Design & politics & newspapers who fire cartoonists for mocking pipeline companies

prime minister stephen harper satirized by ex_province newspaper cartoonist dan murphy

Well it’s the last day of 2012, the end of another alarming year in a string of alarming years. These are not times to be proud of in Vancouver, in British Columbia or especially in Canada.

Still, the First Nations-led movement known as Idle No More is a sign of hope that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in serious trouble. And the other positive note is that we still have our sense of humour. Even if that sense of humour will no longer appear in the paper, now that all our cartoonists have been fired.

These animations are by recently fired newspaper cartoonist Dan Murphy. Actually to be accurate, Dan wasn’t exactly fired; his position was just axed, as were those of cartoonists in the other newspapers in Postmedia, the corporate news chain that dominates B.C. papers. This was precipitated by Dan’s first satirical video about the proposed Enbridge pipeline, an animated cartoon that was pulled from the paper’s website after complaints from Enbridge. (Let’s hope the Streisand Effect now plagues The Province newspaper for that act.) The whole story is here and the video is below:

I know there’s been a lot of politics in this design blog over the past few years, but at the risk of repeating myself, it’s never possible to separate design from economics and politics, even if the umbilical cord connecting them is sometimes invisible. All you have to do is look at the godawful generic corporate skyline of Vancouver to see this connection right away. As I must do daily. For a designer, it is irksome to witness the way rampant jockeying for power and money so utterly ruins the design and the tone of our immediate environment.

Here’s to a better 2013 in which we fight the outrageous conditions of this new gilded age and win.

PS Dan Murphy’s on Twitter.

Dan Murphy cartoon on B.C. fracking

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply