Penn Jillette on artistic satisfaction and magic


21 Responses to “Penn Jillette on artistic satisfaction and magic”

  1. Pantograph says:

    their current projects include producing a film about “the secret technology that was probably behind Vermeer’s work”

    Does the world really need another documentary about Vermeer’s camera obscura? Didn’t David Hockney do one too? And that one wasn’t the first.

  2. Rindan says:

    Penn has an alternate point of view on many things that the average democrat or republican holds dear. His views might not be right, but they are certainly thought out and have justification. I think what drives people mad about Penn is that he almost certainly has point of views that you agree with. When you agree with him, you are sitting there nodding your head and going “yeah!”. He then turns around and tears into something that leaves you disagreeing and you hear yourself screaming, “that is bullshit! You are a right/left wing asshole!”

    That is pure and unadulterated cognitive dissonance. Penn is pretty much the master of it.

    Personally, I think you should try and recognize the feelings associated with cognitive dissonance and embrace it when you feel it coming on. It is almost always a sign that you have stumbled into a hole in your thinking. There is no greater tool for a thinking human than to be able to recognize the unease you feel when experiencing cognitive dissonance and being able to avoid dispelling it with self delusion or anger.

  3. sam1148 says:

    I do like his show.

    And I’m sure you’d have some political differences with him as he’s, well a Randian type libertarian.

    Whatever that means anymore.

    IMHO, you should contact his people to make your case for DRM, copyright laws being “BULLSHAIT” his show.

    That would be a excellent show. Depending on what slight of spin Penn would decide to take.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure Cory is well aware of that. Cory will be a guest speaker at The Amaz!ng Meeting in London (October 16 & 17).

      As for politics, both Penn & Teller are Libertarians and fellows at the Cato institute.

  4. Anonymous says:

    They’re great performers, however I too have many political differences with them and was kinda annoyed with quite a few of their Bullshit shows.

  5. martin0641 says:

    When people say, who would you invite to your fantasy party, Penn is on the list. I’d also invite Larry David, Richard Louis, Craig Ferguson, and Drew Carey to name a few.

    Not that they would come, but it’s my fantasy and I’ll invite who I want to.

    There are some people that, despite all the barriers society puts up, manage to end up on the right side of our inane culture. Interesting people, thoughtful, intelligent and smart enough to know when their wrong and admit it.

    They make us think, they play devils advocate, and they make us as if something really makes sense. I appreciate their effort.

  6. Emmanuele says:

    I was at the Apollo too last night, with my wife; immediately after two hours of amazing, complex, and physically demanding show, they stayed outside for almost two hours to sign autographs and take pictures – standing in front of the theatre, surrounded by a lot of people.

    from the show I particularly appreciated two things (which they do in BS as well):

    - how *everyone* who claims to have psychic powers is a fraud and a morally bankrupt person that does not hesitate to prey on humans, even when at their weakest moments, just to get some money out of them.

    - the point that skeptics and scientists *love* mystery; and that a sane, logical and skeptical approach to life, the universe and everything is driven by this love of mysteries.

    much needed words.

    • willy says:

      “- how *everyone* who claims to have psychic powers is a fraud and a morally bankrupt person that does not hesitate to prey on humans, even when at their weakest moments, just to get some money out of them.”

      Oh, absolutely!

      Just look, for example, at that cad, Edgar Cayce!

  7. Kai Jones says:

    I have only seen their magic show once, a couple of months ago at a casino in a tiny town on the way to the Oregon coast. It was fabulous and amazing, but I did wonder what they were doing in a casino in a small town on the way to the Oregon coast!

  8. Antonio Silva says:

    Living in England and not knowing much about them and I went and googled them. Found them rather idiotic…

    • Matt Volatile says:

      What do you mean “living in England”? They’re a pretty long way from being unknown in the UK – they had their own show here in the mid-90s and are probably the most famous contemporary magicians in the world behind Copperfield and maybe Blaine…

    • Anonymous says:

      Here you’ll find a video that debunks the type of idiotic myths Penn asserts:

    • Chris Tucker says:

      Mr. Silva, I would remind you that the name of their program is “Bullshit”.

      And that Penn & Teller are notorious put-on artists.

      And that more often than not (and I am speaking as an amateur magician) hiding in plain sight is often the “secret” to a LOT of magic.

      What makes you think that P&T have not been having a WHOLE LOT of fun all these years winding up people just like you?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I always wonder why people call them “Randian” type libertarians?

    They are not followers of Rand.

    Rand’s “Objectivists” aren’t libertarians.

    And not believing in global warming is a scientific (or lack of science) issue, not a political one. There are plenty of authoritarians who are global warming deniers, and plenty of libertarians who believe in fighting climate change.

  10. relawson says:

    its amazing how they never interact with each other outside of work

  11. Karl Jones says:

    I saw them in Vegas circa 1999. Amazing show — mind-boggling — an astonishing performance from beginning to end.

    The magic “tricks” were more like paintings, or movies: stage magic elevated to the level of High Art.

    And more: I watched Penn pick up three empty liquor bottles by their necks, smash off the bottom of each bottle in turn, and juggle these jagged-edged razor-sharp glass monstrosities for several minutes, all the while pattering about the difficulty and dangers of doing such a thing.

    • nemofazer says:

      Three or four years ago Penn had a daily one hour radio show which was podcast. His sidekick on that was Michael Goudeau. It was consistently entertaining, surprising and funny. Anyway, on more than one occasion he reported very nasty cuts from the part of their act you mention. In fact the whole theme of one show was Michael Goudeau performing some rather crude first aid with super glue and bandages while Penn bled all over the console.

      I certainly don’t agree with everything that Penn says but I like to be challenged in my own beliefs and the BS they did on recycling, while I do not agree with all points raised, provided a devil’s advocate argument I think was missing from the debate.

      Of course as an outspoken atheist and campaigner for scientific rationalism I can’t fault him.

    • IWood says:

      You think you watched that.

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