You posted your story on a public forum -- ostensibly encouraging others to offer their thoughts on that story. We offered our honest views of the situation as you had presented it. Nothing that we said was ad hominem
-- every word was a comment upon the single decision that was under discussion. Negative adjectives were certainly used to describe this single action -- none were used to describe you
Indeed the first -- and only!
-- occurence of any name-calling or ad hominem
comes in this excerpt from your post in which you first call us "misanthropes" and then proceed to rattle off a list of demonstrably false accusations:
I did not share this so that a couple of misanthropes could accuse me of rape, or of writing pornography for the Penthouse Forum, or of being sleazy.
I have used the word "sleazy" in this thread once
-- to describe an easy pitfall for all
magicians, a category in which I certainly include myself. Your claim that I called you "sleazy" is simply fantasy (control-f to verify). Further, Brad was comparing the tone
letters to your tone -- suggesting that your initial post seemed to treat your audience members as objects in the manner that PH letters treat women as objects. Nothing in his post accuses you of writing pornography
! Likewise, his use of the word "rape" was clearly figurative -- no one is accusing you of rape.
You have said that you made a mistake, I have said that you made a mistake (while going out of my way to emphasize similar mistakes that I have made
) -- I'm having trouble seeing what the content of this "attack" is.
As for my being "wont" to attack: I have been participating in online discussions of magic for about 10 years now. In that time I have probably participated in thousands of threads. I have been accused of making a personal attack in three
of those threads. Two
involved you. The first time was when you bragged about having created the definitive version of a card plot -- only to reveal that you had not bothered to research the seminal versions of that plot and that you could not articulate the effect that you intended to create. The second was when you came on and appeared to be bragging about bringing a woman to tears during a performance.
Misanthrope though I be, I am glad that you and Jill are friends and that all is well. Of course, it is worth remembering that her being "offended" was never the issue. The issue (and it is far smaller than you are making it out to be) was yanking a spectator out of the moment by needlessly recalling a deeply felt personal fear.
Both Brad and I have offered up beginings to conversations that are universally relevant to mystery entertainers: I think that the problem of the ease with which magic comes off as sleazy, patronizing, and trivial is one that deserves some thought; I also think that Brad's comments about the way that we use symbolism in our acts is particularly important and worthy of greater discussion.
I had the pleasure of spending an evening last May with one of your mentors. I shared a meal with Johnny Ace Palmer, had an interesting discussion, showed him a few "works in progress," and had the tremendous pleasure of seeing him work live for laymen at a restaurant. He is a kind, warm, and extremely giving gentleman -- and a strong performer. You have Johnny's respect, and from that I know that you deserve respect. I say this only to point out that I have nothing personal against you and that none of my comments about your posts should be taken as comments about you
I take honesty from others, always, as a sign of virtue. I consider flattery to be one of the greatest disservices that can be done to another -- an act that lays one of the foundations for mediocrity, hubris, and vice. Should I ever offer lectures to the community, publish my work, or post about these kinds of experiences; I can only hope that the rest of the community will be kind enough to be as honest in their responses to me as I have been to you.