You Can Learn Magic

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from Vivid Interactive Media

I just booted up my copy of Microsoft's Encarta96Encyclopedia, and I randomly clicked on a subject in the middle of the alphabet. It happened to be Sir Yehudi Menuhin. In the course of reading this article I found the name of the composer Georges Enesco, so I clicked on that. The Enesco article lead me to click on an article about chamber music, and from there I went to Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Leon Bakst, and ancient Greek Art. The reason I mention this is that this is what CD ROM technology is all about: the ability to travel deeply into a subject, and to branch off in whatever direction you wish to go. What CD ROM technology should not be is simply a glorified VCR. Any CD ROM which only allows you to play back Quick-time movies is no better than a video tape, and is merely exploiting the "multimedia" frenzy which is so popular right now.

I mention all this, because the Vivid Interactive Media company has released three CD ROMs under the general title of You Can Learn Magic. The discs cover card magic, coin and money magic, and general magic (including tricks with ropes, rubber bands, etc.) Each disc demonstrates and explains about 18 tricks. All the information comes from Quick-time videos which play in a small rectangle in the middle of the monitor. The tricks are broken into three parts: the trick, the set-up, and the secret. Clicking on each of these "buttons" plays back the appropriate video. The only difference between this and a VCR is that it is possible to "loop" a section of video so that it will play back over and over. There is no print out of information available, and, while the magicians who teach the tricks are credited, there is no credit given to the people who created the material which is being exposed.

Well, let's cut to the chase, shall we? This is crap, and I'm getting tired of it. Perhaps I'm just being cranky, but I'm tired of CD ROMs which are merely glorified video tapes. This is not what this technology is all about, and by slapping the words "Interactive" and "Multimedia" on them, the uninformed consumer is being ripped off. But mostly, I'm getting real tired of people making a quick buck off of magic by taking ideas which do not belong to them, and to which they have added nothing, and revealing these secrets to the general public under the guise of educating those who want to learn to be magicians. These books, videos, and CDs have nothing at all to with magic; all they are concerned about is tricks. And they reinforce the notion that the only difference between a magician and a layman is that one of them knows "the secret." This trivializes magic and undermines any attempt to elevate it into an art.

By the way, if you use the "E-Z Money Trick" (the one where strips of paper turn into money) or Paul Gertner's "Flick" move, you may want to drop them from your repertoire for a while. Both are exposed on these discs.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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