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Bring on the Bieber stamp

Posted by Rob Anderson  September 27, 2011 01:50 PM

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Since when did stamps become sacrosanct?

Seriously; last time I checked, you could buy a stamp featuring Bart Simpson, Buzz Lightyear, a sprig of oregano, and a photo of your dog. So the notion that putting live people on official postage will somehow lower our national standards feels a little...overwrought.

Also, last time I checked, the postal service was in a financial hole, to the tune of $9.2 billion. Now, I'm not suggesting that a wave of Josh Beckett stamps would save the institution from doom (especially not now). But it seems strange to pooh-pooh an idea that might actually drum up revenue — and perhaps encourage someone to send a letter instead of a text message, or a print invitation instead of a dreaded Evite.

Yes, that's still a long shot. And yes, it's a little ironic that the post office is enlisting Twitter and Facebook — the enemy! the mail-killers! — to collect suggestions for its new stampees. Still, it's nice that the Postal Service acknowledges social media, and is making some attempt to use it. Ben Franklin would have been proud.

So let the public have its say. And promise that some elitist frenzy won't follow if Justin Bieber winds up on a 29-center. Even if he happens to be Canadian.

And if somebody lionized on a stamp turns out, over time, to be not-worth-lionizing? In a Tiger Woods-y, O.J. Simpson-y, Anthony Weiner-y way?

I have faith that, as a nation, we'd recover.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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