The art of magic has enjoyed increasing visibility and a resurgence of interest, as demonstrated by the rising popularity of magicians, such as David Blaine, Hans Klok, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, and the production of two major motion pictures within a single year – The Prestige and The Illusionist. With his number one-rated cable television show and his recent ten-year contract for a major Vegas show with Cirque de Soleil at the Luxor, Criss Angel personifies the modern-day magician who is at the forefront of the magic renaissance. This paper attempts to examine the rhetorical potency of magic by analyzing the first season of Criss Angel’s award-winning television show, Mindfreak. By using Kenneth Burke’s concepts of symbolic action and identification, this paper explores the symbolic, albeit persuasive, dimension to magic as exemplified by Criss Angel.
Ours is a world fundamentally determined by the politics of panic. It seems that time itself has fallen prey to the capitalistic logic of scarcity, a scarcity carefully managed by politicians and bureaucratic experts for the cultivation of both wealth and power. Recent market woes have only served to fuel this pathological urgency, rendering the creative cessation of consumptive patterns economically perilous; the willful pause for reflexive contemplation socially subversive; and the life-giving power of “free time” implicitly bound to the therapeutic satisfaction of “needs” shaped by marketers and polling data.
In another moment down went Alice after it,never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. -Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Simulacra of simulation, founded on information, the model, the cybernetic game – total operationality, hyperreality, aim of total control. -Jean Baudrillard warns against the danger of the simulacra Break on Through to the Other Side  Alice stands […]