Wednesday, May 3, 2006

David Blaine Is A Giant, Lazy Tool

So-called "street magician" David Blaine, who thinks he's so cool with his goatee and his quaalude-drawl speech patterns and the way he uses "street" as an adjective, is in the middle of his latest (publicity) stunt, "Drowned Alive." He's hanging out, scuba diving in a giant fishbowl for eight days — so I have to point out that he's not technically being drowned — and for reasons I can't comprehend, this display has crossed the void from stupid and pointless to newsworthy, which appears to be a growing trend in the cutthroat world of egomaniacal magic. Six years ago, I visited Blaine at Good Morning America when he proved something or other by freezing himself in a block of ice for a week, and today I thought I might get re-acquainted with the man inside the bubble. Maybe he'd remember me as that one gawker who didn't have an inane homemade poster of encouragement.

I actually sort of enjoyed Blaine in his Street Magic and Magic Man TV specials. (I guess ABC thought it's important to remind us that the man spending an hour performing card tricks and making things disappear is a magician.) Okay, even back before he met Donald Trump at a creepy attention whores' conference at the Hyatt, Blaine was irritating, histrionic, and apparently convinced that Isis, Queen of the Gods really had endowed him with magic powers. Dude, we're not six; we know it's legerdemain and you really don't have to patronize us by flying off to Haiti and pretending you're channelling the voodoo spirits. Ass. However, the people off the street that Blaine harassed with his relatively trivial illusions were really, really gullible and stupid — like Leprechaun in Alabama-level stupid — and Blaine was always a little too impressed with his own tricks, as if he wasn't quite confident he practiced enough, that it just made for good family television.

Recently though, Blaine's thrilling and daring exploits have been, well, lame. He froze himself in a block of ice for three days, he stood on a pole for two days, he buried himself under the sidewalk (sample press release: "After day one, reporters noted that Blaine turned to his side." Magic!), and he sat in a plexiglass box for a month and a half. Blaine's illusions pretty much consist of him sitting somewhere for a long time while a line of easily-entertained onlookers grows around him, which isn't magic.

Also, it's not interesting, and Blaine's new-age freakshow crap about how he's so cool cause he's gone for a week without food or how he'll have to piss in a catheter is irritating. First of all, dude, get your self-aggrandizing ass on Wikipedia and look up "Ethiopia" or "hematuria" and shut up. Stop making the pre-show hype into the show, asshole, and make something disappear or saw someone in half or, uh... what else do magicians even do? Eat your own arm, David — I'd seriously pay money to see that.