Sincerely, thank you! We raised…

NGCI 037087, Wild WONE7949, CORE NONE7949

UPDATE (8/23):  A $25 donation was made in my honor on August 22, 2014, raising the total amount of funds raised (see below)!

Hello everyone.  First, let me begin by saying thank you to everyone who supported Cause an Uproar, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and Save the Elephants this week, in honor of my birthday.  Last year, we raised a total of $175 for wildlife conservation.  It was my goal to exceed that amount – and I’m happy to announce – we did!  See what we raised per charity, then see the total below.

Cause an Uproar – for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, between three confirmed donations, we raised $55!  Last Sunday, I vowed to donate 25% of my income – however, a slow day meant an actual donation of 50% ($20) to commemorate World Lion Day!

Rorogoi - Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Rorogoi – Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The David Shedlrick Wildlife Trust – for the Kenyan orphanage run by world renowned author and environmentalist Dame Daphne Sheldrick, between three confirmed donations, we raised $100, including the fostering of an elephant orphan!  As a gift to myself, I made a $50 donation on Wednesday to foster Rorogoi, a beautiful elephant orphan rescued by the trust in 2012. A milk-dependent Rorogoi survived for over a month on her own and found refuge on a compassionate farmer’s land before her rescue.  Born August 10, 2012 (the would-be birthday of my Grandmother), she touched a special place in my heart and I’m extremely proud to be part of Rorogoi’s journey moving forward!

Save the Elephants – Save the Elephants is a notable charity because 100% of donated funds are transferred to the field.  So the money we raised, $125 between three confirmed donations, goes directly to the front-line in the battle against the Ivory Trade.

That’s a grand total of $280 raised to save elephants and big cats!  Oh, and there’s one other thing I forgot to mention – I’ve been vocal on social media (notably twitter) this week about these causes.  I tagged The Olive Garden in one of my tweets this week – and have captured their attention.  They’re interested to learn more about saving big cats and elephants.  This coming week (Tuesday, August 19), I’ll be discussing my goal and these causes with Olive Garden’s media relations!

Again, THANK YOU all!  Together, we are helping to make this world a better place for our majestic and iconic cohabitants of our planet.

Fostering Rorogoi

Rorogoi - Sheldrick Wildlife TrustOn August 14, through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, I opted to foster Rorogoi, a beautiful elephant orphan.

Born August 10, 2012, Rorogoi was 14 months old when she was rescued by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  Following a likely incident of poaching, Rorogoi survived for over a month on her own.  How she did this is a mystery.  However, her incredible story of heartbreak and survival – and of the farmer who offered her refuge is truly remarkable.  I’m proud to be part of her journey moving forward.

If you’d like to foster an orphaned elephant or rhinoceros calf ($50/year minimum), please visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – Fostering Program.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of these majestic and iconic cohabitants of our planet.

“Hello August,” said the Elephant.

Elephant - Nat. Geo. 3

“Hello August,” said the Elephant.

August could not reply, for August was nothing tangible with which the Elephant could communicate.  But the Elephant knew she was in the presence of August – in the presence of the waning African winter.  She had survived another minute – another hour – another day – another month.  She’d survived another season, and after many moons, another year.  She dragged her trunk across blades of grass wetted by the brief morning rain, and her feet sank, just a bit further, into the ground.

As she pressed on, her great ivory tusks parted the grasses before her – and her feet left a telling trail in her wake.  The sun rose on the first day of August and as it did, the morning’s droplets vanished – into either dirt or air.  Cooler than summer but still warm by standards, August remained able to hug the Elephant, teasing spring warmth while filling her trunk with its wintry fragrance.  The Elephant grazed as she waded through grass, then she crossed a river and took a nap.

This particular nap was one from which the Elephant never awoke.  Murder came in her sleep, and thievery came after death.  Stripped of her ivory, in the Serengeti her body stayed – and to the Elephant, August said, “Goodbye.”

-Bobby James

“Hello August,” said the Elephant, (c) 2014


Sincerely, thank you, we raised…

Welcome to August, my birth month!

The above poem, “Hello August,” said the Elephant, was crafted to be a tragically beautiful conservation piece.  Last year, for my birthday, my only wish was to raise money for the conservation of elephants (and big cats).  I created a painting and asked readers to save the picture and use it as their social media image for a day – my birthday (August 12).  This year, I’m asking you to share my poem.  By spreading the message, it is my hope that attention becomes action – so that one day, I may craft an ending where the Elephant lives.

As I march toward August 12th, and the year I’m dubbing “the great 28,” I find my wish to be the same – to do what I can to make a difference.  That’s why this year I’m asking you all to join me again!  In lieu of birthday cards or gifts, I’m asking you to make a donation to one of the following conservation organizations in my honor – then send an e-mail to me letting me know (please) – bobby.james.myers@gmail.com :

Links provided – just click the charity you’d like to give to and it’ll take you directly to the donation page.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

“The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.” (from website)

Save The Elephants / Wildlife Conservation Network

“[Save The Elephants] Our mission: to secure a future for elephants and to sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live; to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.” (from website)

Cause an Uproar

“Populations of lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, and other top felines are declining at an alarming rate. They are victims of habitat loss and degradation as well as conflicts with humans. In response, National Geographic, with filmmakers, conservationists, and Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, launched the Big Cats Initiative, a comprehensive program that supports on-the-ground conservation and education projects combined with our Cause an Uproar global public-awareness campaign.

Cause an Uproar and join us in working to ensure that our future is not without these majestic creatures.” (from website)

Last year, we raised $175 for the conservation of the world’s elephants and big cats.  This year, I’m hoping to match – or exceed that amount.  In addition to funds raised on my birthday I’m declaring that 25% of my earnings on Sunday, August 10 will be donated to Cause an Uproar – as a memorial for my Grandma Sarah (who would have been 77 this year) and to commemorate World Lion Day!

Join me.  Let’s do some good together and if you need anymore convincing, see the gallery below.  Thank you.

New Art | The Faces of Elephants

It’s been just about a month since I’ve shared any new art with you – that’s because I’ve been busy working on various other projects (ex. Boug & S’More: A Swamp Tale [novel] and a poetic sexual odyssey), which you could note by following me on twitter or Instagram (@TheBobbyJames).

Yesterday I managed to create two pieces – the first remains untitled, so I’m leaving that up to you:

Title TBD

Title TBD

Title TBD. Watercolor, (c) 2014. Bobby James.

This is my first foray into freehand painting with watercolor.  I used various brushes to create the image, then used my fingers to add strokes of yellow.  To finish the piece, I mixed in some additional water to splatter paint for the final effect.  Pretty simple, really.  I woke up, had a vision and knew I wanted to experiment with a medium I’ve never really used before.

I love this piece – but I cannot seem to find the right title.  I’d been toying with calling it “Elephants in the Wind,” but I figured, why not let someone else decide?  So leave your suggestion in the comments section below – or on social media using the hashtag #NameTheElephants and I’ll use the title I love best! :)

Next, I present:

The Faces of Elephants

The Faces of ElephantsThis piece began as a doodle while I was having coffee with my friend Pete.  Earlier this year, Pete and I decided to have what we call “art dates.” These “dates” are used to not only be social, but to share creative ideas while an organic, creative process occurs in public – the people at Starbucks love us (I think), well, I know they like the art at least.

Pete sketches forms and figures mostly and I let my mind wander into an abstract place (Breath of Life and The Spring of Life were created this same way [see below]).  During our outing, I drew the top left swirl in the image.  From there, the rest of The Faces of Elephants was born.  You’ll notice there is a great deal of symbolism.  Are the trunks phallic in nature?  Are the tusks suggestive of bondage?  Are people consuming the elephants or are elephants existing harmoniously?  These are some of the thoughts I hope this piece inspires.

What else do The Faces of Elephants say to you?  What do you see? I’m curious to know your response.  I can tell this abstraction is influenced by the sexual odyssey I’m composing.  Can you?

To view more of my art, CLICK HERE


Here are the two pieces referenced above:  Breath of Life and The Spring of Life.

The Bobby James Awards: A Comment and Update

As you may or may not be aware, The Bobby James Awards date back to 2002, when I decided to create a year-end list for the “Best of WWE.”

Since that time, I’ve expanded my year-end rankings to include movies, television, music and TNA Impact Wrestling.  This post, however, is about the film categories and history – which are listed as having began in 2007.  For several years though, I’ve been haunted (for lack of a better term) by the fact that some of the movies and performances I most admire and treasure haven’t had the opportunity to be honored or recognized – by me.  Yet, in conversations related to all things movies, I find myself constantly referencing some of these titles, actors, characters, scores, etc. and find one (Brokeback Mountain) among my all-time favorite movies.

This post serves to provide notice that I’m dating the “Film” categories back to 2005.  All “award” recipients will have an asterisk placed by their name (for 2005, 2006), and below the category, this note shall be referenced.

View the Updated Film Awards History Here

A Media Comment: Animated Feature ≠ “Kid’s Movie”

"Hiccup" from DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon 2

“Hiccup” from DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2

Have you seen DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 yet? If not, do so – it’s a fantastic animated feature that, in a roundabout way, is the basis for this post.  While I was surfing Facebook, I saw Moviepilot Animation’s article:  So Let’s Talk About How To Train Your Dragon’s Gay Character.  Upon completing the article, I read through a few of the responses, but the top rated response said:

“He is not gay…my god its. A kids movie..people are such idiots trying to make something out of nothing…get a hobby!”

While those of you who know me may think this will focus on the emergence of openly gay characters in animated movies, it won’t.  Trust me, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a research article analyzing gay characters in animated movies.  That project looks more like a go every day.  Instead, I’m going to comment on why ANIMATED FEATURE does not equal KID’S MOVIE.

This is something that’s bothered me immensely over the years, leaving me curious to know:  Why do so many people say animated movies are just for kids? Is it the bright and bold color, the catchy musical numbers (ahem, Frozen - I know, I should just “Let It Go”), or is it simply because it’s animated? A cartoon.  I can’t figure it out.

Now, if you’re like me, you love animated features – and you like to go to the theater while schools are in session, so that you may enjoy them without all the chatterbox-children around.  But doesn’t it just so happen that kids are almost always on break when the animated features flood the box office? It does. Then, you go to the theater not thinking much of it and surprise! A million kids.  The kids aren’t the problem though, it’s their chaperoning adult(s), right?

I generally make it a point to see every animated feature that comes out.  I’ve loved them since I was a child – and since the emergence of Pixar, the ante’s been upped!  Many more animated features are sophisticated and contain social commentaries (ex. openly gay characters emerging in animated features), subtle humor and storylines for adults.  The [mostly] breathtaking animation is still there, but that’s for the enjoyment of everyone right? So I can’t figure out why when I walk into a theater full of kids I’m shot a dirty look from time to time.  Am I not allowed to see an animated feature in theaters if I don’t have children?  Because I’m seeing the movie alone, am I weird? …or worse, a suspected pedophile?

On countless occasions, I’ve had friends tell me they wanted to see whatever the newest animated feature was, but they can’t go alone because “it’d be weird.” Why is it weird? Why can grown men or women not go see an animated movie alone? Who says and what authority do they have? Then I think, it all comes back to this idea that animated features are “Kids’ Movies.”

Newsflash: They’re not.

Animated features, like all other Hollywood productions are rated in accordance with the MPAA.  Generally, these movies are rated G or PG (you can explore all that who, how, etc. here), but that alone doesn’t mean the movie is strictly for kids. When I envision kid-centric entertainment, I think of programming like Baby Einstein, or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, just to list some obvious (TV) examples.

Carl and Ellie from Disney-Pixar's Up

Carl and Ellie from Disney-Pixar’s Up

Have you seen the Shrek or Ice Age franchises? I don’t think I need to elaborate on all of that adult humor.  What about more subtle movies like Disney-Pixar’s Up?  The entire Carl-Ellie relationship is adult-oriented, as is the “Married Life” montage.  Sure, it’s brightly colored and full of wondrous imagination and imagery, but Up‘s core (its heart) appeals to both children and adults.  My point is, these animated features are made for the enjoyment of everyone.

By design, animated features resonate with each of us differently.  They could inspire a child to become an animator.  They are proponents of imagination (children may want to be ruling princesses or explorers imagining great adventures of their own).  In the same way kids are inspired, adults may find humor, they may reminisce of days gone by, or they may be inspired themselves.  An adult may write that book or screenplay they always wanted to write, or to take the adventure they’d always imagined (I went to New Orleans in 2012 because of The Princess and the Frog), or just to laugh and love as much as the animated feature suggests.  Through the lens of adulthood we “see” and take away more from animated features, we understand their souls and not just the pretty pictures.

Now please, don’t think my last statement discredits a child’s ability to understand a movie (or any piece of media or art).  I’m the last person that would do that.  In fact, in my own endeavors, I find myself fighting for the kids, saying they deserve complexity, subtlety and perfection in the media they may consume.  What I am saying, is that adults have a greater understanding (sometimes) and that just because it’s animated doesn’t mean it’s not for them too.

Call it a Family Movie or better yet, just call it what it is – an animated feature or an animated movie – but unless it’s directly stated to be so, don’t call it a “Kid’s Movie.”  Recognize they’re made for the enjoyment of everyone – take away the weirdness and the odd looks.  Give everyone the chance to be inspired, just because you’re grown doesn’t mean you don’t need it.   Go watch any one of your childhood favorites now, and as Beauty and The Beast suggests:

“There may be something there that wasn’t there before.”

I’d like to know, is there a movie you feel bridges the gap between childhood and adulthood?  What are some of your favorite animated moments or quotes?  How about your favorite animated characters and why? What themes do you see in animated features that appeal to adults?  Let’s talk in the comments section!