Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The art of letter writing is not dead, but it is hurtin.

Despite the increasingly incomprehensible emails, texts, and messages this modern age sends out ("urrgggh. ick. ok. cool. see you then." was one gem that went out yesterday), the art of letter writing is getting some cheerleading from joint sites Letters of Note and LetterHeady (via TheRumpus.)

I never really had a penpal growing up, though I corresponded with my best friend who had moved 40 minutes away. Recently, I was wanting to start that up again. Last year I bought from the Met some nice stock cards with a beautiful gold embossed Tiffany bee design, but it's been languishing in my drawer like it's waiting for somebody to invent a WABAC machine so I can, like, write to my cousin in 1920. "My dear cousin. Thank you for the preserves and relishes. Everyday the light fades a little earlier. Blah blah blah." I think it's also waiting for my handwriting to improve.

Looking at the letters as well as (especially) the designs of the letterheads-- which include those of Hitler, Churchill, Nat King Cole, the Man in Black himself, Einstein, and a super sweet old motel letterhead with a cowboy-- makes me want to write fantastically elegant and well-phrased (and legible) letters to people (who I don't know.) It even makes me want to stay at a hotel and use their letterhead, which is something I haven't seen in awhile. Rather than providing whole sheets of paper, they usually just have a half-used notepad, which I have used to write letters, but it's not the same. Small cramped letters poorly written using the hotel/motel cheapo ballpoint pen. Boo. Point is, seeing how nice things used to be inspires a revival. I have always had huge issues with instant messaging and the like, but it was always about the degradation of social interaction and responsibility etc. Now I'm feeling polemic about the aesthetics.

Actually, I think the last letter I sent out (this was for work, thank you notes for the 5 year old's birthday) was "Dear Blah, Thanks for the KNex set. It is fun and I like to build things with it. Thank you for coming to my birthday party." Which is definitely not deserving of a letterhead. (And it should have said, "Thank you for the KNex. I LOVE TO LEAVE IT LAYING AROUND IN PIECES SO SOMEONE ELSE-- THAT'S B--HAS TO PICK IT UP FOR ME. FUCK YOU FOR GIVING HIM THAT THING.")

The White Stripes - Death Letter

Found at skreemr.com


King AdBeck said...

Feeling Polemic About The Aesthetics would be such a kick-ass album title. Can I use it?

b said...

haha fuck yeah. since you're aesthetics are pretty fucking sweet :)


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