exxon valdez, the next generation:
speaks out

"hey for what its worth, I heard capt. hazelwood didn't compost!"
© 2010 Dave Weinberg

BP Executive scapegoat courtesy of Project M North 2010 on display at the good life fest in Belfast, Maine. Check out stuffitbp.com for more photos and to learn how hair (yours and your dog’s) can help the situation in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you live in Maine you may have noticed or (as I imagine ExxonMobil would prefer it…) NOT noticed, how Exxon gas stations have all but disappeared from the easy-on/easy-off highway drivescapes. In what appears to have been either a back room corporate coup d’état by Irving Oil or more likely a calculated means of UN-branding by ExxonMobil – the partnership enables a brilliant PR shell game.

The Premise:
Remove the logo of the brand associated with one of the worst environmental disasters in history (until just a couple of weeks ago…) while leaving the grandchild brand of the red Pegasus behind to continue doing business. Over time, perhaps less people will associate the Mobil brand with the parent ExxonMobil joint corporation.

Not that it matters anyway, we now have a new scapegoat – British Petroleum. Time will tell if there is an equivalent Capt. Joe Hazelwood to pin this one on. And if so were they drunk or sober when they chose not to enforce the necessary inspection or expense of assuring that a mile down under water fail-safe mechanism would not actually, um… fail…

Have you noticed how Gulf recently updated their logo over the last few years to be set on a clear blue sky? It is very comforting to know that Gulf no longer deals in those filthy dangerous fossil fuels. Apparently, whatever I’m pumping into the Honda from Gulf is just a breath of fresh air. Sadly there is another Gulf that will not be fresh again for a very long time.

Last thought:
This is not an indictment of the local owners of franchises of these brands. And, no I do not own a Prius (heard they have some issues too…) and yes, I should be biking more for regular transportation and exercise. So am I not complicit here? My personal choices and dependance on oil enables this ‘machine’ to keep on churning it out and enables disasters like this to happen.

We as consumers have more power than we (choose to) think. If we change our behaviors and how we spend our dollars perhaps corporations would get the message and it would not take a disaster of this magnitude to get us where we need to be going. To quote Saul Griffith – “the planet is your client”.

At the risk of gettin’ all treehugger – as we celebrate Mother’s Day let’s not forget to celebrate Mother Earth.

the rockettes of semiotics

I-295 northbound construction's dress rehearsal
click image for more sketches
© 2010 Dave Weinberg

Drove passed these highway construction signs on my way to a client meeting and it immediately made me think of theatre – like backstage before opening night at Radio City with road signs starring as actors and production crew, scenery, props and of course, choreography.

This particular ‘show’ will be going on for approx 6 months starting in May – northbound I-295 between Portland and Freeport, Maine. Mostly evening performances with some matinees. No intermission.

More sketches from the final dress rehearsal viewable on the cellphoneSketchpad Facebook fan page.