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Jim Carrey - "There are no stamps!"

Aside from achieving a widespread lack of fame through non-stamp collecting, Jim Carrey is also known for his work as a comedian and actor. Jim refused all our requests for an interview. However, eventually a handwritten note was slipped to us, out from under his Hollywood door. 

It read, 'Jim isn't home anymore. In fact, Jim Carrey hasn't been home for a several years now, and he doesn't even know who the Jim Carrey is that you speak of. But you know what, anything you wish to say on behalf of Jim Carrey is as real as anything Jim Carrey would have to say on behalf of himself. So go ahead and just make something up. It will be true enough, for there is a little bit of Jim Carrey in all of us.'

Andy Kaufman - a man who spent his entire life not being Jim Carrey

When Jim was a teenager, his family fell on hard times and found themselves living in the back of a Volkswagen van.  

Jim says, "At that time I use to carry around a copy of, The self-evident Aphorisms of Fukashima, for Ordinary Occasions. One of the most obvious things Fukashima ever said was, 'A rich man is just a poor man with a lot of money.' That resonated with me.

Fukashima didn't collect stamps, and I figured he drew all of his wisdom from that. I guess that's when my disinterested in stamps really kicked off. 

But you know, life sometimes gets in the way of living, and I let non-collecting slip into the background when I achieved fame and fortune. 

It came back it though. It came back with a bang whilst portraying the life of Andy Kaufman, in the 1999 film, Man on the Moon

I plunging so deeply into the role of Andy Kaufman that I actually became Andy Kaufman. Even his real family and friends, those who'd know Andy before his death, they started interacting with me as if I was the real Andy. And in all honesty, I was.  

The actors that were playing the roles of prominent folk in Andy's life also became the people they were portraying. 

Off-screen, around the film set, in the hotels, and in the dressing rooms, we were all totally swallowed up in being other people. None of us were acting, at least no more than we act when playing ourselves. When I was Andy Kaufman, I even yearned for the approvel of Andy's father."

"Kaufman was also an avid non-stamp collector," Jim Carrey said. "He'd drawn a lot of inspiration from Hamish 'Hamish' Smythe and his experimental non-collecting.

Smythe lived in East Germany in the 1960s. He volunteered as as a paper shredder during the cold war. Smythe developed the, aggressive/passive technique of non-collecting.

Smyth was passionately disinterested in stamp collecting, and he was even less interested in photography.

After the filming of Man on the Moon, I couldn't suddenly stop being Andy Kaufman and go back to being Jim Carrey. Afterall, I'd been Kaufman so thoroughly, and for so many months.

When I was Andy, I realized through my interest in Hamish' Hamish' Smythe that I, Andy Kaufman, needed to become passional disinterested in myself, to become Jim Carrey again.

In his book, Contemporary Stamp Indifference, Hamish 'Hamish' Smythe wrote, 'To be neither absent or present, to be a non-person, to not exist at all, to dissolve into nothingness, and hence come to be an authentic, non-self—that is the ultimate in spirituality, wisdom and art.'

That hit me like a brick when I was Tony Clifton, who Andy Kaufman used to be from time to time. When I was Andy, and Andy was being Tony, it suddenly dawned on me that there are no stamps! There are just these small, rectangular things, with sculpted edges, sticky gum on the back, and a colorful yet meaningless image on the front. But in essence, there really aren't any stamps for us to collect at all! This single epiphany lifted a great weight off my shoulders. I was free at last."

"Fame and fortune do not lead to happiness. That comes through knowing there are no stamps." - Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman as Tony Clifton

Jim Carrey said, "I soon came to understand there is also no Jim Carrey. There is just a jumble of thoughts and energies using his name and postal address. Some other energies are now saying Jim Carrey has gone mad, that he needs to be locked up. But that's ok. All these ideas and energies are now at peace, even when in conflict. And best of all, none of it matters at all.

As I once told a reporter, 'I wanted to find the most meaningless thing I could fucking come to and join. And here I am!'

She assumed I was talking about that time and place, on that red carpet. But I was referring to all of life, to all of existence, and to not collecting stamps."


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