Monday, December 19, 2005

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Back-stabbing and sniping is an accepted part of just about any business, and they're certainly well practiced in show business. And the more a person is in the public eye -- or even if they're famous within our little subcultrue -- the more that person is a target.

Case in point: A long and well-behaved thread which reviewed, overviewed, questioned, INspected, DIssected, INfected, and NEglected Richard Osterlind's Mind Mysteries Too. For the non-wizards in the house, that's a set of teaching DVDs of mentalism and magic. They cover new ideas, presentation of old ideas, and extrapolation of ideas to their fullest. But I digress..

This thread was, as they say, hijacked by some folks with some axe to grind. One person posted a review which, while not really very negative, managed to slam anyone who had anything good to say about these DVDs. Along the way, he backhanded a few effects on the disks with no more than a casual "they weren't any good" type of dismissal. (His reasons? Didn't really give any, just said they weren't good.)

Quite naturally, the people who liked the DVDs felt they'd been grossly insulted. The offensive poster had claimed that anyone who liked these DVDs were putting Osterlind on a pedestal. His precise wording was that we were treating Osterlind as if he were a god.

When called on this insult, he continually denied he was rude. He then went on to consistently insult any and every person who dared suggest he was wrong. Unable to apologize, he turned more and more ugly, until he'd managed to convince people that he was downright evil and, perhaps, dangerous.

He, and a few others, made the thread so ugly that the management had to delete it. All of it.

Today, I heard he was (I quote) "insanely angry" at me for being one of the people to tell him that, no, he wasn't an emperor. Not long after, I received a worm (semi-intelligent virus) over my internet connection. Luckily, my virus protection software caught it, trapped it, and - with the help of a good network engineer - traced it back to the locale of the aforementioned evil person.

Perhaps it wasn't him. Perhaps it was one of his fans (he's had at least one of his gimmicks checked out by David Blaine) who were as uptight as he. Either way, it points out two things:

Magicians aren't exactly united.

And it's way too easy to hijack someone else's computer, not to mention a thread in a discussion forum.



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