03 March 2014

[Guest post] An open letter from the president of Ring 17

The following is a guest post from the president of the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club .

Dear Canada's Magic readers,

It is my responsibility as the president of the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club  IBM Ring 17 in Toronto, to clarify a point of some controversy based on my comments in the "President's Message" of the March 2014 newsletter.

By way of background, the club hosted a special lecture on Thursday, February 6, 2014 which featured the cast of the Mosquitoes Suck Project  an instructional magic download designed to raise money to fight malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and featuring such notable magicians as Bill Abbott, Jay Sankey, Joshua Jay, Bobby Motta, David Peck, Anthony Lindan, Brian Roberts and James Alan*. In attempt at humour in stark violation of John Cleese's Three rules of comedy** we dubbed the event, "The Lecture That Sucks."

In our March 2004 newsletter, I reported that the lecture was a complete success, citing well known member and terror of the Internets, The Great Mark Lewis who posted on the Facebook that the lecture sucked:
According to Mark Lewis' posting on Facebook, the the lecture sucked so it was, in principle, a complete success. And more importantly, through the evening, we raised $400 for the Mosquitoes Suck Tour, which translates to 40 bed-nets, which will protect up to 200 people for up to five years. So we are extremely grateful for your support.

In point of fact, his full commentary (divided into two posts before and after the event) was:
I am in great dread that it may not just be the mosquitos that suck.  
Only half of it sucked. Naturally I am far too tactful to say which half.

While Mr. Lewis feels that his views were misrepresented in the newsletter, I believe my remarks were faithful to his original sentiment. Of course it is now up to the reader to decided whether this is, in fact, so.
What's really at issue here is the applicability of the term "sucks" in an environment with an abundance of puns and a deficit of a well defined sense of humour in people with (clearly) too much time on their hands. Does the act of sucking blood automatically imply "sucks" in the pejorative schoolyard sense? Does it work the other way as well? 

The Ring 17 Philosopher in Residence and Professor Emeritus of Ring Reportage of the P. Howard Lyons Ring, Dr. Sammy Jakubowicz suggested, when reached for comment, "We might consult the writings of Lewis Carroll here. He may have been right when he wrote, 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.' On the other hand, he may have been wrong. It is difficult to say with certainty. Why are you bothering me with this anyway? I was out of the country and nowhere near the lecture."

It's also clear that the actual quality of the lecture plays no part forming Mr. Lewis' opinions and can safely be set aside for the purpose of this discussion.

If you feel the need to weigh in on the matter, please feel free to contact the Ring 17 Goodwill Ambassador, Matt DiSero with your thoughts.

Thank you very much for your kind attention as we attempt to resolve this misunderstanding. We look forward to seeing our members at the next meeting, Thursday, March 6, 2014.

*Present on the DVD but absent from the lecture were Joshua Jay, who was reportedly in the United States working on his six-pack and Brian Roberts who was alphabetizing his sock drawer. Matthew DiSero did turn up, somewhat against his will.

**No puns, no puns and no puns.


Thank you, I think, for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

1 comment:

  1. I must say that this is a rather half hearted retraction by the President of the Rotten Habit Club. He misrepresented my views on Facebook. I stated with my usual tact and discretion that only half the lecture sucked and I did not specify which half.

    This was a far kinder evaluation of the event than that of a certain mentalist member who confided to me that he didn't like EITHER half on the grounds that "it just isn't my thing". I think this was probably because there was no mention of the magnificence of his bare feet by any of the participants. He had no comment on the discussion afterwards because he wasn't there. It was about the lack of relevance of magic today and what we should all do about it. I would have thought the answer to that question was terribly obvious but since I would never dream of being as impertinent as Mr Alan I will refrain from stating what said answer is.