Thursday, May 8, 2014

Elephant Jokes

I told my friend Carrie Paris "You'll know I'm getting desperate when you start seeing Circus Animals acting out scenes from Waite-Smith!"

Well, I'm not desperate yet, but this elephant just spoke to me so eloquently about the 8 of Cups that I could not resist; aside from which, I'd already decided that I wanted as many elephants as I could possibly get in the watery, emotional suit of cups. 

The perception that all circus animals (especially elephants) are mistreated is just as inaccurate as it is to say that all are treated well. The fact is that many circus elephants have been sorely mistreated, while others have been cared for and loved. These things vary from circus to circus and trainer to trainer. Those who believe that ALL captivity is wrong, no matter the circumstances, are to my mind misguided: how much better to be a captive animal living in relative comfort, than to be killed and chopped up by poachers who want and use only the tusks? Which, honestly, is the more serious problem?

Elephants are intelligent and emotional, which makes mistreatment, where and when it exists, all the worse. I don't by any means condone animal mistreatment, but I can't join the crowd that says "Shut Down all The Circuses." Clearly, what's needed is a form of self-regulation that is both meaningful and enforceable. 

Moving Right Along.

I'm not entirely happy with the arrangement and placement of the buckets in my card design, so that may change between now and publication. But the idea behind the design is a good one, I think. This is a card that typically means "Time to Move On," or "The Decision Lies Before You -- Whether or Not to Move On and Put the Past to Rest."

My elephant -- having drunk down all of the water in all eight of those buckets -- is off to seek a more sustainable new and future supply. Perhaps this is one of those unhappy elephants that has been abused by its trainer. Whatever the reason, this elephant is Leaving the circus tent in search of a greener world beyond. The design went through two versions and Carrie Paris was the one who nudged me back onto the track. The subject of the card cannot be seen as "Going To," but must be one of "Moving Away."

"All Out and Over"is a circus phrase meaning "The Show is Done. Strike the Tents," The Circus has Been and Done it's thing, hopefully to acclaim and success, but a circus that doesn't Move On is doomed to fail. When I was looking for a keyword to place on this card, that phrase is the one that most resonated with me. 

-- Freder