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30 June 2005

Tagging: Youth Colors Our Urban Spaces (PostYankee 43 cents)

My first faux postage stamp. PostYankee is the issuing authority of one of my two imaginary countries, The Yankee Federation (the breakaway six states of New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont).

The other imaginary country is Tierra de los Sueños (Dreamland), whose issuing authority is TdSPosta, whose capital is Pesadilla (Nightmare), and whose world-famous beach resort is Beso de Conejo (Bunnykiss). When the first Spanish Conquistador landed on the beach of Tierra de los Sue
ños to plant the flag of España, a bunny ran up to him and kissed him on the nose. This moment is depicted in a statue in the Plaza Centro de Pesadilla.

Every stamp of TdSPosta is a dream: One of my dreams, somebody else's dream, a Famous Dream, a Classic Dream or Nightmare. I may have lost it, but I had one of being naked at the Senior Prom (and nobody in gowns and rented tuxedos seems to notice). TdS stamps are very difficult to send and receive, because all mail from Tierra de los Sueños must cross the International Waking Zone / Zona Internaçional de Vigilia.

I thought this stamp was slightly funny, but I also thought it was entirely safe and innocuous. Then some woman saw it and we got into a huge and ugly fight about it Because There's Nothing Funny About Graffiti. Okay, you win, Graffiti is as a bad as genocide and must be stopped at all costs. All teenage taggers should be put in prison for life. There's Nothing Funny About Graffiti. There isn't even anything funny about fast and constantly moving subway trains which wake up one morning to find they have been entirely graffitied over from head to toe, even though the entire subway system is crawling with anti-graffiti cops. Nothing funny about that. Kids should all be horsewhipped.

Mail Art / Postal Art was pretty much founded by two artists, Ray Johnson and Donald Evans. If you can find the coffee-table book "The World of Donald Evans," buy it immediately. If you feel bad that Bob high-pressured you into buying it and you don't like it, send it to Bob. Now there are thousands of Postal Artists/Mail Artists/Faux Postage Artists all around the world. And one guy named Bob who really isn't a visual artist at all, but just hung around on the Mail Art List because he heard there was a free buffet. (The Swedish meatballs are great.)

All the denominations of PostYankee and Tierra de los Sueños stamps are Prime Numbers. The brick wall of "Tagging" is laid in Flemish bond, and the stamp was created using MS_Paint, which is more fun than people should be allowed to have with free software or with their pants on.

A woman I know was talking about her summers when she was in high school. Her date would walk her home. Before they got to her house, down the block was a shadowy brick wall, and they would make out passionately for forty minutes, as teenagers do on summer nights, her with her back up against the brick wall. After she got home and went upstairs to her bedroom and took off her blouse, she could see Flemish bond very clearly impressed on her back.


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