Tuesday, May 09, 2006

David Blaine's "Drowned Alive" stunt ends

Well, David Blaine failed to hold his breath underwater for as long as he had hoped. He also failed to drown himself, which a certain segment of the population was hoping for.

I've never been too impressed with David Blaine. I've always been a fan of stage magicians, particularly the iconoclastic duo of Penn & Teller. (I have a photo of my mom standing next to Penn after a show in Scranton a few years ago. She is very short and he is very tall - she barely comes to the level of his elbow.) But Blaine's focus seems to not be about the wonder of illusions, or about the skill that is required to pull off a magic trick believably. Blaine has always seemed to me to be more about self-promotion. This stunt was no exception.

If anything good has come of this, it has been to dispel the myth that New Yorkers are rude and apathetic. Read Mr. H.K.'s impressions on seeing David Blaine, for example, and compare that to the reported behavior of Londoners during a stunt he performed there in 2003. Similarly, his London stunt seems to have served primarily to dispel the myth that Londoners are civilized and polite. So perhaps the point of Blaine's stunts is not what specifically he is doing, but how the crowds respond to his stunts - magic as performance art and sociology.

On a brighter note from the world of entrapment and escape, the Australian gold miners who had been trapped for nearly two weeks were finally freed yesterday. Good on them.

No comments: