I'm sure you've been there - you're at a pub or bar or walking around downtown somewhere, and someone (probably wearing a grey hoodie or something) comes up and says "Hey, let me show you something!" Sometimes, he/she exposes him/herself, but occasionally, they'll pull out a deck of cards and do a couple of card tricks, maybe make a penny disappear. Magic - street magic, not making-the-Statue-of-Liberty-disappear magic - is probably the most fulfillingly-entertaining thing in the world to watch, and I'm slowly starting to think that it's real.
I've always been fascinated by both "magic" and magic - the former being magic as a mythical object, like in a book, the latter being the kind of magic done in real life, accomplished by sleight of hand and basic trickery. My great uncle on my father's side was President of The Magic Circle for a while, and I think everyone in my family loves both the delight of the trick and the puzzle of how it's done. One of my favourite programmes growing up was the Masked Magician show where he explained how the tricks were done - it was basically like scratching a really hard-to-reach itch. I don't mind not knowing, especially if it's presented well, or is a really good trick (Penn and Teller's "bullet catch trick" is probably the best/most infuriating, because you know it has to be a trick, but you just can't come up with an explanation for it) but these days I think I prefer to just believe that the magic is for real.
I'm sure a lot of you have heard of David Blaine, right? The magician-artist who does the crazy stunts, like holding his breath for a world-record 17 minutes underwater live on TV? Yeah, he's got some pretty neat tricks in his repertoire. In his most recent TV special, David Blaine: Real or Magic he performs some amazing street tricks, from relatively simple card stuff to finding a chosen card inside a fruit, all with a nice array of celebrities (such as the ever-awesome Kanye West) bearing witness to his magic.
However, thanks to the magic of UK television, I've found the one magician who matches David Blaine's artistry - Dynamo (He's Northern!). Seriously, you guise, I think this guy has real magic powers. There are quite a few of his episodes out now, and in every one of them at least half of the material I've had absolutely no clue about. It's pretty spooky stuff.
However, wouldn't it make more sense that David Blaine and Dynamo simply have magic powers? Think about it - if you had magic powers, you'd never be able to go on TV and be like "Look at my magic powers!" - half of the world will think you're the new Jesus, and the other half will just go "Eh, he's faking it, it's just tricks." You can't win if you go public with your magic powers.
But, if you choose instead to hide them from an unsuspecting humanity, you can just go out and pretend that it's just fake magic, nobody questions it, religious wars don't kick off, you don't get stoned to death by a mob of angry and fearful villagers. You just get paid a bunch of money, have a TV show, and not really have to do anything else - and you still have actual magic powers to use all the time!
I know I'm not the only believer out there! Magic is real, right?