When I was young, I collected stamps. I liked pretty ones: garish colors, cute animals, and, after I reached puberty, attractive women. My tastes have not changed. I no longer collect stamps because of two things there's a lot of going around: Everything costs more, and everybody got greedy.
Stamps were more quiet and restrained in appearance then. Today many of them, including the ones the US Postal Service issues, look like something from a child's sticker book. I like a lot of them, but I also like the subtler, elegantly engraved stamps of my childhood and before. The wonders of the Web allow me to look at pictures of both kinds of stamps, and I enjoy doing so.
The icon for this post is my symbol for nostalgia: a stamp I loved in childhood and still appreciate the appearance of. As the Platters were vulgar trashy loud lewd rock and roll when I first listened to them and are now Easy Listening, so this stamp was once marked by its color and shape as the garish product of a small country obviously avid for the Yankee dollar.
A Horrible Example of what happened to postage stamps was the small Asian country of Bhutan, which printed stamps on all sorts of materials that were not made for them (plastic, metal) and would honor anything people would pay for. The ultimate inadvertent satirical extension was stamps that could be played as records. Here’s a post about it.
Thanx to Metafilter
ETA: Oh, and while I am at it: Those four ugly, vague things the Postal Service is going to excrete for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek are presumably what they are reduced to when they don’t want to pay royalties.