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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Faxlore


Faxlore is a sort of folkore consisting of humorous texts, poetry, art, and urban legends circulated -- not by word-of-mouth -- by fax machine, copy-machines. Photocopylore is a popular alternative. Typically Faxlore is subversive and mocks typical workplaces/values. It promulgates at the grass-roots level, person to person, similarly to email chain letters.

The "Blue Star acid tattoo" legend is a notable example of Faxlore. The fax states that a temporary lick-and-stick tattoo soaked in acid/LSD and made in the form of a blue star (the logo of the Dallas Cowboys is often mentioned), or of popular children's cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson, is being distributed to children in the area in order to get them "addicted to LSD."

The legend possibly originated from the fact that an LSD solution is sometimes soaked in blotter paper and sold. The flyer lists an inaccurate description of the effects of LSD, some attribution (typically to a well-regarded hospital or a vaguely specified "adviser to the president"), and instructs parents to contact police if they come across the blue star tattoos. No actual cases of LSD distribution to children in this manner have been documented.

While the growth of the internet has significantly reduced the prevalence of Faxlore, especially as chat-rooms, instant messaging, social networking sites, and other venues provide more popular methods for deploying the typical fare of Faxlore. Nonetheless, Faxlore exists in small amounts, usually for nostalgic enjoyment.

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