of skill, arguments boil down to a single factor: You can either do the feat or you cannot do the feat.

Furthermore, these feats can be QUANTIFIED.

For example, if I mastered all of the sleights in EXPERT CARD TECHNIQUE and in Marlo's Revolutionary Card Series and could do all of the card flourishes extant, I would be accepted as some SORT of an EXPERT. Nobody could deny exactly what it is I was doing...

Also, if one can perform feats that nobody else can do, then they have at least achieved something...regardless of how strange or dubious...

Later, if and when one drifts into the complex, murky, and challenging world of pure performance--attempting to create ENCHANTMENTS...Well...then...

Then the nature of the game dramatically changes. Discussions become heated and it is very difficult to quantify, measure, evaluate, and keep score in the same naked, clear-cut ways...


An aside to the Cap Man: Just do what you do and let the chips fall where they may. What is destined to endure, will endure...As it stands, you may be guilty of being the guy "that doth protest too much"...


P.S. BTW, I happen to have two copies of the Flourishman's amazing compendium. As soon as I master everything in THAT book, I'm going to enter the Seniors Division of the Fabulous But Failing Flinger Flickers Olympics.

Maybe then I can wear my "The Buck Twins Rule" tee-shirt?
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Postby Guest » 10/22/02 04:39 PM

I am not going to repeat what Brian and others have said in my own words however I have one minor thing. I very well may have completely misinterpreted your post cap but to call a particular notion that you dont like "gay" seems somewhat inapropriate.
Oh well

Noah Levine

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 05:19 PM

A few thoughts for 'thecardman':

Mentioning Five faces of Sybil and the diving board double are perfect for allowing me to analyze two situations which will drive home how ineffective magic is never the fault of THE CONCEPT of flourishes but how as Lance points out "The real issue is how, where, and when." they are used.

In both cases I'll be looking at the situation of an ambitious card phase. Basically a simple everyday double lift.

First the sybil analysis:

I'll mention an obvious spot when you should NOT use it. This is so you guys see I'm not insanly addicted to the point of illogic like a cult follower to the flourish Gods or anything like that. I jus dig them a lot. I don't promote cuts whenever wherever for whoever. I'm not some fancy cut hor for god sakes. I treat the usage of cuts carefully and with respect.

First off let me say that when you perform a good amount you begin to develop a sort of 'sixth sense' which tells you when to toss in a flourish for maximum impact- or when not to. If there is a little old senile lady who gets scared by fast movement easily you wouldn't want to toss your hands in her face and break out in to Kenner's Five Faces of Sybil. Yet if you're for a more hip group say a group of 20-25 year olds livin it up, and who have been raised on MTV, showing off some might go over darn well. That's blatant showing off. Which isn't even what I promote really, so try this:

Say : " I'll give the deck 5 cuts and each time find one of the cards to make up a nut flush..." then instead of dead cutting as they expect, do 5 faces of sybil. Pause, allowing them to see there are 5 distinct packets, then close the thing and show the 5 cards of the nut flush are on top of the pack. It's quite surprising and humorous since they figured you were going to 'cut the normal way' I've used this as a kicker after doing marlo's estimation aces to great result. The flow of the bit is after having produced the 4 aces with the marlo routine, the aces are reinserted super slow and fair ( you can do this since you only have to control 1 of the aces (the ace of spades), not all 4 of them)btw doing estimation aces has conditioned them to the 'dead cutting' procedure. This is vital for the surprise to 'play'. Next you pretend to notice someone is really baffled ( and they should be cause estimation aces kicks ace!) and perhaps wants to see the effect again, you go ok I'll cut to those aces... pause then go BUT ALL AT ONCE! break into 5 faces then look curiously like "hmm I got 5 (!) packets what could that mean? Then close the thing revealing the 5 cards of the nut flush on top of the pack or better on top of each packet in the 5 faces cut. I realize this may sound gay but if done expertly it's wicked in the way that it surprises and messes with their minds. They think that each cut of the five faces of Sybil sequence results in one of those winning cards being located.

STILL, here is a seemingly obvious case where you should NOT toss in a Sybil cut. Let's say you've done a beautiful Vernon two-card push off with Gordon turnover finesse for extra card man points as well as a nifty Tamariz style optical double replacement... i.e. they are CONVINCED that is their signed card now going into the center of the pack, you riffle the ends of the pack implying the card has penetrated up through, and... toss in five faces of sybil for a bit of extra fun since you want to reveal the ambi- card in a unique fashion, you're a clever devil who's decided to surprise them with this great cut since whod expect you to do it at this random point. Clever boy right?-


This is insanity, I cant imagine anyone doing this, yet some probably have. Maybe accidentally, maybe cause cuts to them have become like nervous twitches, when they feel insecure it serves as a security blanket type of a thing which comes out if they aren't sure theyre connecting with their spectators. It creates something they can psychologically hide behind, saying look how clever I am I havent worked on presentation, but look how clever I am!- Yes I HAVE seen that occur.

The reason this is suicide to the above ambitious card effect is that if you're selling it as a penetration of a card trough 25 cards to the top position, you should do hardly anything once that darn card is inserted! Sell the penetration with your body language and a gentle shake of the pack. A crazy cut dilutes everything since they hardly remember the card being clearly in the center of the pack anymore. While I dont agree there IS a legit case to not even spring the cards since they might think he musta done it there! I tend to disagree cause without SOMETHING I think its too perfect but thats another discussion for another time.

STILL... if one was selling the above effect as "I'll cut to your card in an incredible fashion!" Using a double to convince them their card was lost and then cutting to it with sybil would be ok and cool. As long as that's the effect you're going for.
Remember though a big part of my position is that not only are flourishes cool but they can STRENGTHEN the feelings of wonder and mystery from a TECHNICAL point of view. Not just serving as salad dressing or salt and pepper but be the freaking MEAT!

This is something even Lance doesn't seem to really be convinced on; but let's look at the example of the diving board double and the silver surfer flourishes popularized by Lee Asher. It's one thing to get a pinky break and do a double it's another thing to instantly make a double fly in the air 10 feet doing multiple rotations along the way then slide down the spread in perfect alignment, I assure you this is (if it fits your style) still VERY deceptive and maybe MORE deceptive cause while laymen don't know what a double card is directly (although they might...) they aren't fools for god sakes! They intrinsically and subconsciously FEEL the challenge of keeping two cards in perfect alignment and the extra challenge (impossibility?) of keeping two cards in perfect alignment after a bunch of flips in the air. Everybody feels that basic principle. This definitely has an impact on their reaction to whatever the resultant effect is. I have seen Lee get killer reactions of WONDER from doing this sequence numerous times live. I have been inches from laymens ASTONISHED FACES when hes done this, and its really just a flourish sequence. Those who say 'the effect is everything, why go through all that work just to make something look cool' are really misplaced here since the method affects the effect and in this case the skill displayed creates a more deceptive double. It reminds me of how Tommy Wonder disputes the view that 'don't run when nobody is chasing you'. He says NOPE- run as fast and as furious as you can so there isN'T even the chance for a race to start AT ALL.

with all due respect and peace,


( the Tommy wonder reference is something like that, I don't have the book conveniently nearby, correct me if I'm wrong here...)

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 05:40 PM

A few more selected cases where fancy cuts are more than just 'totally superfulous to the magic effect actions' :

I mentioned these in the card man hell thread yet nobody probably read them. So here they are: :D

For those that have read 'Destroyers', you'll find Troy using his 'Pendulum' Cut to accomplish a more deceptive and smooth double-under-cut. And one of my friends Lee Asher uses his 'Fabrication' cut to enhance the visual evidence of chaos in the Triumph effect.
Do YOU have a pet flourishy cut situation where FUNCTIONAL factors are accomplished that you'd like to mention?

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 05:48 PM

For Noah- you're right man, sorry about that. I've heard that usage of the word 'gay' used so much at school as a casual reference to something they consider 'weird or silly and/ or trite' it's worn off on me. I really don't consider my freinds who use it in the context they do to be homophobic. Rude I guess, homophobic no. Teens at public schools cuss a lot also, it's pretty hard to escape. Yet I see that some will find that usage of the word gay to be quite rude. Sorry about that.

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 06:04 PM

All good flourishes are inherently innocent and most flourish haters hate them cause the can"t do them!
So in retrospect...those who use flourishes do so because they can't do heads-up card magic?


Postby Guest » 10/22/02 06:52 PM

Sorry Brian, but both you and Richard still fail to get the point of my Jay post, I understand if you disagree with it- maybe Im wrong ( I just dont think so... ) but at least get the point- which is :

I dont feel that the inclusion of juggling ( a display of skill) adversely affects the rest of the magical pieces in Rickys show as many feel is the case when you mix magic with flourishes even in a SHOW. I simply thought this was a lock point since Ricky is so universally respected for elevating card MAGIC to very high levels and I thought the show was one of the best sleight of hand shows Ive ever seen and probably ever will see. Yet he does display skill, he juggles, and he does many flourishes. Now maybe you are saying that the skill displays lessoned the impact of wonder during the ring to orange or the multiple selection routine. I could be dead wrong, maybe while they played very very strong they couldve played very very VERY strong if there had been absolutely no flourishes or displays of skill previously? Who knows? Is that what youre saying?


Also I said most not all, many people HAVE TOLD ME they dont come naturally, I cant do them therefore I dislike them. Its not unreasonable to suggest that if someone isnt good at something he wont feel good about the thing and then wont like it. Is this a
crazy illogical blasphemous insane leap?!


If you can call one of my points bogus, so can I - the point of me being a defender of flourishes cause I do them implies my points are biased and not legit, they may be biased but they are still legit since I decided to make flourishes a big part of what I do after realizing their potential impact in strengthening magic. Not the other way around. I didnt just start doing them and now must justify it with false mental exercises in 'irrelevant to the real world' logical. They take too much work to learn if I didn't legitamatly think they added something- added ALOT.

On this point of 'the chicken or the egg' its interesting to note I am at a automatic disadvantage in debating who is the 'true beilever' since one is automatically a non flourisher since flourishes take skill and practice to accomplish, thus many who claim to have have thought about the issue and chosen this path based on principle... could just be lazy or just never tried one. Yet I still can't say this ofcourse since it's impossible to prove, yet when there are clips of me on the net it's easy to say the reverse of this concept that "well look you clearly do the stuff, thus etc. etc..."


If you think I only disagree with those that disagree with me, then look at the post above where I mention where you should NOT use sybil. Also lets look at my mental state when I made this post ok, look dont get me wrong I have nothing against Richard Kaufman, but he said " Cap, YOUR POINT FAILS IN THE MOST BASIC WAY." That's a solid/strong acquisition, hence I don't think me being allowed to give a rebuttal is totally fair. I'm not saying I'm right but it seems as if you don't mind Richard disagreeing with me, yet you flip out if I post something disagreeing with him. Fascinating. So who here has chosen his belief systems on his friends views? Who is truly thinking for himself in regards to the side he will go in regards to the issue of flourishes?...

Also lets look at the quote from the genii magazine Jamy Swiss. It was a BLATANT diss of the Buck Twins. How could anybody not bias not see this?! You obviously dont know what Im talking about. You obviously don't know the reference I'm talking about.

I was surprised such a teacher (considering his card clinic and all ) would diss KIDS in such a cheap way, it was a cheap shot basically weaseled into a totally unconnected review of a Paul Curry book, which was especially ironic to me cause I doubt Paul Curry would try and diss young up and coming cardmen working hard to invent stuff. I think its not unreasonable to get a touch of jealousy (as he has towards Ammar...) from Jamys comment; like hes justifying their high level of technical skill by saying but theyre just masturbating cut monkey fools who cant perform worth a damn, I- YES I can PERFORM, I can create TRUE MYSTERY! Now maybe hes totally correct, I just find it royally messed up that a grown adult with all the credits you just mentioned above feels compelled to rag on kids who were 16 at the time in such a manner- behind their back in such a public place. I would rather have it be jealousy, cause if it isn't then its just plain sad actually. Richard isn't as much of a culprit on this point. Not AS much. Dont get me wrong I have real respect for both of these men, I have their books their videos etc. etc. etc. and I really have no urge to create a 'to jamy or not thread, this is a 'to flourish or not' thread darnit! I just think on THIS ONE issue they have issues. Thats all Im saying man. All I will say.

Its really not a big deal even cause Jamy is WELL KNOWN for this type of stuff. Its not like this is something Im making up or being all revolutionary about. If this starts a lot of buzz I'll have no idea why. We all know what to expect with Jamy, the man speaks his mind. Whether we agree or not were forced to RESPECT him since he knows his stuff. Im in no way denying that.

- its interesting how you imply I only agree with those with my views yet your are clearly a fan of Jamy Swiss and Richard Kaufman most likely a personal friend?(-which is totally cool btw) what is not cool is blindly defending them. Worse than the way you imply I blindly defend flourishes when ya think of it. Since you do so without having any of the facts. Plus I defend something which can't not defend itself- inatimate flourishes, yet as Richard has proved time and time again he is very smart and able to more than handle himself. Trust me his confidence will never be dented by my soft rags on him (as I compliment him often in the same post!)

At best you are at the same level you negatively claim I am at.

HELLO?! am I missing something here - the point was that they may be jealous of the twins VAST OPPURTUNITIES AND ACCESS to a wealth of magical knowledge which neither Jamy nor Richard probably had back in the 60s. That's all I was really saying there. Jamy could whoop their ass with story telling or presentation.(technique I don't know...) Internet, video, and now instant access to card moves with dvd are all relatively new phenomena of the 80s and 90s unparallel at any other time in history. So what are you saying here really? Youre denying this obvious fact about videos, internet, and dvds? eh?

To end- Good reasons would be not mere rebuttals to my logic or of my post ( which one doesnt really have to think to do, since the original point is already there, you just have to reverse engineer it basically) but PRACTICAL EXAMPLES of where flourishes harm magic. Im the only one yet to really get into mentioning a negative case ( read the situation I touch on above), and Im the guy who DIGS the stuff! There are tons of examples where flourishes can harm a magical moment, Ive seen it with my own eyes. What I sk of you is just to mention them,point them out clearly and allow me to think about it, push me some, make me question my views with powerful points instead of cheap rhetoric- PLEASE!

p.s. Your post does read well and sounds like your vocabulary is decent at least. I will give you that. Sadly enough vocabulary often means little more than vocabulary at the end of the day. Of course I realize Richard Kaufman places great emphasis on vocabulary and spelling, haha... o never mind that wasn't really funny to me either. ;)

(- see the spell check post in the 'card man hell eh?' thread... which I felt sort of cheaply disregarded my whole card man hell post which I had put a lot of thought into and felt was important. That is part of the reason for my ADMITTEDLY questionable at times hypothesis of their being touches of ageist jealousy in him at times... during a post in this thread above)

Postby Bill Duncan » 10/22/02 07:24 PM

Flourishes are, simply put, showing off. Not that there's anything wrong with that! ;)

In the creation of any theatrical event you have to decide what it is you want to communicate and evaluate if that communication is successful. It's not always the case that the audience perceives what you are trying to say in the way that you expect.

If you choose to show off you have to decide what that tells the audience about your character. It might be:
  • I'm able to do something you could never do.
  • I spend hundred of hours alone in my room.
  • I'm amazingly dexterous and hard working.
  • I'm amazingly dexterous and therefore genetically superior to you and will soon have all the breeding age females.
  • My cards are possessed by Satan!
  • My hands are possessed by Satan!
I suspect some of what creates "flourish haters" is that a fair number of the folks who do do flourishes seem to do them incessantly. I'm sure you've met someone who is so into flourishes that s/he constantly does them while talking to you? It can be pretty annoying.
That said, I fall somewhere in the middle on this topic. I love a good flourish but find that there are many more things I'd rather spend my limited free time working on than another variation of Sybil.

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Postby Guest » 10/22/02 07:31 PM

Flourishes are, simply put, showing off. Not that there's anything wrong with that! says Mr. Duncan

While I agree with most of your post, I'm just curious how you regard the point I was trying to touch on in my post that is 3 or 4 up about the pendulum and fabrication cuts as well as the concept/principle/pychological effect that occurs often in regards to the diving board double flourish where I argue that the DECEPTION IS INCREASED...? :confused: :D

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 07:45 PM

Great post Jon. Stuff like that makes my posting worthwhile.

To Lance- yeh I'm going to take a break from the flourish debate for a week. If I'm writing all the time when am I practicing the flourishes I'm promoting right?!

Still I think some of my unposted essays on this issue I have in my computer would make a great book... ;) ;)

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/22/02 08:36 PM

Originally posted by cap casino:
Mentioning Five faces of Sybil and the diving board double are perfect for allowing me to analyze two situations which will drive home how ineffective magic is never the fault of THE CONCEPT of flourishes but how as Lance points out "The real issue is how, where, and when." they are used.
The situations you mentioned are certainly viable places to use one of these flourishes. They can create laughter (especially in the Sybil instance you mentioned), and they can be deceptive. HOWEVER, they are not enhancing the MAGIC. They are enhancing the audience's perception of YOUR SKILL. As has already been said several times in this thread, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. It's simply a character choice. The choice to use a flourish changes your audience's perception of you from "magician" to "skilled card handler."

In the case of Ricky Jay, there was really only one moment in the show that I would consider magical, and that is the ring to orange. In that instance, Ricky seemed to make a specific point to not do ANYTHING. He simply did what was necessary -- no extraneous movements. It also helped that the props he was using were so entirely different from what he had used the rest of the evening. The rest of the evening, he was Ricky Jay, Expert Card Handler & Gambling /Con Expert. For the ring to orange, he stepped aside. He wasn't the important part of that...the automaton was. He wasn't creating the magic, he was simply creating the circumstances so that the magic could happen. It was an entirely different feel from what the rest of the show was about.

That's just my opinion, though...

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Postby Brian Marks » 10/22/02 10:19 PM

I have had a chance to meet you Cap as at the SAM convention. I lent you several dollars to go see Ricky Jay. Well I have to give you an A for effort in trying to disguise books as posts.

The reason Jamy is somewhat against Joah Jay and really against the twins is fairly simple. The focus of your act is you, not tricks or flourishes. The #1 important part of being a performer (comedian, actor or magician) is your performing voice. This comes through performance, scriptwriting, and practise. The twins dont have a voice, they just do flourishes. Josh Jay happens to be developing into a really good performer. The main relationship this has to flourishes is simple. Young people get into flourishes without purpose. Ricky Jay has a voice and it is very much on demonstrating skill hence leading to flourishy type stuff. Someone like Eugene Burger has a goal of amazing audiences. He told me at a lecture I just came from tonight. No florishes or overt displays of skill in Mr. Burger's act. Once you have your own voice, you will answer your own question and decide for yourself. After that, other magi's opinions don't really matter.
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Postby Guest » 10/23/02 02:09 AM

Thanks for the cash Brian! Only at a magic convention do you find people that nice and cool eh? Getting someone to loan you 10 bucks in NYC was quite a trick indeed. It was for the C. Angel show though, just to be precise. Ricky was like 65 bucks...

haha, yeh it's true eh, my posts are more something you'd find in a book now that I look around at most of the posts in other threads.

Still I'm glad I posted them since I got some GREAT feedback from everybody whether they agreed with me or not. It made me think about a bunch of related stuff; I'd never have time to post here and even if I did, nobody would read anyway!

It was great fun being challenged and all. 'The unexamined life is not worth living...' right?

Kudos and Peace my man,


Postby Guest » 10/23/02 02:14 AM

btw, Your point about the ring to orange is right on the dot Jim. Kudos.

-this time I'm really out, :D


Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 10/23/02 09:32 AM


Sorry about THIS tangent, but the muzzy meanings of the word "gay" begs to be clarifified.

When I was in high school (1954-58), the word had no noticeable currency. My youngest kid (now 20) went to a private school in New Orleans and the boys there habitually used "dude" and "gay" to an annoying extent. I was finally able to ascertain that "gay" (in their lexicon) referred to anybody or anything remotely EFFETE. That is, the person or thing being dubbed "gay" lacked vim, vigor, or effectiveness...It was another version of "lame"...In other words, it was a dubious distinction having to do with [their]attitudes about POWER, or in their case, LACK of power. At my son's school, low-status activities (e.g.playing chess, stamp collecting, volley ball) were "gay." In short, the word had little to do with sexual identity or practice. However, in the stereotypical sense, homosexuals who exhibited effete behavior were dubbed "gay"....

Ironically, the word "gay" [as slang] actually once referred to women (see "Othello")in the 1300s. Also, if you were duped by a con man or hooker, you were considered "gay." Also: They referred to brothels as "gay houses" in the 1800s.

Years ago I was going to title a trick "The Gay Deceivers" until I discovered it referred [also as slang] to false breasts. Oh, well...

BTW, I also asked my youngest son about card tricks.

"Oh, yeah," he blurted, "...they're definitely gay!"

So it went goes...
So it goes...

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Postby Jim Morton » 10/23/02 09:46 AM

I don?t feel that the inclusion of juggling (a display of skill) adversely affects the rest of the magical pieces in Ricky?s show as many feel is the case when you mix magic with flourishes even in a SHOW.
Much of Ricky Jay's show is about his skill; particularly his skill with cards. I think it's important to reiterate what Jim Maloney pointed out: When Ricky Jay wants to create a sense of wonder, he does not use flourishes. The moment must speak for itself. Any hint of the magician's interference via his skill and the moment shatters like a Rupert's Pearl.

Some would argue that any ostentatious displays of skill destroy (or, at least, dilute) the magic of a performance. It is an old debate. Hilliard obviously felt this way (see his comments on John Scarne in Greater Magic). Personally, I love doing flourishes, and I love practicing flourishes, but I do not do them as part of my magic show. I usually do them when some one asks me for a quick demonstration, where an immediate "Wow!" response is desired. In a more formal setting, I find that they detract from my performance. That's just me, YMMV.

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Postby Guest » 10/23/02 10:30 AM

Jim- you're still not really getting the issue I'm focusing on.

I'm wondering if: you do a flourish in one trick will it effect another trick later in your show. Surely the spectators remember the image of 'a man of amazing skill with cards' which Ricky sells so very well, when they are witnessing the ring to orange right? Since it was only 30 minutes ago that they saw the gambling routine...

Now I didn't think people here would say his show was weakened by it considering how highly regarded Ricky is, yet perhaps it was? Wow, is that what you're saying?

You might be right-I remember a lady who loved the show saying to me something along the lines of "he's so fast, it must be up his sleeves" "or something" as we walked out. This seems to be what all laymen jump on when they see card effects.

This is now a tangent, but I wish Ricky had had his sleeves rolled. To suck out any last reconstruction 'hope' for that lady since even at his level the 50% thing Ortiz talks about in Strong Magic in regards to rolling up your sleeve still seems to kick in. :eek:

Postby Brian Morton » 10/23/02 10:59 AM

Okay, Cap:

Let's put it this way. Do some empirical research of your own.

Perform some of your strongest magical effects, ones that give the audience no sense of how the effect or illusion happened, complete with all the flourishes you like.

Then, find another audience and perform them with no extemporaneous flourishes or movement whatsoever. Let the effects speak for themselves. Move slow and reveal slower.

See the difference for yourself.

When was the last time you heard a gasp when performing, an honest-to-god, intake-of-air, ohmygoodness how-did-he-do-that GASP when performing?

That's what MAGIC achieves.

Not, "he must be fast," or "it must have gone up his sleeves" or, "wow -- he's so dextrous he must have found a way to do it when I wasn't looking."

That's what you get when you don't leave the audience the mental "out" that a demonstration of brute skill such as flourishes conveys.

I'm in this for the appearance of impossibility. I want them to question what they just saw and verified for themselves. Skill gives them an "out." I don't even want them to have that one escape route.

Your mileage may vary, but that's the road I'm driving on.

brian :cool:

P.S. -- Regarding your comments earlier about Jamy, Richard and my vocabulary.

1. Jamy Swiss is a personal friend. However, the opinions expressed are my own. He doesn't need me to defend him, same as Richard. I happen to feel the same way he does on a number of things; his companion and my wife often joke that we think too much alike. So be it.

2. I have met Richard Kaufman exactly twice in my life. He also doesn't need any defending of his opinions by the likes of me.

3. You say, "Sadly enough vocabulary often means little more than vocabulary at the end of the day." One of the wisest college professors I ever had, my freshman English teacher, said very explicitly: "Writing is thinking." If you feel this way about vocabulary, you are sadly dooming yourself to a dim future, as a performer or otherwise. Words are the currency of ideas, and without mastery of them, you will be the beggar in the marketplace. If you wield them like a cudgel, people will think you are callow, misguided or worse. If you use them well, people will be forced to give weight to your opinions.

The choice is yours.
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Postby Lance Pierce » 10/23/02 12:04 PM

...Your post does read well and sounds like your vocabulary is decent at least. I will give you that. Sadly enough vocabulary often means little more than vocabulary at the end of the day.
Believe it or not, Cap, I think Brian Wendell Morton is actually trying to help you here, and his two posts have contained some of the best thoughts and advice you've received to date. It's apparent to me that he's familiar with the basic tenets of good critical thinking and as such, I wouldn't dismiss him so readily.

Over the last week or so, I've noticed what seems to be a strong desire on your part that extends past being acknowledged into being right. Unfortunately, in a discussion of this kind of thing, that will never happen. There is no hard right or wrong, no natural polarization of the issue where one side vanquishes the other in a supreme and deadly assault of logic.

As has been said before me (and as I've taken to heart in the last few years in my life), I'd rather be happy than right.


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Postby Guest » 10/23/02 02:10 PM

"If you wield them like a cudgel, people will think you are callow, misguided or worse. If you use them well, people will be forced to give weight to your opinions."
The choice is yours." says Brian


You and Lance are basically right.

Still (perhaps it's my youthful naivety) I sometimes feel it's a shame reality isn't always decided by reality but by who is the better communicator or 'convincer'. Who ever talks best ends up creating the truth people remember.

I tend to think of Lawyers (O.J. trial?) or all the sales copy experts on tv who pore over each and every word for hours to have maximum manipulative impact on their prospective buyer. They're trying to sell products; here we're trying to 'sell' our veiws...

On the topic of sales copy experts and vocab as a potential manipulative technique an image of Tyler Durden from the film 'Fight Club' popped into my head :

Tyler Durden: Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate, so we can buy [censored] we don't need.

Tyler Durden: Do you know what a "duvet" is?
Narrator: it's a comforter...
Tyler Durden: It's a blanket. Just a blanket.

Is there a danger when clever word selection has the power to convince people of what they beileive? Hitler probably had a great vocab. So while the 'writing is thinking'phrase may be true, what if ones thinking is wrong?

Don't get me wrong your two last posts are very true in almost every way. That comment I made was wack.

just thoughts,


Postby Guest » 10/23/02 02:44 PM

Originally posted by Brian Wendell Morton:

I've got a few nits to pick with you here, logic-wise.

I've seen Ricky's show, and yes, he juggles. It's not magic-- it's juggling. :cool:
Now look at the last line of my original post at the top of this thread. Am I not correct that if you universally diss juggling you're dissing Ricky Jay? You and Richard admit he juggles.

Now you may still like him and his show but you're dissing him if you diss the art of juggling. I just thought you all should know that.
Now was I saying YOU dislike juggling, not necessarily. IF you dislike juggling...

Postby Lance Pierce » 10/23/02 02:47 PM


I like to think that people like Brian and myself attend to form AND content. I've heard my share of eloquent BS in my life, to be sure, so I understand your concern. It's hopefully not hard to discern, though, that we're being sincere and open with you.

I hope someday you and I get to sit down with each other and have a session...not to try to determine who's right, but to share and create some magic. I think that would be fun.

As for this:

Am I not correct that if you universally diss juggling you're dissing Ricky Jay?
...no, I don't think that logic holds, any more than if someone were to "dis" guitars and our proposing that that was an insult to Eric Clapton. It's not. Ricky juggles in his shows, but Ricky isn't a "juggler." He's much, much more than that. In fact, he's quite more than the sum of his parts, just as any magician or performer should be.


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