Thursday, May 11, 2006

It's plain that Blaine polarizes (on the main)

Magicians seem to either think David Blaine is the best thing since sliced cards (one blogger has gone so far as to call him "the best magician ever. Period.") or a no-talent hack who only has good connections.

It's not surprising that the latter believe Mr. Blaine should disappear and never grace our televisions again. Those in the former camp baffle me though, because they also seem to think that there is no room for personal taste regarding the man. If you don't like him you're just wrong - end of discussion.

Here is a little something I wrote (edited a little to make sense on this blog) that got me kicked off of a MySpace magic group. My sin? I suggested it's ok to have your own personal tastes.


One of the things I've never understood is the "we shouldn't criticize Blaine" attitude. If we find out what people don't like about him we can learn something about ourselves and perhaps improve our own magic.

It also seems unique to the world of magic. My wife is a painter. If someone says, for example, "I don't like Dali's paintings," other painters don't automatically assume that it's jealousy or some such. They understand that yes, even those within the community are entitled to their personal tastes. If it were jealousy, would they not express dislike for all popular painters (or, in our case, magicians)? Similarly with my musician friends, if one says, "I don't like The Beatles, " they for the most part understand that taste is truly an individual thing.

This aversion to the whims of personal taste seems confined to magicians. Why is it not ok to dislike him if you don't like all musical styles, or all painters, or all television programs? The person who said that it was gross the way his hands looked said nothing about what Blaine has contributed to the art. Some people just don't like looking at corpselike features.

Some people say we shouldn't criticize a magician on TV unless we've had our own magic special on TV. That also seems a little extreme. It would also imply:
  • you should never return your meal in a restaurant unless you've been a chef in a restaurant
  • you should never criticize an elected official unless you've held that specific elected office
  • you should never diss a movie unless you've been in a movie
  • you should never criticize bad police work unless you've been a cop

The above opinion is the horrid post that got me banned from the MySpace group Magic Magic Magic. How dare I suggest we all have the right to our own opinions!

No comments: