May 17, 2006 10:17 PM
Last week brought two new televised magic specials. One from David Blaine and one from Keith Barry.
The Blaine show was pretty lame. His act is tired, and his big stunts are meaningless. He doesn't even bother to pretend he's doing it to save baby seals or some shit. Instead of holding his breath for 7 minutes, I'd prefer he hold it for 30 minutes ... you know, set up the illusion and make it look impossible, chain him down, have cameras circling the snow globe to prove he's not getting air, whatever. Some fool holding his breath to break a record is just lame. When Houdini did his stunt tricks they had meaning ... he represented victims of WWI and oppression and freed himself from his shackles. He brought meaning and hope to people. Nowadays, it's just, I'll do it because I can make a lot of money doing it. Magic is so much better when there's a reason behind it or a statement being made.
Remember when Copperfield made the statue of liberty disappear? I'd love to see him reverse that trick, and make the twin towers re-appear! He could have a whole show about how freedom never dies, about the strength of the American spirit, and then make the towers appear to have returned. Imagine the emotion ... the people crying ... that would be great TV! Then he would make them re-disappear and say something about how buildings are not a representation of freedom, they're just material, and we don't need them to value our country, blah blah blah ... It could be a very respectful show, very patriotic ... and very controversial. Biggest magic special of all time!
The Keith Barry special was just okay. I'm no magician but I can tell you how he did many of his tricks. If you're not bringing something new, why bother bringing it at all? My favorite trick involved a Rubik's cube. He held one behind his back while a spectator holds one behind his own back. They both turn the cube for a while and then reveal them and they are mixed up exactly the same on all sides. To be fair, I can think of at least two ways this trick can be done (1. the spectator is in on it, 2. there's a third guy who watches the spectator turn his cube, turns a third cube to match it, and gets it to the magician), but I'd like to think dude is more creative than that.