Get With the Times…

Ugh, so the idea of “cultural appropriation” in magic has popped up recently in a social media group for magicians. Personally I’m against people using props that depict things they don’t know about. A good example is the classic magic production boxes that have a Chinese character on them. At the very least, know what it actually says.

Yes, there is an artistic choice there use them and not know what they say. However your artistic choice says something about you.

Luckily those boxes and wearing Asian robes have mostly fallen out of fashion for younger performers. Right now it’s the older performers who are the ones that are (still) doing it. I try not to judge the past by modern standards, but if you are in modern times still doing things that may have been acceptable in the past, you need to get with the times.

Someone like Ian Adair who I respect as a creator still sells his Fu Ling Yu trick:

Ian adair fu ling yu

That style of imagery doesn’t belong in a modern magic show. I also understand he lives in a different country and what may be acceptable there may be different from where I live. I also understand he probably had a ton of these made 20+ years ago and doesn’t want to throw them away. I wish he would realize that sometimes you have to let go of the past, that trick really can’t be a good seller anymore.