There really is a connection between painting elephants and Web2.0. I promise.... just give me a second and I'll come up with something. First, I discovered the video on Twitter (thanks @blmurch). I can post it to my blog courtesy of YouTube and Blogger. I can research it's authenticity via Wikipedia (smart elephants), snopes.com, or watching Mythbusters (I'm sure they're working on this episode right now). I can just see Jamie and Adam digging out the silicone to make Buster a trunk and thinking hard about which part of painting requires explosives. I could probably buy a painting elephant on eBay or at least sell one of its gargantuan dung piles as long as it looked like the Virgin Mary. I could BE an painting elephant in Second Life and I could adopt an elephant at elephantsanctuary.org (the ones that can paint always find homes first). I could create a Painting Elephants profile on Facebook and see how many other painting species I can friend. If you just want the art and not the hassle of feeding a painting elephant, you can browse and buy these works of wonders at elephantartgallery.com.
So meanwhile, back in Thailand. I tend to believe in the outrageous so I think this elephant is really painting. If you look in the background, you'll see lots of elephants painting and I don't see any of them being beaten and they don't look like they're starving. Not that I'd know what a starving elephant looks like. You'd think they would start eating the brush or something. Heck, if they are smart enough to do self-portraits, they should be able to go make themselves a ham sandwich. Or at least paint "help me" on the canvas instead of some flower.