Who says our elected officials can’t get anything done? A new bill entered the House of Representatives on Monday that, if passed, will “recognize magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure.”
House resolution 642, submitted to the House on Monday by Texas representative Pete Sessions, Ohio’s Steve Stivers, Pennsylvania’s Patrick Meehan and Charles Dent, New York’s Daniel M. Donovan Jr., Idaho’s Michael K. Simpson, and Colorado’s Ken Buck (who are all Republicans), looks to support “efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated.”
Here’s a sample of what the bill hopes to recognize:
Whereas magic is an art form with the unique power and potential to impact the lives of all people;
Whereas magic enables people to experience the impossible;
Whereas magic is used to inspire and bring wonder and happiness to others;
Whereas magic has had a significant impact on other art forms;
Whereas magic, like the great art forms of dance, literature, theater, film, and the visual arts, allows people to experience something that transcends the written word;
Whereas many technological advances can be directly traced to the influential work of magicians;
Whereas futurist Arthur C. Clarke claimed that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic;
Whereas one of the greatest artists of all time, Leonardo da Vinci, was inspired by magic and co-wrote one of the very first books on magic in the late 15th century;
Whereas modern cinema would not exist today without the innovative work of the accomplished magician Georges Méliès;
Whereas magicians are visual storytellers who seamlessly interweave elements of mystery, wonder, emotion, and expression;
Whereas magic is an outstanding artistic model of individual expression;
Whereas magic fulfills some of the highest ideals and aspirations of our country by encouraging people to question what they believe and see;
Whereas magic is a unifying force across cultural, religious, ethnic, and age differences in our diverse Nation;
Whereas magic is an art that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.
And then a little further down in the bill, these gems:
Whereas magic is timeless in appeal and requires only the capacity to dream;
Whereas magic transcends any barrier of race, religion, language, or culture;
Whereas magic has not been properly recognized as a great American art form, nor has it been accorded the institutional status on a national level commensurate with its value and importance.
The bill also includes multiple references to well-known magician David Copperfield (pictured below) and his Project Magic program. The bill will recognize David’s ability to “use magic as a form of therapy for children with physical, psychological, and social disabilities.” In addition, Project Magic will receive a nod for helping children “improve their physical and mental dexterity and increase their confidence,” and “realize that they are no longer less able than their peers.”
I’ve consulted my politics-obsessed friend Elysa — who co-hosts #Millennial podcast with me — who tells me this bill will “probably” pass. “Congress will often introduce things like this… they’re just non-binding resolutions meant to signal informal support of something,” she says. “Like naming our post offices after famous people.”
“They don’t enact actual policy. But it’s hilarious.” And a magical decision by our government!
Just last week J.K. Rowling released four pieces on Pottermore about the history of magic in North America, and spoke multiple times about the Magical Congress of the United States. We have to wonder… are the aforementioned representatives secretly working with the wizards?
If it passes the House, the bill will move on to the Senate. We’ll let you know what happens to it!