Don't get us wrong.
We think David Blaine's abilities are outstanding.
Although we're not really focusing about his magic abilities but that's
okay, he isn't either.
We're amazed at the publicity he can produce by remaining in one place for
long periods of time: frozen in a block of ice; standing on top of a pillar;
living inside a glass box; buried in a glass coffin beneath New York's streets; and now floating (sort
of) inside a glass bubble.
When compared with the stunts of other magicians, his passive approach
stands in stark contrast.
Consider Houdini writhing and straining against the constraints of a
straight-jacket, ropes, or irons. Or
perhaps a more recent contrast would be Criss Angel's very kinetic stunts and illusions.
Mr. Blaine would likely be the very
sedentary, extreme end of the Inside Magic Continuum of Excitement. Dean Gunnarson or Criss Angel would be his
counterparts at the opposite end.
Mr. Blaine would likely say, "So what? What do I care what some magician
thinks? I am on television while he's
doing shows for free or in-trade for cough medicine."
He's right. We're surprised he knew
about the cough medicine deal though. We
can stop any time. We are just working
through some issues now and need a little "smoother" in case our cough flares
But now people who aren't addicted to magic or medicine are noticing. On last night's Saturday Night Live, the news
anchors joked about the shriveling effects of Mr. Blaine's week in water, and
suggested he might consider performing a magic trick after the stunt is
Mr. Blaine plans to break the record for holding one's breath
underwater. Apparently he'll add
excitement to the attempt by handcuffing himself to a 150 lb block.
It doesn't sound too daunting but we're looking at it from backstage.
Perhaps the laity are more excited. Here's a brief scan of today's
"What's that weird water thing blocking the lovely view of Lincoln Center? Why, it's David Blaine, the only
magician cheesy enough to make us miss David Copperfield.
"It seems that Blaine,
in his quest to best all the lamest records in the Guinness Book, will attempt
to remain underwater without oxygen for 9 minutes on May 8th. . . . Will David escape the handcuffs chaining
him to a 150 lb. rock? Will he beat the current record of 8 minute, 58 seconds
without air? Most importantly, will New Yorkers care either way?"
"NEW YORK – David Blaine wants to be the new Houdini, but he looked more like the boy in the bubble Monday."
"All magicians crave big-time attention, but others, like Houdini and David Blaine, have the need for adulation.
"Blaine amazed millions on David Blaine: Street Magic with his
self-levitation. This raised a few eyebrows as well. Of course, mainly
we saw the incredulous reactions of folks on the street, rather than
the trick itself."
"The illusionist said he expected the New York public to be more receptive and friendlier than the Londoners.
"In 2003, he spent 44 days in a suspended glass box about the
Thames, without food, and passers-by jeered him, threw things at him
and kept him up at night by playing drums."
But of course, we'll be watching too. Like we said, he has outstanding abilities.