Friday, September 12, 2014

Castor Canadensis: The King's Beavers

I recently worked at a job which had its share of surreal moments, or at least ones I just-so-happened to notice. It's the little things, like checking in the contents of teacher kids to ensure all the educational aides are accounted for. For example, this bag of beaver scat. The texture was perfect - if not a wee bit on the chewy side.

Here is perhaps the most epic rendering of beaver I've ever seen illustrated: Kent Monkman's "The King's Beavers" (2011 acrylic on canvas). Born in Ontario, this was a "gift of the artist and Bruce C. Bailey in honour of Nathalie Bondil to mark the 150th anniversary of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts." Spectacular analogy and, in my humble opinion, one that exists on the same level of poignant metaphor as Spiegelman's Maus.

Some days it's all you can do is keep treading water and desperately keep stuffing the holes in hopes of slowing down the flood of information. The steady deluge of media and people at times triggers our inner beavers to start gathering materials for a mental blockade, just as the instinctual sound of running water does in reality:
"The sound of running water motivates them, indicating a threat to their lodge. Since a beaver lodge must be in water deep enough to permit entry below the ice in winter, any flowing water must be stopped. In one case, a tape recorder playing the sound of running water was left in an area populated by beavers. Within hours, the device was “dammed”—buried in mud!" - Consider the Beaver Stuart Wachowicz, Tomorrow’s World

Lastly, here's a splendid section of samples from Simpson's animator Liz Climo on Tumblr and on her Facebook page. Rarely do I ever even consider using the phrase "too cute" but her critters are the cutest ever.

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