Magic Eye Syndrome

So I was reading a friend’s blog yesterday, and she had a nice, funny post about Photoshop Disasters, a pretty self-explanatory blog on — you guessed it — Photoshop disasters. Art directors, graphic designers, and Photoshop enthusiasts alike swear by this site. I’ll be the first to admit it though, sometimes I see the errors, and other times, I can stare at an image for ten minutes and not be able to identify what’s wrong with it.

All this time I’ve chalked up my visual ineptitude to being unobservant, blind, or some other unquantifiable variety of incompetent. But I’ve finally realized my dilemma. It’s because I have Magic Eye Syndrome.

Magic Eye Syndrome of course, is no real ailment. And if it is, I feel like it only affects me.

Ever since 3rd grade or whenever those Magic Eye books hit bookstores, I’ve always felt like a loser. Everyone raved about those optical illusions, and how when they stared at them they could always see the unmistakable shape of ______ just leaping out of the page.

I never could see these things! Every time I’ve started to see one, I got so excited that I lost it somewhere on the way. Why must this always happen to me?!! (See the answer to the one above at the end of the post.)

I can’t tell you how many times over the years that I’ve faked that I’ve solved a Magic Eye. No one wants to admit to being the only person in an elementary school class that they can’t see it! I’m still a little embarrassed about it. I was just like Rachel on Friends when she had an ultrasound and pretended she could see her baby on the screen. Ross pointed it out to her and she said she saw it, cried, and then admitted to not seeing it. He re-pointed it out, and the process repeated over and over. Wow, that hit too close to home. Oh my God, I’m going to be that same awful mother someday!

Anyway, to this day I’ll never understand why so many people raved about Magic Eye over the years. Do that many people really see the “subliminal” images? Or is the world full of fakers like me afraid to own up to their inability to solve them? And why on earth did these things cause such a fuss in the 90s?

I will now return back to looking at Photoshop Disasters, where I’ll likely not see what everyone is laughing at. But hey, then again maybe it’ll be in the 30% of the time I get it and laugh with everyone else — not lying! I much prefer my odds in Photoshop Disasters (a 30% chance is way much more encouraging than 0% after all).



Filed under 90s, Friends, graphic design, rant

2 responses to “Magic Eye Syndrome

  1. One recent New Year’s Eve, I saw a Magic Eye picture on a friend’s wall. I said: “I have never seen any hidden picture in these things. I think it’s a well-orchestrated joke.”

    My friends promised that there was truly a picture hidden within the picture, and coached me through every trick to put my eyes in the proper state. I don’t know how long I stood there crossing and uncrossing and rolling my eyes, focusing on imaginary points close and far. Then the wolf just came into view.

    “It’s a wolf!” I said, and they cheered. Their cat crawled up my leg, and once distracted, the wolf disappeared, probably forever.

    Another thing I’ve never managed to solve is Rubik’s Cube. I was a basketball tournament Saturday, and one of the coaches handed me a Starburst. I must’ve picked at the waxy wrapper for too long.

    “I should’ve opened that for you myself,” Coach said. “Or given him a Rubik’s Cube,” said her assistant coach.

    “Nope. Never could do that,” I said.

    I can’t swim, either. If I’m ever on a sinking ship, and the life preservers have to be assembled like Rubik’s Cube, I’m screwed.

  2. Robert

    I assure you that Magic eye is real. You must have ADD.


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