Saturday, November 02, 2013

saying thanks to Barbs via the postal system

hi there

it is one of those universally accepted things that everyone, to whatever small extent and no matter the level of awareness, has reason to be thankful to Barbara Streisand. it could be as a result of something Barbs did directly that you appreciate, or indeed indirectly, for we just do not know what level of influence that something Barbs did had on the things you like. at some point she was probably involved. possibly.

for me, as you regular readers are aware, the influence of Barbs has taken a quite direct approach. the music of Barbs led to me experiencing some sensational interpretation of service at a music store. she also led me to a new bed and bedding set, partially from the requirement for appropriate ones for listening to her music but mostly from her passion for design.

not expressing thanks and gratitude to Barbs for this struck me as being naughty. i then took to the medium of correspondence which i assume Barbs by default prefers to offer thanks and show a gesture of happiness for all that she has, indirectly perhaps, done for me.

yes, a letter to be sent in the post. the kids of today seem unaware of the association of joy with such a thing. a letter in the post might well take longer than all those tweet tag post things, but it is a lovely, dignified way of keeping in touch with people.

i suspect, mostly out of a few well documented incidents, that Barbs considers electronic correspondence to be, and i think this is the right word, "filthy", and probably just has her people delete all such things. i do not blame her, really. a letter is permanent, whilst all this electronic stuff is transient.

a good way to highlight this is to look at the efforts of who many consider to be "the Barbara Streisand of Britain", which you hardly need me to tell you is of course Duran Duran.

yes, that is a battered, taped up copy of a magazine which features a substantial but not full percentage of the members of the band that are Britain's Barbara Streisand. showing the level of boredom and contempt which now exists amongst gifted musicians for all things internet, the young lad who does the internet for Duran Duran, the one that does not care for weekend work, posted this image on Friday, asking eveyone who likes Duran Duran to share it across social networks in celebration of the band.

Barbs would not allow herself to do such things, even if there was a significant amount of demand from her fans to do it, as in great fairness there is from the Durannies, if that is the name us fans of the band as a collective have. Barbs limits her internets to letting the fans know she is aware of internets, and as a means of allowing people to purchase luxury bags from her era defining, history changing 1994 appearances.

anyway, back to the letter.

the limitations of the blueberry camera, even with Alicia Keys employed by the company who makes blueberry phones, mean that one cannot take a decent picture of letters like this. they are probably designed to take pictures of emails or tweet thingies. here then is the text, via the magic of saving, copying and pasting.

Dear Ms Streisand

I trust that this letter finds you and your representatives well and in good health.

I am writing to say thank you very much for providing the inspiration, or influence if it is the right word, for a recent change I have made to the decor in our home. I used how your music makes me feel, along with thoughts on your magnificent book about design, to select a new bed and bedding set. I must say my partner and I are thrilled with it.

I am certain you get a lot of this all the time, but I am of course a huge fan of your music, your philosophy on and approach to life, and indeed your magnificent, sadly often overlooked incredible film work. I really enjoyed that film where you played the Jewish lady, it was a moving and powerful performance.

Someone called Dave on your official (brilliant, by the way) website mentioned that you sometimes send fans signed photographs. If you could do that, that would be great. I would however like to ask that if you did this, please could it be one of those “stamped” pictures, and not one signed personally by Ms Streisand. I have discussed this with my insurance broker and was advised that a picture signed by Ms Streisand personally would be unviable in regards of my current arrangements.

To alleviate costs, or just to look at, I have included a R10 note from here. As he features on the note, I am proud to say I once had the distinct honour of meeting Mr Nelson Mandela. It was only briefly and so we did not get the chance to discuss music, but he does strike me as a gentleman who would greatly admire your music. On the other side of the note is a rhino, a species we are currently struggling to keep alive in the face of evil hunters looking to sell their horns to the Chinese. We will fight on until the end, though.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter.

it might be reasonably short for my usual letters, but i did not wish to trouble either Ms Streisand or her people with anything more than one page. her people are probably busy with things like fighting to protect dolphins and bison from tuna nets or any other issue that Barbs has expressed concern about. i think it will do the job in expressing thanks.

as Barbs has many people and many addresses, it took some doing to work out the right address to send this to. well, as per an earlier post, she actually has two official addresses. after some considerable speculation and extensive research, i opted to go with her New York address.

some of you might be baffled by my decision to send a token amount of currency to Barbs. what would Barbs need, after all, with a note that if you are lucky has a value of about US$1.00? surely Barbs has enough money that if she wished she could instantly fix this money thing that vexes the US Government so, and indeed have enough change left to purchase as many lovely purses as she liked the design of. but that would not be empowering. Barbs is probably a great believer in empowering people, not nursing them.

there's also this great myth about musicians and money. they do not always make as much of it as you might think. records that sell well, like for instance those multi-million selling singles from a particular band in 1984, sometimes just make the people who happened to release them very rich and the great artists who created them not as wealthy as they should be.

one of the greatest myths is of course that of the most celebrated Pope in the history of organized religion, Bono. people walk around with the belief that Bono is a twat because he "dodges taxes and has the nerve to ask others to give money to charity". both are wrong, although yes of course there are many, many other valid reasons as to why Bono is a twat but we will not discuss them here. Bono did not just get loads of money. he, Mr Edge, Mr Adam and to a considerably lesser extent Mr Larry junior (he just sits there, after all) have worked damned hard to get the money they have. before you start casting stones at Bono in regards of his tax strategy, ask yourself this - if you had worked long and hard to earn a fortune, just how keen would you be to give as much of it as possible away in taxes? if you answer is "i would give all of my money to taxes", then by all means grab a stone and throw it at him.

there's also the incorrect view that Bono asks people to give money to charity. no he does not, and i defy anyone to find a recording of him doing this. Bono supports a great many worthy causes - almost as many as Barbs probably does. he is also aware that he is part of arguably the biggest (note, not the best as a default) band in the world. he knows, then, that if his merry band turns up at a fundrasing or awareness event, then the cause being celebrated gets a lot more attention.

back to barbs, and important, if not downright essential, element of letter writing is of course thrusting the correspondence into the realm of the postal system. i went, as we shall see, with a registered approach to this particular letter.

yes indeed, that is James lurking around in the realm of the Post Office. he is highly interested in how it all works, if in theory not practice. my greatest thanks indeed to the wonderful ladies of the post office who encourage this enthusiasm in James.

i would really like to work in the realm of the postal system, to be honest. i am no Bono, as video evidence earlier in this blog proves, but i do like the idea of doing something in life that helps people. the idea of delivering important mail, safely and in good time, kind of appeals to me for some reason. probably an extension of the romance and love i have for proper letters. i may one day yet get to follow a career in this sort of service, you never know.

forwards not backwards, then, and the ladies in the post office were quite impressed that i was writing to someone with the same name as that singer. they were even more impressed when i revealed that it was indeed a one and the same sort of thing. no, i had to assure them, no i do not know her, i just appreciate her music. and passion for design. and, apparently looking at the letter i sent, her film work.

sending it registered theoretically means that i can track the progress of my letter all the way to the door of Barbs. this is in theory if not in practice. international registered mail seems to be a random thing. whilst my good friend the CCP was able to track a parcel all the way into their nation, research has indicated to me that the UK postal system, rather surprisingly, does not incorporate international registered items into their own registered mail thing. so it is a bit hit and miss if a registered item i recently sent to them has made it.

it remains to be seen if the US Postal System will allow me to track the item after it has left the boundaries of this nation. in the mean time, though, i can track it all the way to departure. i will try and update here, but i would advise against checking frequently, for so far it has taken only two days to move from the post office to a truck taking it to the mail sorting and distributing centre.

i am sure it will get to Barbs, or the people of Barbs, eventually.

do i expect to hear back from Barbs or her people? not really, as nice as it would be. all that truly matters is that Barbs, or Barbs' people, has been made aware of my expression of thanks, really. besides, for reasons i am not prepared to disclose just yet as such, if i do not hear from her before the end of this year, it is unlikely that i would receive the response.

i could never empower or inspire to the extent that a Barbs could, but if you have read this and felt obliged to send a letter, be it a token financial gesture to an artist or something to a friend or relative, well then that's amazing and excellent.

many thanks, as ever, for reading.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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