2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Culture and Society

And you're sure we've never met before?

Paul Carr

20 August 2003

Apparently Jersey police have confirmed that the bullet used in Derren (real name Darren) Brown's Russian Roulette stunt was a blank.

Who'd have thought it?

Everyone. He is a magician. Magicians know how to do tricks. Otherwise they're not magicians. They're actors.

Things is, as lots of self-proclaimed experts are pointing out, firing a blank at your head at point-plank range is still pretty fucking dangerous. And the bullet catch is not rendered safe simply by using trickery. Ask Chung Ling Soo. Or rather don't, he's dead. As are Coulen, Kia Khan Khruse, Madame deLinsky, Giovanni deGrisy, Arnold Buck, Adam Epstein, Raoul Curran, deLine Jr , Michael Hatal, Otto Blumenfeld, Chung Ling Soo, H. T. Sartell, "The Black Wizard of the West", Ralf Bialla, Doc Conrad and Fernando Tejada.

Incidentally, Harry Houdini never performed the bullet catch, having been warned by fellow-magi Harry Keller that 'too many things can go wrong.' Instead Houdini died from peritonitis after inviting a college student to punch him in the stomach. If only Keller had been there to warn him of the dangers of that. But he wasn't, having died four years earlier. But not, tellingly, from performing a bullet catch.

...

In other news, once David Blaine is released from his stupid plastic prison, he's planning another 'life threatening' stunt. This time he plans to 'receive a [gun] shot on the chest, with nothing over it, fall on the ground, remove the bullet, and go away walking'.

According to reports, Blaine is planning to survive the stunt using the strength of his toned muscles...

'“I’ve been working in the gym several hours a day, doing ancient Chinese exercises involving energy transferal through the muscles.” By strengthening his body and mind, he intends to “stop” the bullet with his body.'

Which, presumably, is why he almost shat himself when someone pointed a laser pen at him.

Finally, Channel 4 is having a Magic Month featuring messrs Blaine and Brown along with 'up and coming' tricksters Barry Jones & Stuart MacLeod and Escapologist Thomas Soloman.

Sounds great. I'm sure there'll be lots of blood, and shouting and screaming. And camera tricks.

Who chooses these chumps? The same nerks who choose the sponsored, licensed buskers on the Underground, I assume.

It's too late to do anything about it this time round but, Channel 4 execs!, next time Magic becomes cool, here are some names to conjure with...

Guy Hollingworth, Jerry Sadowitz, Michael Vincent, Jay Sankey, Paul Harris, Penn and Teller, Ricky Jay and David Williamson.

You'll find each of them to be worth a million Derren Blaines.

And do make sure to ask Paul Harris to show you his 'Balducci Levitation'. And everything else he had to teach David Blaine how to do.

What was I saying about magicians who don't know any tricks?



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

© The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved