Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Boring Postcards

Carto-friend and blogger, Michael5000, and Mrs. 5000, like to collect boring postcards. In the introduction to his series of posts on boring postcards, he attempts to define a boring postcard:
Although there are no universal rules, common characteristics of the properly boring postcard might be:
  • it shows an "attraction" that no one would ever actually want to visit
  • the attraction lacks visual interest
  • the attraction is something that is common as dirt
  • a genuinely interesting attraction is made to look uninteresting
  • the image is poorly photographed or framed
  • text on the postcard carries an unintentional pathos or irony
Also, although every era produces its own boring postcards, our favorites tend to be from before 1970.

Mrs. 5000 offers this addition to the definition:
One endearing trait of boring postcards is their essential optimism. The more banal the diner façade, the more featureless the Minnesota lake, the more poignant is its presence on a postcard. Someone wanted you to love it and remember it. Or at least to recognize it and return.

The 5000s saw these three boring map postcards and immediately thought of me.

Why, thank you!

It is not that Michigan, Minnesota or Ohio are boring places to visit. Quite the contrary! But I have to agree that there is nothing about these map postcards that will entice a tourist to agree with "Wish You Were Here!"

Here are some slightly more interesting map postcards of Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.


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At Wednesday, August 04, 2010 , Blogger Dug said...

I guess I don't think of any postcard that has a map on it as "boring" but these are kind of dull as map cards go. Coincidentally I just posted up a similar card.

At Wednesday, August 04, 2010 , Blogger Dug said...

Does it mean something that some of the cities in Ohio are circled? Maybe there's some crazy story behind it that would make it that much less boring. Maybe not.

At Wednesday, August 04, 2010 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

I think your boring Pennsylvania postcard is more interesting than any of these.

Circles in Ohio? Perhaps the original owner of this card was marking the cities he had visited... boring.

At Thursday, August 05, 2010 , Anonymous Eli said...

"It is not that Michigan, Minnesota or Ohio are boring places to visit."?

Oh but it is, indeed.

At Thursday, August 05, 2010 , Blogger Dug said...

I was hoping maybe there was something more interesting like some nefarious plot involving the circled cities. Maybe some old school bank robbery or something but you're probably right that it's just where the owner's been.

At Thursday, August 05, 2010 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

Bank robberies? No, that would make those cards far too interesting.

At Saturday, August 07, 2010 , Blogger Michael5000 said...

I'm of the opinion that the circled towns really makes the Ohio card. Was the original owner keeping track of a trip? Or a state resident pondering about where he'd wandered? No way to know, but the trace of someone's mind at work is a pretty cool thing.

Glad you liked 'em!


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