Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Catablogue: Passive-Aggressive Notes

Passive-Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings from Shared Spaces the World Over

A pretty straightforward premise: readers submit frustrated or angry notes that they find posted in shared spaces: taped to the vending machine at work, pinned to the bulletin board above the mailboxes in an apartment building, hanging in store windows, mass-e-mailed by a coworker, etc. Some of them are hilariously clever; others reveal their writers' ignorance and/or need of counseling! Not surprisingly, some are riddled with obscenities, so visit the site with that warning in mind.

Passive-Aggressive Notes admits that not all its offerings display authentic passive-aggressiveness. Some are just plain aggressive or else simply passive! "But they all share a common sense of frustration that's been channeled into written form rather than a direct confrontation. It's barbed criticism disguised as something else: helpful advice, a funny joke, simple forgetfulness," etc. (citation). Reading a post can be cathartic if you, too, have ever experienced whatever set off the angry notewriter. Here are some funny samples:
  • Ever had a coworker take a bite out of food that you brought for your own lunch and were storing in a refrigerator at work? Then read this.
  • Ever had a coworker who left a mess in the microwave in the kitchenette area at the work? Then read this.
  • Ever quit a job and wished that you could broadcast to all your coworkers how frustrated you were working there? Then read this.
  • Ever used a vending machine that dispensed a product other than the one for which you pushed the selection button? Then read this.

For a variation on the theme, Passive-Aggressive Notes recommends the Web site of Found Magazine, whose feature "Find of the Day" is a photo of a note that some contributor has found tucked into a library book, blowing across the lawn, scrawled on a wall, hiding on a shelf, stuck in a schoolyard fence, etc. Although they can be passive-aggressive (for example), most of these notes are not. They're simply love letters, personal notes, doodles, "to do" lists, receipts, homework, etc., that feature messages that, taken out of context, can be beautiful or shocking or completely mysterious (for example). Such a simple concept for a site but so thought-provoking!

(What is a catablogue?)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for introducing me to these sites! Very cool :)