Have you had enough of this damn year? Have you moved well beyond the banana bread, organizing, and sweatpants, phases of quarantine, longing for a new way to express your inner rage as we enter the second wave? Have your neighbors gotten sick of you screaming into the void? (a.k.a. your pillow at 3 a.m.) Do you wish you could just watch the dumpster fire that has been the past 365 days burn from afar ... literally? Well, reader, do I have some good news. You can now email an actual dumpster fire, where your message will be gloriously tossed into a burning trash receptacle emblazoned with "2020" via conveyer belt as the entire process is live-streamed both on Twitch and the organization's HEY Email Research Lab's website.
"What's this experiment all about?" asks a box on HERL's site, entitled notes.txt "Well, 2020's been a rough year. An absolute dumpster fire of a year for a lot of people. That's when it came to us. Can email be a conduit for catharsis? If you could type out an email, press send, and see it being consumed in an actual dumpster fire, would it help reclaim a little bit of what we've lost? Let's find out." The endeavor works fairly simply. Send any text or image you want to destroy in a blaze of glory to their email ("PG-13 rules apply"), live stream the entire fiasco, and "experience catharsis." Let's hope this works -- we need a metric crapton of catharsis right about now.
So who exactly is behind this glorious disaster? Well, aside from the Where's Waldo costume and hoodie sporting strangers who occasionally tend to the blaze, the project is the brainchild of HEY Email research labs related to software company, Basecamp's HEY email division. "Here at the HEY Email Research Lab, we take great pride in pushing the bounds of email technology," reads the site's about page. "We leave no stone unturned or avenue unexplored in pursuit of this lofty goal. Do our experiments have practical applications for HEY? Not usually. But damn it, we're SCIENTISTS. We leave it to the suits upstairs to figure out the rest."
Despite Basecamp only existing since 1999, they claim to have been around for approximately five decades and have several activities their "interns" can complete. "Unfortunately, our budget has been frozen since the late 1970's. To be honest, we're not actually sure the big wigs know our department exists anymore. We put in a request for a new mainframe years ago...:"
Whoever this mysterious team is, it seems they were definitely forward-thinking, launching the feature just in time for everyone's favorite Seinfeld-originating, grievance-airing holiday, Festivus. After all, as @CoachMoneyball wrote in a Twitter post immortalized by Hey Alma, "I think at the end of 2020 the airing of grievances is going to take longer than usual this Festivus," so we better start soon. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to email a copy of this article to the 2020 dumpster fire, where it belongs alongside all the other relics of this damn year. Happy Holidays, folks!