How does a magician make an elephant disappear?
How did those quarters get in my ear or nose?
I am certain I saw him saw that lady in two!
A great magician uses the simple art of deflection to get us looking in the wrong direction while he plies his ploy. And since we are taught at an early age to be delighted; amazed and in awe of seeing the impossible we enjoy being fooled by these masters of illusion.
What parent hasn't used "Peek-a-Boo" to get giggles out of an infant?
"Where did mommy go?"
"Here she is!"
But there may be another side to the art of deflection.
As used by an artful dodger or other street urchin a gentle tap on your left shoulder or a bump in the lower rear while passing you in the street focuses your attention on that area. It takes the 'tappees' mind off the spot of interest for the 'tapper.' They use the deflection to pick a pocket or two.
So how do we train ourselves to know the difference between the good old harmless fun of magicians or illusionists and the malicious doings of the dastardly demons of the street?
Well we could become overly suspicious of strangers but strangely it is not always the stranger that strands us out on a limb. These days it appears to be the politician!
In an old joke we are asked how do we know when an attorney is lying and the answer is of course, "When his mouth is open." Hopefully that is not 100% accurate although our system does reward a form of lying, namely not telling the complete truth.
When someone talks a blue streak about one side of an issue without mentioning the other side is he being an advocate or an illusionist? It is a fine line indeed but one we are faced with on a daily basis. It is up to us to be informed enough to know the facts and determine the truth.
Unfortunately not many of us have the time to research all sides of every issue? We are a nation hooked on "sound-bites." We read headlines or listen for snippets of news and walk away feeling we understand the entire story.
And that is where a devious politician may use his or her magical magician-like skills to turn us to the dark side.
A great example: Will any health care bill being discussed, let alone passed by congress ever really have a provision in it that allows us to "kill grandma?"
Give me a break!!!
And yet a sizable number of Americans still believe that to be true!
These uninformed citizens may have been looking for a reason to be against reform and heard that statement from an illusionist in DC.
It struck a nerve, after all look who said it!
I trust that person.
That person is a Senator/Representative/Talk Show Host so they must know!
Using unrealistic yet realistic sounding rhetoric the partisan divide in Washington has created an atmosphere that breeds passionate illusion. And it proves to be a vicious cycle as more people believe more politicians use the method.
But the illusion is going even further. It is no longer just that of a master magician. A new craftier performer has appeared, or should I say is evident behind the scenes. This entity is the puppet master/ventriloquist. The new master has many faces; lives quietly yet influentially on"K" Street and is commonly known as a Lobby.
To make the analogy complete we should consider the lobby community as Fagin. They send their minions out to pick the pockets of the unsuspecting citizens. And while he is doing this his puppets, AKA Congressmen and Talk Show celebrities are deflecting our attention.
The elephant did not disappear, it is laying in wait for 2010 and 2012.
And those quarters that I used to have in my ear? Somehow they found their way into the pockets of Wall Street bankers!
It must be magic!