Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Post No. 710"

Watched some of David Blaine's program recently. Like Criss Angel, Blaine I can't consider an actual magician as such, but rather, an entertainer. His programs (like Angel's) are created to entertain the viewers, but the illusions aren't really even that.

The best example of this would be the trick where he lets someone take a card and destroy it, then the card ends up as a book of matches in the man's hand that picked the card. Clearly, these people are already set up with the trick and are in on the illusion. How many people do you know these days that carry around a book of matches? Very few, but miraculously, every time he does this "trick" they have them, and if you'll look closely at the match book, it's the same type every time he does this illusion.

Then there's one where he has someone write down the name of someone that's really close to them on a piece of paper. He asks the person to stand several feet away from him so he can't see the name they wrote, and fold the paper very small. Then Blaine lights the piece of paper and blows it out and brushes the charred end to his shirt covering his chest. He then rolls up his shirt to reveal the name being the same. This is so pre set-up it's a no brainer. He knows the people of course; they're all just part of the show, much like the old carny guy with his crew or a snake oil vendor and the guy that can't walk swigging down a gulp to tell everyone that now he can dance.

The floating act? Pants split in front and a sewn on shoe as he steps on his toes onto a step (note they always show this trick from the back), and Chiss Angel's flight is done with wires suspended from a crain (which isn't shown on t.v., of course) when he does the trick. Everyone in the crowd's a part of the act.

But people just eat this stuff up. They love to watch people like Blaine and Angel do these things on t.v., and clearly they have a large following. And I'm sure that some of the illusions they perform are actually slight-of-hand which takes quite a bit of skill, so I'm not saying either of these performers shouldn't have their programs of followings, but be assured that when you do watch them (IF you do), that it's all just t.v., and there's very little on the idiot box that's real.

But then, in life sometimes, what is real.

In other news...

I see that the sales figures must be down on Wonder Woman as DC's changing her costume dramatically. Geez. Anything to sell more issues. Like we all know that this will last from now on...just like the Death of Superman or his being split into a blue and red figure, multi-colored version of The Hulk, a black costume for Spider-man, etc., etc., and I wonder how long it'll take until a story comes out where everyone forgets Spidey's Peter Parker (if that's not already happened since I'm so "out-of-the-loop" on new comics these days).

Course, we all know that these changes never stay because the companies are afraid of losing their trademark symbols. 'Would love to see them forget just one time and someone else grab one of them. In fact, the longest of any change I ever recall seeing on a superhero costume was the yellow circle put around Batman's bat symbol back in '64 which lasted until modern times. And with these companiy ploys, on down the road they'll retrun WW to her original costume and make a "big deal" out of that as well to sell even more issues. Perhaps someday those in charge of attempting to recreate some classic character in their own image will realize that it's okay to sometimes change the storyline or origin (most characters have already had this happen will no real effects) but leave the symbolism alone. Collectors eventually get tired of the crap they do.


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