Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)

After I wrote about my disappointment with Prince's halftime show at the Super Bowl, Rob commented that he was "waiting for him to slip and fall." Some people (not Susannah) had a problem with Prince's talent for shadow puppetry (which has me ready to tear my hair out in chunks and scream at our culture's sudden collective lack of humor [quickie rant]).

Me, I was worried that the dude was going to be electrocuted on stage.

Instead of covering "All Along the Watchtower," Prince probably should've included "Danger! High Voltage" in his medley. Of course, I really didn't want to see that (possible electrocution, I mean - not an Electric Six tribute), yet that fear was enough to keep my from changing the channel.

How did that not happen? Was the lunch lady bandana around Prince's head made of rubber? Slate's Torie Bosch doesn't confirm or dispute that theory, but provides a much more valid answer in the "Explainer" column: Prince went wireless.

Battery-powered wireless microphones, guitars, and other gear keep performers isolated from potentially dangerous electrical current. To get a shock, you have to become part of an electrical circuit between a high-voltage source —like a power line— and the ground (or a grounded object, like a ladder). Without coming into contact with both, you can't be electrocuted, which is why birds on power lines don't get fried. It's also one of the reasons why wireless equipment keeps performers safe in the rain—if you're not physically connected to the current, you can't get shocked.

Well, that certainly makes sense. But a rubber headband just sounds more sexy. And I think we all know which way Prince would lean on that one.