Why are all greetings cards so terrible?
I had to buy a card the other day, and it was a depressing experience. There’s something about that industry that brings out the worst in creative design. I mean, just look at the state of some of these:
Here are some more, from Twitter.
Who is still buying these joke birthday cards? Stop it. pic.twitter.com/FRqF7EufW4
— A Spooky Michael M (@michaelmphysics) March 14, 2017
So what’s the deal? Why are these always the ugliest, unfunniest, worst possible things that could exist? I’m not entirely sure.
I guess it’s something to do with having to appeal to absolutely everyone. “Happy Birthday! Your nuanced opinions on neoliberalism inspire me!” would be a niche card – though I would buy it – while “Happy Birthday! You like beer!” applies to pretty much anyone with a mouth. So I guess they’re just going for lowest-common-denominator trash?
Speaking of, there’s a weird theme of alcohol in greetings cards. The male-intended cards feature beer, while the female-intended ones feature wine, G&Ts, or cocktails. There’s a lot more to unpack there (OMG CLINTONS CARDS IS THE PATRIARCHY), but my beef is more to do with how horribly unoriginal it all is.
And then there’s just loads of toilet humour. Flatuence, crude sexual innuendo, endless pictures of old naked people for some reason. When did we stoop so low?
It’s gotten real bad, folks. So bad that Scribbler has had to put up signs in their shops basically warning people how bad their cards are.
Maybe I’m just out of touch? Maybe all these cards are actually really funny. Maybe it’s not the brexit-voting, Mrs Browns Boys-watching, James Corden-liking, mouth-breathing masses that have it wrong. Maybe it’s just me.
Sometimes I do genuinely think that. But then I saw that this is currently the 4th top-selling card on nobleworkscards.com (don’t worry, the top 3 are also terrible).
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS. WHAT IS EVEN THE JOKE HERE? IS IT THAT WOMEN ARE BAD AT MATHS? OR THAT WOMEN ARE LAZY? OR THAT STRIPPERS ARE STUPID? OR SOME OTHER TERRIBLE OPINION ON WOMEN’S LIVES? WHAT IN ACTUAL HELL.
WHO IS BUYING THIS. WHO ARE THEY GIVING IT TO. WHAT IS THE EXPECTED RESPONSE TO RECEIVING THIS GREETINGS CARD. IS IT MEANT TO INCITE LAUGHTER. SURELY IT’S NOT IRONIC. I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
WHAT DOES THIS EVEN HAVE TO DO WITH BIRTHDAYS. WHY WAS THIS MADE. WHY IS THIS FOR SALE. WHY DOES THIS EXIST.
WHY CAN NOTHING GOOD AND PURE EXIST IN THE WORLD. WHY IS EVERYTHING SO TERRIBLE.
Please, someone help me.