Sometime, thousands of years ago, a man was with his regular, average, every day group of friends. After an evening of prehistoric Pictionary, the man went to go pick up his hat. Without warning, a rabbit leapt from the hat.
The man stared at his hat, perplexed. He was fairly certain he had not been walking around with a rabbit in his hat all day. He had not felt it scratching and was pretty sure that his head would be covered in little tiny rabbit poops after a day of rabbit toting. His friends, though, were equally confused.
“Mahalaleel, how didst that rabbit get into the heart of that, your dearest of hats?” they asked. “Didst it crawl in on its own, or didst thou rabbit appear as if from nothingness?”
Mahalaleel took a second to think. He could admit he had no idea how the rabbit got there and have a good chuckle with his friends. That would be the sensible option. The other more sinister choice would be to take credit for the arrival of this extraordinary rabbit, thus creating fear among the townfolk who would be forced to respect him.
“I must admit,” he said, “that this rabbit’s arrival is by my own doing. I have created a rabbit and pulled it out of thine own hat as if from nowhere!”
Thus magic was born.
For most of the history of magicians, this has been the type of trick that was done. A rabbit out of a hat here, a seemingly random card being chosen out of a full deck there. It was all good, harmless fun. Sure, occasionally magic was blamed for things like crops not growing or a little tiny disease wiping out half of a village, but the accusations of witchcraft and subsequent burnings and stonings could not take away from the joy of a simple magic trick. (Editor’s Note: Death actually can take away from the joy, especially if it involved being burned at the stake.)
Then magicians began to get bored. Surprisingly, repeatedly pretending to pull a very long handkerchief out of your mouth is not the most challenging or fulfilling thing a person could do. Magicians began to perform “stunts,” making giant objects like the Statue of Liberty disappear. Pretty soon, the element of magic had disappeared completely and people like David Blaine took over.
I would imagine that at some point in his life, David Blaine did magic. I have seen him do card tricks on TV and other magiciany things. Then it was as if Blaine lost his mind. Pretty soon after, he began standing on poles in Central Park or being frozen into a block for days at a time. His latest stunt has him standing on a pillar for three days while wearing an electrified metal suit.
For 73 hours, Blaine will be on a pillar in the middle of New York City wearing a suit that is being hit with 1 million volts of electricity. He will neither eat nor sleep while wearing this. Then he will jump off only to reveal that no one has been up there the whole time!
Truthfully, the disappearing Blaine part is untrue, though it seems strange that does not seem like the weirdest part of this “trick.”
I am very glad that magicians did not do this when I was a kid. I imagine going to a birthday party where the Amazing Jack would be performing. Instead of making flowers appear or showing us the correct, randomly selected card, though, I would find out his entire act consisted of balancing on one foot while holding his breath for 20 minutes. This would not be impressive.
I would still have gotten cake, though, so no huge loss.
- David Blaine goes high voltage with latest stunt (sfgate.com)
- For His Next Trick, David Blaine Invites the Public to Make Him Feel Slightly Strange [Video] (gawker.com)
- What the Feck is Wrong with David Blaine? (sweetmotherlover.wordpress.com)
- David Blaine to be Zapped by 7 Tesla Coils in Latest Stunt (laughingsquid.com)