David Blaine’s Stunts/Illusions Need Clarification As To Real Or Illusion

Illusionist David Blaine's stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

Illusionist David Blaine’s stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

We all know that Magician/Illusionist, David Blaine is both a genius and a total obsessive compulsive freak with his illusions.  The man has gone to no ends to figure out how to perform wildly different versions of old magic tricks.  There is no refuting that point.

We also know that Blaine has gone to extraordinary lengths to get himself in shape to do his stunts.  Some of them have been pure mental and physical training where he’s put himself in great health danger but, for the most part, Blaine’s illusions are more the result of lengthy, oftentimes a decade or more, of re-creating newer and more exciting versions or spins on old magic tricks done by many before him.

One stunt stands out in mind as perhaps, one that is a combination of disgusting as well as worrisome.

In Blaine’s television special which aired back in November of last year, entitled “Real Or Magic” Blaine proceeds to seemingly and realistically, put an ice pick through his hand on a couple of occasions, in front of celebrities.  He also seemingly sticks a metal skewer through his arm in the bicep area and has someone else pull it back out for him. No blood, no pain on his face (except for his smirky, quirky grin), he pushes both the pic and the metal skewer through both his arm and his hand on separate occasions.

Watch actor, Ricky Gervais’ reaction when Blaine sticks the skewer through his arm at the bicep.   Note: if you’re faint of heart or squeemish, you may not want to watch this one.  

A fantastic and magical endeavor but, one in which it has an ethical dilemma that it leaves behind for younger people.

Blaine leaves in doubt whether this is an illusion or whether he’s simply a total freak or to use his word, a “maniac”.

While there are people throughout the world who have meditated and can do this type of thing in reality, Blaine has had people talking about this on boards all over the net. Most people don’t know how it’s done but, know enough that sticking something like an ice pick or a metal skewer through parts of their bodies, isn’t something that anyone should do.  However, there are younger people and even older people who are curious enough to want to try this.

A lot of people are under the assumption that Blaine is actually sticking these objects through his body parts and Blaine has done nothing to uncover the reality behind this illusion.  He leaves it to the imagination as to whether he is really doing this or it is an extremely well done take on a very old illusion.  It is also leaving behind, people who will inevitably, sit in their own livingrooms, bathrooms or bedrooms, sticking needles through their hands and biceps, figuring it is real.  Afterall, Blaine has bragged about his “training” for other stunts.

There have been several explanations for Blaine possibly really doing this illusion.

Some have hypothesized that Blaine studies with swamis and mentally prepared himself for pain and to control bleeding.  Others have thought that Blaine may have had tubes, surgically implanted in these body parts to pass the pick or the skewer through with the skin having become scar tissue over both sides.  Still others, have hypothesized that Blaine had spent years of sticking needles through exact spots in his hand and arm, working his way up to a thicker gauged instrument.

No matter what hypothesis one can come up with, this is dangerous to go on believing that Blaine has done this in reality.  It is a trick…an illusion that many before him have done.  It’s simply a far more clever variation than what has been done before.  That is what took Blaine the 13 years that he claims it took him to prepare to do this illusion.

One of the best known versions of this came back in the 80’s when actor and amateur-comedien magician, Harry Anderson of “Night Court” fame did his stunt in front of audiences.  Again, if you are squeemish or faint of heart, you may want to by-pass watching that video but, know that it IS a trick.  Anderson is really not sticking anything through his body.

Anything dangerous that is an illusion, shouldn’t be left to the imagination that it’s possibly “real”.  It not only allows for imaginations to run wild in those who have more guts than brains but, it opens doors for kids to get themselves into serious problems. One can only hope that Blaine will come out and tell his fans that this IS an illusion and not to try this as a real event.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life but in the meanwhile, let’s lighten this entry up with a parody on David Blaine’s Street Magic.  

American Idol Coming Back In 2015 With Same Judging Panel

Is there anyone still watching American Idol?  Has it run its course and is time to throw in the towel? 

After 13 seasons, Idol has hit an all time low number of viewers in 2014’s ratings, with only 6.6 million on the Tuesday night show-down between Rocker Caleb Johnson and powerhouse singer, Jena Irene and 10.1 million viewers tuning in on Wednesday night to see who would win the Idol crown for the season.  That’s the lowest number of viewers ever.  Back in 2006, there was a regular viewership of over 30 million. 

Fox has tried every trick in the book to boost the ratings on the ailing show.  It’s gone from having the judge you love to hate in Simon Cowell to an almost all girl panel (save for Randy Jackson, the sole hold-out who hasn’t gotten the boot or left the table until he wanted to leave) to the “Dueling Divas (Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey).  Nothing worked to bring back up the show’s ratings with the exception of having Steven Tyler’s (Aerosmith’s front man and lead singer), never know what he’s going to come out with or wear, type of appeal.  Or, perhaps it was mainly women tuning in, still trying to figure out how the aging rocker, who really isn’t all that handsome, can still have sex appeal?  Has anyone really figured that out yet? 

Many viewers tuned out of Idol and into competition singing show, “The Voice” and have stayed there.  Two singing shows in one week, taking up 4 nights out of a week, may have been just too much for viewers to handle, especially given that it’s the 18 to 49 year age group that sponsors are aiming their bows and arrows at to hook in.  

The 2015 American Idol Judges Panel remains the same.  Ryan Seacrest as host, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., will return for Season 14 in January 2015.

The 2015 American Idol Judges Panel remains the same. Ryan Seacrest as host, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., will return for Season 14 in January 2015.

Still, Idol is going on with the show in 2015 for its 14th season, hanging onto 2014’s judges panel of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. (who does bring a mix of both Cowellesque critique style and a tad of inpromptu Ellen DeGeneres (a former one season Idol judge squirming in her seat with discomfort and poorly written jokes, style humor to the show).  Ryan Seacrest will remain as host.  What would Idol be without Seacrest? 

2014 was fairly predictable, given America’s voting being sometimes flakiness.  It was fairly apparent that Caleb was likely the front-runner and many who tuned in to the first weeks of Idol, tuned out at least mid-season, if not sooner, once they’d gotten a taste of how the season was going to go.  Curiosity soothed as to both the judging panel and the contestants’ talents, most tuned out shortly afterwards.  

2014 came down to Rocker, Caleb Johnson and Powerhouse singer, Jena Irene.  Johnson took the Idol Crown.

2014 came down to Rocker, Caleb Johnson and Powerhouse singer, Jena Irene. Johnson took the Idol Crown.

It may be that audiences have heard it all and are tired of singing competitions while becoming more intrigued with dancing.  Dancing With The Stars took the lead in ratings with some 15.6 million viewers on average.  It may also be that more people are turning off television sets and downloading or streaming non-cable/mainstream watching.  

Whatever it is that’s happening, less people seem to be watching television shows as a lot of shows have dropped in their ratings or are never given half a chance.  

Then again, we are going by the sponsor’s ratings who only count the 18 to 49 year old age group they target, as “viewers”.  

With an aging population growing in numbers, it might be that sponsors need to turn their focus away from their usual aim and up the age factor to appeal to the larger crowds of viewers.  Many who park their rears on a couch to watch the old television, old style, are the over 49ers.  The younger groups are using technology to watch more unusual shows.  

Have sponsors and networks got it all wrong?

It’s time to re-evaluate that point…at least, that’s how I’m seeing it from my little corner of life.