No one in Bulgaria does, either.
His name is Raiko Daskalov, and he was a small-time labor organizer who died in 1923, while the communists were still an underground movement. But 1986 was the 100th anniversary of his birth, soooo…
This is how it works, beginning soon at a post office near you.
If you go to the post office today to mail a package, there is always a line wanting to buy a book of stamps. Of course the walls are covered with posters of colorful laid new issues; flowers, children, art, graphic designs, and the occasional commemorative of a famous actor, singer or composer. And every year we are also treated to stamps celebrating diversity and commemorating people of color or ethnicity. Blacks and Hispanic have their own month, so after all these years you can imagine how deep they have to dig to find the Mexican Raiko Daskalov (above), who led a small farm-worker revolt when all those Okies in 1932, fleeing the Dust Bowl, offered to work for half the rate paid the Mexicans. Barely made the El Centro papers, still, there will be a stamp.
Political correctness has been in the post office for many years, so this is really nothing new. Virtually every national group is recognized, including gays, if you did not already know this.
It’s political payback. The point is, almost no one ever buys these stamps except for the group they are targeted to celebrate.
And they have to go to the counter to ask for them by name.
So no one really buys these. Instead, most people ask for booklets of the American flag, the Liberty Bell, or Statue of Liberty, all universally recognized American symbols, with a hint of patriotism. And at Christmas there are stamps for the season, although the religious symbols have all but disappeared.
As for the commemorative stamps, we all know who they’re for, too; Sinatra, Elvis, Steinbeck, Santa Claus, Whistler, His mother. You still don’t see political activists or writers or other unknowns.
Well, you soon will. Just ask Raiko.
For there comes a time…under socialism, usually around the ten year mark…and this is how you can tell hardcore, get-even socialism, (often called by the “c” word) from Euro hot-tub socialism…that the state feels compelled to march out all the unknown basement dwellers, faux-intellectuals, radical writers, artists, bomb-makers, assassins and assorted thugs, (Dzhershinky even had his own stamp) who helped bring the Glorious Revolution to reality, and place their mug on a stamp.
No one knew who they were before the stamp was issued, and no one will still know who they are after the stamp is issued. And just as in Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany and all the Soviet republics, no one except collectors will care.
But the state always goes too far, for by the time this Daskolov stamp was issued in 1986, Bulgaria had been under “imperial communism” for 40 years, and even the dowdy stamp collectors had joined the counter-revolution, just to get the state to print more interesting stamps.
And none of those stamps will actually get licked and be put on a letter. You almost never see one with a cancellation mark.
So look for all our patriotic symbols, not to disappear, mind you, but change. You may see a new flag. Possibly a variation of the Soviet “Forward” flag will likely replace the Stars and Stripes, but it could also be “that other one.” Get used to it.
No more Washington praying on his knee at Valley Forge. No more symbols of any god bigger than the state. No more humility. No more images of Man bowing down to any higher authority other than his own self-appointed betters. Man and superman.
And certainly no images of cannons.
So, will Obama get a stamp? For sure, and maybe while he is still alive. Wait for it. Such is the Cult of Personality everywhere, just like Stalin, just like Saddam, just like Shicklgrubr. And so may Michelle, only years before Eleanor Roosevelt ever got hers, for under soon-to-abandoned old rules, Eleanor had to be dead five years before she qualified. And she lived way past her expiration date. No way that will work for the I-want-it-now generation. The Obamas will want to see their stamps.
Saul Alinsky will finally get his, too. For sure. So will Bill Ayers. Maybe even Reggie. Faces and names you never heard of, just like Daskalov, above, will be displayed on the Post Office billboard, sold only to stamp collectors and the thirty or forty people who actually heard of the guy.
The stamps replacing the regular flag, bell and statue may be pictures of children, or drawn by children (the UN has bored us with dandelions and ragweed drawn by children for decades), or a Chevy Volt. Who knows?
But also, as Stalin was prone to do when in charge, but which eventually blew back on him, many common names you’d expect to be honored on a stamp, will be purged, as if they never lived.
We could have a contest. No, better a tontine, as to who are the prominent Americans today who will never make it on a stamp. Spike Lee, yes. Oliver Stone? Sure. Francis Ford Coppola, probably not. Dave Letterman, yes. Leno, no. Tupac, damn straight. Dolly Parton, no way. Billy Graham? No longer a shoo-in. Sandra Fluke, queen of the LIV’s? Make book on it. And yes, Margaret Sanger after being “out” all these years, is in.
I’m actually not sure of Bill Clinton, for if Obama gets the five-year rule lifted and gets on a stamp first, it will be just another way to rub Clinton’s nose in for being second. And as goes Bill, so may also go Hillary, forever left at the altar, but who still, as America’s first War on Women survivor, should be right up there next to Rosa Parks (who got her stamp only this past February, after waiting 8 years. What’s up with that?)
Just don’t expect any useful idiot to be on a stamp. Eric Holder and Van Jones have better chances than Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.
As I said, this will all still be ten years in coming, but look for it at Post Office near you. Those of you who can still afford $2 for a stamp, without a coupon from your government subsidy ration book, that is.
The times, they are a’changing.