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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

David Blaine's Illusions of Grandeur

If there’s anything magical about illusionist David Blaine, it’s that he can trick millions of people into watching him do absolutely nothing. After finishing his 7-day stunt of being submerged in a giant glass sphere with an oxygen mask, Blaine capped his week with an attempt to break the record for breath-holding… on live TV.

Pardon my bubbles.

Personally, I think if you’re going to make a big fuss about breaking a record on live TV, you’d better have a backup magic trick up your sleeve just in case your Guinness attempt falls short. You know, a REAL stunt, like drinking all the backwash and stink juice in that aquarium you’ve been floundering in for a week.

But alas, David didn’t even deliver a magical coup de grace, so when he failed to break the breath-holding record, viewers were essentially left to witness a man accomplish nothing. To see guy not break the record for breath-holding isn’t compelling television. Quite frankly, I can see someone not break the world record for breath-holding every day in every show on TV. In fact, I don’t break that record every single day of my life, but no one’s offering me my own live TV show.

Ta-da! Jason breaks the record for sitting around all day. Again!

I’m not really sure where the “magic” is in David Blaine’s stunts – standing on a platform for over day, sitting in a box over the Thames River for over a month… Sheesh. I try to spend at least half a day at work doing absolutely nothing, so maybe if I philosophize about it in an overly dramatic and deep monotone voice, I might be able to perform that trick on stage in Vegas. But I’m not holding my breath. David didn’t.

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