"I Am So Dirty... We Are All Fools For Trent"

Postmarked April 1st, 1995 Mercer, PA

Image scanned courtesy of H&V

Photographer & Concept: Julia C. Tenney

In 1995, New York swore in a new governor who proposed a new "zero balance" budget or something like that. (Cisco, then at SUNY, called it "The Patakilypse"). Funding would be based on apparent need, not traditional allocations. Any municipality would only get funding for whatever resources they used. In other words, if they didn't use all their road salt and sand before spring, they might get less next year.

If you even suggested it might snow, they dumped tons of crap on the roads.

I absolutely had to wash my car regularly if I didn't want it to completely corrode into dust by thaw.

One time, I drove to work DIRECTLY from the car wash. When I arrive my van was already caked, CAKED, with crud. I remembered recently playing a Woodstock tape of a similarly mud-covered Trent singing "I am so Dirty" and decided to carve the NIN logo into my van.

I snapped a single frame and was unimpressed with the result. I needed to liven up the postcard somehow.

In my "real life", I was preparing for one of the nearby town's 200th birthday. We arranged pictorial cancellations from every other town of the same name with a post office.

A "Mercer" postmark would dress up my dirty postcard.

It worked. People emailed their awe at my having sent the postcards through Mercer. Someone actually referred to Trent's birthplace as "the Holy Land".

By the way, carving in the dirt on your car wrecks the finish. Do not try this at home.

The Next Postcard

Updated: February 1997 tenney.org