The Gimmick

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In the trailer for the movie “The Prestige”, actor Michael Caine breaks down the magic show into three acts. There is “The Pledge”, “The Turn” and finally “The Prestige”.

I’m not going to write a summary of the acts, since Michael Caine does a voice over much better than me. Here’s the link to the youtube trailer, you lazy bastards.
The Prestige Trailer

So, this building of tension through the three acts in a magic show involves a commitment from the crowd where they are drawn into this other world created by the magician. Other art forms also involve this commitment, be it movies, books, songs or painting. Each of these require certain steps to draw in the crowd to get them to witness something extraordinary.

A new, single act arose with the advent of the Internet. I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly what it was called or what the act consisted of until yesterday when I saw a certain type of video for the bajillionth time. I call this singular act to draw in the crowd “The Gimmick.”

It involves such mind blowing techniques as:
1. Deceiving the crowd about the truth of a matter.
2. That’s it, I don’t think there are anymore steps.

The two most recent that come to mind that I viewed:
1. A mix-martial arts black-belt goes in and spars with a bunch of green/brown belts and of course easily trounces them. BUT WAIT! He pretended to be a white belt who has never done any of this before.

2. A professional weightlifter athlete goes to an open beach gym and puts a bunch of muscle-bound lugs to shame. BUT WAIT! He dressed up as an 80 year old man, complete with makeup and an ancient v-neck sweater.

Naturally, these videos go on to rack up millions of views. I wondered at first if it was the lack of commitment from the crowd that made “The Gimmick” so appealing. They watch something that appears impossible or improbable and go home with a good laugh after the truth is revealed. But even standing and watching these events require a minuscule level of commitment.

I offer up an alternate hypothesis. The cultural undercurrent makes it preferable, and even acceptable, to be deceived. We want the wool pulled over our eyes because when the truth finally reveals itself we can shrug our shoulders and say “We didn’t know any better.”

Content is King

Author: admin  |  Category: Dreams  |  Comments (226)  |  Add Comment

I remember reading an article a few years back by the now famous (infamous?) blogger Matthew Walsh. In the article he described how content is king, how content drives people to your site and how he had spent years building up a following bit by bit.

At some point Walsh signed on with the big name advertisers and now his once crisp and orderly site looks like this:

Now, that picture does not include the pop-ups and other crap that my chrome ad blocker happened to disable.

I’d like to think that no matter how much traffic I had going to my site, I wouldn’t sell out to the first company that threw money at me. The way I’m going, I’ll never have to worry about that moral quagmire. Ha!

Comments are back

Author: admin  |  Category: Dreams  |  Comments (116)  |  Add Comment

I turned comments back on.

1. This is probably my only chance to grow some sort of user base.

2. I am now open to differing opinions.

3. I’m thinking of many new and exciting things and I can’t have an echo chamber reflecting my own amazing thoughts.

4. I got a captcha image text thingy installed that stops the spam.

5. We all know that the real reason is number 4.

Have a good night.

The Waking World

Author: admin  |  Category: Dreams  |  Comments (43)  |  Add Comment

People call them nightmares. Phantasms. Visions. Terrors. They all arrive at the same foregone conclusion.

In the end, dreams are just dreams.

For those interwoven with the ordinary fabric of our ordinary existence, it is an effortless observation. But one mottled thread runs through mine. One night changed all that for me.
I can still sense the Black Satellite’s infinitely looping broadcast, humming along behind the backdrop of reality, waiting patiently for the next sapient madman. Perhaps illuminating the Black Satellite will only strengthen its siren song, but I refuse to let it remain hidden any longer.

(Page one of “The Dream Snatcher Chronicles)

Kindle Scout Campaign link:
The Dream Snatcher Chronicles


Author: admin  |  Category: Dreams  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

After a long and totally intended hiatus, I’m back. Mainly because I have to try and market myself. “The Dream Snatcher Chronicles” got accepted for a campaign at Kindle Scout. The problem in my last post is still present. Work eats up most of my free time, and I’m generally unwilling to ram my novel down peoples throats. That stuff gets annoying. So lets make a check list of what routes I can pursue.

1. Twitter. Out of the question. The only time I ever used a Twitter account was to download software I needed and the site in question gave it to you for free if you posted about it on your twitter account. I didn’t have a twitter account, so I made one, posted a something about the site and shortly later received my free software. Never used it again.

2. Snapchat. Yes, the application that feeds into the marginalized attention span sported by the majority of the population. I think 5 to 10 seconds would be just gr—-

3. Facebook. The obvious choice, since I actually have an account with like 300 friends… That I all know intimately. I’m not sure what it is about social media, but it generally seems to do the exact opposite of what it is supposed to do. Probably my one and only hope.

4. Reddit. I’m sure I have an account, or I could make one easily enough, but I never post there. Maybe I should do an AMA. Ask me anything. For those of you who don’t reddit. Looking at you, sweet cheeks.

5. Random ad thingys. Maybe get an ad with a high traffic website. Maybe not. I’m sure that costs money.

Anyhow, the campaign starts June 1st and I’ll post the link along with a page of the book that I think got left out intentionally. I’m sure Amazon knows what they are doing.