The horrible, beautiful world of Bad Postcards

A friend of mine is about to go on a 10-day car trip through the Mountain States, and yesterday, at the end of a phone conversation, I asked him to send me a postcard from the road. I have no idea what dusty, atavistic part of my brain spawned this request, which is clearly ridiculous: What I was asking him to do was find and buy a postcard, secure stamps, write on the postcard, address the postcard, stamp the postcard, and find a place to mail it while traveling through unfamiliar surroundings. All this went through my head in less than second, after which I laughed sheepishly and asked him: "Do people even send postcards anymore?" Answer: No. Of course not. What am I, a hundred?

And yet, I miss them. I miss their janky composition, their gut-wrenching typography, their eye-stabbing color palette. Postcards represented a genial kind of fraud — a moment posed trying to pass for a moment captured. They were a window into an alternate universe that was sort of like our own, but way more awkward and weird. Bad postcards? This Tumblr site is almost redundant. Which is exactly what makes it great.