Remember when you were a member of a club and you got cool stuff in the mail each month? When you couldn't wait to see what was gonna be on your doorstep, be it a poster, newsletter, zine, video, anything like that? It was printed and sent to you, and you could hold it and read it/watch it/listen to it, and the only way you could get your hands on whatever came next was by subscribing and waiting. That was just plain cool.
There's an article in Wired submitted by Patton Oswalt where he talks about how the internet has basically destroyed this. While his focus is on geek culture and how everybody can be in the know immediately these days, what struck me more was how things in general have gotten this way. If I want to know anything about anything at any given time, I can just punch it into Google and get a million answers. I can find videos of it on YouTube, I can read up on it on Wikipedia. It's all right there.
"Such convenience!" you might say. Yeah, it makes things easier. But that isn't always a good thing. The biggest drawback, for me anyway, is that it takes a bit of the magic away. There was something special about being a subscriber to Nintendo Power and getting the latest news on the upcoming games for the SNES along with a cool StarFox poster. Or being part of a software dev group and getting a disk in the mail with someone's latest creation. It was a little club that you could be a part of, something special. Now everyone is invited, and patience and knowledge are no longer necessary.
Not only that, but the whole digital thing is getting a little boring too. Getting a video in the mail to watch on your VCR/DVD/Blu-Ray player, having that physical copy, will always be cooler than watching the same video on the web. Books are an excellent example of this. People say that books shouldn't be printed because "it kills trees! It's bad for the environment!" And all the airwaves, satellite transmissions, and power plants generating electricity aren't? On top of that, when you sit down and read a book, reading it off your laptop or Kindle is NOT the same as holding the novel, turning the pages, and reading the ink-printed characters off the paper bound inside. It's a hard thing to describe, but it's there. Once you go digital, the magic is lost.
I suppose I can close this by saying I want to try to bring some of that magic back. If you want a bit of that magic back like I do, send me an e-mail with your name and mailing address; be sure to title it "CLD MAILING REGISTRATION". (Yes, I realize the somewhat hypocritical method I'm using here for "registration", but I don't particularly want my mailing address out there for all to see.) Get them to me before February 1st, 2011, and you'll be sure to get the first issue of whatever it is I decide to send out! That's right, I'm going to start a mail-art club thingie, where I make something snazzy but only members will get it! There's no guarantee on quality, frequency, or quantity of said mailings, but I want to send something out to you once a month, every month! It might be a letter, a zine, some sort of video or audio, a disk with a game on it, anything I come up with! And best of all, it'll be free! (At least until it gets to a point where it starts being really, REALLY expensive for me to do it)
So shoot those e-mails to:
Make sure the subject of the e-mail is "CLD MAILING REGISTRATION", include your name and address, and expect a treat in your inbox sometime in February of 2011!
P.S.: If you live outside the US, I'm not yet sure if I'll be able to mail you stuff. Let me know in your e-mail if you know anything about mailing internationally, and I'll keep you posted as to whether or not I'll be able to send things to you.