Everyone has secrets. Do you have secrets? I have too many. My mind is a bulging mess of guilt and regret, so much that I have to drown myself in alcohol and cry in the corner for at least 20 minutes every night unless I want to have horrific, unrelenting nightmares.

My psychiatrist said that I should try to channel my pain into the one thing that started it all, the root of all my problems, the source of my grieving. I thought I might achieve this by fashioning some kind of sacrificial effigy that I could totally, like, burn the crap out of, but then I realised that you can’t really make an effigy that adequately represents the song “Rock Lobster” by the B-52s, a song with lyrics so bizarre and nonsensical that they have plagued my mind for over two decades.

Anyway I’m getting beside myself. SECRETS of the dark, personal variety, is the theme of one of my favourite web art projects. However, to call it simply an “art project” is an injustice, for this is one of the most inspiring, genuinely emotive social art endeavours that the web has seen and you’d have to be an emotionless shell of a human being not to either laugh, be moved, or feel a real sense of pity at some of the huge variety of anonymous secrets on public display at postsecret.

Postsecret is a global confession box. It is an on-going community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously, on one side of a home-made postcard.

What is fascinating about postsecret – apart from reading about all kinds of humorous and shocking secrets – is that because these are home-made postcards, the design of each postcard is entirely unique.

Some cards have clearly been laboured over for hours (as a way of repent?), some cards have been scratched out in a few seconds. With some cards it is easy to see the regret through the visual stimuli, with other cards it is possible to see a little tongue-in-cheek relish of their particular secret.

Have a look for yourself – the page is very picture-heavy but it is well worth it, the cards burst with colour, humour, emotion and you feel an odd sense of humanity reading about these personal demons, especially the ones that are familiar to us all (there are plenty about heartbreak). It’s refreshing to see the more human side of internet users for a change, after hours and hours of playing some kind of MMPORPG, burninating the villages with my Level 28 Thunder Axe and basically being all awesome and invincible.

I wonder what the members of PingMag would write if we were to send a postcard to postsecret? I guess there are a few things that I could write, such as:

  • I only watched Requiem For A Dream to see Jennifer Connelly naked.

  • I have an uncanny knack for blocking up public toilets.

  • I sometimes listen to Michael Bolton.

  • I sometimes sing along to Michael Bolton.

  • I secretly fantasise that every woman I date is a spy and that her run-of-the-mill generic waitress job is in fact all an elaborate cover story.

  • When I count in my head, I count like The Count from Sesame Street.

But of course I would never consider sharing any of those.

PS. Postsecret is for English-language secrets only…perhaps a kind soul could create something similar for Japan? :)

  • unknown chief editor

    recent secret: trying to change my “nice german girl”- look by cutting my fringe 50ies style… for some awkward seems to make old guys in the subway fantasize a lot…

  • konteyner

    thanks for subject. it is very intersting post

  • perdeci

    I wish I had the patience to do all that, and the confidence to prance around posing for photos once it’s all done.

  • amed

    So “improvement” does not necessarily mean “make it look all futuristic and cool ooh this would look great in my new hover car”. However, the rash of designers setting out to improve the design of the humble clothes hanger are actually managing to combine some pleasing designs with a marked improvement in the actual functionality of the design, too. Well, most are.

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