It’s safe to assume that most fan mail intended for global superstars comes to the same resting place. Namely, the bin. What else are idols (and their management) expected to do with the thousands of letters that arrive day after day? But it would be a PR disaster to admit that anything else happens to them other than being read with great interest and treasured forever.
So pity Taylor Swift’s “people” who are having to try and explain why a Nashville resident discovered piles of unopened mail intended for the pop star, all “covered with pictures, hearts, and sparkles”, in a dumpster. Naturally the Swifties (her followers, apparently) are not happy.
Nobody expects celebrities to reply to every piece of gushing prose but it would serve them well to occasionally respond to a chosen few in a brilliant manner, which in the internet age inevitably goes viral. Such as the creator of Ren and Stimpy, John Kricfalusi, who answered one budding cartoonist’s fan mail with a letter teaching him how to draw. Or Steve Martin’s hilarious typed-out mock-personal notes. Even Barack Obama’s reply to a young girl with gay parents that “no two families look the same” was an internet hit and a PR triumph.
But if you’re really sick of all the praise you can always do the same as Ringo Starr who, a few years ago, posted a video on his website begging admirers to stop writing to him as he was too busy to read or reply and everything he received from then on would “be tossed”.
Oh and Taylor? Burning won’t leave behind an incriminating paper trail...