One of my guilty pleasures is waiting up on Saturdays until the latest batch of postcards at PostSecret are posted. This amazing site, which started out as an art project, is now a brilliant microcosm of the secret lives that people are living. Originally, artist Frank Warren passed out a bunch of postcards asking people to tell an anonymous secret about themselves and mail it in for his experiment. After the last of the postcards had been handed out, he thought that was the end of it... but the postcards kept coming. Word had spread about what he was doing, and soon postcards were pouring in by the thousands.
Some of the secrets are shocking. Others are funny. Many are quite sad. A few are amazingly optimistic and hopeful. All of them are interesting. Though I do think a good portion of them are not true. People try to make up these extravagant secrets to assure themselves of getting their postcard printed. But, even then, it's still an interesting project.
Since I was working in the Fayetteville area today, I headed up to Bentonville, Arkansas (home of Wal-Mart!) so I could attend a PostSecret exhibit at the temporary location for the Crystal Bridges Museum at "The Massey"...
My hat is off to the brilliant organizer of this event. They had a small space to work with, so they chose a collection of small items... postcards... to fill up the space and make a really satisfying exhibit. Many of the postcards are displayed on glass panels, allowing you to see both sides of some of the cards...
The amazing thing is that most all of the postcards are one-of-a-kind originals that are works of art in their own right. Some of them are quite extravagant, but others are just cool for the simplicity of their message...
If you are in the area, the exhibit is definitely worth a visit, and is running through February 1st. Information can be found at the official web site. In March, the exhibit will move to California.
In the second room of The Massey, they had an exhibit about the construction of the new "Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art" opening in 2010 in Bentonville. The plan for the building is amazing...
Hopefully I'll be able to see it one day after it has been completed.
After the exhibit I had some errands to run for work, and saw two things which I found interesting.
The first was this... which probably doesn't mean what I think it does...
... but wouldn't it be cool if it did?
The second makes no fucking sense at all...
"The Bible was the most quoted Book by our founders and is now the most censored Book in America"
Given that it's also the most popular book in America, I hope you can forgive me for saying you're full of shit.
How in the hell is a book you can buy almost anywhere... a book which has thousands upon thousands of buildings dedicated to its teachings... a book that the majority of Americans use as the backbone of their religion... be censored?
Stupid shit like this pisses me off, and only goes to show that these idiots have no fucking clue about how moronic they sound when they cry foul under the guise of faux-persecution. People need to get it through their heads that just because we have a separation of church and State in this country doesn't mean that you're persecuted or censored! It's not like people are having to meet in secret hideaways at midnight to discuss The Bible. All statements to the contrary are just absurd.
People have different beliefs in this country. Such diversity is the very foundation of the freedoms we enjoy. As such, our government must represent all the people... not just a section of it.
Forcing your beliefs on other people is where the real persecution would lay... so that's why you can't teach The Bible in public schools and what-not. You are still perfectly free to teach it at home... or your house or worship... or whatever private venue you choose... so claiming censorship is positively stupid. Nobody sends in the secret police to arrest you if you crack open The Bible in your own home or send your kids to Catholic School or attend worship at your synagogue or hold a Christian sing-along in your church or whatever. So stop playing the victim! The only people buying this bullshit is other whack-jobs who don't understand what real censorship and persecution actually is.
As you can tell, I am so weeping for the oppressed majority.
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Hallelujah Brother! I mean, you hit the persecution complex right on the head. I live in an incredibly conservative area of California next to the Regan Presidential Library. I am surrounded by these dumbasses and their Bible quoting bullshit everyday. Our local newspaper prints letters to the editor that make it appear that concentration camps are being opened to house all the “real” believers of the Bible. I feel like going out and throttling some of them, but I discovered our local police also belong to this oppressed majority. When a few people dared protest against Prop 8, they were harassed and detained by the police. Some of the officers even cheered in favor of people cursing the anti-8 crowd.
I really hate stupid people.
Dave, I want to express my gratitude for your eloquent expression on this topic (I used big words so the dumbasses won’t understand me).
Amazing these wild times we live in. Or at least are trying to live in.
I’m kinda jealous over the Post Secret exhibit! I love reading the new cards every weekend, just like you. I’ve thought about sending one in as well but that’s another story.
By the way, in my mind, Pump It Up is what you think it is. 😉
I have been a PostSecret follower for many, many years. Lucky you to see an exhibit! I left a secret in a PostSecret book tonight. Someone will be getting a bonus secret when they peruse that book.
Now that’s a very cool idea!!
I liked that cat postcard because I can picture that actually happen to someone.
And once again, your ending about the Bible and censorship is a bunch of shit. It’s just a made-up excuse for some to have control over others.
I would also like to challenge that the Bible was the most quoted book by our “Founding” fathers. Somehow, I have a hard time believing that Ben Franklin and Tom Jefferson were sitting around quoting the Bible when they were getting ripped off their asses with a bunch of promiscuous atheistic Frenchmen and women in a smoky Paris salon. (OK, I know they didn’t visit France at the same time… humor me).
I have learned that there are times when you need to fight stupid people, & there are times when it just pisses you off & they’re still stupid.
Concentrate on the good – YOU GOT TO SEE A POST SECRET EXHIBIT (is that spelled right??) – AWESOME!!
I liked the one about judging by which colour of Ipod you pick (the new yellow one is fugly in the extreme but the orange is kind of cool)…
As for opressed majorities, they don’t have a clue what is like to be opressed but I have to mention that I miss (a whole lot) “regligous” Christmas Carols in Holiday Concerts and such…
Young voices singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” or “Away In A Manger” are so lovely, but nowadays the schools (which is where you used to go as a community at Christmastime to hear such things)are not allowed to present those songs instead of which I have heard 3 different renditions of “The Chipmunk Christmas Carol” this year..
Cool, I was hoping you’d get a chance to see that exhibit.
The water features in the plans remind me a bit of the Tadeo Ando designed museum in Ft. Worth that is another one I’d really like to see some day.
The ludicrousness of the bumper sticker ticks me off.
Great point about the Christians. Jon Stewart had a bit on the Daily Show where he commented about their ‘persecution’ and how Christians should be allowed, perhaps, to wear something around their necks. It’s a funny bit. But yes, stop playing victims.
I wanna see the uncropped pic….The one with their license plate number. Maybe someone has connections with the Arkansas Highway Patrol. I’d love to get their address and give ’em an ear full. I bet some of the rest of Cap’n Dave’s Pirate Crew would like to, too.
Those Christians that believe stuff like that sure kinda make me giggle. Thank god that our founding fathers never took away their right to be a complete moron.
I lurve me my PostSecret. Part of my Sunday morning ritual. I also check out the PostSecret books in my local bookstore every time I’m there to see if anyone’s tucked in secret into it. No luck yet. But I’m super jealous that you got to attend that event!
The most censored?
I love what you wrote about this.
I tried to start Post-itSecret, but they kept getting unstuck and flying away.
You know what pump it up really is right? I actually just went there with my son. Next year when my youngest is too old for the drop in play, I might be begging people to borrow their kid so I can still play. Hey…next time you are in town, we should rent the place out and hold a blogger party there.
I like Juli’s idea too. Just leave a random postcard in copies of the book in bookstores. How cool would that be?
I would love to see a post secret exhibit. That’s so cool that you got to see that!
I am soooooooooooo gonna quote this blog post next time somebody makes a comment about religion and seperation of church and state!
Firda and I saw the Postsecret show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in February of this year. The glass panels were there as well (so I’m assuming they travel with the show). They had a couple of museum halls filled with postcards. It was great – and unexpected since it was suppose to have ended a couple of days before we were in town. Maybe it was too cold for Mr. Warren to pick up his stuff. 🙂
For real, if I never spoke to you again, read another blog post, got to attend Tequilacon…thankyouthankyouthankyou for PostSecrets! My life is a better, funnier, more awesomer place for THAT.
I wanted to go see Frank speak when he was going around to colleges for Post secret, but I couldn’t make it to UCLA in time. I was majorly bummed.
That exhibit looks amazing.
I visited PostSecret only once. The first card I read was “When the kids I babysit for go to sleep, I eat their hair.” I was so weirded out, I was pretty much done with the postcards.
“Your cat watched me have sex with your boyfriend” truly pisses me off to my core.
Thankfully you also posted the card about pissing in sauces, so thank you.
Dave – Thank you for turning me on to PostSecret.