By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
—Ruth Kramer Ziony
Re: “Timothy Leary’s Endless Party” [July 18–July 24]. I was overjoyed and enlightened by Judith Lewis’ review and am pleased to feel how Tim’s worldview and irrepressible spirit continues to ‰ shine on. Thank you for your kind and well-chosen words.
In your recent profile of former Pixies drummer David Lovering and former Possum Dixon front man Rob Zabrecky [“Rock Magicians,” July 18–24], John Albert took a couple of cheap shots at “most magicians.” Albert went on to type: “Most people think of magicians and envision some tanned über-nerd in a Miami Vice suit doing flashy illusions to a melodramatic song like ‘Dream Weaver.’ They are the show-biz equivalent of the smug car salesman — you know they’re getting over on you, yet you continue to watch as if hypnotized, and then slink out feeling like a world-class rube.”
Albert’s ignorance of postmodern magic veritably yawns off the page. Although magic may indeed have fewer hairstyles than rock, punk, protopunk, grunge punk, demiyoyopunk and all of its other microbranded products, today’s crop of magicians can boast its own fair share of edgy artists: Ed Alonzo (the Magic Castle’s Magician of the Year last year) doesn’t saw a lady in half, but instead happily dismembers a bunny. Todd Robbins hammers a nail into his own face. Beno and Bosco perform Needle Through the Tit. Zach Dubnoff, a.k.a. the Wizard of Hollywood, swallows 20 razor blades and a length of thread, and then pulls the blades from his mouth tied to the thread. The list goes on.
Magic lovers are a cross section of the populace, reflecting the diverse passions and points of view of America, something that a couch potato like Mr. Albert will not discover simply by sucking his thumb to Fox Television’s latest über-Blaine. Sure there are octogenarians and traditionalists in the magic world with retrograde points of view; music has its own fair share, as well. (Ever hear of Wayne Newton?) But as with any cross section, the gene pool is also teeming with iconoclasts, rebels and Weather Underground radicals.
It’s easy to ooze sarcasm — as I am this moment proving, and as Mr. Albert proved with such remedial grammar and composition in his so-called article. What’s more difficult by far is to write with authority and knowledge, rather than engaging in the much simpler task of typing without a clue in your head, only a couple ounces o’ ’tood.
MC and magician
Magic on the Edge
SHORT-LIVED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
In “Another Day in Paradise” [July 25–31] Steven Leigh Morris errs when he says the play Oh! What a Lovely War never appeared in the United States. It had a short-lived Broadway production in 1964, produced by David Merrick.
Nancy Updike’s story on the Israeli security barrier [“Fences Make Bad Neighbors,” July 18–24] contained an error. The Green Line is an armistice demarcation, not a border. Israel has internationally recognized borders with Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.