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Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 14th, 2014, 8:08 pm
by Eric Fry

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 9:29 am
by NYCJoePItt
Label me as you must, but I hope this type of 'humanitarian magic' doesn't become a trend. It simply put a pit in my stomach.

Here old man, let me break up your walking cane into several pieces. No don't fret, poof, here (appearing cane) it is!

Here hungry soup-kitchen person, let me make your bowl of soup disappear. No worries, here is my cup and ball routine that ends with three pieces of fresh fruit just for you!

I think there are better ways of entertaining and helping those in need that do not start with the "kicking a man when he's down" routine.

I realize that this TnR routine is a classic in magic and that street magic and reality TV are hot right now, but this particular stunt did not appeal to me. Am I alone in this?

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 9:38 am
by Jonathan Townsend
Don't forget to bring a camera crew with lights and bystanders to their misery.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 10:22 am
by MManchester
It does seem quite exploitive, as if their homelessness or misfortune are mere props for the magic performance.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 10:41 am
by Still learning
I think it is obvious that this was prearranged.

Also, as of a few minutes ago, almost $40K has been raised in donations.

http://www.gofundme.com/fd33hs

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 11:19 am
by Eric Fry
If it was prearranged, it was with some kind of consent. Even then, it's exploitive.

The whole thing shows the extremely strange, random nature of charity when a society isn't well-organized to provide social services but is well-organized to record everything on camera for large audiences. This man will get $40,000-plus while others get spare change. I'm assuming the homeless man and his plight are real.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 11:25 am
by NCMarsh
Viral video is one of the great opportunities of our time. You don't have to wait for the gatekeepers at Ed Sullivan or Johnny Carson to bless you -- create something that is compelling enough that people want to share it with their friends, and you can be in front of an audience of millions and it can be a huge boon to careers (Bieber, anyone).

This was an enterprising performer who found a way to grow his platform and put attention on an issue. I see where he was coming from, and $40k is concrete help, but yes -- I also see how it can look patronizing, exploitative, and a touch creepy.

I respect the creativity, ad agencies with teams of creative people can be tasked to create something viral and fail. For someone to set out to create a viral marketing piece and end up on CNN, Huffington Post, etc. is a major success. So well done, but I definitely have mixed feelings about the messages it sends.

N

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 11:28 am
by Jonathan Townsend
Eric Fry wrote:... Even then, it's exploitive.

The whole thing shows the extremely strange, random nature of charity ...


Visions of a stage act staged in a homeless shelter... miser's dream reframed as plucking coins to give to the needy...

utopian sentimentalism?

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 11:53 am
by Roger M.
This guys very late to the "magicians exploiting the homeless" party.
David Blaine already did that gig a few years ago. It was creepy when Blaine did it, as it's creepy when this guy does it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kl9tdu7qRA
As much as I admire Blaine, this was a low for him.

Actually, "creepy" is an understatement. A more effective word might be "sick".

There are far more humanitarian and effective things any one person can do for the underprivileged than a pointless magic trick.

Why some magicians insist on perpetuating the consistently low level of respect for magic and magicians by doing thoughtless and inane things like this remains a mystery to me.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 12:14 pm
by mrgoat
Eric Fry wrote:If it was prearranged, it was with some kind of consent. Even then, it's exploitive.


So, when they use footage of dying children in africa, or abused kids in america, or birds covered in oil or whatever on charity commercials, are those people being exploited too?

$40k has been raised already. Pretty good if you ask me.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 1:13 pm
by Eric Fry
Yes and no. If a charity uses a lot of its contributions for its own salaries, it is exploitive. In this case, the magician garnered publicity for himself, aggrandizing his career.

The stunt is exploitive even though the homeless man benefited from it.

It's unfortunate that a benefit performance would have attracted much less money than a viral stunt.

One of the quirks of viral videos is they benefit or hurt individuals or small numbers of people. So this man is helped but not homeless people in general. Or a family that couldn't pay for their child's funeral gets an outpouring of money, and so on.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 1:53 pm
by mrgoat
Eric Fry wrote:
The stunt is exploitive even though the homeless man benefited from it.


I tell you this, I bet you the $40k raised that the homeless guy would trade your perceived exploitation he allegedly suffered for the warm meals, showers and beds he got off the back off it.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 2:03 pm
by El Mago de Oh!
Ok. Let's assume that it's not prearranged, and that this guy does this, thinking that it's real a cool thing to do. Why doesn't he give him the money in his hand? Instead just leave it on the ground and bye bye. That's the main thing I don't like about this video. If your're going to be nice... Be nice, not half nice.
It is just my opinion.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 2:30 pm
by Still learning
El Mago de Oh! wrote:Ok. Let's assume that it's not prearranged, and that this guy does this, thinking that it's real a cool thing to do. Why doesn't he give him the money in his hand? Instead just leave it on the ground and bye bye. That's the main thing I don't like about this video. If your're going to be nice... Be nice, not half nice.
It is just my opinion.


After the camera stopped, the magician helped pick up the cash...


"For those who are concerned, I stuck around and picked all the money up with him after the camera stopped rolling."

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 2:53 pm
by mrgoat
El Mago de Oh! wrote:Ok. Let's assume that it's not prearranged,


But it really obviously is...so your post is kinda moot, no?

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 3:12 pm
by Brad Jeffers
Isn't the internet a wonderful thing. Formally a panhandler could only make about $400 a day, like THIS GUY or maybe $500 a day, like THIS GUY.

Now thanks to modern technology, these fellows and countless others, have the opportunity to make $40,000 in just a few days - something that previously would have taken several weeks to accomplish.

Re: Torn and Restored Homeless Man's Sign

Posted: October 15th, 2014, 7:02 pm
by NYCJoePItt
mrgoat wrote:
Eric Fry wrote:
The stunt is exploitive even though the homeless man benefited from it.


I tell you this, I bet you the $40k raised that the homeless guy would trade your perceived exploitation he allegedly suffered for the warm meals, showers and beds he got off the back off it.


But it really does nothing to counter the perceived exploitation of magicians on the down-trodden that we will get on the front of it.

The point is, is this kind of faux-entertainment-generosity behavior gives magi a bad rep in the long run.