Houston Forward Times

11 June 2013 Written by 

BLINDED BY MISDIRECTION

I love good movies and TV shows. But you know what’s even better to me than just watching a good movie or TV show? It’s watching a good movie or TV show that not only has great acting, but one that has a great plot.

I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers and dramas.

I haven’t had the kind of time to go to the movie theaters like I used to, because of work, family and other important responsibilities, but every now and then I try to catch an occasional flick at the movie theater. Such is the case with the movie I just went to see called “Now You See Me.”

Boy, was that a great movie!

Now-you-see-meIt had some great actors in it like Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and my boy, Morgan Freeman. The movie was centered on magic, which I have always been intrigued by. Whether it was Harry Houdini, David Copperfield or David Blaine, the artistry of magic has always caught my attention.

Okay, the story is about these four magicians who are brought together by a mysterious person who witnesses them performing their magic. They all receive a summons by the mysterious person to meet up at an apartment at an obscure address with secrets inside. A year later, they appear in Las Vegas as big-time stage illusionists called the “Four Horseman,” where for the climax of their sold out show, they appear to apparently rob a bank for real. “The Four Horsemen” continue to pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, showering the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law.

This puts agents Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) of the FBI and Alma Vargas of Interpol on the case to find out how the “Four Horseman” do it. However, this mystery proves difficult to solve even with the insights of professional illusion exposer, Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). What follows is a bizarre investigation where nothing is what it seems with illusions, dark secrets and hidden agendas galore, pitting the elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against “The Four Horsemen.” As all involved are engaged, they are reminded of the great puzzle surrounding magic; the closer you look, the less you see.

Like I said, I won’t spoil it for you, but what I will tell you is that the movie is off-the-chain and it had me fooled up to the very end, because what I thought was happening on the screen, really wasn’t.

And while I’m not Siskel and Ebert, I will tell you the reason I give this movie two thumbs up and love it so much, is because it reminds me of real life and how people consistently use the concept of “misdirection” to keep the world off balance and on the virtual “hamster wheel” of life.

“Misdirection” is a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another. “Misdirection” takes advantage of the limits of the human mind in order to give someone the wrong picture and memory. The mind of a typical audience member can only concentrate on one thing at a time.

“Misdirection” in magic may be as simple as a magician rolling up his sleeves and saying that there is “nothing up their sleeve.” and then producing an object that could never have been “up their sleeve”. The audience always focuses on the magician’s arms, hoping to figure out the trick, but they ignore the actual location where the object-to-be-magically-produced is hidden. A magician will first grab everyone’s attention with a coin, or another small and shiny object which captures more attention and seems less likely to disappear or to be manipulated. Attention is then shifted away from the object through a combination of comedy, sleight of hand or an unimportant object of focus, providing just enough time for the magician to do whatever they hoped to do with the original object.

When you look at politics, government, business, education, community issues and other important factors that impact our daily lives, many of us are being deceived and taken advantage of through skillful magicians who have mastered the art of “misdirection.”

While you are looking at the Republicans and Democrats squabble on TV and on Capitol Hill about “so-called” big issues, you are missing the other, not-so-sexy issues that impact you even more. The school closures, tax and fee increases, educational costs skyrocketing, the wire-tapping and invasion of your privacy, property being taken over by eminent domain, defense spending contracts, law enforcement changes, the justice system, the out-of-control health care system and much more.

While you are focusing on the current White House scandal of the day or the latest celebrity gossip, there are so many other things that are happening in front of you, that you can’t even see because you are paying attention to the part of the trick that the magicians want you to concentrate on.

Stop being a gullible sucker! Stop believing everything you hear and see on the Internet, just because someone told you it was true and threw you some figures and statistics in order to get you to believe it. Stop being “blinded by misdirection.”

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .