Monday, November 28, 2011

The Angry Man of Magic - The middle lane magician

I got into magic seriously when I was in my 20's. That quite late by most accounts, but I don't care. I feel it has added a maturity to my character, and a depth to my understanding of the art. I'm happy to talk with the youngsters about the latest and greatest gimmicks; although I'm old enough to realize they're only adaptations of older principles... and their latest 1-trick DVD was a throw-away routine in a book from 30 years ago. However, the conversation doesn't always last very long, since they think I'm too long in the tooth because I haven't bought the latest XYZ on pre-release from Jay Sankey. Alas, I am spurned.

I'm also happy to talk with the elder statesmen of our art; those who worked alongside Canasta and have shunned technology since Gutenberg. Each day they pray for the death of the internet, and still haven't learned to work their DVD player. However, the conversation doesn't last very long, since I'm too young to have the original 1954 edition of a tome so dusty that it falls foul of health and safety, or that I learned a sleight from a DVD, instead of the original in the (now out of print) hyper-expensive collectors edition lecture notes that exist in a singularity within another universes time-space continuum. Alas, I am spurned.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

Am I such an objectionable person that no one wants to talk to me? Er no - because it's not just the conversation.

The youngsters haven't learned enough manners to wait in the queue without pushing, barging, or giving frat-boy aggravation. The oldsters haven't learned that age doesn't grant you the right to push to the front of the queue. Although maybe it should, perhaps they're so old they might die in the next 12 seconds if they don't get to the front. They have, after, got to pass comment on how Slydini did it. And better. And that they taught him.

The youngsters haven't learned that - I not knowing the name of a new sleight - doesn't mean I'm stupid. The oldsters haven't learned that I not knowing the name of an old sleight doesn't mean I'm stupid. They're probably the same sleight, anyway. And the only way I'll know this is if magicians gave proper crediting throughout (which they often don't), and I have read the exact same set of books that they have (which I almost never have.)

The youngsters haven't learned that the magical inheritance isn't theirs yet; they haven't earned it, there's lots of people in the bequeathal queue before them; particularly if it's not a self-working card trick from Ellusionist. The oldsters haven't learned their magical legacy is out of their sleight-weary, wrinkled, old hands. Magic moves on. They no longer own it. It's time they realized.

I'm beginning to come to terms with this. I am a "middle lane magician". It's just like driving a car where everyone on the road seems like an idiot - those going faster than you are un-safe idiots. Those going slowly are retarded, plodding, idiots. Except in this case, I'm not sure which are the youngsters, and which are the oldsters.

1 comment:

Barry Solayme said...

I taught Slydini, Angry Pussy of Magic. One day your hands will be wrinkled too, and you will drool saliva into the dry cracks.