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Monday, 13 November 2006

Those cruel Americans!

I had decided to close up for the night and looked at one last comment. I wish I hadn't. It has sent me into a deep "John Cleese" style depression over the utter, banal, poverty of culture into which we are plunged here in England. So I'm afraid I'll just have to rant a bit.

In response to my Stamp Wars post, some helpful Anonymous person gently pointed out to me:
According to the US Postal Service web site, a Madonna & Child stamp will be sold this Christmas.
Then Ma Beck, hoping perhaps to spare me tears of anguish, asks, in a very kindly "did you realise that I was only kidding" sort of way,
Does the UK also have a Madonna and Child stamp as well or just the ones you blogged?
[Beats head on desk] There's no stamp war at all! The knitted snowman was just a sideline - a pre-Christmas warm-up released for an American Stamp Dealers' exhibition in New York. Oh, that's not THE Christmas stamp. Over there, of course, they have THIS!!!

Oh, and you can discuss whether it is an improvement on last year's one ...

If you want to get even more maudlin, go and look at the US Postal Service descriptions of the stamps - not only do they have a comprehensive, serious and intelligent commentary on the artwork, they even put in a few theological details. For last year's, for example:
Thus the pensive expressions on the faces of Luini's exquisitely modeled figures would have conveyed to Renaissance viewers the Virgin's foreknowledge and Christ's acceptance of his future death on the cross.
and writing on this year's one, they make the point:
Birds were sacred to the Inca, partially because of their ability to fly and move closer to Inti, the sun god. In Cuzco, colonial artists often incorporated birds or feathers into images of the Virgin and Christ to indicate their divine status.
So, my dear American friends, spare a thought for us here in blighty at Christmas. The snowman - that is in fact all we've flippin' got. Oh, and the Royal Mail telling us it will make us sparkle with festive glee. That's the sum of it. They're not joking. There is no Madonna and Child stamp waiting at the press.

I want to go to America!!!
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