Hi folks, it's CAJ community manager Carl Meyer. Prez Hugo and I are tag-teaming tonight's J-Fest liveblog. Right now we're hearing from Bruce MacKinnon, Halifax Chronicle Herald editorial cartoonist. Remember to use #CAJ15 and the J-Fest hashtag #CAJ15fest. Also if you're in the room, come say hi to us!
What made you want to be a cartoonist? Making $2.50 a cartoon, Bruce jokes.... He says he's always loved to draw, but it wasn't always "that's what it's gonna be." He had also thought about fine arts, graphic design.
Moderator Rick Grant asks Bruce about how he decides which emotion to provoke. Bruce says it starts with his own emotions.
Rick asks about sacred cows. All outlets have taboos at different levels, says Bruce. He had a lot of cartoons pulled in the past. "They always gave me just enough time to finish the damn thing, before telling me it's gone." He's got a better idea of what will fly now.
What about your own line? Bruce says it's a "sliding scale." He often doesn't know how offensive it would be until he looks at the finished product.
"You're born with a certain amount of talent, and the rest is just practicing your craft," says Jackie.
Jackie talks about her childhood. Orphan, runaway. She recalls no one ever wanting to speak the plain truth to her. "By nature I tend to be overt" and her environment "exacerbated that."
Jackie says her latest doc taught her "narratives we tell ourselves about people in poverty, and what purpose those narratives serve." What narratives? One of them is that most people vastly overestimate the percent of people committing welfare fraud, she says.
She's cycling through horror stories. Barely able to make it through the last week of the month; for Jackie, a bowl of cereal a day, and food for the baby. Her social worker would come and eat her food. A disabled man in her doc forced to travel to fill out a form, and when he did it slightly wrong--wrote "none" instead of 0-- he was told he would be cut off if he did that again.
Audience member asks about corporate welfare. Jackie says she's always found interesting the "venom" directed at those who have nothing and take a bit more, versus the casual acceptance of those who have lots and take more anyway. "Shit rolls downhill."
That's a wrap for Jackie.
Miles Howe, Halifax Media Co-op editor, is up next. Sean is also asking him about his childhood as well.
Miles is going over a lot of history of the NB fracking debate. The conventional channels--petitions, pressure on MLAs-- were all exhausted early on, he says, and so he tried to show "if you paint people into a corner, this is what they do." There was money on the table in terms of exploration, he argues, putting pressure on pushing aside resistance, regardless of a clear track record of, say, treaties. "I was trusted as a non-indigenous reporter that could at least transmit" indigenous positions, he says. He found himself often the only person with a camera filing stories.
"Nobody wants to have a blockade. Nobody wants to deal with night after night of cops. Nobody wants to deal with tire fires." But everything else had been tried, he insists.