Why is David Blaine spoiling our view?
October 3, 2003
For a nation full of people who think joining the
euro compromises our national identity, we Brits seem to embrace
all things American without a second thought. At the same time
we slag off Americans -- our way of dealing with the fact
that the US runs the show.
Many feel the UK is becoming a mini-States.
Young people increasingly "up talk" -- make a question out of
each statement -- as
American accents do. Chat show-inspired "whatevers" are
bandied about willy-nilly, and it's all sooo not British.
It's no surprise that David Blaine's latest stunt
has brought out the best of British yobbery and Yank-bashing. While
banners of support and well-wishers greeted him in the States,
eggs, paint bombs, jeers and taunts meet him here.
Even I couldn't help trying to catch his eye to
give him a stern look of "What on earth do you think you're
doing boy? For god's sake put some clothes on!"
What was I doing going to see him anyway, you might
ask. Well, I happened to be in area and I'd never seen a semi-naked
man in a Perspex box suspended 20 feet over my head before.
He didn't do much. Sat up, lay down, waved a little. Bit
the Queen really. What I did find slightly disturbing was
my housemate taking at least seven photos of him from different
only knows why. Our home is cluttered enough without adding
to the mayhem.
I was amused to find McDonald's advertising on
his web-site. How many days would you be without food to submit
of their burgers?
Blaine is treated badly in the UK because his stunt
is not being performed for charity, say some, as if we would
suddenly support him, if it were. So many celebs use
their charity work to raise their own profile it's rather refreshing
to see someone
Thing is, in Britain, overt self-belief and ambition
are frowned upon, and nobody likes a show-off.
It is a country
eccentricity, so this young man's brand impresses
no one. We don't
know why he is doing it. If it really is to test
his endurance to the limit, why stay not in a bath
at home? Why is
he spoiling our view?
Perhaps we miss the days when the public could
taunt and throw rotten fruit at criminals who
ankles in stocks. They, too, were suspended over
the river in tiny cages
for all to see. Maybe this treatment of Blaine
is a manifestation of some medieval gene that
otherwise only got a chance
to rear its head in the school playground when
with really bad skin (if, like me,you weren't
laughing that kid was you).
Or maybe we just don't buy the hype
surrounding this gentleman who is so desperate for attention
he is willing to
allow his body to eat itself before our very
eyes while wearing
Shappi Khorsandi is a standup comedian in the UK.
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