Scenic American Landscapes cover features all stamps from series
In my entry titled “Yosemite National Park postal card,” I mentioned that Sarah and I made a trip to California in September, and that during our time there we were able to visit Yosemite National Park. In addition to having the Yosemite National Park postal card from the Scenic American Landscapes series postmarked there, I prepared and serviced a few covers bearing all 18 of the stamps from that same series. One of those covers is pictured here.
The Scenic American Landscapes series really appealed to me, and I’m sorry that it came to an end last year. There were some truly beautiful designs, however, and although this is a totally philatelic creation, I’m happy to have the full set on a single cover.
You may have noticed the usual barcodes and sprayed-on cancellations found on modern U.S. mail are missing from my cover. Due to the high face value of the stamps I used, there was more than enough postage to pay for Priority Mail service, so I inserted each of the covers I serviced into one of the small Priority Mail window envelopes that the USPS provides for mailing #10 envelopes. This provided imperfect protection; the cover pictured here made it through to me virtually unscathed, but a couple of others were dinged up in the mail.
Last week, the United States Postal Service issued a booklet of 20 stamps featuring scenes from the Harry Potter movies. Time will tell whether or not the stamps will sell as well as postal officials might like, but I will not be buying the stamps for my own collection for several reasons.
First, even if we accept the argument that Harry Potter is a subject worthy of a commemorative U.S. postage stamp—something of which I’m not at all convinced—there is absolutely no reason that 20 different stamps are needed. The issuance of these stamps is nothing more than a money grab by the USPS.
Second, the stamps have absolutely nothing to do with United States history or culture. The Harry Potter books were written by a British author and the movies (on which the stamps are based) featured British actors. I have nothing against Britons, mind you, but there is nothing American about Harry Potter. For decades the United States had a reputation as a country whose stamps had some national connection, but no more.
Third, the designs of the stamps show a complete and total lack of creativity or artistic design value. They are nothing more than still frames captured from the Harry Potter movies. I could create the exact same designs with nothing more than my computer and the movie DVDs.
Fourth—and this is for me the most critical reason, though many may disagree—I don’t believe Harry Potter is compatible with Christianity. Deuteronomy 18:12 refers to sorcery as “an abomination to the Lord”; Galatians 5:20 mentions sorcery in the same breath as murder; and Acts 19:19 indicates that early Christian converts burned books related to magic. Laugh if you will, but I simply cannot justify spending my money to support the honoring of sorcery—even if “it’s just a children’s book”—when it is clearly identified as evil.
As far as I’m concerned, the USPS can keep its Harry Potter stamps. I’ll wait for something more appealing.
I’ve begun work on the Winter 2013 supplement for The Philosateleian. The update will primarily add pages to the 2013 file, but there are also a couple of changes to the pages for 2012 due to some new additions.
My goal is to make the new pages available on Sunday, December 1. Considering that that is only about a week and a half away, I better get busy!