In random rambles related to yesterday’s post, we have been reading various accounts of various alternate realities, and some of them are really quite endearing.
The ones trying to obtain money by lying to people, of course, not so much.
But some of them appear plausibly much purer than that; here:
…[C]ongress passed several laws anterior to the third day of March 1825, when an act, entitled “An act to reduce into one the several acts establishing and regulating the post office department,” was passed. 3 Story, U. S. 1825.
It is thereby enacted,
1. That there be established, the seat of the government of the United States, a general post office, under the direction of a postmaster general.
We need to take notice where the commas are placed on that last sentence. “That there be established, the seat of the government of the United States, a general post office, under the direction of a postmaster general.” When I set off a clause with commas, I make sure that the sentence makes sense without that clause. Taking out the set-off clause, we read . . . “the seat of the government of the United States under the direction of a postmaster general.”
The creation of the Post office occurs before the creation of the seat of the government, and is placed in authority over the seat of government.
Yes, there should have been an “at” right before “the seat” there, and the writer is clearly living in a fantasy world, but who among us can honestly say that we are not?
And this fantasy world is especially appealing, at least to us bookish nerdy types. The Postmaster General in charge of the government! The placement of commas vital to the proper interpretation of documents and other magical spells!
And behind it all, the Universal Postal Union…
The UPU (Universal Postal Union) in Berne, Switzerland, is an extremely significant organization in today’s world….
The UPU operates under the authority of treaties with every country in the world. It is, as it were, the overlord or overseer over the common interaction of all countries in international commerce.
The smiling blue-uniformed postman, with a satchel instead of a gun, benignly overseeing all interactions between countries. How lovely!
And then, the magical instruments of the Post, those beautiful, alluring, dream-tempting stamps…
Involving the authority of the UPU is automatically invoked by the use of postage stamps. Utilization of stamps includes putting stamps on any documents (for clout purposes, not mailing) we wish to introduce into the system.
Put a stamp on anything, mail it (or even don’t, apparently!) and you’re automatically entitled to free dispute-resolution services of both your national Postmaster, and the mighty UPU itself.
For instance, if you post through the US Post Office and the US Postmaster does not provide you with the remedy you request within twenty-one (21) days, you can take the matter to the UPU.
Now if one were to actually visit the UPU website, and observe for instance the announcement from the Postal Operations Council that the “next POC session (2014.2) will take place from 27 to 31 October 2014” (i.e. several weeks ago), one might come away with some doubts about the ability of the UPU to come quickly to the aid of global stamp-users.
But that’s why fantasy is so wonderful!
Just by putting a stamp on a thing, and signing across the stamp, we can all become Postmasters ourselves, and thus part of the benign rulership of the world, able to summon our fellow Postmasters into any court, to testify on our behalf about the importance of not interfering with our (properly stamped and signed) documents.
Since autographing the stamp makes you the postmaster of the contract, anyone who interferes is tampering with the mail and engaging in mail fraud. You can then subpoena the postmaster (either of the post office from which the letter was mailed, or the US Postmaster General, or both), and have them explain what the rules are, under deposition or testimony on the witness stand in open court.
And those boring red computer-printed things that the government and corporations use instead of our beloved stamps? They are, as I think we have all long felt in our hearts, just frauds.
In addition, most of the time when you get official communication it has a red-meter postage mark on the envelope rather than a cancelled stamp. This act is mail fraud. If the envelope has a red-meter postage mark on it, they are the ones who have engaged in mail fraud, because there is no cancelled stamp. It is the cancelled stamp that has the power; an un-cancelled stamp has nothing.
There is a lovely truth: an un-cancelled stamp has nothing.
I’m reminded inevitably of Thomas Pynchon and “The Crying of Lot 49”; the central and mysterious role of postal services in his world, the global reach of Thurn und Taxis, the secret rebellion of W.A.S.T.E..
He knew then how much romance there is in words, letters, envelopes, the Post. As do these stalwart tax-avoiders!
Don’t Ever Annoy The Horn
Post-horn, that is…