Nation of thumb-suckers
: The Guardian is trying to find the cosmic, politically correct meaning of magician David Blaines’ 44-day stay in a plastic box in London:
But isn’t there something obscene about turning starvation into a public spectacle when half the world suffers involuntary hunger? Even a chosen incarceration seems vaguely decadent when victims of tyranny rot in the world’s jails.
Oh, ferchrissakes, it’s just a publicity stunt. Much has been made about Britons’ hostile reaction to Blaine and Americans’ accepting attitude to his tricks. The difference is simple: We know show biz when we see it. We don’t waste time getting mad at or analyzing a TV trick. We have lives.
Writer Michael Billington goes to the site of Blaine’s stunt and interacts with the other Britons-without-lives who now hang out there, contemplating the meaning of it all and trying to find haughty intellectualism in even this.
But the bizarre paradox is that Blaine’s act of imprisonment seems to have a liberating effect on the rest of us. Stay there long enough and you not only begin to forget your own rushed daily routine but meet lots of interesting new people. It says something about our own form of solitary confinement that it takes a man in a glass box to get us to open up to other human beings….
But, precisely because we can all attach our own private meaning to Blaine’s action, this strange public confinement in the end acquires something of the unresolvable ambiguity of art.
Man, this guy could find the true meaning in a pile of dog poop.