austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

So take a piece but not too much

There are other things than Star Wars characters wandering the streets, of course. I ran across two more of the Salvador Dali statues poised around town, and rarely have they felt quite so redundant. And there was a street magician that you couldn't miss, because there were people for half the block around him pointing you to him. While I was there he did the trick where he lays out three wooden chips with symbols on the back, and asks a person from the audience to pick one to hold, one for him to hold, and one to be put in the bag, with the intent to see how well the actual distribution matches the predictions he wrote down ahead of time. I thought the magician was asking me to pick, but actually, he wanted the Malaysian guy just off to my side, possibly because he had a striking resemblance to the younger Elvis Presley. Not to spoil things, but the predictions came out right.

Not far from that was another performer, whose name -- if I've got this right -- was Alan Lim Chee Wei. His performance is to paint himself white, dress in all-black outfits, wear sunglasses, and move around roboticly. He looks around, points, mechanically shakes hands, and so on. He stays quite admirably in character considering he's basically a blackbody on the equator at 1 pm. Singaporeans are more comfortable with this than the silver-painted living-statue angel, based on how close they came. I did see (weeks earlier, though) Lim doing this bit and picking an elderly Chinese man as the focus of his interactions, absolutely terrifying the poor man. You have to be careful when feigning a robotic nature.

The silver-painted living-statue angel was still there, and farther down the street they've set up another silver-painted living-statue display, featuring three people. From right to left, they're a child dressed as an angel; an older man dressed as an English judge complete with powdered wig; and ... I'm not sure what they were going for here, but he strongly resembled Baldrick. There's a short story in this somewhere.

John M Ford, a fantastic science fiction/fantasy writer (and author of two of the best Star Trek novels) has died. Blast it all. It was rare that I felt I fully understood his novels, but that's because he wrote for that effect, with a masterful control of viewpoint and unshakable respect for what his characters would think about.

Trivia: Winsor McCay's director for the live-action portions of Little Nemo, his first animated cartoon, was J Stuart Blackton. Source: Of Mice and Magic, Leonard Maltin.

Currently Reading: The Invention of Tradition, Edited by Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger.


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