[Originally posted on October 8th, 2012.]

As of right now, Monday, October 8, 2012, 5:30PM EST David Blaine has been standing in a chain-mail suit on New York’s Pier 54 with 1 million volts of electricity flowing from one Tesla coil to another across his body for 69 hours. He has 3 hours left. It’s the most recent in a series of endurance stunts (being in ice for a while, being on a column for a while, being in a box for a while, being in dirt for a while, being half-asleep ALWAYS) Blaine has performed in public over the past few years for what seems like 0 reason, and it is the stunt he claims to be the “most dangerous” yet. (It’s also a stunt that this scientist claims to be “shockingly safe” and one that Intel’s Ultrabook claims to be “shockingly ULTRABOOK ULTRABOOK PLEASE BUY ULTRABOOK,” but who are you going to believe?) I visited Blaine on Sunday, October 7 and, if you asked me, I’d say that it was one of the shockingly dumber and more confusing things I’ve ever seen in my life. #ELECTRIFIED!

I arrived at Pier 54 around 3:30PM. Andrew WK was slated to perform there that night at 7:30PM and I did not go to that on purpose so I could witness David Blaine in his natural Electrified environment: surrounded by not very many people who are all standing in the rain, confused, taking photos.

#ELECTRIFIED! This entire stunt is very confusing, but probably the most confusing part of it is the incredibly loud out-of-practice robot orchestra music that drones on through its entirety. You can hear it in the live stream, and you can also hear it if you are anywhere within two blocks of Pier 54. IT IS VERY, VERY LOUD! So loud that they give you earplugs when you walk in, and so loud that you eventually use them even though at the beginning you think, “This probably isn’t totally necessary.”

They have flames on them because, I assume, an electricity image wasn’t available. But back to the music: I still don’t understand what it is or who is controlling it. The point of it is that, from what I can understand, the different notes correspond to different…amounts…of electricity? That might be wrong. I don’t know! I’ve tried to find out and THE TRUTH JUST ISN’T OUT THERE. I know Andrew WK controlled it while he was there, and I know Reggie Watts is going to control it at the end of the day today (Blaine’s final Eletrified day), but who is controlling it otherwise? Intel says this:

Intel’s sponsorship includes supplying Ultrabooks to the site so visitors can interact with Blaine. They can send messages, change the music and ask him questions. Blaine said this will help alleviate the most difficult aspect of the trick, staying focused.

But when I was there it was raining (as it has been the entire weekend) so those blocks of computers looked like this:

And no one was using them because you couldn’t because they were covered in fucking garbage bags. (Also, from what I could tell, they were all just playing pre-Electrified interviews with David Blaine?) So I don’t know! Maybe they just had different loud robot versions of classical songs that you could choose from, or something? Before getting there I was under the impression that the notes were all audience-controlled, because I knew that the closest platform contained this one Ultrabook that allowed you to press keys, each of which corresponded to a different amount of electricity. (OR SOMETHING?) So I got up to the front of the platform (basically right away because no one was really fighting for it) and checked out what the deal was with that, and the deal was, as far as I could tell, that it was nothing? It felt like being in Johnny Rockets when the old-timey waitress comes around and gives you a nickel to put in your booth’s jukebox and you choose a song but never hear it, and go home assuming that it’s because Johnny Rockets only plays an old-timey mix CD and the in-booth jukeboxes aren’t even connected to anything, even though Johnny Rockets will tell you that you didn’t hear it because there’s just a big backlog of songs queued up.

I waited until there was a break in the music (there were breaks in between musical pieces, and each time there was a break people would clap, which was very, very funny, because what were they clapping for?) to press a few keys and I did and nothing happened, so I don’t know. I was already standing in the rain, watching a man stand in a protective suit for what seemed like no reason, listening to the loudest, worst music I’ve ever heard, so I wasn’t going to investigate what was actually going on with the nonsense computer thing. Another thing I didn’t understand about it was that the entire time I was there, there was a man in a little booth raised up next to Blaine, interviewing him:

At first he was up there with a cameraman, but then they lowered the box down and the cameraman got out and the guy with the microphone went back up by himself. …? What a mystery! Was this to ask the Intel questions that the fans were asking? If so, where are we supposed to find the answers? Are they going to be released after the whole stunt is over? If so, who is going to care at that point? Or is this just a television interview? If so, why didn’t the cameraman go up the second time? Or is this just a guy who is there to hang out with David Blaine for no reason other than to keep him entertained? Also: How are they recording David Blaine’s audio? Does he have a microphone on? I guess he must! It’s too bad that it was so unbelievably loud, because I’m sure if the crowd had been able to chat with each other some of these questions would’ve been brought up and possibly resolved. But, unfortunately, no one could talk to anyone because we all had earplugs in because we were all in a loud, discordant nightmare together. Haha, maybe that’s why the loud element was included in the stunt? “IF IT’S LOUD THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO ASK QUESTIONS.” If so, it worked!

So basically the stunt that Electrified: One Million Volts Always On revolves around is David Blaine leaning (NOT standing — he was leaning on a thing that he was tethered to!!) against something for three days, not eating, while listening to loud, horrible music. (Courtney Love something something that stunt every something something!) The chain-mail suit and helmet protect him from the electricity, so it might as well not even be there. In the interview where he claims it is the “most dangerous” stunt he has ever been to he says the reason why it is the most dangerous is because he doesn’t even know what the damage is going to be after the stunt ends, but it seems like the damage is just going to be that he is tired and hungry and annoyed? Though, as this fan notes in the comments under the live stream:

IT IS A LONG TIM TO JUST STAND (LEAN) THERE! Also, as I learned, 20 minutes is a long tim to just stand there watching him just stand there. BOO! Boo this stunt. David Blaine stunts are always upsetting because, even though the endurance factor is always insane and an impressive human feat, the purpose factor is never really there and also David Blaine’s annoying, self-satisfied, publicity-hound factor is always way up, but at least with the stunts in the past you UNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS HAPPENING. “He’s in ice, I get it, for sure.” “Oh he’s standing on a column forever.” This one, I just do not know. He’s definitely not eating for three days, I can say that for sure. Electricity is certainly AROUND him. He’s located at Pier 54 and it is very loud there. (The only other fact I got out of it is that I have to buy an Ultrabook because oh my god you guys they seem AMAAZIIIIIIIIIIINNNGGGGGG!!!) Though, with all of that said, I am glad I went and was able to see it. Just kidding. It was a waste of time! #ELECTRIFIED!

[Originally posted on October 8th, 2012.]

Comments (55)
  1. This shirt is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

  2. topknot  |   Posted on Feb 6th +27

    If nothing else, at least Kelly got to have one perfect day on SpinMedia’s dime.

  3. If I can be self-indulgent for a second (self-indulgence in the Internet?!! Now I’ve heard everything! -you) I’d like to repost a comment I made from the living dolls post:

    There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.


    Subject: One, Kelly Conaboy, pop culture guru, cute animal film maestro. The time is here, the day is now. Just like any other day, the blog was grinding, the birds were chirping. But today Kelly is going to find something more terrifying than waking up in a carnival ride…for today, Kelly is waking up…in The Twilight Zone.


    http://www.videogum.com/599731/girl-stuff-uh-we-could-become-living-dolls/webjunk/

  4. hotspur  |   Posted on Feb 6th +14

    I feel like this post is one electrified spider bite away from being the origin story of Banana-Girl.

    Banana-Girl: crime-fighter and mystery-solver extraordinaire, known to evil-doers and nefarious time-wasters everywhere as the bane(ana) of their existence.

  5. artdork  |   Posted on Feb 6th +23

    Guys, remember that time Kelly wore a Banana sweater and you all photoshop’d her into a bunch of wacky scenarios??

  6. I have updated my journal.

    http://therealtumnus.tumblr.com/

    I was afraid that if I waited until tomorrow to post this here, when the atmosphere will be so thick with gloom we shall all be swimming in it, it would only remind you of the many times in the past when I have said this would be my last update. “How you could you say that?!” perhaps you would cry, maybe even going so far as to shake your fists at the portion of your screens inhabited by me. “Did you not understand how tenuous, how fleeting our safe haven would prove to be, you ridiculous Faun?”

    “Of course not!” I would cry, probably cowering and raising my hands to ward off your righteous indignation. “I never would have made mention of even the slightest possibility of things coming to an end had I known! I cannot see into the future! I do not believe even Mr. Xavier can! And we are not on speaking terms even if he could!”

    But your wrath would not be appeased, for it would be the last day of Videogum Dot Com, and gloom’s shroud would hide us from each other forever.

    So I will post it today, and I will not suggest that it is the last entry in my journal. It contains a farewell of sorts but it is extremely lengthy (is that what she said? I am not sure…) so I will not hold it against you if you do not read it in its entirety. As always, I shall not know either way.

    This place has been a light during some of my darkest hours. I shall miss you all. Lead merry lives, and make every day a jig of your own devising.

  7. Ah yes, the origins of when we all photoshopped Kelly in her banana sweater onto our hearts!

  8. God DAMMIT you guys I am sad

  9. Wow. I don’t work on Fridays, which means I got real shit to do and won’t be commenting. So, I guess this is it for me. It’s been a trip, you guys.

    As sad as I am to see this stupid site that means an awful lot to me disappear, it feels like the right time, at least on a personal level. Only a month into 2014, and this is already the year that I basically have to become an adult, with adult problems. No time for video games and drinking flavored booze straight from the bottle; I’ve got to deal with real-world stuff, like foreclosures, leaky roofs, and the failing health of my rapidly aging body. No vacation this year, gonna use that money for real long-term investments instead. Psych was cancelled and I started watching True Detective. All the grownup shit is taking over all of the fun things I enjoy. I can’t say I’m THRILLED with this development, but hell, we all grow old, might as well learn to accept it. Today, my last day of posting on Videogum, I finally got my business cards for this position that I started over a year ago. I’m a real adult human being now. It makes sense for this site to go away, for me at least. The rest of you are just getting screwed, I guess.

    But, you know, that’s life. We still have Facebook and Cerealprize and whatever other fabulous sites there are out there to replace this one. But it’ll never be the same. This place has honest-to-god memories for a lot of us, including me. And knowing that it’s over…it’s a bummer, but I think I’ve started to come to terms with it. It’s been a blast. Everybody stay wonderful.

    Miss Conaboychev, tear down this blog!

  10. flanny  |   Posted on Feb 6th +14

    I do NOT like posting this after the sad Facetaco comment, but just another shout-out that tomorrow at 2:15ishy, a bunch of us are meeting up at Haymarket in Chicago at 737 W Randolph. Some can only hang for lunch, but if they’ll let me, I’m going to hang around until I have to meet another friend at five. I’ll be wearing a chrysanthemum in my lapel. Let’s drown our goddamn sorrows!!!

  11. ugh im in serious denial

  12. It’s sorta neat seeing all of these reports and remembering where I was and what exactly my life was like when they were originally posted. This was originally posted 2 weeks after my daughter’s birth. Mr AC had just gone back to work and I was all alone with the baby and seriously freaking out about how drastically my life was changing. There was poop everywhere, still a lot of pain for me and a near constantly crying baby. She would take a thankfully long morning nap and I would get a cup of tea and catch up on videogum during the few minutes of silence. You all made me laugh during some tough times then as you had for several years before while I was suffering through grad school and then later as I got my first adult job and was terribly lonely and missing all of my grad school friends. You guys didn’t realize it, but you’ve been my lunchtime companions since 2010, and you were keeping me company during my late nights at lab before that. I think it’s strange that there are all of these ppl that I’ve never met and barely interacted with that I am going to miss so much. Seeing all the old faces (avatars?) commenting again is like catching up with old friends and it makes me really sad to think that I won’t be surprised by a post from a long lost monster anymore. I guess I just wanted to say that I’m going to miss you guys so much and wanted to thank you all for being here.

    Oh I’m also surprised that I haven’t seen any “damn the man, save the empire” gifs. I’m an old so you will just have to imagine Renee Z singing “Sugar High”.

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