Saturday, January 14, 2017

Catching Bullshit

It's all bullshit. Except if you write for the likes of the Daily Mail or Daily Express, in which you credulously report it as if it is true.  Conjuring, stage magic or whatever you want to call it, is what I refer to, of course.  We all know that it isn't real, it's an illusion.  There is no real danger involved, only the appearance of risk. Yet the press were recently happily reporting, as if it were fact, self-styled street magician and prize prick David Blaine's latest bit of publicity bullshit as if it were fact.  'David Blaine injured performing dangerous bullet-catching stunt', or words to that effect, were emblazoned across their headlines and web sites.  The clear implication being that the bullet catching illusion, (note that word 'illusion'), actually involves somehow 'catching' a real bullet.  Which is bullshit.  The only sense in which you can 'catch' a bullet is if you are actually shot with one.  Which often proves fatal.  Bullets typically move faster than the speed of sound - that's too fast to dodge or 'catch'.  It's bullshit.  It's a trick.

I can tell you how it is done, if you like.  Well, I can tell you the way it is usually done nowadays.  Historically, there have been quite a few variations, usually dictated by whatever firearms technology was prevalent at the time the trick was being performed.  Anyway, to return to the point, it's actually quite simple: they use a wax bullet.  The heat produced by the combustion of the charge in the cartridge when the round is fired, combined with the friction as it moves through the air, means that the bullet melts before it can hit the target.  But, I hear you say, they sometimes have a sheet of glass in front of the magician being shot at, which shatters when the gun is fired.  Well, that can be achieved several ways, but if the glass is positioned at the correct distance from the gun's muzzle, then the wax bullet, although melting, will still have sufficient mass and momentum to shatter the glass, (which will also handily ensure that the bullet is completely destroyed before it can ever get near the target).  Yes, that's all very well, you are doubtless saying, but how do you explain the fact that they get someone to write their initials on the bullet, which shows that the bullet 'caught' by the magician is the same one that was loaded into the gun and fired.  Again, bullshit.  I refer you back to the heat generated by actually firing the cartridge and the friction against the air as the bullet travels - whilst these obviously wouldn't melt a real bullet, they are sufficient to burn off anything written or inscribed on it.  So if the bullet caught by the magician still has stuff written on it, it hasn't been fired from a gun.  It's been palmed by the magician or his associate as the wax tipped round was substituted for the real one by sleight of hand,  The magician simply holds it in his hand until after the gun has been fired, then he reveals it, claiming that he has caught it.

So there you go, I've spoiled a classic magic trick for you.  You now know it is just an illusion.  Except that you already knew that.  We all know there is no such thing as magic.  Except apparently right wing tabloids who are seemingly in the pay of David Blaine's PR firm.  'Fake News' anybody?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home