Originally posted by Elwood T. Johnson:
Why the big deal about crediting every routine you do?...does anyone really care who invented a particular routine?
Forgive me if Im misinterpreting your post Elwood, but I think youre misunderstanding the scenario here. No one is saying you should follow up all your restaurant or nursing home performances with a tip o the hat to the Professor or anyone contributing to the success of your routine. That would be silly. Its when you start publishing or teaching that serious ethical issues arise. In addition to the excellent point Pete McCabe brought out earlier, theres an even nobler spirit behind proper crediting - gratitude. Its all about gratitude, Elwood.
You call it name dropping. I call it acknowledgement. Its the least we can do to show our appreciation for all the work thats already been done for us. Usually, thats the only repayment one receives for sharing anything with the magic community. So dont you think we should be thankful when someone saves us the trouble of being creative? Sure, some people use crediting to show off how much they know. But for the vast majority of us, I like to think that were just reminding ourselves how creativity rarely flourishes in a vacuum. Of course, its not possible to be correct 100% of the time. Oversights will happen. Opinions of provenance will differ. But showing evidence that you cared enough about the memory of your predecessors to do the extra research goes a long way toward building your credibility as an innovative performer yourself.
This holds true no matter how famous you or the people youre crediting are. Just because someone isnt a giant of the art doesnt mean they dont deserve to be remembered. Its the mark of a true lover of the art. I read your profile so maybe this illustration will hit home for you. The general public knows little if anything behind the history of the electric guitar. Nor do they really care. But true enthusiasts of the six string certainly do. Wouldnt it be wrong if the guitar players of the world paid no respect to Les Paul, Leo Fender, Floyd Rose, or even really obscure artists like Michael Hedges?
Fame may be a vanity, but its a tragedy when you're forgotten.