Circles: For Jon Racherbaumer

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Postby Lisa Cousins » 08/04/02 11:36 AM

This is mostly a thank-you note to Jon Racherbaumer for drawing my attention to Emerson's essay "Circles." Jon's thought was that this would be good subject matter for a linking ring routine. I take this as a friendly challenge.

The premise of the essay is "that every action admits of being outdone." The "circles" of the title are the neat, perfect, bounded truths we create, which are inevitably subsumed by even greater truths. "The man finishes his story, - how good! how final! how it puts a new face on all things! He fills the sky." And then comes the new thing, which completely contains the supposedly sky-filling old thing. "Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit. No love can be bound by oath or covenant to secure it against a higher love. No truth so sublime but it may be trivial tomorrow in the light of new thoughts. People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them." You are not to go down clinging to the old paradigm, for "valor consists in the power of self-recovery" through life's continuous over-leaping of its own boundaries.

Is this amenable to linking ring translation? It seems to me that it would require working with rings of different sizes, so that one could be shown to contain another. If I can't pull it off, can we change the challenge to ANY Emerson essay, using ANY magical prop? As entertainment insurance, I'll be sure to wear a sparkly gown for those who can't relate to my transcendental patter.

(And for those who can.)
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 08/04/02 07:41 PM

(to be read in Homer Simpson voice)
ooooooh... sparkly gown..... ooooooh...
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 08/05/02 10:01 AM

Mitch, you crack me up. I usually see Homer's bliss sound spelled "Mmmm..." as in "Mmmm... transcendental patter...Mmmm."
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Postby Michael Edwards » 08/05/02 12:24 PM

Lisa: Would this be the same sparking gown that misdirected us as the watches vanished and reappeared? Michael
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/05/02 12:48 PM

Lisa -- I was hoping to see you in that sparkling gown in the write-up of the Magic Collector's Convention where you performed the watch trick Michael is referring to as part of the "Tricks Old and Seldom Seen" show.

But Noooooooo.

Maybe it will appear in Magicol.

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Postby Guest » 08/05/02 01:36 PM

I had no idea Art Emerson could be so eloquent. ;-)
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 08/05/02 03:09 PM

Originally posted by Michael Edwards:
Lisa: Would this be the same sparking gown that misdirected us as the watches vanished and reappeared? Michael
Michael - that piece of misdirection is the ultimate. The beadwork on the gown is so heavy that I have to be in a Mighty mood just to carry it. And then when I take it off I levitate for an hour or so. :)
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 08/05/02 03:38 PM

From Ralph Waldo Emerson to the Simpsons?
(BTW, I just finished a book about PHILOSOPHY AND THE SIMPSONS)
I wish that magicians would concentrate more on the challenges of language usage. Ricky Jay has certainly figured out ways to entertainly use the power and cogency of words.
Bob Neale even has a card trick based on a novel by Albert Camus. (THE PLAGUE)
I'm working on a packet trick based on "the banality of evil" and the Tao of Elvis.
Talk about a challenge!

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 08/05/02 08:15 PM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
I'm working on a packet trick based on "the banality of evil"...
Arendt you taking things to extremes?
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 08/06/02 10:39 AM

Nice one, Ralph Waldo Bonheim.

By the way, this is the essay that contains the ubiquitous quotation "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." When I came to it, I thought "There's an essay that goes with that thing?"

Another interesting passage in the essay is where Emerson describes two guys, one who always goes walking in the woods wearing heavy protective boots to guard against snakebite, and another who never even thinks about such a thing. "In many years neither is harmed by such an accident. Yet it seems to me, that, with every precaution you take against such an evil, you put yourself into the power of the evil."

Something to reflect on in these, our times.
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 08/06/02 10:56 AM

BTW, I just finished a book about PHILOSOPHY AND THE SIMPSONS.
Jon, because it's you I have to ask - finished reading it, or writing it? :)
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Postby John Pezzullo » 08/07/02 03:30 AM

Jon Racherbaumer wrote:

I wish that magicians would concentrate more on the challenges of language usage.
Jon's essay "Yakety-Yak Tack: Almost a Dozen Hints" is an excellent resource for those wanting to 'talk and magish'. The essay is available to members through Jon's web site:

http://JonRacherbaumer.com

There's an assortment of other 'goodies' available to members through Jon's web site. Premium membership is the way to go as you get access to the manuscripts and e-books that Jon is making available. These manuscripts and e-books alone are worth the price of membership.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 08/07/02 10:14 AM

Thanks for the kind words and plug, John.

Although I will palaver at great length about Ricky Jay in a forthcoming Genii, magicians should note and take to heart that Ricky Jay dramatically and forcefully demonstrates the power and glory of language night after night. His friend and colleague, David Mamet, also uses words to create powerful and emotional effects.

The next time anybody thinks they have "great chops," should put it to the test by standing onstage without music, cavorting assistants, rolling, floor-hugging fog, strobe lights, and hundreds of other special effects. They should see if they are able to hold and captivate an audience with what they SAY and do.

Ricky Jay does this for over an hour, not 10-15 minutes.

Yes, words are VIRILE and MAGICAL.
It's time to get with the program.

Onward...
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