By BOB SEIDENSTEIN – Columnist – Adirondack Daily Enterprise
If you ever decide to become a magician, you must learn The First Law of Magic, which is this: There’s no such thing as magic.
No such thing as magic?
Am I toying with you?
Not at all.
There’s a very good reason magicians never reveal a secret: namely, to spare people from disappointment. It’s a sad fact of life that when most people learn how a trick is done, the fun is over.
When they don’t know how it’s done, it stays an entertaining little mystery. But if they do find out, it becomes just one more ugly reality. And let’s face it — most of us have had about all the reality we can stand.
Now let me clarify something. No magician worth his wand cares about fooling people. If they did, they would’ve used their powers of deceit to gain more money and status by going into really lucrative fields like politics, advertising or religion.
The magician’s raison d’etre is to delight and entertain, not to fool. And thus the First Law of Magic. And because there is no such thing as magic, magicians have their work cut out for them, giving people the joyful sense that what they’re seeing is indeed magic.
Here’s the weird part. Even though magicians know magic doesn’t exist, they themselves fall prey to believing it does. And you can blame that on magic dealers. Or to give credit where it’s due, on the peeps who write the descriptions about the magic the dealers sell.
What you pay for in a trick is not the trick itself but its secret. And the secret will never be revealed in an ad. Instead, only the effect will be described. Actually, to be precise, the effect will be over-described. A typical description could read: READ MORE