One of the irresistible allures of this Forum is the immediacy and impulsiveness of the comments that can be aired soon after a newsworthy event has occurred. So, the Dive of Death ended, credits rolled, and ten eye-blinks later the subsequent twittering began. This nevertheless has the sensate currency of after-show conversations overheard as one files out of a theater: loose talk more driven by emotions than intellection. This of course is what gives it its reckless, interesting flavor. Don't misunderstand. Im not griping here or dissing the unprocessed process. I love it. Besides, if anything, Im perhaps re-stating the Obvious. Don't we find ourselves smack dab in a post-modern, media-driven, media-soaked worlda hyperreal matrix of sounds and images that are spectacularly produced, edited, hyped, and packaged through forms that mediate and filter the Real World?
As I sat in the real world of my living room last night, eating a real-world sandwich, clutching a real-world remote controller (clicker), I watched a screen (the consensual-hallucination box called cable television). I channel surfed. I incredulously watched the real-world Dive of Debt as the Prez said his piece--a "piece" to be tossed among a gazillion other puzzle-pieces of the impending Bail Out. I intermittently watched David Blaine in real-time and on film/video do what he does better than anyone else. I was also intermiitently pleased and impressed.
What we magicians talk about regarding Blaine or his television specials reveals lots of our tells and prejudices and shortcomings. Blaine holds up a fun-house mirror to US
Im eager to read more tumbling-off-the-tip-of-tongues "loose talk" regarding the nature of the Blaine Phenomenon and how it really relates to other emulators and epigones brave enough to play in this field of the lords.
When I first met Blaine I suggested that he was really a post-modern shaman. You are, I said, a kind of urban shaman. David stared at me for a few seconds and then said: InterestingUrban shaman consists of eleven lettersfive for urban, six for shaman. He paused again and added: David has five letters. Blaine has six. How cool is that?
Blaine, by the way, has a knack for connecting numbers and letters to produce codes or mystical associations. Not long ago, when he was experimenting with the endurance test of hanging upside down, he had a specific time-frame in mind. He wanted to hang in that painfully awkward position for exactly 23 minutes and 23 seconds. Why? Answer: Davids mother, Patrice White, who died in 1994 after enduring painful ovarian cancer, was born on the 23rd, and died on the 23rd. She has been Davids exemplar and touchstone for his acts of self-mortification. Blaine also enjoys anagrams. During a recent interview he even (slyly?) suggested that the titles of his television shows are anagrams. HmmmmmmFor example, Frozen in Time can be rearranged to: I ferment in Oz. Drowned Alive = Win dare; loved or Now daredevil! Dive of Death = Ah, deft video! Hmmmmmmmagain
Like the enduring, frozen image of Houdini hanging upside-down in a straight-jacket in a real world, outdoors, with genuine risks, in front of real people, vividly human, vulnerable and taunting, Blaine is (unlike contenders) a flesh-and-blood person. He takes who he is and what he does to the real world and does it within this real world.
This is why many think and feel that he is the Real Deal, whereas other magicians seem to bewellumwell, you know Actors merely playing the part of magicians.
Then of course there is a significant difference between diving and ascendingregardless of how apparent it looked or what anyone expected
So much for my "loose" talking point...