From the Enlightenment to the Endarkenment – cartoon.
When I drew this cartoon I was very pleased when the term “The Endarkenment” came into my head as an original thought. I looked it up later and found that it’s been thought of before, to describe the same phenomenon.
I use it as a term for the current trend towards anti-rational thought, which includes anti-scientific, anti-historical and anti-establishment thought (I like to think I’m a bit anti-establishment myself, but definitely not anti-scientific or anti-historical).
The statue that is being toppled in the Endarkenment frame of the cartoon is based on the current phenomenon of the iconoclastic toppling of statues of establishment figures who are possibly linked to the slave trade (Many of them are, but the action is largely motivated by emotion, with little regard for historical context).
Drawn: September 2020
Cartoon reference number: a851
Culture wars cartoon – race and science in universities.
Culture wars are raging in universities and academic institutions across the western world. They are raging elsewhere too, but the culture wars in, say, the Islamic world, are different to the ones in the west.
The west’s culture wars often circle around subjects such as race and gender and identity politics that exist within the ‘woke’ analysis of culture.
At the time of drawing this cartoon the subject of race is very much to the fore, with movements such as BLM (Black Lives Matter) having a very high profile.
In academia many subjects in the social sciences are currently analysed through the perspective of critical race theory (CRT).
This cartoon illustrates a tendency to apply critical race theory to subjects where it has no relevance or where its relevance is overstated.
Drawn: September 2020
Cartoon reference number: a849
The outcome of multiple life conditions on opportunity and outcome – intersectionality cartoon
This illustration was drawn for Marxism Today magazine in the mid 1980s.
It features a machine into which babies enter at the top and adults leave at the bottom.
The machine represents the workings of society, with tubes and pipes representing functions such as education, class, race, gender etc.
The adults leaving the machine have all been filtered through the various parts of the machine to produce different types of people. The types of people are produced to suit the conditions and needs of society.
The illustration could be interpreted as being about what is now called intersectionality (although it was drawn in about 1984 or 1985, before the term intersectionality was coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw).
Drawn: mid 1980s
Cartoon reference number: a845
Hate speech cartoon or hate crime cartoon.
A comment on the fact that the UK laws around hate crime and hate speech only apply to actions or comments directed at people because they are members of a number of five specific groups. Expressions of hatred on account of a person’s colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability are forbidden. Amongst other things the categories don’t include class, which I find intriguing, meaning that calling a working class person riff-raff is okay!
Drawn: August 2020
Cartoon reference number: a838
Hate crime cartoon
A cartoon about the widening definition of hate crime
The definition of hate crime seems to be in danger of spreading so that it encompasses some minor or petty slights or insults.
Cartoon reference number: a767
Post truth cartoon or conspiracy theory cartoon.
Truth and facts being ignored in favour of emotional or prejudiced viewpoints.
The concept of ignoring the facts when reaching a decision about something, and letting the heart rather than the head rule, seems to be a phenomenon that’s on the rise. It has recently been labelled ‘post truth’.
In the cartoon I’ve linked it to the phenomenon of conspiracy theories, which are frequently used as a way of justifying irrational or unproven ideas.
The rise of post truth tendencies is said to be linked to people’s increasing use of social media via phones and electronic media and the tendency for internet algorithms to send people only information that they already agree with – however the tendency has always been there in the way that people purchase newspapers that agree with their political and other views.
It may also be linked to the current mistrust of experts.
Cartoon reference number: a756
A problem of immersive technology – smart phone users oblivious to events round them
This cartoon is about the way that the use of smart phones encourages people to withdraw from the real world and to become totally immersed in their phones.
In the cartoon the two young people in the foreground are completely unaware that the city behind them is being destroyed by an alien invasion by flying saucers or ufos (and that this is the reason that their phones have lost their signal). The only thing that they notice is that the signal to their phones has gone.
The cartoon is an illustration of the potential dangers of immersive technology.
It was first published in Prospect magazine, April 2016.
A cartoon about the tendency for people to record incidents raher than to intervene in them.
A cartoon showing people who are dismayed by the fact that there’s a man drowning in front of them, but that they haven’t got their phones with them with which to record the event.
A cartoon about a dark side to “citizen journalism”.
The adult colouring book craze – the infantilization of popular culture.
A cartoon showing someone reading an academic book about the fashion for adult colouring books. The academic publication is itself a colouring book.
A cartoon about the publishing phenomenon of colouring books for adults.
“No platforming” – the movement to deny a debating voice to speakers who’s views may be offensive to some of the audience.
This cartoon is about the phenomenon of denying a platform in debates for speakers who’s views may be found offensive by some of the audience.
The phenomenon is particularly prevalent in universities.
“No platforming” can be seen as a form of censorship masquerading as a virtue. It is built on the premise that people have the right not to be offended.
This may be a worthy aim, but it’s very much open to abuse, as the ‘right not to be offended’ can easily become a means of stifling debate.
Apart from anything else, the airing of controversial views are crucial to the health of democracy.
Cartoon drawn: 2015
Cartoon reference: a705
A cartoon inspired by the campaigns to remove statues of slave traders and imperialists from the public sphere (in 2015).
This cartoon is about the tendency for social grievances around issues such as race and gender to be directed towards people of higher privilege, so in western society almost all grievances are ultimately directed towards white men. Specifically middle-aged or old white men, as young people often have grievances directed towards older people (middle-aged men tend to be commoner targets than older men as they are often in higher positions of power or authority).
The cartoon was drawn in 2015, five years before the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol in 2020. I expect the campaigns and protests to remove statues of other controversial figures such as Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford University (Rhodes Must Fall) will now be given new momentum.
Cartoon reference number: a805
A cartoon about infantilisation in modern society.
An animal hat worn by an adult.
A cartoon showing an adult wearing a hat with an animal face on it. These hats are currently very popular for small children. There is a tendency for these animal hats to be adopted by young (and not so young) adults, usually female.
The person is reading a sociology book that is a critique of the trend towards the infantilisation of culture.
Cartoon about child psychology and child development.
An image illustrating aggressive tendencies within people. Nature or nurture?
A cartoon about driverless cars.
How driverless cars may affect society
Driverless cars are also known as driver-free cars, self driving cars, autonomous cars or robot cars.
This is a futurology cartoon, predicting the future when self-driving cars are ubiquitous.
My view is that people will drive round whether they need to or not, simply because they can – a bit like the way people currently spend large amounts of their time glued to mobile phones even though they don’t necessarily have anything pressing to say. You can read an article of mine on the subject of driverless cars here.
Medicalisation of deviant behaviour cartoon
The nature v nurture debate on human personality
Neurological origins of behavioural traits
A cartoon about the tendency to invoke medical reasons for deviant personality traits, for abnormal personality traits or even for normal aspects of personality.
It shows one aspect of the nature v nurture debate
An illustration about the medicalization of behaviour. This may include behavioural syndromes ranging from psychopathic tendencies and deviance to conditions such as hyperactivity, ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), rebelliousness or non-conformity.
In this cartoon I’ve invented a medical condition that is being used by a parent to justify her child’s aberrant or antisocial behavior
The cartoon reflects the tendency to claim, for instance, that particular parts of dna are responsible for criminal behaviour – thus removing responsibility from the person and placing it on the dna
The image is not meant to imply that there is no neurological basis for behaviour, just that it can sometimes be used as an excuse for bad behaviour
The subject of neurological origins for criminal behaviour is dealt with in the book The Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine
The cartoon was first published in Prospect magazine in May 2013
Personal spy drone cartoon
The use of drones for private detective work
A cartoon about one of the implications of the spread of drone technology in the future if drones become available to the public as personal drones or as civilian surveillance drones in general
The drone in the image is being used by a husband to spy on his wife
Advances in drone technology have implications for civil liberties, with the possibility of a Big Brother society
Click below for another cartoon about the possible use of personal drones Snooper drones
Personal spy drone cartoon
An idea about the implications of drone technology
The use of drones for stalking
A cartoon about one of the numerous possible misuses of drone technology in the future if drones become available to the public as personal drones
The drone in the image is being used by a stalker to stalk a woman.
Click below for another cartoon about the possible use of personal drones Snooper drones
An illustration about the tunnel vision of cell phone users
People using mobile devices being oblivious to what’s around them
A cartoon showing people using mobile phones or other portable electronic devices, totally ignoring the world around them
The cartoon shows a spring blossom tree in full bloom, with people staring at their phones instead of at the tree.
This is a variation on the idea that mobile phone users bump into people and objects because they aren’t watching where they are going, as they are too engrossed in their phones
Altruism cartoon. Mindless violence and mindless altruism.
The evolution of altruism
A cartoon about the emergence of altruism in nature.
The cartoon shows prehistoric men or cave men fighting. Another prehistoric man is rushing to the scene of the violence to care for the wounded. Yet another caveman is wondering about the evolution of altruism as a personality trait.
Cartoon reference number: a535
Charity collection methods cartoon, showing a ‘charity mugger’ or ‘chugger’.
A charity mugger or chugger is person employed by a charity, or by an intermediary fundraising agency that is employed by the charity, who stands in the street and tries to stop people and persuade them to make donations to charity, usually in an over-assertive manner. This method of collecting for charity became an issue at the time that this cartoon was drawn, hence the derogatory name that was coined for the collectors.
Rather than saying “Not now” (as is usual) the passer-by is wearing a t-shirt with the message “Not now” printed on it.
A cartoon about charity fund raising techniques.
Drawn: Nov 2012
Cartoon reference number: chug001b
Cartoon. Health and safety gone mad.
A cartoon about the petty rules and over-zealous implementation of laws concerning health and safety regulations.
A humorous illustration showing an officious official making a judgement on a health and safety issue. A child wrapped in cottonwool to protect it from danger – but the cotton wool leaves the child’s face exposed to danger.
Cartoon reference number: a423
Politician and celebrity child abuse cartoon
In the wake of the Jimmy Savile affair there is a danger that unscrupulous lawyers will jump on the current wave of awareness of child abuse and will fish for victims, in a similar way that some law firms fish for victims of accidents in order to profit from the compensation claims that can be made.
A cartoon about paedophiles, paedophilia, compensation culture, litigation culture andchild sexual abuse.
At the time that this cartoon was drawn the list of celebrities and politicians who were being accused of historic sexual abuse was growing by the day – Jimmy Savile, Dave Lee Travis, Cyril Smith, Max Clifford, Stuart Hall…
The cartoon shows an advert in a gents toilet, where adverts for slightly dodgy legal practices can sometimes be found (such as for firms offering to win you compensation for mis-sold insurance protection plans)
Cartoon reference number: a418
Students hugging when they get their exam results
A cartoon about the recent trend in television news coverage of exam results for students to be filmed hugging each other when they get their grades.
The caption of this cartoon reads:
“I see that on your application form you’ve put down that your main reason for wanting to join our A level course is ‘To get hugs from teenage girls when the results come out’.”
The cartoon shows a man of dubious character applying to join a college of further education A-level course so that he can get hugs from attractive young female students when the exam results come out.
Cartoon drawn: 2012
Cartoon reference number: ed204
Cartoon showing an ambitious mother reading a book about how to raise the perfect child
Child development cartoon. An ambitious mother reading a book on child rearing called ‘How to Bring up the Perfect Child‘. The mother is saying to her child ‘Not now dear, I’m busy.’
A cartoon about child rearing, parenting skills, hothousing, developmental psychology, education, educational psychology, yummy mummy, yummy mummies, misdirected ambition, bad parenting.
Cartoon reference number: a085
Cartoon about statistics, statistical probability, statistical bias and unreliable statistical surveys.
A cartoon showing a person collecting statistics but deliberately ignoring a statistic that doesn’t fit with his preconceived bias as to what the results should be.
A cartoon about unreliable statistical analysis, including such things as self-selecting groups, observer bias, prejudice.
A cartoon about statistical data collection and biased analysis.
Cartoon reference number: a035
Urban deprivation cartoon
A street map of the local area vandalised with graffiti
An illustration of urban decay. Two people looking at a street map covered in graffiti. An arrow on the map reads: you are here
A cartoon about inner city deprivation, vandalism, no go areas, defaced environment, hooligans, gang culture, disadvantages neighbourhoods, slums, wrong side of the tracks
Cartoon drawn: 2009
Cartoon reference number: yah881
Smoking ban cartoon
Smokers in street
Smokers standing in the street outside an office block. The office block is the government’s Department of Health
A cartoon about cigarettes, health, smoke, secondary smoking, no smoking, smoking prohibition, the tobacco industry.
Cartoon reference number: smo710
Blind date cartoon
A man and woman out for a meal. He says he wants to dedicate his life to making the world a better place for all humanity. She thinks “Damn, he’s flawed”
A man trying to impress a woman with his concern for the world. It backfires
A cartoon about virtue signalling, ethics, morals, expectations, personality, motivation, concern, selfishness, charity, charitableness, caring, uncaringness, trying to impress someone.
Cartoon reference number: fla710