The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

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Dustin Stinett
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The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 12th, 2014, 7:46 pm


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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby erdnasephile » October 12th, 2014, 8:28 pm

"Magic City" Interesting.

Why do so many mainstream articles on magic seem to be written with a barely concealed undertone of mockery?

(Yes, the question is meant to be rhetorical lest someone cite the picture on that webpage.)

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby brianarudolph » October 12th, 2014, 8:42 pm

Their Minister of Propaganda paid $50 to learn the thumb thing?

Someone's going to become a millionaire teaching this guy the ball vase, the color vision box, the spiked coin, penny to dime, and the Svengali deck.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 12th, 2014, 8:58 pm

All I could think of while reading this was the booth across from the Genii booth at the IBM/SAM convention (a Chinese company known for its pirating that somehow made it into the dealer's room, but that's another story). They had a big box full of appearing canes at $2 each. They looked just like $2 appearing canes.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby John Signa » October 12th, 2014, 11:45 pm

And every morning and afternoon they had to refill the box of $2-looking appearing canes.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 13th, 2014, 8:02 am

Dustin, you left out the part about them selling counterfeit Morgan silver dollars, a federal offense.
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Brad Jeffers » October 13th, 2014, 12:09 pm

brianarudolph wrote:Their Minister of Propaganda paid $50 to learn the thumb thing?
Someone's going to become a millionaire teaching this guy the ball vase, the color vision box, the spiked coin, penny to dime, and the Svengali deck.


Rumor has it that an enterprising Massachusetts fellow has already made plans to open a shop in Changping.

The Huang Lee Chinese Magic Store.

No check or cash accepted ... credit card only. :roll:

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby erdnasephile » October 13th, 2014, 12:11 pm

That's funny!

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby MJLauck » October 14th, 2014, 10:19 am

In all seriousness, the Chinese people love magic. I did some work in China a few years ago and spent almost three weeks in Shanghai. Every single day I was able to find magic on television, despite having a limited amount of channels. Every day, even though I did not have a TV guide!

I hope that guy didn't really pay $50 for that trick... I hope it was 50 yuan (which is like 8 or 9 bucks). It is was $50 then maybe I need to go back! I need to shake the rust off my Mandarin anyway. Anybody up for a roadtrip?
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 14th, 2014, 10:26 am

not called Mandarin - that's pre-revolution - Standard (or official)
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby observer » October 14th, 2014, 6:21 pm

Mandarin = "Standard Chinese"? That probably goes over real well with (for example) the 60,000,000 people who speak Cantonese ...

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 14th, 2014, 9:08 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Dustin, you left out the part about them selling counterfeit Morgan silver dollars, a federal offense.

Those were unbelievable—at least in looks. Anyone who bought those is probably kicking themselves about now. My fingers were black after just looking through them for a couple of minutes. I cannot imagine what they would look like after a Coins Across routine. But in looks and weight, those "coins" were perfect. I'm surprised no one dropped dime on them; but I guess no one wanted the feds running around the dealers' room!

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 14th, 2014, 10:30 pm

observer wrote:Mandarin = "Standard Chinese"? That probably goes over real well with (for example) the 60,000,000 people who speak Cantonese ...


Take it up with the PRC.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Chinese

Curious to see what their magic city produces.
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 14th, 2014, 11:03 pm

We are NOT going to have a debate about linguistics in this thread.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby observer » October 15th, 2014, 9:44 am

Sorry! That was meant to be political, not linguistic. But no doubt any non-Mandarin speaker agitating for a less hegemonistic term than "Standard Chinese" would receive a totally fair trial before being sent to a re-education facility ...

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 15th, 2014, 10:14 am

observer wrote:...a totally fair trial before being sent to a re-education facility ...


That would be a different take on "Hogwarts" . Magic cities as places to send kids to learn skillz and also explain some of the grouchiness of the teachers who were sent there - to properly educate the next generation(s). Wonder if they'd use literature in their coloring/blow books? A version of Les Miserables in the works?
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 15th, 2014, 10:40 am

observer wrote:That was meant to be political, not linguistic.

And political discussions, generally, are a no-no on this site.

In regard to China—given its form of government—the rule can be bent some since the state controls everything and it does little to nothing to stop piracy. And that the state is apparently running magic is the point of this thread. But pretty much everything else is out of bounds please—unless you can somehow evoke the vision of a lone dissenter standing down an armored vehicle loaded with deadly $2 appearing canes.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby MJLauck » October 15th, 2014, 11:03 am

If you want to be technical it is probably most often called "guo yu" (with the appropriate tone marks), which means "the national language" as Mandarin is a western term... but we are speaking English! Standard is often, at least in my experience dealing with people in Taiwan, the mainland, Hong Kong and other places, used to refer to simplified or modern WRITTEN Chinese as opposed to the traditional (or complex) style of characters because the mainland government standardized and simplified the characters in a push for literacy. And there are so many more dialects than just Mandarin and Cantonese (and sub-dialects of those two)... almost 300 recognized by some counts! There are several TV channels in China showing the same popular shows dubbed into specific dialects along with that dialect's traditional folk music concerts. Not to push this into a linguistic debate, but to help illustrate what a huge market is available in China.

If any magicians want to tap into China, speaking the language is not required. However, it will help to endear you to the people you meet. Having a grasp on a few Mandarin phrases can really open doors or even lower prices (that happened more than once when buying food from street vendors) and many people are eager to try out their English. I found that even in instances which found me unable to grasp someone's dialect they could typically understand my Beijing-based Mandarin pronunciation of words (Shanghai is technically a Mandarin speaking zone but they are like the Boston or even Edinburgh of China with a heavy accent of its own). In fact, the only real language issues I had were with the other guests in my hotel because it catered to Japanese business people and my Japanese pretty much begins and ends with "Dragonball Z!"
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby MJLauck » October 15th, 2014, 11:11 am

Dustin Stinett wrote:[the state controls everything and it does little to nothing to stop piracy. And that the state is apparently running magic is the point of this thread.


That is sadly true.... Hollywood movies that came out in the US on the day before I left were being sold on the street as DVDs in full color cases with barcodes and shrink wrap when I arrived! Had I not known better I would have never realized they were pirated. However, copies of Chinese music CDs (which the state has an interest in) was sold on blank CD-Rs with the titles scribbled on with Sharpie. When the police came around, those music vendors packed up and left while the DVD vendors did not even blink!

I am more than a little nervous to see what happens with piracy and magic products given China's official interest in magic.
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 15th, 2014, 11:21 am

If you're in Bejing talking to officials then go ahead and use their version of Chinese. When in Rome etc.

One of the questions that occurred is how technical magic related language will develop in their magic city.
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby MJLauck » October 16th, 2014, 9:44 am

That is actually a great question. I was there working in the pro-audio electronics industry, and although assigned a translator at work, found that she did not know many of the engineering terms that I needed and had picked up myself (not just concepts, but names of parts such as IC, diode or vacuum tube!).

Maybe I should write the first Magical Chinese-English Dictionary... I'll thank you on the dedication page Jonathan!
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 16th, 2014, 12:46 pm

As they do more in magic they will express what's important to them in ways which work for them - developing the language they need.
I'm awaiting their discoveries and how they express ideas :)
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 16th, 2014, 7:38 pm

The Chinese government is well aware of the piracy problems.

Things can't really get worse than they are now as far as magic is concerned. Everything is bootlegged over there. If the government decides to crack down and removes all the bootlegs from Alibaba, and tells the magic vendors to stop stealing stuff or go to jail, progress WILL be made.
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby P.T.Widdle » November 3rd, 2014, 10:54 am

If the future of magic is in the hands of the Chinese, one hopes that the instruction of it will not resemble or be influenced by Keju, the "centrally administered examination system" that is currently sucking the creativity out of that country's students, and sadly, trying to be emulated here in the U.S.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archive ... ign=buffer

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 3rd, 2015, 12:47 pm

An American response, courtesy of The Daily Show:
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/t9y01 ... re_twitter

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby erdnasephile » July 22nd, 2017, 11:28 am

The link above has changed. Here's the new link (the video is still hilarious! For some reason, that dude pulling jumbo Chinese money from his sleeve cracks me up)

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/t9y012/th ... r-illusion

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 22nd, 2017, 11:45 am

This is just one of many projects that the Chinese government (or local politicians) try to get rolling and stall out. I was there at the outset and from my understanding not much has been done yet. And it's been years.
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 23rd, 2017, 10:11 am

The Chinese knock off folks managed to get past defenses and into the dealer's room at the IBM/SAM convention in Kentucky?

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 23rd, 2017, 11:36 am

erdnasephile wrote: For some reason, that dude pulling jumbo Chinese money from his sleeve cracks me up

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/t9y012/th ... r-illusion


Yes, LOL! I think what really makes it funny is that it's not meant to be funny.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 23rd, 2017, 12:26 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:The Chinese knock off folks managed to get past defenses and into the dealer's room at the IBM/SAM convention in Kentucky?


Perhaps the powers that be were plied with knock off sour mash whiskey...

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 23rd, 2017, 1:56 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:The Chinese knock off folks managed to get past defenses and into the dealer's room at the IBM/SAM convention in Kentucky?


Perhaps the powers that be were plied with knock off sour mash whiskey...


Yes--distilled in the back woods of Kentucky.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby erdnasephile » July 23rd, 2017, 3:21 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:The Chinese knock off folks managed to get past defenses and into the dealer's room at the IBM/SAM convention in Kentucky?


In the major conventions, do the dealer room administrators typically do anything if the registered dealers are selling knock-offs? Is there some sort of dealers' contract they sign specifying what they can/cannot sell?

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 23rd, 2017, 3:43 pm

While there is often some wording in the contract a dealer has to sign about not selling copies (the legal issues are murky, trust me--it's generally not a simple answer), it is usually ignored. We try to do better at the Genii convention where possible.
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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 23rd, 2017, 11:26 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:The Chinese knock off folks managed to get past defenses and into the dealer's room at the IBM/SAM convention in Kentucky?


Perhaps the powers that be were plied with knock off sour mash whiskey...


Yes--distilled in the back woods of Kentucky.


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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby Steve Mills » July 24th, 2017, 11:05 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:While there is often some wording in the contract a dealer has to sign about not selling copies (the legal issues are murky, trust me--it's generally not a simple answer), it is usually ignored. We try to do better at the Genii convention where possible.


The older I get, the more I appreciate this quote from John Adams. Not only does it apply to our Constitution, but to our laws, in general:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Sorry for this interlude, but it just hit me this morning for some reason.
I'm a living example that if you speak softly, you will get hit by a big stick.

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Re: The Future of Magic in the Hands of...China?

Postby erdnasephile » July 24th, 2017, 11:33 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:While there is often some wording in the contract a dealer has to sign about not selling copies (the legal issues are murky, trust me--it's generally not a simple answer), it is usually ignored. We try to do better at the Genii convention where possible.


I really respect that you try to do the right thing, RK. It is a difficult situation.

As Mr. Mills was implying: if we as buying magicians weren't so cheap and unethical, this wouldn't be an issue.

(My understanding is that it isn't just the amateurs--it's always bugged me to read reports of some big name types sneaking into conventions or special fee workshops without paying. Not cool.).


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