Saturday, February 24, 2007

Letter to US Postal Service
re: Douglas Adams Stamp

I had a great idea for a US Mail stamp, so I wrote a letter to the USPS to let them know. Appropriately, they don't let you send them email; you have to send them a letter (link goes to the how-to-not-to page). Their response is below my letter.

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432

To whom it may concern,

I read today about the proposed cost increase of first-class postage to 42c per unit. (This is not a complaint; please read on).

It immediately occurred to me that this would be a terrific opportunity to honor with a stamp an author known and respected by all lovers of satirical and science fiction – Douglas Adams.

Among other respected works (including some non-fiction environmentalist research and reportage), Mr. Adams wrote several books in his series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In the style of Lewis Carroll, his intricate parodies of modern life were simultaneously timely and timeless and have touched millions of lives in the English-speaking world and beyond.

While not a native-born American, like Vladimir Nabokov and Ayn Rand he very much chose to live in the U.S., and wrote several passages in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish that attest to his love of the California surfside lifestyle. He loved it to death, in fact (Santa Barbara, in 2001 at age 49, of a heart attack).

The reason an opportunity presents itself related to the price of a 42c stamp is that “42” was his favorite number. In any case, he decided to use it as the absurd answer given by a mythical, colossal computer when asked for the Answer to “life, the universe and everything” (in his book of that name). All of his fans – and many who have not even read his books, as this is now part of the general popular culture -- are aware of this in-joke and share it freely.

I think it would be a fantastic opportunity for the US Postal Service and for fans of literature everywhere to take advantage of this. Has there ever been a subject of a stamp intimately related to the price of the stamp..? I certainly can’t think of anything that would be a funny joke related to a 47c stamp, the next likely increase price.

Sincerely and honestly hoping this will pan out,

Juan Molinari

ps, I realize that the general deadline for idea submissions is three years prior to the expected date of release/publication, but as Douglas himself once wrote:

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."

Their response:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The War on Error

(link goes to Slate article by William Saletan)

"If the most important thing to any of you is
choosing someone who did not cast that vote
or has said his vote was a mistake,
then there are others to choose from."

Ms. Clinton,

Your disingenuous, dishonest, calculated, transparent attitude towards whether voting for the war was or was not a mistake leaves a bad taste in the mouth of every New Yorker who voted for you on your bid for the Senate. We have just had six years (and "look forward" to two more) of this intellectual dishonesty at the very top of our government; now you are threatening us with the permanent acceptance of this low standard.

This is not what we are paying you for.

The dissolution of the integrity of one of New York's two Senate votes for the sake of a presidential campaign is a disservice to all those who voted for you, including myself.

Please do some soul-searching. Whether you win or lose the presidency is secondary (to everybody but yourself). A qualified person will be elected (or not; in either case your manipulations and evasions won't make any difference). What is at stake is whether you will continue to serve in your current capacity beyond '12.

If this continues I will personally support any opponent you may run against, for any office, at any point in the future.


Juan M.
[address withheld from blog]

for new yorkers who want to play along and write to her

(full disclosure; I'm posting this on 4/13 but I wrote and sent it to her via the above contact link on Feb 20. i thought it belonged here since it was probably the main reason I started the blog. for the record, as you can see, I have been campaigning actively for Barack Obama since, fortunately something I'm very happy to do).

Something I may or may not recommend depending on which ad is shown: