Here’s his description:
Last Christmas, I sold a greeting card celebrating Isaac Newton instead of Jesus. It turned out to be unexpectedly popular. So I’ve designed some more, all on an Objectivist theme. You can actually use these for activism. A birthday or a holiday can be an excuse to send someone a positive message. It’s passive and easy.
I get a bit weary writing what seems like the same letters, giving the same speeches, and grudgingly being drawn into debates I don’t want to have. The thought of giving someone a colorful card with a shocking message in it really is exciting. Of course a greeting card does not replace detailed exposition on philosophy. It’s just a small, and different, way of reaching people.
The culture is sending us insidious messages about ourselves and what our values should be. We can hear it in all forms of media, the language of our politicians, and even social customs. You can’t even have a movie hero who isn’t an alcoholic these days.
So often, in trying to build a culture of individualism, we focus on the horrible things spewing out of Washington. That’s an important battle to have, but it’s only part of a larger whole. We need a culture in which people are not automatically suspicious of anyone with a profit motive, and in which the mystical is mocked and ridiculed and not taken seriously, among other things.
How do you create that? I mean, just think of all the self-deprecating little phrases that people utter to themselves every day. Altruism has crept into absolutely everything.
One way to change it is to be a fearless example of your values. You have to live them, every day, consistently. You have to keep sending the same message, and the right message, tirelessly.
Philosophical messages do not need complex prose to be expressed. An image of a proud man, in the proper context, affirms that the achievement of one’s values is real and possible. And we have very few of those grand images on TV or in the news today.
The future of this culture matters enough to me that I want to use every tool I have to change its course. These cards will start conversations. They will get attention. Find excuses to send them to people you barely know. Wear down the layers of cynicism and apathy and hopelessness drop by drop, like water. Greeting cards are a very small thing, but small things can add up. Like drops of water.
He has cards suitable for birthdays, “Get well soon”, and Christmas. And more designs are on the way.
Thank you, Tod, for your artistry and creativity!