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Magicians are a funny lot. They want to fool their audiences, but they want to do it ethically. That is to say that they want them to know that what they do is merely illusion, not the product of anything "supernatural". If a magician crosses that line and starts implying that he has real "powers", it doesn't sit well with others in the fakery business.
You want to see raw hatred? Some day when you have some free time, go to sincity.com, the official web site of Penn and Teller and see what Penn has to say about The Amazing Kreskin, a guy who has been known to imply that he can do things mere mortals cannot. Penn says he could watch Kreskin die and not feel anything because he hates him that much for stepping over that line.
I don't actually sit around wishing for David Blaine to die, but I wouldn't have lost any sleep if he had gotten frostbite on his wiener during his "frozen alive" stunt the other night. In my humble opinion, Davey Boy is flirting with Kreskin-like delusions of grandeur.
He isn't really all that great a magician. Nearly every trick he performed in his three TV specials can be bought in any well-stocked magic store. That in and of itself is no crime. It's the staging of the tricks that bothers me. Blaine seems to like his audiences...well, unsophisticated, shall we say.
On one of his first two specials, he traveled to a remote village in Latin America where he frightened some of the locals with tricks that seemed to imply the ability to revive dead plants. Given that native cultures have a strong belief in reincarnation that strikes me as un-Kosher. Even when he does his little party tricks on the streets of the U.S., Blaine seems to seek out the dumbest mofos he can find to baffle. Apparently there's a substantial portion of the American public totally unfamiliar with the concept of a trick deck of cards.
During his second special, I caught something that seems to have eluded just about everyone else. There was a very brief voice-over (consisting of no more than five lines of copy). The end credits revealed that the person reading the copy was none other than Uri Geller, the discredited "psychic" bender of spoons whose career of BS'ing the public about his "abilities" peaked in the 70's.
I suppose it's possible that Blaine honestly thought that Uri Geller was the best man to read a few lines of copy, but my spider senses tell me that something else was up here. I admit that I have no facts to back this up, but I'm guessing that Geller's real function was to advise Blaine on how to appear more diety-like and less magician-like. If I'm right about that, Blaine is WAY worse than a cheesy magician who performs dime store tricks; he's an over-hyped scumbag who should have gotten frostbite on his wiener. You wanna do tricks, do tricks. Once you start implying that you have other-wordly abilities, you immediately move to the top of the Weasel list, Bub.
Check-out some of the weasels of the recent past!. Visit the Hall of Shame section of The Crank Tank.Comments or interview requests may be sent to the author
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