Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just A Sunday Post #11

WARNING... this will contain the F-bomb and other improper words a few times. Usually I try to keep this blog clean, but this really bothers me. If you are offended by naughty words and evil thoughts DO NOT READ IT.

What the fuck is wrong with the World Championship of Magic, that name dropping magic bullshitters like the unoriginal Shawn Farquhar wins first prize in the category of card magic? This man is a disgrace to magic.

And now FISM is a disgrace too.

It is not new that certain, horrible acts win. But this year is the worst ever. Comedy Magic: no first prize, Mentalism: no first prize and Close Up Magic: no first prize.

If you do not know what that means: It means, that the overall effort was so bad this year, that even the judges were embarrassed to be there. Having been there would have been just a waste of time.

But maybe it was just the place. China is far away.

2012 FISM will be in Blackpool. Let's see, if the acts are better when performed in a place, commonly known as "cradle of filth".

FISM was always a bit of a popularity contest. It was never about the magic, it was about who fools the most magicians. This year most failed. They failed so bad, that dickhead Farquhar who is so full of megalomaniacal shit wins first prize.

It was a pity prize, a mercy fuck. And unfortunately that grinning, presumptuous bastard, got it. And as if he doesn't brag enough about the other 40 prizes he got in the past, this will be the laurels that he will rest on. I can see him jumping around, singing "I do not need a likable character, I've got awards and I am better than you!"

And because I feel like ripping that smirking guy a new one, let's use this opportunity to discuss his signature piece called "Shape of my Heart."

Dumb and benighted magicians praise this hubristic asshole as being creative. None of his ideas that I have seen so far are creative. Being creative means to come up with something that was not there before. Well doing card stuff using this Sting Song has been done before. By Russ Stevens in 1993.

I mentioned it before. I am not saying, that Farquhar is a bad performer. His skill is decent, but that's it. Let me quote a friend of mine: "I simply cannot understand how this man can win the FISM. Words are simply failing me. I would let him pass a Magic Circle audition at the most." I agree.

He is so complacent, so smug about himself. But why? Why is he constantly out to do contests? Why does he need to prove himself all the time?

Well, I do have some theories, but none of them would leave that self-opinionated shitface any grandeur.

If it sounds like I do not deign Mr. Farquhar the first prize he won, then because I do not deing Mr. Farquhar the first prize he won. The last time this holier-than-thou fucker won, was 2006. With a cups and balls routine that is only good for magicians. The main effect, that the cups turn out to be blocks of steel in the end is not new either, but hey, I never won any prize, naturally I do not have the authority to criticize this hard working wanker, erm, I mean, man.

I do not have any right to pick on him, for I am not into magic as long as he has. So let me end this by saying that all of the above is satire and not meant the way I wrote it. Because I am way too kind to this man. Even Steven Youell seems like a nice man compared to this autocratic twat.

I am sorry for that outburst of inappropriate emotions. I'll get back to my regular kind way of dealing with Weekly Magic Failures. Pinky swear!


Roy said...

We couldn't agree more! Well said!

preachersparrow said...

No apology necessary. This "event" has fallen deeper and deeper into the depths of mediocrity and politics.

Tim Ellis has some priceless observations on his site. Now here's a guy who cares about magic.

darkstar said...

Don't apologize my man. I agree it's a shame that people really think that false cuts and tilt makes for a world winning prize. All he really did is a mundane version of Sam The Bellhop to Sting.

To the fellah above Ellis is the grandfather of what Roland is pointing at here. I could go on for an hour on how he doesn't create anything other than putting X routine in a pop culture vibe, claiming originality, hopping around shoving awards in people's face or the fact Copperfield said "you rocked the house" or whatever. I'm sure Copperfield would be kind enough to say such thing to near anyone. Yet these fellahs use them as advertisements and attention seeking.

I dunno. Ever since I was 13 I've done another hobby in which I never wanted or understood contests and awards. Same with magic. At least they should have the pride in giving to someone that is a good Representative. Some no one would ever debate, such as Daryl or Ammar.

Roland said...

Honstely, I am somehow divided on the Ellis issue. Yes Tim Ellis is a man who rides on his prizes like no other (except of course Shawn Farquhar) yet somehow he has a unique style, that might justify his behaviour. Ellis might have a masterplan. (I doubt it though)

But thank you for your responses, I really love that.

Magic Unlimited said...

Well at least Shawn and I have won prizes. Yes, we advertise that we have won them because that helps us get bookings and that helps us earn our income.

There are many better magicians out there - true - and if they went in the competitions they would have the prizes. Why not berate them for choosing not compete?

Or try picking on someone like Matt Hollywood, who claims prizes he's never actually won.

Roland said...

Tim, you do have a valid point, saying that the prizes help you to get bookings.
But it also has the negative side of looking like a showoff.

So one has to take that into consideration too. And obviously you have no problem with that point. And that is fine, but it leads to people like me ripping that apart.

You might find yourself on the failure list (not that it matters) for exactly that reasons.

I am a single guy who is very opinionated, yet I try to apply critical thinking to my own biased opinion. Often I move away from my initial opinion seeing people in a better light.

But in Farquhar's case it turned worse for him. Not only did I get angry at him, for delivering a lousy performance at FISM, I got mad at FISM itself. And that is an achivement, that even a Tim Ellis has not done yet. For the Cups and Balls Routine that I have seen, might not be my cup of coffee, but at least it was original. Something that Mr. Farquhar cannot claim himself.

Tony Sherman said...

Shawn is in fact an excellent performer, and he delvered what was needed to win the competition.

You may not like his style, but when he consistently wins, this shows that he has the chops to compete at worldclass events.

Was China FISM poor - Yes, poor protection of copyright, poor turn out.

But Shawn won fair and square, as well as having the skills to win, he connects with people.

Maybe it was not his best performance - but people it was and is a winning performance.

Can he do it again - lets see in Blackpool. I hope he does.


Roland said...

Well, that is your opinion and I respect that. However, I still think that such an act is not FISM worthy. If you look are Richard Ross, Fred Kaps and even Tommy Wonder who only won the silver medal, those guys were far above what Farquhar is doing.

What I give Mr. Farquhar is his energy he performs with. I can see that this positive energy projects into the audience, so he get good reactions.

This is a technique even I use. But still the magic was weak and unoriginal. And that is what should count during FISM. But it turned into a popularity contest. To me FISM no longer is a contest that truly measures skill, creativity and love towards the art.

And one more word about skill. If you watch the performance you can clearly see, when he gets his breaks, as he uses a push-off get-ready. There is a thing called pinky count, or even a thumb count. If one practises it is as reliable as a push-off get-ready!

As this routine has a camera on the hands at all times, he should have considered that method instead of the tell-tale methods he employs.

He might be a nice man, althought I think different, but with no doubt his skill is not above a 17-year-old ellusionist costumer.
So did he win fair and square...? Well he won, so does it matter?

Let him have his little prize. Obviously it makes him feel good.

Jim said...

I just watched Shawns promo tape and he DOES get a standing ovation - however he plays a song by Right Said Fred called STAND UP FOR THE CHAMPION. I spoke to a friend who saw him on a ship and he said as an audience member he was compelled to stand up because of the music played at the end.
If you have to tell your audience to stand up then you simply don't deserve it.
I for one am glad this is getting out there. FISM needs to take a serious look at what they have done and the message they are sending out to future competitors.
If Shawn DOES go to FISM and compete with this act again - I'll be WALKING OUT shouting 'THEIF'.

Magic Unlimited said...

As for Shawn's shaking, he pinched a nerve the day before the comp that affected his hand. No defending him here as the audience doesn't know that, but simply an explanation.

As for standing ovations, Lance Burton, David Copperfield and many others use a "forced standing ovation" technique that I don't agree with either. It really doesn't have anything to do with this subject though.

As for Shawn being a thief, no, I don't believe it was anything other than a case of independent creation. He uses the same track as Russ and does card tricks. Cyril did the same at one FISM. Even I was working on the same music with cards as well when the song came out. It's an obvious idea for magicians.

Jim said...

Tim - I used to respect you for your stance on magicians ripping others off. But now you have LOST ALL CREDIBILITY and are simply a joke. You are saying it's OK for one person to rip another off and not another. ALso, it now appears Farquhar is your friend and no doubt friends win awards right?
By the way Mr. Ellis - did you know that I started doing cups and balls to run around sue twenty years ago - I guess this is now OK with you. Thanks for actually making rip off artists OK in magic Mr Ellis.

Magic Unlimited said...

Jim, if you have truly watched both Shawn's act and Russ's act and really think they are the same, then that's where the problem really lies.

Yes, Shawn is my friend but that has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not I think he ripped Russ off and certainly no bearing on how I voted in the Jury.

Your cups and balls act sounds wonderful. You should enter it in FISM, I'm sure you'll do well.

Magic Unlimited said...

To quote Russ Stevens in his last email to me:

"I've never accused Shawn of copying me, he was the one originally doing that."

Okay? If Russ says Shawn didn't copy him can others please give it a rest???

Roland said...

I will give it a rest...

Just one minor thing. It would be really clever of Shawn if the following would have taken place: Image Shawn getting a video, imagine the video shows Russ doing the act, imagine Shawn likes it so much and based on that premis makes his own routine. Let us assume that Shawn also does some evil thinking. Then Shawn would contact Russ claiming that Russ had stolen the routine from Shawn. To which Russ would reply that he came up with it first. Both would argue back and forth finally arriving at the consent that maybe both routines where made up independently. In our fictitious case It is not true, but it would mean, that Russ would shut up about it. Until of course one day, that Russ would have evidence that Shawn indeed had a video of Russ performing. But all of that would never happen. ;)

But as promised I'll give it a rest.

Trickster said...

Trying to start more bullshit rumors Roland? Can't see any other reason for posting your stupid hypothetical. Well how about this one.

Russ creates his effect at about the same time as Shawn does, but decides he wants to claim the idea so he convinces some friends to claim they saw him creating it years before he actually did.

Or what about this one

Shawn started working on the routine when the song first came out and kept it to himself until he felt it was ready. Russ heard about this and immediately released a quick, thrown together routine just so he could try and claim exclusive rights to an obvious music choice for card magic.

or how about this one

Shawn created it first but Russ wanted to rip it off so he went back in a time machine to before Shawn released his.

You have ceased being rational Roland, you are simply trying to rip on Shawn because he's a success and you aren't. If you were really concerned about magic in general and FISM in particular, as you claim to be, you would take a more constructive route like investigating the FISM rules and perhaps lobbying to have them changed, but instead you just want to spread hate and lies. These are not the actions of someone who sincerely cares about magic as an entertainment or an art, these are the actions of a jealous hate monger that would rather tear things down than build them up.

Yep, nothing more than a hate monger, I can just see you with a bunch of neo-nazi skinheads trying to dictate to others what is right, when you don't actually know what you are talking about. Sad, really, really sad. I wished you cared about magic as much as you claim to.

Roland said...

I can see, you made up your mind, therefore any arguments are wasted.

Roland said...

But call me on skype, whenever I am on. Talk to me, maybe we are just not talking with the same definitions in mind. That pretty much makes a lot of arguing back an forth futile.

Trickster said...

Yep, and I used facts, truth and the words of those who count (Shawn and Russ) to make my decision, I'm not influenced by petty people with axes to grind.

Nothing to say about your supposed love of magic?
Not going to try and do anything constructive?
Still haven't read the rules you are complaining about?
Happy to host your own exposure site?

It seems it is you who has made up his mind and is not interested in debate, you even ignored Russ's opinion on this. You have your anti Shawn agenda and you are trying to hide it behind bullshit accusations of theft and impropriety at FISM.

Seriously Roland, if this issue has so upset you, why haven't you bothered researching how FISM chooses winners?

Magic Unlimited said...

Or if you love imagining so much, how about this scenario:

Russ Stevens hears 'Shape of My Heart' when it is released in 1993 and puts together his act.

Shawn Farquhar hears 'Shape of my Heart' (whenever) and puts together his act.

Russ Stevens adds the act to his promo tape in 1994/95 and a copy makes it's way into Shawn's hands and Shawn asks Russ's friends at various US conventions if they know this Russ guy "who copied" his 'Shape of my Heart' idea.

Russ contacts Shawn and establishes he was doing it in 1993, so both agree it was independent creation.

Easy to imagine because, in emails to me, that's what Russ told me.

Sean won silver in 2006 with the same routine. Where were the complaints then?

Perhaps Russ is just trying to cover himself because he doesn't want people thinking he copied Shawn... but he's going about it in the wrong way.

Roland said...

Might be.

Anonymous said...

I may be a simple man...but how are the two routines anything alike...other than the music? They are two COMPLETELY different routines. No?

Jim said...

Tim I don't think Russ is going the wrong way about it. He has emailed you and Shawn and your magic groupies just seem to be sticking up for each other. We have since found out that Shawn first saw this on a promo tape by Russ Stevens. Shawn just needs to stand up and say that was his inspiration. if he does then he will get the respect back that he has certainly lost from many.

By the way - we met this year at FISM and you seemed decent enough. I'm simply stating what I feel - this is not a personal attack on you.

Anonymous said...