Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Time To Kiss An Elephant

It's true what they say about graduate school. Whatever it is that they say. 

Anyway, six weeks later, all my great ambitions for being excellent at posting here at GC have been called out. 

HOWEVER! A dream of mine is underway, and it's called the Kiss an Elephant project. Here's an example by Kelsey, my sis who has already claimed space as one of the "stars" of the project. She is rapidly getting defeated by Lindsey! It's already very exciting.

Here's how it works: 

1) you go to visit www.kissanelephant.tumblr.com
2) you are inspired by all the pictures, and read the "Why Should I Kiss an Elephant?" page.
3) Maybe you also read a rad GC post on elephants.
4) You start looking out for elephants in your daily life.
5) You find one, you snap a photo on your phone of you kissing it, and
6) You send the photo to me, via the tumblr blog or all the many other easy ways of contacting/finding me, and
7) VOILA!!! We build an enormous collection of Kiss an Elephant photos, and the whole creative potential of the internet is once again realized! Baci baci baci!

I've already been told that this is a silly idea. I agree it's silly. I've been told it's dumb. Oh darlings, I beg to differ. In fact, I'm taking a totally irresponsible break from working on a seminar paper during finals week to tell you why it's so important to me.

It's not just that I love elephants, which I do. It's not just that I think elephants are important symbols to consider in literary-historical, art-historical, spiritual-historical, and global-community contexts, which I do. It's not just that I like the idea of collecting a lot of pictures, which I do. And it's not just that getting people to participate in community art projects makes me giddy with joy, which it does. IT'S ALL OF THESE THINGS AT ONCE. Every time someone sends me a new picture, it's a brand new moment of joy.

Maybe I'm addicted to joy. Send me pictures, because I'm not ready to quit.

I have a vision for this project that involves THOUSANDS of photos from all around the world, submitted by people I know and don't know. I have a vision for a pack of elephant-kissing-agents who send me pictures on a regular basis and develop their own little character arcs on the blog. I have a vision for a ridiculous amount of pleasure getting derived (by me, and by many others) from the hunt for new elephants to kiss, the occasional moment of kissing a REAL elephant, the hilarity of a volume of photos of people kissing elephants, which is a really weird thing to do.

As a person who does graduate study in many utterly un-whimsical things, I stand in valiant, prankish, eccentric and sensual pleasured delight at this project. 

I really, really hope you join me. I hope you facebook this, and tweet this, and make it your personal mission to find an elephant to kiss, to find people who want to find an elephant to kiss, and to contact me with your own moments of whimsical celebration of community embodied in your kissing of elephants.

Yes. I'm serious.


  1. lol I'm down. If I see an elefante I'm puckering up!

    PS JUST finished your book and I must tell you I sincerely loved it...Great job Vanessa :)

    Can't wait to read what's next!

  2. Thanks Tish! Can't wait to see your picture. And thanks for commenting on the book. Just had a short story published in Juked Magazine (print issue #8) if you're on a mission...

    I definitely need some elefantes, oliphants, hathi, slon, and Al-Feels!

  3. This is the weirdest blog of yours yet. That's probably a good sign. I can't wait for the kiss a hippo sequel.

  4. Hahaha! You crack me up. Next time I go to my Grammy's house and sleep in her elephant room, I'll be sure to kiss an elephant... or two or three... just for you. ;-)

  5. the idea of an Elephant Room makes me jealous. Although, my room is getting there.