The Five Movements


The post below may contain spoilers for the show The OA. I have no clue, because I haven't seen the show. It would be like if I had never read the Bible but I showed you this picture because I wanted to talk about... I don't fitness goals. And you were like, "Dude, you just spoiled the bible!" And I'm like, "What? What do you mean? Who is this guy? Is he an important character."

So, what I'm saying is, if you plan to watch this show and you don't want to hear anything about it, even from someone who doesn't actually know anything about it, then you may want to skip this post.

Reader G.G. sent me the following email in regards to the post I had written about how lame "snapping" is as a magical gesture and how it relates to a Netflix show called The OA.

Regarding your post, “The Least You Can Do” (April 24, 2017), have you seen “The OA” (Netflix)? I watched it with my wife this week. It made me think of your remarks about using creative magical gestures. 

If you haven’t seen the show, the characters in The OA make magic happen by using intricate and physically demanding dance-like movements. The moves are even a little frightening. 

He then included a link to one of many youtube videos where people are recreating these movements. 

Like this.

And here is a video of it taking place in the show itself.

What I find interesting is that if you search the internet for OA and movements you'll find a bunch of videos with people imitating these movements and posts about people wanting to learn them. Something really captured people about the movements even though, in and of themselves, they're not that interesting or fascinating.

Can you see anyone being intrigued by this if the characters had just snapped and the magic had happened?

I'm not saying you need some choreographed movements to make the magic happen, just something that's not completely dismissive about the notion that something unusual is actually taking place.

I hadn't intended to write about snapping again so soon, or ever again for that matter, but I thought this was a good example of how a mysterious (even if ultimately meaningless) impetus for the magic can be interesting to people.

If you have friends who are magicians maybe you should come up with a series of movements you can do to initiate a magic moment. It doesn't have to be this dramatic, it can be much more subtle. It can just be with your hands and arms if you don't want to incorporate your whole body. People doing shit in unison is kind of inherently creepy. Some kind of pounding in rhythm, then sliding your hand across the table, then pushing in towards the center, then the energy that's amassed in the center of the table can be passed from person to person, and whoever has it at the end of the ritual can do certain things or know certain things he shouldn't be able to.

I also agree with something GG wrote me in the email when he said that the breathing is one of the more powerful elements of the OA movements. So throw in some funky breathing too.

That may sound like some witchcraft type stuff to you, but I think it's just a little bit of theater for an art that can use it. This goes back to a lot of what I've written about unbelievable premises and why I prefer them as well as the Romantic Adventure style I wrote about on May 3rd.

In this case, contrary to most of my ideas, you are taking credit for the magic, but only through some kind of byzantine procedure, which is ultimately just another way of suggesting that what's happening is bigger than yourself. 

(I just googled snapping and "when the magic happens," and found this thread on the Cafe on the subject. Djurmann, the creator of the thread, raised the question of whether snapping, waving a wand, or sprinkling woofle dust diminishes the magic. 

I've made my thoughts clear on snapping, obviously.

Magic wands? They do probably have the same issues as snapping. But at least it shows some effort. Unless you use an "impromptu magic wand." I never understood that idea. "Pick up a pencil and use it as an impromptu magic wand." Huh? Isn't the wand supposed to have some power, or allow you to transmit some power? Do it with a pencil? So, are we suggesting that all that matters is the cylindricality of the object? That's the important aspect about the wand? Seems dubious. And it seems like magicians would constantly be accidentally causing magic to happen, what with all the time they spend with their thin, cylindrical dicks in their hands.

The one trick I used a wand for regularly was with one of those vanishing coin boxes. I'd place the coin in the box. Then I'd take out a velvet bag. Out of the bag I'd dump a long wooden box. I'd open the wooden box and there would be wand in there. The kind that screws together in the middle. I'd take out the two pieces and polish them with the bag. Then I'd screw them together. I'd hold the wand in different positions, at each point I'd kind of "weigh" the wand with my hand to make sure it was in the correct position. Once I'd found the correct position I'd tap the box. Then I'd unscrew the wand. Polish the two pieces. Place them in the box. Place the box in the bag. Then place the bag away. The whole process took maybe 75-90 seconds. Then I'd open the coin box. "The coin is gone! Want me to bring it back I'd say?" When they said yes I'd reach for the velvet bag again. "Oh, forget it," they'd say. I could then make the coin reappear in some strange location later.

And as far as Woofle Dust goes. I've made my position very clear on that. )