We’ve all done it and by “we” we mean “us.” Read through the U.S. Congressional and Senate dockets, looking for magic-related items so that we can spring into junior lobbyist and fight for or against the bill by whipping up support among the very influential “magician vote” and donate tens of dollars to candidates supporting our position.
We are ashamed (for the purposes of this post only) that we did not notice a bill that remains pending in the U.S. House of Representatives; at least it appears stalled according to the “Actions” tab on the Congressional status page.
As far as we can tell, H.Res.642 — 114th Congress (2015-2016) is dead. It was referred to committee and never returned. Maybe it was replaced with another bill in this, the 115th Congress, but we have not found that piece of legislation yet. The bill read in appropriate part:
Recognizing magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure.
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;
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;
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;
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;
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;
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.
We understand that this is a hot button issue but suggest that Congress consider carefully whether they wish to drum-up the ire of magicians by letting this resolution sit. We agree that “it is in the best interest of the national welfare to preserve and celebrate the unique art form of magic.” We even agree not to move for an amendment proclaiming the inherent value of magic-based websites such as InsideMagic.com. We would also leave off our language requiring a grant to such websites to study further the influence of Magic on the general population. That’s how sincere we are. We don’t often take political stands but when we do, we stand up tall.
Some will point with scorn at our 1988 attempt to become mayor of Mystic Hollow. We lost by 15 votes in a community of 45.
It was a hard loss and we took it hard.
We tried to figure out who would vote against us and favor of the mayor who had led our town so ably for 20 years before. Some pointed to our scandal plagued past (and there is still no proof we used a marked deck in our performance of “Pick a Card” on local cable television); or our inability to name any of the responsibilities of Mayor; or our very fashion forward wearing of Miami Vice colors sans ties. We think the reason we lost was because Mystic Hollow was not ready for the type of change we wanted to bring to the hamlet.
- Free breakfast (meaning at least a donut) for all residents;
- Free lunch (meaning at least a potpie) for all residents who did not already have lunch or breakfast;
- Free dinner in exchange for a promise to perform a magic trick for other customers at the French Drop Inn;
- Free rent for all still living in their parents’ home;
- All cards should be made by U.S. Playing Cards in Cincinnati, Ohio (this was a toss to a local job creator that ultimately moved some production to Kentucky);
- Rabbit breeding should be inspected by the local vet;
- No wearing pajamas in public (this was said to unfairly single out Tony Spain and his family but the Tony Spain – Inside Magic feud was already too far along to stop);
- Free late night snack (meaning at least one donut not held over from the previous day although said donut could be of the population of donuts that would be offered for breakfast on the following day);
Our opponent, Mayor Niceguy (pronounced “Neece gee” in our campaign advertising) promised only to keep things the same.
After he won, he called to extend his gracious thoughts and appreciation of our down-and-dirty campaign. We took it the best we could; considering we had used all of the napkins allotted by the always considerate staff at the Dunkin’ Donuts – site of our campaign’s anticipated celebration. He offered us a job in his administration as a “gopher” or “go fer” to help out around the office and bring / pick-up things for him. As flattered as we were to be considered for such a position, it seemed like too much work and we were in a bad place emotionally after losing. As we told a reporter for Time magazine, “It hurts real bad.” To be candid, the reporter was just in town covering a welding explosion and this was ten years after the election and we’re not sure the reporter heard us.
But our democracy is alive except the bill that would recognize Magic as an invaluable art form is apparently dead. We’ll follow up on this after the elections in November. We expect this bill to be a huge issue in the debates and advertising. We also expect that the McRib will become a regular item available at McDonald’s and not just something that comes and goes.
Read the full bill and the activities behind it here.
Read a great Business Insider article on how the bill got its start here.
See the “I’m Just a Bill” video for further education on the process on YouTube here.
Read just one of our articles attacking Tony Spain here.