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April 8, 2009 - Magic

It has been suggested by some that the only way out of our current economic problems is through magic.  Magic, in the form of tax cuts or tax increases, spending cuts or spending increases, more programs or less programs, more pork barrel or less pork barrel, or any number of other slight-of-hand moves that might help to trick us into thinking things are better than they are, or not as bad as we think.  It has been said that President Obama would have to be a magician to be able to pull the good economic bunny out of the black hat of current troubles. 

Well, let’s talk about real magic.  Many of you may remember, Dick Cavett, former talk-show host, author, commentator, and as it turns out, part-time magician.  Apparently, magic was a big part of his teen and early years in show business, and he met other fledgling magicians of that time, including Johnny Carson.  Performing magic tricks was a great way for Cavett and others to make money, meet important people, and survive between gigs of greater importance.  Most young magicians were turned onto magic by watching other magicians, and usually a young magician idolized or tried to copy his favorite magician.  This was the same for Cavett.  His hero in the world of magic was Tony Slydini, “The Great Slydini”.  In fact, Slydini was epitomized as the greatest close-in, slight-of-hand artist of his era, and maybe of all time.  Cavett makes no bones about how he looked up to Slydini and worshiped his ability to make things appear and disappear.

Cavett now writes a blog for the New York Times.  In a recent edition, Cavett revisits his interest in magic, and in particular his fascination with The Great Slydini.  In his March 27 blog, Cavett discusses magic, Slydini, and includes a 30-minute video clip from his November 7, 1977 (interesting date: 11-7-77) PBS television show on which Slydini performed.  This is a must see!  Whether you like Cavett or magic, this is a must see.  Slydini is indeed great and shows some masterful artistry as he confounds his audience. Please take a few minutes to watch The Great Slydini perform in this video clip.  You will find yourself mesmerized, forgetting about the newspaper and television headlines of the morning, and recommending the blog site to your friends.  Really - he is that good!

Click the link above to see the blog. Scroll down the page to see the video to play. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the best magic you will ever see (or not see).  We could use Tony Slydini, or his ghost, to help us out today; but just watching this PBS segment is a great 30-minute escape from the real world.  Enjoy.

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