Have you seen the video of Melvin the Postcard Machine?
Both machines are fantastic. Rube Goldberg would be proud.
We subscribe to magazines that arrive in the mail right? But what about subscribing for actual mail?
This past summer I subscribed to Abe’s Penny, a literary and art micro-magazine that arrives in the form of weekly postcards. While I was at it, I bought my children a subscription to Abe’s Peanut, the same idea but for kids. The postcard magazines are consistent treats in our mailbox. We love receiving them and following the serialized content from week to week. Here is an example of an Abe’s Penny postcard front and back.
Last week my friend Randi alerted me to Rumpus’s Letters in the Mail. For five dollars a month ($10 for international subscriptions) you will receive letters from writers on topics of their choosing. I signed up immediately!
So what do you think of the mail subscription model? A great use of your mailbox as a cultural receptacle? Kind of like hiring a prostitute? A bit of both? I for one, am inspired. I’ll let you know when I get my first Letters in the Mail letter.
Have you seen the video, Keep Wall Street Occupied? A good use of junk mail?
And Happy (day after) Halloween!
Here’s my pal Haley’s costume from last year. Viva Snail Mail!
If you subscribe to Garrison Keiller’s Writer’s Almanac, a poem gets sent to your email address every day.
Here’s one that Biskit forwarded to me:
I see a postman everywhere
Vanishing in thin blue air
A mammoth letter in his hand,
Postmarked from a foreign land.
The postman’s uniform is blue.
The letter is of course from you
And I’d be able to read, I hope,
My own name on the envelope
But he has trouble with this letter
Which constantly grows bigger & bigger
And over and over with a stare,
He vanishes in blue, blue air.
According to the New York Times, the USPS is going to change their policy of only featuring dead people on postage stamps- now living people can appear on postage stamps too. The NYT article linked to the USPS Stamps Facebook page. I didn’t know they had one so I went and its great! As of now 5,844 people “like” the page and out of those people a whole bunch want Lady Gaga to appear on a stamp. A Lady Gaga stamp might just save the USPS. All her little monsters would be buying up sheets and sheets of them! I also read suggestions for Dolly Parton, Madonna, and Maya Angelou and I could not agree more. Someone suggested Gilda Radner, who unfortunately is not alive. But Kristen Wiig is. I just watched “Bridesmaids” again and I would LOVE to stick a Kristen Wiig stamp on my mail, if you know what I mean.
This pop culture influx might be shocking to traditional philatelic folks but as long as the artwork on these stamps is good, I think this change could breathe some fresh energy into the form. What do you think and what are your suggestions for future stamp subjects?
Viva Snail Mail!
Hey guess what? Viva Snail Mail was included in a round up of analog love in New York City in this week’s New York Magazine. I loved reading about the other users and enthusiasts of pre-digital technologies, because my analog appreciation extends beyond paper mail. I am also a fan of film cameras, vinyl records, letterpress, bookbinding, pinball, and typewriters. Let’s face facts. I kind of want to be this lady, but with fluffier hair.
Analog love from 1947. I found it at the New York City Public Library Picture Collection but don’t know who the photographer was.
I hope you have a fabulous holiday.
Here’s a video for you.
Look for the typewriter.
There’s an article in the NYT today about a skater named Bobby Crawford, aka Shaggy, who is all about mail. He works in the mailroom at the Hearst Corporation in Manhattan and also sends handwritten letters to the editors of the magazines that he reads. He’s been doing both for over a decade. There is something incredibly poignant about a man whose job is to sort and deliver mail at a major media company who chooses to create his own opinionated mail in his free time. I wonder if the people in the mail rooms of Thrasher or Interview magazines deliver Crawford’s mail to the editors with some innate reverence. Read the profile of Shaggy the ranter here.
Photo of Shaggy by Librado Romero.
An article by Deborah Sontag called “Haitians Cry Out in Letters: ‘Please- Do Something!’” is on the front page of the New York Times today. This photo accompanies the article, showing a displaced earthquake survivor dropping a letter in a collection box at the camp where she lives, asking for help.