The world has a currency defacing problem
The death of Leonard Nimoy inspired a wonderful outpouring of affection across the world, and possibly beyond.
Nimoy was best known for playing the role of Dr. Spock in Star Trek, possibly the most beloved character in the sci-fi genre for several generations.
From our point of view, with our interest in the nature and history of money, the most interesting of these expressions is the resurgence of the phenomenon of “Spocking” in Canada.
“Spocking” is the act of defacing the Canadian $5 note by superimposing the likeness of the half-Vulcan doctor onto the image of former prime minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier. There is quite a resemblance and therefore not much art is required to transform the former prime minister into the beloved Dr. Spock.
The trend, like all the most entertaining forms of mischief, is apparently illegal in most countries, but not Canada. That has not deterred Canadians who for years have enjoyed replacing the unfortunate Sir with the likeness of Spock or Alan Rickman’s portrayal of professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies.
Enough Spocking was being done that the Canadian central bank felt compelled to act and said: “Yes, it’s legal, but it’s just not a very nice or Canadian thing to do. “Bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard said Tuesday that scribbling on bills is inappropriate because it defaces a Canadian symbol and source of national pride,” the Associated Press reports.
The practice of defacing paper notes will come to an end in November when the Bank of Canada will issue new plastic notes with a different image of Laurier.