Monday, March 10, 2008

Postcards

I was looking over some resent blogs, especially the one dated March 1, 2008, and I began to think about postcards. I would describe a good postcard as being like a one panel cartoon in that they have one chance to get the point across. One shot at telling somebody something about where the postcard has been sent from. In a lot of ways that is pretty cool.

Some examples: My home province of British Columbia has postcards with mountains, rugged coastlines and trucks holding gigantic apples.

Alberta’s most famous postcard from the last ten years was a photograph of a guy in a cowboy costume receiving a cheque from the Albertan government.

The longest lasting postcard picture in Canada is from Ontario. It shows a bunch of pigs feeding at a trough in Ottawa.

La Belle Province, Quebec, for years had a postcard showing a guy smoking two cigarettes at the same time. It was recently altered to come in line with modern health concerns, and both cigarettes were covered with whiteout strips.

In ancient times postcards had inspirational photos and sayings on them. “May the bluebird of happiness… “ sorts of things. You could send them from pretty much anywhere, but they didn’t tell the receiver anything about where they had been sent from.

In times of war some postcards lean towards the jingoisticly patriotic. During the First World War postcards would a soldier pulling the Kaiser’s beard or kicking him in the butt. During the Second World War the soldier would be kicking Mussolini, Tojo or Hitler in the butt (personally I think they should have shown Hitler being worked over with a dentist’s drill and a monkey wrench, but I digress).

I wonder what sorts of postcards our friends to the south (the United States) can buy these days. I think a popular one would show the seal of the Department of Homeland Security with a caption reading: “You better keep your ass clean because we’re watching. Have a nice day.” Another good one might be of a US Administration chicken-hawk sending some young guy off to war with inadequate equipment. I don’t know how you’d get a picture showing that but the people who do postcards are pretty sharp so I’m sure they could figure it out. If they want to use that idea that’s fine by me. No charge.

Anyway… Humouroceros

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