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It's just Blaine boring.

Byline: Mike Chapple

MANY people have a favourite trick by magician David Blaine.

One is where he stops a gang of ordinary every day gangsta-style dudes on the New York pavement and asks them to pick a card from his prof erred pack without telling him what it is. Blaine not only finds the card,but then flicks it -and God only knows how -across the busy street to PING! off the camera lens on the opposite sidewalk.

There can be no Numb Nuts in a Kendo Nagasaki mask who could re-enact that one for the 100 Best Tricks of All Time because, well, who wants to know?

There are still some who prefer to keep their sense of awe intact.

Those who will happily speculate that if there was nothing before the Big Bang that created the Universe who or what was there before it to light the fuse.

This valuable sense of mystery was part of the gift that Blaine provided.

That is until 24 days ago when he was hoisted up in the perspex box to begin his very public endurance test beside London's Tower Bridge.

The social commenatators have been put in a spin as to why such an act by a man who, up untilnow, has received world wide acclaim should provoke such a hostile reaction from sections of a jeering British public.

Some say it's a statement of independence in the vein of ``Americans believe everything but we believe nothing'' variety.

Others will say the sustained bombardment of Blaine's perspex home by paint bombs and eggs is just a primal British instinct -that if there's a target we'llgo for it.

The hostility may be just another demonstration of our growing army of lager lout meat head mentality.

But the reasons for it may be more subtle and sensitive than first supposed.

We are rattling through a generation in which everything through all forms of media is exposed to the harsh spotlight of reality. As Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes To Hollywood once prophetically sang: ``We'reliving in a land where sex and horror are the new gods.''

There's no mystery any more - we'vebecome a jaded bunch where everything is either taken for granted or requires anexplaination.

Blaine once flew in the face of that but now he's just the ordinary man in the box . He's let us down.

The people want tricks, they want mystery to relieve their humdrummery but now instead they'vegot someone who does nothing but kip, wee and wave. And anyone can do that.

The adverse reaction is nothing new -it's happenedbefore. It's the Christ Heal Thyself syndrome.

Coincidentally,last week I was watching an episode of old children's TVfavourite Catweazle. It tells the story of a necromancer thrown 900 years forward in time and his funny and often poignant marvelling at the wonders of `electrickery'and the `tellingbone' as he would call it.

It's that sense of wonder now missing from our lives and epitomised in the Blaine affair.

The magic's gone-and it may not be coming back.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 29, 2003
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