This House Resolution in support of magic is WAY too real

Congress isn’t doing a lot of important things right now, like passing budgets, voting on immigration reform and restoring the Voting Rights Act. Congress is, however, doing something. And by something I mean considering hilarious and nonsensical resolutions that carry no legal weight.

Specifically, Representative Pete Sessions (R – TX) introduced House Resolution 642 yesterday, a resolution “recognizing magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure.”

The resolution is positively wild from start to finish. Let’s walk through it. You may want to read it out loud, or imagine someone reading it out loud on the House floor, to fully appreciate the absurdity.

First, the basics:

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;

So far so good. Magic is art. Magic is fun. We like magic. What’s next?

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;

Alright, maybe slow down a bit there. Magic is cool and all, but you know it isn’t, you know, real, right?

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;

The wheels are mostly off by this point, with these representatives putting David Blaine in the same field as Mozart, but they aren’t close to being done. They haven’t even gotten to David Copperfield yet!

Pete Sessions and The Alliance of Magicians. Thanks to James N. for the photo.

Pete Sessions and The Alliance of Magicians. Thanks to James N. for the photo.

Whereas the American magicians Harry Houdini and David Copperfield have been the most successful magicians of the past two centuries;

Whereas David Copperfield, introduced to magic as a boy growing up in New Jersey, has been named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress;

Whereas David Copperfield, with 21 Emmy Awards, 11 Guinness World Records, and over four billion dollars in ticket sales, has impacted every aspect of the global entertainment industry;

Whereas David Copperfield, through his magic, inspires great positive change in the lives of Americans;

Whereas people consistently leave David Copperfield’s live magic show with a different perspective than when they entered;

Whereas Rebecca Brown of Portland, Oregon, left a David Copperfield magic show with a newfound inspiration to pursue her lifelong, unfulfilled passion for dance;

Whereas three months after Rebecca Brown attended the David Copperfield magic show, she performed her first choreographed recital in Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Square;

This section of the resolution is only here to tell us that David Copperfield is very rich and famous, and one person who attended his show liked it a lot, but was inspired to pursue a different career. The fact that David Copperfield is a magician is tangential to all of this.

Whereas programs such as Project Magic, created by David Copperfield, use magic as a form of therapy for children with physical, psychological, and social disabilities;

Whereas learning magic through programs such as Project Magic can help these children improve their physical and mental dexterity and increase their confidence;

Whereas learning magic through programs such as Project Magic helps these children realize that they are no longer less able than their peers;

Whereas programs such as Project Magic teach these children that they are more capable and have a newfound ability to do what others cannot;

Ok, that’s pretty cool. Why didn’t they mention that earlier? Why isn’t this entire resolution about this program? Are we going to hear about more about magic’s tangible social benefits?

Haha, of course we aren’t:

Whereas cities such as Wylie, Texas, and its mayor, Eric Hogue, recognize and promote the art of magic with official proclamations, summer educational programs, and the first festival dedicated to the art of magic in the State of Texas;

Whereas Mayor Eric Hogue, who learned the art of magic as a child, continues to use those skills to teach elementary school students about the different roles and responsibilities of local government;

Pete Sessions represents part of Wylie, Texas, so I get why Hogue was singled out for inclusion here as America’s most magical mayor. And given Sessions’s understanding of how the federal government works, I can understand why he’d think magic is a worthwhile addition to a civics curriculum. Still, though, this is bonkers:

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;

Whereas there is not an effective national effort to support and preserve magic;

Not to get too technical, but magic requires a bit more than “the capacity to dream.” The art form also requires lots of practice and a penchant for showmanship. Actual magic requires you to live in an actual dreamworld. It also requires a…

Wait, I’m sorry, what’s this about a “national effort to support and preserve magic”?

Whereas documentation and archival support required by such a great art form has yet to be systematically applied to the field of magic; and

Whereas it is in the best interest of the national welfare to preserve and celebrate the unique art form of magic: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) recognizes magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure; and

(2) supports efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated.

Haaaaahahahaha. Folks, magic doesn’t need our help. It’s magic. Also, to get technical again, magic can’t be “understood.” Again, it’s magic.

This would all be worth ignoring were it not for the fact that Pete Sessions would likely not vote for — let alone sponsor — a similar resolution replacing the word “magic” with the word “science.” Nor would many of his Republican colleagues. We’re at a point where our representatives are targeting academics and interfering with government research to undermine scientific inquiry on the one hand while literally promoting magic on the other.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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19 Responses to “This House Resolution in support of magic is WAY too real”

  1. NWO6b2die says:

    Is it possible the representatives who introduce these BS resolutions are just getting another Gold Star to move themselves closer to that ‘magic’ 33 degree number?

  2. retiredeng says:

    OK. Time to break out the straitjacket.

  3. DoverBill says:

    Congrats on the “o”.

  4. DoverBill says:

    It’s illusion, ya dumb fuck!

  5. UncleBucky says:

    Mind you, when we come to the end of science, and some commenters call that “magic” (e.g. the “edge of the Universe” or beyond the physics of THIS Universe). Metaphors are not “magic”, ugh.

  6. UncleBucky says:

    The Bible forbids the support and use of magic, boys and girls. Aren’t many of the Rethuglicans Bible-Believing “Christians”??

    Leviticus 19:31 – “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”



  7. bpollen says:

    Be it hereby resolved that stripping is a unique and valuable art form and national treasure, and we support efforts to preserve it! Gypsy Rose Lee was at least as great an artist as David Copperfield.

    And don’t get me started on the great and lost art of Phrenology…

  8. HandsomeMrToad says:

    Three books about magic which are very much better than Harry Potter:

    1. The Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

    2. The Children’s Country by Kay Burdekin.

    3. The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman.

  9. crazymonkeylady says:

    Excuse me. But didn’t your people say Harry Potter was of the Devil?

  10. quax says:

    Progress. It comes in baby steps.

  11. The_Fixer says:

    What stupid shit.

    Good grief, this is what they do when they finally get their fattened asses into the Capitol?

    I dunnow, but I thought I heard 8 hooves clattering away earlier today. Maybe the Apocalypse really is on the way. The Apocalypse of Stupid.

  12. coram nobis says:

    Our Puritan forebears would have called this witchcraft or heresy and strung up the lot of them. The irony!

  13. Relativicus says:

    I’m guessing this is tied to tourism in Texas, and putting fannies in the seats at the MGM Grand, but I can’t help thinking this will be used to support some resolution making Jesus the King of America or something.

  14. Kenster999 says:

    And y’all know the difference between a “trick” and an “illusion,” of course:

  15. BeccaM says:

    What. The. Fuck?

  16. Pollos Hermanos says:

    Doug says thanks.

  17. judybrowni says:

    Magic is also fucking boring, if you’re an adult.

    No, I don’t want to pick a card.

    Magic ain’t even magic: its a trick.

    No wonder the Republican House is approving.

  18. Bcre8ve says:

    I thought Sessions was an Evangelical. And I thought Evangelicals were vehemently opposed to “magic”. They even boycotted the Harry Potter genre and Mickey’s “Sorcerer” depiction from Disney for being inappropriately “magical”!

    How times have changed! I guess, now that Drumpf has pulled off the blinders, there is no point in pretending that their objections are “principled”, or based on “deeply held religious beliefs”.

  19. Rational says:

    Ah oh
    Wait till the delusional read this then the congress will get lectures of how magic is the work of the devil and opens the gateway to hell.
    senile pat, corrupt falwell and corporate franklin will be up in arms and raging while falling back upon their delusions to condem this.
    Oh what fun

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