Oct 5 2011

#158 “Yuri Gagarin”

From Adam in Alexandria, Virginia

Shortly after this postcard arrived in the mail, I received the following email from Adam:

Hello there!

I recently submitted a WBS postcard inspired by all the stamps I’ve seen from other postcards along with the ones I place on mine. Back in April 1961, Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and orbited the earth in his capsule under remote control from earth. Sure, it was completely controlled from the ground and he did not need to navigate while out of earth’s atmosphere, but it marked the first time anyone had left the influence of gravity and ventured outwards. Something a lone wolf might do when wandering from the pack to explore!

Then, there is the lure of the moon, that distant orb still calling us forwards. It wouldn’t be until 1969 until we reached that milestone, with an intrepid pack of American explorers who would venture out towards its barren landscape. I left out a few details that the stamp shows, for simplicity. Plus, I changed the captioning on the inscriptions. The top inscription reads “Three howls for the first cosmowolf!” followed by Gagarin’s name and lastly “Howl if you like the moon!” at the bottom.

There are so many ideas out there for stamp-themed WBS cards! I want to transform the faces of Mt. Rushmore into wolves during a night scene, with at least one of the effigies saluting the moon with a hearty howl! Then there are wolf-themed stamps that might be great if rendered as collages of images or text from newspapers and magazines.


Adam in VA

Not only is Adam’s passion inspiring, but his themed artwork successfully proves that “Wolves by Strangers” has the potential to go so much deeper than focusing simply on random pictures of wolves. This one piece of artwork proves that this project can strike a cultural and historical gong, drawing attention to issues and events that transcend all interests and people from all walks of life.

Lupine artwork that explores deeper social issues, questions of morality, political affairs… Imagine the possibilities!

Jun 26 2011

#57 “Wolf vs. T-Rex”

From a stranger somewhere in the U.S.

Let’s face it, conflict is a part of life. Whether it be with others (interpersonal) or with ourselves (intrapersonal), we are all engaged in conflict in some way on nearly a daily basis. While we largely claim that we don’t like conflict, it is undeniable that we find it interesting. In truth, we thrive on conflict. We love it. It intrigues us. Not only do we academically discuss why conflict occurs and how to avoid it and deal with it, but if we are really truthful with ourselves, most of us will admit that we sometimes even enjoy stirring up contention in the lives of others; and this includes our friends as well as our enemies.

Additionally, in this day and age, observing conflict has literally become a central part of many forms of entertainment. One of the reasons why we love reality television so much is because it focuses (almost exclusively in some cases) on interpersonal discord. Is this a problem? I’m not really sure, but it certainly seems to be true.

I will admit that I am addicted to conflict in my own life, in some very large as well as very small ways. An example of one of those minor ways is the fact that I have just recently become enamored with a television show called “The Deadliest Warrior.” The premise of the show is not simply about conflict; it actually comprises the show in its entirety. You see, every episode focuses on fictionally pitting warriors from various cultures and time periods against one another and discovering (based on physical prowess, weaponry and skills) which warrior would prevail in a battle to the death.

Overall, “The Deadliest Warrior” can be a bit cheesy and far-fetched at times, but the analysis of much of the weaponry seems fairly accurate. I especially enjoying watching the damage that the weapons experts are able to inflict upon the blood-packed ballistic dummies that are often used during demonstrations. Yes, the love of gratuitous violence did not pass me by.

I mention all of this simply to say that this fantastically creative postcard brings to mind this interesting concept of speculating the victor in a conflict between unusual combatants. The only difference here is that the subjects are animals and not human warriors.

So who would win in a battle between the gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex and the small but ferocious wolf? The answer may seem obvious, but if there is anything that I have learned from “TDW” it is that brute strength and physical prowess doesn’t always triumph over an advanced skill set of offensive techniques. This was recently displayed in a simulated engagement between a Maori Warrior and a Shaolin Monk. Although the deciding factor in this fight was most likely the use of steel weapons by the monks, I had foolishly assumed that the brute force of the Maori Warrior would prevail. Ultimately, I was disappointed, and the discipline, training and intellect of the monk made him the warrior triumphant.

So once again, who would win in a fight to the death between the terrible T-Rex and the wily wolf? I still haven’t weighed all of the data, but I don’t think we should jump to any conclusions. If nothing else, this piece has certainly given us something to “chew on.”