Tuesday, May 09, 2006

David Blaine: Drowned Alive


I was going to reply to some hate mail I’ve recently received, but I thought I should do a bit about David Blaine, since his new T.V. special airs tonight. (Monday)
I’ll be honest, I used to like Blaine. I thought his first special was outstanding, especially the focus on the audience reaction to the tricks. While I have never been a fan of blaine’s “jeans and mumbling” style of magic, I found the first special good for magic in general.
Of course, the changed with his second special.
What happened? Well, first I realized that the focus on the audience was done because Blaine lacks as a magician. Secondly, those stupid stunts. Really, who cares about a guy standing in a block of ice, or buried in a coffin or standing on a pole?
Well, apparently people care. Before and after Blaine’s specials people start to talk, about magic and magicians and, yes, about those stupid stunts. People hear about a Blaine special and they want to talk magic and see magic.
Not only that, but how many young magicians have started out by seeing a Blaine special and being inspired? Really, how can that be bad?
So fine, I don’t like Blaine but I like his influence. It’s that state of confusion that I live my life in.


Boring, boring, boring, really boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, extremely boring, boring, boring, still boring, boring, boring, boring, interesting, quite interesting, very interesting, oh my god, the President is going to kill himself, boring, boring, boring, boring, Why would that idiot help the President? Boring, boring, boring.
(Note, I switched to 24 after the first hour and checked back on Blaine during commercials.)

Ok, maybe I’m being simplistic here, but let’s face it, the first hour and forty minutes of Blaine’s special was boring.
Ok, I get it. He’s in the water, he’s going to hold his breath, and he’s been training here there and anywhere. I get it; I got it, ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!
Yes, he did some magic. The emphasis goes on the word ‘some” there. While I didn’t purposely time it, the first actual magic didn’t happen until 25 minutes in. Not a good start for a “magi” special.
But let’s face it, these specials are no longer about magic, they’re now about the stunts, and the stunt isn’t enough to fill two hours of TV time.
And then there was the “stunt.”
The problem with these stunts are the fact that, since this is TV, what is real and what is fake is a blurred line.
Here’s what I know. Blaine was in danger, real danger. He was really struggling, his face turned blue. His hands and feet are really screwed up.
But beyond that … I don’t know. Did they plan on him not making it in advance; I mean was he supposed to not make it? Did they figure it was better TV and planned it this way? These are the problems that TV brings. You can’t be 100% sure what is real.
I do know this. If Blaine purposely stayed under until his face turned blue, then he is one screwed up person and needs some real help fast.
If it was real, and they expected him to make it, and he didn’t, then Blaine is now a real screwed up person and needs some help fast.
Either way, I hope he takes some time off and re-evaluates his life’s goals. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can be worth this.

PLEASE NOTE: Nowhere in the above post did I say I was in any way better than David Blaine, so save your hate mail. (I get enough already.) I will state it for the record now. I am not better than Blaine, I am different, that’s all. I will only say I’m better than him on the eve of my first TV special.

NEXT POST: There is another magic special on Friday. It looks entertaining, which seems to be rare in magic specials. I will review the special, and state that I am better than THIS guy. (Screw you.)

AFTER THAT: I got hate mail, and I tear a few new ones in my replies.


Blogger Billp said...

I'm going to watch the Blaine special very soon. I'm also going to watch his first special, "Street Magic" which I've never seen.

But, without having seen it, I can already tell you that I'm not going to like the "Drowned Alive" thing. Teller used to "hold his breath" for ten minutes or whatever EVERY NIGHT as part of the Penn & Teller show. In fact Criss Angel was on Penn's radio show on onday talking about how he did basically the same gimmick Blaine's doing just a little while ago, in New York, in a much less comfortable tank, and (although he didn't know at the time that Blaine would 'fail') that he's pretty sure he did it better than Blaine.

Tuesday, Penn was simply aghast that Bline "didn't even get out of the chains." It's kind of like the Chris Bliss "Golden Slumbers" thing. It's only impressive o people who don't know what they're seeing.



4:58 PM  
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