Thursday, June 7, 2007

Criss Angel: The Debate Continues

On the heels of his show Mindfreak's third season's premiere where he floated above the light at the top of the Luxor pyramid in Las Vegas and his is-he-or-isn't-he-dating-Cameron-Diaz drama, it has become time for me to discuss possibly one of the strangest people of all time: Criss Angel. I don't mean this as an insult or anything of the sort. I am saying that he is strange because he's just a older Greek boy from Long Island who astounds and mystifies the masses with completely psycho magic tricks. Now, I was one of those people who saw all of the decoding magic specials that Fox used to show back in its halcyon days, so I thought I knew everything that there was to know about magic. Not only was I wrong, Criss Angel's existence helped to prove that I was dead wrong. Now, the question is about Criss Angel's existence, which is what I will discuss here.

This fascination with his existence started in the summer of 2005 when a friend and I were watching Mindfreak. I can't remember exactly what he did, but it led to the friend exclaiming that Criss Angel was the antichrist. Now, I've watched a lot of Criss Angel since that time and some of his tricks make me still wonder: is this guy supernatural or is he really just an antichrist disguised in all black and too many chains?

Proof for his supernatural abilities can be seen with the show. Whenever he does a trick on his show, he spends a considerable amount of time working to prove that he is doing the trick for real, that there are no trick cameras or anything of the sort (read: cheats that were pointed out during the Fox specials on magic). After spending all of this time, he then finds random people to participate with him. And by random, I mean primarily young, attractive, buxom young females. These tricks are usually varying and regularly mindblowing. He also does all of his tricks in front of people as well. For example, he supported himself horizontally on one foot and also levitated a girl with other people holding her in front of a live audience. He also split himself in half in front of an audience, doing a variation on the traditional sawing the girl in half trick. They are really cool tricks that he does, and he, as his name would suggest, freaks everyone's mind.

Also, since levitations and sawing in half are more standard tricks and he isn't standard, Criss Angel also does a lot of mentalist tricks. For example, Criss drove Mandy Moore's car through Los Angeles to a restaurant she wanted to go to and ordered for her, all without her saying anything. She only thought about what she wanted to do and communicated nothing to Criss Angel except for when he was clear making a left-hand turn. Oh right, I almost forgot. He did the entire thing blindfolded with half-dollars taped down on his eyes, just for the people who are always naysaying his skills. Also, he worked his way into a new car just by guiding himself with the spirit of the car dealer to the keys. This is genuinely non-magic stuff that's really, really impressive, especially if there are no tricks involved.

But, with this talent, come some downsides. In particular, the fact that Criss Angel may or may not be the anti-christ. He talks about the trinity of controlling one's mind, body, and spirit. Now, I'm not saying anything, but that sounds slightly satanic, does it not? Give your body to the occult! Also, he torments us with these terrible interludes involving some random characters and him singing his own theme song. I know you like music, Criss. It's on your wikipedia page, but you don't have to sing your own theme song. That's what Tom Green did and what Robert Goulet would do if he had his own television show. And, additionally, he might be the anti-christ because many of his tricks are utterly mindblowing and could only be done by people who are of the underworld because, even though he could change water into wine, God can't float down from a 26th floor balcony indoors over thousands of people who had no idea he was doing the trick.

In the end, the magic of Criss Angel is very contentious. A lot of people, like myself, believe that Criss Angel is very good and may not be of this world, as this discussion has suggested. Others believe that he is a huge fraud who can't actually do any magic. I went on Youtube. I watched the video. None of it was convincing and is purely conjecture to prove that they can know everything, which no one can. The conspiracy theorists on JFK are closer to a right answer than the Criss Angel naysayers. Anyway, his talents and demonstrations are very impressive. If you haven't watched before, watch Criss Angel on A&E and get back to me about which side of the line you think he lays on. Is he just a supernaturally gifted human or is he something more sinister than that. If you have, leave a comment about what you think of this.