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Texas congressman wants magic to be recognized as a national treasure

Texas congressman wants magic to be recognized as a national treasure


'Magic is a unifying force across cultural, religious, ethnic, and age differences in our diverse Nation'

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Momentous things are happening in US politics. No, not the slow, miserable upending of the political system by business Oompa Loompa Donald Trump, but magic — magic! — might finally be about to get the recognition it deserves. Earlier this week, Texas congressman Pete Sessions introduced a resolution to recognize magic as a national treasure, arguing that it "has not been properly recognized as a great American art form" or given the "[status] commensurate with its value and importance."

To fix this, Sessions wants the House of Representatives to declare magic a "rare and valuable art form," and pledge to support efforts that ensure magic is "preserved, understood, and promulgated." To this end, the resolution cites a number of magic's appealing qualities (including its ability to inspire young children), and praises American magicians like Harry Houdini and David Copperfield. Here's a brief extract to give you a flavor:

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 so on. If you want to read the full text it's available here.

According to a report from the Huffington Post, the bill is Sessions' way of supporting his magician constituents. These include Texas mayor Eric Hogue, who is mentioned in the text as teaching children "about the different roles and responsibilities of local government" using magic. Hogue has frequently dabbled in magic boosterism (he proclaimed a "National Magic Week" in 2014) and reportedly got in touch with Sessions about a resolution on a national level.

Whether or not the resolution will get any approval from Congress is unclear, although it was introduced with six Republican co-sponsors. On the other side of the aisle, though, Democrats don't seem to be taking the resolution too seriously:

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