Post Office

When Postage Stamps Are Too Dangerous for Children's Eyes

Headstands without helmets, people!



Courtesy of Walter Olson of the Cato Institute and Overlawyered comes this silly piece of news regarding a series of postage stamps meant to commemorate first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" youth anti-obesity program. The existence of the postage stamps in the first place is not the silly news, though it certainly is silly. No, the United States Postal Service (heavily in debt, mind you) is destroying the entire run of stamps because some of the activities illustrated on them have been deemed unsafe:

"Three of the stamps in the fifteen stamp series raised safety concerns among sports figures on the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The stamps in question depicted children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet. The unsafe depictions came to light after USPS Marketing chief Nagisa Manabe asked Michelle Obama to take part in a first day ceremony for the stamps. That was apparently the first time the stamps had been reviewed by the Sports Council."

Cannonballs! Headstands without helmets! The horrors!

I don't have any idea what they were worried about, though. It's not as if any kid today has even seen a postage stamp or even know what they're used for.

Update — Here's a picture of all the stamps in the run, courtesy of this blog:

Are we free to gambol?

The baseball player is not wearing a batting helmet! Outrage!

NEXT: Defense Attorney: Video Will Exonerate Undercover Cop in Bike Gang Road Rage Incident

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  1. Someone, somebody, please kill me now. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

    1. Why not? This shit is funny as hell…..c’mon swim in the schadenfreude with me….it’s fabulous!

      1. The river of shit schadenfreude.

    2. If you think that government should depict children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet, then you must just want to live in Somalia.

      1. Anarkist: The gub’ment should not be depicting anything on postage stamps! Coecion! Coercion!

  2. That particular stamp looks kinda dirty.

    1. I assumed that was going to be the complaint but of course the reality is even more ridiculous.

  3. The stamps in question depicted children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet.

    How do you parody people who do it to themselves? How do you mock someone who is so pathetic that they mock themselves? How do you let a Wookie win who has already lost?

    The person who can answer these questions will crack the answers to life itself.

      1. Congratulations, jesse. I had hoped someone would throw Hitchhiker’s at me, but I didn’t expect it that fast.

        1. My only regret is that it took 6 minutes… and that I don’t have towel with me.

          1. you’re a towel

            /someone confused about cultural tropes

          2. You’re a towel!

            By the way, did anyone else think last night’s South Park Zimmerman episode was a total cop-out? That they completely whiffed on the opportunity to mock the shit out of both sides of the Zimmerman trial, and instead passed and used the World War Z stuff as a distraction?

            1. I haven’t seen it yet but I’m pretty disappointed to hear that. I was hoping it was going to be something along the lines of their older “Behind The Blow” Earth Day episode.

            2. I was so fucking excited when I saw what it was about. I was ridiculously giddy (embarrassing, I know.)

              But yeah, I went to bed sad and mopey. It was a total letdown.

            3. Yeah it was a cop out, not to mention that Zimmerman had nothing to do with SYG.

              1. I actually thought they might have been going for a joke about that; that it had nothing to do with SYG, but it didn’t pan out. It’s probably the most disappointing episode of modern South Park I’ve ever seen. So much opportunity to create epic shitloads of butthurt across the spectrum, and none of it was taken. So disappointing. It made me think that maybe South Park is finally played out. Nothing lasts forever.

              2. They couldn’t even get what SYG really means – that you have no duty to retreat from an aggressor. They just parroted the leftist line about SYG – that its a license to kill.

              3. I’m not saying South Park is liberal but it sure seems like Trey & Matt go out of their way often to appeal to liberals. Most on the left had to come away from last night’s episode thinking it was pro-gun control, also pro-“hate crime”, with the ridiculous implication that the system doesn’t care when white people kill black people.

                1. If you actually try and KULTUR WAR or TEAM WAR Trey and Matt, you are a fucking retard. Don’t be a fucking retard.

            4. I couldn’t even finish the episode – it has to be the worst one they’ve ever done.

              1. Someone must not have seen “Funnybot”

              2. Yeah, I made it to the first break then went to bed. Doesn’t sound like I missed much.

            5. The bit with Token not having a clue what Cartman was upset about was amusing. But the thing in the gym later just ruined the joke.

            6. Despite their weak handling of the serious issue they confusingly centered the episode around, I was still able to enjoy their mocking of world war Z.

              I was so confused by the commercials for that movie. The threat involved wasn’t made clear. I thought it was nanobots or something else technological. Watching the movie only posed more questions, like, who the fuck thought funding that film was a good idea?

              1. The worst part of that movie was that somehow nobody from the Israeli security forces figured out that the zombies were attracted to loud noises.

                1. WW Z was decently entertaining for having not seen much of the hype or read the book and simply downloaded for free rented it for something to watch. Plus it was relatively kid friendly. Walking Dead is way too scary for my kid.

              2. Watching the movie only posed more questions, like, who the fuck thought funding that film was a good idea?

                Maybe the people who like making over half a billion dollars worldwide, before DVD sales?

                I didn’t like it either, though.

              3. I think the episode also suffered from timing issues. If it had come out at the time, when there was this disturbing lust for widespread black rioting in so many corners, it would have been funnier.

                But overall, it was pretty lackluster. And they back off of a “crossing the red line” joke they could have ripped into Obama over.

              4. The movie was terrible, but it made money. End of story.

            7. I haven’t watched it yet. I had suspicions they were going to pussy out on the entire situation, so I just DVR-ed it.

            8. Complete cop-out. And I’m wondering if Matt and Trey were lampooning people’s ridiculously absurd misunderstanding of SYG or if they actually bought into the bullshit. Ditto with the whole George Zimmerman shooting Cartman because he mistook for a black kid and being sent to the chair. Because RACISM!!!1!!

              If it was subtle satire on their part, great, but if they really bought the media narrative, that Zimmerman was just a racist dick and SYG lets you shoot anyone who enters your personal space for any reason, then I am sorely dissapointed.

              1. I suspect the libertarians who defend Try and Matt will say it’s just subtle satire but it’s funny how their “subtle satire” always seems to push a leftist agenda.

                1. I was wrong; the episode did succeed in one way. KULTUR and TEAM WAR morons like Greg here managed to get themselves all butthurt regardless. Well done, douchebag! You can’t ever leave off the KULTUR and TEAM WAR bullshit, not for a second. Nope, Matt and Trey’s track record of mocking everyone for years isn’t good enough for you, because they mocked your side too, and that makes your butt hurt real bad. Boo hoo. So sad.

                  1. Uh-huh. They never go after left wingers or left wing causes.

                    Manbearpig, Die Hippy Die, Smug Alert, Goobacks , Gnomes (“Corporations are good!”), Rainforst Schmainforest, and many more examples were never actually made. They were all just figments of out imagination. Because they always lean left.

                    1. Also, if you think they love hate crimes perhaps you should check out Cartman’s Silly Hatecrime 2000.

            9. I checked up on Wikipedia…I was hoping I could blame Hader for this one, but Trey Parker has the lead writing credit.

    1. +1 Total Perspective Vortex

  4. The Onion is officially redundant now.

  5. I recall stamps depicting space travel. Space travel is inherently dangerous.

    1. Notice To Parents: Children aspiring to be astronauts will be faced with 5-10 years of re-education. Or, hell, just plain public education that will ensure their non-viability for the space program.

  6. As a former gymnast, I gotta say that a headstand without a helmet is madness. I always wore a helmet when doing floor exercise.

    Or maybe I’m misremembering.

    1. As a former fat kid, doing a cannonball was the only time your peers would cheer you on.

      1. Where is the bellyflop from highdive stamp!?

        1. Where is the nude cannonball stamp?

          1. Where is the “Reading the latest Scat Trek” stamp?

          2. Dude that’s like asking for a swimming pool enema. Nobody with class does a nude cannonball.

            Also, make sure you clench on waterslides. Just sayin’.

            1. Also, make sure you clench on waterslides. Just sayin’.

              Oh, I know. I’ve seen it in action.

              1. Brings new meaning to the term “log flume.”

                1. I’m glad I had just swallowed my drink before reading that.

            2. There were water slides at Action Park that really would force water up your ass, no matter what you did. You generally only did one ride on them and then hit the bathroom and then you were done with them.

              1. I went there a few times in the early 80’s. Epi speaks the truth.

                1. Action Park is infamous, of course, but I remember the water park Vegas used to have on the Strip, (Wet ‘n Wild IIRC) had a few of those kind of slides too. Weird, standing at the top of their tallest flume slide and looking across (and slightly down) at the people getting ready to bungee jump from the high platform at Circus Circus.

                  It was an absolute blast.

    2. It was the headstand without a helmet that really got me. The cannonball too, but the absurdity of “headstand without a helmet” just really stood out. These people are too stupid, too pathetic, too moronic to live. They should all just go do a cannonball off the George Washington bridge right now. Or maybe a headstand dive, no helmet.

      1. I am still trying to understand why they think a cannon ball dive is dangerous? It might get others wet but how is it more dangerous then any other dive and some dives are probably more dangerous.

        1. Absolutely! I would think it’s among the safest dives there is, given that it’s not headfirst. In shallow water you’d hurt your knees, not your neck.

          1. In shallow water you’d hurt your knees, not your neck.

            Butt. You gotta roll slightly backwards once you curl up, to enter butt-first, so as to maximize penetration of the water surface and the resulting splash. Pretty easy to make butt-concrete contact this way in the 5ft section of the pool (and this was when I was like age12/weight110.

        2. Quite simply. A “cannonball” dive invokes an image of a cannonball fired from a cannon, which is a type of gun. Guns are inherently dangerous and bad.

        3. That’s what makes this stuff so amazing. They’ve gone beyond “wear a helmet on your bike; you may look like a dork, but it actually can make a difference if you do crash” to “doing anything is dangerous”. It’s beyond parody, as I said above. How do you mock someone so fucking retarded?

        4. He-llllo?! Cannon ball?

          Assault Swimming will not be tolerated.

        5. A canon ball isn’t even a dive. Diving is when you go in head first. Canon balls are safer than any kind of dive.

          And since when does anyone wear a helmet to do a head stand? You are standing on your head; it’s not even possible to fall on your head when your head is already on the ground.

        6. The whole point of a cannonball is present so much surface area when you hit the water you create a large splash, which mean most of your momentum is transferred to the splash and you don’t go as deep under water.

          How can people who are demanding children engage in more vigorous activity be so timid?

      2. And clearly headstands are more harmful to your neck than your head. Kids should be wearing hard neck braces while doing headstands, helmets are just silly!

  7. Diving with shit in your swimsuit is definitely unsanitary.

    1. What if it’s not shit, but a Babe Ruth bar?

  8. Because everyone knows extremely sheltered and insanely over-protected children are best prepared to become contented and successful adults.

    1. What makes you think preparing them to become contented and successful adults is the objective?

      1. For those who know what’s “best” it is obviously not.

  9. “Taking her husband’s lead, the First Lady puts another organization further in debt.”

  10. Also rejected:

    the licking-a-flagpole-in-freezing-weather stamp

    the lawn darts stamp

    the “hey, y’all, watch this!” stamp

    1. the “hey, y’all, watch this!” stamp

      The successor to the ever popular “Hold ma beer” stamp.

    2. The tackle football stamp

      The baseball played with an actual baseball stamp

      The competitive running stamp (can’t let anyone win because social justice)

        1. The Michael Jackson stamp.

      1. Hey, how can you forget the ‘walking without a helmet’ and ‘giving a blow job with knee pads’ stamps?

        I personally loved the ‘shoving a cucumber up your ass’ stamp. What happened to it?

        1. I personally loved the ‘shoving a cucumber up your ass’ stamp. What happened to it?

          The secret images were leaked, so they decided to go with another guy’s design.

          1. Ah. Switched to Lebanese cucumbers, huh?

            Shoulda read ‘blow jobs withOUT knee pads.’

    3. The dodgeball stamp

      1. If you can dodge a stamp, you can dodge a ball.

    4. the licking-a-flagpole-in-freezing-weather stamp

      My brother’s friend actually did this when we were kids. I found it amusing when I saw it again in A Christmas Tale.

      1. Story. A Christmas Story Sorry, but I just couldn’t let that go.

        1. There’s a sequel, you know.

          1. The Thanksgiving one? Or the Fourth of July one? Both were excellent.

            1. I find that highly unlikely.

              1. Considering the original is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen…

                1. Oh, please. I bet you have a Darren McGavin poster on your wall.

                  1. I just hate it. Mostly because growing up I always wanted to go out a play and do kids stuff but my cousins only wanted to sit inside and watch it like 30 times in a row.

                2. Considering the original is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen…

                  He says, while grinding his cigar out in the eye of a fawn.

            2. But I didn’t know until this day that it was Barzini all along. Wait, no, I mean I didn’t know until today that there was more than one sequel.

              1. The Great American Fourth of July

                This was hilarious, at least on par with A Christmas Story. Sadly, I think it is in legal limbo, and has been out of print, and unaired since the mid 1980’s. It seems to be posted thoroughly on YouTube. Check it out.

                1. I loved the bit about Lud Kissel’s ultimate firework.

                2. [Eyes narrow at EDG reppin’ LBC.] So you say.

  11. As I also questioned here, who knew that John Olerud was from the future?

  12. Good pants-shitting hysteria comment from the original article on postal news:

    Lots of kids do stupid things- so we’re supposed to encourage them? Maybe you’d like a “playing with matches” stamp? After all, lots of kids survive house fires only partially disfigured! What’s a little reconstructive surgery? Just part of growing up, right?

    1. This cannot possibly be a serious comment.

    2. With all of this hysteria about danger, why aren’t these people also looking to stop their teenagers from having sex? I mean, scraping your head on the asphalt because you did a headstand without a safety helmet isn’t exactly worse than a galloping case of crotch rot.

      1. All stamps showing children should have them wearing a chastity belt.

      2. “why aren’t these people also looking to stop their teenagers from having sex?”

        Why would you think they aren’t?

    3. So, one time, me and a buddy made a dish out of foil, filled it with alcohol and sugar and watched it burn.

      Then his mom comes outside, freaks out and stomps it, spraying fire all over the late-autumn covering of dead leaves.

      We put it out pretty quick with a shovel, but everything was going fine till she arrived. Stupid parents.

      1. I cut open a shotgun shell, set the powder alight in a cigar box along with a bottle of nail polish remover and the primer.

        The resulting explosion caught the trunk of a nearby palm tree on fire.

        My stupid arse started to put out the fire by filling up a cup and throwing water on it repeatedly until I realized the damn garden hose *right there* would be more effective.

        1. One calm day I took a Bic lighter, used a rubber band to hold the button down, set it down and lit it. After a while the plastic holding the valve was soft enough that the building pressure force it out, and holy cow did that make a big ball of flame. After the big flame went out what was left was a puddle of bubbling plastic. It bubbled for like ten minutes. That was cool.

          1. Disposing of an Empty BIC lighter in a campfire is a pretty epic boom.

            1. Take an empty beer bottle and fill it about 1/4 with water. Put the cap back on as tightly as you can and toss the bottle into the campfire. As the pressure increases the steam will come whistling through the weakest gap in the cap, but not enough to relieve the pressure. The bottle will continue to heat and the sound of the steam escaping will become higher-pitched and more urgent after a few minutes. Eventually it’ll be whistling like a jet engine and you’ll be cowering behind any available lawn furniture. When the bottle finally goes boom, it will not only send glass shards flying in every direction, but it will also put out the campfire. Beam with pride.

              1. That sounds fun. All I used to do was load plastic pipes (with the end caps screwed on) with gunpowder and drill a hole in them and use gunpowder-infused string as a fuse. Light that fucker and run. The best part after the BOOM was the pieces of plastic raining down on the roof. I also used sparklers as fuses sometimes; that was always a bit riskier but made it more exciting.

                1. We’d do that with empty plastic cigar cases.

                  Think about it. The shit we did for fun would get the FBI and ATF called on our asses nowadays.

                  1. Think about it. The shit we did for fun would get the FBI and ATF called on our asses nowadays.

                    Depends on where you live. My neighbors would be more apt to join in the fun than to call law enforcement.

              2. You’re a progressive-nanny-stater’s worst nightmare.

            2. This lighter was pretty close to empty. Never tried with a full one.

              1. “Empty” lighters still contain a nice charge of gas, since the normal operation of the lighter involves the fuel being pressurized liquid. The lighter fails when theres no longer enough pressure to eject enough fuel to ignite and sustain a flame. If you cup your hand around the outlet and let some gas accumulate, you can usually get it to work a few more times.

                So, unless you intentionally let all the fuel out, most dead lighters still have some fuel.

              2. Never tried with a full one.

                Might be anticlimatic, since the liquid fuel will absorb heat to evaporate before catching on fire.

                Also, oxygen. Adding more fuel to the equation can’t add more BANG unless the fuel and air can mix before being dissipated by the combustion of already-present gas.

                1. Might be anticlimatic, since the liquid fuel will absorb heat to evaporate before catching on fire.

                  That’s why I never did it. Figured it would put itself out.

                  1. So at boy scout camp the end of week campfire singalong was a tradition. After several years of participating, it got kinda boring. So one summer me and two other older scouts (I think we were around 15 ot 16) went to the campfire spot when everyone including the staff were at the mess hall.

                    We hid several packs of firecrackers in the prepared fire.

                    Hilarity ensued.

        2. We had a fire on our water heater not long ago, and my brother was the levelheaded one who thought of the garden hose RIGHT OUTSIDE the laundry room door. He put the fire out while wearing….a towel (not towlie brand sadly), since my shouts of “FIRE” pulled him out of the shower.

          Just occurred to me that I suggest he volunteer for the fire department.

        3. The gunpowder in a shotgun shell, when not contained, it amazingly tame/minor.

          The primer, though, when that goes (say, tossed in a campfire) will get your attention.

          1. Something else I used to do was unravel the paper wrapping of model rocket engines. Lighting that thing up created a massive smoke cloud very quickly in a confined space.

      2. We had a local elementary school decide to cancel a Halloween party this year in favor of “square dancing and a service project”. The local radio guy ripped these people up and down this morning and then took callers. One was a nurse for Columbus Public, and she said the ban was justified because there had been three choking incidents in five years, all attributable to candy. Of course, the choking was cleared up using the Heimlich*, so I was hard-pressed to see the harm.

        Anyway, she reminds me of the commenter above.

        * yeah, I know it’s called some other BS now.

      3. Then his mom comes outside

        There’s your problem. A dad would have told you how to engineer a bigger flame.

    4. Tulpa couldn’t contain his brilliance to just one blog.

  13. OK, while I don’t agree with them, I can see how there is some slight danger to doing headstands (without a helmet) but kneepads for skateboarding? Really?

    And what, pray tell, could possibly be dangerous about doing a cannonball? You go tucked up, feet first into the water – even if you jump in shallow water you’re not likely to injure yourself.

    Did these idiots confuse a cannonball with at bellyflop?

  14. I suspect Crony Philatelism.

  15. I don’t understand why the stamps had to be destroyed. Don’t put em into circulation and sell em to collectors. BAM, WIN/WIN!!!

    Too sensible though, right?

  16. This is a tough call. The USPS does something patently retarded, but the USPS is a nearly entirely irrelevant, lumbering dinosaur which is essentially a jobs program for the unemployable.

    Is this really newsworthy?

    1. At least he was goin’ to Hawaii.

  17. So I’ve allowed my daughter to do headstands without a helmet. When should I expect child services to come take her away? I’m a monster. 🙁

  18. Oh, and you doubters that keep telling me that HBO’s Veep isn’t a documentary, the first lady’s “Let’s Move” program exactly parallel’s the VP’s “Let’s Get Movin'” anti-obesity program.

  19. This does not surprise me at all.

    Notice any difference between this stamp and its basis photograph?

    1. Jackson Pollock is not smoking on the stamp. Also, Nikolai Yezhov is not in the background anymore.

    2. Someone, maybe reason, had a story abotu stamps and missing ciggies. Pretty certain it included that picture. Damned funny.

    3. Of course….it’s fucking madness to smoke around petroleum based paint materials.

    4. Yes, one is soviet-style propaganda, the other is the truth.

  20. Oh, and at least the cannonball-stamp kid — a fucking *cartoon*, by the way — is wearing a “helmet”.

    1. Looks like a swim cap rather than a helmet.

      1. Yes — a gang-membership swim cap.

    2. If you wear a helmet while doing cannonballs, remember to stick your tongue out just before you hit the water, kids.

  21. One last thing. If and when people pick up on this stuff and start wearing helmets for arbitrary activities, you can just bet they will be *outlawed* as “suggestively aggressive” or some such crap. 8-(

    1. Assault Helmets.


  23. I can at least see where they’re coming from with the skateboarding and cannonball thing. It’s still silly/stupid to cancel the series just for that, but that’s par for the government course. But seriously? Headstands require a helmet now? Fer reals?

    Yoga, the hidden menace!

  24. The true joy of this sort of “protectionism” is understanding just removed from reality these Protectionists are… because, as noted – assuming ‘kids these days’ take their cues from Postage Stamps is not just by itself patently absurd… its the *reality* of what kids do for kicks in the modern day = Why not, for the sake of paying some homage to *realism*, lets release a line of Stamps showing what kids REALLY do! = taking nitrous WhipIts in moms basement? then Ghost Riding dad’s Whip down their suburban lane… then making Coffee Creamer bombs after having learned ‘what not to do’ from Mythbusters episodes… Suggestions? Attempting ‘parkour’ in abandoned construction sites??

  25. And here I thought you were going to report that the stamps were unfit for children because they constitute shameless propaganda for the current administration!

  26. The most concerning stamp is the “Twist” one. What sick souls are twisting for fun? Is this an east coast thing?

  27. More importantly, the art was terrible.

    (And equally more importantly, why does some pet project of the “First Lady” – a non-governmental position with exactly zero legitimate power whatesoever – get stamps made for it?

    Which chickenshit in Congress authorized that?

    And if nobody did, who made the call in the notionally “independent” Postal Service to kowtow to an unelected, unappointed, oversightless Prima Donna?)

  28. When I was a kid, we would shoot bottle rockets at each other on the 4th of July. Man there is nothing more fun than shooting explosives at each other. I feel sorry for kids today.

  29. The US Postal Service is not heavily in debt, in fact it is extremely profitable and 100% self-funded. The problem comes from Congress passing a law that it has to fund pensions decades in advance for workers it doesnt even have yet, the purpose of which is to funnel all that new pension money into the stock market. Its government fund-raiding at its finest. The USPS is a victim of textbook Congressional over-regulation.

    1. Not content to, “child-proof” homes, nannies believe that they can “child-proof” society.

      A fool’s errand indeed.

  30. You forgot that the full name of the program is “Let’s Move, But Not In Deep Water Or Too Fast, And Only With Helmets And Foam Rubber On Every Joint In Your Body And With Adult Supervision.”

    1. For anyone who thinks Tulpa is just a troll; I submit the above as evidence disputing that theory.

  31. Aside from the topic itself, why is it necessary to have stamps (or any other sort of “artwork” for that matter) that are supposed to appeal to children that look as if they were produced by a (rather untalented) 5 year old?

    1. Because untalented 5-year-olds are special, too! We shouldn’t limit our displays of art to art produced by people who are “good” at art. That is talentism and is a hurtful form of discrimination!

  32. None of them have faces either. That’s pretty dangerous.

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