Trouble on The Magic Cafe

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Guest » 07/05/07 10:22 PM

A very strange message has been sent to all members who subscribe to "The Little Darlings" area of "The Magic Cafe." It appears that since it has been sent out, none of the professionals children's entertainers are posting there any longer. I really do not know what to make of it. It seems all wrong to me that freedom of speech should be so curtailed, even though it is a private forum. What do others think? Here is the message:

"This is being sent to most of the members that contribute to the Little darlings forum. It is not directed at any one individual but is a general comment to all.

First of all, no forum on the Caf is set up for arguments, flaming, finger pointing, inuendo and fighting including the let's make a deal forum.

In the last 6 months or so, these situations have become more and more previlant in Let's make a deal and it's reached the point where the forum is in jeopardy of being removed from the Caf. Those of you that have been here for awhile may remember the Sweet and Sour forum which was set up to discuss dealers. It got so far out of hand with flaming and arguing that it was removed several years ago.

The forums are set up so that everyone can offer their opinions, suggestions and advice and it is not a place for those things to be attacked. It is quite evident that some of you either don't like Kidabra or it's members and take every chance to place a cloud over them. Gentlemen, this approach has to stop and it has to stop now. Careers have been jeopardized, good contributing members have left the Caf and those that do not participate in such discussions are tired of reading about the disputes.

The most recent topic is the Cadaver vs Kidabra thread. This topic doesn't even belong in the Little darlings forum. We have a forum specifically set for Kidabra but some of you don't take advantage of it. I guess you would rather launch your attacks and make insulting comments in a forum not frequented by those that could defend the positions.

Some of you continually voice your objections and criticisms of staff actions in editing and deleting posts. My suggestion to all of you is that you re-read the rules for posting. You obviously have never read them, choose to not follow them or need to refresh your memories. No degree of flaming is ever allowed. Name calling whether outright or by inuendo is childish and not allowed as well.

Some of you use every topic to bring up old news and dirt about our members, Kidabra and anyone who defends them. Many topics began very nicely but quickly turn to arguments. You defend those arguments as debates which is a smoke screen. If you have an issue with another member, take it off line and handle it with them privately. The rest of the community isn't interested in immature comments and actions. This is the Little darlings forum and I dare say that a large majority of the kids you are talking about could give you lessons in maturity.

If all you can do is criticize actions taken, flame other members, and make insinuating comments, then I'd suggest you stop posting altogether. The Caf will not suffer one way or the other and the lack of such postings will bring the forum back to it's original intent. The forum is for discussions about performing for children and a place to stroke your individual ego's.

Going forward, we will not tolerate ANY flaming, inuendo, fighting, arguing or personal attacks. Topics which use those tactics will be deleted and no explanation given as they violate our rules. If you don't like the rules or can't follow them, then by all means, find a place that will support your attempts. The Caf is not that place.

This message is not meant to degrade or defend anyone. It's an attempt to bring the Caf back to it's goal of magicians helping magicians. If you take offense, then so be it and it might be time for you to think about why you are here.

You're all adults and it's time you started acting like it. This is not a day care center and the staff does not have time to babysit your childish actions."

JR
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/05/07 10:25 PM

We'll be happy to create a home for all the professional children's entertainers out there who want a vibrant board to discuss the issues which concern them. :)
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 10:54 PM

You're all adults and it's time you started acting like it. This is not a day care center and the staff does not have time to babysit your childish actions."
That bit puzzles me as I thought the green joint didn't have an age requirement...
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 10:58 PM

Thank you Richard. I am alerting my colleagues and children's entertainers worldwide. I have felt for some time that there should be an area of The Genii Forum devoted to professional children's entertainers. If this takes off, I believe it will be a huge success. As I am sure you know, I met you in Blackpool two years ago when I flew out from Arizona to be the featured Children's lecturer at the convention. I also lectured at The Magic Circle on the Monday night, and met you there. For those who are not Circle members, I wrote a column "Circling The World" when Pete McCahon was editor of The Circular. By the way, you friend Matthew is doing a great job with that publication.

Thank you again, Richard. You are the best!!! JR www.comicmagician.com
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 11:22 PM

Thank you Richard, this is why I love you. We children performers often are looked down upon because we entertain by dropping hankies while the rest of you do that fancy sleight of hand stuff. The thing is there are a bunch of us and we are out there performing our little hearts out and bringing magic to more people than any other type of magic every week. I appreciate you starting a childrens performers forum and will be an active member.

I have one last thing to say. Is it just me but on the new Monk commercial does the Monk bobbing head doll look more like Richard Kaufman than it does Monk?
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 01:50 AM

I had Steve over to drop hankies at my last birthday party and he was a big hit. And I mean a BIG hit.

So I'm all for it.
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 02:51 AM

Am I here? I'm here! How did I get here?

Where am I? JR is this the place?
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 07:34 AM

Chad,,,,you are here! I wonder if Richard has an idea what this area should be called. I think it would be great if members were to come up with suggestions. :help: JR
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/06/07 08:16 AM

I've just asked our webmaster, Brad Aldridge, to create a new category in the "Tricks and Illusions" area to be called: Children's Entertainment.
He should be able to do it within the next day or two.
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 08:41 AM

That is great, Richard! I think that a large void will be filled, and I look forward to contributing. JR
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 09:35 AM

JR, your vision of free speech is puzzling.

Why would any forum want to encourage "arguments, flaming, finger pointing, innuendo, and personal attacks"?

At the same time, thank you, Richard and Brad, for creating a new Genii Forum category.
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 11:53 AM

I'm just guessing but I don't think that is his version of Free Speech.

What I gather is that when an argument does occur, posts that do not agree with the current political stance of the website get deleted, and the thread gets locked. Once locked, the thread often looks very different than where it ended up before the cleansing. Quite convenient for some. Certainly not an accurate representation of the original thread.

To make matters worse, posts that do remain are often edited, sometimes completely altering the intent of those posts.

This is not unique to the Kids Magic thread. There was a thread started by Jamie Grant asking "why all the hate" regarding the new Street Magic Magazine. People were mostly giving answers that were not popular and not in favor of the magazine. James Clark wrote a very childish and defensive post that was replete with special characters throughout: (@#$^@$%^@$%&^@$%^@$%^@$^@). I was quite impressed.

Once it was realized that James made a huge mistake and looked childish, combined with the negative nature of almost all the posts, out came the mop-up crew. . .
After the cleansing, the locked thread had a completely different tone.
A complete 180.

It's frightening to me that a thread that takes a natural path, as ugly as it might be, gets stopped, edited (to suit an advertiser perhaps?), the intent reversed, and locked so no further views may be expressed.

Look at it now:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... orum=227&8

This is NOT how this thread looked and in no way is indicative of the feelings of the original posters. Clark's childish post has been removed, all the negativity has been removed, explanations to Jamie (bless his heart) as to why all the hate have been removed, and now it's just a benign "It's always hard at first. Go get'em tiger" thread.

For all the good the website does, this is something I really think needs to be addressed.
I'll admit that having paid advertisers makes it tricky.
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 12:06 PM

I think a section devoted to Entertaining Children would be a good addition to the Genii Forum.

Other than that, who cares what happens on the Magic Cafe?

Why are we wasting time and bandwidth discussing it?
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 03:55 PM

"Other than that, who cares what happens on the Magic Cafe?

Why are we wasting time and bandwidth discussing it?" :sleep:


On this matter, I would agree David. The ridiculous editing that has gone on whenever the professional entertainers have come out with the truth about entertaining kids is nothing short of a disgrace. This is why so many are leaving their ranks. Let us move on to new and more welcoming pastures. JR
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Postby JKeppel » 07/07/07 12:18 PM

Ah, its discussions like this that make me remember the "Magic Circle Jerk" blog. I wonder what ever happened to him.
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 02:36 PM

The Cafe has way too many rules and I for one am getting tired of it.
They call it "Magicians Helping Magicians", but whatever you do, do not, and I repeat do not give a link to E-Bay if anyone is looking for something and you know it is for sell on E-Bay. You will get a reprimand from the chiefs and your post will be deleted..Freedom of Speech, right...
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 08:00 PM

"Ah, its discussions like this that make me remember the "Magic Circle Jerk" blog. I wonder what ever happened to him."

I am sorry, JK, but I am not familiar with "The Magic Circle Jerk" blog. Please can you enlighten me? I am an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle Gold Star, and an overseas member. I am always interested in these things. Thanks! JR
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 08:25 PM

TMC has it issues...
personally i don't think steve likes me.

He also won't move the Women's section
to a better place.

We are "Odds & Ends"
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Postby JKeppel » 07/07/07 09:43 PM

Roger, "The Magic Circle Jerk" was a blog about magic that ran about a year and a half. It was run by someone who was kicked off of The Magic Cafe and it was hysterical. The Guy gave his comments about magic no holds barred and it was always good for a laugh. It up and dissapeared last november and unfortunatly you cant even view the archives anyomre. I dont know who the guy was in reality and there were MANY rumors about who it really was. Where ever this guy is now I salute him and miss his humor.
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 09:50 PM

(this is a thread about 'strange things happening at the Magic Cafe, thus my post is on topic and part of the exchange....please don't ask me why I'm posting about the Cafe!)

The big joke about the Cafe is all the bleating and crying from various management types about how the Cafe is beyond having to answer for anything because it's free, and it's Steve who pays for everything.
The presumption is that because Steve pays for everything, nobody who visits the Cafe deserves to be treated like the customers they are, but rather like annoying children, unwelcome and dirty.

As a matter of fact, if you raise your voice or ask any questions you're immediately threatened with either being kicked out for a month, or kicked out for good if you don't shut up and do as you're told.

Why are the Cafe users customers you ask?......as opposed to The Genii Forum where we are all, in fact, guests of the management?

Because there's many thousands of dollars worth of advertising on the Cafe every month. It's the Cafe users who visit and read those banner adds......that makes folks who visit customers. Every 10 banner ads equals around $1000.00.
There's around $4000.00 worth of banner ads each month on the opening page ALONE, and there's hundreds more banner ads strewn throughout the rest of the forums.

It's time somebody said this...........despite all the Cafe rhetoric otherwise generally indicating that all Cafe users are in effect freeloading whiners who need to shut up and follow the forumula because Steve alone pays for all of this, and all us content creators are nothing more than trash.......
SOMEBODY IS MAKING A BLEEDING FORTUNE OFF THE CAFE!!

So what's a magician to do?

In the end, folks DO need to thank the people who set up these boards and forums, especially when they let us access them at no charge.
In return, management of the boards needs to understand that the folks who visit in turn provide most of the CONTENT to the forums, and therefore are a HUGE factor in the success of the board in question.

In the end it is what it always is....when everybody respects each other it all works as it should.
The Cafe management stopped respecting all the Cafe users a few years ago when the Cafe reached critical mass.

The Cafe no longer has to worry about one or two (or even 50) unhappy users.

Those users who may not be happy at any given point in time don't stop the ten grand or so worth of advertising from flowing through the Cafe coffers every month......and for the folks that run the place, it's all about that $10,000.00......it's not about the folks who create 100% of the content that makes that ten grand possible.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 01:16 AM

Because there's many thousands of dollars worth of advertising on the Cafe every month. It's the Cafe users who visit and read those banner adds......that makes folks who visit customers.
Isn't it the other way round?

The visitors pay no money to the Cafe, so they are not its customers. Who pays money to the Cafe? Only the advertisers do. So:

- The advertisers are the Cafe's customers.

What is the product being sold to the advertisers? You are.

- The visitors' ad-viewing eyeballs are the commodity which the Cafe sells to its customers, the advertisers.

It's the same model as TV, except the Cafe doesn't have to pay money for its eyeball-attracting bait (er, content). As you note, that's created gratis by the users. The Cafe does pay for the TV-land equivalent of studio and equipment for content creation, though, as well as for the broadcast equipment.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:11 AM

It was run by someone who was kicked off of The Magic Cafe and it was hysterical.
I believe i know exactly who you are talking about.
I'll have to ask him about it...
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:14 AM

Funnily enough, I used to have a banner ad on the Cafe last year, advertising my limited range of products. After two months of advertising, I was told I was not allowed to renew the ad. No reason was given. I was throwing money at them, and they were not accepting it! Go figure! JR
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:16 AM

It could be the other way around Ted, it depends on how broad you want to go with the word 'customer'.

I don't pay to walk into Walmart either, and yet I'm a customer when I'm in there.

Either way, the Cafe is a rather depressing place these days.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 02:12 PM

"If Richard chooses to set up a forum on this board for children's entertainers, that is his prerogative. I hope it is wildly successful. There are things that are tolerated on the Genii Forum that aren't on the Cafe'. That is also Richard's call."

Hello Amos! On the above statement, I totally agree. However, I disagree with everything else you said in your post. If you have had a great experiece on the Cafe, that is wonderful. I would never want to take that experiece away from you. However, many have not had good experiences over there, especially on "The Little Darlings." That is why I am very excited that Richard has agreed to open up a new area on this forum for the discussion of the popular arena of children's entertainment. I look forward to it, as I am sure many others do. JR
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/08/07 05:49 PM

There are things that are tolerated on the Genii Forum that aren't on the Cafe'.
Honesty, for example.

Regardless, we should all quit griping and appreciate these folks taking the time and investing the money so that we can have a place to socialize
Bull. The Cafe is a business, and a shady business at that. Kids come in bright eyed and eager to learn about magic and they get hyped and hoaxed into buying over-priced garbage dreamed up in mom's garage by the latest internet magic celebrity.

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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 06:03 PM

I enjoyed chatting briefly with Richard at the SAM Convention, and I believe that he welcomes almost any topic of interest to Genii members, controversial or otherwise...

opie
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/08/07 06:09 PM

Opie, good to see you and I loved your rubber band routine (to swerve off the topic). Send me that good part for Genii!!!
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:10 PM

Thanks, Richard.....I will try to get with Ramone Galindo to do the video next week......Thank you for asking.....opie
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 10:46 AM

I'm late into the conversation, but I did have a weird experience with Magic Cafe as well. I joined them a few months ago... Didn't get to post much because of my schedule. Finally got around to checking the forum. I saw Cody Fisher was on all week. No one was writing to him!

Cody posted that we could talk to him about anything, didn't have to be his magic. So, having a relatively new website of my own. I asked him about products and business advice, as well as advertising.

I was permanently banned. Come on! How can we talk about the business if we can't talk about the business?!? I guess it's because I'm not some naive 14 year old from Idaho. I'm looking for a place where I'm allowed to talk and ask questions!
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 08:26 PM

I don't pay to walk into Walmart either, and yet I'm a customer when I'm in there.
Nope. Walking into WalMart makes you a potential customer, or perhaps a former customer.

Buying something makes you a customer.

Watching a commercial doesn't make you a customer, and neither does reading the occasional banner ad.
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 08:39 PM

Potential customer, past customer, customer.....all semantics for the topic under discussion.

Ask any Walmart employee and they'll tell you that they're told never to forget that every single human being in that store that's breathing is a customer.
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 10:15 PM

Alright:

My first and ONLY experience with the "Crap-Ass Cafe" (copyright castawaydave 2007) was during a period when Mike Ammar was scheduled to answer questions.

They requested queries in advance of his appearance, so I asked about his handlings of The Gallo Pitch, which I had seen Mr. Ammar demonstrate during an early-80s lecture, but could not recall the details. I was one of the first people to add a question.

After a week or two of build-up, there were maybe 50 or 100 questions listed; to-which the Maestro began posting brief answers.
He literally responded to ONLY the most-recent posts.

After a few days of his responding ONLY to the most-recent queries (say, #80-#100) I wrote back saying something to the tune of, "Perhaps you could answer some of the earlier questions in the thread?"

Evidently, that was horrbily-rude heresy beyond the pale, and my posts were immediately eliminated.

I have never-again logged-onto that piss-poor site.

Magic Cafe, my ass.
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 10:20 PM

Note: that should have read "horribly rude"...I just washed my hands and I can't do a thing with 'em (har har!) :p
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Postby Guest » 07/16/07 11:42 AM

I must say I am comforted by the fact that I am not the only person to have had a bad experience with the green place! It really is quite extroardinary the number of professionals who have been banned over there for speaking their minds, and imparting priceless knowledge. It is wonderful that the new "Children's Entertainment" area of the Genii is only one week old today, and is already attracting a lot of interest and good creative discussion! JR
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Postby John LeBlanc » 07/16/07 02:27 PM

I'm not going to make excuses for Steve Brooks or The Magic Cafe -- it's not my board or my place. Although I've had my share of irritations over various issues and threads, I'll just say that my dealings with Steve have left me with the impression he does his best to do the right thing, and that's all one can expect from another person.

But I will say two things in general: as anyone who has done it will tell you, running a discussion board of any size can be a royal PITA from time to time; and there's always three sides to every story. Given the amount of traffic over at the Cafe, someone's toes will be stepped on from time to time.

Anyone who thinks they can do a better job of running a board is always free to start up their own. Experience is the best teacher of humility.

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Postby Guest » 07/16/07 06:20 PM

"I'm not going to make excuses for Steve Brooks or The Magic Cafe"

In my humble opinion, John, you just did! JR
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/16/07 07:46 PM

I'd like the part of this conversation that involves crapping on The Magic Cafe to be finished now. Thanks.
Running this little Forum is, in fact, a BIG pain in the tush. My definition of purgatory would be to run a big board like The Magic Cafe. Better them than me!
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Postby Guest » 07/16/07 08:55 PM

Thank you Richard.
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Postby Guest » 08/22/07 06:46 PM

I too have walked away from the cafe. After years on being on as a regular, I had a small dispute with the management. I was threatened with being kicked out. My answer was to just walk away. I leave it to the 12 year olds to take control.

It started off great but has gone down hill fast. May it rest in peace.
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