The little community art project that began five years ago in Germantown, Maryland keeps growing. I have posted about PostSecret before, here, here, and here… folks from around the world continue to mail in their anonymous secrets for all and sundry to peruse and ponder—clearly the need for catharsis is an ongoing part of our Zeitgeist.
Tonight there’s a party in honour of Will Braun, who has left his position as Editor of Geez magazine (after four impressive years) to pursue other interests. Geez readers and supporters are invited to attend and bid him farewell… Friday, 7:30 p.m at Crossways-in-Common, 222 Furby Street (at Broadway).
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I’ve retrieved and re-issued a short guide to comparative religions entitled An Excremental Exegesis in Will’s honour (a copyfree 376K PDF version is available here for your enjoyment and free dissemination).
While use of the traditional poster may be on the wane elsewhere, the medium has thrived at the convivial Willi’s Wine Bar, here in the city of lights. For over 25 years, Willi’s has commissioned a contemporary artist to create an annual image for the ongoing limited edition Willi’s Bottle Art Collection, a great promotional vehicle as well as a hit with collectors.
Some vintage mid-century illustrations from an impressive online collection, here (warning: gender roles oh-so-clearly delineated).
Ashram at Wardha, India (July, 1939)
Just over a month before Germany invades Poland (on 1 September 1939, seventy years ago this month), therewith triggering World War II, the great Mahatma Gandhi writes the first of two letters to Adolf Hitler in an attempt to prevent the oncoming war. This particular letter never reaches Hitler, due to an intervention by the government… letter found here; more information here; a transcript of the typewritten letter above follows (Note: knowing a bit about Gandhi, I’d suggest that his sign-off “Your sincere friend” is rhetorical [and more than a wee bit passive aggressive]):
As at Wardha,
Friends have been urging me to write to you for the sake of humanity. But I have resisted their request, because of the feeling that any letter from me would be an impertinence. Something tells me that I must not calculate and that I must make my appeal for whatever it may be worth.
It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to a savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success? Any way I anticipate your forgiveness, if I have erred in writing to you.
Your sincere friend
M. K. Gandhi
If you like ephemera and old letters (as I very much do), you’ll find the website Letters of Note to be a treasure trove.
Thanks for the link, Gregor!
I hope you love birds too.
It is economical…
It saves going to heaven…
—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
1000 words’ worth of insight by Riber Hanssen of Stockholm
My colleague Adrian Shum returned to the office this week (following a raucous visit to Toronto and Niagara Falls to fête an old friend’s wedding) with a wee token for each of us at Circle—friend Marian Bantjes’ Empathy Penny. While in Hogtown, Adrian trekked over to the downtown Gladstone Hotel, plugged $2.01 into the Pennysmash Machine a few times, and got these lovely value-added pennies back…
Empathy is a fine thing to have—it truly enriches lives.
Thanks Adrian. Thanks Marian.