In the post "Complicity" I spoke about how an essential part of the relationship between conjuror and audience was the latter's willingness to suspend disbelief, becoming a complicit part of the deception.
Yesterday I received one of the many 419-emails offering Lottery millions. Like the emails promising a half share in fortunes locked in a vault in an African bank, and just needing someone from the West to claim them, this email smelt of scam from the start. “This program was largely promoted and sponsored by a group of philanthropist, industrialists from the internet ware industry and some other big multinational firms who wish to be anonymous. “ rather gives the game away…and yet I was struck by the complicity urge; you know it’s a con, but some part of you wants to engage, wants to believe.
A few years ago I went on an art college trip to Barcelona. Up and down the main drag, local wide boys were doing the cup and ball routine on upturned suitcases. You know the thing, the three cups move around at lightning speed, and you bet on the final destination of the ball. As we walked past on the way to the Hotel a couple of the lads on the course laughed at the foolishness of tourists who bet and lost on such nonsense. But you guessed it, a couple of days later the same lads shamefacedly returned to the hotel, with one of them having lost best part of £100 on the very same game.