Debate: Are Greeting Cards Necessary?

By Jake & Glenn 

Greeting cards are a great way to wish somebody a happy birthday, merry Christmas or solemn Passover, but is it worth the money and lack of effort? This debate’s goal is to determine whether greeting cards are still useful in today’s go-go, take-no-prisoners world. Whatever we decide will go into law, so make sure to read carefully before casting your vote.

Jake: I know that my opinion on the matter of greeting cards will be nothing short of highly controversial. I do, in fact, hate them. I feel like this point is sure to offend many of our female readers, and if it does not, then surely this sexist statement will.

There are so many reasons I am against greeting cards and I could literally talk all day about how much I they offend me. My main reason has to do with the environment (you know, like trees and dirt). I feel like many Americans and world citizens do not really think of the Earth when they purchase things like bottles of water (which they just throw out of their window as they do 90 on the interstate in their SUVs) and greeting cards (which they place on their mantles as if anybody would ever want to see and admire them). Greeting cards are made of paper which comes from trees. Do we really need to cut a tree down in order to send somebody $20 for their high school graduation? Is it necessary to wish a teenaged boy a happy birthday with a card featuring breasts and a breast pun? I think not, and I hope to illustrate my argument even further in my next two points, one of which will refer to Ziggy.

Glenn: Greeting cards are wonderful. It takes a real nihilist to sit there, wearing a paper crown from Burger King, and talk about the wastefulness of something that makes millions of people happy each day. I have as many points in favor of greeting cards as I do the cards themselves (I’ve been collecting them since I was born), but let me hit a few of the strongest first. Greeting cards mean jobs. Failed writers, poets and artists can find employment at greeting card companies that prevent them from landing on skid row. Also, greeting card companies (most famously Hallmark) use their corporate profits to “take care of” the people already living on skid row. You know what I’m talking about. Finally, greeting cards create happiness in a way that not even Zoloft or Wellbutrin can. Think of how happy you were the last time someone sent you a card celebrating Kristallnacht or the Day of Remembrance for Ataturk. Why would you want to deprive someone of that the way the monster Ataturk took away sexist oppression from the Turks?

Jake: Okay, now it is finally time for my second point, and this one is a bit more harsh than the first: greeting cards are shit! They are not funny, and the proof is that Ziggy has appeared on more greeting cards than modern appliances fashioned out of coconuts have appeared on Gilligan’s Island. Gilligan’s Island is also not very funny, but it is way funnier than Ziggy, which means that it elicits more laughter than a greeting card ever could. I have never opened a greeting card and found myself laughing. At best, I have been mildly disgusted and at worst I have gone into a seizure (from a strobe light effect on a card). Why should a tree be cut down in order to have Ziggy calling you a loser on a birthday card? Unfunny things should never be put on paper, which is why One Year In Texas is on the internet and not a ‘zine sold at a communist bookstore.

Glenn: One Year in Texas is funny sometimes! In fact, I have often heard our website described as the “online equivalent of several greeting cards” when I’ve been hiding in the shadows of junior high school locker rooms. You can’t assume every greeting card is Ziggy-based anymore than you can assume every comic in the newspaper is about Ziggy or every news article is about President Obama’s Kenyan heritage. Greeting cards, like Thoreau said about the universe, are wider than our views of them. They can wish people a happy birthday or other things less self indulgent. Additionally, greeting cards are the only way to commemorate special days in your life, like graduation from college or the death of your first born child. They allow people to say things they would never want to say in person, such as “I love you.” Greeting cards have helped me get out of every relationship with a woman I’ve had in the last five years.

Jake: While I find your use of greeting cards to break up with women equally interesting and disturbing, I still cannot help but hate greeting cards with every ounce of vitriol pumping through my body. Besides greeting cards being bad for our environment and painfully unfunny, I also find them to be nothing more but added clutter to my already disordered life. Every year I get, I would approximate, 20 greeting cards. Every single one of them is like a knife stabbing me in the kidneys. Whenever I have some papers that need to be clipped or I simply need a tiny piece of masking tape in order to write the date on some homemade three bean salad in order to prevent spoilage, all I can find is greeting cards. They are stuffed in every drawer and placed upon every available surface. It is enough to drive a person to kill in cold blood, but luckily I have great self control and am simply too lazy to plan a murder. For every person who is like Glenn, spending their lazy Sunday afternoons organizing and laughing at their card collection, there is a person like me who is contemplating murder and it is all because of greeting cards.

Glenn: Whoa. You took this from a very light place to a very dark one. I wish we could go one debate without you using greeting cards as a justification for murder, but given the subject manner I should have known this wasn’t the debate to end that streak. When my friend Brandon graduated high school in 2001 I wrote him a very heartfelt greeting card that explained how important his friendship was to me and that I hoped we would always be friends. I suppose Jake would have rather me kept those sentiments to myself or written them, in my own blood, as part of a suicide note after slitting my own wrists. Sorry but that’s not how I wanted to celebrate my high school graduation even if it’s how I ended up celebrating my college one. I implore everyone reading this debate: go to your local greeting card store (which is surely thriving) and buy a card today in honor of the next major holiday your false religion holds. Write a heartfelt message on that card and at the bottom include a hyperlink to this debate. Then let the recipient be the true judge, as if the smile on his/her face doesn’t tell us all we need to know.

8 comments:

  1. This is one of our most heartfelt debate.

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  2. I want to send this debate a greeting card, but I don't want anyone to die. Is that possible?

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  3. I never realized how much I could hate greeting cards. What an eye-opening debate!

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  4. glenn, how can you support greeting cards when you don't celebrate anything, ever??

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  5. This is easily one of my most favorite debates. I started out firmly on Jake's side, and while I still agree with most of what he says, I now want every future break-up to include greeting cards. Thanks boys.

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  6. This was arguably the best debate of 2010, including every debate between Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons.

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  7. John Candy's GhostJanuary 6, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    hey no one sent me a greeting card when I died

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  8. John Candy, how does that even make sense? The USPS can barely deliver to living people these days, how are they supposed to get you a card in doughnut purgatory or wherever you went?!

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