Stephen and Hugh try to find the proper Get Well Card for the occasion.
Thanks to YouTuber Majka327
And yet another installment of satirical commentary vignettes I had written for a local radio personality back in 2014-15. I’d set up the premise with a true news story from the day, and then add a comment punchline. Some of the jokes are dated, but some unfortunately still make too much sense.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has established a research and essay competition in honor of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz. Army General Martin E. Dempsey said the essay competition is a fitting tribute to the life and leadership of the Saudi Arabian monarch.
Comment: It’s the shared values: torture, the death penalty, elites beyond the rule of law, and the worship of oil.
Days After Government Approved Free Speech Rally, France Arrests 54 People for Offensive Speech
Comment: In related news, scientists have defined a new unit of time called “the hypoc-ri-second”: it is the amount of time elapsed before government officials make complete hypocritical asses of themselves. Scientists say it is the smallest unit of time known to humankind.
At sundown Dec. 16 this year, Jews usher in the Festival of Lights.
Comment: Or as Jews call it, the holiday where you have to decide if eight days of small presents are as good as one day of big presents.
Dr. Margaret Chan criticized drugs companies for turning their backs on markets that cannot pay for super-expensive drugs. She said a vaccine to protect millions from the Ebola virus does not exist, only because the disease previously only affected poor African nations.
Comment: The drug companies responded that their previous actions had been misinterpreted, and that henceforth they looked forward to seeing many more epidemics in Africa.
According to Senator wannabee Scott Brown, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has voted with Obama “over 100 percent of the time.”
Comment: We’ve checked the authenticity of this story and we are 500% sure it’s true
President Barack Obama met with over a dozen prominent columnists and magazine writers Wednesday afternoon before calling for an escalation of the war against ISIS that same night. The group included New York Times columnists David Brooks, Tom Friedman and Frank Bruni.
Comment: Never has such a powerhouse of idiots been seen in one room since the time Bill O’Reilly dined alone.
Smooth jazz star Kenny G just paid a surprise visit to support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
Comment: Hong Kong Communist Party officials deny it was part of a plot to clear the area of protestors.
Here’s another installment of my limerick game contributions. As I stated in the first installment, on one of the online magic forums, there’s a game where one person suggests a first line for a limerick, and the next person has to complete the other four lines of the limerick. Many of the limericks have a magic-oriented theme, but that’s not a requirement. Here are a few of my better efforts. (Remember, all first lines were given by others):
There once was a magical duck
Enamored with some poor dumb cluck
He climbed on her bones
She started to moan
Hey!!–It’s a family website you schm*ck!
On a cold dismal night in mid Feb
I Googled ’bout every celeb
I perused every writer
Yes, much like the spider
I waste too much time on the web.
On the top of the mountain stood Harry
Houdini, that is, and then Larry
Jennings, of course
A powerful force
My favorite is Richardson, Barrie.
A man once married his dog
“I’m happy,” he wrote on his blog
The bathroom is free
From ten until three
While the wife is out using a log.
Derren Brown was reading my mind,
Attempting to do it while blind.
But the dude didn’t know
Of my years of Cointreau–
So there was nothing there he could find!
Every once in a while I like to catch up and share the titles of conjuring books I’ve been reading, so here’s what I’ve been enjoying the last couple of months—and a little product review at the end as well:
1. Scripting Magic, Volume 2: Pete McCabe’s first volume, Scripting Magic, was one of my all-time favorite magic books. It contained scripts for dozens of excellent magic tricks, and what’s more, it told you why they were good scripts and compared them to the not-so-good examples. Anyone reading them could improve the effects they already did by following the advice in the book. Now, in Volume 2, McCabe continues with more wonderful tricks and scripts—including examples from America’s Got Talent winner Derek Hughes, and the script of Houdini’s performance of the Water Torture Cell. McCabe tells you not only what makes a good script, but also helps you to understand how to come up with a premise, and how to flesh it out. It’s terrific advice, but even if you choose to ignore it, there are some very good tricks here including “Pleasure To Burn” ( a fifty-two to one card equivoque) and the holiday-themed “Catching a Leprechaun.” While it’s always great to learn new sleights (and McCabe teaches a few here in the context of a given effect) probably no investment of time will improve one’s magic so much as focusing on script and presentation.
2. Malini and His Magic: Dai Vernon was always humble about the debt he owed to the magicians whose work he studied, including Emil Jarrow and Nate Leipzig, but none impressed him more than Max Malini. I’ve written about Malini before, but it is hard to overestimate what an important influence he was on Vernon’s generation of magicians. In an age where magicians mainly entertained with large illusions on stage, Malini changed the paradigm. Whether he was entertaining on the stage of a large theater, a hotel ballroom, or an intimate dinner party of the rich and famous, he needed only a couple of decks of cards and some silverware to make his presence unforgettable. In Malini and His Magic, editor Lewis Ganson collated Vernon and others’ thoughts and memories of Malini in order to produce a slim but valuable volume. It starts off with some basic biographical information, and then describes the presentation and methods of Malini’s full evening show, the highlight of which was his card stabbing routine. Later chapters deal with Malini’s more informal shows, and it’s wonderful to read about how audacious his effects and methods were. Malini was also quite a self-promoter, and not a small amount of his success was his ability to “schmooze” and make friends with wealthy patrons. The one secret that remains is the famous dinner table production of a block of ice from a lady’s hat. While Vernon describes the production and one aspect of the method, he admits that he does not know how Malini loaded up. That will have to be a mystery to all but Ricky Jay, who you can see perform the astonishing trick for a skeptical journalist in the documentary film Deceptive Practice. (Hmm, I just got an idea of what may have happened.)
3. Our friend Ron Chavis is now well along with the publication of his “Official Magazine for Mentalists,” Mystic Descendant, having released a solid four quarterly issues to round out the first year. The magazine continues with its friendly, good-natured, bar-room mate outlook, and as I have mentioned before, it focuses mainly on the casual performance of mentalism, with a focus on storytelling. I’ve finally caught up with the fourth issue, and in it you’ll find a lovely true story about a seance that unexpectedly turns into a tribute to a recently deceased mentalist; a presentation of an effect that leaves warm feelings of a spectator’s meaningful relationship; and an interview with South American mentalist Mauricio Jaramillo who talks about preparing for the time when things go wrong in performance. It’s light, pleasant reading, that may well stimulate mentalism thoughts of your own; if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you can go to http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mysticdescendant to order any issue.
4. On some of the internet magicians’ forums, you’ll find endless discussion of what are the best cards to use, and it may seem amusing to run into spirited online discussions that go into scores of pages on whether blue-backed or red-backed cards are best to use. A lot of magicians take such things quite seriously. Anyway, much virtual ink has also been spilled about what brand of cards is most suitable for card magic. For the past few years, the product of a relative newcomer in the field, the Phoenix deck by Card-Shark, has found favor with many magicians. I like Phoenix cards a lot, but I recently became aware of the new release by the US Playing Card Company of a special edition of their Maiden Back cards. I’ve been using them for a few months now, and I really like them, maybe more than the Phoenix cards. Here’s what I think the advantages of them are:
So if this sounds like something you might be interested in, I’d advise you to try a brick soon, as I don’t really see how they can keep selling them at this price. Happy magishing.
At one of the online magic forums, there’s a game I’ve contributed to through many years concerning limericks. One person suggests a first line for a limerick, and the next person has to complete the limerick. Many of the limericks have a magic-oriented theme, but that’s not a requirement. Here are a few of my better efforts. (Remember, all first lines were given by others):
A young man from the wilds of Peru
Bought a very new gnu from the zoo
But the gnu didn’t know
What a gnu ought to know
So he bought a new gnu who knew news.
I “invented” a new spelling trick
With 21 cards, it’s so slick
I deal seven piles
But I never get smiles,
They all want it over real quick.
When presenting the spec’s queen of hearts
Some magi take leave of their smarts
They prance and parade
(No, they’ll never get laid)
Not knowing they’re just some old farts
I considered a life on the stage
Not easy for someone my age
But I just got hired
No longer retired
Come see me, the geek in a cage.
I found in my old photo book
The claw of the mean Captain Hook
And also the mug
Of some vicious thug
For Sale: by Hook or by crook.
So, I was having my weekly freak out about what will happen if I die tomorrow—not that I have any indication that that is going to occur—and I realized that what I was worried about the most, besides my family, was my writing.
Specifically, what about the novel that I’ve been working on for the last five years, the one that’s still sitting on my computer? My nightmare is that it just stays there with no one even knowing that it’s there. Oh, my family knows I’ve been working on it all this time—how could they not with all the agita around it?—but they don’t know what file it is, or what version is the latest, and probably they’ll have other things to think of when I drop dead, so what am I going to do? It’s strange: we finally got around to making a will, so my family is okay; but I worry about my characters. I’m worried that they will not have a chance to live. It’s a crazy feeling, but it’s a real one. I want them to have a home if they don’t find one before I’m gone. I wonder if other writers experience this. Like Pirandello’s characters, my modest creations want to have a chance to play out their stories, too.
I mean, I have been doing due diligence, sending out my manuscript and query letters, but who knows if anyone will bite? A few close calls, but still nothing. But I believe in this book and these characters, and while I know the book is not going to appeal to everyone, I say immodestly that it is good and deserves to be read by those who would enjoy it.
So I finally figured out a way to lessen my anxiety around this whole thing. I decided that I would self-publish one copy, one copy that I could leave behind, so that when I go, at least there will be some tangible evidence of what I’ve been doing these last few years. It’s kind of amazing to me the effort it takes to write a novel, good or bad. At least, the effort it took me. I don’t claim it to be anything great, but I don’t want it just to disappear.
I went onto a popular online self-publishing site, Lulu.com, having no experience at all how this was going to play out. I assumed that I would have to order a hundred or more copies to get this done. It’s not really what I wanted to do, but I figured, okay, if I have a stack of these left in my office when I kick the bucket, they can give them out at my funeral or something. When I actually went to the website, though, I was pleasantly surprised. You don’t have to order a hundred copies. You could order fifty, or fifteen, or for goodness sake, you could just order one. Yes, one’s the ticket: that’s just what I wanted. Just one to document that I was here, that somewhere in my life I did this thing, and here it is.
The whole process was not too difficult to navigate. There’s a bit of a learning curve but if you follow the directions on the website, you can create your book without too much trouble. The first thing you do is choose the format for your published book: hardbound, softbound, paper quality, different sizes, and so on. I chose a 6×9 perfect bound paperback. If you eventually decide that you want to publish the book commercially, they recommend you ask for the premium paper. This option also provides you with an ISBN number should you ever decide to go commercial with the book. Next, you download a Word template from the website and import the Word document of your manuscript into it. You then upload that file back to Lulu, and they return a pdf that shows exactly how the manuscript will look when published.
When you’re happy with what you see, then it’s time to choose a cover. There is a very easy and flexible Cover Wizard which allows you to choose from a number of attractive looking cover themes. If you like, you can add photos to your front cover; also, on the back cover, you can add an author’s photo and any text you wish. In addition, the book automatically prints with the title of the book and the author’s name on the spine. Since I am not interested right now in publishing, I did not opt for any photos or even back cover text, so I just chose an abstract cover design that I thought was attractive.
At this point you can order your masterpiece, any amount from one proof copy to hundreds. There is a discount in the price per book as the quantity goes up, but I was amazed at how inexpensive it was, even for the one proof copy I wished to purchase. For a 250 page softcover, premium paper, with a designed cover, it only cost $6, plus $5 for shipping. In other words, it cost less than a paperback at the local book store, even with shipping.
I sent off my order and the book arrived about 10 days later. It was very exciting ripping open the package, and seeing the book. It looked and felt great—it was not just a cheap knock off. It was commercial grade paper, cover, and binding. I was very pleased with that. And when I read through my book, I was ready to weep, because the story actually worked as a book. It’s one thing to read a manuscript as a file on your computer, or a collection of printed out loose papers, but when you read it as a bound book, it is a whole different experience. I kept turning the pages, and kept feeling like I had done it. Of course, what I also found were typos and pages mis-formatted, even after literally dozens and dozens of revisions. My biggest mistake was something I thought I had accurately accounted for, but I was wrong—not all of the major chapter sections and title pages started on a right hand page. But I wasn’t too worried, because the cost of re-doing a proof was cheap enough that I didn’t mind just correcting the file, re-uploading it, and ordering a new proof. That’s what I did, and ten days later I was greeted by the new corrected copy.
I have to say this whole experience really helped me to put my mind to rest. Even if you’re not as neurotic as I am, preparing to keel over at any moment, I think that if you are shopping around a manuscript you would benefit from ordering a proof copy of your work. You will see mistakes and typos in a way that you may well have missed in electronic or loose manuscript form. If you do get an agent and a publisher, wonderful; but if not, you have the option of either buying copies from Lulu and selling them yourself, or you can have the book advertised on Lulu’s website. They will do print on demand if you wish, so that they only print the number of books that are actually ordered; Lulu, of course, takes a substantial cut of the cover price that way. You also have the option of listing the book on Amazon in a similar print on demand deal, but in that case, Amazon takes such a large cut, that it hardly pays for the author.
So, if my family is reading this, now you know what that book is that’s sitting next to my will…but I sure hope you get to read it before then.
Last week, I posted some current events gags I had written for a local radio personality back in 2014-15. I’d set up the premise with a true news story from the day, and then add a comment punchline. Here are a few more of those from that time:
You- Always-Hurt-the-One-You-Love Dept.
One hundred years ago this week, on Sept.1, 1914, the last Passenger pigeon died in a Cincinnati zoo, ending the reign of a species that numbered in the billions until American settlers wiped the birds out.
Comment: And to think we didn’t even need smallpox blankets to do it! Progress!
In what observers are calling a classic example of “bait and switch,” after months of promising to take executive action on immigration reform this summer, President Barack Obama is now further delaying legislation until after midterm elections.
Comment: In other news, Obama revealed that the five-bedroom Park Avenue luxury apartment for $700 a month he had offered was no longer available, but there was still room in a trailer under the wino bridge for rent.
General Mills Inc. has agreed to acquire Annie’s Inc., one of the largest producers of natural and organic branded food, in a deal worth $820 million.
Comment: And in related news, Annie’s Organic Green Kale Salad Dressing will be re-branded as Count Chocula’s Lucky Charm Bits Mayonnaise Syrup.
Ben Affleck is reportedly in negotiations to star in a new action thriller called The Accountant.
Comment: It’s Affleck’s first in a series of “ordinary people” thrillers including The Barista, The Gas Station Attendant, and The Guy Who Scrapes The Bubble Gum Off the Bottom of Third Graders’ School Desks.
Comedy in the Age of Terrorism Dept.
A comedy club in Barcelona has introduced a computer fitted to the back of each seat, which reads audience members’ facial expressions. It runs up a tab of smirks, chuckles and belly laughs. Each laugh is charged at €0.30 per laugh.
Comment: Does that mean you can watch Bill Maher for free?
DNA testing has raised questions about the nobility of some of the royal family. A spokesman said England’s current royal family should not be worried. “We are not in any way indicating that Her Majesty (Elizabeth II) shouldn’t be on the throne.”
Comment: Yes, because symbolic rule by one family over millions of people should never be challenged. Think of all the PBS television series that would have to be cancelled.
I had forgotten, but was recently reminded, that I had spent some of 2014 and 2015 writing little satirical one-liners a few times a week for a local radio personality. I would scan the day’s newspapers and websites in the morning, pick out the most absurd articles, and then affix a humorous comment for broadcast in the afternoon. It was a lot of fun to do. Four years later, I don’t know that the references (or humor) hold up anymore, but I thought you might enjoy reading some of them.
Yes, it’s almost like comedy!
“Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell indicated its continued desire to drill in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska by submitting new plans for exploratory operations to federal agencies. Despite previously failed attempts to perform such drilling the company appears committed to pushing forward.”
Comment: A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell assured protestors that he promised to put it only part of the way in.
“A nightmarish cannabilistic cricket from Asia is apparently invading homes throughout the Eastern United States. The greenhouse camel cricket, which is known for its voracious — and sometimes cannibalistic — appetite, has been in the US for decades; however, the insect was believed to be quite rare outside of commercial greenhouses. Until now, that is.”
Comment: But the worst thing about it is the constant buzz of “Let your conscience be your guide.” (okay, obscure Jiminy Cricket reference, but I maintain there’s a joke in there somewhere, by God!)
“Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, estimate that there are at least five huge garbage patches polluting the world’s oceans, some as big as the state of Texas.”
Comment: On closer inspection, scientists have concluded that one of the garbage patches actually is Texas.
“Biden vows retribution against ISIS: ‘We will follow them to the Gates of Hell!’ Staking out a hard line against the vicious jihadist group ISIS, Vice President Biden vowed Wednesday that the U.S. “will follow them to the Gates of Hell!” “
Comment: A Biden spokesman clarified that in the event of a busy schedule, the Vice President would at least follow ISIS to that lousy Middle Eastern restaurant on Route 95.
The Museum of Lame Excuses Dept.
“The city has dispensed a sweet settlement to three Brooklyn men who sued the NYPD after cops bizarrely mistook Jolly Rancher candies for crystal meth, the Daily News has learned. Despite the $33,000 settlement, the city admitted no wrongdoing on the part of the cops, arguing they couldn’t be sure whether the red and blue rocks were illicit drugs or candy.”
Comment: And in other news, the NYPD is still determining whether a confiscated jump rope is really a 13-foot man-eating Zorch Snake from the Planet Aroos.
“The police department for San Diego’s public schools recently revealed that they have acquired a large armored combat vehicle from the U.S. military which is designed to withstand blasts from improvised explosive devices and mines.”
Comment: Unnamed sources say a record amount of homework was turned in the next day.
The first line of Hamlet, like many first lines of Shakespeare, announces the theme: “Who’s there?” For Denmark, like the countries we inhabit, is a place where no one is sure who is watching whom, who the enemy is, or on a more metaphysical plane, who makes up the person one calls oneself. Identities are questioned from the outside and the inside. Who and what is real? Can we know others? Can others know us? Can we know ourselves?
Denmark is a prison says Hamlet. It’s a country that seems to be perpetually at War. In such a world, where the enemy can sneak upon you at any moment, nothing is private. The State dominates through surveillance of actions and thoughts. The dangerous one is the one who keeps to him or herself. The notion of privacy has disappeared.
In No Place to Hide, Glenn Greenwald’s book concerning the revelation of ongoing, illegal, mass warrantless surveillance by the American government, he makes a point that is often overlooked: it is not possible for human beings to grow and develop normally in a society where there is no privacy. Privacy is a necessary condition for being able to try out different versions of ourselves, to both invent and to find out just who we are. To keep sane.
But Denmark is a prison.
In a government where the will of the people is feared, the alarm must sound for Hamlet—Claudius warily declares that “madness in great ones must not unwatched go.” Hamlet feigns madness as protection, to save his true self from scrutiny. Madness acts as a protective shell, the soul’s attempt to keep from being “too much in the sun.” There is no place for Hamlet to feel his feelings without the glare of the court on him. Even his most intimate conversations with Ophelia are watched. Like the sacred ceremony being recorded by an anthropologist, sacredness evaporates. There is no room for the sacred under such conditions, even though humans must have such a place or go mad. The early Shakespeare commentators asked whether Hamlet was really mad or only feigning it. He is both: he feigns madness and is driven mad by his panopticon society.
Hamlet eludes. He puts on an antic disposition. He play acts. What is a human being that s/he can act? For centuries, actors were reviled and cursed, classified with beggars, thieves and prostitutes. They were shapeshifters, untrustworthy, not what they seemed. Worse, an actor seems to have no center. Indeed, Borges once wrote that that was Shakespeare’s glory and curse—Shakespeare was everything and nothing. Everything because he was nothing.
Denmark is a prison. It’s a prison because there is nowhere to hide. A place becomes a prison when there is nowhere to be alone, no way to find out who you are. You are constantly being defined by others, being told who you are, who you must be, what you must do.
But the actor escapes definition. The actor is subversive of the whole notion of fixed identity; subversive of the notion of control. It’s, paradoxically, in the act of acting that Hamlet finds the truth and frees himself.
When we wonder whether art can be revolutionary, an act of resistance, it serves well to remember that every government in the world throughout history has sought to control its art. Surely that must be a salve to those who are not certain whether their efforts are useful. We don’t always know what kind of art will be effective or not, but the possibility that art can be a strong weapon always exists, even when it may be in ways we don’t always fully understand. The actor on the stage is always the promise that we contain multitudes and have the capacity to transform ourselves and society.
The play’s the thing.
Penny Arcade, the definition of underground performance artist, creator of dozens of killer performance pieces over the last thirty plus years, including her current worldwide theatrical hit, Longing Lasts Longer, spoke with me in a wise and funny radio interview, broadcast yesterday on the Arts Express program on WBAI.
Click on the grey triangle above to hear the wonderful Penny talk about her performance roots, the downtown art scene, why it gets better, cupcakes, gentrification of the mind, and the pursuit of approval.
I wonder how some people can talk so much. For me, it’s really difficult. I mean, if I must, I can, but it’s a big effort. Now it’s true that I am used to speaking in public, and I am used to being on a stage; but that’s script reading, not talking; it’s a world of difference. And the same with writing: some writers cannot stop writing. They keep their detailed diaries and journals, often from a young age, with an enviable fluency. On the other hand, writers like myself have to be chained to the chair and desk while writing. I kind of understand this difference in writers. With a writer, the voluble ones have the advantage of being able to get that first draft done quickly, and they don’t agonize over every word. But, still, those writers understand that a first draft is just a first draft. They know and accept that it’s not going to come out right that first time. But what I don’t understand is how some people can keep talking, since it’s not just a first draft, and there’s no chance to edit it once it’s out there. It’s already published–in a matter of speaking. Or is that it? Do they simply trust that they can keep talking and revise themselves in the moment?
I don’t know what I am writing until I write it. This essay itself has gone through many drafts (not enough!), and each time I’m discovering what it is I want to say. But I almost never allow myself that same luxury as a speaker. I almost never surprise myself as a speaker. Do others?
When I do radio I much prefer to edit interviews than do live radio, because I think the listener deserves more than my unedited wanderings. I am not a fan of poetry that reads like unedited diary musings. That seems inartistic to me. I don’t expect anyone to make any sense of my first drafts. The only time that I allow myself to speak without thinking first is during an acting improv, because to me, the stage is a very safe place, and I never have to take responsibility for what a character says.
But real life? No, I will not allow that. Do the talkers do what I do in an improv and silence their inner critic (or does it not exist for them)? Or does the inner critic work so quickly that they don’t worry about what comes out? Or are they confident that they can just keep talking, and in so doing revise as they talk? Maybe that’s what explains the compulsive quality of some of the non-stop talkers I’ve known. Are they revising, revising, and refusing to stop until the final product seems right? Or is it that they simply do not care that there may be some unwanted leakage? In the end, my attempts to manage myself are futile anyway, and maybe I just feel more wary and ashamed than I need to feel. The talkers have such a trust in themselves and their ideas, and there seems to be no border between their inside and outside. I don’t know how to be so transparent.
But I also see that talking is used as a defense, just as silence is used as a defense. Is it that the talker cannot imagine silence being used as a defense any more than the quiet one can understand the use of talking as a defense? Choose your weapon.
Still, I don’t even understand the biology and physics of the non-stop talker. How, I wonder to myself, is it physically possible for a person to be like a record player, putting the needle on the phonograph record and having it play straight through non-stop? Is the person doing in public what I am doing privately in my head all the time? Maybe those words are not meant for the public but for the talker? Is it that the talker cannot hear his or her own self-talk unless it’s spoken out loud?
Shakespeare talks a lot about talking. And his characters can certainly talk–to themselves and to others. But he makes fun of Polonius for babbling too much, and the silky flowing words of the King, Claudius, are treacherous ones. Yet Hamlet, who speaks more lines than any other character in Shakespeare, speaks with restraint in public. When questioned about his malaise he offers up only, “I am too much in the sun,” and “I lack advancement,” and, of course, his succinct book review: “Words, words, words.” The true bulk of his lines are thoughts which he shares only with himself–and the audience who paid to hear them.
I think that even if I wanted to change the way I was, I could not do it.
Is the truth in the stream of consciousness or the reflection upon it? Which is our deepest self?
Let’s say good-bye to the old year with two pensive haikus from David Bader’s Haikus for Jews:
BLT on Toast–
the rabbi takes his first bite,
then the lightening bolt.
The same kimono
the top geishas are wearing–
got it at Loehmann’s.
For a long time in my twenties I had this Feiffer cartoon taped to my wall.
More Jules Feiffer at http://www.adambaumgoldgallery.com/feiffer_jules/feiffer.htm
I don’t often do this (umm…never in fact), but I enjoy Edward Law’s daily blog Learn Fun Facts so much that I’m re-blogging his kind post where he offers other bloggers a place to share their blogs. Thanks, Edward. I think that if you enjoy reading my blog you will also greatly enjoy Edward’s daily posts as well.
Growing a blog isn’t simple. It takes time, patience, and dedication before others would begin to notice your blog. While I can’t offer you a magic formula that would increase your blog’s popularity overnight, I can at least help you to promote your blog and find new readers.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Share a link to your blog (or blog post) that you want to promote in the comments section. To attract more attention, you may include a short and creative description of your blog.
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I recently had the pleasure of seeing Harrison Greenbaum’s comedy magic act at two different venues, and he killed at both of them. His philosophy of performing comedy magic is that the comedy has to be good enough to stand alone without the magic—and indeed that is what he has done for a good deal of his career; that is, he often performs hilarious stand-up comedy only, without the magic. But don’t underestimate his magic chops either—his routining and performance of the venerable magic Baby Gag is a standing ovation wonder.
Here’s Greenbaum with one my favorite comedy routines of his—no magic—“Lightning Roy,” the man who defied lightning.
What a trip. It’s the third anniversary of this blog this week. It’s a little scary to think I’ve posted that many times. It’s been so nice to hear from readers.
Here are a dozen of my favorite posts and memories from the past year that you may have missed, which you might also enjoy:
Thanks to everybody who participated in the contest. I had an enjoyable time reading the entries. There were some really great stories told. Here are the three winners:
First Prize goes to Daniel Doyle for his hilarious story about a chimp gone ape, complete with the requisite bite in the ass. It’s a classic. Maybe if you see him in person someday he’ll tell you about it. He chose as his prize a copy of Marlo Without Tears by Jon Racherbaumer.
Second Prize goes to Alfred Dowaliby who told a wonderful magician-in-trouble story. While Alfred was working aboard a cruise ship, fortune played a dirty trick—but instinct took over, and he emerged a hero. Extra points for a side portrait of his boss, Bill Malone. He chose as his prize Volume 5 of Richard Osterlind’s Mind Mysteries DVD.
Third Prize goes to Gallagher Hayes who told a touching and philosophical story of a misunderstanding that led him to the wrong place at the wrong time; but he still had the unstinting support of his beloved wife. He chose as his prize a copy of The Magic of Milt Kort by Stephen Minch.
Thanks again to all who entered. Sometime next week, everyone who participated will receive a pdf compilation of all the stories that were sent in
See you next year?
Yes, it’s time once again for this blog’s annual magic contest.
So here is the challenge this year:
Tell your favorite true story about performing magic. It can be about you or someone else. That’s it. If it’s about someone else, it should not be a well-known story, but inside gossip is always welcome. It can be profound, funny, embarrassing, but it must be entertaining and well told. You don’t need to be a professional or anything like that, hobbyists are welcome to participate as well. And you’re on your honor to tell only true stories.
First prize is first choice from the terrific grab bag of magic books and DVDs I’ve put together; second prize is second choice from the grab bag; and third prize, in a parallel, numerically pleasing manner, is third choice from the grab bag. The items in the grab bag are all commercial books or DVDs, at least one of which, I guarantee, you will be very happy to have.
And in the spirit of everyone being a winner, I’ll ask all entrants to allow me to make up a pdf file which includes their entry. This pdf will NOT BE SOLD, but will be offered only as a free download to all those who entered.
Send your entries please to email@example.com
Make sure to put the word CONTEST in the subject line
Deadline Monday, Oct 31, 11:59 PM.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!