Shouting at the Postman is written & compiled by and copy edited by Mary Miller. All web development, texts, music, images, icons, drawings, photographs, bad jokes and other material (except where indicated, or images accompanying reviews) are copyright © 1995-2016 by Ken Miller. You are encouraged, however, to reprint or use any of articles in your nonprofit publication or website if you give me credit and/or a link, and let me know about it.
Universal Disclaimer: This website contains material for mature audiences and may not be suitable for younger or dumber readers, especially those who cannot understand sarcasm or satire. All articles are works of fiction. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, places, companies, products or events is purely coincidental. Actual celebrity names or images, product names and company names are used for satirical purposes only. All material in Shouting at the Postman is presented for entertainment and informational purposes, and does not represent advice or advocacy of any activities in any way shape or form. I am not responsible for any damages or loss caused by the use or misuse of the information presented in this website, and I do not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented. I am not responsible for the validity or originality of material contributed by other people, or the views and opinions expressed by websites linked to or from this site. I am not responsible if a bad recipe makes you sick or stinks up your kitchen, or if you just don't like it. I am not responsible if you get all wet because you didn't bring an umbrella to work. I am not responsible if you don't like zines or tapes that I like, or if they keep your money without sending you anything in return. This is only a website full of stuff that I made up, so please don't take it too seriously.
There is no easy answer to this question. One approach is to Google Ken Miller, and make sure you watch your back.
Frequently Asked Questions. Next question, and please don't be so self-referential.
A zine is a small, self-published journal of interest only to the publisher and a few of his or her friends. Many people like myself waste countless hours and hundreds of dollars producing and mailing these publications to other zine enthusiasts, so we can congratulate each other on a job well done.
"Mail Art" is hard to define as one thing because every mail artist would give you a different definition. Essentially, it's a big international network of people who exchange artwork and ideas via the postal service. Mail art in simplest terms is one person sending another person something that they have created. In more complex terms, there are mail art shows where hundreds of people send in work according to a specific theme. All of the work that is sent in is displayed in some manner and everyone who participates gets "documentation"--a list of all the artists, and possibly a catalog of the artwork. Announcements for these shows are distributed within the network (often to people who have participated in past shows), and not from any central location. It is democratic art at its best. Pop artist Ray Johnson is considered the originator of the network- in the 1950's he shunned the gallery-dealer-museum system of conventional art and started sending his artwork to people for free, often for no apparent reason. Sometimes he would prompt the recipients to change the piece in some way and pass it on to a third person, setting in motion a chain of contact which continues to this day. Ray Johnson committed suicide in 1995, but some of the pieces which Ray originated are still in circulation. Mail art seeks to break down the division between audience and artist-- anyone can be a mail artist, and have their work shown in a mail art show, regardless of academic credentials or technical skill- all you need is a stamp.
A "cult figure" is a person whose image has become a symbol which transcends the meaning of the original image. The best way to describe them is as an "in joke" taken way too far. Every year the cult figure selection committee chooses a person to become the Cult Figure of the Year. Then, we make a bunch of stuff with this person's face on it. Usually the person is selected because of the comical expression on his or her face, not because we have anything against the person. Readers are asked to send in their own interpretation of the cult figure as well. Cult figures are usually just ordinary people who are not famous in any way (until we make them temporarily famous).
One of the main rules is that the cult figure must be chosen without their knowledge... it's funnier that way. If they do find out about it, it often leads to restraining orders and ugly lawsuits, and there's nothing funny about that.
Currently I'm sending out hand-made original postcards. If you'd like one, please mail me anything in trade... a postcard, zine, collage, drawing, letter, etc., and I'll send you a postcard in return. The address is: Ken Miller, PO Box 101, Newtown, PA 18940-0101 USA.
I generally don't accept submissions, except in the case of mail art project. Feel free to start your own zine, blog or website, and send me a note so I can congratulate you on a job well done.
Unfortunately, the paper zine hasn't been published since December, 2005. I do have some limited back issues which I can mail you... if you want some, please send a stamp. The address is: Ken Miller, PO Box 101, Newtown, PA 18940-0101 USA. There are artcles which do not appear on the website because the people they're about might see them. Don't worry, it's not you... yeah... it's those other people I wrote about. See the disclaimer above.
If you had previously requested a paper copy and I never replied to you, your mail may have been destroyed in the basement flood of 2006. Let me know if this is the case and I'll send you some issues.
I started sending mail art in the mid-90's under the name "Ask Alice", but I have since changed to using my name to create less confusion on the part of other people. The "Alice" in "ASKalice" refers to Alice Cramden of a 1950's TV show called The Honeymooners. A photo of Alice (played by actress Audrey Meadows) and Ralph Cramden (Jackie Gleason) was the basis for some collages I did back in 1991 (a version of this photo can be seen on the Permanent Collection), and I put "ASKalice" on them because Alice always looks like she knows something that Ralph doesn't in the pictures. I also used it because it was an offhand reference to the bogus teenage drug diary Go Ask Alice, the title of which is in itself a reference to the Jefferson Airplane song White Rabbit, which contains the line "Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall." This line (and much of the song) was a reference to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Carroll (a.k.a. Rev. Charles L. Dodgson), who much preferred to be around little girls than anyone else, made up the story for and about his young neighbor, one Alice Lidell, whose photograph (taken by Carroll circa 1859) appears below. Had this one little girl been given a different name, all of these things would have been different.