Originally posted by Steve Friedberg:
...Why do we do this? Does it make us feel better that someone else is getting hammered? And if it does, what does that say about us, and our self-value?
After about a fifteen year hiatus, I recently decided to visit with the NYC gang. This to see a few people who were really supportive back when. On Saturdays there they are.
If you don't mind a guess, it may be something like insecurity or lack of self worth that gets someone involved in commentary instead of creating material worthy of comment. It might even be that one person is trying to use another as a mirror of some value and gets frustrated and angry when the other person does not reflect the desired value.
When the art is 'front and center' there is not much to say about the artist. The plainest looking people have made some of the most beautiful and useful things. The works become the subject of discussion.
Getting back to the story... my agenda involved finding some folks from way back when named Fernando Roman and David Arthur. What I found was the core of the group was intact. And some new faces were there looking for inspiration and insight. Some brought their wants. Others brought their latest findings and questions.
For the durration of the visit there was no bashing or criticism of other magicians. If you get to NYC, get in touch with someone and visit the gang on Saturday.
If there is no group like this near you, then you may have to found one. This probably means setting your sights on what is virtuous and praising it and letting the stuff that could be improved wait until asked for options.
Also not amused by mean commentary
PS Funny about Ammar. I saw his lecture in 83 and really liked the deck->cased deck trick. He said it was not his. His book credits the trick. And it looked really good when he did it. That's the image that comes to mind when I read his name.