Whenever the "enormous room" in magicdom starts to get "windy" with blustery discourse, I usually step back and look for aspects lying in plain view.
Let me provide an example. During the heated discussions regarding the David Blaine Phenomenon, I realized that nobody noticed a couple of things about his television show.
(1) DB, although obviously a person with show-business aspirations with a steadfast eye on success, is different from the viewer's perception of him as the CHARACTER he plays in his own docu-drama.
(2) What lay people see is a street-guy performing extraordinary feats with ordinary things in a commonplace setting. More important, he is doing these things FREELY. He is not charging money. In terms of his INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES (disregarding the fact that these individual street-performances are filmed to be shown later to MILLIONS of viewers), the audience, as it suspends its disbelief, sees a free-wheeling guy giving pleasure and moments of astonishment without charging a penny. He is, or so it seems, a FREE SPIRIT providing FREE ENTERTAINMENT. THe viewers at home also see a FREE SHOW. This creates a much different impression in the minds of viewers. On the other hand, other celebrity magician charge big bucks and use all kinds of hype to promote themselves. (CHeck out Vegas.)
Granted: Blaine is now surrounded by hype and has seriously and vigorously courted the press and other publicity generators. Granted: Blaine is also earning big bucks.
However, his TELEVISED IDENTITY is that of a relatively unpretentious, ordinary guy, freely showing people on the street some very cool feats.
This strong point has gone unnoticed and largely accounts for Blaine's initial allure...despite vociferous and calculated attacks by magicians who know the alernate reality. WE may know all the nasty, underlying facts that the public doesn't know, but we seem equally oblivious of the fact that Blaine's public doesn't care a whit about what we know or think about Blaine.