While she later recanted her recantation, it is a sombering experience to hear the side of the woman (along with her younger sister, Katie, and older sister, Leah) started Spiritualism and all that it produced.
We are easily distracted from one obsession to another.
We don’t just flit from shiny thing to more shiny thing. Nay, we focus on some topic — usually obscure and without any real-world value to anyone — and intensify our focus until there is no other stimuli within our view.
That is a good thing for our other profession, proof reading M&Ms, but can be disconcerting for just about every other aspect of our world.
We noticed yesterday that we had not updated Inside Magic with a new story or article since last week. What were we doing? How could this happen?
We fell hopelessly in love with a dead woman, Maggie Fox Kane of the famous or infamous Fox Sisters.
We’ll provide our complete review of two recent books on Maggie and her medium sisters, Katie and Leah, later today.
There scattered reports earlier this year that Summit Entertainment purchased the film rights to William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s biography, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, to make “an action thriller featuring a character who is part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes.”
The studio announced in March 2009, it was looking for a writer to craft the story and build the super-hero character.
They apparently found their writer and his credits fit the need for a super-hero take on Houdini.
Jeff Nathanson, writer of Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will write the script. Mr. Nathanson worked with Steven Spielberg on Catch Me if You Can and the horrible waste of celluloid The Terminal. His action credits also include Rush Hour 2 and Speed 2: Cruise Control.
IGN was not able to receive confirmation of the writing assignment from Mr. Nathanson’s Hollywood agents, CAA.
Summit was apparently excited by the book’s suggestion that Houdini was a spy for Britain, and possibly murdered by spiritualists in retribution for his very effective debunking of their craft. The book certainly made the suggestions but offered very little support for either the spy or murder claim.
News of this potential deal brings up a sore subject for us here at Inside Magic.
The maxim for authors is “write what you know.” If you are a hard-boiled detective looking to break into the writing biz, it makes sense to pen great hard-boiled detective novels; tricky dames, fast cars, dark alleys. Cowboys can write about cowboy things; roping and doggies and six guns. Brain surgeons should stick with exciting dramas about doing brain surgery; with brain surgery like themes and items — we couldn’t think of any.
This maxim guides us here at Inside Magic.
You will note most of articles contain a combination of certain subjects: magic tricks, magic history, the hey-day of Citizens Band radio, over-the-counter personal itch cream and ointments, emotional instability, inferiority complexes, system effects of poor dental hygiene, the careers of 1970’s female television sitcom stars, federal prisons in the U.S. and Mexico, third and fourth century patristic writings, and holistic approaches to mucous reduction.
Nate Kranzo knows restaurant magic. He knows how to get the job, how to keep the job, and how to make money from the job. We know how to eat a restaurant but because we are now without a job, we don’t do that so much any longer.
The quick sale and high demand actually caused us to think.
We decided to read Card College Volume One. That mean we had to take it off the shelf and buy it. We are cheap but apparently more curious than cheap.
We were amazed by Mr. Giobbi’s attention to detail and his innovative epistemological approach. His method of teaching was so effective that we even learned from the book. Our ability to learn totally new sleights ended at around 18 years of age.
(Sure, maybe you kept learning new knuckle-busting moves throughout life, but we didn’t. Agreed, that makes us terrible and not worthy of writing a Magic News Site so sue us).
Reading Derren Brown reminded us, honestly, of the Biblical Prophet Isaiah.
“What care I for the number of your sacrifices? says the LORD.
“I have had enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves, lambs and goats I find no pleasure.
“When you come in to visit me, who asks these things of you?
“Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me.”
We thought of Isaiah not because Mr. Brown’s book is spiritual.
Nope. There are parts and pieces of Mr. Brown’s book that make you feel as if he is decidedly anti-Christian.
He mocks Christianity – or perhaps we misread that which is meant to be serious as sarcastic.
So, if he is not biblically spiritual, he is nonetheless inspiring enough to read and re-read.
Consider the Isaiah-like pronouncement Mr. Brown makes:
“Aaahhh, my loves, and so we come to the end of a wonderful journey: we have
dipped our toelets in the the shimmering pool of secret wonder and
I wonder if this book will affect your performance of magic or mentalism.
Let us roll up our collective sleeve of integrity and reach down deep into
the raw, foetid effluence of dull, unconvincing effects: past the
steaming turds that are billet switches; past the faecal nuggest that
are sealed envelopes and ‘gaps left for a nail writer;’ and deep belowy
that dead otter – that single stinking stool of immense proportions
that is the standard book test, or the ‘sealed predicition.”
In Bob Cassidy’s work, including his extraordinary Mental Miracles DVD, he argues that we should avoid the typical “card trick” or the use of cards to in your own mental miracle.
Like Kierkegaard in the world of (later) non-Christian Existentialists, the point is that once you have an understanding of your world, you are free to do as you need to live as you should for He who you know.
Use cards, Mr. Brown argues, use them if you need to or want to if it has anything to do with the effect you want your audience to feel.
Do not use cards because you are comfortable with them or because you know a neat trick.
Mr. Brown describes an epiphany when he sat at a table and imagined what it would be like to be a typical diner being approached by one of us, a table-hopper.