I remember when you criticized the premise of David Blaine being buried alive, as no human body could survive that ordeal, I writing you, reminding you he is a magic/mystery man, someone, (like sawing women in half and restoring them)who is supposed to do the improbable,if not impossible. It is illusion, what is PERCEIVED, not actually done. That said, my concern was for what is being explained,(instructed?) as what he supposedly does, for others in our(inside) world. Whatever Solomon/Houdini/Blaine want to present in their performances to be realistic, is showmanship...regardless if the cuffs are made of crepe-paper, or if multiple picks and a blowtorch are needed to remove them.
(those who want to criticize Solomon or Hulk Hogen, for what their performances influence, may have their arguements, but that isn't the issue here.)
Again, I do present a damned-if-he-does, damned-if-he-doesn't, stance...because (giving benefit of the doubt)IF he is letting himself, being handcuffed, with cuffs that are not his own,(were they tested to see if they work properly...once...twice...?) and going to pick/shim them FOR THE FIRST TIME, while underwater, (just like someone riding his motorcycle without a helmet)I,(like you) certainly wouldn't enjoy others following in his folly.
Now this is not a discussion for the N.Y. Times or even the London Sun, but among us magicians/escape artists, here is REALITY TIME:
Does anyone believe Houdini (more ego/allbays than all of us) would do a handcuff dive as described above? Are these "Challenges" like the "challenges" Houdini promoted, when Houdini supplied the cuffs/restraints for others to lock him in? The fact that Solomon/Houdini is "Challenged" with something, doesn't mean they are gimmicked? Do we see some Darby or Hamburg 8 cuffs, presented as the "regulation" cuffs, the police or______had supplied? Can you imagine a PR-conscious(and caring) N.Y. Police Dept., risking this headline in the Post: "Would-be magician dies attempting N.Y.P.D. challenge, drowns wearing their cuffs"(!) Again, what do we know? But if we might allow ourselves to believe that maybe some of the restraints Houdini was challenged with, were gimmicked,(shocking!) it may not be surprising,(actually comforting) to suggest the same for others. We certainly would not expect any performer to let their audiences consider such, this IS magic afterall...but I (like any of us) wouldn't want others to consider what, others are not, or shouldn't be doing themselves.
James Steranko,(Genii-Oct/64) "MAKE NO ATTEMPT TO PICK CUFFS UNDERWATER."