Why is this such a sinister medium?
April 27, 2006 8:02 PM   Subscribe

Can you identify the material this breakup letter is written on?

One of my daily visits is Found Magazine. Every day they post some "found" object/letter/what have you for the world to see.

Today's is this rather horrific breakup letter. The caption below seems to imply that it's written on something particularly sinister, though:

"...This is one sad breakup. Check out what it's written on!"

Well, I haven't the foggiest what it is. What do you think?
posted by symphonik to Grab Bag (39 answers total)
looks like paper...but them little white things are throwing me off.
posted by stilgar at 8:07 PM on April 27, 2006

It looks like it could be either a wrapper or an advertisement (like something ripped from a magazine)
posted by easternblot at 8:09 PM on April 27, 2006

My first instinct was the strip of paper covering the adhesive of a maxi pad... Can't confirm it, though...
posted by penchant at 8:10 PM on April 27, 2006

Rolling paper?
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:14 PM on April 27, 2006

I would say that it has to be a recognizable form of trash (possibly from a fast food, coffee joint, or other brand-identity type of place), like a napkin with that distinctive repeating slash with a dot over it (white ink).

I didn't get a 'sinister' vibe from the caption. More like a 'hey-you-should-recognize-this-pattern' kind of vibe. But I don't know who uses that pattern for things.

If you happen to find out, please post it here. Now I'm intrigued.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 8:15 PM on April 27, 2006

Is it a birth control patch?
posted by desuetude at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2006

Those little white things are punched holes in the paper. It looks like the backside of a ticket that's been used.
posted by ptm at 9:18 PM on April 27, 2006

Can't be punched holes. There's writing over them.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:21 PM on April 27, 2006

The holes can't be punched into the paper, because there is ink over the one on the right.
posted by MrZero at 9:22 PM on April 27, 2006

foiled again!
posted by MrZero at 9:22 PM on April 27, 2006

Look at the edges -- it's some sort of lightweight cardboard, like a panel from a box.
posted by jjg at 9:56 PM on April 27, 2006

I think the clue is "This is one sad breakup"; the breaker-upper (for lack of a better word) didn't even bother to write the break-up letter on paper, but merely scribbled it on some piece of cardboard/paper bag/unimpressive piece of parchment, etc. My take, at least.
posted by apple scruff at 10:00 PM on April 27, 2006

Doesn't look like foil to me. (j/k)

Since the editor obviously knows what it is, I am led to suspect it must be something ironic or clever like a maxi-pad wrapper or birth control tissue of some kind as mentioned above, rather than an ordinary restaurant napkin (unless it was a napkin from a restaurant they first went out to, which is pretty much impossible to know if the item were merely "found" by happenstance). My first impression was that it was some kind of stationary by the little white patterns, although the left side is slightly more jagged (as if torn down a crease) than the trimmed right, as if torn from some kind of notepad or booklet.

I think it is interesting to note the insight the snippet describes, that disrespect very possibly had a major influence on the relationship, so the use of a clever medium might even be a further symbolism of that harbored disrespect.
posted by vanoakenfold at 10:01 PM on April 27, 2006

Response by poster: These are some great hypotheses. I also agree, it has to be some sort of stationery or local "trash", given the logos on it... but certainly someone from NY would know it if that were the case?

I'll give it a few more hours and then I might e-mail the editor. :)
posted by symphonik at 10:15 PM on April 27, 2006

Response by poster: There's also the implication that "hey, you should know this too!" from the author's writing. Lends more credence to it being something quasi-common.
posted by symphonik at 10:17 PM on April 27, 2006

doesn't it look like bookworm eaten paper?
posted by Izzmeister at 10:40 PM on April 27, 2006

I agree with apple scruff.
posted by pompomtom at 10:58 PM on April 27, 2006

But then again, how do we know it is a breakup letter? "If I catch you going out with another man" doesn't sound like someone who is looking to end the relationship, but somehow illogically keep it together so that he has some variety of control over whoever the person. Wouldn't someone breaking up with you not care if you went out with someone else?

Perhaps the letter was written, even then, "to" the person with whom he is joined, but written "for" the new "other man" to read, to indicate, hey, she's in a relationship and these things aren't true, but she's taken, so buzz off?
posted by vanoakenfold at 1:09 AM on April 28, 2006

Surely this is written by a man to a man - so 'birth control patch', or 'maxi-pad' would be unlikely mediums.
posted by strawberryviagra at 1:20 AM on April 28, 2006

Where are you getting man to man? I thought the various STDs (as opposed to just HIV) implied M -> F.
posted by onalark at 2:06 AM on April 28, 2006

Purely subjective.

It just reads to me like a man to man communication. It could also be a woman to woman communication.

It also looks like a man's scrawly handwriting (again, purely subjective take here).

But it I think of it along these lines:
You can (and are more likely) to catch those diseases from male to male sexual contact, also.

The HIV reference is pretty much a male-to-male kind of ramification in the context of the missive as well.

Why do you think it's male -> woman?
posted by strawberryviagra at 2:42 AM on April 28, 2006

I don't have strong feelings on male-male or male-female, but I'm dying to figure out what that company logo is. The closest thing it reminds me of is the logo Amazon uses on their shipping boxes.
posted by onalark at 3:06 AM on April 28, 2006

Is it a manilla envelope or a notebook cover?
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:30 AM on April 28, 2006

I think apple scruff is right, it isn't that it's written on anything specifically horrific, just that it's written on some piece of trash that was lying around. We might be expected to recognize the trash, but I don't think it really matters what the trash is.
posted by OmieWise at 5:46 AM on April 28, 2006

The 'trash' medium is already a given. The more torn and discarded, the more obviously 'found' it becomes - there's no need to put even more emphasis on that aspect of it.

I prefer the forensic challenge - I want that logo and card to impart something elementally tragic or some incredible irony.
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:18 AM on April 28, 2006

It's brown and shiny, and about the width of that brown shiny tape you sometimes see. Still doesn't explain the squiggles, though.

It says it was found in New York by Kelley Vaughn; she wrote the caption, so she must know what it is. This guy lives in New York, and his girlfriend (and bandmate) is Kelley Vaughn. From his band's myspace, I got to this kelley. Worth a shot?
posted by booksandlibretti at 6:35 AM on April 28, 2006

I'm still trying to find it using less obnoxious means, but if you are really desperate the submitter is pretty findable.
posted by ill3 at 6:38 AM on April 28, 2006

I don't know what it is written on, but that website is great.

posted by milarepa at 6:38 AM on April 28, 2006

It looks like the carboard sleeve from a cup of take-out coffee to me. Any chains in NY use this design on their coffee cup sleeves?
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:53 AM on April 28, 2006

I also get a M -> W feeling. The sentence that is incomplete at the bottom seems to be on the order of "and that when I met you, you was a _____ crackhead selling yourself..." -- that just says female recipient to me.
posted by pineapple at 7:47 AM on April 28, 2006

I don't know why, but something about it make me think of music.
posted by Megafly at 12:38 PM on April 28, 2006

Maybe it is (or the finder merely thinks it is) a piece of a tissue box? That's got a sadness connection...
posted by attercoppe at 2:46 PM on April 28, 2006

AAArgh! This is annoying me way more than it should be. I spent hours image searching to find a logo that looks like the S-dot pictured on that paper.

Please update!
posted by SpookyFish at 9:51 PM on April 28, 2006

I can't take it anymore! I emailed the people at FOUND. Perhaps they'll indulge us. I will update if they respond.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:31 AM on April 29, 2006

posted by strawberryviagra at 8:25 PM on April 29, 2006

Has anyone ever figured this one out?
posted by cbushko at 11:55 AM on May 1, 2006

Seriously -- I'm still checking back with this one. For what it's worth, I also emailed the people at Found, and never got anything back.
posted by penchant at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2006

Yeah, no response on my end either. Sigh.
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:24 PM on May 3, 2006

***UPDATE*** (sort of):

I finally received a reply to my email to Found magazine:

"No kidding ... drove us crazy, too! Turns out that find was sent to us via email, so we didn't have the actual note. Naturally, we emailed the finder to ask for a little clarification, but she's never responded back to us. So, it shall remain a mystery for FOUND and MetaFilter!

Yr Friends @ FOUND"

posted by penchant at 12:48 PM on June 8, 2006

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