The Sultans Elephant

The Sultans Elephant

I heard about this earlier, but then didn’t see anything until again recently. Back in the spring of 2007, a spectacle of sorts took place in London. First, a large wooden egg/ship/whatever ‘crashed’, then a little girl (about 50″ tall) emerged a few days later to be greeted by a 3-4 story fully animated wooden elephant. Over the course of the next few days, it walked through the city – run by puppeteers – and was called The Sultan’s Elephant. It was run by Royal de Luxe – a gang of street performers. All I can say is amazing.

One of the things that I think we miss out on in our modern society is spectacles of giant scale like this. In some background research, it looks like the troupe took about 5 years to get this together (while doing other things of course).  But spectacles of this sort are still rare in our time.  The closest we usually come until now has been big-stadium games or arena concerts – maybe the Apollo rockets of the 70’s. But things that are done on a large scale like this have a much different and more impactful experience than I ever expected. I remember seeing the Sharon Apple concert sequence of Macross Plus and being absolutely floored (still one of the most amazing Anime sequences ever shot) at the time (early 90’s). But as increasingly amazing/unreal generated images are shown every day via tv and movie – I think we are slowly becoming accustom to this level of fantastical-ness. But to see something real like the Sultan’s Elephant, larger than life, and mind blowing – is something really unique still – and powerful.  Those that can do this, and with amazing skill/artistry – win big.  Witness Cirque du Soliel success – but also the fountains of Las Vegas’ Bellagio, the collection of folks that participate in online viral marketing, etc.

Makes me as where are our ‘7 Wonders of the World’ today.  For the pinnacle of our human technology and knowledge, we don’t seem to be making as many as our past.  Ones that really pull together the best of the best of our technology and artistry on a grand scale to leave a real mark on history. We’re not doing it because we can’t – but because we aren’t. Now I’m not a big fan of dumping money into huge pits – but we are the most technologically advanced generation that has ever existed, but yet we don’t do things like the ancients did with far less.  But I feel that is ripe for change. If people are no longer wowed by the effects they see on screen or on TV – it’s time to pull them into reality and really amaze.

The finale is here:

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