This Friday, January 26, is Australia Day, and that means it’s argument week down under. Crack open a tinny and celebrate with a very rare Punk Philatelist Longread!
Australia Day is Australia’s national day. It’s called Australia Day because obviously the names of all the other countries were already taken. Australia Day has been celebrated on many different dates in different regions in different eras, but it’s only since 1994 that it’s been uniformly observed on January 26.
We maybe should’ve thought that one through. Continue reading
When I started this blog, I always intended to point readers to corners of the internet where crazy people are doing interesting philatelic things. I haven’t done much of it yet, but now one Instagram account has forced my hand.
If you know Instagram, skip two paragraphs. If not, and if you like design, or art, or stamps, you should investigate. This is not a How-To-Instagram post, but in brief: people go there, share pictures, and like and/or comment on each others’ pictures. That’s it.
The Instagram cliche is to post a restaurant meal, cocktail, bikini body or holiday snap to make your friends jealous. But lately I’ve been delighted to see an increasing number of philately-related users popping up. Some are so basic that they’re downright dull, but many are vibrant and fun, and some are nothing short of works of art.
You can decide for yourself which category my Instagram page belongs to, but for once I’m not here to talk about me. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you tiresias1000.
OK, this is going to take some explanation. Continue reading
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, turned 90 on April 21st, but she’s stretching celebrations out all the way from April until June, because She’s The Queen So Suck It Plebs.
Last year I wrote about Australia’s tradition of marking Her Majesty’s birthday with a stamp issue. In that post, I may have inadvertently given readers the impression that I’m not a fan, with ambiguous phrases such as “pointless allegiance to Empire”, “another country’s monarch is irrelevant to a nation half a planet away in the 21st century”, and “reliably some of the dullest Australian stamp issues each year”.
Well, didn’t I have to swallow my republican tongue with this year’s issue. I didn’t mention it here when it was released, but I keep seeing it at the Post Office, and it is no less stunning for the delay.
It’s all about this Australian Golden Wattle diamond brooch. Continue reading
I’m composing an official-first-blog-post-of-2016, but sadly it has been gazumped by the loss of a personal musical icon. Many words are being written today in tribute to David Bowie. Let me add a few of my own.
Today’s Stamp of the Day depicts the iconic cover of David Bowie’s album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.
It was part of Royal Mail’s 2010 Classic Album Covers issue, which combined two of my great loves, music and design, as well as philately, which I shall classify as a great like. If I called it a great love, I would sound like one of the dotty old men one bumps into at philatelic society meetings.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Being a stamp collector with a creative and intellectual streak made me odd among my peers in my teenage years. I persisted, quietly, because screw them.
David Bowie’s musical output speaks for itself. I speak for the many people who were once teenagers who felt like they came from another planet. Bowie showed us it was just fine to be a bit weird.
Incidentally, the building in the background of the Ziggy Stardust cover is a post office. First class indeed.
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OMG YOU GUYS I INTERRUPT MY TEMPORARY BLOG BROWNOUT TO BRING YOU THIS AMAZING NEWS THAT I JUST SAW ON THE AUSTRALIA POST WEBSITE!!!
A BABY WAS BORN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD OVER THREE MONTHS AGO AND SOON WE WILL HAVE STAMPS ABOUT IT!!! Continue reading
Due to general busy-ness I’ve missed a few Australian releases of late. But I thought Aussie Post did a decent job of the Centenary of the Anzac landing, amid the appalling jingoism currently en vogue down under. No doubt they’ll release some hideous and overpriced Anzac-themed ‘Impressions’ products at year’s end, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Then we’ll blow it up behind us so the Germans won’t get us. Continue reading
Credit where it’s due. How well does the United States Postal Service do portrait stamps?
It’s got a head start, being in America and all. With its entrepreneurial spirit, vibrant cultural scene, and comprehensive disenfranchisement of minorities, the USA is never short of an innovator, an envelope-pusher or a trailblazer to honour on a stamp.
Take the Maya Angelou stamp that’s out on April 7. No frills, just elegance and eloquence. A dignified tribute. I was gobsmacked to read that the image is that of a painting (!) – an oil-on-canvas number by Ross Rossin that resides in the National Portrait Gallery. Look at that face, and imagine the stories it could tell. Continue reading