Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Okay... Why?

A celebrity (I've alternatively heard him called "a magician," "an illusionist," and "a daredevil") who shall remain nameless, has launched on another stunt. The network that is promoting it plans on having a live special at the end of the stunt (they get no free publicity from me either) to show how he manages to survive it.

Now, I don't begrudge anyone making a living, nor do I think that the network hasn't the right to televise the spectacle, all I wonder is why anyone should care. I can almost understand why people go to daredevil shows... Almost. Watching some idiot do something stupid that could get him (or her) killed does have a sort of morbid curiosity to it... The same macabre fascination that makes one slow down to look at road accidents.

The attraction of magic and illusion shows is more obvious to me. At least there you get to stare in disbelief as the person in front of you does things that are patently impossible. (Or at least things that you don't know how to do...) But this is different.

There is nothing impossible about what this person does... there is nothing that leaves one to wonder how it is done. The only wonder is why he would do these things. A few years ago when he locked himself in a perspex coffin suspended above a park near London's City Hall. While the papers at the time reported that most people were "supportive" of his stunt, a few were openly hostile, throwing things at the box, taunting him with food and flashing him.

The difference between a daredevil and this guy is that the things they do, while equally stupid, at least are over quickly enough that you get an adrenaline jolt the morbid thrill of almost seeing some idiot almost die. But the stunts this guy does (which have included burying himself alive, encasing himself in ice, suspending himself in water, standing atop a pole, and now hanging by the ankles) go on for days or weeks... it's not even like a train wreck in slow motion... it's more like looking at a picture of a train that you know is about to wreck and wondering what will happen to the people.

The speculation can only be titilatting for so long... If at all!

I guess you're now thinking that I'm just not a fan... and that's not entirely true. He is a talented magician... some of the things I have seen him do are really good and interesting. His "Street Magic" specials have, for the most part, been fun. I just fail to see what the interest is in these kind of stunts that, quite frankly make me want to say "so what!?" But then, I have wasted an entire entry on them, so I guess they are worth ink... even if it is only virtual ink.

Wherever you are today, I hope that your day is a good one!

Don Bergquist - September 23, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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