Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Identified Flying Objects (& Esoteric Truth)

In the 1970s, the distinction between fact and fiction completely broke down as a result of years of government fabrications, corporate deceit, media falsehoods and systematic educational disinformation.

Objective truth gained an esoteric, almost occult status along with subjects such as ghosts, bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, pagan paediatrics and other unexplained phenomena. Many didn't believe that objective truth even existed.

The dwindling numbers of people who insisted that real facts were 'out there' were pushed to the fringes of society and labelled conspiracy theorists. They saw it as their duty to promote even the most rudimentary facts and reintroduce them into the public arena.

One area of so-called "arcane knowledge" concerned IFOs (Identified Flying Objects), which eventually caught the public imagination, or rather the lack of it. Sensationalised books and magazines about the topic flooded newsagents and bookshops (see pages above and below from The IFO Phenomenon (Corgi, 1977) and a pull-poster from IFO Monthly magazine). By the end of the decade, many people claimed to have had a "close encounter" with an IFO. Some even reported that they had been taken aboard such craft.

(click to enlarge)

For more information about the suppression of facts in public discourse, see the Truth Reform Act of 1976 and mandatory de-education classes.

Monday, 6 March 2017

"Life is Easier With Guilt" Public Information Campaign

This is part 2 of our look at crime in Scarfolk (see last week’s post about 'Real British Crime').

In 1972, Scarfolk Council decided that the "presumption of innocence before being proven guilty" was a bit too presumptuous.

A council spokesperson said that "such legal bureaucracy completely ignores the rights of guilty people who want to be legally recognised as guilty but have either committed a crime that has unfortunately gone undetected, or are, through no fault of their own, awaiting trials which could take many months, even years to rightfully establish their guilt.

The spokesman also pointed out that people may be guilty of actions that are not yet considered crimes and underlined the importance of recognising these people’s culpability to ensure peace of mind.

In the spring of 1973, the government's propaganda department launched a campaign that promoted guilt as a desirable attribute. It was so successful that many people feared they might not be guilty enough and committed horrific crimes to nurture in themselves feelings of self-worth and wellbeing.

The campaign featured a policeman whose nickname was "PC Fang". Allegedly, he had the ability to instil a deep sense of guilt in even the most innocent citizens. Some say he achieved this by using supernatural powers; others say he used a hammer.

A frame from a lost public information film that played at cinemas during the advertisements. 
A T-shirt compulsorily worn by children.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Campaign for Real British Crime (CRBC)

When immigrants began moving to Scarfolk in the mid-1970s, many local criminals worried that foreign offenders would threaten their livelihoods. They formed an organisation called the Campaign for Real British Crime (CRBC), which fought for the rights of UK born criminals. The CRBC demanded that the police prioritise investigations in favour of offences committed by British lawbreakers, for whom they also tried to ensure more convictions and longer prison terms.

Campaigners for Real British Crime also attempted to reintroduce and encourage traditional, archaic crimes, some of which had not been committed in Britain for many years; for example, conspiring with a neighbour's goose while intoxicated, handling rhubarb and voles in suspicious circumstances, invoking demons while wearing a toupee, and committing crimes abroad when they can be carried out just as successfully at home.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

1970s Valentine's Day Greetings Card

Love is the air like doves and butterflies and pulmonary tuberculosis. Happy Valentine's Day from Scarfolk.

Friday, 10 February 2017

"Fun Fag Facts" (1974)


This info-tisement appeared in children's weekly magazines and on the walls of schools as part of the 1974 "Cigaretiquette campaign". It was funded in part by the SCRG (Scarfolk Cancer Research Group) who, having accidentally hired too many employees and purchased expensive premises, desperately needed a sharp increase in the numbers of cancer patients to attract the funding they required to maintain their organisation.

See also: confectionery-branded cigarettes of the 1970s.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Play & Learn Drowning Game (late 1970s)

This is part 2 of our feature on water-based toys (see last week's Action Man waterboarding accessories).

In the late 1970s, the government predicted that by the time the decade's children were grown up, suicides would be commonplace, perhaps even fashionable. This would be due to the "inevitable effects of living in a declining society in which the government has abandoned the welfare of its citizens in favour of fun hobbies it finds less boring", but mostly because "it will make suicide a compulsory part of national cutbacks".

The minister for welfare proposed that "suicide clubs" be established (they even launched a slogan: "Let's all say Felo-de-se!"), and that suicide methods be taught in schools and job centres by alternative-career advisors.

The government also funded several toy manufacturers who created products which cast suicide in a positive light. One such toy was the Play & Learn Drowning Game, which was also adapted into a console game in 1978.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Action Man Waterboarding Accessories (early 1970s)

The image below shows the instruction booklet that came with an Action Man accessory kit. Like many boys' toys, such as tractors, diggers and trains, the Action Man waterboarding kit was designed to help young boys develop a sense of what they might like to be when they grow up.

A survey conducted in 1978 found that the jobs boys most wanted when they were older included astronaut, engine driver and chief torturer for a totalitarian regime which uses its cover as a civilised democracy to commit national and international atrocities with impunity.

(click to enlarge)

Friday, 20 January 2017

The De-evolution of Mankind (Pelican Books, 1975).

Many people are unaware that a young Donald Trump appeared on the cover of a book called The De-evolution of Mankind, published in Scarfolk by Pelican Books in 1975.

From the introduction:
"Scientists predict that, at some point in the early 21st century, humans will stop evolving and will start the process of de-evolution. Several signs will herald this decline:
i. People will stop reading books. It's estimated that the length of an average book will be eighteen words, including the title and copyright page.
ii. Increasingly, people will only vote for leaders who can communicate using an abbreviated, primitive dialect, a sort of "Dunce Patois" in which whole sentences will be reduced to single words: "True!", "Bad!", "Shame!", etc.
iii. The distinction between the real and the imaginary will be lost and fictional characters will ascend to the highest posts of office.
iv. Human hands will shrink through inactivity and will become little more than tiny, feeble scoops [...]

[...] The mighty space stations we once imagined in our future will drift unpopulated because the knowledge required to reach them will have been either outlawed or carelessly forgotten. The threadbare remnants of mankind will scrabble around a dying earth, daubing themselves with orange mud to avoid being burned due to the global overheating they said would never happen. We will return to this development in Chapter 4, which is entitled 'Consummate Dickheads'."

Friday, 13 January 2017

Minor Meat Cuts Poster (1973)

An excerpt from a 1973 speech by Scarfolk's Minister for Family Welfare and Catering:

"In times of economic crisis, cuts are inevitable. We feel, however, that the citizens of Scarfolk should be directly involved in the process of how these cuts are implemented and that is why every household will soon receive a booklet describing all the cuts we currently recommend..."

Two weeks after the speech, thousands of poor families received Charcuterie for Beginners, which contained several pull-out posters, one of which is presented above.

More food-related austerity solutions from 1973 see HERE and HERE.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Real British Living Cement

Scarfolk's elite lived in hillside enclaves on both sides of the town. In 1971, these rich, wealthy and powerful residents decided that they wanted to travel freely between each other without having to pass through town where they might "contract a disease such as rabies or poverty from one of the underdeveloped proles".

They resolved to build a vast bridge over the town but soon learned that the costs would be exorbitant. Collaborating with the council and building contractors, they invented a new, cheaper cement aggregate that was not only "freely available and completely natural" but it also helped to reduce spending in other areas, mainly social welfare.

For weeks after the opening of the bridge, the muffled cries and groans that could be heard coming from within the structure were ascribed to high winds. It was only when limbs and other body parts began poking through the time-worn concrete years later that the bridge acquired its nickname "the big bridge in which all the worthless missing townspeople are buried".

Local business leaders were outraged that the truth had not come to light much earlier, especially because they had missed out on years of exploiting the bridge as a tourist destination.

More cement-related artefacts HERE.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Radio Times Christmas Issue

Everyone at Scarfolk Council wishes you a very merry final Christmas before the inevitable apocalypse.

Here's your festive double issue of the Radio Times, which covers Christmas to the new year (or the end of time, whichever comes first.)

Learn more about the jolly apocalypse HERE.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Disposable Children Bags

Discarded children were a serious problem in 1970s Scarfolk. Adults who had decided against parenthood, whether for reasons of finance or boredom, would dump their offspring in sacks by roadsides or in laybys.

Hungry children who had not been given the required sedative dosages often chewed their way out of the sacks and wandered into speeding traffic. Not only did these unwanted children cause hours of unnecessary delays to motorists, but a study showed that discarded children were responsible for close to a million pounds worth of damage to car bonnets, bumpers and windscreens in 1974 alone.

From January 1975, any 'Bag Baby' (as they came to be known) involved in a road accident that incurred costs to motorists, risked a fine of up to £125.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

BBC Sound Effects Records (early 1970s)

In the early 1970s, the BBC produced numerous sound effects records. Though many were created for educational purposes, such as 'Squeaky Eyeballs' (1973), the public were encouraged to utilise the more practical releases in their daily lives.
Expressing emotion or personal thoughts in both private and public had long been outlawed. Records such as 'British Tutting' (1970) allowed the disgruntled listener to listen to a variety of legally sanctioned tuts as a sort of surrogate expression of displeasure. Equally, 'Inconsolable Weeping in Libraries' was a soothing, lawful substitute for the act itself.
As familial contentment was also prohibited in the 1970s (apart from at Christmas when it was compulsory. See HERE), some families, frightened that their satisfaction might be discovered and reported, opted for albums such as those from the BBC's Divorce Series, which they would play at elevated volumes for the ears of prying neighbours or passing government agents.

Not all deceptions were successful. If a family was arrested they would be taken to their local police station where, while waiting to be interrogated by specialised officers, they might be played an album such as 'Uncomfortable Silences'.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Council Advent Cards

In 1970s Scarfolk, the council sent out personalised advent cards to all its citizens.

Not only did the cards hint cryptically at policies due to be introduced in the new year, but they were also frequently accompanied by updated citizen expiration details (see HERE).

The more observant among you may have spotted Charlie Barn on the roof.
More on advent HERE.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

1970s Pornography

Even an archive as respectable as Scarfolk's contains artefacts that some might deem offensive. In 1970s Britain, many aspects of life became increasingly sexualised, though sex was rarely one of them.

As you look at these pornographic magazines, which were aimed at lovers of Brutalism, please remember that the 1970s were a very different time with its own mores and values.

Click on the brown paper bag to access the magazines. You must be over the age of 18* (SFW).


 *with a City & Guilds qualification in town planning.