------------------------- R.I.P. Ye Olde Magick Blogge, 2005-2012 -------------------------
With regards to what you asked for, Roland, here it is.
Midway through August of this year I received an email from a guy calling himself "Jerry Lukins" who basically said he was starting a blog dedicated to magicians he considered blowhards who needed to be gotten rid of. On the list were four: myself, you, the Smiling Mule (the guy who runs the excellent Phantom Notebooks blog), and Steven Youell. To hear Lukins talk about it, he was sick of all the debates over at the Magic Cafe and on the blogs, and was basically going to come after us until it stopped. His first post directed my way was a wedding invitation for myself and Tyler, and it it was funny enough for what it was. Obviously, though, that sort of union could never happen, because of all the times I visited Minnesota, Tyler never put out, and I'll be damned if I'm getting involved in a loveless marriage.
Anyways, I basically told Lukins that he was out of luck, because a week prior to his idea to come after me, I'd already publicly sworn off all future debates with Steven Youell. I had my last words, Youell had his, and that was pretty much it as far as I was concerned, and I assume as far as Youell was concerned as well. Lukins, however, decided that wasn't enough, and in follow-up entries on the blog, he soon posted the following (I've included it as an attachment to the email, so people can refer to it if necessary).
Let's make something clear from the get-go. I work both as a magician doing kids shows and as a teacher for children. Tossing around jokes that I might have something to hide in a background check is not only disgusting and offensive to me personally, but it poses a very real threat to my livelihood, both aspects of which require an untarnished reputation when it comes to working in close proximity to an at-risk group. Being in a foreign country doesn't help much either, as one cannot rely on their ability to understand when a joke is a joke, when this sort of thing is concerned.
So anyhow, it was clear at this point that "Jerry Lukins" wasn't interested in trying to clean up discussion at all. He was going into full-blown character attacks because he wanted to, the sort that could have a very real and detrimental effect on the future of two different career paths, not to mention my current job which has one foot planted in each of those paths. Each and every time I've gotten involved in hardcore debates or colorful remarks or unflattering observations, it was meant to stay within the magic community. This is a whole other level I can't even begin to fathom, in a realm so indecent that it frightens me to think who'd seriously want to go there.
After a couple of weeks of inactivity, a more recent development saw "Jerry Lukins" write me a personal message over at the Cafe informing me that he'd started up a new website dedicated to us. Yesterday, I sent off an email asking him why he was continuing with this even though I'm out, and there's been no response.
So it comes to this. Are you reading, Lukins? Because I don't know how Roland or the Mule or Steven Youell feel about it, but insofar as I'm concerned, I'm out. Since only pretentious and annoying magicians say "I'm going underground" in order to bolster their mystique and street cred, I'd like to say that I'm going underground. There's always email and skype, and I'm lucky enough to be a member of the fantastic Magic Pebble, so if I need to get my magic discussion ya-yas off, I can do it one of those ways. And to everybody else, sorry, but if you want access to my brilliant and groundbreaking work on the 2 Card Brainwave, good luck, because we undergrounders are a tight-lipped bunch.
For anybody who read the olde blogge over the years, I just wanted to say thanks. For anybody who actually commented over there or got in touch with me about it, the thanks is multiplied, because your feedback kept me going. At Blackpool, R. Paul Wilson mentioned that he and Juan Tamariz spoke briefly about something I'd written, and while the very idea of that sort of thing is more awesome than a band of ninjas, I'll never know for sure exactly what they said about it. You guys who read and commented on what I wrote, however, were truly awesome. Like, more awesome than an army of ninjas. Riding Grizzly Bears. Dancing Gangnam-style.
You get the picture.
For those who've messaged or emailed me asking me why I've gone off the grid, this is the whole story, and my last public word on it. Both the old ye olde and the newer "sleightly" ye olde are dead. The last thing I plan on posting over at the Cafe is to see if anybody wants to buy the domain name.
That's really all I have to say about this specific situation. If Lukins wants to keep trying to poison my reputation, I guess maybe I'll take a closer look at the data I've accumulated on the guy and see about what actions can be pursued. Participating in the internet leads to a lot of footprints -- I already know what timezone the guy lives in and who he does business with for webhosting, and that he was active on the Magic Cafe a couple of years ago during a short time when a video of mine was only briefly made public. His diatribes haven't exactly betrayed him to be an intelligent man, so he was likely sloppy in other regards as well. If he's still around and active a few months from now I may decide to pursue that and see how much further the guy can be narrowed down. My final comment for Jerry Lukins: if somebody were to start digging through whatever clues you've left as to your real identity, if it ever gets out who you are, if you really are in the magic community, and if by some chance we ever end up at the same convention or whatever... I'd advise you not to cross my path. After the above joke, being anywhere around me would be foolish.
Otherwise, I'm out. Not only in terms of the online magic scene, but all this stress has made me rethink wanting to be a known quantity in the greater magic community at all. Back when I was "erlandish", some people would publicly denounce what I had to say because I was apparently posting anonymously. After hearing that enough times, I gave it some thought and asked what I might have to lose by posting under my real name. After all, knowledge of one's real name is a requirement over at the Magic Pebble, where the quality of conversation and level of etiquette is quite high. Turns out that sharing my real name was the dumbest decision I could have made, because letting a sociopath have access to that sort of information is tantamount to career and professional suicide. Not worth it. I'd rather just perform for regular folks.
Additionally, I'd like to wish the best of luck to you, the Smiling Mule and Steven Youell in dealing with Jerry Lukins guy. I don't know much about the Mule except for the fact that I enjoy reading his blog, and while my views on Steven Youell both as a magician and a person are well-known, well-documented and unchanged, I wouldn't wish this sort of thing on anybody, even him. And while it might seem superfluous to offer you my support, Roland, I wanted this included so that those amongst your readership would know the whole story and would be willing to chime in with their support for you as well.
And with that... Bye!