The mediated public sphere is a concept that – to be brutally honest – I could not be bothered to even comprehend. Thank goodness for that large slice of curiosity in me, as it pushed me to do a little research. It led me to this explanation, which was conveniently related to blogging:
“Blogging reverses a trend that had become increasingly worrying in an era dominated by mass media, namely the erosion of what the cultural critic Jurgen Habermas called ‘the public sphere‘–an area where citizens gather to generate opinions and attitudes that affirm or challenge the actions of the state.” (Naughton, 2009)
So, the public sphere essentially acts as a chat room that flourishes off of internal discussion about what’s going on in society. Now to throw the word mediated into the mix. The Mediated Public Sphere refers to a place where issues of the news and media sort can be debated.
Now, I did try with every inch of my teenage brain to figure out a way to relate Ridiculousness – a show that will literally make you roll on the floor laughing (at the expense of others wellbeing and dignity) – to this blog, but, I conceded defeat and thought I’d better go with something a little less… ridiculous. Perhaps Dynamo: Magician Impossible will go down nicely?
If you haven’t already heard of this strange yet intensely addictive fellow, then I shall enlighten you. He calls himself Dynamo, although his real name’s Steven Frayne, and occupies his days as an Illusionist/Magician. From the yonder land of Britain, he has released a number of television series, with his most famed being the latest Magician Impossible. The show clocked in over 1 million viewers with its first episode on Sky Channel, and its viewers have been left astonished worldwide.
This is the kind of show that, if your friends don’t know it, you grab their Smartphone, do some fierce googling and show them a video of any one of his mind-blowing tricks. It has ventured its way into the mediated public sphere over the controversy of whether his tricks are magic or simply sleight of hand. It is hard to believe that walking through glass or on water could be illusion alone, and many have argued that Dynamo is actually a Satanist! Now, whether that’s a bit excessive I really am not sure.
The guy is an absolute nut. He pop’s peoples mobile phones into glass bottles, reads participants minds, changes the name on a credit card to his own and the list just goes on and on – I should mention that he does this all on the streets, right in front of the people. So could this actually be real magic at work? Is the guy possessed by dark underworld powers? Or is it disappointingly staged, and we just play the fools whose jaws fall open when we watch?
Either way, Dynamo’s fan club consists of some of ‘Hollywood’s hottest’, including Will smith who describes his work as “Absolutely stunning” and Chris Martin who mused “The greatest magic I’ve ever seen!”.
Host of This Morning, a British daytime television show, Philip Schofield, had the opportunity of not only meeting Dynamo, but also witnessing a few of his tricks. His conclusion was simple and fitting: “It’s extraordinary, you can’t fake something like that. It’s just incredible.”
You be the judge! Is it real or not?
One thing that is real is that this show has caused mass discussion across the globe and, yeah, I thoroughly enjoy watching it – it’s a bit of an escape from this sometimes morbid place, and I’m a sucker for munching at magic tricks, even if they do find themselves on the public sphere plate.
For further reference, please see below:
- John Naughton, “Why Everyone’s Invited to the Tenth Birthday Bash for Blogger.” The Observer, Sep. 13, 2009
- Image 1
- Magician Dynamo wins £10,000
- About Dynamo
- Dynamo freaks out Pharrell!