Uri

Discuss the latest feature articles in Genii.
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John M. Dale
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Re: Uri

Postby John M. Dale » March 8th, 2009, 7:39 pm

David Alexander wrote:The best acts and the best shows all grew "organically."


Barefoot Boy wrote:Geller was a pioneer in Mentalism! Created a mold which stands to this day.


So, did Uri organically grow the mold he created?

Just curious.

JMD

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 8th, 2009, 8:55 pm

Please, he did not create the mold. He pandered to it.

I'd be more impressed if he started teaching how to reach people and how to know when a strategy is worth trying with an audience.

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Re: Uri

Postby Cugel » March 9th, 2009, 3:02 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Please, he did not create the mold. He pandered to it.


Fail. Fact is, Geller did redefine this genre. To deny that is bad form. No matter what you think of the man, let's try and be honest in our analysis. There's already too much rewriting of peoples places into magic history (i.e, the legions of people who were intimate acquaintances of Vernon, now that he's dead and can't refute it), so let's not start erasing what people actually DID contribute.

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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 9th, 2009, 6:57 am

So aside from the poorly argued and referenced opinion of a pseudonym, do we have any reason to treat Uri as more than a charlatan? Maybe an early adapter of the woo-woo called "new age" in our mass media. BTW, one pose in the Genii article was an interesting match to the Copperfield pic from the intro to TOOC.

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Re: Uri

Postby Brian Marks » March 9th, 2009, 11:21 am

Uri Geller put spoon bending on the map. It can be found in a suburb of Baltimore, MD.

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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 9th, 2009, 11:35 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:How about discussing the interview with Uri in Genii.


I appreciate that interview and event report making it into Genii. It says quite a bit about our community and its politics. Uri's statements seemed pretty forthright about his perspective, agenda and motivations.

IMHO a clear record of where we are and how we do things today is more valuable than wishful thinking, untested hypotheses or pages of unfounded opinions.

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Re: Uri

Postby George Olson » March 11th, 2009, 1:52 pm

My wife picked up that issue and asked why a picture of Charles Manson was on the cover....

GO

Brad Henderson
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Re: Uri

Postby Brad Henderson » March 11th, 2009, 2:12 pm

ori ashkenazy wrote:
I do however have a complaint to those who are responsible to keeping our art an honest one.

There are values that we as a society choose to live by. When people choose to call themselves magicians they are immediately defining themselves as actors playing a part - they are artists (no matter how much they stink or excell)

Would you consider giving the magic prize to a card hustler? no matter how perfect he is, I am sure you would consider your values in doing that. Or am I naive?


Lee Almond wrote:Guess there are people on this forum who praise this type of [censored]. Book a flight to Kansas and I will be more then glad to let folks here step in some.


I remember a story of two men who set out on a trip to Kansas once - to find a card hustler. I think many hold that up as an example of dedication to our art.

I assume that if we to subscribe to Ori's philosophy we should shun such characters - because to visit them, to support them, is only to encourage them to ply their trade on the unsuspecting. Center Deal, I will miss you most of all. Sorry!

How many books would vanish from our shelves - even DVDs, even?! Would our presentations have to change - lest we accidentally portray card hustling as attractive and send some innocent, sober child off on the path of pursuing ill gotten gain? Thanks Garnder/Marlo/Lorayne. I hope you sleep well at night.

Would I have to take The Sting and Cincinnati Kid out of my Net Flix cue? WE all know Hollywood is a corrupting agency, but this goes too far!!!

Of course, I could still watch Derren Brown or (more accurately) the slew of mentalists who have distanced themselves from claiming psychic powers but instead are using honest, forthright and very real psychological techniques (some even NLP) to produce their phenomena. Thankfully, there are many books and courses for sale (some very expensive, so you know they work) on these psychological skill sets, so I can learn to accomplish their demonstrations not through deception but through real, valid, scientifically tested techniques - not that hokum psychic stuff that Uri played with.

Thank god we have exited a generation of hypocrisy and entered a new era - a brighter era - of honest and socially responsible magic and mind reading.

Hear, hear.

Brad Henderson

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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 11th, 2009, 2:19 pm

Kewl, thanks Brad. So now it's okay to use a certain early twentieth century Austrian gentleman as an example of great public speaking and some Russians who hid out in France as examples of how to reorganize a country like a business?

Hmmmm maybe. I prefer to think such is not the case. But can enjoy turning straw man arguments into wicker men for their silly proponents if you like. :D

I remember a story of two men who set out on a trip to Kansas once - to find a card hustler. I think many hold that up as an example of dedication to our art.

I assume that if we to subscribe to Ori's philosophy we should shun such characters - because to visit them, to support them, is only to encourage them to ply their trade on the unsuspecting. Center Deal, I will miss you most of all. Sorry!

How many books would vanish from our shelves - even DVDs, even?! Would our presentations have to change - lest we accidentally portray card hustling as attractive and send some innocent, sober child off on the path of pursuing ill gotten gain? Thanks Garnder/Marlo/Lorayne. I hope you sleep well at night.


I just love that part - thanks. The armoa of roasted icons under a glaze of misrepresentation. Delightful. It's disengenousness served with irony on a platter of naive disrespect for the reader. The garnish of "innocent sober child" completes the dish to great effect. Bravo.

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Re: Uri

Postby Brad Henderson » March 11th, 2009, 2:31 pm

No, the point is, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

If you are going to throw the morality card, you have to play it across the board (and through to the end of the game) - not just in the areas that you want to condemn. It's like those people who treat religion as a Chinese menu from which they can pick and choose their sins. Nothing wrong with living your life arbitrarily - in fact, I am rather fond of it. But just don't go calling yourself something you are then not.

If you think charlatanism or stealing from others is wrong, then to drop an ounce of that poison anywhere into the goblet of magic is to taint the entire drink - even the parts of it we find tasty. This is not a special tea kettle.

If we are going to condemn one, we must condemn all - or get out of the pool altogether.

Brad Henderson

(And even if you don't type the letters, Godwin's Law is still Godwin's law. Thanks for playing.)

((Jonathan is cheating, his posts change after I reply - not fair. Not fair. It's all Uri's fault. He has led us down this road to ruin.)

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Re: Uri

Postby Brad Henderson » March 11th, 2009, 2:56 pm

Just had an interesting exchange with someone and perhaps this will clear it up:

For the sarcastically challenged:


Many magicians condemn psychic entertainers for taking advantage of the gullible and separating the innocent from their money - they prey on emotions and lead them to bad decisions.

Of course, these same people will spooge all over themselves to sit down at the table of a crossroader who takes advantage of the gullible, separates the innocent from their money and preys on emotions (such as greed and desperation from financial need) to lead them to bad decisions.

Even some of these guys present mind reading type shows where they claim that they are accomplishing what they do through psychological techniques and other misrepresentations of the actual truth. These misrepresentation are packaged and sold to the public as answers to their social, emotional, and business problems. (Of course, these packages are not always sold by the same "entertainers" but they exist and their claims promote them.)

Why this hypocrisy? Well, magicians hate to be told they can't have access to something - but they LOVE to tell other they aren't allowed in the tree house. Maybe it's the consiracy of the majority? Maybe if fewer guys did [censored] card tricks and more people did invisible billet switches the argument would go the other way around?

I really don't know.

But, to me, the issue here is the moral hypocrisy of it all. I have no problem with people condemning fraud - but as Ori's post points out - if you are basing your outrage on morality, then one's beam of righteousness should be wide enough and pure enough to be outraged at all fraud.

Having said that, I am looking forward to seeing a tarot reader and working on Fred Robinson's Center Deal today. Later, drinking and dancing. And if things are still hopping I might meet up with my gay friends Bob and Stuart before heading back to the house for premarital sex with a girl named Mandy. And I'm craving shell fish. Go figure.

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Re: Uri

Postby Steve Hook » March 11th, 2009, 4:06 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Of course, these same people will spooge all over themselves



I beg your pardon?

Brad, is this really the best expression you could come up with? It seems inappropriate here.

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Re: Uri

Postby Cugel » March 11th, 2009, 4:51 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Of course, these same people will spooge all over themselves to sit down at the table of a crossroader who takes advantage of the gullible, separates the innocent from their money and preys on emotions (such as greed and desperation from financial need) to lead them to bad decisions.

Even some of these guys present mind reading type shows where they claim that they are accomplishing what they do through psychological techniques and other misrepresentations of the actual truth. These misrepresentation are packaged and sold to the public as answers to their social, emotional, and business problems. (Of course, these packages are not always sold by the same "entertainers" but they exist and their claims promote them.)

Why this hypocrisy? Well, magicians hate to be told they can't have access to something - but they LOVE to tell other they aren't allowed in the tree house.


Hey! Are you listening in on my calls? I've made the same observation recently when discussing a well known critic with a friend.

Anyway, on a related tangent - have you seen the gambling forum at the Cafe? These gambling guys are like the new balloon twisters. It's sad to say but the influx of gambling nerds ("everyone's an expert!") has made the whole subject of cheating less cool than it used to be.

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Re: Uri

Postby Cugel » March 11th, 2009, 4:56 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:((Jonathan is cheating, his posts change after I reply - not fair. Not fair. It's all Uri's fault. He has led us down this road to ruin.)


First time experiencing the "Magic of Editing?" JT is famous for this.

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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 11th, 2009, 5:10 pm

"Magic of Editing" ??

BS - very rarely do i change my intent about a post. I may fix a typo or add something like that quote and food review in the post above.

Some us had grandmothers who were proofreaders.

And some of use just like to criticize others. Some here can't even get "it up" far enough to address each other respectfully much less distinguish their inner dialog from what should be written much less posted in public. It's not spooge Steve, that presumes basic function, but it's not salivation either.

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Re: Uri

Postby Cugel » March 11th, 2009, 5:14 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:"Magic of Editing" ??

BS - very rarely do i change my intent about a post. I may fix a typo or add something like that quote and food review in the post above.

Some us had grandmothers who were proofreaders.

And some of use just like to criticize others. Some here can't even get "it up" far enough to address each other respectfully much less distinguish their inner dialog from what should be written much less posted in public. It's not spooge Steve, that presumes basic function, but it's not salivation either.


You have memory problems, I see. I'll say that instead of saying "honesty issues".

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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 11th, 2009, 5:32 pm

LOL what? Going to complain that back in 2002 I got angry and deleted some technical data on doing my sleights I posted at that time (for whatever reason)?

Let's just say that I have a pretty good memory and even though it means being haunted by my feelings about decisions/actions I would not trade forgetfulness for the arrogance or impudence of being disrespectful to the feelings of others, especially in public.

* now can we get back to the commentary about Uri's interview at the Magic Circle and the Genii article?
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on March 11th, 2009, 5:49 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: *back on track

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Re: Uri

Postby Brad Henderson » March 11th, 2009, 7:23 pm

For the record, I did not mind that Jonathan added the story. Oddly, this post is not marked as 'edited' so I assumed it was a glitch and hence blamed Uri.

But yes, Cugel, I have peeked at the cafe gambling section. I have never seen so many people who think they are on the inside just because they own a Forte DVD, a deck of cards, and a computer.

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Re: Uri

Postby Brad Henderson » March 11th, 2009, 7:43 pm

Steve Hook wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:Of course, these same people will spooge all over themselves



I beg your pardon?

Brad, is this really the best expression you could come up with? It seems inappropriate here.


Ok. their penis will tighten and ejaculate will involuntarily shoot forth from their member to their pleasure and delight.

Better?

Nope, I said what I mean and I mean what I say. That's the exact sentiment - connotation and denotation which I intended to convey. Perhaps if their attitudes were different I could use a more socially acceptable turn of phrase. It isn't, so I didn't. Cure the disease, not the symptom.

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Re: Uri

Postby Michael Kamen » March 11th, 2009, 9:24 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
ori ashkenazy wrote:
I do however have a complaint to those who are responsible to keeping our art an honest one.

There are values that we as a society choose to live by. When people choose to call themselves magicians they are immediately defining themselves as actors playing a part - they are artists (no matter how much they stink or excell)

Would you consider giving the magic prize to a card hustler? no matter how perfect he is, I am sure you would consider your values in doing that. Or am I naive?


Lee Almond wrote:Guess there are people on this forum who praise this type of [censored]. Book a flight to Kansas and I will be more then glad to let folks here step in some.


I remember a story of two men who set out on a trip to Kansas once - to find a card hustler. I think many hold that up as an example of dedication to our art.

I assume that if we to subscribe to Ori's philosophy we should shun such characters - because to visit them, to support them, is only to encourage them to ply their trade on the unsuspecting. Center Deal, I will miss you most of all. Sorry!

How many books would vanish from our shelves - even DVDs, even?! Would our presentations have to change - lest we accidentally portray card hustling as attractive and send some innocent, sober child off on the path of pursuing ill gotten gain? Thanks Garnder/Marlo/Lorayne. I hope you sleep well at night.

Would I have to take The Sting and Cincinnati Kid out of my Net Flix cue? WE all know Hollywood is a corrupting agency, but this goes too far!!!

Of course, I could still watch Derren Brown or (more accurately) the slew of mentalists who have distanced themselves from claiming psychic powers but instead are using honest, forthright and very real psychological techniques (some even NLP) to produce their phenomena. Thankfully, there are many books and courses for sale (some very expensive, so you know they work) on these psychological skill sets, so I can learn to accomplish their demonstrations not through deception but through real, valid, scientifically tested techniques - not that hokum psychic stuff that Uri played with.

Thank god we have exited a generation of hypocrisy and entered a new era - a brighter era - of honest and socially responsible magic and mind reading.

Hear, hear.

Brad Henderson


I think you make good points Brad, very worth discussing.

I would make a distinction between morality which is not necessarily the point here, and ethics which I feel is the point. My sense of the difference in these terms is that the first claims an external possibly even prudiush reference point, while the second aims to argue a position on merits that can be agreed upon by the conversationalists.

Ok, that aside is there a difference between watching dramas that are about hustlers, and actually hustling others? I think this is self evident and would ask you to show me why these are the same thing.

Then, you made the observation that many here hero worship Dai Vernon, who devoted much time and effort to tracking down and learning from hustlers. I would argue that Vernon did so to find new techniques to perform magic tricks intended to entertain, not hustle.

You also mention those who claim to use psychological methods or body language to derive their "insight", and suggest that many here think that is ok -- a hypocritical position. I am not sure how many take that position. I would not. I agree with you that those "mentalists" are also crossing a similar ethical boundary as Geller. To defend them while deriding Geller would seem rather hypocritical to me.
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Re: Uri

Postby Lee Almond » March 11th, 2009, 10:20 pm

Good to see my "[censored]" post has been requoted here on this forum. My horse Trigger will be grateful! I would love to think Vernon, Miller, & Kennedy would get a knee slapping laugh from some of the thoughts posted above. Take care all,live well and enjoy your time here on this earth....
Lee

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Re: Uri

Postby Brad Henderson » March 11th, 2009, 11:55 pm

Michael Kamen wrote:I think you make good points Brad, very worth discussing.

I would make a distinction between morality which is not necessarily the point here, and ethics which I feel is the point. My sense of the difference in these terms is that the first claims an external possibly even prudiush reference point, while the second aims to argue a position on merits that can be agreed upon by the conversationalists.

Ok, that aside is there a difference between watching dramas that are about hustlers, and actually hustling others? I think this is self evident and would ask you to show me why these are the same thing.


They are not the same thing. That was not the comparison. Some rail against any pseudoscientific presentation stating that it dangerously fosters beliefs in the absurd. They believe Geller and his claims send people down a slippery slope of fuzzy thinking. It stands to reason then, that we should be equally critical of any performance which could possible encourage dangerous and dibilittating beliefs - like the glorification and glamorization of hustlers and the world of cheating. If we are outraged by one, should we not be outraged by the other?


Then, you made the observation that many here hero worship Dai Vernon, who devoted much time and effort to tracking down and learning from hustlers. I would argue that Vernon did so to find new techniques to perform magic tricks intended to entertain, not hustle.


Ori put forth the interesting image of magicians honoring a hustler with an award - saying that would be in conflict with our morals. After all, why honor someone whose life was spent stealing form others?

I don't think that's in conflict with our morals at all, in fact it summarizes the history of sleight of hand with cards.

We may not give them an award, but we revere them. While Vernon may have used his technique for entertaining, because of Vernon the popularity of the idea spread and only encouraged more people to learn the move - and not all of them are doing card tricks. Likewise, I have known magicians to pay cheats for information or wine and dine them. Is this not encouraging a thief, aiding and abetting him? Are we not just allowing him to continue his ways of dark and evil? The card cheats are our gods. They are the "other" that live beyond our realm. Only a select few actually speak with them, and they hand the wisdom they impart down to us - but only to the worthy - and we are grateful.

Magic worships at the feet of the hustle - the liar - the thief.

So, we do admire the thieves. We do support them. We do encourage them and help others be more like them. . . as long as they are ONE kind of thief.

I just see the whole thing as a big hypocrisy.

Maybe I'm the only one.

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Re: Uri

Postby Cugel » March 12th, 2009, 12:56 am

Brad Henderson wrote:
Steve Hook wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:Of course, these same people will spooge all over themselves



I beg your pardon?

Brad, is this really the best expression you could come up with? It seems inappropriate here.


Ok. their penis will tighten and ejaculate will involuntarily shoot forth from their member to their pleasure and delight.




So this is what a discussion with mentalists looks like. I always suspected, but... wow.

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Re: Uri

Postby NCMarsh » March 12th, 2009, 1:02 am

Honestly, the "we-study-card-table-moves-therefore-we-encourage-card-cheating" does feel like quite a stretch.

Yes, immoral/illegal things are sexy. There is part of me that roots for the Joe Pesci character in Scorsese mob movies. That doesn't mean I condone torture and murder.

Likewise, with frauds and cheats there is part of us -- or part of me at least -- that admires their craft...and we benefit and apply their work to our own...and there is part that admires what they do in the way that you can admire a character in a mob movie; but that doesn't mean we approve of their conduct and that we can't tell right from wrong...it's just an honest part of human nature

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Re: Uri

Postby NCMarsh » March 12th, 2009, 1:22 am

I'd add this; the difference between Derren-esque, "secular" mentalism and "I-talk-to-your-dead-husband" mentalism is that the secular presentations are dramatizations and extensions of clearly established human abilities. Human beings are perceptual sponges who communicate with far more than words; indeed, a great deal of mentalism can be performed under this frame where the method is the effect. Muscle-reading, psychological forces, competent cold-reading, equivoque can all be presented in ways where what you are claiming is exactly what you are doing.

The "I-talk-to-the-dead/see-the-future/bend-things-with-my-mind (and what a helpful application of psychic powers! I always needed my cutlery bent!)" school appears to offer evidence of heavy metaphysical stuff -- the dead are conscious! -- of which there is no such evidence.

So I think there is, at the very least, an important difference of degree -- if not a difference a kind -- between the two frames...

N.

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Re: Uri

Postby Diego » March 12th, 2009, 1:34 am

I found Uri's appearance at that magician's gathering intriguing enough, plus the interview. Why Uri has gone in this direction, as well as his latest TV shows, is a puzzle,blurring the line that he had previously kept, apart from magicians...softening the persona/myth he had created.

The interview was interesting...saying things he wouldn't have said a few years ago. note what he says as well as what he DOESN'T say.

His influence is too important to be merely dismissed.
Regardless if he is regarded as a psychic-gifted artist, or a performance artist, or a con artist....Uri is an artist regardless. A master of what he does.
Some of Brad's comments of what some magicians pick and choose to rant about and their inconsistancy is correct.

Watching Uri Geller do an hour+ long presentation is a demonstration of what showmanship is.
I have seen audiences bored with their arms folded, while some magician was doing a "death-defying" effect.
But you haven't lived, until you have seen a thousand people in a hotel ballroom, half-standing in their seats, utterly transfixed, with their mouths open, as a key bent a quarter of an inch in Uri's hand.

When Geller starts his presentation, like Kreskin, he spends time talking to the crowd, and lets them begin to know HIM.
He can masterfully take the crowd to his world, (that they want to be in)as well as create the expectation, and the later release of actually experiencing it for themselves!
I have seen him place small seeds in his hand and as he opens his fist and exclaims that the seeds are opening, audience members RUN towards him to see/experience the moment. ("It's happening! It's working!") It was not unlike if they were experiencing the excitment 2,000 years ago, when someone was shouting, "Look! Someone's walking on the water!"

Understand what he has accomplished: Not unlike Houdini, both grew up in poverty and obsurity, but both could not, NOT be successful and famous. Both took boring effects, the handcuff escape and making keys/spoons bend, and made it IMPORTANT to the world. Why should anyone care? But they made them care,wonder, and argue. 1/3rd of a century later, people are still talking/arguing over Geller. BECAUSE of Geller, some magicians have made a living: Imitating him, marketing versions of his effects, or claiming to expose/debunk him.

Guy Bavali said at a lecture at The Magic Castle, that Geller had defined, if not created a NEW effect in magic, key/spoon bending. A bent spoon now means the paranormal to the public today, just as ESP symbols did a generation ago, and turbans and crystal balls, the generation before that.

Geller did note he had "crossed the line" in his earlier claims. Now he is crossing the line to the chagrin of others, in the opposite direction.

Please remember, much of what mentalism comes from, was the psychic parlor and the seance room, not the other way around.

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Re: Uri

Postby NCMarsh » March 12th, 2009, 2:41 am

Diego,

I enjoyed your post -- makes me wish I had had a chance to see Uri work live.

Best,

N.

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Re: Uri

Postby Denis Behr » March 12th, 2009, 5:00 am

Diego wrote:Why Uri has gone in this direction, as well as his latest TV shows, is a puzzle,blurring the line that he had previously kept, apart from magicians...softening the persona/myth he had created.

I don't think it's much of a mystery.

$$$$$$$$$

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Re: Uri

Postby Michael Kamen » March 12th, 2009, 9:29 am

Very solid post Diego.
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Re: Uri

Postby David Alexander » March 12th, 2009, 10:03 am

Let me dispel the notion that Uri Geller is a great showman because he was able to hold an audience for an hour, breathless and on the edge of their seats to see a key bend a quarter of an inch.

What is missing in the equation by those who hold that erroneous opinion is the fact that Gellers audiences believed what they were seeing was real that they were witnessing a demonstration of real mental abilities and not the performance of an entertainer. Belief fueled their attention and excitement, not presentation and showmanship. Absent supporting belief that people thought they were seeing the real thing - Geller was never particularly good as an entertainer.

When Geller opened his hand to show that seeds had sprouted he was convincing his audience that he had power and control over the primary forces of Nature.

Geller was not billed and sold as an entertainer. From the beginning he claimed that what he did was real tested and validated by scientists - that he had control over extra-normal powers of the mind. He was not billing himself as a mystifier (whatever the hell that means) or as an entertainer. For decades Geller sold himself as the genuine article both by claims and performance.

Even though he started as a magician in Israel, he constantly denied that he was one of us. No ambiguity like the Piddingtons who always let the audience decide for themselves, (not including the fact that their short-lived club date act was conventional mentalism of the day including the Giant Memory, the essential key to understanding how they accomplished their radio mysteries).

Did Dunninger give private readings or dowse for oil or did he always present himself as an entertainer? Does Derren Brown make claims of extra-ordinary abilities or rent himself and his powers out to find minerals? No. Does Banacheck go beyond stating that he uses his five senses to create the illusion of a sixth? No.

Given the ubiquity of YouTube videos showing Geller caught out and the ability of the average person to have access to far more information than previously possible, Uri doubtless sees the handwriting on the wall. The decades-long ride is over. The fact that he hosted a competition where professional and amateur psychic entertainers using methods well-known to the trade vied for the title of The Next Uri Geller should be evidence enough.

His late-in-career change to mystifier smacks of a death bed religious conversion - too little, too late, and massively insincere.

Brian Marks
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Re: Uri

Postby Brian Marks » March 12th, 2009, 10:17 am

Wow! 11 pages on Uri Geller. What is this? The 1970's. Geeze! Uri Geller used his mind to bend you out of shape

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Michael Kamen
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Re: Uri

Postby Michael Kamen » March 12th, 2009, 10:38 am

We can acknowledge Geller's acting ability, while decrying his use of it to defraud or emotionally rape an audience. Said acting ability might be mitigated by the fact that many an audience's 'suspension of disbelief' is replaced by 'hopeful belief' in these subject matters. A relatively easy take.

I did not see the performance Diego alluded to. No doubt it was riveting.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 12th, 2009, 1:27 pm

"We can acknowledge Geller's acting ability, while decrying his use of it to defraud or emotionally rape an audience. ..."

This mean we can admire that Austrian's ability as a public while decrying those who listened?

And what decides which delusions we have to honor and which we can decry or mock anyway?

IMHO Uri himself put it nicely about pandering even if he did not use that word itself.

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Michael Kamen
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Re: Uri

Postby Michael Kamen » March 12th, 2009, 7:49 pm

Fair comment Jonathan. Trying to stay balanced in this discussion of a petty charlatan and entertainer, vs. a genocidal world leader.
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Re: Uri

Postby Kent Blackmore » March 12th, 2009, 8:53 pm

Well, no, I disagree. Michael said "we can acknowledge...". Jonathan has taken "acknowledge" to mean "admire". You may have no admiration for Adolf, but you must surely acknowledge that he was skilled at moving a crowd.

I have no time for Geller (Richard Hatch's early post in this thread sums up my feelings exactly), but one can acknowledge skills without admiring the use to which they are put. I can study the techniques of used car salesmen and adapt them for purposes of entertainment; that doesn't mean I'm a fan of car salesmen.

The article in Genii was interesting, though I think it simply confirmed what I already knew; that Geller cares about nothing but keeping his career and wealth-creation growing. His use of magicians' techniques simply prostitutes the art of magic.

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Re: Uri

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 12th, 2009, 8:53 pm

should read: "...ability as a public speaker while..."

There is much to be learned about presentation and audience management skills in either case.

IMHO it's pandering to appeal to people's base longings and not something that's within our job descriptions in this society.

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Re: Uri

Postby Diego » March 12th, 2009, 11:27 pm

Denis may be right, it is a new way to put/keep Geller before the public and make even MORE money...having his show marketed internationally, is no small success.
Geller did note that capturing the public's attention in the 1970's, wouldn't have been as possible today with the internet/you tube, etc.

Geller IS a compelling personality, who can turn heads and keep people's thumb's off those TV clickers.
Few can do with a crowd what I've seen Geller do. Yes, he has mostly worked in his own venue and premise of belief, which other psychics do, but only a few have the power and skill that Geller has and uses.
I have seen many psychics in venues of belief and entertainment, who can only dream compelling an audience to go where Geller takes them.

I remember shortly after seeing Geller for the first time, I spent an evening with Anton LeVay,(a few months before he died) who ran his Church of Satan witchcraft group, and I noted watching Geller reminded me of the time when he said, "Often the more subtle phenomena is more convincing."
He smiled knowingly and nodding to the ritual altar, he said, "I can see it in their eyes, did that skull just move a couple of inches? that's all you need."

Despite any verbal shuffling, Derren and Dunninger do/did not object to their audiences believing the possible, from their performances. Dunninger, like Kreskin, have stated very clearly their ability to "read thoughts". So-called disclaimers and all, they know there was no profit from saying, "This isn't mindreading folks, but you should appreciate my skill in gloming billets."

Diego
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Re: Uri

Postby Diego » March 12th, 2009, 11:54 pm

Once talking to a fellow psychic/mentalist, we were talking about a mutual carnival friend, and noting his impossibly checkered professional and personal life, she said, "It is pointless to burden him with any moral expectations, you just enjoy him for the entertaining personality he is, and you won't be disappointed."

If you don't burden Geller with moral expectations, you won't allow yourself to be disappointed, and will be then able to acknowledge, if not approve, of what he can do and has done.

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Re: Uri

Postby David Alexander » March 13th, 2009, 12:03 am

Diego,

You just don't see moral ambiguity and sophistry of this quality anymore. You've set a new standard for the Genii Forum.

My congratulations.

Diego
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Re: Uri

Postby Diego » March 13th, 2009, 12:39 am

Not MY moral ambiguity...HIS.


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