Subscription postcards: Chocolate outrage, confusion in Hebo, and Gangnam’s high-water mark

Postcard collage of Bill Clinton in the South Dakota Badlands, with the text "mature adult" next to his head.

Message on postcard:
Hey Steve —Today I saw a glucose-based, nutritional energy gel for sale. The name of the product was “Chocolate Outrage”. I can’t say for sure, but I think it was named by a white guy.

Packages of a product called "chocolate outrage".

Chocolate-flavored, honkey-christened.


Postcard collage of four differently colored cobs of corn in the South Dakota Badlands, captioned with the phrase "Harness the Transformative Power".

Message on postcard:
Mollie — Greetings from Mount Hebo, near the Oregon coast! I’m camping here with my girlfriend Mandy. It’s a little cold out, and there are a few patchy remnants of snow on the ground. Skunk cabbage is blooming in a nearby stream and along the lake. It is very peaceful, especially compared to the bait and tackle shop a couple miles away in downtown Hebo. It is your one-stop shop for fishing gear and hateful, self-pitying screeds printed from the Internet and misattributed to Bill Cosby.


Postcard collage of a happy, mustachioed man standing in front of his shiny old car. Behind him is a peaceful sunset on a Washington beach.

Message on postcard:
Bridget — I am at a coffee shop in Pacific City, Oregon. There is a chalkboard here, upon which a person has written “Gangnam Style! Whoop whoop! Don’t erase.” The entire declaration contains twenty additional exclamation points not included here. Years from now I think that historians will recognize this chalkboard as the official high-water mark for worldwide interest in “Gangnam Style”.

Gangnam-awareness chalkboard in Pacific City, Oregon.

I’m used to seeing the words “don’t erase” next to complicated equations on physics department chalkboards. But this is important, too.

Subscription postcards: The continuing search for knowledge, no bull

Postcard collage of David Hasselhoff in front of sunset, with text reading "the continuing search for knowledge"

Message on postcard:
Hello Jennifer! Last weekend I went camping on the Oregon coast, and on the way there and back I passed through Astoria. The city gives me the willies. It’s a bunch of steep hills right next to the water. You’re either vulnerable to a tsunami or a landslide. THERE’S NO ESCAPE. There is, however, the Oregon Film Museum, located in the old county jail. I didn’t visit, but I heard that the museum is devoted mostly to Kindergarten Cop.


Postcard collage of man opening door to reveal cowboy riding a bucking bull

Message on postcard:
Hello Carmel! Last weekend I went camping on the Oregon coast. On the way home I stopped in Astoria and had Bosnian food. I had no idea you could get Bosnian food in Astoria, but let me tell you, it was really good.


Postcard collage of spray-painted, stenciled office worker holding a paddle and kicking tennis player, with text reading "no bull"

Message on postcard:
Hello Mollie! Today on a hike at Silver Falls State Park I saw a ton of owl pellets on the trail. Based on my observations, I think owls must feel constantly sick to their stomachs. I am glad I don’t eat mice, and I’m not a big fan of mice. So I guess I’m glad that owls are out there eating mice on my behalf.

Subscription postcards: Heavy-handedness, Pacific Northwest camping, and things that smell like eggs

Heavy-handed postcard about how man differs from animals.

Hello Kathleen! A couple weeks ago I went to an art event in Portland, where I was complaining about the heavy-handedness of all the political paintings. But this here collage is pretty heavy-handed. I’m hoping that heavy-handed collages are good like heavy-handed political punk rock, and not bad like heavy-handed political paintings.

Postcard about camping, rain, smoothness, a starfish, and the visible spectrum.

Hello Sharon! Last weekend I went camping and it rained. In the autobiography of my life, I’m going to title that chapter “A River Runs Through It, Where ‘It’ Refers to My Tent”. But it was still fun — I’ve never regretted going camping, even when it rains. Which is probably a good thing, since it rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest.

Postcard about hot springs and a classless society.

Hi Kevin — Last weekend I went camping at Cougar Hot Springs, which is east of Eugene, Oregon. Hot springs usually attract a lot of weird people, and this one was no exception. But they also attract non-weird people. Everyone is there, and the rich and the poor and the sane and the crazy are all the same, enjoying a peaceable naked soak in a place that smells faintly of rotten eggs. It is scary to think that hot springs might be our most realistic model of a classless society.

Subscription postcards: Geologically based soda names, lenticular clouds, and alpine fronting

Postcard about geology and soda.

Hi Beth — Before I glued a bunch of stuff to it, this was a postcard of Mount Shasta. Off the top of my head I can think of Shasta, Mountain Dew, and Sierra Mist when I try to identify mountain-related beverage names. As far as I know, mountains are the only geological feature to have sodas named for them. I am going to write the relevant authorities to petition for a High Plains Fresca and an Arroyo Twist Pepsi.

Postcard about math, lenticular cloud formations, and Mount Shasta.

Hey Jeff — If there are three things in life that make me happy, it’s basic math, lenticular clouds, and Mount Shasta. This postcard reflects my love of all three. The “serious” artists I know say that I need to stop being so literal in my work. I don’t know, maybe they’re right.

Postcard about Mount Lassen, gang signs, and street cred.

Hello Mollie! This is Mount Lassen. As you can see, it’s a perfect triangle. No, not really — don’t be fooled by the photorealism; it’s just a lifelike collage. When I hiked to the top of Mount Lassen in college, a kid was up at the summit with his grandfather, flashing gang signs in the pictures his granddad took. Nothing connotes street cred like flashing gang signs on a camping trip with elderly people.