The Apology Line
March 17, 2004 11:48 AM   Subscribe

The Apology Line was an art project by Allan Bridge. For 15 years, anonymous confessions were collected by an answering machine. Covered by This American Life, and an early Wired Magazine article, The Apology Line predated online confessionals like by over 20 years.

The resulting messages were compiled into tapes. The long out-of-print cassette The Apology Line: Uncut Gems From Year Zero (1980-1981) is available in mp3 form: Side A. Side B. Fascinating, funny, and disturbing, all at once. [via Fluxblog]

posted by bluno (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've always wanted to give this a listen! Thanks!
posted by tiamat at 4:32 PM on March 17, 2004

My mother was bedridden... and I had no job...And when she was hungry or thirsty I use to make her give me money ... to give her a drink, like she’d have to give me five dollars for a glass of water, ten dollars for a sandwich. And now she ... she’s passed away, and I can’t say I’m sorry to her, ’cause I know what I did was probably the most horrible thing in the world, and I’ll never be able to say I’m sorry to her, and I hope I go to hell and burn there for this, because it wasn’t right.

That is a really, really good reason not to do horrible things-- because they follow you around like a nasty smell for the rest of your life.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:38 PM on March 17, 2004

I called that line a long time ago (and no, i won't tell what i said). It's good to hear what others said (i don't feel so bad now).
posted by amberglow at 4:40 PM on March 17, 2004

"I'm only quotin' what--their's quotation marks here. These aren't my thoughts."

The callback thing, the guy who calls and leaves his number a little more than halfway through the first side, and Apology Line Guy calls back; that's amazing.
posted by cortex at 4:46 PM on March 17, 2004

This Web site is dedicated to the memory of Allan Bridge...

Anyone know what happened?
posted by xmutex at 6:10 PM on March 17, 2004

FreeCached links to ease on their bandwidth:
Side A and side B.
posted by Jimbob at 7:43 PM on March 17, 2004

Allan S. Bridge, BFA'66, founder of the Apology Line, died August 11, 1995, in a diving accident off Long Island, NY. He was 50. Bridge was a painter before beginning the Apology Line, a free telephone confessional service, and publishing the accompanying Apology magazine. He is survived by his wife, Merissa Waichunas; his parents; and a brother. -- from here
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on March 17, 2004

Mr. Apology, another detailed essay about all this, is the title piece of a great book of articles by Alec Wilkinson, most of which appeared in The New Yorker. I reviewed it not long ago.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:10 AM on March 18, 2004

I heard about this on a radio programme a couple of months ago, thought, "That's MeFi-worthy," and promptly forgot about either looking it up or posting it here.

Fascinating stuff.

Good Post. [and good use of freecache!]
posted by Blue Stone at 12:30 PM on March 18, 2004

This is a lot like that movie with Leslie Warren.
posted by DenOfSizer at 1:15 PM on March 18, 2004

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