Pre-History of The GLOMM
I first mentioned the GLOMM back in December, I think, and today I can finally explain it.
There are two things that led to the GLOMM and they both stem from my decision last October to offer a limited edition book for sale, the proceeds of which I would use to pay the people who assist with the site and then "buy my time" to work on the site as well.
The first was that many of the people who wrote me back in October (and since) expressed a sentiment along these lines: "I'm donating because the stuff you're writing about really resonates with me in a way most other magic writing doesn't." (Actually, they put it in much more heartfelt terms than that. And I was going to quote some of those emails here. But they're too nice and overly-complimentary and it feels weird to post them publicly.)
I felt honored -- actually, "honored" makes it sound corny and insincere -- but it felt cool to be presenting some ideas about magic that were resonating with people all over the world. But not widely resonating. I liked that it was a small, passionate community rather than a large detached one. And I wanted to create a kind of faux organization for people who are into this site.
At the same time I was bummed about the idea of releasing an expensive magic book and then having bootleg copies floating around. As I've mentioned before, I wasn't bummed for my sake. I would have very few to sell after publication regardless. But I had been in that position where I'd purchased a pricey magic book and then some dude tells me he found a pdf copy online and it kind of sucks. I'm protective of the people in my life who have been good to me and so, if possible, I wanted to protect the investment of the people who were good to this site.
So I gave it some thought. The first thing I did was come up with a way of individuating each copy of the book. Now, if a copy of the book showed up somewhere, I would at least know who made the copy and was distributing it. But what action could I take? I guess I could ask Greg Wilson if his dojo was free for me to go at it with the culprit, but I wanted something longer lasting than that. I could, of course, talk shit about them relentlessly on this site, and I'm sure I will if it happens, but that wasn't enough.
So then I got back to thinking about the people who like this site and support it as a this tiny, obscure magic society. Perhaps what I could do to anyone who distributes a bootleg copy of the book is to kick them out of our magic society. In that way I get to take something away from them.
Big deal. They won't give a shit.
No, of course not. Why would they?
Then I thought of a nice evil twist on the idea.
Hey, remember a while back when I asked you guys to contribute the names of magicians who were convicted of sex crimes?
So here's what I've done. I've created a new organization called the Global League of Magicians & Mentalists. It's the world's largest magic society and you are all a part of it. Welcome! Anyone with an interest in magic is automatically a member. There are no dues to pay and you don't have to perform so that some no-talents can "evaluate" you to see if you're good enough to get in. You're in.
There are only two mandates in our Code of Ethics. The first is: Don't be a jerk. The second is: Don't be a sex offender.
So let's say you do something jerky, like...oh... say, selling bootleg copies of a book you didn't write. Well, then you're going to get kicked out of the GLOMM and your name will go on the list on our page of banned members. As of now that list is just sex criminals: pedophile magicians and guys who take secret video of women peeing at the Magic Castle and that sort of thing. If you want to be a jerk and get your name on that list too, knock yourself out. It will be great company to be in if anyone ever googles your name. By the way, it's not two different lists, it's just one list of banned members with no designation as to why they were banned. "The following people have been permanently kicked out of the Global League of Magicians & Mentalists for being perverted sex criminals and/or jerks," the page reads.
Yes, this is some crazy shit. I mean, I guess I could have made the book an ebook with DRM, but that's much less fun.
Honestly, I think it will be a non-issue. I think everyone who has purchased the book has this site and the other purchaser's best interest at heart. And if not, I look forward to hiring someone who knows SEO to make your entry on the GLOMM list one of the top results for people looking for your name.
You might think I'll wield this list viciously and put anyone I don't like on it, but that's not true. It doesn't matter if I don't like you, or if you don't like me or this site. I have no issue with that. In fact, Steve Brooks is a member in good standing of the GLOMM. Everyone has a clean slate. Only true jerks (and true sex criminals) will be on the list.
You can visit the new site at www.theglomm.com. I'm happy to welcome all you new members.
There is a membership kit you can purchase as well. Your support there is funneled back into this site resulting in more content, more foolishness, more happiness. And you'll look dope as hell in your GLOMM t-shirt at your next magic meeting or convention. I want to see picture of these shirts showing up at MAGIC Live and FISM. That would be the best.
That's the other part about this that I find very satisfying. I mentioned above about wanting to create some kind of loose "organization" for people who enjoy this site. This is a group that really only I get to see through my email correspondence with you. And that's what the Global League of Magicians and Mentalists is: a hyper-niche group of magicians masquerading as the world's largest magic organization.