I’m baffled.

I’m stumped.

As a Filipino magician, I like to think very few things baffle and stump me. It has been so long ago that I was last baffled and stumped that I forgot when it was. But today I’m both baffled and stumped, and I remember it.

Maybe I just don’t get it.

I invite you to look at this picture. Or to watch this video. Reflect on it the way you normally do when you pray the Stations of the Cross. You will understand why I’m confused.

The photo is popular Filipino actress-model Alicia Mayer’s. The video accompanying a Philippine Daily Inquirer story shows activists Istara Bon Gundry, Katrina Lugartos, and Ashley Fruno. Both the photo and video show girls posing for a campaign advertisement for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). If you haven’t noticed it yet, they are all clad in fresh lettuce bikini to promote vegetarianism.

Developing in our children the love for eating vegetables used to be an uncomplicated and family-friendly exercise.

Today it looks like it’s becoming an exciting, PG 13 family project. Exciting because it titillates the imagination. PG 13 because the titillation requires adult discernment.

I needed to read the caption of Alicia Mayer’s photo several times to try to understand why that photo would mean, “Eat vegetables!” If there’s something being offered to be eaten here, my befuddled mind can’t think of vegetables, or grains, or fruits, or nuts, or seeds, which are the usual vegetarian’s diet. My mind is thinking of something else the way your mind is thinking of something else.

The message of Alicia Mayer’s photo is lost in the medium probably because the messenger chose to emphasize the medium rather than the message. Whatever that means.

My psychic powers as a Filipino magician foresee an exciting future for vegetarianism. Upping its hype meter via back-to-nature outfit will push it toward an R-rating. The carnivorous males will continue eating meat and find pictures of PETA models worthy of a moment’s drooling.

I’m waiting excitedly for the male model counterpart to romp around town scantily clad in eggplants. That will suggest altogether another image but will also fail to convince people to eat vegetable. Or to show kindness to animals.

The reason I’m mentioning this eat-vegetables campaign is that letting loose on the streets ladies in lettuce bikini is a stunt.

We magicians are familiar with public stunts, maybe more than PETA or other groups. Blaine has done several televised stunts that stretched for days. Houdini, during his days, did many dangerous stunts. Even mentalists perform newspaper predictions as publicity stunts.

So you see, if any groups want to mount a publicity stunt, they might as well consult us Inner Magic Club magicians before doing it. We can design for them magical-themed stunts that can look dangerous or difficult but never humiliating to the participants.

Stay magical,



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