David Blaine and the history of deliberate starvation in Britain
But I am even more disappointed that the 'disapproval' doesn't stem from what I think are two very strong political objections to the stunt. Firstly, there is the obvious knee-jerk reaction that says that there is something morally questionable about paying someone the alledged television rights figure of £5 million to starve themselves, when the money could be spent on distributing food, aid and medicine to people who are genuinely starving through no choice of their own.
But I also think there is a second reason to find staging this stunt in the UK distasteful. Should things go to plan, David Blaine will step out triumphantly after 44 days of starvation just after the twenty second anniversary of the end of the IRA Maze Prison hunger strikes which claimed the lives of 10 prisoners including Bobby Sands. It is quite incredible to think that in the UK 'hunger strike' has gone from a mechanism of political protest to 24/7 interactive entertainment from Channel 4 and Sky One in less than quarter of a century.