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Hallmark's Demented Tax Postcards
2000-04-12 12:45:47

What a Riot!
We are not interesting people when sober, believe me.
-- Mr. Bad


As civilization atrophies, insanity grips even the bastion of saccharine consumer greeting cards. The fear and paranoia that greets tax day shifts the zeitgeist into a dark, destructive funk. And instinctively, on some deep, primal level, Hallmark begins reflecting the mounting despair with a series of web postcards catering to the cathartic release that can only come from seeing shit fucked up.

Rebellion slices through the Hallmark animation department, where a popular mandate for tax revolt allows the animators to shuck off their former restraints. Death appears over a blood-red sky in an eerie goth cartoon with strange homosexual overtones. In "The Adventures of IRS Man," Hallmark's animators deconstruct the fascist overtones in Superman through a sardonic warning parable that concludes "Happy Tax Day, Citizen."

Foreshadowing the pagan roots of Easter, naked IRS workers cavort and prance lasciviously in "Filing Can Be Fun," and a kinky submissive offering appears to pander to some kind of toilet fetish. The unmistakeable urban funk behind "Need some deductions" belies its innocent surface veneer as it careens recklessly to a hostile and shocking conclusion. And the MIDI hip-hop continues with "File the Easy Way" -- one of two reactionary stories which nihlistically counter the cozy technocentric wisdom of online tax returns. This theme is amplified in a scary -- yet bad -- cartoon with a cat illustrating "The perils of filing your taxes electronically."

Hallmark's subversive artwork apparently raised the hackles of "The Man." Unseen forces at the site have buried the web pages beneath a maze of un-linkable sub-directories, and all visitors to now get tagged with a "Session ID," presumably to allow government investigators to track their motions through the site for later investigation. But don't let that scare you off! Locate the "Tax Day E-Cards" section in the pull-down menu -- and prepare for a mind-expanding experience. Hallmark's slogan was once derided as "When you care enough to send the very stupidest." Now they're breaking out of the mold, reaching out to a hip alternative generation. Pump it up, Hallmark. And keep on keepin' it real....

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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