September 02, 2003


The respected Reuters newsagency reports widespread alarm at the cunning japery of a quick-fingered circus artiste:

American illusionist David Blaine shocked a group of journalists in London today when he appeared to cut off part of his ear at a news conference to promote his latest stunt.

I say, one might expect such bold antics from a chap driven mad by the pox, but from an illusionist?

The daredevil US magician apparently drew blood after he was asked whether he could show the assembled reporters any new tricks. He borrowed a pocket knife and screamed as he applied it to his left ear.

Thus was created the “illusion” of physical pain, such as would accompany the application of a sharpened blade to one’s lobe! Ingenious!

He left the room holding a bloodied handkerchief to his ear before reappearing and walking past journalists with his ear and the top of his shirt covered with what appeared to be blood.

Why, this must certainly guarantee a large assembly at Mr. Blaine’s Magickal Puzzlement Revue. His sly trickstering will be worth many shillings to see.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 2, 2003 04:32 AM

Blaine's wildest illusion - for me - was when he was in a car driving down the road while being filmed for TV. He suddenly tells the driver to pull to the side next to a house where there were some chickens in a yard. Blaine walks up to one of the chickens, grabs it, TEARS THE HEAD OFF THE CHICKEN. The chicken goes running around the field with blood coming out, jumping up and down. Blaine holds the chicken's head in his hand.

Thirty seconds later, Blaine grabs the (apparently) headless chicken, takes the (apparent) head, and sticks it back on the chicken. Puts the chicken down, and the dammed chicken quietly walks away.



Posted by: SteveMG at September 2, 2003 at 04:55 AM

Sure Tim you support illusions, but how about learning magic yourself? No, you'd rather have others do your prestidigitation for you. None of you or your ilk would ever be willing to be sawn in half. You're a bunch of brownshirts, just like Siegfried and Roy.

Go down to the magic shop and pull a rabbit out of your hat.

Posted by: Big Dork at September 2, 2003 at 05:51 AM

If only Reuters could report that audiences in London become similarly shocked whenever that other famous illusionist, Yasser Arafat, claims to be a statesman despite the blood all over him.

Posted by: Ken at September 2, 2003 at 08:52 AM

Yeah, but in Arafat's case, that's real blood.

Posted by: scott h. at September 2, 2003 at 09:19 AM

Oh Hurrah Tim! Such shim shammery is ever such a jolly laugh. If only they would keep a bearded lady and strong man or two like in the good old days what?

Posted by: Jake D at September 2, 2003 at 11:28 AM

And the ghost of T. Herman Zweibel can be heard chortling . . .

Posted by: Bill Peschel at September 2, 2003 at 12:03 PM

Levitation trick is the wildest I've seen...

Posted by: Alex at September 2, 2003 at 12:06 PM

I can't pull rabbits out of a hat- anyone want to see me pull hares out of my arse instead?

Posted by: Habib Bickford at September 2, 2003 at 12:08 PM

Um. Who are brownshirts?

Posted by: Gabor at September 2, 2003 at 12:43 PM

Gabor - read your German history, circa mid-1930's.

Posted by: Bill at September 2, 2003 at 01:37 PM

There were a lot of brown shirts in the '70s too. Big rounded collars, contrast yellow stitching, stretchy body-hugging fabric.

But my god, you should have seen the ties.

Posted by: pooh at September 2, 2003 at 02:24 PM

>Um. Who are brownshirts?

The SA (Sturmabteilung) was a branch of the Nazi party in the early days before they came to power. Dressed in Army surplus desert camo shirts, they were violent thugs who marched, protested, and broke up stores. Sort of like modern anti-globbo protesters.

"Big Hawk" uses the term to describe people who attend chat rooms because he's incapable of seeing the irony.

Posted by: John Nowak at September 2, 2003 at 03:50 PM

How do you kill a circus?

Go for the juggler.

Posted by: pooh at September 2, 2003 at 04:07 PM

Interesting to note who wears rhe black shirts these days, isn't it?

Posted by: Dave F at September 2, 2003 at 09:37 PM

How do you kill a juggler?

Take his balls.

Posted by: Dave F at September 2, 2003 at 09:39 PM

Tim, have you seen the movie "Chopper" in which Eric Bana potrays the colourful Melbourne underground figure Mark (Chopper) Reid. There is one scene in the movie (this actually happened in real life) where where Chopper Chops his ear off to get out of prison. He's a bit crazy. It is a great Australian movie though.

Posted by: Jonny at September 4, 2003 at 05:00 AM