Misdirection (HLD 314)

31 Jan 2021

We managed to score free tickets to a fringe show for last night. The title didn’t give too much away – possibly something to do with magic – but what the heck, they were free, so off we went.

As we queued at the entrance with a pile of kids and their handlers, we started to get the hint that maybe it might be a little below our regular entertainment level. But, again, they were free, so what the heck.

The show was basically giving kids some ideas on how to do a magic trick involving a deck of cards. He went on and on, doing the same trick over and over again, with a different patter that made it seem as if it was a totally different trick, and gradually started to give away clues on how he was doing the trick.

It was actually quite entertaining, and while I’m not rushing out and trying to learn how to do it, I will look a little closer next time I see a card trick performed to see if I can pick the action.

The magician dude talked a bit about misdirection, and how it wasn’t actually misdirection, rather more like obvious direction.

You choose to look at what you want, and if a magician gives you something to look at, it’s totally your choice if you want to look at that, rather than something they don’t necessarily want you to look at.

It’s part of what they do, doing something that will distract you from something else that’s happening that is otherwise quite obvious. Yes, there’s slight of hand and other actions that make the trick work, but diverting your attention is a big part of it.

West Australians have had their attention diverted from what’s been happening in the rest of the world. For ten months, we have pretty much gone about our business, observing a few guidelines and generally ignoring others. Our COVID situation has been, quite frankly, a very easy one to live with. Some people have had to isolate for a fortnight when coming into the state, and I’m not belittling the difficulties they have endured.

But the rest of us???? Toilet paper? Got it. Go to a concert? No problem. Go to the beach? No problem? Restaurant? Yep. Christmas? Business as usual. Sure we can’t go overseas, but quite frankly WA is a lovely place and there are less non WA tourists here at the moment so it’s quite easy to get around.

Until today. While we have had returned travellers from overseas testing positive to the virus while in hotel isolation, it hasn’t escaped into the community. For ten months. Until now. We have only got one person so far but we aren’t going to take any risks.

So while our attention has been diverted by all the coffee dates, concerts, beach trips and visits with friends, behind the scenes the little Covid magician has been shifting the cards from one hand to the next, moving the bottom card around to wherever it suits him.

So we are now in a hard lockdown for a week and everyone has immediately bought every roll of toilet paper the shops had previously had ample supply of.

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