Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Price of Magic

Should magic be made available to those with money only? Of course not. But magic needs a price. Magic secrets need to be earned in order to be appreciated.

It used to be hard to get magic knowledge. The public libraries were a good start, but those resources were limited. Where did you go then? There was no internet, you didn't even know about magic dealers. In fact you had to get a phone book and go through the lists. And then you planned your trip to the big city. You went there with anticipation. You went into a magic store for the first time in your life. And there it was. Magic secrets. Each so close but often enough not attainable because of the price tag. The price tag actually protected the secret. But that visit got you connected to the magic scene. Magicians usually were hanging out in the store. You talked to them, they showed you a card trick that went over your head, because they were not using the key card principle and you got all exited.

And in order to get this trick you had to pay a price. It was either buying him a drink, become friend, or to beg the hell out of the man. And finally he would let you take part in the secret. A short card. Who could have thought of that? And with that you went home and explored all the possibilities of that principle. You didn't rush it. There was no pressure. No next secret that you had to learn with a simple mouse click. But along with the great card trick, the sponge balls and the svengali deck you bought was a piece of paper. The catalog. You read for hours in there. And your choice was valuable because you paid a price of that. Time.

A few days later that magician from the magic shop would call you. Asking how you progress is. And if you have time tomorrow. As there will be a club meeting. You are invited. So this is it. The great magic club. Surely there would be no more secrets.

So you went back to the big city, you met the guy a few hours before the club meeting. You proudly would show him the tricks that you made up with the short card principle. He would smile. And then he would show you another card trick. And that would totally blow you away. You would beg, but this time he wouldn't tell you.

It was such a weird feeling to enter the magic club. It was a cool, new and indeed full of secrets. But nobody shared anything with you. They talked in a language you didn't understand. "Oh it's simple, you run to the injog, get a break, pass them and dl the top card to show and indifferent card." Little did you know that they were sharing secrets. You just didn't understand them. You didn't pay the price. Experience and time.

When you went home, that magician you met at the magic store would bring you to the bus. And there he would tell you the secret of the card trick he did earlier that evening. You paid for the secret. With patience. It was the key card principle that made the trick work.

You couldn't believe that. How could he have fooled you with a method you already knew? Because you didn't explore it enough. Because it was free to begin with.

You went home having learnt an important lesson. There is always a price you need to pay for magic. Time, patience, experience, humiliation, social interaction and over all even money.

Now we got the internet. Now it's fuck you to all of that. Here are the secrets. They are for free. Swallow them quickly, the next one is coming up right away. No time, no patience, no experience, no humiliation, no social interaction and no money. What a great world we live in.

Fuck the secret. It's not worth anything anymore. Not even money.


Admin said...

Why all this hatred ? This is the information age. Everything at the click of the mouse, a flood of knowledge. Is it bad ? It makes for a lot quicker learning for those interested ... Very good magicians can sprout out of this.

Watkinzez said...

Except the internet hasn't told anyone how to cure cancer. Many people could benefit from this too.

Justin said...

"a flood of knowledge. Is it bad ?"

For magic and magicians? Yes. It cheapens the process of developing in magic. Unlike other crafts, magic is built upon exclusivity; however, exclusivity cannot exist in this age of instant gratification. Just as one builds INTEGRITY through earning--rather than being handed--a dollar, so will a magician truly grow in his craft by putting in the time and effort.

I'm glad there are secrets that I cannot know in magic. Guys like Weber, Tamariz, Marlo--they have or had the Real Work. Do I have access to the Real Work? Fuck no I don't. Does that bother me? Fuck no it doesn't. Because 1) I'm an adult and I can understand and RESPECT that fact (and I mean truly respect it), and 2) it keeps me knowing that there is an untainted freshness that exists beneath this craft that I love. Luckily there are young guys who actually grasp this notion; guys like Derek Delgaudio, Ricky Smith, Tyler Wilson. But they're growing fewer and farer between, and that blows.

the Minutemen said...

To admin, it is not hatred. It is totally sadness to see how internet - a double edge sword hurt magic in such a way that such damage never before since human history.

Roland had made it very clear in his message that patience, time, and all other factors made a young magician to grow. What internet does, except made it free to access and mili-seconds available worldwide for free... it takes all value that magic use to have - vanished forever.

Either me or Roland, like it or not. That age of Magic where secret has a value is long gone.

For me, I am not too concern internet made secret expose etc. What I do concern is how future generation of magic will become under this situation where we never have before. Unfortunately speaking, I have not see a very good young close up magician in my city in the last 5 years, compare with there were dozens of hardworking kids (I used to be) a decade ago.

It is sad, just sad.

Admin said...

Not true. I still hold that it is increasingly beneficial for the ones who really love magic.

See Dan and Dave, they admit on Essential Magic Conference that they learnt a lot from the INTERNET.

Because access to magic is a lot easier nowadays, it means that good magicians can become better in a short period of time, as opposed to a long time ago where you had to buy ONE book and stick to it for several years. That meant stagnant magic. Of course.

Now young magicians can advance much faster, learn better techniques faster and thus create original magic at a very young age (and not wait to be 40).

In fact, more and quicker knowledge equates to faster and greater creativity.

Roland said...

The argument that magicians learn more in less time is true. But it doesn't make you a better magician. Dan and Dave Buck are good magicians because they are talented, not because they had internet.

Markus said...

The internet itself is inert. It is information not knowledge. The assimilation and application of that information in an appropriate way is knowledge.

I agree with the feeling that instant access cheapens the secret, but it does very little to those that actually ply their trade and practice the craft mindfully. When our "magical knowledge" is properly displayed the secret is less than trivia. The moment is the magic, the experience is what we produce.

Those that have no interest in pursing true craft of magic may dabble in secrets online, but so what? let them dabble. Those that honestly wish to express themselves through the magical art now have the greatest library in the world from which to draw upon. Let them learn and turn that information into knowledge. Then those that understand that the value of magic is not in the secrets will help push us all forward.

Just some food for thought. I reserve the right to change my mind later.

Admin said...

I TOTALLY agree with Markus !

the Minutemen said...

To Admin,

You got your point for me to respect although I do not agree with, just additional input - I thought Dan and Dave were XCM practioners + Playing Cards merchants, just saying!